T Nation

College Major ?

I know this may be a bit if an unconventional post but my dream in life is to own a facility similar to Joe Defranco’s gym in that I want to train athletes at all levels to get bigger faster and more powerful.

I am wondering if anyone knows which major to take in college to learn all about that stuff.

I think i will be at Uconn and exercise Sciences looks ok but its kind of general. Any input would be appreciated

Business Management.

Above all, DeFranco runs a business. So you need to know the ins and outs of running a business. DeFranco himself said he works 12 hours a day with his athletes, and another 6 hours building his business. Or you can double major with Exercise Science, so you get the best of both worlds.

Also, try to get a job at a gym, or at least a student rec center, so you can familiarize yourself with day to day operations of running a fitness facility, so you are better prepared when you go out on your own.

Hope this helps.

This should probably go in the off topic section.

Exercise science is a good start.

I feel like, in order to do what youre talking about, you need to have built a good reputation as a trainer. No degree is going to just give you that.

Well im not going to just walk up to people and say hey i have a degree in exercise science and a gym so that means i can make you huge. Im going to learn by trail and error and make a name for myself. I will probably start mostly with high school athletes and try different methods to see what works best. I dont just want to copy someone elses workout plan though, i want to be an innovator.

I’m a sophomore at Uconn majoring in exercise science. It’s an awesome program.

Edit: I don’t know what you mean by “kind of general,” but if you plan to reach your ultimate goal you will almost definitely be doing graduate work in exercise physiology won’t you?

Also, you probably won’t be able to double major in exercise science and business- both programs are extremely competitive here as you must know if you’re considering it.

Similarly, I hope to run a sports medicine facility. I’m really using exercise science to get to my Physical Therapy graduate work, but it helps that what I’m studying is what I’m into.

A word about the program- I got a 1400 on my SAT’s and barely got in. It’s pretty tough to get into.

[quote]golanhalley wrote:
Well im not going to just walk up to people and say hey i have a degree in exercise science and a gym so that means i can make you huge. Im going to learn by trail and error and make a name for myself. I will probably start mostly with high school athletes and try different methods to see what works best. I dont just want to copy someone elses workout plan though, i want to be an innovator.[/quote]

If you want to be an innovator, major in entrepreneurship.

Well, you’re going to need a degree in Exercise Physiology.

One in Business Admin, especially in marketing.

One in Nutrition.

Those are just the BA’s and BSBA.

You’ll also need a Master’s Degree in Exercise and one in Nutrition. A PhD would help. And a bunch of money to get your gym.

OR, you could have several years in the industry with the appropriate references, repeated frequent demonstrated success in assisting trainees in achieving their goals, and a PT certificate. Toss in a few classes in marketing, nutrition, accounting, etc. That and a bunch of money to get your gym.

If you have either of these I MIGHT let you work with my teenager.

After a background check.

Possibly: Major exercise physiology, minor business management. Get your teaching certificate. Get your PT certificate. Teach HS PE and coach football. Win some HS Football Championships. Send some kids to D1 schools. Meet everyone you can and get a job in an AD at a university. While youre at it, it wouldnt hurt to put up some nice numbers in PL’ing contests.

The guy that trains my brother and his teammates is a former pro powerlifter. He works for free because he loves it. He takes seemingly ordinary high school kids and in 2 or 3 years has them at a level to which schools like FSU and Georgia Tech are throwing lots of scholership money their way.

Keep in mind that he doesnt have a training center, and no income from his training. Hes got a regular jon, a trunk full of ladders, cones, medicine balls, and hurdles, a gym membership, and a fucking monsterous hill in his neighborhood.

Not saying you cant do it, but itll take a shitload of work, and the right circumstances. If you could just get a degree and do that, there would be a hell of a lot more places like youre talking about.

Might as well go into a physical therarpy program after your four year degree. If your going to be getting a masters, you might as well come out of school being INSTANTLY in demand, with options of running your own clinic down the road.

And yes, you can merge both training and rehab under one roof.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Get your teaching certificate. Get your PT certificate. Teach HS PE and coach football. Win some HS Football Championships. Send some kids to D1 schools. Meet everyone you can and get a job in an AD at a university. While youre at it, it wouldnt hurt to put up some nice numbers in PL’ing contests.
[/quote]

Lmao.

PT Certificate, no biggie

lmao.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Possibly: Major exercise physiology, minor business management. Get your teaching certificate. Get your PT certificate.
[/quote]

I think you need to read what you just recommended.

Honestly. Spend a minimum 7 years in college and be a PE teacher. Good advice.

double major in business and exercise science

Dude, don’t listen to people saying things like double major in business and exercise science. Both programs are EXTREMELY competitive. I’m just doing my undergrad in Exercise Science and taking a few business classes, and it’s barely manageable as it is.

Why not? Im not saying he should practice being a dickhead trainer at 24 hour fatness, just that credentials like that dont hurt. Especially when a parent is considering allowing you to train their high school athlete.

Parents dont have the same perspective of PT’s as many of us here at T-Nation have. A certificate means just that. That person has been certified by some authority to do something. Parents like to see shit like that.

I never said spend 7 fucking years in college either. I said get a major-which will be the majority of the course lode, and pick up a minor, which at my school is 15-20 course hours in a selected field. Thats less than two semesters worth of courses.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Possibly: Major exercise physiology, minor business management. Get your teaching certificate. Get your PT certificate. Teach HS PE and coach football. Win some HS Football Championships. Send some kids to D1 schools. Meet everyone you can and get a job in an AD at a university. While youre at it, it wouldnt hurt to put up some nice numbers in PL’ing contests.

The guy that trains my brother and his teammates is a former pro powerlifter. He works for free because he loves it. He takes seemingly ordinary high school kids and in 2 or 3 years has them at a level to which schools like FSU and Georgia Tech are throwing lots of scholership money their way.

Keep in mind that he doesnt have a training center, and no income from his training. Hes got a regular jon, a trunk full of ladders, cones, medicine balls, and hurdles, a gym membership, and a fucking monsterous hill in his neighborhood.

Not saying you cant do it, but itll take a shitload of work, and the right circumstances. If you could just get a degree and do that, there would be a hell of a lot more places like youre talking about.[/quote]

Physical Therapy isn’t some bullshit certificate like personal trainer. It’s a masters and a doctorate degree. You’re telling him to major in something and minor in something else and then get a teaching certificate. That’s logically a decade of education right there, sorry we don’t all go to community college, where those degrees don’t even exist.

[quote]EatSleepLift wrote:

Physical Therapy isn’t some bullshit certificate like personal trainer. It’s a masters and a doctorate degree. You’re telling him to major in something and minor in something else and then get a teaching certificate. That’s logically a decade of education right there, sorry we don’t all go to community college, where those degrees don’t even exist.[/quote]

Please explain to me how a 4 (or 5) year bachelors degree in exercise science with a minor in business management is nearly a decade of education?

Last time I checked, 4 was less than 10.

I never said anything about physical therapy school. I never compared physical therapy to personal training. Did you actually read anything I wrote? What the fuck are you talking about

A teaching certificate is not hard to get. 6 months at the most. A degree would take years. I said certificate.

And in case you were implying that I attend a “community college”, you can suck your own shit out, because I attend a University with a top 20 Undergraduate business program

Maybe when you said “decade of education”, you meant including high school…I suggest you go back there and learn to read again. Thanks.

Exercise Science. Not because you’ll learn a lot about training athletes, but simply because it’ll help get your foot in the door for training clients. The general public considers this degree as a qualifier for being a good strength coach. The more informed would say it’s mostly bullshit, but you most likely won’t be training someone who has the time under the bar and knowledge it takes to realize that.

A degree in any of the hard sciences and a lot of self teaching combined with time under the bar would actually make you more qualified than the exercise science degree. But if you want enough money to keep the lights on at a gym, you have to do what the customer wants.

I thought about changing my major and pursuing a business in training, but I realized I don’t have the patience for the general public and would end up failing to properly spot or accidently dropping a plate on their head. But, if I were to pursue this field, here’s what I’d do:

  1. Exercise Science degree
  2. While getting degree, get certifications from whatever the trendy fitness orgs. there are
  3. Work at college’s rec center/gym
  4. Train as many people as possible
  5. Study business books in whatever free time I have
  6. Study Eric Cressey (the guy is probably less than 25 years old and is most likely making a killng in this field, or at least will before it’s over), Alwyn Cosgrove (check out alwyncosgrove.blogspot.com), Charles Poliquin, Chad Waterbury, CT, and every other contributor on this site and others.
  7. Make friends with every person in the fitness industry you come across.
  8. Get your name out on the internet.
  9. attend every seminar, buy every book, and reading everything on the internet about training.

Once you have all that down, it won’t be hard to open your own facility if you save some money.

The other route would be to do everything the same but get a teacher certification in PE, volunteer or get paid to strength coach at a high school while teaching, save money, prove yourself as a qualified coach, and keep applying at D1 schools.

go with business management as a major and get an accounting minor.

sprinkle your electives with marketing classes to help sell your gym.

try to intern at a gym as well, to see the day to day administration activities first hand so you’ll have a better idea of what you are getting in to.