How Do Most Coaches Start Their Fitness Journey?

The world of fitness coaching is a diverse landscape filled with dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. These coaches, often guiding individuals toward healthier lifestyles, have their own unique stories and backgrounds that led them to this fulfilling career path. 

In this article, we will explore how most fitness coaches embark on their fitness journey, drawing insights and inspiration from the personal stories of four remarkable coaches: Loulou Gaget, Rachel Tyra, Matt McKenna, and Ernest Taylor.

The Fitness Coaching Origin Story

Every fitness coach has an origin story, a pivotal moment or series of events that sparked their interest in the world of fitness and wellness. For some, it's a gradual progression, while for others, it's a lightning-bolt moment of realization. 

Loulou Gaget, a New York yoga entrepreneur, started on off on a corporate path, but felt a calling: “I knew that my purpose was bigger, so I quit my job to pursue studying yoga and took a part-time gig as a babysitter for a wonderful family.” She is now the proud owner of Power Move Yoga and also teaches yoga within the New York public school system.

After suffering from pregnancy complications, Rachel Tyra was inspired to build a fitness coaching practice centered around posture and muscular imbalance-related issues.

The Commonalities: From Personal Transformation to Empowering Others

One striking commonality among fitness coaches is their personal transformation through fitness. Rachel, Matt, and Ernest all began their journeys with their own health and fitness goals in mind, which eventually led them to become coaches.

Matt McKenna, an aspiring entrepreneur and healthcare market researcher, shares his story of overcoming obesity and developing a passion for health and fitness. "My experience as an obese adolescent," Matt explains, "fostered my appreciation and fascination with the inner workings of the human body." Matt didn’t need an ideal weight calculator to know he was unhealthy. His personal transformation from an obese teenager to a fitness enthusiast ignited his desire to help others on their fitness journeys.

Ernest Taylor's journey into fitness started later in life, at the age of 28, after a basketball injury forced him to reevaluate his lifestyle. "I weighed 160 pounds and never lifted weights," Ernest recalls. His journey into fitness, combined with his love for helping others, eventually led him to become a coach.

These personal transformations serve as powerful motivators for coaches, driving them to help others build healthy habits. Through their own experiences, they develop a deep empathy and understanding of the challenges their clients face and use a custom fitness planner to help them overcome them.

The Catalyst for Coaching

As fitness coaches evolve in their fitness journeys, many find that they have a natural inclination to share their knowledge and experiences with others. This inclination often becomes the catalyst for their coaching careers.

For Rachel Tyra, the desire to help others on their fitness journeys grew organically. "I worked in an all-women’s gym and just soaked up the knowledge from the more experienced trainers. They were so gracious in showing me the ropes and giving me professional advice," Rachel says. Her passion for helping individuals recover from injury and lead healthier lives became the driving force behind her decision to become a fitness coach.

Similarly, Matt McKenna's journey from an obese adolescent to a fitness enthusiast inspired him to help other achieve their fitness goals. "Once I helped my first client completely change their life for the better, after thinking it was impossible, it became addicting," Matt reflects. His own experience of overcoming adversity ignited his desire to guide others toward their fitness goals.

Ernest Taylor's motivation for coaching stemmed from the realization that he had valuable knowledge to share. "People were misinformed, lacked knowledge and experience," Ernest notes. Recognizing the need for accurate guidance, he embraced workout program management as a means to provide individuals with the knowledge and support he wished he had when he started his fitness journey.

Personal Experience: A Powerful Coaching Tool

One of the strengths that fitness coaches like Loulou, Rachel, Matt, and Ernest bring is the ability to communicate with clients on a personal level. Having gone through their own fitness transformations, they understand the emotional and physical challenges their clients face.

"When you've been through it yourself, you can empathize with your clients on a whole different level," she affirms. This empathy allows her to provide not only physical guidance but also emotional support, helping clients navigate the ups and downs of their fitness journeys.

Matt McKenna leverages his personal experience in neuroscience and exercise physiology to create tailored fitness plans for his clients. He believes in the power of explaining the "why" behind training, eating, and behavior choices. "I not only provide my clients with the necessary tools to efficiently reach their goals," Matt explains, "but also ensure they understand the reasoning behind our training, eating, and behavior choices for achieving specific results."

Ernest Taylor's personal journey from novice to experienced fitness enthusiast equips him with unique insights into the challenges faced by clients at various fitness levels. "My personal experience plays a very big role in my success," Ernest states. He uses his own journey as a basis for connecting with and motivating his clients, fostering a sense of camaraderie in their shared pursuit of fitness goals.

The Transition to Coaching

Transitioning from a personal fitness journey to a coaching career often involves building expertise and credibility. Coaches like Sarah, Matt, and Ernest work diligently to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to guide others effectively.

Rachel Tyra, in her pursuit of becoming a fitness coach, dedicated herself to learning about exercise, online nutrition coaching, and wellness. She emphasizes the importance of continuous education and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in the fitness industry. Her commitment to knowledge serves as an inspiration for her clients.

Matt McKenna, with his background in neuroscience and exercise physiology, brings a multidisciplinary approach to his coaching practice. He combines his scientific knowledge with practical experience to design results-oriented fitness plans for his clients. Matt's dedication to understanding the intricate workings of the human body enriches his coaching style.

Ernest Taylor's journey from an inexperienced novice to a seasoned fitness enthusiast provided him with invaluable insights into the process of transformation. He believes in tailoring workouts and programs to meet the individual needs and goals of his clients, drawing from his own experience to guide them effectively.

The Empowerment of Others: A Shared Goal

While each fitness coach's journey is unique, they all share a common goal: empowering others to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Rachel Tyra, Matt McKenna, and Ernest Taylor have harnessed their personal experiences and passion for fitness to make a positive impact on their clients' journeys.

Matt's coaching philosophy centers on not only providing tools for success but also ensuring that clients understand the "why" behind their fitness choices. He believes that educating clients about the science of fitness empowers them to make informed decisions on their fitness journey.

Ernest Taylor's aspiration is to help clients become independent and self-sufficient in their fitness pursuits. In both individual and small group personal training, he strives to instill a sense of responsibility and intrinsic motivation in his clients, ensuring that they can maintain their newfound healthy habits for the long term.


In the world of fitness coaching, the journey often begins with a personal transformation. Coaches like Loulou Gaget, Rachel Tyra, Matt McKenna, and Ernest Taylor are living examples of how a profound change in one's life can lead to a desire to empower others on their fitness journeys. These coaches have transitioned from personal fitness achievements to becoming mentors and guides, armed with knowledge.

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