Strength Faction

Strength Faction


We did this thing "The Personal Trainer Professional Development Seminar" with Chris Merritt and Todd Bumgardner of Strength Faction. This is presentation #4 of 8.

"A Simple Guide to Self-Management" by Todd Bumgarner:

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We did this thing "The Personal Trainer Professional Development Seminar" with Chris Merritt and Todd Bumgardner of Strength Faction. This is presentation #3 of 8.

"Practical Finances for Trainers" by Brendon Rearick :

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We did this thing "The Personal Trainer Professional Development Seminar" with Chris Merritt and Todd Bumgardner of Strength Faction. This is presentation #2 of 8.

Chris Merritt's "Use the Netflix Close and You’ll Never Have to Sell Your Services Again":

Don't have a log in? Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial @ then go check out Strength Faction!
We did this thing "The Personal Trainer Professional Development Seminar" with Chris Merritt and Todd Bumgardner of Strength Faction. We will be sharing 1 presentation a day over the next 8 days.

First up is Kevin Carr's Functional Training Anatomy:

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then go check out Strength Faction!
Do you have a support system?

I’m a true introvert. I like to spend a lot of time by myself and I prefer one-on-one time with friends to gatherings with big groups.

I like living my life this way. But one negative consequence is that I’ve frequently fallen into the trap of thinking I can do everything all by myself. I’ve struggled to ask for help when doing so would have made my life a lot easier.

When I’ve failed, it was often because I was too scared to reach out and make myself vulnerable. On the flip side, nearly every accomplishment that makes me proud came through collaboration with and reliance on other people.

No matter what goals you’re chasing (or how shy or introverted you are), you need a good support system. Humans are social animals, and none of us are fully equipped to deal with every single obstacle we encounter.

We need people in all areas of our lives that we go to for advice, support, a non-judgemental ear, or an honest push in the right direction. These could include teachers or professors, fitness coaches, professional mentors, healthcare professionals, romantic partners, friends, or family.

Here are some of the people I lean on these days:

✅My boyfriend James
✅My parents and siblings
✅A small group of friends from Omaha I’ve known since I was a kid
✅A small group of Chicago friends I’ve met more recently
✅My therapist
✅Professional coaches that have helped me grow as a trainer and business owner (shoutout to Strength Faction and Jill Coleman)
✅My personal coach Bryan Krahn, who helps me with my training and diet and who’s talked me off a ledge more times than I can count

Who’s in your circle? Who would you call if you need help with your work, health, or relationships?

If you don’t have people you go to for help or support, perhaps it’s time to start developing more intentional relationships. And if you need someone to help you with your health and fitness goals, please send me a DM.
📍Small Business Saturday

Today we're using our platform not to promote BSP NOVA, but to highlight local businesses that have helped us along the way.

The wonderful staff, outstanding atmosphere, and of course the coffee ☕️ make Ridgetop Coffee a go-to for our whole staff... pretty much every day!

They’ve provided coffee for our adoption event with Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, we’ve used their meeting space for a Strength Faction seminar, our coaches study and write over there regularly, ... the list could go on and on about why we love this place.

Thank you, Ridgetop Coffee! (and see you again soon 😁)
Thanks for having me on the podcast yesterday. This is what I couldn't think of the name of yesterday.
An Open Letter to members of Strength Faction old and new,
I must admit before you read this, I had to google what an open letter was and to make sure it was used in the correct context. I also was the guy who took extra PE/Weight training classes when I could have taken typing classes and/or classes to help me with grammar and writing in general. I made it through college by changing a lot of oil and fixing cars in exchange for “help” typing my papers. And almost not passing my final comp for my master’s degree because I quote the professor after my 3rd attempt “man Patrick you really know your stuff but you just can’t seem to write it properly on paper”.
Read this for what it is and not how it is written.
Although I am not currently in the Strength Faction (SF) I was for about 2 years prior. The SF is still in me! I started with SF I believe on their third semester/session. I spent 2 years listening and re-listening to things I already listened to. Reading and rereading lessons that the coaches had put out. I still to this day go back and relearn things that were discussed over 18 months ago.
So, who f**k am I and why am I hunting and pecking my way around this keyboard to type this open letter to members of SF? My name is Patrick Hoiler and I am the owner of a small member only gym in southern Maryland Kinetic Performance. I am now 2 years removed form my previous career as a teacher and coach for the 16 years. I also entered this game in different situation, or should I say less traditional way most coaches do. I was a teacher and a coach so that part was still the same, trying to get the best out of people for their particular life situation/circumstance. Not to mention quitting my career to start my own business with a wife and 2 daughters. The details of my past or me is not the focus of this letter. What SF can do for you is! I could not be where I am today without the help and support for Chris, Mike and Todd (as well as all the other kick ass mentors and professionals they have brought on to help us all navigate the process of bettering ourselves as coaches). There is not a day goes by as a now a business owner that the SF is not apart of my daily thoughts. What to do when this happens, or how do I handle this situation. Everyday I encounter something that was covered in one of the lessons provided.
Points of emphasis on my experiences with SF and how it helped me to move in the right direction.
1. The Faction will give you the tools necessary to help you become the best craftsman or women you can be. The difference is will you use the tools and more importantly how will you use them. You can have the best set of Snap-on wrenches in your garage, but they do no good sitting there. Your workshop could be the biggest and brightest with the top machines, but a machine or tool only sits there; the worker, the craftsman is the one who must use the tools and they need to used correctly. Don’t try and build a birdhouse with socket wrench. Know when and how. Don’t know when or how…
2. …Be humble and ask for help. I don’t know why this seems so hard for people. I know at times we don’t want to admit we might not know something but if truly want to improve you should be asking a lot of questions. If the person you asked treats you lower or different because you asked a question, I’d think about the purpose of my relationship with that someone. A great mentor or leader will understand and teach.
“Never look down on somebody unless you’re helping them up.” Jesse Jackson
“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” Thomas Merton
3. NEVER Stop learning – Show me someone who is satisfied, and I’ll show you a loser. Once you think you are there, you will be behind. If you have made it to the top of one mountain, awesome. Now go find another mountain to start your assent. SF gives you this opportunity. SF will bring together other coaches to give you this opportunity. Be open minded to other philosophies and beliefs.

I guess my point I am trying to make is just because I am not a part of SF right now, it doesn’t mean SF isn’t a part of me. The 2 years I spent listening, reading and interacting as put me in the position I am in today. Besides my faith SF is the main reason I was able to start my own journey. The coaches, people and individuals you will meet along the way because of SF will be the road signs to help you navigate your own journey.
Take the tools they (SF) give you and USE THEM. Take the time and listen, if don’t understand ASK QUESTIONS. The bigger the root system, the stronger the integrity the more growth will happen. NEVER stop learning!
Can't express in simple words on a post what Strength Faction has done for me. Waaaay too much to list. But know this, they care they are there for you and they respect you! Who else would you want to surround yourself with?

Strength Faction. Coaching for coaches. Transformation. Community. Education. Join the Faction! Strength Faction is the only resource of its kind—it’s where strength coaches and personal trainers go to get coached, be a part of an awesome community and learn to hone their craft.

This isn't another bu****it program. This isn't a library of videos and articles to aimlessly wander through. This is a real coaching program for real strength coaches and personal trainers.


We’re rolling HOT into August with some amazing calls for everyone in our coaching program.

Wanna get in on calls like these and carve your own path in the fitness industry? Enter our Fitness Business Kickstart Sweepstakes today!

Link in Bio.


We've teamed up with the boys at the CFSC and Coach Catalyst to bring you a killer sweepstakes!

You could win coaching, mentorship, education, and the resources to streamline your coaching FREE FOR 1 YEAR!

Even better: You're guaranteed to win and all you have to do is apply!

We know it's a time of transition for a lot of folks in the fitness industry.

You're either working to expand and level up your business.

You're transitioning out of working in corporate fitness and going independent.

Or you're a gym/studio owner that wants to improve their service while streamlining and growing your business.

So, we wanted to do something to help you thrive as you make big changes.

That's why we created the Fitness Business Kickstart Sweepstakes.

To help you kickstart your new business or to kickstart the growth of your current business.

We know how hard it can be, and we also know what the right resources can do for you.

So, we enlisted Coach Catalyst to help you streamline your coaching process and client management.

We got the CFSC boys onboard so you could dial in your coaching process while also getting great continuing ed resources from and MBSC.TV.

And we're here to coach and mentor you through the whole process while helping you put all of the pieces together, from coaching, to programming, to client acquisition...

Like we said above, you win just by applying.

To see the 3 Tiers of Prizes and to enter your application, click the link in our profile!


June’s call lineup is 🔥🔥🔥
We’re covering some essential components of fitness business this month and helping our members take action with them!

Photos from Strength Faction's post 05/12/2022

Swipe 👉🏻

If you want to crush your program design systematization…

…click the link in our profile and purchase 4 Weeks to Simple, Effective, Efficient Program Design

Photos from Strength Faction's post 05/04/2022

If two people are in a fire and one person freaks out and the other person empathizes with them, how many people die? Two. They both die.

This word gets tossed around like a catch phrase and it’s not always the best thing to do for someone…

And it’s not always going to happen…

You can still have a great relationship with your clients without being painstakingly empathetic.

Sometimes it’s the worst thing for everyone.

👉🏻 for more…


We’ve got some killer Q&A’s lined up for May!

These are the weekly calls where Strength Faction members solve their problems and take action.

Ya know how most mentorships just dump a bunch of info on you…….. and then nothing happens?

We ain’t about that. These calls ensure that our crew is taking action and kicking ass!

If you wanna see what it’s all about, you can attend our special May 18th call for FREE!
Click the link in our bio to register.

Photos from Strength Faction's post 04/27/2022

🤘🏻Make Program Design Templates Easy Again🤘🏻

A lot of coaches struggle to build program design templates.

So, if you feel that way right now, you're not alone.

But let's talk a little bit about why they struggle...

It's because of their thinking. They are thinking about writing a program and not thinking about creating an outcome.

That means that they are thinking too broadly. Too many things come into play and it's paralyzing.

However, if you think about solving one, specific problem--about creating one outcome--then you can build a solid template.

Here's what you're going to do...

You're going to build a few lists.

First...what is the specific outcome, or set of outcomes, you need to produce?

Second...what skills do you need to develop to produce the outcome(s)?

Third...what abilities does the client need to develop to achieve the outcome(s)?

Fourth...what exercises help the client to learn the skills and train the abilities?

Once you have your lists, you can organize them into sane, sensible, and sound progressions that lead the client(s) toward achieving the outcome.

There's no guesswork. You know exactly the things that must be included.

You organize them based on pre-requisites and priorities. Keep the stuff that matters and is concentrated toward the goal.

Cut the other s**t.

Then use your training knowledge to organize it into an actionable template based on available training time and frequency.

And now you have yourself a training template that you can use over and over again to help client(s) achieve a specific goal.

Repeat this process until you have all of the templates that you need.

You're welcome. :)

Photos from Strength Faction's post 04/13/2022

Some clients are energy vampires.

Yesterday during our Gym Systems group call (Gym Systems is our business coaching group) one of the members said that their bright spot was losing a few of his gym members that were an energy drain.

That's right. We celebrated someone LOSING clients.

Everyone on the call is an experienced coach. So, we all got it.

Sometimes it's the best thing that can happen.

But maybe you feel you don't get to choose who you work with because you need the money.

Most experienced coaches know that pain.

So, how choosy should you be?

Well, at least a little. It's not worth it to take on gigantic headaches that suck your energy and ruin your ability to service your other clients.

But a little headache if you need the money is probably worth it.

There is no totally avoiding headache clients. But you can minimize how many you work with.

One way is to set yourself up either financially by saving or with another job as you build your training business so that you don't have to train people that you don't want to train.

But that also requires you having a solid idea of who you want to work with and why.

Define it, like clearly define it.

Then craft a plan that allows you to be choosey about whom you work with.

You'll have a better training business. You'll get better results. And you'll be a lot goddamn happier.

Photos from Strength Faction's post 04/04/2022

✅Client Buy-in

If you want clients to buy into your system, start by having a system.

That might seem obvious, but a lot of trainers throw the word "system" around without actually having one.

This kills their confidence because they don't know what repeatable steps to take to consistently plan and produce results.

So, before you start talking about your training system, have one. Otherwise, folks will sniff out your bu****it.

And you have to market to the right clients. If there is a discrepancy between how you market and how you train, clients won't buy-in.

Why? Because you're selling them something that they don't actually want.

If you market yourself as a coach that helps people improve their physique but you only use bastardized powerlifting training and you don't offer nutritional guidance, well, clients will feel the discrepancy.

Once you have your system established and speak to who you're trying to reach, stick with it! If you make changes in your system all the time, or re-brand yourself all the time, people will bail.

Keeping up consistency gives you the biggest buy-in tool of all: RESULTS!

You need to at least track SOMETHING to show your clients results. Otherwise, why in the name of everything holy are they paying you?
If you're at square one and trying to create a program design system, or you know that yours could be better, click the link in our profile and check out 4 Weeks to Simple, Effective, and Efficient Program Design. It's a 4-module course that simplifies program design for all types of clients.


Here’s a question that you need to ask yourself…

…what kind of clients do I want to work with?

Too many trainers just take whatever they can get.

But is that what you really want?

Do you want to work with soul sucking energy vampires that want you to constantly “motivate” them?

Probably not.

Do you want to work with people that have specific goals? Like fat loss or military prep?

You have to ask these questions and some more of your own design so that you actually build a career and a clientele that you love working with.

Otherwise, you will burn the f**k out.


Time for a Challenge!

Follow the instructions in the video!


You’re no one’s savior.

Let’s say it another way.

You can’t help someone that’s not actively helping themselves.

You can guide a person that’s ready and willing to take action. You can help them better define their actions and give them a plan.

But if someone is committed to going down with the ship, you can’t get them off of it.

All you can do in that situation is go down with them.

This is a point of frustration for a lot of trainers.

We want to help. And that desire morphs into a savior complex. Then we start acting like we are f**king therapists.

The end result is either that we don’t help at all, or we make things worse for the person while stressing ourselves out.

Guide people that actually want to move themselves forward.

Let the other ones go.

Does this sound blunt? Yes.

Is it sound, honest advice? Also yes.

Photos from Strength Faction's post 03/01/2022

They can’t move for s**t…

What are you supposed to do?

Well, the trendy thing would be to totally disregard their goals and just do the fancy mobility exercises some bendy person put on their Instagram.

But that trend is bu****it.

Instead, keep their goals in mind.

9 chances out of 10 they’re coming to you to look and feel better.

Yes, movement capacity training contributes to meet that goal. But if you only focus on that, you won’t build muscle, get stronger, etc.

They also aren’t broken. They just have some limitations. So focus on what they can do and train those things as hard as you appropriately can!

Also, keep in mind that movement capacity training isn’t just joint circles and stretching.

Strength training done right is movement capacity training.

So find the strength training positions and movements that work for that client right now and f**king train.

Then pay attention and dial in the correct proportions of each type of training.

You’ll make faster progress and the process will be more rewarding for your client.

Click the link in our bio to register for Program Design University. You’ll get monthly mini-courses that will give you the tools you need to train any kind of client.


Do you have strength standards?

Last weekend we were asked how to go about developing strength standards for clients.

What did we do?

First, we considered what we needed strength standards to tell us. What did we actually need to learn?

We needed to know that a person:

✅has the movement skill to handle heavier weights
✅has the movement fidelity to handle training stress

Once we knew what were trying to learn, we could go about observing and making comparisons.

We paid attention to our strongest and best movers.

What could they do?

From there we worked backwards to develop measurable outcomes the lead to achieving strength and quality movement.

After that we confirmed by testing for months.

At the end we settled on a series of standards that let us know that a client has achieved the movement skill, strength, and movement fidelity to progress to more complex and heavier strength training.

Know what you’re trying to learn.

Use your strongest and best movers to create an ideal.

Work backwards and test.
We have an entire mini-course devoted to developing strength standards in our Program Design University. Click the link in our profile to sign up!

Photos from Strength Faction's post 02/21/2022

Decisions, decisions.

What do you do in the case that you train someone on a limited schedule?

First, don’t overthink things. If you hyperfocus on every little detail, you’re going to get paralysis by analysis. Then you end up trying to solve problems you don’t actually have.

Then, find out what’s going on outside of their time with you. Are they training? Great. Put your focus on the technical exercises so that you can coach them.

If they’re not training outside of their session with you, then give them a well-balanced training day that they’ll enjoy.

Because if someone is only training with you once or maybe twice per week, you have to consider why that’s the case.

It could be financial. It could be scheduling. It could be that’s what they’re willing to do right now.

Many times it’s just because they want one day per week of stress relief. If you’re equipped to give them that, go ahead and do it.

Want program design courses that give you the info you need to write programs for any type of client? Click the link in our profile and sign up for Program Design University.


Great stuff, Gabriel Caldwell] and thanks for the kind words!

Gabriel Caldwell] with
30,000 foot view of where you are…

by using a wheel.

A wheel consisted of successful traits of successful clients.

Brain child from and the rest of team.

Read from the book “Let the First Rep Suck” by Todd.

Which is a fantastic book.

It doesn’t have pictures but the information is first class.

The wheel allows someone to take a step back, think and process their strengths and weaknesses.

Rate your your wheel giving each category a 1-5 score.

Is the wheel flat on one side?

Or does it look like ☀️?

What you do afterwards is up to you.

You can choose to not do anything or pick one of the categories you would like to improve.

Guiding you from where you are to where you would like to be is our job.

After 3 months or so, rate your wheel again.

Some traits may improve, stay the same, or get worse.

But with strategic planning with an approach you’re willing and capable of doing - you will be pointed in the direction of the person you would like to become.

is holding a seminar on program design this weekend which helps you create a system to save you time and make money.

You know because time = 💵

It’s in Niles, IL - near Chicago.

I’ll be there 😁


What should I do?

We bet you’ve asked yourself that question 100 times already this month.

It’s alright. That’s some normal human s**t.

What’s not alright is not answering the question…

…not doing something.

Especially when it comes to your own training, nutrition, recovery and self-management.

What should you do?

Well, what would you tell your clients to do?

That sounds good.

Go do that.


Check out the latest Quick Hits podcast where Wes, Ross, and Mike talk through coaching experiences from the last two weeks. This week they talk through being resilient as a coach, maintaining relationships, and how to turn adversity into an opportunity to shine.


“I love that you do the same training that we do. That’s a huge vote of confidence.”

One of the members at Chris and Todd’s gym said that to Chris after a class.

Chris had taken the class with the members.

It’s so important for our clients to actually see us train.

Especially to see us successfully use the same methods that we use to train them.

Some gurus will tell you not to make your own training visible…to only make it about the clients.

We call bu****it.

Whether it’s training directly beside our members or posting videos of us training, showing our members that we train too is one of the most important things we’ve ever done.

It shows them that we actually believe in our methods.

It builds camaraderie.

It shows that we aren’t just a whole lot of hot air.

So, no matter what a guru tells you, don’t be afraid to show your clients that you train, too.

And when it’s appropriate, jump in with them and get after it.

(Full disclosure: the class we’re talking about in this post was being coached by one of the coaches. Chris took the class because he didn’t have any coaching responsibilities at that point.)


How do you turn leads into clients?

Knowing how to take a client from first contact to tenured client is a big friggin deal.

It’s seriously everything.

When it’s done right…

It means:
✅your marketing is working
✅your onboarding is working
✅your training and retention is working

But how do you know where and what the first contact should be?

What keeps clients with you for the long haul?

During episode 4 of FitBiz RealTalk, and .lyngso talk about creating the customer journey that starts with the right initial contact and leads them to become a tenured client.

Click our link tree to listen in…or wherever you listen to your podcasts!


What does Strength Faction create? Ass kickers.

An Ass Kicker is a different kind of coach…

Smart, Strong, Fun, Real, and Creative

An Ass Kicker knows that the traditional fitness career path isn’t the only way. And they aren’t happy with being “just another coach.” They rebel against the status quo.

An Ass Kicker doesn’t wait for permission to take action. They believe in their mission and are out to help as many people as possible transform their lives through fitness.

An Ass Kicker defines their own values and their success. They don’t wait for the old guard to define success for them.

An Ass Kicker creates a compelling vision for their life and commits to doing the work…to Feeding the Piggy Bank every day with positive action.

They know that showing up consistently is the secret sauce of success.

Ass Kickers don’t take defeat lying down and they see opportunities where others see obstacles. They know that sound principles and systems are what allow them to successfully adapt to any situation.

An Ass Kicker is a coach that defines their own career path and their own destiny. They’re confident that they can get their clients results and they have the systems and principles to prove it. They live life on their terms—kicking ass as a coach and living the lifestyle that they want.

Videos (show all)

Time for a Challenge!Follow the instructions in the video!#strengthfaction #personaltrainer #strengthtraining #strengthc...
Check out the latest Quick Hits podcast where Wes, Ross, and Mike talk through coaching experiences from the last two we...
Marketing your fitness business is, like, really important.Joint ventures are a killer marketing strategy that create a ...
One of the toughest things in #fitnessbusiness is figuring out just who you should be trying to train. That means sell t...
We originally posted this in the private Facebook group for our Strength Faction Monthly Mini Courses, but we want to ex...
Maybe...maybe they just sucked? 🤷🏼‍♂️#strengthfaction
Don’t worry, we’ve all done it 😉
That’s a great question right?Where do you start? How do you figure out the right work to rest ratios? Should they be co...
Confused about how to condition gen pop clients?😩It's easy to feel that way right? Athletes have specific needs. But gen...
Facing a tough decision with options that seem kind of equal and not sure how to go about deciding? Well, it could be ea...





21620 Ridgetop Cir
Sterling, VA

General information

Even coaches need coaches. We know how hard it is for strength coaches and trainers to manage their own training while managing clients’ training, and potentially a business. We know the value of intentional community. We know the importance of continuing education. That’s why Strength Faction exists. Coaches, like their clients, deserve the opportunity to transform via great programming and coaching while existing in a supportive community of like-minded individuals navigating the same issues and desiring the same outcomes.

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