Dec 23, 2020
Mike Fantigrassi is the Senior
Director of Product Development at the National Academy of Sports
Medicine. (NASM) Mike is a results-driven leader with diverse
expertise and an extensive network of contacts within the fitness
industry. He has a proven ability to thrive in a fast-paced,
dynamic environment. He has an extensive background in education
and training program development/presentation. Mike is passionate
about fitness, education, and helping others develop new skills
that result in growth and success. He is fascinated by emerging
health and wellness technology and fitness startups that are
driving positive change.
What is Mike’s history? (0:47)
went to college at Florida State University. Like many people at
that age, Mike was unsure what he wanted to do for the rest of his
life. He was particularly drawn to fitness and, more specifically,
fumbled a bit with his choice of career. He wanted to go to medical
school and then physical therapy school before settling for
chiropractic school. Still, to fulfill the prerequisites for that,
he had to get his undergraduate degree in food and
was the earliest version of the personal training undergraduate
degree that someone would get to prepare to do personal training
with a strong emphasis on nutrition. Mike had not wanted to go in
the direction of dietetics and Clinical nutrition, but he did get
to do was be a fitness trainer on Florida State University’s campus
for a year and a half.
the time, they had just opened up a large-scale recreational weight
training facility that was state of the art. One of the best things
that Mike went through was two weeks of training with the gym
manager and everyone else who was involved.
was Mike’s first exposure to learning how to be a good trainer. You
can read about that stuff in textbooks but having the experience of
being mentored and knowing you are receiving quality information is
Mike graduated, he did a bit of coursework that he had needed to
complete. After that, he moved to South Florida, where he had grown
up and started working as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym. He did
that for a bit before transitioning into making sales for a gym
that was going to open but never ended up opening, and from there,
his journey just continued.
What steps have fitness professionals taken to educate
themselves amidst everything that has happened this year?
beauty of COVID and Mike believes that anybody in the fitness
industry selling education content saw a bump in their sales
because of the third recession mike has had the
started working for NASM in 2010 on the heels of the 2008
recession, which laster until 2010. During these times, you see
people jumping careers; people went from personal training to real
estate and vice versa.
- However, during times of uncertainty, people
tend to invest in themselves. Mike read an article that MBA
programs are filling up; it is becoming difficult to get into
different education types. Mike went through an MBA to help him
with the business side of things they do at NASM.
has been a record year for NASM. It has been the best year they
have ever had, and Mike believes a lot of it came from COVID and
then executed many things they had wanted to do for a long time. In
particular, they wanted to utilize instructor teams that they have
built up and maintained for a long time and push out a lot of
content for their audience.
year alone, they have done 125 different types of webinars and
broadcast. They have multiple things they do on their Facebook page
that gets plenty of engagement, which Mike believes audience
members are hungry for.
What are the most significant differences Mike thinks
fitness professionals need to understand doing virtual vs. in
difference is something that Mike and NASM are trying to address
through their product. One of the things they were going to do
before COVID was to get their instructor team together once a
year in April, they were going to do media training with them.
Everything from audio to on camera and how to read off of a
teleprompter, unscripted stuff; because they had noticed the trend
approaching. COVID accelerated that trend.
looked at two platforms on which you can do virtual training. Mike
did a lot of the research himself, and there was someone else
coaching him too. They found that when virtual training is done
right, it is surprisingly effective.
was surprised at how much he enjoyed remote coaching. He has also
seen people struggle to adopt online coaching because they treat it
like a regular session, leaving the coach and trainees disjointed
and detached from the session.
says online coaching is a skill set that you need to develop. You
cannot do the same things you can do in person, and you have to
understand that. You have to know how to make the experience
enjoyable for everyone involved.
NASM is the world leader in fitness certification,
education, and performance. For more than 30 years, the National
Academy of Sports Medicine ™ (NASM) has set the standard in
certification, continuing education, solutions, and tools for
health and fitness, sports performance, and sports medicine
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