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Getting Into Fitness Business After Military Service -

Stew Smith

Getting Into Fitness Business After Military Service

Do you still love fitness?  Are you transitioning out of the military and thinking about what the next steps of your future career will be?  You have to consider advanced education with your GI Bill, but also the job skills learned in the military might be highly sought after by corporations, and think about what you love to do (hobby).  Can you make your hobby a job – or just a part time job for starters?  Because “if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,“ as the saying goes.  How about a job in the fitness industry?  There are many veterans in the fitness industry – including myself (tactical fitness writer), but many other options in the multi-billion dollar industry from personal trainers, gym owners, strength coaches, supplement affiliates, inventors, program developers, and actually competing in all types of competitions (body building, Obstacle Course Racing, Powerlifting, triathlon, and other racing).  If fitness is part of your life – or used to be, consider finding that love again and you may find something inside you that reconnects with the world you left behind when you first joined the military.

Here are some of the many ways to get moving again, fine tune your fitness knowledge and skills, and teach people who need your motivation, passion, and example:

Group Trainer – One of the easier ways to get involved in training people is to lead a group in an established fitness center.  Or you could build your own outdoor fitness boot camp program especially if the weather permits most of the year.  A group training instructor could be as basic as a Boot Camp Fitness class or a learned training program on Spin Bikes, Yoga, Kick Boxing, Zumba, Barre Method, or Aquatic Fitness Classes. Regardless, these are fun ways to not only teach others, but get your own workout accomplished with a group of people who need your leadership.   This can be a good supplemental income if you can spare an hour or two a few days a week.

Personal Trainer – This business model is more “personal” and you get to really know and develop training programs for the goals, needs, and abilities of a client.  This is also a better paying hourly wage as well.  This can be as part of an existing fitness center or your own hustle and training people at their own homes or outdoor area even.

Online Fitness Business – If you like to create content for people to read or view, you may find a promising business model with a website store and social media.  Whether it is your own products, articles, videos, or using an affiliate model, you can make significant income online with just a little bit of technology skills.

Invent A Fitness Device – Two friends on mine created companies around their inventions.  Randy Hetrick of TRX ( and Alden Mill of Perfect Pushup fame both created products that fit into the fitness industry very nicely – maybe even revolutionized it to some degree.

Can You Still Compete? – Many Veterans are still going hardcore after service and compete in professional racing and sports.  From CrossFit Games to Olympic and Paralympic Games to becoming sponsored and professional athletes in the racing world (Liftin competitions, obstacle courses, triathlon, ultra-endurance events).  Moving that athletic fame into social media and internet fitness businesses is a great way to continue training and helping others as well earning a living. – Check Out This Program

There is a program called FitOps – that was created by an Army Veteran – and their main purpose in the non-profit business is to help veterans transition into a career into the fitness world and find another purpose serving their communities in the health and fitness industry.

The mission of Fit Ops is for current of former U.S. Military service-members. You have to apply, interview and be selected for FitOps. We’re looking for veterans with a passion for fitness, a drive to achieve their best, and ready for this next chapters of their lives.

This program is well-suited for – but not limited to – individuals who may have struggled with substance abuse, PTSD, and difficulties in transitioning into civilian life. FitOps replaces alcohol, drugs and hopelessness with endorphins, community and professional success through a passion for fitness.

Founder, Matt Hesse, created FitOps to help veterans who are passionate about health and wellness to find success after the military in the fitness industry. The goal of the program is to help veterans to get certified as personal trainers AND create a path for our servicemen and women to use their leadership skills to help improve the lives of others. FitOps focuses on QUALIFICATION not simply CERTIFICATION as professionals in the fitness industry and creates a family of fitness professionals and veterans helping each other through this journey.

John Sena is a spokesperson for this Veteran Organization and is matching a million-dollar donation between now and Veteran’s Day as this group helps better equip and prepare Veterans for a career in the fitness industry.  He recently announced this on The Ellen Show.

Fitness is important for the transitioning veteran.  Whether you decide to make fitness part of a way to make extra income, or you just get involved in volunteer coaching in your community, you will find that the physical activity you do and the coaching / teaching you provide are helpful to you and others. Working off hormonal stresses that many Veterans are dealing with on a daily basis is life changing and needs to be done regardless of whether or not you are involved in coaching or personal training. Your active fitness level can help you metabolize the many stress hormones rushing through your body that can be easily triggered by the vigilance that kept you alive when serving.

Some reference material:
Fitness and Stress Mitigation
Stress – The Perfect Storm
The Importance of Breathing
De-Stress Routine Options

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