Psych Skills for Fitness Pros

A psychology course designed specifically for fitness professionals

Accelerate clients’ results (and your success) by mastering communication and motivational skills

Discover how to effectively motivate your clients and help them change behaviors, pursue their goals, and reignite your passion for coaching, without burning out or adding to your current workload.

If you are someone who: 

  • Is a strength coach, personal trainer, nutrition coach, physical therapist, or just someone who wants to inspire change and enable success without feeling like you’re constantly arguing, defending yourself and your programming, working hard with clients without seeing any results.

  • Likes the idea of creating a fun, safe, and enjoyable coaching environment for every one of your clients, so they look forward to their next sessions, and tell their friends and family about your coaching abilities …

  • Prides yourself in providing quality service and constantly strives to improve your knowledge and coaching skills… 

  • Enjoys what you do and aspires to become the best coach for your clients, so that you can continue bringing value to other people’s lives, and feel like you’re making a difference ...

  • Wants access to simple “know-what-to-say” scripts in a variety of situations, as well as highly valuable interviews from seven world-class coaches across the globe, so you add prized coaching skills to your toolbox that every fit pro wished they had...

You’re in the right place.

The skills, techniques, and interventions I’m introducing to you are simple, effective, and highly valuable, but it does require effort and practice on your part to implement.

You could be in the fitness industry for decades, or just starting out.

The key is not how much coaching experience you have now. It’s how eager you are to learn, and your desire to become the best coach for your clients.

The skills I’m offering can help you learn:

  • Evidence-based approaches for behavioral change and exercise psychology to help you sustain your clients’ motivation throughout their journey, so they consistently progress toward their goals.

  • Simple communication techniques that can help your clients get out of their own way and get clear and effective results working with you.

  • How to reduce burnout and work frustration by reframing and redirecting draining and negative client interactions, so you approach your work excited and motivated to coach, tapping back into the excitement and optimism you had when you first started in the fitness industry.

  • Easy methods to add world-class skills to your coaching toolbox to keep a positive and fun training environment.

  • How to stop taking on clients’ failures as your own, so you have confidence in your coaching abilities, and no longer take it personally when, resist change, or seem “unwilling”, no matter how hard you work for them.

  • How most successful fitness professionals are able to separate work from personal life and take care of their own physical and emotional health.

  • How to help your clients break through plateaus, reduce frustration, and make progress.

  • The top 10 tools and techniques psychologically-minded fit pros can use to help them navigate the toughest clients. 

Every year, thousands of fitness professionals enter the fitness industry, excited to be a beacon of change, motivating and inspiring people to lead healthier lifestyles. 

But most fitness professionals leave the industry before a year and a half, frustrated, burned out, and missing the opportunity to tap into their full potential.


Most fitness pros get into the fitness industry because they are passionate about it. Fitness comes easy to them and it’s something they love.

You may have ended up in the industry for similar reasons.

As a fitness pro, it’s easy to pack your lunches and hit the gym five to six days a week. Habits like these come naturally to you. You’re excited about training, disciplined with diet, and get a kick out of fitness, organization, dedication, and persistence, so it can be difficult to remember that this is not easy for most people!

When clients aren’t “good,” or compliant, coaches can get drained, and frustration can build up. 

Before now, there has not been a certification or qualification that teaches the fundamental, yet the most important, aspect of coaching. And it’s certainly not covered in your personal training or nutrition coaching exams:

What am I talking about?

How change actually happens, 

and how to help make it happen.

Since you work with people who are trying to change on a regular basis, you know this is the core of your ability to be effective, to keep and grow your clientele, and to be satisfied by your work. 

Dr. Lisa Lewis

I’m Dr. Lisa Lewis.

I’m a licensed psychologist, certified addictions counselor, Doctor of Education in counseling and sport psychology, and fitness enthusiast.

As featured in “T Nation, The Personal Trainers Development Center, The Fitness Summit, and Girls Gone Strong.

My career in psychology started in 2002...

While earning a Master’s degree in clinical counseling, I followed up on a connection I made with a psychological consulting firm. This firm did psychological assessments and completed player profiles for the New York Giants. After taking my first trip to a college bowl game in the winter of 2003, I was regularly invited to come and help the consulting firm at bowl games and the NFL Combines.

My work with Professional Sports Consultants, and by extension the NY Giants, was an amazing experience. In between profiling and assessments with the consulting firm, I moved to Boston, started working at a substance abuse treatment facility full time, and in 2006 I gained admission to the counseling and sport psychology program at Boston University.

Grad school was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (next to giving birth, of course).

I was working full time, running an intensive outpatient program at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s Comprehensive Addictions Program (SECAP) in Boston, living alone, supporting myself, and also trying to be a full-time doctoral student: classes, practicums, and saying yes to every opportunity that came my way.

As I moved through the counseling and sport psych program at BU, I realized what I loved most of all was motivation, self-improvement, and self-enhancement. I loved these topics more than traditional sport psychology, and I gravitated toward exercise psychology, positive psychology, and performance psychology.

I completed my dissertation research on exercise motivation among inner-city minority adolescent females, and graduated in 2012 with my doctorate in counseling and sport psychology.

Afterward I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University counseling center, earned my license as a psychologist, and worked as the associate director of counseling services at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University in Boston.

Meeting a strength coach genius changed everything

As I was grinding my way through the program at BU, in 2009 I met Tony Gentilcore, CSCS, who would eventually become my husband. His passion for strength training combined with my passion for wellness and performance psychology catalyzed an interest in working with fitness professionals.

As I learned more about Tony’s work, and his clients, I realized that coaches’ communication, counseling, and psychological skills are even more important than their physiological and kinesiological knowledge base.

After years of running my own private practice, where I did a combination of psychotherapy for clients and performance enhancement for athletes and high-achievers, I noticed a giant lack of support for strength and nutrition coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists.

I realized how tough it was to be a fitness professional and that there was a lack of education and support for the psychological challenges and barriers to being an effective coach.

I started consulting fitness professionals, both in my office and online. The amount of frustration, annoyance, and pain I could feel when consulting fitness professionals repeatedly highlighted the need for support and education of fit pros who are eager to help their clients achieve their goals.

I also relied upon my experience providing inservices for various gyms and their staff, tailored to their goals and issues, as well as workshops and seminars for fitness professionals on psychological topics like motivation, behavioral change, negative thinking, goal setting,

Fitness pros kept saying,

“This is the stuff I REALLY need in order to take my coaching to the next level! I wish I could learn more. How can I read/watch/learn more?”

Aside from the books and peer reviewed articles I’d read on motivation and behavior change, I had no real answer for this question! I realized there was no material out there that addressed psychological issues and skills in fitness settings the same way I was in consultation and at speaking engagements.

After a few years of discussing this issue with my husband Tony, and with the strong recommendation and support of my friend Sarah Ellis Duvall, PT, DPT, CPT, CNC of Core Exercise Solutions, I decided to create a course for fitness pros that would address foundational psychological phenomena and teach evidence-based skills for enhancing performance, changing behavior, and facilitating change among their clients.

And so the work began!

My experiences as a counselor, a professor, a consultant, an exercise instructor and strength training enthusiast combined to help me design a curriculum that is grounded in research and theory, and brought to life by application and real-life examples of how to implement the material.

I created a curriculum that begins with theoretical frameworks for motivation and the nature of behavioral change, and then builds upon that an evidence base of research in health and fitness settings. Then, I added application of the material — and lots of it. How-to’s, To-do’s, and interviews with some of the biggest names in the fitness industry, to learn about how they implement psychology into their own work.

I am proud to offer this unique course to you:

Psych Skills for Fit Pros, Volume 1:

Motivate Your Clients and Facilitate Change

Gain access to

Psych Skills for Fit Pros

Why focus on psych skills?

  • Why do we address psychological skills when it comes to physical and nutritional goals? 
  • Why can’t we just focus on knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and nutrition to help clients?
  • And why do we need to develop psychologicalsometimes called “soft skills”in the first place?


You can have the biggest, broadest knowledge base, and years of experience, but if you can’t 

  • communicate effectively,
  • understand your clients’ barriers to change, and 
  • intervene on those barriers consistently, 

then you can’t do your job well. 

Behavior and habit change is hard!

If your clients were to take your workout program and nutrition advice, then went ahead and perfectly executed itthey wouldn’t need your coaching past a month or two.

What I have learned from fitness professionals around that world is that the largest percentage of your work revolves around the psychology of coaching.

Due to the nature of your work, you have to develop good communication skills, excellent interviewing skills, an understanding of motivation, and the process of change.

You need psychological skills to not only obtain clients, but to keep them and to improve their outcomes over time.

In short, You can have the most effective program in the world, and have a mastery of anatomy, physiology, and nutrition science, but if you don’t have any understanding how and why people make change, you’ll lose the opportunity to work with all the clients who have difficulty changing…

And that’s all of them! 

So let's take a look at some things that may get in the way of providing your clients with the most effective coaching possible...

3 Reasons Why Your Clients Aren’t Getting Results

There are 3 main reasons you may be feeling stuck, burnt-out, or ineffective with clients:

Reason #1. Suffocating Clients’ Motivation by Being the “Expert


Because fitness professionals tend to be passionate, caring, and committed to helping their clients, they sometimes lead conversations and goal-setting sessions with their own recommendations, advice, and values in mind. 

This could result in the client losing interest in the goals, meal plans, or workouts, getting "stuck" and making no progress, or dropping out altogether.

For the trainer, this leads to frustration, confusion, and client turnover. 

Instead of leading these conversations, having an ability to listen carefully and follow the client's lead gives your clients a voice and helps them foster their own motivation and desire to improve.

Reason #2. Making Clients Dependent on You


If you’re someone who values and prides themselves in providing a high level of service to your clients, at some point in your career you will decide to add communication outside of the gym to your services.

(You probably already do this if you work with clients online)

In addition to a thorough assessment, comprehensive workout and/or meal plan, and regular re-assessments, you may give too much of your free time to additional client contact.

At first it seems like the right thing to do. But over time you realize the emails, text messages, WhatsApp and other conversations outside of the training sessions add up to take over a great deal of your time and energy.

As a result, you’re often in work mode.

This not only means you get drained or even burnt out, but also that your clients are not doing enough of their own work! It would be similar to you jumping on their bench or in their squat rack and completing their reps for themit doesn’t help them to get stronger. 

In addition, your clients may grow to feel dependent on you. They ask you every little question they may have, whenever they feel unsure and don’t know what to do. Even if they actually know the answers, or should be finding them out on their own.

As a result, you and your clients may both develop an expectation that you should “be there for them” and hold their hand every step of the way. 

When you know how to establish healthy boundaries with your clients you reduce the risk of burnout for yourself, you provide appropriate expectations for the client, and ultimately you facilitate success, because your clients utilize their own resilience and decision-making when you’re not available.

Reason #3: Making Clients’ “Failures” a Reflection of Your Personal Success


Chances are you got into this industry because you want to change lives! You’re hungry to help people feel better, look better, and achieve their goals.

But when these things don’t happen for clients … it’s hard on you.

When your clients seem to be stuck, or seem unable to fix the issues they came to you with, it can feel like YOU are the one who might be unable to deliver the results.

You start thinking, "What am I doing wrong?"

While it’s valuable to think of ways to improve coaching skills, it is NOT valuable to make the client's progress a reflection of your abilities as a coach. 

Clients have all kinds of reasons they avoid, stall, or sabotage change. Your clients don't change on your timeline—they change on their own.

Being patient, remembering "it's not about me," and supporting your clients on their journeys will help you to stay enthusiastic and consistent, and them to continue progressing — no matter how slow their pace.

Too many coaches see their clients’ failures as their own personal failures, and leave sessions feeling heavy and guilty, rather than upbeat, motivated, and proud they’re helping others live better lives.

Right now you might be thinking,

“This all sounds great, Lisa, but there are already books on motivational interviewing and behavior change out there. Why is Psych Skills for Fit Pros special?”

After working with many fitness professionals individually, giving talks on the subject, and doing many in-services in the fitness community, I realized there was a need for support AND education on psychological aspects of people-helping within the fitness industry.

There is not a single course available now that focuses on how to enhance your coaching skills AND how to improve your own personal well being and job satisfaction as a fitness professional.

Let’s be honest, your success in this industry depends on the successes of your clients.

There are plenty of books and journal articles that review motivational and behavior change theory, but none of them provide specific instruction on how to put it into practice with your clients, in a way that feels genuine to you.

With this course, you don’t just learn theories. You will be able to apply everything you learn to your specific client population and work environment. You will gain tools to use in your everyday coaching life, to help clients get the results they came looking for.

Gain access to

Psych Skills for Fit Pros.

Psych Skills for Fitness Pros provides the learner with skills that decrease the worry, frustration and emotional fatigue that can come from working with difficult clients.

The course fills up your toolbox with clear, genuine, motivational affirmations, interviewing skills, and techniques that you can utilize with your clients to help them pursue success, and to become referral sources of your next clients.

The Psych Skills for Fit Pros curriculum includes lectures in webinar format, ranging from 5 to 40 minutes, interviews with fitness professionals that are 2030 minutes, worksheets for reflection and application, quizzes, and a workbook with all of the content slides in the lectures.

This is what you’ll discover over the next six weeks:

Section 1. Course Overview and Mental Preparation

Get to know your instructor, and learn a quick psych skill to prime your mind for learning and focused attention while you're completing the course.

Section 2. Motivation, Part 1: Motivation is Universal

This section covers the core ingredients of motivation, as well as simple and effective ways to help your clients consistently feel motivated, and to use that motivation in pursuit of their goals.

Section 3. Motivation, Part 2: The Spectrum of Motivation

Find out about the many different ways your clients can be motivated, and how to harness each type of motivation in order to get the most effort out of every single session.

Section 4. Motivation in Motion: The Transtheoretical Model

Clients experience a variety of feelings about starting something new. In this section, you will learn how to get out of the clients’ way so that they can change. You can assist and support by identifying where in the process of change your clients are and the exact techniques to use to help them move forward.

Section 5. Motivational Interviewing: Guide and Grow Motivation

Here you will learn to implement this highly-effective communication style into your everyday work. Using MI skills effectively can improve adherence to workout programs and nutrition plans and help clients feel heard, valued, and capable of change.

Section 6. Application and Integration

In this final section we and focus on those skills which would be most helpful to you and your clients, and set goals for focusing on developing those skills first. During this section you will identify your top 10 techniques and tools to use when working with clients.

I’m so proud of this program.

After hearing about the course, I hope you are interested! So you may be asking yourself:

How much does it cost?

The price of the course is $599.


That’s just $1.65 a day, if you spread that cost out over the course of a year.

If you can sacrifice the cost of a small black coffee every day for a year, then that’s the course investment met.  

In addition to providing solid psychological theory and evidence-based interventions, the course ALSO includes interviews with some of the top fitness professionals in the industry!

In each section of the course, I provide an interview with a highly successful fitness professional about how they use those specific concepts and techniques in their work with clients.

Read below to learn more about these special guest stars!

Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, Girls Gone Strong

Molly talks with me about the “turn and burn” nature of the fitness industry, and the skills and education that help coaches to avoid becoming a statistic, and build a successful career. She also discusses how understanding what it takes to help your clients reach their goals can significantly enhance your own life.

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher, Mark Fisher Fitness

Mark talks with me about the surprising secret sauce behind creating a wildly successful community of clients, or as he calls them, ninjas, that lead Mark Fisher Fitness to become one of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America.”

Meghan Callaway

Meghan Callaway, Meghan Callaway Fitness

Megan walks us through her early experiences of working with clients that helped her to learn how to “dance” between helping clients to get what they want, by giving them what they need.

Kelly Coffey

Kelly Coffey, Strong Coffey

Kelly explains how her “improv comedy” strategy for handling resistance to change, and clients who push back against suggestions, even though they’ve hired you and asked for your input.

Georgie Fear

Georgie Fear, The Nutrition Loft

Georgie explains how she develops her motivational interviewing skills in her work with clients, and how she continues to work on mastering skills like specific positive feedback, in order to consistently grow and improve.

Dean Somerset

Dean Somerset, Somerset Fitness Ltd.

In this conversation, Dean describes his simple techniques for talking with clients, as well as knowing when it’s time to refer a client to a specialist. Dean also shares how he manages to stay assertive and keep the client focused on the goal, yet positive and personable, so that clients look forward to each session.

Tony Gentilcore

Tony Gentilcore, Gentilcore Training Systems

Tony shares the mistakes he made early in his career that led to losing a lot of clients, and the steps he took to turn things around and become one of the most successful strength coaches in the industry.

Yes, all of these big names in the industry have been using the psych skills covered in this course to help them avoid burnout and build successful businesses and thriving communities of clients.

Click here to lock In your place in Psych Skills for Fit Pros

See what other fitness professionals who invested in this have to say about it:

“Since I opened Human Vortex Training in 2007, I've put a lot of focus and attention on helping build the athletes up not only from the strength & sports ability side, but also through the mental side. In endurance sports, and basketball, it takes mental toughness, and having a strong mental toolbox to compete and achieve at the highest levels.

Psych Skills for Fitness Pros is a resource I wish I had access to back then, as it is packed full of incredibly impactful tools, and allows you to better understand how to connect with and help your athletes at that next level.

This course is an absolute must for any fitness professional or coach who wants to take their coaching towards world-class levels, or to be able to have a greater positive impact on those they work with, and interact with on a daily basis.”

Menachem Brodie, Head Coach, Human Vortex Training LLC, USA Cycling Expert Coach, USA Triathlon Coach, NSCA-CSCS, Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist

“I’ve had the luxury of working with Dr Lisa over the past several months with a fitness client and it has been immensely helpful. Not only does she have a great ability to get to the root cause of why a client is stuck, she understands what it is like to work with fitness professionals too. This is a very rare combination in my experience and definitely needed in the fitness world. If you can work with her in person or are able to get her course, I would highly recommend it. Do it!”

Mike T. Nelson, CSCS, CISSN, PhD

“This comprehensive course provides evidence-based information that every fitness professional needs. The content is provided clearly with realistic application examples relevant to the client-fit pro relationship. I plan on going through this course twice, it was so good!”

Dr. Lori Brodie, DNP, MSN Ed, MS Psy, RN-BC, CNE Personal Trainer (ACE), GGS-1 Certified Coach (Girls Gone Strong)​

“Psych Skills for Fitness Pros is what the industry has been missing! I've been a coach for 14 years and can only image how much more I could have understood and helped my clients if this information was available a decade ago. Lisa does an incredible job breaking down concepts and provides ways to implement them immediately. If you are a coach who is serious about becoming better, this should be first on your education list. It's not just sets and reps anymore. If you're in the fitness business, you're in the human behavior and psychology business. This is a game changer.”

Amanda Wheeler, CSCS

Click Here to Claim Your Spot

And one more thing: 

I understand that not everyone can afford $599 in a one-time purchase.

For those on a budget, I am offering a payment plan for the course. Instead of paying $599 once, you can make 3 payments of $200! 

This means you can still get access to the whole course, plus the extra interviews, and the bonus class, and only need to pay $200 today.

Select a pricing plan and sign up

Become a more successful coach who:

  • Knows exactly where your clients are at, psychologically speaking, and uses the most effective and results-driven techniques to deliver interventions and drive results.

  • Has the ability to help clients get out of their own way, so they no longer come to sessions begrudgingly, or converse with you in a negative manner, meaning you actually look forward to your work, and so do clients.

  • Significantly reduces burnout and work frustration by helping clients be positive, successful, and your best referral sources.

  • Has a life outside of work, with time away from being with, communicating with, and constantly thinking about clients, so that you can enjoy a night out with your partner, be present with your kids, or play with your furry ones.

  • Wants to have the tools and means to feel competent and confident in your coaching, so your client roster never runs dry, and you have more referrals and recommendations than you know what to do with.

If you have questions, I’ve answered a list of the most commonly asked questions below:

Who is Psych Skills for Fit Pros for and what can it do for me?

Strength coaches, personal trainers, nutrition coaches, physical therapists, people-helpers. After completing this course, you will have added new, enhanced, personalized-for-you set of psychological skills into your coaching toolbox.

How does this course work?

After you claim your spot, you will be sent a link to register. Once you set up your login and password, you will have access to the entire course, and you can progress through lectures and sections at your own pace. You will need complete each section before being able to progress to the next. There are 4 quizzes at the end of content sections which are also required for completion of the course. You will need to pass these quizzes with a 70% or better.

You also will have access to a workbook you can print and fill out along the way, making it easier to remember and implement everything.

How long does it take to finish the course?

There isn’t a set timeline. You can take the course in one sitting, or spread it out over the course of months. However, I’d recommend spreading out the course over six weeks to help you get the most out of the information without feeling overwhelmed. The course is split into 6 sections for this reason. 

I’ve seen many books and courses on behavior change and motivational interviewing. How is this course different?

Psych Skills For Fit Pros reviews foundational psychological aspects of motivation as it relates to physical activity and health-related behaviors.

This course takes the concepts you’ve probably heard before on motivation and behavior change and helps you bring on the application specific to your work.

Whether you’re making people stronger, leaner, helping them change their nutrition habits, or rehabbing them from an injury this course focuses specifically on those contexts and these clients, and then helps you apply the theories and gain competence and confidence coaching and helping your clients as individuals.

Will I still have access to the course after I finish it?

Yes, you will be able to come back to any part of the course after you’ve completed it.

How long will it take me to learn and use the psych skills in the course?

You can begin implementing the skills you learn immediately! Each lecture in the course is brief and designed to provide skills you can use with clients right away. You will be able to practice and notice the impact of the skills you learn the same day you listen to a lecture or an interview.

What kind of material is in the course?

The Psych Skills for Fit Pros curriculum includes lectures in webinar format, ranging from 5 to 40 minutes. Interviews with fitness professionals are 20 to 30 minutes. Plus there are worksheets for reflection and application, quizzes, and a workbook with all of the content slides in the lectures.

Can I write off this course as a tax expense?

I’m not a tax consultant but Psych Skills for Fit Pros is a continuing education course, which typically means you can write it off as a business expense if you’re an independent contractor. Contact your tax consultant for your specific situation.

Can I earn continuing education credit by completing the course?

Yes! You can earn 1.3 CEUs from NSCA which is more than half of the yearly requirement for many personal training certifications.

You can also earn 1.3 CEUs from NASM

The main focus of this course is not purely for people to earn CEUs. It’s about being a better coach, a more ethical trainer, and having a more results-driven, fun, and profitable business.

Is there a payment plan?

Yes. You can secure your spot in the course here with paying in three installments, $200 each.

My schedule is uncertain. Can I complete the course at my own pace?

Absolutely! You can go as fast or slow as your schedule allows.

Do you guarantee this course will improve my coaching performance as well as better my life?

Yes. If you listen to and absorb the lectures, complete the worksheets and reflections, and take what you learned into your sessions to practice and fine-tune, your performance and your satisfaction with your work will improve. 

However, what I can’t guarantee is your work ethic and dedication to engaging with the course and all of its material. So, before you purchase, check in with yourself to be sure you can put in the attention, time, and thoughtfulness required to take these skills out of the course and into your work with clients.  

I’m confident that this is the only transformational psych course for fitness professionals you’ll find.  

Become a more successful coach who:

  • Knows exactly where your clients are at, psychologically speaking, and uses the most effective and results-driven techniques to deliver interventions and drive results.


  • Has the ability to help clients get out of their own way, so they no longer come to sessions begrudgingly, or converse with you in a negative manner, meaning you actually look forward to your work, and so do clients.

  • Significantly reduces burnout and work frustration by helping clients be positive, successful, and your best referral sources.

  • Has a life outside of work, with time away from being with, communicating with, and constantly thinking about clients, so that you can enjoy a night out with your partner, be present with your kids, or play with your furry ones.

  • Wants to have the tools and means to feel competent and confident in your coaching, so your client roster never runs dry, and you have more referrals and recommendations than you know what to do with.


Click Here to Claim Your Spot in Psych Skills for Fit Pros

Select a pricing plan and sign up