ACE-certified Success Stories
Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, NMT, NCTMB
ACE-certified Personal Trainer
Fitness Quest 10
San Diego, California
2005 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year
1st Runner-up, 2004 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year
2nd Runner-up, 2003 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year
I became ACE certified in 1995. Having an ACE certification has opened many doors and gave me the confidence to begin a career in this exciting field. Personal training in Hollywood industry, training Olympic and professional athletes, youth athletes, people in pain, and people from all walks of life trying to improve their health are just some of the wonderful opportunities I have experienced in the last eight years as a full-time personal trainer.
Along with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from The College of William & Mary and a master's degree in biomechanics/sports medicine from San Diego State University, I also have certifications in massage therapy, strength and conditioning, and I hold a teaching credential in physical education. I rely on ACE for the latest research in the field and look to them as the leading organization for certifying personal trainers.
In 2000, I created my own health and human performance center in San Diego, Fitness Quest 10. Since its inception, it has grown from a one-man show to a staff of 30 personal trainers, Pilates instructors, massage therapists, and yoga instructors. The center performs approximately 300 private appointments per week and offers the latest techniques in functional fitness, speed training, athlete conditioning, therapeutic exercise and rehabilitation, massage therapy and bodywork.
When hiring new trainers at our center, I always look for ACE-certified Fitness Professionals. I believe ACE does an excellent job screening and testing potential candidates for the personal training field. I have confidence an ACE-certified Personal Trainer has passed a stringent test and is committed to excellence.
My work has continually evolved over the years. Although I typically log 70-hour, six-day workweeks, I am absolutely passionate about my work and business. Every day, I get to personally train people of all shapes and sizes. I help people in pain. As a massage therapist, I combine neuromuscular massage therapy, Rolfing, and a host of other hands-on modalities. I typically end all my personal training sessions with 10 minutes of manual stretching and bodywork that my clients truly appreciate. I love the diversity that every day brings and I am as enthusiastic as I was when I started.
As a personal trainer, my philosophy is translated into all my work: inform, instruct, and inspire. Find out what makes a person tick and inspire them to a heightened state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. That's the best part of the job – I have the chance to make a difference in someone's life every day.
Some of the best advice I could offer to young personal trainers:
- Be passionate about what you do and let your personality shine during a session.
- Be client centered. We are in a service industry and you can never take any client for granted. They have a choice in where to train and they're paying good money to be coached by you.
- Find out what makes a person tick and capitalize on it.
- Continue learning — conventional wisdom is constantly evolving and you will stay fresh and enthused about our profession.
- Treat your personal training business as a real business. Whether you are part time or full time, it is a profession. Have pride in your profession, be a professional yourself, and continue smiling.
In 2002, I created a spin-off of Fitness Quest 10, Todd Durkin Enterprises. This is our corporate entity, in which we take fitness and wellness workshops, seminars, and classes to conferences, conventions, and meetings across the country. Additionally, I just completed my three-part video series, "Optimal Performance Bodywork," detailing the techniques for personal trainers, massage therapists, and allied health care professionals that are featured in my workshop series.
My life doesn't slow down when I get home at night. My wife, Melanie, is also ACE Certified and is the department chair of the physical education department at Southwestern College. She teaches Pilates, step aerobics, and a host of other fitness classes. We have a five-month-old son, Lucas Todd, and a four-year-old Golden retriever, Sid.
ACE has given me the tools to help me be successful in this career. My advice to anyone interested in the field is to start with an ACE personal training credential. I truly believe that ACE does an excellent job in weeding out the people that aren't serious about the profession. ACE-certified Fitness Professionals must demonstrate a certain level of cognitive knowledge and ethics to attain a legitimate certification that just can't be purchased in a weekend.
ACE-certified Fitness Professionals are proud to be part of such a wonderful organization and I think I speak on behalf of tens of thousands of trainers when I say how proud I am to be ACE Certified.
INSPIRE,MOTIVATE,EDUCATE...become ACE-certifed today!