Following my recent book post, my pal Dean Somerset reached out wondering if I had ever written a post with recommendations for fitness workshops, fitness business conferences, etc.

After trying to convince HIM to write it, we finally decided to cuddle and make one together. #friendship

While there’s no way to do a truly comprehensive list like this, I do think any gym owner and fitness professional should at least be familiar with the names, organizations, and resources listed.

I’m very well acquainted with all the names on this list, but even compiling it has made me serious about some events I haven’t attended yet.

I’m looking at you Bret Contreras Secret Ass Laboratory Fun Time…

So for your enjoyment, here’s a list of our education go-to’s for you and your trainers.

I’d also like to note, there are no affiliate links in here (though no hatin’ on affiliate sales, just not my thing at the moment).

Point being, I have no financial incentive to pimp out any of these events other than sharing great info to help you and your team be even more awesome.


NOTE: I focused on certifications and live events, and to avoid bias, (mostly) excluded organizations that have had me speak.

Functional Movement Screen – This is a great certification for trainers learning to look at movement and understand how the whole body works as a piece. The Level 2 in particular has lots of useful drills to add to the toolbelt. I consider this a cornerstone of my personal education, and has always been an important piece in the education for many of MFF’s trainers.

Kettlebell Certs (RKC) – At MFF, we have both Russian Kettlebell Challenge and StrongFirst certified trainers. While kettlebell training isn’t the be all end all, it’s definitely a useful too. Furthermore, these certs are about more than just kettlebells and you’ll get a great base of knowledge.

Speaking of KB certs, one of the new players in town is the Strength Matters Kettlebell Cert. Full disclosure, I did speak at (and LOVE) the Strength Matters event in London, so I look forward to having some MFFers attend their cert.

Certified Functional Strength Coach – If you want to learn from the crew that really figured out how to scale high quality training, you have to follow the Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning team. Mike is the master of being practical, and remains one of the biggest influences on my own approach to creating training systems.

Perform Better – The Perform Better events offer a potpourri of our industry’s brightest thinkers. A great way to introduce newer trainers to a variety of important voices, while veteran trainers will benefit from a yearly update on how industry superstars are tweaking and improving their approaches.

The Kansas City Fitness Summit – The KC Fitness Summit is an intimate gathering that draws a who’s who of well known fitness professionals on the stage and as attendees. In addition to showcasing a number of heavy hitters who don’t speak much outside this event (including some top notch nutrition content), it’s a great event for talking shop and building relationships with like-minded fit pros.

Complete Shoulder and Hip Blueprint – I had the good pleasure of meeting Dean and Tony at one of the first iterations of their now iconic event. While I haven’t seen the most recent edition, I can only imagine they’ve refined an already excellent event over the years. And I’m proud to say the MFF team is already posting clips on our internal team education FB group.




  • 11 hours of video content through digital download.
  • Continuing education credits provided via NSCA
  • Outlining theory and application, specific shoulder work for overhead athletes and random meatheads.
  • Individual differences of hips, how to fine tune squat and deadlift set up, and improving your flow of assessments to training programs.
  • 60 day money back guarantee

DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training – Like good kettlebell certs, this certification is about much more than the tool. To be clear, sandbags are certainly a useful tool with some very unique applications. But of even larger value is the training system and methodology behind the DVRT system.

National Fitness Business Alliance – Thom Plummer is the fitness business guru for a reason. He’s been a huge influence on the industry wide trend towards scaling smart training and offering services between one on one personal training and big box “rent-a-gym” style memberships. He’s also someone I look up to as a mentor for kicking fitness business ass.

Inside the Unicorn – While I feel slightly awkward putting this on the list DEAN MADE ME F@#KING DO IT. :-0 I would offer one caveat; anyone looking to learn more about the fitness business would benefit, but the highest value will be for those looking to run a medium to large studio. There are better events if you’re a personal trainer just starting to think about opening a business.

And if you’re in or near Chicago, we’re doing one on December 17th-18th, early early bird ends Monday November 7th. Holla!

The Results Fitness University Mastermind/ 7 Figure Mastermind (Bedros Keuillian) – In full disclosure, I’ve never done either of these masterminds. That said, I’ve had friends have great success with each of them, and I’ve devoured every bit of content available from the Cosgroves and Bedros over the years. If you’re looking for a higher touch service and are willing to make a bigger investment, these are worth looking into.


Functional Range Mobility Specialist certification – Dr. Andreo Spina has put together a fantastic resource, replete with deep scientific explanations as to how and why tissues adapt to stress, a systematic approach to developing improvements in active range of motion, assessments of capability, and when to reduce or adjust based on pain, restriction, or other issues.

Certified Physical Preparation Specialist – Joe DeFranco and James “Smitty Diesel” Smith are legends in the fitness industry, and their combined approach of training systems are on full display in their certification series. Their approach to training, with detailed focus on warm up, speed, strength, power, and recovery, makes a fantastic addition to any trainers collection.

McGill 1, 2 and 3 – From the most prominent figure in spine biomechanics research, Dr. Stuart McGill’s seminars teach fitness professionals more about spine and core function in a single weekend that then would learn through an entire undergraduate degree. The advanced courses help refine table assessments, and also sport performance elements to help improve outputs while protecting the spines of athletes to ensure long careers of doing their thing.

EXOS Performance Mentorship – One of the most amazing athletic training facilities in north America, EXOS offers a chance for trainers to come and train under their coaches, see how they run their programs for athletes of all levels, and provide systems you can put into action with your own athletes, or just weekend warrior clients looking to be athletes.

WestSide Barbell – One of the most revered resources for training barbell and strength sports, Westside is one of the most comprehensive elements to develop strength in the big three, from coaching to training programs and to advanced methodologies to getting stronger with custom equipment.

Crossfit level 1 – What the what? Recommending a Crossfit certification? I know, I know, but seriously, it’s something I think all trainers should have some experience with in order to form a well-rounded opinion of how it works and whether it’s for them.

Mobility|WOD – Kelly Starrett is a maniac with a barbell in his hands, and does things to help improve range of motion and motor control that tend to go against the grain of what is commonly done in normal training or even rehab modalities. Controversy always follows those who stand out.

The Glute Lab – If you have hips or train people with hips, you’ll want to attend a workshop with the Glute Guy, Dr. Bret Contreras. No one has spent more time diving into the specific biomechanic elements of hip strength and power development, hypertrophic elements of building a better booty, or comparing methods and exercises that produce the best results possible.

Functional Stability Training – This tandem work from Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold is a 3 part digital video series, broken into the Upper body, Lower body and Core modules, and digs into some of the very ddeep physiological and anatomical elements of their training styles for their specific clients, and how they approach getting people jacked and awesome.

Postural Restoration Institute – this series dives into the intricacies of how everyone is unique, and how you as a trainer can work with that uniqueness to help them see changes in strength, stability, control, and power with minimal interventions.

Precision Nutrition – One of the world leading continuing education providers for nutrition information, this isn’t just talking about macros and meal prep. They go much deeper into the ideas of behavior change and how to help people make meaningful adjustments to their lives so that any beneficial habits become long-term outcomes, not merely fantasies.

Movement Lectures – run by Laree Draper of On Target Publications, this resource contains hundreds of audio lectures as well as some video workshops and seminars, as well as portals to books from OTP and features folks like Dan John, Charlie Weingroff, Gray Cook, Stu McGill, and many more.

Training = Rehab – This video series from Dr. Charlie Weingroff is an excellent tool for any trainer who wants to work with athletes coming back from injury, general population clients with the odd musculoskeletal issue, or just those looking to train with a higher focus on maximizing performance.

Integrative Corrective Exercise Specialist – Dr. Evan Osar does a fantastic job with this online seminar and video series to give trainers a better understanding of how to improve their aptitudes with injuries, as well as some corrective elements to include with healthy clients to keep them in the game for longer.

Renaissance Periodization – Headed by Dr. Mike Israetel, this focuses on developing nutritional and programming concepts for maximizing performance, specifically geared towards hypertrophy and strength development, as well as fat loss.


Thanks Dean!

Well there you have it friends. If there are names on here that are new to you, I highly recommend you do some clickin’ and researchin’.

And of course, sharing is caring. Leave a comment and let me know if there are any must-have additions.