What do Food Trucks and Boot Camps Have in Common?
Ben Johnson has been a certified personal trainer since 2013 and on active duty Army since 2000. He founded FOBIT FITNESS a gym and smoothie truck in San Antonio, Texas. The gym name describes his philosophy and motto for life and for getting fit. "FOB" is a military acronym for "Forward Operating Base", which is a frontline installation of troops used to support tactical operations. Ben wants you to understand that "IT" is you...in other words, your tactical operations center is you. You control your own life and destiny.
The motto that Ben lives and works by and passes on to his clients is:
- Be strong. Being strong especially means being mentally tough. Ben believes that 90 percent of getting fit is mental.
- Be fit. The rest of the challenge is actually training the body.
- Workout. Ben believes that any degree of working out, moving, and being active is how you start out on a fitness journey, even if it is only a few pushups.
Ben offers group, individual, and sports training as well as rehabilitation programs. The main focus at the gym is seeing measurable improvements in fitness while preventing injuries. He helps his clients see results by educating them about how to exercise each muscle. Group workouts at parks help him reach even more people who want to get active, as do his regular newsletters and YouTube videos that share tips and short workouts.
Ben created FOBIT FITNESS to help people get active but also as a business that can be owned and operated by veterans who are aspiring entrepreneurs. He strives to help these men and women learn his business model so that they can be proactive in their futures and become leaders in their communities as well as successful business owners. We talked to Ben to learn a little more about his life, philosophy, and business.
Why did you want to become a certified personal fitness trainer?
I wanted to be able to teach, use what I know and gain more tools in my kit bag. I wanted to learn more about muscle movement and the science of how our body works.
How has fitness impacted your life and your career?
Everyday fitness is my life. Yes, military a big part of it as you cannot slack off at all. You think “How can I carry my teammates out by myself?” “Can I go further and faster than my teammate?” So training is a big thing in my life as when I do feel stressed at times a few minutes at the gym to throw a few weights around makes me feel good.
Why did you choose the ISSA?
I liked the science behind it and that the school started out with Dr. Sal Arria and Dr. Fredrick Hatfield. When you watch the videos of them speaking about fitness training, you see how it relates to the science. Also being a DETC-accredited school and tuition assistance helped. With that and the Army support, I was able to cover the costs, so I could obtain my degree in something I could use to start and run my company.
What services do you currently provide in the fitness industry?
I created, trademarked, and patented FOBIT FITNESS, which is a gym and food truck. When I started my company 2006, I kept playing with the idea of the name. Then when I saw how popular food trucks were, I got the idea of putting my gym in the back of a food truck so a fitness center could come to you.
I also opened a storefront gym offering group workouts, sports training, rehab, along with personal training here in Floresville, TX. It offers 24-hour gym access. When clients come to the gym they get not only an assessment done but leave with a workout plan to help reach their personal goals.
What advice would you give to encourage someone to become an ISSA certified fitness trainer or someone that is interested in working in your field?
I always feel that you should do what you love, and love what you’re doing. If you like seeing people reach their goals in sports, losing weight, or being able to run again due to a knee injury, this is what you need to become a trainer.
Going through the ISSA courses, you will learn about science and how our body moves and works. I like this school as it focuses on improvements how the body works. The money will come as a payback and the reward for the trainer, but you have to enjoy it. If you’re not sure how to get there, you can turn to the ISSA, to a great community that will help you figure out what to do next.
You have your certification in hand; you've been pounding the pavement visiting all your local gyms; and yet you aren’t getting hired. What have you done wrong?
Shelli Epstein is a professional acrobat and performer with a background in gymnastics. She currently performs in the Cirque du Soleil show ‘Luzia’. Previously she performed in the Franco Dragone show ‘The House of Dancing Water’. In addition to her performance career, Shelli is a dedicated, ISSA-certified fitness trainer and nutrition specialist.
Master Sergeant (ret) Patricia Baisden is a true hero, both for her service to the country and her dedication to helping combat the youth obesity epidemic. Using experiences from her long military career as well as her ISSA education and personal trainer certification, Baisden is taking steps to help young people care about health and fitness.
Certified Fitness Trainer
The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.