(800) 545-4772
Sign In
What Does a Transformation Specialist Do in Fitness?

What Does a Transformation Specialist Do in Fitness?

Reading Time: 5 minutes


DATE: 2024-01-30

Many things can inspire a person to make healthy life changes. For some, a physical health issue creates a sort of wake-up call leading to transformation. For others, positive lifestyle changes are a direct result of working with a professional who knows how to instigate lasting change. This professional is known as a transformation specialist. 

If you’ve never heard of this type of fitness role, don't worry. We’ll share what a transformation specialist does. We also talk about how this position compares to that of a personal trainer and the skills that it requires. If you decide that this sounds like a good career path for you, we even provide steps you can take to become a fitness-based transformation specialist.

What Does a Transformation Specialist Do?

Think of a transformation specialist as a change agent. This professional is tasked with helping clients make lasting lifestyle changes. 

Some clients want help with making exercise a regular habit. They’ve started a workout program several times yet can’t seem to stick with it. A transformation specialist can help them figure out why, and then teach them strategies for making physical activity a regular occurrence. 

Clients might also seek out a transformation specialist because they struggle with their diet. They know they should eat more fruits and veggies but tend to gravitate toward pizza and fried foods instead. A transformation specialist can assist with this as well. They can help the client understand why it’s hard for them to change their diet and give them the tools needed to make healthy food choices once and for all.

Creating these types of effects requires that the transformation specialist understands the five stages of change:

  1. Precontemplation

  2. Contemplation

  3. Preparation

  4. Action

  5. Maintenance

Assessing where a client falls within these stages is one of the key responsibilities of this fitness role. A transformation specialist also knows how to lead a client through these stages of change. This enables the client to develop and maintain healthy changes in the long term.

Personal Trainer vs. Transformation Specialist

But wait. Doesn’t a personal trainer also help clients through the transformation process? Yes, they do. The main difference is the focus or main priority of each of these fitness professionals.

People work with a personal trainer because they have a fitness goal. They want to lose weight, build muscle, or boost their performance, for example. A trainer can devise an exercise plan that achieves these effects. The main priority of this professional is to help their client improve some aspect of their fitness.

People work with a transformation specialist because they’re struggling to make positive lifestyle changes that ‘stick.’ They may be able to change their exercise or diet for a few days or weeks, but always seem to revert to their old, unhealthy habits. The transformation specialist’s number one goal is to teach the client how to overcome their health and wellness obstacles while developing newer, healthier habits. 

Important Skill Sets for a Fitness-Based Transformation Specialist

Instigating successful transformation isn’t an easy task. The University of Utah shares that one reason is that making behavioral changes isn’t a linear process (1). Some days, change is easy. You’re able to adjust to your new habits like a champ. On other days, you slide backward a bit. You know what you need to do, but you just can’t seem to do it. This up-and-down process can make it difficult to maintain changes long-term.

That said, there are certain skill sets that you can use to help a client navigate the change process. This enables you to provide a better customer experience. When applied correctly, it can lead to an overflowing client list. 

Skills that it’s important to know as a transformation specialist include those related to:

  • assessing a client’s readiness for change

  • motivational interviewing skills

  • using ambivalence to increase client motivation

  • techniques for drawing a client in

  • strategies for cementing the client’s commitment to change

  • utilizing positive psychology to reinforce lasting change

The skills a transformation specialist uses can vary depending on where the client is within the stages of change. For example, if the client is in the contemplation stage, it’s helpful to share transformation success stories. If the client is in the action stage, motivational skills become more critical to employ. 

How to Become a Transformation Specialist in the Fitness Industry

If this sounds like a good fitness role for you, you may be wondering how to become a transformation specialist. One step you can take starting today is to enroll in a training course.

A transformation specialist training course provides the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in this role. It can teach you:

  • the many different processes of change

  • the five stages of change and what a client experiences in each

  • which questions to ask to determine how ready a client is for change

  • which skills to use based on where a client is in the stages of change

  • the key elements of motivation and how to promote them

  • effective ways to help clients modify their behaviors

  • strategies for drawing clients into the change process

  • ways to boost optimism by changing the way a client thinks

  • how to help the client strengthen their self-control

  • techniques for helping clients make more conscious choices

If you’ve worked in the fitness industry, you may be familiar with some of these strategies and techniques. A transformation specialist training course helps increase your understanding of these approaches while also teaching you which ones work best. This enables you to provide your clients with the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Understanding how to apply these skills can also reduce client frustration levels. The more your client struggles to hit their goals, the greater their likelihood of giving up. Imagine how much anguish you can save them by giving them the tools they need to succeed!

Earning Your Transformation Specialist Certification 

When choosing a transformation specialist training course, select one that provides certification. Having your certification tells potential clients that you have the skill sets needed to help them make lasting lifestyle changes. It also places you one step ahead of transformation specialists who lack this credential.

Earning your certification can help prepare you to offer services as a transformation specialist. These services may be the sole services you provide as a fitness professional. They can also be combined with your current service offerings to provide more value to your clients.

For instance, if you are a personal trainer, adding “Transformation Specialist” to your list of certifications helps reinforce that you’re able to help clients transform their bodies and their lives. Clients may be willing to pay higher rates based on your transformative abilities.

You may even create a transformation package for clients interested in making major life changes. It could include assessing a client’s readiness for change while also assessing their fitness levels. Their results would then be used to create a more effective—and transformative—workout and behavioral change program. You can charge extra for this type of program since you’re using skills from both fitness roles. 

Ready to get started? Become a Certified Transformation Specialist through ISSA. Completion of this course comes with a free professional website. You also gain access to ISSA Master Trainers for career advice and guidance.

Featured Course

ISSA | Transformation Specialist

As a Transformation Specialist you will be armed with the skills and techniques required to truly coach and influence behavioral patterns as they relate to your clients physical, mental and emotional well-being. With this skill, your clients will see better results quicker and have an easier time with the transition to the behaviors and activities you suggest.


  1. Call, M. (2022, January 31). Why is behavior change so hard?. University of Utah Health. https://accelerate.uofuhealth.utah.edu/resilience/why-is-behavior-change-so-hard

Sign Up & Stay Connected

Receive $50 off your purchase today!

I consent to being contacted by ISSA.