Personal Fitness Professional - January/February 2017 - 13
Vision, risk and
Jim White Fitness &
University; ACSM Exercise
"The struggle you're in
today is developing the
strength you need
im White, our newly awarded 2017 PFP
Trainer of the Year, describes himself as
the "skinny kid on the block;" a self-conscious kid who wasn't assertive; the kid
who struggled with conﬁdence up until he
was 17 years old. Then Jim's older brother, a bodybuilder, introduced him to weightlifting. Two years
later, Jim went from a 135-pound "weakling" to 195
pounds of "solid muscle." He saw how improving
his body led to other changes in his life: his soaring energy and conﬁdence gave him a completely
new outlook on life and possibility. This mindset has
been the driving force behind his journey to success
that continues to impact millions of lives.
From improbable to unstoppable
Graduating high school with a "C" average and
little conﬁdence from his teachers that he would
ever go to college, Jim realized that his newfound
passion of ﬁtness and health was something he
could pursue as a career. He attended Youngstown
State University in Ohio and graduated with honors and a degree in dietetics. He then attained his
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certiﬁcation as a Health Fitness specialist.
In 2002, Jim moved to Virginia Beach with just
$400 in his pocket, his education and a determination to change millions of lives - one person at a time.
As a personal trainer, Jim began building his brand,
business and reputation renting space in a gym and
in the ﬁrst three years helped hundreds achieve their
goals with his nutrition and ﬁtness coaching.
Jim took a leap of faith in 2005 and took over the
gym where he was renting. While it was turnkey, it
did require an investment and an entirely new set of
business management skills. His challenge was not
only to be a coach to his clients but also a leader
to his staff and manager of his expanding business.
Many reading this will identify with his experience; entering unfamiliar territory of managing
and building a new business while trying to maintain the passion and practice of training. There
were three principles he knew best on which Jim
remained focused to overcome the inevitable
obstacles in his path: 1) his passion for people,
2) his education in health and ﬁtness and 3) his
Turning vision into reality
From the outset, failure was never an option for
Jim; he was committed to his vision and knew
that in order to make it reality, he needed to
reach out to people who could help him. Early
on, he asked educators to help him learn about
biomechanics and physiology; he asked local ﬁtness business owners about how to start and run
a business; he asked marketing experts how to
grow a brand; he asked accountants and other
professionals how to operate a sound business.
He didn't spend any money for any of these early
mentorships, he simply took the risk and asked.
He credits his vision becoming reality to tenacity, sweat equity, hours worked when others
weren't, and a relentless focus on his mission.
Over the 15 years in business, Jim says one of
his best business decisions was diversifying. He
now leads seven businesses: three gym facilities,
a corporate wellness program, product sales, a
medical nutrition therapy business, spokesperson and speaker and founder of a nonproﬁt.
In 2008, Jim published his ﬁrst book entitled, Jim
White's Jumpstart Journal. In 2009, he launched a
ﬁtness magazine, Hampton Roads Fitness, available in the seven cities in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He is on the nutrition and ﬁtness advisory board
for Men's Fitness and Oxygen magazines, is a regular contributor to RadioMD, has been featured in
multiple mainstream television and media outlets
and winner of several prestigious awards including
the President's Council on Fitness. These achievements helped give more credibility to his platform
and his brand, leading to media opportunities,
speaking requests and increased business at his
WINTER 2017 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 13