Chris Lee

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Christopher Lee, and I’m a personal trainer in Buffalo, New York. My main focus is on helping my clients build strength, athleticism, and agility. I work with my clients to help them build functionality and explosiveness – they do get leaner, but more importantly, they gain coordination and vitality and can perform like an athlete!

What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?

I have been practicing martial arts for years, and it has shaped my life in a profound way. When I was younger, going to the gym and honing my skills helped me develop self-discipline and confidence, which has been at the core of everything I do. Some of the most important lessons learned from my practice have been: without risks, there are no rewards, never stop learning, and small improvements lead to long-term success.

Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?

The fitness industry has undergone drastic changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Big gyms are struggling to survive, and many people have shifted to working out at home out of necessity. I think some die-hard gym lovers will return to the gym, but a lot of people will seek virtual solutions. There will be opportunities to develop workout programs that people can access through apps or other platforms, and I think there will still be opportunities to work with clients and athletes one-on-one who still want (and need) an in-person connection.

What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Some trainers give bad nutrition advice – they advise their clients to cut calories or one macronutrient drastically. Although clients might see short-term gains, they could be putting their health at risk, and many people can’t sustain it. Then they get frustrated and return to old habits. I think professionals in the health and fitness industry need to do a better job of giving holistic recommendations that will help their clients achieve overall wellness for the long-term.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

If you run your own business, I highly recommend reading “This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See,” by Seth Godin. He delivers excellent advice clearly and concisely. This book has shifted the way I think about marketing.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

Trust your instincts, but also seek mentorship and advice from professionals in your field. As for advice to ignore, I’d say don’t listen to people who say that your first job must be in your desired field, or you have to land your ‘dream job’ right out of the gate. Instead, seek a position where you will learn and be exposed to experiences that will help you develop as a professional and as a person.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
– Muhammad Ali


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