Zach Vargo, our June 2018 PFP Trainer of the Month winner, impacts students and athletes far beyond performance in the gym and on the field. The science-based programs he offers at his facility in Tipp City, Ohio, Athletic Proving Grounds, boasts remarkable success: 84% of the athletes he trains go on to play in college (national average is 7%); a majority are nominated for the National Honor Society and nearly half are recognized as all-state and/or all-conference athletes. Zach is most proud of his commitment to creating leaders and for this, he is raising the bar in our industry.
Business Name: Athletic Proving Grounds
Education/Certifications: Masters in Sports Sciences, Bachelors in Physical Education, ISSA personal trainer, ISSA specialist in performance nutrition
What inspired you to start your business?
I intended to be a high school football coach for my entire career. After 10 years of football and a few years of coaching, I realized that there was a lot more positive experiences in running my own private company than there was in being a head coach.
What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable?
Realizing that sticking to your principals (for me, my principles are to provide training that is science-based and data-driven) and not wavering will upset a lot of people and will cost you money in the short-term, but also bring the right clients to you and you can build something great on that.
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other trainers, what would they likely say?
Results, everyone improves. Whether average, good, or great, everyone moves forward.
Since 2012, 9 out of 10 of our graduates have achieved all-conference, half have achieved all-state, 8 out of 10 move on to play in college (the national average is less than 1 out of 10). Our athletes have also broken 71 all-time school or conference records since 2012.
Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry.
By setting a standard that is developed by the needs and goals of a client and insisting that it is met. Too many people in the industry are peddling quick-fixes, pills/supplements, anything for a dollar and letting their clients remain in programs without holding them accountable. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, the client’s money and the trainer or training company’s reputation; no one wins without accountability in the fitness industry.