HOW I CAME ACROSS SHOW UP FITNESS(Where Great Trainers are made).

Carlos Anthony Castro
4 min readDec 30, 2023

Back in the fall of 2018 I finally decided to look into becoming a personal trainer. I’d been running marathons, 4 at the time.And my interest in fitness was growing. So, aside from looking up various fitness articles I was also reaching out to various fitness folk on social media. I wanted to know whats needed to become a personal trainer.

The feedback I got was that I needed to get certified first. So I started looking up various certifications and taking their practice exams. The first one I looked up was the National Council of Strength and Fitness. There were a few others, but the road ultimately lead to the National Academy of Sports Medicine(NASM). The consensus was that they’re the best.

After visiting NASM’s website multiple times, I signed up in February of 2019 just before my 39th birthday. I’d been on my job for about 15 years at the time. And after all this time I’m considering a career change. I’d spend night after night studying my NASM notes.I took their practice quizzes every night until I had everything memorized. And I gave NASM a follow on Instagram.

About 3 months later & 6 chapters into NASM’s curriculum, I left a comment on one of their posts. My comment got a “ like” from this account call SHOW UP Fitness. So I looked into this account. Apparently its some kind of personal trainer school. It looked cool, so I gave em a follow.

The owner(Chris Hitchko) of this institution happens to be very brash in delivering his message. And the message was simple, the road that most trainers take would ultimately leads to failure. That road being the one I was taking, which was get a baseline certification with no mentorship, application or even the proper education. Likely, due to his way of delivering his message it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I personally credit the certifying bodies for this, as they’re great at marketing(kind of like Apple). When the marketing aspect is great it’s very personal for most of us. That doesn’t mean it’s the best. Show Up Fitness was just standing up to the giant in the room.

I completed NASM in September of 2019 and took my first client in a few days later(a former co-worker). I’d train said client after work and on the weekends( with what I knew which wasn’t much). I was kind of at a crossroad here. I respected everything in the message that the owner of Show Up Fitness. But I also chose NASM as my certification. So I tried things on my own for about 2 months. To my credit I sold that client 2 packages(Only because she wanted to date me. And I knew that when I took her in as a client). So only a few months in, and this is already feeling like a big ball of shit(Seriously, you only have a client because she wanted to date you?).

I’d stayed in contact with Show Up regarding some potential night classes. That fell through. So, in December of 2019 I was thinking about going back for another certification. Thats when Show UP FITNESS messaged me about interest in being an online intern.

During December of 2019, Show Up Fitness recorded lots of videos for me to take notes on. When the pandemic started and gyms closed down, myself with other online interns and in person students did zoom calls every morning. I was working from home so this was really convenient.

Unlike a baseline certification like NASM where everything was multiple choice and memorization, Show Up Fitness challenged us to think and think fast! Aside from the educational aspect there was the challenge of know what to do at a moment’s notice. In addition to the fitness education we were challenged to read more books, fitness and unfitness related to expand our minds. Going through an internship like SHOW UP gave me the confidence. So now it was time for me to take my shot.

In the last week of June 2021 I told my former employer that I was leaving after 17 years to become a trainer at EQUINOX. The most difficult part of the interview process was me getting down to the Hollywood Suit outlet to pick out some interview attire.

2 1/2 years later?

We’re still at it, and only thinking bigger!We’ve got high level Equinox managers, directors and executives connecting with the the aspiring trainers at Show Up Fitness. In fact, via the EQ CEO, the VP of personal training will be reaching out at the next Show Up Fitness/ Equinox round table. I know becauseI made it happen!

Where Great Trainers are made!



Carlos Anthony Castro

*Personal Trainer* Marathon Runner * Instagram @iron_endurance_training