Home » Episode #396: Unlocking Healthcare with Dr. Sal Arria: The Critical Role of Highly Educated Personal Trainers

Dr. Sal Arria is one of the Founders of Lionel University (formerly ISSA College of Exercise Science), and an educational leader in the fitness industry. He's been around literally since the inception of the personal trainer education space. He continues his life-long mission of creating highly educated fitness professionals to help people change their lives.

Sal had a serious wake up call many years ago when, after presenting his plan to a Vice President of a very large insurance company, he was met with the conversation stopper, "Sal. Stop and do the math on this! It doesn't work for me!" Sal promptly threw $100 on the table and walked out. The very real reality is the fact that the medical insurance industry doesn't make money from healthy people. 

Arria states, "Could you imagine walking into a physician who spent eight years in college, many years in residency and say, 'Hey, I earned my certification . . . I took one class.' You can't do it! A single certification is great for entry level, but think about nursing as one example. You've got your LVN's, the entry level. But then there's the RN, the Surgical Nurse, and the Nurse Practitioner. The greater the level of responsibility, the greater the level of education needed . . .  We need our trainers to be able to go out and help change lives." And they need to be highly educated to do it! But not only that, the medical field as a whole also needs to know and feel confident that they're highly educated . . . so they can refer and partner with confidence.  

All this motivated him to create a program at Lionel which eventually evolved into accredited Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees. Sal and his team have created programs which could (hopefully) give MD's, DO's, NP's, etc the confidence to consistently refer patients to fitness professionals and create a natural partnerships which could provide physicians with objective data to demonstrate marked improvements in a patient's health. But we're not there yet. 

He continues, "The fitness profession is the healthcare profession! There are five key elements that, over the past 50 years, there have been more scientific and medical studies proving the domain of the fitness industry: Weight training, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, sensible personalized nutrition, and an active, positive lifestyle. Those five key elements are responsible for preventing and even reversing virtually every disease today." 

In this episode Sal and Pete touch on: 

1. Why the industry is, in many ways, fighting against a "backwards" system, and what we need to do to deal with this.
2. What the role is for skilled, highly educated fitness professionals in the HALO sector.

3. How teams of fitness and medical professionals can work together to attract more patients.

Click here to download transcript

Other episodes you'll enjoy around fitness education

Graham Melstrand: https://www.halotalks.com/graham-melstrand-ace-fitness/

Dr. Layne Norton: https://www.halotalks.com/episode-328-dr-layne-norton-ceo-founder-biolayne 

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