You’d never apply for a new job without updating your resume, detailing your attributes, successes and skills — and you should treat your fitness career the same way. “A fitness resume reminds you of the success you’ve had on your fitness journey and shows you how far you’ve come,” explains David Chesworth, ACSM-certified exercise physiologist, wellness coach and fitness director at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina. “It also acts like a vision board to drive you toward your next goal at any point during your journey.”
Here’s how to make your own fitness resume to boost your motivation and increase your chances for success.
Just as a job resume outlines the position for which you’re applying, your fitness resume should summarize why this journey is important to you and what you hope to accomplish next. “The more specific and imagery-based it is, the more helpful,” Chesworth says. For instance, instead of saying, I’m going to get fit this year, switch that language to, I want to run a 5K by August, and I’ll accomplish that by working with a running coach.
Work History/Skill Set
Your fitness resume should enumerate things you have already accomplished as well as things that you’re working toward mastering, Chesworth says. For example, you may have conquered pull-ups but are still working on power cleans, or perhaps you can log 5,000 steps but are aiming for 10,000. Make your next goal challenging but also doable: If it’s too easy, you won’t be motivated to achieve it, and if it’s too hard, you may feel overwhelmed. “On a scale of one to 10, ask yourself if you’re confident you could achieve that task today,” Chesworth says. “If you’re around a seven or eight, you’re in the right zone.”
Ongoing education is key in your fitness journey. If you’re a fitness professional, include certifications you’ve earned or classes you’ve attended, then outline your plan to level up. If you’re not in the biz, list the YouTube channels or podcasts you currently follow or the publications you subscribe to, and sketch out how you want to expand your knowledge base or skill toolbox. Perhaps invest in a personal training session with a coach you admire, take an online challenge or class, or sign up for an educational app.
According to research, more than 70 percent of participants who sent weekly workout updates to a friend reported successful goal achievement. With that in mind, this part of your resume serves to remind you that you’re not alone in your journey and lists those you can count on to support you when you hit a roadblock or need motivation. If no one in your life currently fits that bill, find other sources of encouragement and accountability such as like-minded online groups, an Apple Watch or Fitbit, or a nutrition or movement coach.
According to research published in Translational Behavioral Medicine, participants who posted their weight-loss progress on social media lost more weight than those who kept their progress to themselves. But you don’t have to throw it up on Instagram for the world to see if you don’t want to. Posting it in a place you’re likely to see it on a regular basis, such as your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or as your phone or computer screen saver, is just as effective. “Update it as needed and thoughtfully look at it at least once a month, more frequently if you need motivation,” Chesworth says.