Strength Trainers – How to Intern

How did you get your first internship? What type of hustling did you do?

– Jeff L.

For many internships simply applying is all you need to do. The very competitive internship is really when the type of professional you are, your personality, as well as connections you may have, start to matter.

The first strength training internship I had was entry level and each one after that just built off the previous so I’m not sure I ever “hustled” to get acceptance. Semantics prevail though. I think the reality is “hustling” to get an internship is less important than what you DO with the internship experience for a strength trainer.

Someone who optimizes an experience at a small time facility will ultimately be more successful than someone who just goes through the motions at a big time facility.

I could easily talk about this subject all day. I’ve seen so many come and go through the process and not even leave with a novel stimulation of program design, appreciation of science, more profound application, impact of personality on coaching, etc. Some just go through the motions, put it on their resume, and think they’ve done a good job. As we’ve all read in the “self help” books – it’s about deliberate practice. You need to let the process consume you so that the coach you are starting is vastly different than the coach you are at the end of the internship.


Here’s a list of potential questions that I believe are indicative of someone who didn’t waste their time. If indeed you didn’t get as much out of the internship than you should have, or you struggle to answer these, I think you may have missed out.


Did the intern experience make you a better strength trainer/coach?


Did you build relationships with the clientele and other coaches/strength trainers there?


How did the experience add to, subtract, or modify the “big rocks” in your thought process?


How did the experience enhance your program design?


How did you go above and beyond the intern requirements given to you?



I’m just going to stop there as I could go on all day. You get the point though. Don’t waste your time and their time if you’re not trying optimize the internship. The people in charge and clientele there would do better with someone who’s full of passion instead.

-Sam Leahey (

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