Plenty of trainers cite their parents as inspirational figures, but Michael Piercy, MS, CSCS, unequivocally credits his mother with helping him land in the industry. When he was 15, his mother made the call to ask if he could take his first fitness certification test. “I passed, and with my first certification, working papers, and a job at a big box health club, my journey into this industry began,” Piercy says.
Today, Piercy is the founder and owner of The Lab, an athletic-based performance training facility in Fairfield, N.J., offering elite performance and premium fitness services geared toward athletes and active adults. When he’s not working in The Lab, Piercy also provides fitness and performance education worldwide, works as a TRX Master Course Instructor, and serves as a member of the Under Armour Training Team. But his first gig wasn’t nearly so glamorous. Piercy got his start racking equipment and collecting towels—along with other housekeeping duties—as a floor trainer.
“Throughout years working—mostly in big box clubs—I did almost every job on the books: floor trainer, apprentice trainer, master trainer, housekeeper, group instructor, sales consultant, fitness manager, general manager, etc. Working through the ranks allowed me to learn and become proficient in learning different aspects of the fitness business,” Piercy says. “To this day, I believe that is the best route for new trainers to take. Start working in the industry prior to diving into fitness entrepreneurship.”
Though Piercy worked his way through the fitness ranks, he enjoyed detours along the way, playing professional baseball for three Major League organizations: Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, and Montreal Expos. His experience as a professional athlete helped pave the way to training professional athletes. Training professional athletes led him to TRX.
“My introduction to TRX came thru one of my NFL football players I trained for twelve years,” he explains. “We were always trying to push the envelope and find new ways for him to get functionally stronger.” Piercy tried developing a suspended chest press for the client using a plyo box, chains, and a power rack, but the setup never quite worked. “On one particular day we were walking into the gym and saw a TRX Suspension Trainer™ and said ‘Hey! That might work!’ We set it up and I was hooked. I signed up for a class, and the rest is history.”
These days, Piercy is one of the top trainers in America -- and he has the awards to prove it. Not only was he awarded the coveted 2017 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award, but he also brought home our very own TRX FACEUP Award for best overall Instructor—an honor which he describes as one of the highlights of his professional career. “I can’t even begin to describe how important TRX has been to my development as a fitness professional,” he says.
Awards and pro athlete-clients aside, Piercy is still thinking about ways to develop as a fitness entrepreneur. He has his first Men’s Health Training guide coming out this fall—with more books hopefully to follow—and he wants to add more outposts to The Lab. “In five to ten years, I would love to see The Lab grow to multiple locations so that we can reach more amazing people.” Piercy wants to build a network of studios that can become a home for young coaches to learn and grow, and be a place for coaches around the globe to host and be a part of high level education programming. If anyone has the skills and experience to bring that vision to life, it’s Michael Piercy.
Follow Michael Piercy on Instagram at @michaelpiercy
Follow The LAB on Instagram @thelabsports