A Conversation with Fitness icon Scott Herman

Scott Herman

Scott Herman is a positive role model in the fitness community that has gained a huge online following. (Photo by
Joseph Smileuske & courtesy of Scott Herman)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Ask any fitness buff to make a list of the top personal trainers in the world; Scott Herman would be at the top of that list.

The fitness icon and former Real World star has accumulated over 69 million views on YouTube and millions of fans (known as Hermanites) across the world for his fitness tips, inspirational videos and meal plans that have successfully gotten his clients in shape.

I had the chance to catch up with the fitness star about why he became a personal trainer, what makes him stand out in the health world and his video making process.

Jacob Elyachar: Scott, why did you decide to become a personal trainer?

Scott Herman: I started working at a gym when I was 14-years-old.  I was doing maintenance for three hours on the weekend for a free membership.  By the time I was 15-years-old I was running the front desk on the weekends making shakes and signing up new members.  By the time I was 18-years-old I had been at the gym for so long that I knew a lot of the members.  Many of them wanted to train with me so I decided that becoming a personal trainer was the next step.  I actually got my certificate on my 18th birthday, which is how old you need to be to be qualified to train clients.  Although I already had acquired a list of clients waiting to train with me, what I looked forward to the most was finally being qualified to show all the members in the gym the correct way to exercise.

JE: When did you decide to form your own company?

SH: I started Scott Herman Fitness in 2007 at the age of 22.   At the time I was the General Manager of Answer Is Fitness in North Attleboro, MA.  I had been working for the same guy for 10 years and he was like a second dad to me.  Originally, I wanted to start my business because to help increase memberships for the gym.  I noticed that a lot of times, at the point of sale, if people could not afford a trainer they would not sign up for our services.   At other times members would sign up and after a month, I would not see them again because they did not know how to correctly use the gym equipment and would quit from not seeing results.

I thought: “What if I make a website on how to use gym equipment?”

At this point and time I had started modeling for Men’s Health Magazine.  All the photos were “starting & ending” poses for exercises.  I figured, why couldn’t I do this for the equipment in the gym and write up descriptions to go with the photos?  That way, when people started signing up for the gym, I would say: “Guys.  You might not know what to do or be able to afford a trainer, but you can go to my website for free and checkout how you can use the equipment in the gym for FREE!”

JE: How do you potential clients approach you?

SH:  I found most of my clients on my own.  I had a system that I would use whenever I approach members for the first time.  I would never ask a member to train with me the first time I approached them.  As I walked around the gym and noticed members exercising incorrectly I would simply stop, introduce myself and say: “Hello! I’m Scott.  Would it be ok if I showed you a more effective way to perform this exercise or maybe even show you something you might like better?  If they said: “Yes.” I would show them that exercise and then, move on to someone else.

As members became familiar with my face, they would start to approach me on their own if they had questions.  Usually if they approached me 4 or five times, they would start to ask me about personal training.  There is a clear difference between my approach as opposed to the creepy trainer who comes up to you while doing cardio.   I never wanted to take that route.

scotthermanfitness.com is one of the more popular fitness websites because of its strong sense of community.  (Logo courtesy of Scott Herman Fitness)

scotthermanfitness.com is one of the more popular fitness websites because of its strong sense of community. (Logo courtesy of Scott Herman Fitness)

JE: What makes you stand out not only as a trainer but also as a businessman?

SH: I think what makes me stand out is that I am not afraid to learn something new.  I am not trying to go after cheap marketing ploys and I am not trying to do a gimmick like: “Get shredded in two minutes a day.”   I have noticed that many online trainers try to lure viewers in with cheap tactics like this.  I bring in my viewers with factual information that will help them no matter what their goal is.

When I make my videos, I am always self-composed.   If you look at Scott Herman Fitness Online, I am introducing new stuff to viewers and I try to be as relatable as possible.  I spend a great deal of time answering questions to the point where they wonder: “How does he manage to do it all?”   I have 145,377 Facebook fans and I would be answering questions three to four hours a day, that is a lot of time, but people trust that I will answer back and I build a repore with them.


JE: You have over 69 million video views on YouTube. How long does it take you to make a video?

SH: It depends on the video.  It usually takes me an hour to edit the video.  As far as filming the video, it’s a whole other story.    For example, if the video is a “Saturday Exercise Explosion,” which are my two-minute demonstrations, it takes me 15 to 30 minutes to film the exercise.    The “Beat Me Down” videos are a lot more involved because I post those videos in real-time.  Some of them are 30 minutes long or more.  I notice that my community responds a lot more to videos that have me do the full routine as opposed to demonstrating the exercises.

As of late, many of my videos are starting to become 15 to 20 minutes long, which means that the actual filming process takes about an hour and it takes anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to edit.   I also have unique thumbnails created for my routines as well.  When I get home from filming, I send photos taken from the filming to my graphics team and by the time I am editing the video, he’s done with the thumbnail.  I then put it all together and the video is ready to go!

JE: One of your most popular sections on your website are your meal plans.  How do you plan out your meal plans for your clients?

SH: The meal plan is made, so that you can do it yourself.  I also made an app for your smart phone so that you can track your meals on the go.  You can even “barcode” scan your own foods in which makes the process of keeping track much easier! But you do have to be a member of my website to use it.   When you log into my meal planner you simply input your height, weight, age and body fat percentage as well as your goals, which could either to gain or lose weight.

Based on all that information, a report card pops up.  It has all of your macronutrients and micronutrients listed and there is an “F” next to every single category.  As you begin to populate your meal plan with your food selections, your grades will start to change automatically.  If you have all “A’s,” then you have the right meal plan and the right amount of food you need to consume to reach your goals.  It is real easy to use because all you are doing is logging what you ate for the day and keeping track of all of your meals.

JE: Could you please share with my readers, how do you design your workout routines?

SH: I try to figure out what the overall goal is first and then, I basically rely on my memory and to figure out what I posted in the past.  I do not want to keep posting the same workout over and over again, so it is just the matter of knowing what I have and what the goal is going to be and what my community is looking for.  For example, I posted two muscle retainer routines earlier this month.   So, maybe I would post a routine that involves weight loss or a total body challenge.    I try to switch it up, to make sure that ALL my community members meet their respective goals.

JE: How has social media affected your career?

SH: Social media IS my career and my connection to the world.   Going on The Real World in 2009, was my fast-track course on how social media works and that is where I learned what I know now.   I received a crash course on how to network, create blogs, and create material for Facebook and YouTube.

As social media is my business, I think in the future I am going to do some consulting for companies and teach them how to use social media to grow their businesses as well.

JE: Why should people use you as their personal trainer/consultant?

SH: There are several reasons why people should come to my site for fitness advice.  One, my meal plan system is designed to help you reach your goals based on your specific needs.  No more guessing, just results!

Secondly, my site is updated with new exercises and routines weekly.  On top of having a video to watch, there are photos and descriptions for each one as well.  They are also all organized by beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories.

If that isn’t enough, you can join our massive online community on Facebook.  Everyone is there for one reason, to be supportive and reach their goals.

I am offering a lot of this stuff for free in hopes that you stay there and get fit with the community and start to reach your goals.  I feel like a lot of people offer some free information, but just enough to draw you in and make the sale.  As a consumer, I am more likely to believe in a company and want to buy their stuff, if they do something nice for me without expecting anything in return.

To connect with Scott on social media, be sure to visit him here!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottHermanFitness

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScottHermanFitness

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Scott_Herman

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar