Chris Barker – The Man, the Myth… The THSA Grad! (Part One)


by The Health Sciences Academy — Get free science updates here.


We recently had the opportunity to sit down with international fitness professional, CEO of The Lifestyle Clinic, and graduate of The Health Sciences Academy, Christopher (Chris) Barker.

Not only did he provide us with expert insight into growing a sustainable business in the area of fitness and nutrition, he also shared some of his personal reasons for choosing this path.

Continue reading to check out the full article…

Q1: How did you begin your journey into fitness?

“To be honest – I was always into fitness. With my background in sports, as soon as I was allowed in the gym, I was in the gym.”

Barker began his career in nightclubs and remained in that industry for nearly 5 years. During this time, he continued his love affair with the gym – and soon found that people were asking him to train them.

It was at this point that he had a professional epiphany and decided to move from nightclubs into the fitness industry.

However, this interest was further reinforced when Barker discovered that nutrition would play a crucial role in his health:

“I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at 19. And that led me to learn more about nutrition and the benefits it can have on the condition. The more I learned about nutrition for myself and the more I ‘lived’ in the gym, it joined into one. It fell into place. It became a passion of mine.

I wanted to learn more for my personal benefits, and eventually thought, why not turn this into a career?”

And that’s exactly what he did – growing his passion for nutrition and fitness into a full-time career that eventually put him in the public spotlight.

Q2: Many of us have seen you on the show “SAS: Who Dares Wins.” Can you share some key takeaways from that experience?

When we asked Barker about his recent experience on the popular television show, “SAS: Who Dares Wins,” he gave us some insight into the experience:

“It was a lot of hard work, with reduced calories, and reduced sleep – but it was quite a good experience. I got to do a lot of cool stuff and meet a lot of cool people.”

There was a downside, though. Barker had hoped to really shed some light on Crohn’s disease, and to raise awareness in a way that led to positive change.

“However, I was a little disappointed because the idea of me going on was to raise awareness for Crohn’s and to help inspire people. And I felt like my story never really came out. But I still got a lot out of it.

I went on [the show] to not only raise awareness, but just get better at talking about the condition myself. And I feel like I did that. So, just meeting strangers and having to interact with them and tell them about my condition was good for me. In that way, I got a lot out of it on a personal level.”

Barker has made strides in normalising the conversation around Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory bowel disease that can lead to long-term damage in the intestines. His willingness to share his struggles with others and his drive to expand his knowledge of nutrition reflects his passion for improving the lives of others through a combination of science and personal insight.

Q3: Can you tell us about your company and what you’re doing to help people to live their very best lives?

Next, we talked with Barker about his companies and asked him to share some of his professional techniques with our audience. He recently shut down one company and is focusing on the expansion of his other one. Barker shared tips on growth, mastering your ideas, and outsourcing activities to better focus on his unique abilities:

“I’m going to work with a company that does the marketing. It’s still what I was doing before, in weight loss and nutrition. Those are the pillars of what I do. But now, it’s streamlined so I can reach more people. Because, right now, I’ve just become so limited for time.

I’ve found that it helps to outsource the things I’m not good at. I’m not good at marketing, so why not get someone to do it for me right now? It’s like an investment. You invest back in your business as it makes progress, so it made sense.”

Barker also saw new opportunities developing with the popular use of social media:

“I’ve been doing this for about six or seven years now. I’ve got a good client base of both online and in person clientele, so obviously everything is developing. I think social media is becoming a bigger part of businesses, especially in the fitness world, so it’s changing a little bit.

You have to change with the times, and also have to think about long-term.”

Q4: How have your Certifications from The Health Sciences Academy helped you both personally and professionally?

Naturally, we wanted to know more about how certifications from The Health Sciences Academy have helped Barker to advance his career and better help his client base. He was happy to explain:

“They give you a lot more knowledge and have helped me become more confident in helping people. These courses also help me to personalise things rather than approaching clients like they’re generic. Instead of just saying ‘here’s your workout plan and generic diet,’ I can create a plan and tailor it better to that individual.

So, not only am I able to attract more clients, but I’m able to charge a higher price because they’re getting more for what they’re paying for. They’re not just getting a level 3 personal trainer; they get Advanced Nutrition and Advanced Weight Loss practices.

It helped give me more confidence in what I do because I know more, and by knowing more I can differentiate myself between a generic trainer and establish myself as an expert. In such a competitive industry, it’s very important to highlight yourself and your talents. The point is to stand out.

If a client is looking down the list and they go ‘oh, well, he’s got just one credential,’ and then they look at my profile and see that I’ve got x, y and z extra qualifications of top of my initial credentials, that sets me apart.

I’ve also benefited from the certifications on a personal level, learning more for myself. I’m currently working on the Gut Health certification, which obviously with my Crohn’s, is quite interesting for me.

I think it’s just always important in this industry to learn new things. We’re always discovering new things about the body, and it’s stupid not to try and stay up to date with as much of the science as you can. People who don’t try to further their education are just limiting themselves and their clients.

We at The Health Sciences Academy wholeheartedly agree!

Q5: What’s the best advice you can give to someone wanting to follow in a career path similar to yours?

And last (but definitely not least) we asked Barker to share some expert tips on establishing and growing a successful nutrition business:

“Keep increasing your qualifications [your certifications] and keep learning! Learn everything you can, and it’ll help in terms of attracting clients. I mean, as I said, the importance of social media plays a large role now. And word of mouth has been very useful to me.

The success I had with my first clients then led to me getting more clients. The power of word of mouth advertising shouldn’t be overlooked. You give as much as you can to those first clients, and they’re going to recommend you. Do a good job for them, and it’s free marketing!

It can be a tricky industry. Find a niche client base and really focus on them. Stick with what you’re passionate about and it will come out in your work. And don’t spread yourself too thin, or the quality of what you offer will suffer.”

Unfortunately, we ran out of time! However, Barker has agreed to do a follow up interview – so keep an eye on out for another valuable article packed with expert insight!

The Health Sciences Academy has fantastic resources for anyone wanting to build a successful multi-service nutrition practice. Everything we do is motivated by science and a desire to improve the quality of life on a global scale…

Want to learn more? Click here to explore our entire suite of certifications today!


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