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Sheldon McBee: The Bottom Line

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Sheldon McBee

Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the January issue, we sat down with Sheldon McBee, the personal training director at Universal Athletic Club

1. How did you get started in the fitness industry? 

I was into athletics my entire life. I gained a true fire for conditioning after my experience playing high school and college football. That passion led me to study athletics and nutrition in graduate school. While in graduate school I thought it would be great to make money as a personal trainer. Once I began to work in that field, and completed my master’s degree, I fell in love with the industry and never looked back. 

2. What’s been a key to your organization’s success? What are you most proud of?

There are many facets of our organization that drive success. One that stands out is having a great team of staff who truly understand, believe in and bring life to the health club’s mission. Great hiring practices and placement of the right staff in the right place have been huge factors in our success. I’m most proud of our dedicated clients who have become part of our tight-knit community. 

3. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career? 

I have been very blessed in my fitness career. I received a great education thanks to the inspiration and push of my parents. I’ve helped many people achieve lifelong fitness goals, worked with world-class fitness organizations, and have had numerous opportunities to stretch my career internationally. I am particularly honored to have had the opportunity to speak at industry events like IHRSA and IDEA. That is one of my favorite things to do.

4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it? 

After spending nearly 10 years as an international trainer, presenter and manager with Les Mills, I made a career change. That was a big challenge and I needed to be ready for it. This came with a lot of soul searching, prayer and discipline to reinvent my career. The key, for me, was to clearly define the industry space that fueled my own passion and study that one thing intensely. Networking, industry events, reading and making small weekly steps toward that individual goal were key. This is something I continue to evolve today. 

5. What is one lesson you have learned that other fitness professionals can learn from? 

Our industry is rapidly segmenting and differentiating. The one lesson I learned that other fitness professionals can learn from is to get as granular as possible with your area of expertise. Get into a disciplined habit of reading and continuing education within your focused lane. If you are a fitness “generalist,” there may be very little opportunity for you in the future.   

6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know. 

I’ll date myself here but years ago I was asked to be a regular dancer on MTV Grind at the Jersey Shore. There might be a recording of that floating around, but I’m not sure. 

To learn more about Sheldon McBee and his journey as a fitness industry leader, connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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