Subject: Chad Marschik, CSCS, IDEA member since 1992

Business: Body Symmetry in Springfield, Illinois

Helping His Community to Get Fit. Marschik produces and hosts a local television program called Personal Health and Fitness. He’s been doing the show for 8 years and has produced more than 130 half-hour episodes. The viewing audience is close to 200,000 people. “We have featured topics ranging from weight management to the use of dangerous supplements such as ephedra, to functional conditioning programs utilizing unstable apparatus,” he says. “The production usually takes place in our private training studio, but we also film the program offsite when we have guests such as physicians, physical therapists or dietitians. While the program increases my business’s credibility and differentiates
it from competitors, I am happy that it helps people to improve their wellness.”

Why did he start the program? “One day I had an epiphany. I knew we had
a local-access station and community
producers could produce their own shows for free,” he says. “I was tired of seeing infomercials full of shoddy products and misinformation. I have a college degree in speech communication with a background in radio and TV production, so I decided to combine my personal training expertise with that background.”

Free Video Website. To help his personal training clients and people who couldn’t afford his services or lived out
of the area, Marschik created a website ( featuring more than 70 free exercise videos that are 1–2 minutes long. “If someone wants to perform abdominal exercises with a Swiss ball, they can find a 2-minute video on one of 15 featured abdominal exercises,” he says. “I spent about $4,000 to construct the site, and now it costs $50 a month to maintain it. It serves people well, and it also enhances my company’s image.”

His Clientele. Marschik runs a private personal training studio and manages two employees. (About 60 percent [%] of clients train in the studio, and 40% in their homes.) Forty percent of his clients are men, with an average age of 51. The other 60% are women, with an average age of 53. Postrehab clients are 10% of his client base, and physicians and their spouses make up about 60 percent. He’s trained some clients for 11 years, but his average client has trained with him for
7 or 8 years.

Biggest Challenges. Marschik says that he is constantly challenged to cut through unclear health and fitness information to expose hype and hidden agendas. His goal is to gain a clear focus of what is pertinent for his clients. Another challenge is making more time for his family. “As my kids get older, I want to spend more time with them. I wanted to narrow my focus, so I sold my other training studio in Champaign, Illinois.”

Sharing Expertise. Marschik realizes that not everyone can afford his services, but he tries to help people by pointing them toward quality information. “Recently two elderly people walked into our training business,” he says. “They wanted to lose weight but couldn’t pay for services. I gave them some handouts and directions on exercises to do. Then I referred them to
I try to share as much information as I can with consumers and other trainers. We have plenty of clients and can’t always accommodate them, so I will often refer people to other trainers.”

Why He Loves His Work. Marschik is constantly inspired by the positive mental attitudes of his clients and the results they get. “They make me want to be the best I can be. One of my clients who recently died was a great example. He was 80 and wanted to be able to get off the floor and stand up on his own. For about 4 or 5 months we worked on exercises to help him until he could. I remember his smile and how excited he was every time he was able to stand up by himself.”