Two years ago I was a different person and trainer. I memorized the newest fitness data and would recite it to my clients, friends, and anyone that would listen.
I thought the best way to help people was to debunk all the health and fitness myths that seem to circulate the industry and act as a white knight in delivering the most accurate information. And calling out those that didn’t have a scientific study or reference to back it up.
I also despised most celebrity trainers or TV fitness personalities. Just the mention of shows like “The Biggest Loser“ or “Dr. Oz” could send me into a long rant about their lack of credentials or carelessness of all things except ratings.
I thought, “How can they spread this terrible information to the masses knowingly or at the very least be so uninformed?”
So I set out to fix the fitness industry. Whenever a fitness celebrity had an article making the rounds on Facebook I was quick to tear it apart. If another trainer repeated a well-known myth I would correct it.
Hell, I was even one of those people that complained about how the low barrier to entry in personal training was killing the field and that we should all have mandatory continuing education.
All my fitness friends supported this behavior by chiming in with agreement or giving me a “like” or thumbs up.
But after months of this activity I started to realize something.
My actions weren’t only failing to help improve the industry; they were also making me look like a jerk to the people that I wanted to help through personal training.
Here are the realizations that I came to and how I used them to make me a better fitness professional.
We Dislike Celebrity Trainers Because We’re Jealous
It’s easy to point out that the quality of information delivered by many well-known trainers is poor. But if it was from a person that had a very small audience it probably wouldn’t even be on your radar.
What we really hate is how large their audience is and that if they used their influence to spread good information then they could help so many people.
You’re jealous of the amount of power they have to potentially change lives. Every time you see that celebrity on TV or in a popular magazine you’re probably thinking about how much good you could do if you were in that position.
It’s easy to become fired up about poor information from fitness personalities, but instead of using your passion and time to complain about them (and bring more attention to them) you should work to build your own audience.
Start a fitness blog (the PTDC has an entire free guide), make videos, give free, accurate information and use your knowledge to control what you can. This shift from negativity to positivity will bring more people your way and help your cause.
With enough traction and support your cause can become a movement — and movements change industries.
A Low Barrier of Entry Is A Good Thing
We see it all the time: a corporate executive leaves their full-time, high paying day job to become a personal trainer. They have no experience training anyone other than themselves, but they go to a weekend certification and now they are working next to you in your gym. On top of that, clients love them and you can’t believe that members want to work with a “nobody” instead of you, the trainer that has a Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience.
Instead of commending them on their success and passion, you roll your eyes when you see them instructing an exercise wrong and perhaps even say negative things behind their back.
Now imagine for a second that you took a moment to get to know that trainer and why they switched careers. Then instead of ignoring them, you took them under your wing and helped them by showing them how to instruct exercises properly so that one day they could be just as good as you.
Not only would you be supporting the industry you love, but you’d have a friend for life that would likely mentor someone else down the line.
We all started somewhere and it begins with curiosity and passion.
We Spend Too Much Time Arguing About The Wrong Things
If your Facebook feed looks like mine, then you’re constantly inundated with fitness related posts followed by threads arguing over why intermittent fasting sucks for the masses or if the occasional run will negate all your gains.
I beg you, please stop the madness.
I know that you truly believe what you’re saying, but I want you to consider two things: Is it really that important for most of the population, and do you really think that arguing about it will change the other party’s mind? The fitness industry needs to work together more and argue less.
Are you trying to help people or are you just trying to impress other trainers?
Almost everything in fitness is situational, but that’s very hard for the general public to understand. When fit pros argue over vague topics and complicated subject matter, we end up distancing the exact population we’re trying to help. Things become too confusing for them and seem like too much work, which often leads them to try simple fixes like fad diets and fat loss pills.
People don’t need more “#SCIENCE“, they need simple action items that deliver results.
Get more sleep.
Drink More Water.
Get fruit or vegetables at each meal.
The 90% that all of us agree on will yield far better success than the 10% we can’t seem to stop arguing about.