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Best Content of the Week

Two things keep fitness pros from sharing what they know about training and nutrition:

  • The fear that anything they have to say has already been said.
  • The fear of being attacked by keyboard warriors.

To banish the first fear, Shanté Cofield's Instagram post asks you to consider the peanut butter cup. Did the existence of Reece's prevent everyone else from creating their own combination of chocolate and peanut butter?

As for the second, Mike Robertson's article can't tell you how to avoid getting attacked. He's been on the receiving end for as long as he's been writing and publishing online. But he does offer compelling reasons not to participate in online arguments. It's better for the industry as a whole and your career in particular if you're willing to slow down and think about the unique perspective of the person who shared the content.

Afolabi Akinola's interview on the Strong Habits podcast explains why sharing your background, personality, and struggles will make you more relatable, unique, and ultimately successful.

Finally, to round out this career-heavy edition of Best Fitness Content, we have practical advice on working as a military strength and conditioning coach and using social media to build your online training business.

— Esther Avant

Best Article

Stop Arguing About Training on the Internet -- Mike Robertson, Robertson Training Systems

The more active you are on social media, the more likely it is that you've either been a keyboard warrior, the victim of a keyboard warrior's rant, or both. And it's understandable. You have strong opinions about the best way to do things, and so does everyone else. 

Mike Robertson has experienced online arguments for 17 years, starting with his first article for T Nation back in 2003. "I knew I still had a lot to learn," he writes. "And luckily for me, all the training gurus on the internet at that point in time were more than happy to let me know just how wrong I was about everything."

But here's what too many of us miss, he says: Everyone sharing fitness content has a unique point of view. We've all had different experiences working with different clients who had different goals. If you keep that in mind when reading or viewing someone else's content, you'll be a lot less likely to pound the keyboard in response, and also less likely to receive a pounding from your fellow coaches.

— Shane McLean

Best Video

Answering Strength and Conditioning Career Questions -- Ariel Hernandez

With all the blows that 2020 has delivered to the fitness industry, a lot of trainers are looking for less traditional career options. In this video, Ariel Hernandez talks about his experience as a military strength and conditioning coach. He's done it both as a government employee (which offers more benefits) and a government contractor (which offers higher pay), and offers advice on how to apply for these highly competitive jobs.

— Esther Avant

Best Social Media Post

Just Because Someone Else Has Already Done It Doesn't Mean You Can't -- Shanté Cofield on Instagram

How many times has someone told you the fitness industry is oversaturated? That you can't stand out or build a following because Instagram changed its algorithm? Business coach and physical therapist Shanté Cofield says the key to getting traction on social media is less about what you say than how you say it. "People like options," she writes. "Throw your name in the hat and give them something else to choose from." 

— Christina Abbey

GO DEEPER: How to Build an Online Following From Scratch

Best Podcast

On Community and Mindset -- Pennie Varvarides with guest Afolabi Akinola, Strong Habits Podcast

Health advocate and gym owner Afolabi Akinola talks about cultivating a gym culture where staff purposefully engage with members and add layers of personalization to the experience. He stresses the importance of mental health for coaches, which includes having a close peer group as well as enjoying the benefits of solitude. He also describes how he helps his fellow Black coaches and business owners succeed in the fitness industry.  

— Mike Howard

More Great Fitness Content 

Muscle Confusion: Does Changing Workouts Mean Faster Gains? -- Christian Finn, Muscle Evo

Alcohol in the Time of Quarantine -- Melanie Sulaver, Bandana Training

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Online Coaching Business -- Lucas Rubix

Wave Sets Explained: Using Post-Activation Potentiation to Prime Your Nervous System -- Alexander Bromley