I am not a perfect man, and I never call myself a good man as others can be the judge of that. To some, I may be the “man”, while to others I am an asshole.
That is life. I will not, and cannot, please everyone.
I am a certain type of individual who doesn’t fit into a box, speaks bluntly, looks like a walking piece of horror art, curses way too much (really trying to minimize that, sometimes), and lives on the edge of spirituality and wears that on my sleeve.
Take what I write next with a grain of salt, as I am not insinuating I am above anybody else or their flaws, but this is food for thought.
I have a lot of wishes for my business. I have been in the fitness industry since 1998 and I have seen it all. I have seen it all come and go and come back again. I have worked in garage gyms, Gold’s Gyms, Bally’s, family owned commercial gyms, Equinox, CrossFit gyms, and now own one. My career trajectory was insanely hard. I am not the type to kiss up to my peers for likes, shares, and echo chamber nonsense. I eschew most of that because if I can’t make it on my merits, I will piss off and try something else.
My wishes are:
1. I want to see coaches given credit for being coaches rather than personalities. There exist so many good coaches in this business who fall under the radar online because the loudest assholes in the room get the most attention. Insane bodies do not equal coaching ability, and educational chops only contribute a little. I know PhD’s in ExSci who have programs I wouldn’t do for free just as I know coaches who never went beyond high school who I would pay top dollar for. Coaches coach, personalities are influencers. Learn the difference.
2. I want to see more gyms embrace true inclusivity. It’s not enough anymore to just act like you do and never enforce the mission. Zero tolerance of harassment, embracing the “weakest” lifter as much as you do the strongest one, and not picking and choosing gym members/clients based upon who can make you look the best online. The fact is this, every single human deserves the right, space, and comfortability level in every gym to be their best. Their best may never be your best, but we are trainers, not NFL coaches.
3. I want to see nutrition coaches understand that food is 100% psychological. I am not understating this. Every single one of my clients knows what they need to do to achieve their goals, and some of them struggle. Why? It isn’t the food, it’s their perception of food. Food isn’t the problem. It’s the brain processes behind habits, the ingrained taste they developed for ultra-processed food, the comfort level of high fat and high carbs, and the feeling of powerlessness when they feel like they “failed”. Tapping into that mindset with kindness, understanding, empathy, and care will help them immeasurably. Before and after pics look sexy to the consumer, but in reality they only tell a small part of the story. If they only lost a few pounds but significantly changed how they approach eating and food, that is a success. If they lost 30 pounds while adhering to a rigid meal plan learning nothing along the way but how to adhere to a rigid meal plan, they learned jack shit and they will most likely regress. Psychology is the key, and it’s the skeleton key.
4. I want to see coaches not stress about looking like they need to be on the cover of a magazine to be credible. I know coaches who look like average people (not to insult anyone, but you know what I mean), who have more coaching ability in their pinky that most of my peers have in their bodies. Seek them out, they exist. They are the ones with less than 10k followers who don’t play the “I share yours to get more exposure” game. They are the ones who aren’t always on social media (not always the case since our phones are a quick hit away), but many of them aren’t posting often. I can name you several off the top of my head who will blend into a crowd well, but they are elite coaches. Johnny Tea, Simon Hyun, Nick Parker, KCBB’s own Erica Folk, Sean Dunston and Alex Andujar. Coaches like Chad Macias, who works with some insanely impressive athletes but doesn’t necessarily “look the part”, Jason Leenarts, and so many more that don’t fit the stereotype of the prototypical personal trainer, but I see their results. I see the love they have for the craft, and I see their clients working hard. That is coaching, not a selfie, not a well-written post or caption, not 6 pack abs. Coaching is teaching – nothing more, nothing less. Not everyone will look like Bumstead, but give me the coach who makes me want to be MY best, and you have a coach.
5. I want to see coaches argue less about sets, reps, macros, “cheat meals”, and food. I want to see information, not petty cliques, squabbles, and bullshit. We are a nation of 332 million people in America alone, and almost 8 billion worldwide. The current obesity rate in America is 42% and the world is 39%. Four out of ten people are classified as obese, not overweight, not slightly out of shape, not chubby, but obese. That is troubling when health care is skyrocketing, and many medical issues can be directly correlated with the amount of adipose tissue and visceral fat you have on your body. Arguing about semantics is throwing the hardest pitch of all time, but beaning the batter in the head. Sure, the pitch was brutal, but it did nothing. My competition isn’t you, it’s the population.
6. I want to see coaches care more about humans, and not enter the business to be instafamous. I have about 6600 followers on IG, less than 2000 on Twitter, and my new FB profile isn’t packed to the limit of 5000. If I was to play the game better, I would have more. If I was to post strictly business and fitness info, I may have hit that precious 10k a long time ago. But I don’t, and I don’t care. Why? Because I like to think that people relate to me and what I choose to share. The amount of messages I have received from discussing what I do validates the need to be who I am. Not that it would change it, but I want to see coaches be who they are, not who they think others want them to be. When you discover how much people value who YOU are, you will become closer to their humanity instead of looking at them as another client who pays you.
The business is ours to nurture. We all have room in it to thrive as long as you put forth the effort to show you care. Undoubtedly some of you don’t like me, and I know damn well there are many people in this business I cannot stand, but I respect coaching. If you are a good coach, you deserve to be rewarded for it.
Become the best coach possible for you, your clients, and your community.
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