Due to the amount of hate mail I’ve received regarding the first article, “Three Reasons Why I Hate Fitness”, I figured it was time to write a follow up and let the fitness industry know that it’s still screwing things up. I’m going to step on some toes here, but those of you who have read my writings before will know that I really don’t care.
Here are three more reasons why I hate “fitness.”
Certified personal trainer
“Hi, we’re Globo Gym, and we’re certified.”
If you do a Google search for “certified personal trainer,” you’ll find that there are approximately 5,342 personal trainer certifications. Hiring a personal trainer can work great for people who need the accountability and guidance, but I wouldn’t advise hiring a trainer just based on the fact that they’re “certified.” A personal trainer certification is the fitness equivalent of a CPR certification. Just because an individual is CPR certified doesn’t mean they’re a paramedic. The same holds true for trainers. Just because he’s certified doesn’t make him an expert.
Here’s how the hierarchy goes:
- Bachelors’ degree
- Masters’ degree
A bachelors’ degree in exercise science or the equivalent will trump a certification. A masters’ degree will trump a bachelors’ degree, and experience in the industry trumps all of them. I have a masters’ degree, and I can tell you first hand that I learned more by working in the industry than I did sitting in a lab or classroom. The weight room is my lab! Ask anyone who has been successful in the profession and they will tell you the same. The bottom line is when you’re contemplating hiring a trainer, talk to the person. Realize that when it really comes down to it, the personal trainer is a sales person. Get past the sales pitch and find out how much that person really knows. Ask them how long they’ve been training. Is this their full-time job? Is this really what they want to do for a living? Who have they trained? Do they have any testimonials? If a trainer is unwilling or doesn’t have the ability to do this full-time, your program probably won’t be his number one priority. And if he can’t come up with a testimonial, then he may not have any clients who’ve gotten results. Again, this isn’t someone you want to hire.
Misuse of the word “tone”
Muscle tone doesn’t have anything to do with the way a muscle looks. Muscle tone is the amount of tension that is on a muscle at rest. Again, tone doesn’t equal definition. Losing fat does! The only people who should be worried about the amount of “tone” their muscles have are those with muscular dystrophy or downs syndrome. So the next time your trainer tells you that he can “tone you up,” fire him.
CAPTION: She isn’t toned. She has a low body fat percentage. Get it right.
Now don’t get me wrong—I’m a business owner, and I’m all about making money. After all, it’s how the bills get paid. Here’s the problem. Thanks to the internet, any Joe Schmoe can start up a website and sell programs and spout off information. Let me fill you guys in on how this works.
The fitness industry will either overreact or under react depending on how you play this game. Put together a training program, educational DVD, or seminar series. Then make some controversial claim like “People shouldn’t do spinal flexion or rotation exercises” or “People shouldn’t squat.” Make sure that you time the release of your program, DVD, or seminar so that it coincides with the controversial statements you just made. Make sure that your controversial statements get as much publicity as possible, and presto—you have a product that will sell! So the rule is the more controversial you are, the more publicity you will get, regardless of the validity of your notorious claim.
Here’s another part of the game that you may not be aware of. Have you ever noticed that certain “gurus” tend to promote products or programs that they don’t seem to have much to do with? Have you ever read someone’s blog or an article and the author comes out of nowhere touting the benefits of some product or program that just came out of the blue? This is because he has become an affiliate of this product or program. This means he will receive commission from every click he receives from his site. So this begs the question, does he really like the product he’s promoting or is he just another spammer?
The bottom line is that it really just comes down to integrity. If you want to be successful in the industry, this should take top priority. Like I said earlier, I’m all about making money, but it should never compromise your values and what you have to offer. Remember, the two most important components of success are results and consistency. If you’re constantly changing what you offer with the direction of the wind, you won’t be able to maintain a consistent client base. If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t continue to buy from you.
I look forward to reading all of your hate mail. But if you truly are one of the offenders mentioned in this article, maybe you should reevaluate what you’re doing.