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Like it or not, fitness and training is about people.  Not bodies, not research, not certifications.  Far too often trainers become enamored with the science of strength and conditioning and totally neglect the fact that they are, as Coach Boyle says, assholes that no one would ever want to be around.  18 months into owning my own facility and I find my bookshelves that were once fully stocked with every title from Super Training to The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine now overrun by books about communication, leadership, and motivation.  My most profound realization has been that I will never get anyone to buy into our program by displaying my vast knowledge of all things fitness; rather that the gatekeeper to success is the ability to make a meaningful connection to the person in front of me. keep reading

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This past Sunday I was hanging out with my girlfriend’s eight-year old niece.  Actually more specifically, she was thrashing me at Wii Sports, highlighted by a near mercy-rule defeat in Baseball made more embarrassing by the fact she was throwing pitches by twirling the controller by its safety strap. At one point while the game was paused for another conference at the mound and pitching change (“Good effort tiny non-specific ethnicity man with no legs or arms, you gave it your all today”), she turned and looked at the Wii Fit(not mine I swear!!!) next to the TV.  On top were two tiny weights which I believe are used for the Jillian Michaels, uhhhmmmm ,“Workout” game.  She picked them up as I held my breath in horror, fearing that they may work like the “The Mask” and become one with her body, condemning her to a life of tricep kickbacks, Aerobics classes, and an unquenchable thirst for Dannon Light n Fit fat-free Yogurts (Yes, I said thirst, I’m pretty sure it’s closer to Fanta in chemical composition than real yogurt). Finally, after a little arm waving, she turned to me with a confused look on her face.  Out of her mouth came these angelic words, “Aren’t these too light to do anything?” Eight years old, probably all of about 55 pounds, and yet, somehow she innately understood what millions do not.  I didn’t have to explain minimal essential strain, progressive resistance, Type II muscle fibers, or the SAID principle.  Unbelievably, she was now more qualified to be dispensing fitness advice than Traci Anderson or her legions of followers.  Maybe she could come down to the beach with me and give a class for the poor misguided souls I see power walking with cushioned 1 lb hand weights or even better, the crazy lady rollerblading with ankle weights strapped on (I take that back, it’d be a sin to stop someone when they’re out Bladin’, roll on sister, roll on) So what’s the takeaway from all this, other than the fact that it’s childish for me to be berating a Wii character for not diving for a forehand down the line?  Maybe we always knew how to move correctly and how to get stronger.  Maybe we concoct ridiculous exercise gimmicks, machines, and fitness trends not because deep down we think they work, but because we wish they did, or we want to prey on the fact that others wish they did.  After all, look at the exercises that work.  We didn’t just make up deadlifts or squats, they are all part of how we naturally develop and move.  So, next time you go to work out just ask yourself, what would an eight-year old do?

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Having trouble getting the body you want?  Plagued by confusion, injuries, and a general lack of results?  Not achieving your performance goals or hitting your numbers?  I have the secret!  (Actually, I learned the secret from a guy named Dan John, who is like the anti-Tony Little)  Are you ready to find out what you are doing wrong?  Ready for the most profound piece of wisdom you will ever receive?  Here it goes.  keep reading

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I usually reserve Friday’s for less heavy topics  but I don’t want to let this bug me all weekend so buckle up, we’re going deep today.  I’ve noticed lately that I’ve had to add a third topic to things not to discuss at cocktail parties.  See, it was always religion and politics which were on the off-limits list, now it seems its sacrilegious to speak against the almighty Yoga, or even worse, desecrate the temple of Crossfit.  Fitness enthusiasts and sadly even fitness professionals have built walls around their factions.  To even suggest that spinning may not solve world hunger is to some as personal an insult as to declare their spouse an unchaste floozy. keep reading

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