Friday, January 27, 2012

38 Years of Random Things I've Learned - My B-Day Edition

So today is my birthday. To celebrate this commemorative event, I decided to put together 38 things I've learned over my life and career. Enjoy!

1.) I don't believe in gift certificates for personal training [purchased by others]. I believe that those that want personal training must commit themselves, because the investment made will prove that.

2.) Paper-cuts suck. Paper-cuts in the creases of your skin suck even more.

3.) People think that if you own your own facility, you have it easy and you are rich. That can't be furthest from the truth. I equate having your own facility as a ship at sea. It is up to you to steer it clear of rocks constantly. There is no cruise-control for a business. Your eyes have to be on the sea and hands on the ship's wheel at all times.

4.) Personal trainers become disenfranchised from their clients when they become bored.

5.) Facebook is one big forum they we get to be on.

6.) Airdynes are among the most effective training tools ever invented. Why don't you see more of them at your local big-box gym? Because they ain't pretty.

7.) If you are a personal trainer, washing your hands after every client session is essential.

8.) Its true, people that spend more time on Twitter, Facebook, and other internet outlets have more time on their hand. 

9.) Dr. Dre was right. In his 1992 album, "The Chronic", there was a song with an intro: "There are 3 kinds of people in this world. Those who know what happened...those that wonder what happened...and people on the streets that MAKE things happen!" So true...


10.) At the end of the day, you can only depend on yourself. Friends say they will help out, be there for you, or show up....but you have to be mentally prepared for when they don't.

11.) When I don't ask a client to renew their sessions, its not because I forgot. Its because I'm not asking you back.

12.) When training large group classes, it is easier to feel like an "entertainer" to the participants, and not necessarily a coach. One on one training brings out the coach in you. If the coach doesn't come out, you are simply being a rep-counting friend. 

13.) Personal training is not dead in 2012. Society will make sure of that HERE.

14.) A recent blog post listed the Top 40 fitness professionals in 2012. I thought it was crap. I can list 40 fitness professionals you've never heard of because they are too busy coaching clients and running their businesses. The cat that wrote that piece is a wanna-be.

15.) If you make a product about a common problem most people experience, it becomes very popular and helps many people out. 

16.) When prospective clients come into your facility and tell YOU how they want to be trained...you shouldn't push the sale.

17.) If a prospective client had problems with her last 2 trainers....there is a possibility she will have a problem with you.

18.) Owning a house is not as "cool" as people think. Add 15 more responsibilities on your plate.

19.) I love the AirDyne bike. But most of my clients were complaining of their front delts "burning" during intervals. The standard handlebars kept their hands in a pronated position--which made it hard during 30 second intervals at 80 rpm. So what did I do? I made the AirDyne more effective by changing the hand position to a neutral grip when I installed bar ends. Little things go a long way...


20.) When I was 14, I watched the movie Christine (by John Carpenter). This is when movies were awesome.  Anyway,  the junkyard owner in the movie reminds me alot of my driver's ed. teacher. The guy used to bark at me while I was driving and scared the hell out of me. But he made me a great driver. The best line in the movie and one that always comes back to me when I meet certain people comes at 6:56:



21.) Wealthy people are not as smart as people think. Money, nepotism, and good ol' fashion butt-kissing gets alot of these guys where they are at today. How do I know this? I have been around them for the last 4 years training at a private country club.

22.) Its seems everything comes around full-circle. Years ago the fitness industry bashed bodybuilding and single joint training. Lately, it seems we are going back to that way of intense training.

23.) Runners never want to believe that running is the cause of their knee pain, IT band problem, foot pain, or low back discomfort. They will blame anything and everything except for running. They don't want to believe that running is the cause of their pain because they get so much pleasure out of it. As a trainer, can you see the psychological factors at play when someone refuses to believe that the thing they love is also hurting them?

24.) People take barefoot training and running too far sometimes. I'm sorry but if you are 280 lbs, the last thing I need you to worry about is barefoot running. I can think of 10 things that should preface that fad.



26.) The TRX is overused in training programs.

27.) The sandbag is a bag full of sand. There is no "system" behind it. Gotta love marketing...

28.) The Lebert Rows were a waste of $100. I'd rather spend that money on a romantic dinner with my wife.

29.) Growing up, I was short. Still am. In school, I was one of the shortest among my friends. By the age of 15, I figured if I couldn't be as tall as they were, I wanted to be wider. That's when I found the Boy's Club and started hitting the rusty weight room. 

30.) Why stop at 4 screening drills? Why not have 7 or 12? Why does the screening process have to end in a program? It doesn't for me. I am constantly observing and receiving feedback on my training programs. That is why they constantly change to better suit the needs of my clients. That was the premise behind my new eBook: 5 Practical Drills that Identify At-Risk Low Back Sufferers


31.) My communication skills improved as I got older. I got an A- in "Argumentative Debate", which was a communication course centered around expressing your opinion in an open forum. I kicked ass in that class because during my college years, I was listening to Rage Against the Machine alot.


32.) Music during training makes such a difference. Comfort levels vary per individual, that is why music keeps everyone's grunts and yelps anonymous. 

33.) Many new trainers get stuck in a stage of development. Like a new fireman, they learn how to put out the fire in a controlled environment with proper preparation and guidance. But, in order to get good, they have to run into the burning home and put out the fire. Alot of young trainers are scared to run into the "burning building".

34.) My first 2 years as a trainer, I may have screwed up so many of my clients. I was still learning the body and how others react to loaded exercises. I kept things safe and they never had a clue; but I was able to learn more and more as I got older and attained more clients. I'm not afraid to admit that today, because now I have fallen into my own.

35.) I get alot of compliments and comments about how "real" I am. People call me a "real trainer". Are there that many "fake" trainers out there?

36.) The best thing I did when I was starting my business, was constantly referring back to the vision I had in my mind. I had a picture of how I wanted my place to look like, feel like, and "act" like. And it worked!

37.) Last year I was 37 and finally opened my own facility. Why are there 22 year olds ready to bang out there own business? I was training clients from ages 22-35. Can you say experience?

38.) Today at 12 midnight (EST),  the sale for Shatterproof Spine Instant Download ends. You can get this great package for only $97. After that , it bumps up to $135. Don't waste your time. Buy it now and SAVE!


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