|3/6/2012 9:07:54 AM -
Reason #4 Why Your Internet Fitness "Guru" is Full of Shit
Continuing this week's theme...
REASON #4 WHY YOUR INTERNET FITNESS GURU IS FULL OF SHIT:
He's made the transition from personal trainer to "life coach."
Now, as is my custom, I'll issue a little caveat here. I have nothing against working in the fitness industry. It's a job just like any other, and a lot of people I know are very happy working in this industry because they get to make pretty good (some, really good) money doing what they love. That's awesome. More power to you.
I'll also say that I know a lot of guys in this industry whose life experience I respect a lot -- partly because they've been "through some shit," but also because they've been around the block enough times to know what they don't know. Dave Tate falls under this category, because even though the vast majority of his life has been spent in this industry, the guy hasn't had the easiest life (that's well documented) -- and he has the added aspect of having transcended the whole gym culture to actually build a very successful business, despite setbacks, family shit, etc, etc.
My problem here is with guys who have very little life experience outside the fitness industry setting themselves up as experts on how everyone should be living their lives -- especially guys who talk about being "in the trenches" for X amount of years working as a personal trainer as proof that they all know more about life than the rest of us, as if the rest of us haven't been "in the trenches" as soldiers, cops, carpenters, lawyers, mechanics, delivery guys, roofers, truck drivers, dentists, or whatever the f--k else we all do for a living. Working as a trainer for 20 years means you know more about working as a trainer.
I took note of this because, like everyone else, I get a little down and demotivated at times, and occasionally I'm looking for little pieces of advice to get me back on track, either professionally or in the gym. Like most of you (I think, if I have my internet demographics right), I HAVEN'T worked in the fitness industry for most of my life. I've had three separate careers since college, two of which were as far from this shit as you could possibly get. The only common thread with fitness was the fact that I trained and also coached football. I grew up with a less than stellar family life, with a lot of kids in the house, and not a hell of a lot of money. I've been stabbed (literally), shot at, and treated like a piece of shit more times at work than I care to remember. I've also experienced the deaths of three immediate family members over the last 20 years.
I'm not saying my shit is easier or harder than anyone else's. What I AM saying is that it's pretty much par for the course for a guy my age, and many of you have the same story, or worse. When you're a grown-ass man, shit happens to you, but you still have to wake up in the morning and go to work.
This particular installment was spurred by a discussion I had with a relatively well known trainer I'm friendly with, where I was telling him that, for a variety of reasons, I wasn't entirely happy with life. His advice?
"Don't follow anyone on Twitter and hide people on Facebook."
I don't even have a f-ing Twitter. Don't want one. I think I started one a couple of years ago and posted on it once. That's not even the main point here. That exchange got me to thinking about what some of these guys really know about the real world. Very little, if anything, you and I don't, I can assure you. The best trainers and coaches I know haven't caught the "I'm going to tell you how to be a man" disease. As an example, I had a long conversation with Joel Jamieson the other night about the differences between certain fighters he works with, and he said the main theme with all the successful guys was that they were "professionals" who gave a shit about their careers. Guys like that aren't going on Facebook 15 times a day telling people to "Seize the moment" or whatever else. Sure, people need that from time to time, but my point is to pay attention to where it's coming from. Does your guy actually know what he's talking about? Or has he had a little success on the internet that's given him enough of an ego in the "fitness bubble culture" to think he actually knows something?
And yeah, I've posted some motivational shit here, but before you call me a hypocrite, understand that anything I post of that nature regards coaching, and shit we can tell our kids. You want to figure out how to live you life? Don't ask me. I have no f-ing clue. My life's been a train wreck for more than it hasn't. I DO, however, know how to coach football, and I think I know how to get football players ready for competition, after having been around the sport my whole life.
So here's the main point. If you have some internet guy you like to follow, understand that they're regular people, just like you. They take shits, they screw up, they drive piece of shit cars (some of them), and they have money problems, just like you. They're just guys with jobs. They have wives and kids and (in some cases) really unhappy marriages. They don't live in some perfect internet world where everything is clean and all they do is train and train people. You'll learn this if you take to time to visit them and get to know them. And from what I've found, the vast, vast majority of them don't know enough about anything but training and nutrition to be giving anyone any advice on anything BUT training and nutrition. The ones who do, I'll listen to, but the ones who don't? Be skeptical and look down the road, because it might not be an image you want to spend your money on.