We all have that one thing that really erks us in life and personal trainers and strength coaches are no different. Hopefully I helped a few coaches get a few things off their chest.
Check out what gets under the skin of some fitness pros.
My biggest pet peeve is the idea that workouts have to be intense to make a difference. It’s common to see videos of someone deadlifting hundreds of pounds, posting crazy challenges (guilty), or peppy after an set of stadium stair repeats.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have these workouts. Ones that make you feel like you’ve been run over by, not just flipping, that giant tire. Or leave flying high and ready to schedule a fight with McGregor. But those are maybe 10-20% of your workouts.
Most will be lack-luster and that’s ok. Those efforts are still steps in the race that will get you to the finish line.
Unfortunately you won’t generally see these workouts featured on social media, magazines, or TV. The “slow and steady, this workout will really help you in a year” doesn’t have as much zing to it as “no pain, no gain”.
As fitness professionals, we need to be more creative about making the average workouts just as motivating and sensational as the grueling ones. To reward solid & steadfast efforts as well as the jaw dropping PRs. For fitness connoisseurs, see past the flashy fads and airbrushed visuals. Those who are successful do it by following consistent and maintainable habits with exercise, nutrition and recovery.
Oh and seriously friends, let’s wipe down our equipment. Take those sweat angels to heaven.
My biggest pet peeve in the fitness industry isn’t a certain exercise, diet, or training program. In fact it is quite the opposite..
All to often we latch on to a style of diet, program, modality, or mindset and put it on a pedestal as the only way to reach (insert any fitness goal.) Often this is accompanied by demonizing all other ways of doing things and sometimes even talking bad about those in other “camps.”
Instead, we as coaches and students of fitness, health, and wellness should try to learn from these styles of diet and training and put the methods that we like into our coaching tool box. Sure there will be things you won’t agree with but there is no reason to totally discount all facets of the program or diet.
Whether it is powerlifting, Crossfit, bodybuilding, strongman, so called “functional training,” keto diets, If It Fits Your Macros Dieting, fasting, or any of the other countless programs and diets. Learn about them, think for your self, and try to find something useful to add to your toolbox.
You know what really grinds my gears? Really, it’s two things.
My biggest pet peeve when it comes to clients / athletes in the fitness industry is program hoppers. These are the people that are constantly looking for the newest program or coach that might be able to get them better results. “Well what about the conjugate system? Yoga is great, right? I should learn how to snatch. Maybe we should start combining Triphasic, Tier System , Juggernaut and VBT.”
Give your program or coach some time. Nothing works overnight and if you’re constantly switching programs or coaches you will never actually see benefits from any of it. When you finally decide what to do, give it a solid 16 weeks before deciding if it works for you or not.
For coaches and trainers my pet peeve are the InstaCoaches who think that having a big butt or biceps is as good as an actual education in exercise science. Now this isn’t to say that there aren’t really good self-taught coaches out there, but there are more and more people flooding the industry because of social media than ever before. It’s increasingly easier for a client to get on Instagram and find a 4 week biceps blaster program for 20 bucks. Coaches know that you get what you pay for, and these InstaCoaches are shit.
The fitness industry has its ups and downs, it’s good and bad, and like any industry it has things that can just down right get under your skin. Here are a few of my pet peeves.
1. The unwillingness to help people.
If you have been in this industry for more than 5 minutes it’s no secret you must work hard to gain respect and make a living. No matter who you are, no matter what you believe, you did not get to where you are on your own. You can teach a squat because someone taught you. You can generate client referrals because someone taught you. You can write a program for a professional athlete and a senior citizen because someone taught you. You get the point. I don’t care if It was a mentor or a fitness article someone posted to their website we all learned from someone else. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t give back. Don’t be the guy who is afraid to pass on information. The more you give the more you get back in return, always have a willingness to help others.
2. People who don’t want to put in the time.
I can’t speak for all fitness professionals, but I think if the vast majority of us knew how much time we had to dedicate to our job many of us would be scared to death to even begin as a trainer or coach. With that being said, if you want to make a career out of this industry you not only have to be smart and friendly, but you must also be willing to put in long hours. How many of us have heard young up and coming trainers sit there and say they want to work 9am to 5pm, or when they get “x” number of clients they will be living the good life because they will then make “x” amount of money. If you are a young trainer or someone who is thinking about making a career out of this industry you must put in long hours, and yes, they are probably even longer then you think.
3. Coaches who think pain is a by-product of progress.
Rather it be a boot camp, a local gym, or a collegiate weight room we have all come across the coach who damn near murders their clients or athletes every session. These people leave limping, breathing heavy, and hurting all over. If all it took was a lot of reps, a loud voice, and a “killer workout plan,” anyone and everyone could be a trainer. Anyone with half a brain can hurt you and make you tired, a true professional can evaluate their client’s needs, mesh them with their wants, and deliver a training program that gets them moving better, being stronger, and most important leaves them injury free.
Technology is awesome. It makes our lives easier. But as it relates to fitness, it’s also causing a host of problems. People with a dependence on fitness tech are becoming more injury prone, more neurotic, lazier, and fatter.
MyFitnessPal is a cool app, and I use it personally. But if I hear one more person say, “Well, I ate 263 calories at breakfast and 244 calories at lunch, so I have 1,348 calories left today- PIZZA TIME!” I’m going to lose my shit. Tracking calories and macros is a great starting point for novice dieters, but if you’re doing it just so you can make a bunch of crap fit your macros, then you’re missing the point. And if you’re fixated on hitting your *exact* macro numbers every single day, you’re not going to be much fun to be around.
As a strength and conditioning coach who leads multiple classes per week for large groups, my job is to make my athletes better- not make them throw up at the end of every session. So when someone comes up to me at the end of a class and says, “Well, this was ok I guess. But my FitBit said I only burned 250 calories. I burned way more in spin last week.” I see red. FitBits are fine, but if you’re judging the quality of every workout by the number of calories you burn in that particular session, again, you’re missing the point.
Don’t even get me started on “cutting edge” boot camp classes like OrangeTheory, which has middle-age women running sprints on a treadmill seven days a week, trying to get into the “red zone” and earn more “points” than Becky two treadmills over. What a joke.
My point is, while technology can be a very helpful resource in fitness, it should never take the place of your intuition. You don’t need an app to tell you that cutting a few calories and eating real food will make you lose weight and feel better. You don’t need a fancy bracelet to determine whether or not you worked hard. Fitness tech is a great tool, but too many people are becoming reliant on it- and it’s pissing me off.
My biggest pet peeve in the world of S&C or fitness is the amount of divisive attitudes within our industry. For the most part, most of us professionals are working towards the same goal – helping people live a happier, healthier life.
Of course, there are millions of people in this industry and not all of them are on the same page, but the same can be said for every career. Get over it. Let’s spend less time ripping our colleagues for minor details that we disagree on and spend more time finding common ground learning from each other. Just like we tell our athletes, it’s about progression not perfection. We should be learning new things about ourselves, our clients and our industry daily.
Personally, I don’t care what you do or how you do it. It’s not my place. If you are helping your clients in an efficient and safe way, hats off to you. Will I question your methods if I don’t understand them?
Absolutely. That’s how we learn.
Here’s a news flash for a lot of people out there: You can respectfully ask questions about things you don’t agree with or fully understand.
Seriously. It’s actually okay to do this.
To make things even crazier: People will answer you and give you more context on the situation. Then, you can have an adult conversation about it and decide how to use this new info.
I know. It’s mind-blowing.
Our industry can be THE most powerful movement of professionals making a real impact on people… if we allow it to be. Or, we can just continue to bash everything we don’t understand and keep setting back our own careers by causing confusion and skepticism within target market. The choice is yours.
These responses have me all fired up now!
The thing that bothers me the most in the fitness industry is the self-absorbed personal trainer or strength coach. The coach who makes it all about them.
Don’t claim that you somehow turned a kid into a stud athlete when they were probably a genetic freak before they came into your gym.
Genetics plays a huge part in athletic performance. Sports is the ultimate example of the theory of evolution. The cream of the crop will always rise to the top.
So when a special athlete walks in to train with you, be grateful for the opportunity but don’t start telling the world that you are the reason for their success. Let the results speak for themselves
O and can we please stop the half naked “belfies” on instagram? Some things and angles are best left to being a secret.