Saturday, September 15, 2012

What are you passionate about?

I recently received an email regarding writing for fitness from Jon Goodman.  He asked "why would you want to write for fitness"  He went on to ask if there was any moment that brought on that desire to write.  In my mind, he was really asking me "what are you passionate about?"
It really didn't take me long to come up with an answer.  The only problem I had was limiting it to the 75 words that were required in the reply.  How can I narrow down what I am passionate about to just 75 words.  I tried really hard.  I even asked a dear friend that I ask to look over all of my work that I write, just to make sure I wasn't leaving anything out. 
Here is what I came up with:
If there is one thing I'm passionate about, it's education:
Not just for my clients, but for trainers as well.  My inspirational writing moment
came in response to two articles: one about personal training as a career,
the other calling kettlebells "overrated."  These articles got me heated
because they showed how out of touch the public is with respect
to fitness.  There's a lot of garbage out there.  That's what I want to change.
Now narrowing down my response to 75 words was hard work.  I had many rewrites with the same basic premise.  That I have a passion about education.  I figured I would take that simple little question, and expand on my train of thought with no words limit:
My passion lies with education.  First and foremost with the education of my clients.  With each and every workout, I try to teach my clients a little more.  Its usually something small like a new way to stretch, or maybe its learning how to foam roll, but the key is, its something.  Something they can take away from the workout, and maybe show a friend or family member.  Nothing makes me prouder than seeing a client teach someone else a new skill.  Recently it was a simple piriformis stretch that one of my female clients showed her husband. 
Another aspect that I love about teaching my clients is skill exercises, like snatches or cleans.  Or even deadlifts.  Seeing a client hit a new PR on a lift, or just getting that a-ha moment on an exercise makes it worth all the missed lifts. 
Educating not only my clients is important, but I believe educating the general public about not only the benefits of a proper exercise program, but more importantly the "how" of exercise.  Too many people really don't know what it is to  really workout.  Most people exercise, some people get in a workout, few people train to force an adaptation.  As Ive written before, most people slave away on the cardio deck.  Or take advice from terrible celebrity "trainers."  There's an overload of misleading, awful information out there that the public just eats up.  And most of it has no basis in the real training world.  "Get your flat abs doing these 3 moves."  Really?!?  No, your abs will not get flat doing those 3 moves.  Yes, your abs will work, but flat abs come from proper diet and exercise intensity. 
Too much info dilutes really good info. 
Trainer education is another passion of mine.  Ive written about this before because I believe that most trainers lack the skills and knowledge to be successful, safe trainers in the fitness industry.  Its a big commitment for a client to put their body and their life in the hands of a trainer, and I'm sorry but I would like my trainer to know what the hell they are doing.  Not one that took an exam online and in an hour can call themselves a trainer.  That leads to the perception that "anyone can be a trainer."  I take pride in the fact that I have the education I have.  Other trainers should too.  That is why I've tried to teach other trainers the things that I know, and make myself available to any questions that they may have.  I take pride in the fact that I am a go to guy for answers when it comes to training related questions.  In my opinion, trainers should have a knowledge of anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, exercise science, assessment, and nutrition.  Along with knowing what to do if presented with a client with certain contraindications or special needs.  Oh and some rehab knowledge is a must too. 
So yea, I could totally rant about personal training and the state it is in, but that could take an entire other post. 
What I'm getting at is I think there should be education backing our industry, and my passion is trying to get something in place.  Till then, I will educate any trainer that comes to me with questions. 
That is what I am passionate about.  I ask "What are you passionate about?"

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