I have a lot of friends in the fitness industry. (Actually I just lost one the other day but hey, some people need to alienate as many people as possible in order to help their brand stand out…I get it.) One thing I always find interesting is that sometimes my fellow fitness professionals have a hard time breaking away from their long held beliefs. They might question a few of them from time to time but rarely will it result in them making a change in how they train themselves and others.
The reason: business.
Many—me included—have built successful personal training businesses that center around a message. This message is at the core of what makes the business tick, why people keep coming back, why others seek you out, and why others run in the opposite direction. Just look at Crossfit.
In order to have people follow you and adhere to your recommendations, you need to be “all-in” and follow your own advice. A big part of the message at our studio is that it doesn’t take more than sixty to ninety minutes of exercise a week to achieve a high level of fitness. Some of my friends take this message of efficiency to another level by promoting fifteen to twenty minutes of exercise weekly.
When someone turns to me and says, “You must train every day, right?” I’m quick to point out that I rarely train more than ninety to one-hundred minutes a week, even during the bodybuilding competition season. I remain true to what I teach and to prove a point in the process. The point being—based on the way I implement exercise I can train less than the majority of fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders and still compete at the highest level.
But let’s back up for a moment. Did you notice in my response to the question I’m often asked I said “rarely”?
I do this not to be deceptive but to leave doors open to other possibilities. Sometimes you need to set the business model (and ego) aside in order to focus on the training; to experiment or explore an approach that is outside of the model. Or the other option is to hold steadfast to what you do, look like you have all the answers because you work within a very narrow system, and come up with reasons why the other methods are complete shit.
If what you uncover through experimental training works but doesn’t quite fit your business model it doesn’t mean the model is wrong and you have to abandon it or eat crow. You may consider revising it, adding on to it, or keeping it exactly as is because it works for the niche you cater to and is what they want. The worse that can happen is that you learn something which helps you to better comprehend the nuances of the art of exercise science.