Beware of Aunt Sally and her straw men

Posted on September 7, 2012. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , |

For those unfamiliar a straw man is essentially a type of argument where a person attempts to win an argument by misrepresenting another’s position.  You create the illusion of having refuted a person’s point or statement by replacing it with a superficially similar yet un-equivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.  In the UK I am told they call it an Aunt Sally.


You can see this happen often in politics, corporate commercialism, and big time in the fitness industry.


Personally I believe majority of time in the fitness industry it is done accidentally.  One becomes so engrossed in their found philosophy or method that disregards basic principles.  I find this happens most often between those who advocate basic weight lifting and those advocate a more “functional form” of exercise (yoga, pilates, some form of dance).


Side Note:  Weight Lifting is functional training.  It only becomes dysfunctional when you do it incorrectly.  I have yet to have a client who does not only improve in aesthetics and strength.  But also range of motion, posture, flexibility, etc.  On more than one occasion some has told me my coaching improved their yoga.


As an example I will use an article written by someone calling themselves, a dancer, strength coach, and fitness educator.  But don’t mention any form of certification or education.  Not that the type of certification is that important.  It is however one of the few ways available to see if person giving fitness advice has taken some time to study their field.  It also makes it possible to check whether they are actually certified.  Any way to their quote:

“Exercise science even has an often repeated and just as often misinterpreted rule called the law of specificity.  The exercise, you see, is the important thing. It’s up to you the exerciser to conform to its rules. Seen another way, certain exercises are just; well, just better than others. I might say that a leg press is inferior to a squat. A push-up is superior to a press. “


Now in fact exercise science says no such thing, in fact it says the opposite.  And only those who don’t understand this rule say such things.


If you want to advocate your method, that is fine.  I hope you help millions of people.  But you do no one a justice by misrepresenting the other side of things to further your own gains.


OK, done ranting.


Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W

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Marketing Muscle Mathematics #2

Posted on August 9, 2012. Filed under: Misc |

Since there was such a positive response to the first one I thought I’d make a second one.


OK, look at the 2 labels for a protein shake and see if you notice the difference between the 2.

Given what you read, which one do you think costs more?


Now I would assume that since this is a protein shake product that the one with less protein would be a bit cheaper. And I would be wrong.


They both cost exactly the same 🙂


Now how do you market something to people and justify them paying the same price for less ingredients. And trust when I tell you, even if I give them the benefit of the doubt on ingredient quality, it’s still quite the profit margin.  OK, Read on.

I blocked out a section because this particular product line is geared specifically toward  women and I’m not out to embarrass people. Just inform.


I don’t know how many times this will get used but I will be glad when it’s time is over. This type of marketing only furthers exploit a negative female mindset and is a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

Excess protein does not make you bulky, excess eating does. If a person wants less protein they can just use a half a scoop, or less, or more. It would even be more cost effective for the consumer that way.


Remember fitness is a science not magic. Do not fall for the tricks.


Or the illusions.

Keep Fitness Groovy

Coach W


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3 elements of fitness coaching

Posted on July 13, 2012. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , , |

I have a set goal of running my own gym. As I move along this path, I find it fascinating all that goes into running a business.


Please note I said running a business not being self-employed. Many make that mistake in our industry.


Just because you are an independent trainer does not mean you are running a business. If you are solely legally and financially responsible for a staff of trainers then you’re running a business. Calling this night and day is an understatement.


One of the main differences is teaching someone else to do what you do. In fact it could very well be the key to a successful business.


There are only so many hours in a day and I can only be in one place at a time, unless I figure out how to mentally apply principles of Quantum Physics. Any way in order to do this you have to write out what I do, why I do it, and explain it in a way someone else can do what I do whenever I’m not there.


Take a moment and think about that. Think about all you do for your current employment. Now think about sitting down and writing out every detail so that any person, even one not as smart as you, could do exactly what you do with minimum mistakes.

Yep, it’s about as fun as it sounds.


As I have been typing away for the joy of self-employment and eye strain, I realize how important a lot of the tips past coaches have given me become.


The one that runs through my brain is “3 things”


3 things, is a common approach among professional coaches. Narrow whatever sport or arena they work in to 3 things to focus on.


This makes both instruction and comprehension so much easier when dealing with athletes. I see it also being very important for business.


My goal is not only to be the best fitness coach I can be, but to help others do it as well. So what are my 3 things.


1) Objective Simple Assessment –

Every assessment must be done the exact same way, every single time without fail. We must eliminate personal feelings and bias from the assessment or we run the risk of heading down the wrong path. Whatever your field, establish your most efficient assessment protocol and stick to it. Only change something if it is for the better.

And make sure it is simple, if it takes longer than 40 minute to assess my client’s current fitness state something is horribly wrong. I’m training people for fat loss not the Olympics.


2) The goal is the goal is the goal

I am totally stealing this from Coach Dan John. Because it’ one of those simple things that get overlooked so often. What is the goal? The goal is Fat Loss. Are we working toward that goal with everything we do. If not, adjust. If we are, how can we help this along?

If it doesn’t pertain to the clients goals we don’t care. I don’t care what they said on a website, or what the gym down the street is doing as long as they aren’t hurting anybody. Our focus is the goal of the client


3) Fit the program to the client not the client to the program

I am very much in favor of the by any tool necessary approach. It’s the foundation of the success of Crunch Gyms. If it works for the person we will use it. There is no one diet to rule them all, nor is there any one magic workout routine we stay on for the rest of our lives.

Whether it’s 6 meals a day, Intermittent Fasting, carb cycling, Ketogenic, vegetarian, I will use whatever meal plan my client can do that will benefit their health, fit their lifestyle, and achieve the goal.

The same rule goes for work routines.


Yes, I’m sure the internet guru with no college degree or no degree in the Health field who spouts off lots of PubMed studies is very smart. Just because he has a good idea in one category however, does not make him correct across the board for all body types.

Also I have less respect for someone who does no actual physical face to face coaching. Sorry.


I get why they do it business wise, but in the long run they really contribute little to society in my opinion.



OK, back to the joy of employee manuals… I don’t think there is enough caffeine in the world to make this enjoyable. : P


Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W


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Tale of 2 coaches II

Posted on May 9, 2012. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , |

So you really can’t name a blog a tale of 2 coaches and only talk about one.


The second coach I had who dictated the coach I was going to be.. I can’t remember his name.


I know how ridiculous it sounds. I still have my yearbook with his picture, and every time I forget it. And since my yearbook is currently in AK and I in CA, I really can’t check right now.


So for now we’ll all him Coach Oregon, as that was where he was from. He was the assistant wrestling coach my senior year. And he really was a great coach. He pushed me when I needed a push, listened when I needed to talk, and always expected more of me then I thought I could give. And the end it would always turn out I could give that much more he expected.


At the same time he never over did it, or ran us in to the ground. He was a great coach. And he was a big reason behind my winning the city regionals that year. A HUGE reason, if you want to be perfectly honest.


When I told him I was going to study Sports Medicine he invited me to volunteer at a senior center he worked at in the fitness center. Sounded great, then one day came a moment I will never forget.


Coach Oregon, gave me a task of painting the lines of an outdoor shuffleboard court. He had already taped down the stencil; I just had to paint it. And I did.


The next day coach wants to talk to me. He takes me outside and shows me my work. In a word, bad.


There were droplets here and there. Places where the paint had run under or over the stencil. And since this was meant to be permanent outdoor paint, coach was going to have to power sand it all off and redo the job.


To be honest until we went back out there, I thought I had done a good job. I realize now that I had done a job and mentally checked out. I had gone through the motions, and not given my 100% attention to detail. I took on the job, but I did not give it my best.


I don’t think I will ever forget the look in my coach’s eyes. He didn’t yell, he didn’t frown, he was just… disappointed. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.


We moved on, but I did not realize how greatly that moment affected me. It left a permanent impression in my brain. When I choose to do something, I will finish it; I will do the best I possibly can. And if I can’t I will not take on the job.


It also influences my patience with others who don’t.


Again, I don’t yell or sneer at any body. If you take on a task I ask of you though and I think for a second you are half way doing it, we are going to talk. This also influences how I design programs for my clients.


There are few more horrible feelings then disappointment in you as a person. It’s like you have minimal self-worth. And a workout where you feel fat and out of shape constantly does not help in this category.


I see and hear about these training situations to often. And what do these trainers tell their clients.

  • Suck it up
  • If you don’t do this you won’t succeed
  • Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels
  • Think supermodel
  • If you’ve never thrown up during a workout you aren’t working out hard enough


I have actually heard all of these come out of trainers mouths. Both male and female trainers say this, to male and female clients.


When I design a workout I want the client to feel they got a workout, I want them to work toward their goals, and I want to design the workout to where it ends up just a bit ‘more’ than they thought they could handle. Coach Oregon taught me well in more ways than one.



Keep Fitness Groovy

Coach W


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Play Russian Roulette with training

Posted on May 9, 2012. Filed under: Exercise, Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , |

It has come to my attention there are certain things people don’t realize about personal training at commercial chain gyms.


Allow me to clarify, if you sign up with a personal gym at a chain, you are playing a form of roulette with your fitness. Let’s take a major chain I used to work for, for example.


Now I don’t want to embarrass this chain, so let’s just say this particular gym is not a New York or NY fitness club. It’s more of a… LA style Fitness, and leave it at that.


OK, so when I worked there several years ago, they would charge anywhere from $30-$50 per half hour session. Of that fee the member paid, they paid the trainer $7.50.

I’ll let that sink in for you.

Now if the client keeps training past the original terms of their contract. The trainers pay gets boosted up to 10.00 per half hour. This only happens though, after all the original sessions which have been paid for have been used. Since these programs are usually 6-12 months. This could take some time.


On top of that we have the PT sale staff. Who have sales goals, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many demonize sales people but there are good and bad sales people just like any profession, and like any profession they are people working to make a living. I don’t fault them, I fault the structure.


See the sales person does not get any credit toward her monthly sales goal for the client to continue past their original agreement. So it’s in her best interest to resign the client on a new contract and nullify the ability of the trainer to get a boost in pay. Fun huh?


The structure of this major chain literally works against those who provide the hands on direct service to the members. And thus, the type of trainer one might end up with can be iffy.


This is why people can go to the same gym at the same time with 2 different trainers and have night & day experiences.


My industry is very weird.

Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W

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