The One Thing That Annoys Me Most About the Fitness Industry
I consider myself a fairly even keeled guy.
I try not to sweat the details nor to come across as someone who complains or argues about trivial things such as traffic, the weather, low bar vs. high bar back squats, LCHF diets vs. any other diet equated for protein and total calories, or which is the best Harry Potter book.1
Then again I am human and sometimes my capacity to suppress my annoyance hits a crescendo, and I’m left with no other alternative than to write about it, like every other a-hole in the world with an opinion and access to a laptop.
Brb…I need to go throw my face into a brick wall.
I can’t tell you how many emails or messages I receive from new(ish) trainers on a routine basis bemoaning the fact they work in, GASP, a commercial gym.
They usually invade my inbox in several iterations, but this is the most common:
“Tony, this sucks. I don’t know what to do. I want to train professional athletes. I didn’t go to school to work with house wives or Jack from accounting. My life is over.
How do I get to where you’re at in your career?”
I don’t know what people expect from me.
I’m not their boss. There really isn’t much I can do, even with a high speed internet connection.
The meanie-head in me wants to say something like:
“I’m all for having goals, but LeBron doesn’t want to train with you.”
However, I’m not a meanie-head and what I usually end up saying is something to the effect of:
“Not to blow up your spot, but I didn’t train my first athlete until year five of my career. His name was Tim, a sophomore in high-school. He played basketball.
I didn’t train my first professional athlete until year seven.
Also, what’s wrong with training house wives? I love house wives. And Jacks from Accounting. Hate to break it to you, but those lowly house wives (and accountants) you’re too cool for outnumber professional athletes by a ratio of a kajillion-billion to one and are going to be the ones paying your bills and helping to pay off those student loans of yours.
I also hate to break it to you, but working with athletes isn’t as lucrative as Instagram makes it seem.
What’s more, and this may come across as blasphemous, I prefer training general pop clients.
Pretty much every “successful” or well known coach today, every…single…one, from Mike Boyle to Eric Cressey to Mike Robertson to Nia Shanks, at some point or another, worked in a commercial gym.
What’s more, there are an infinite number of fitness professionals out there right now who thrive in commercial gyms and end up building very successful brands (and careers).
This may be an unpopular viewpoint and not what you want to hear, but I’d make the argument working in a commercial gym for 2-5 years is often what’s necessary (if not mandatory) to be successful in this industry.
Well, that and a decent bicep peak…;o)
In the end, you get out of it what you put in.
You can either bitch and whine about your situation like every other entitled asshat, or go out of your way to use this time to gain experience, hone your craft, take pride in having an insatiable desire to learn and get better and to make yourself more indispensable (FYI: this should never really stop), get up early, work late, work on holidays, and weekends, fail, fail again, fail some more, and then, at some point, inevitably, reach the same conclusion as many before you.
That who you work with has far less of an impact on your success in this industry and is as insignificant of a thing to concern yourself with as say, what Meghan Markle had for breakfast this morning, or, I don’t know, Tom Selleck having too sexy of a mustache.
None of it matters.”
Okay, that still had a bit of a meanie-head vibe to it.
But it had to be said.