Fitness Industry “Pros.” Are You One (Or an Amateur)?

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Before I get into the meat and potatoes of today’s post (it’s going to be a quick one because I’m t-minus ONE day before I leave Boston and fly down to Florida to get married. Of course, I have yet to pack. And I have every intention of spending my last day in Boston as a single man living life dangerously: writing in a coffee shop), I wanted to fill everyone in on some speaking dates.

Dean Somerset and I have started penciling in dates for this year’s version of “Dean and Tony Talk About Stuff.”

We’ve already confirmed the following dates:

– Edmonton, Alberta (< – that’s in Canada) at SVPT Fitness & Athletics on August 22nd and 23rd.

– St. Louis, MO at Blue Ocean Fitness the weekend of September 26th-27th.

– Chicago, IL at Rebell Strength and Conditioning the weekend of October 17th-18th.

And we’re in the process of confirming dates and locations in both Austin, TX (Nov) and the LA/Anaheim area (Dec), respectively.


We’re pretty much giving every boy band a run for their money in terms our travel schedule this Fall. Except with no tour bus, 5-star accommodations, media hype, or groupies.

Nonetheless, we’re really excited and looking forward to unveiling our new Complete Hip & Shoulder Workshop to the masses.

For more information regarding itinerary and sign-ups go HERE.

Note: you’ll need to scroll down and click on each respective location to sign-up.

Turning Pro

When I was in NYC a few weekends ago a friend of mine recommended I pick up Steven Pressfield’s book, Turning Pro.

Having previously read The War of Art, and loving every freakin page of it (and recommending it to numerous friends and colleagues), it’s not as if I needed heavy convincing to give Turning Pro a go.

The book is all about what it takes to “turn pro,” what it means, and how to get out of your own way and create your life’s work.

Pressfield describes what he calls “shadow careers,” or careers which many people default towards either due to an overwhelming sense of fear of stepping outside their comfort zone or because they lack the courage (most often, work ethic) to pursue their true passion.

We all know someone (or have heard the stories) of Jack from accounting who, rather than take risks, spent his entire adult life in a cubicle hating life and playing solitaire rather than filling out his TPS reports.

He got really good at solitaire. And before he knew it, he was 55, with a passionless job (and often a passionless life).

This isn’t to say there aren’t accountants or desk jockeys out there who don’t thoroughly enjoy what they do and view that as their life calling. But, it’s a gleaming example of a far too common reality: People parlaying into a “shadow career” when they’d rather be a writer, dentist, entrepreneur, fashion designer, mechanic, or, I don’t know, someone who trains bomb-sniffing dolphins.

Pressfield himself relayed stories of being a truck driver and cab driver before he “turned pro.” He had written countless novels and screenplays – all of which admittedly sucked (his words, not mine) – before he “turned pro.”The book, in not so many words, is all about putting on your big boy (or girl) pants, growing up, and understanding that it’s going to take a lot of hard, arduous, work and effort (and innumerable failures) to create your life’s work.

It’s all about fighting the urge to stay an amateur, and the obstacles we have to overcome to curtail or better yet, conquer, that massive hump.

It’s resisting the urge to settle.

The book is rife with quotable quotes. I’d argue Pressfield rivals Dan John in that department. But I wanted to share one quote which struck a chord with me, because I feel it has a lot of overlap with what I see is a common practice in the fitness industry.

The Amateur is Easily Distracted

“The amateur has a long list of fears. Near the top are two:

Solitude and silence.

The amateur fears solitude and silence because she needs to avoid, at all costs, the voice inside her head that would point her toward her calling and her destiny. So she seeks distraction.

The amateur prizes shallowness and shuns depth. The culture of Twitter and Facebook is paradise for the amateur.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how many stars and asterisks I scribbled onto that page.

Lesson to be Learned (Listen Up)

If the health and fitness industry is truly your calling……..

……….You’re not (really) as important as you think you are.

Just because you wrote an article with a lot of “Likes” and you’ve accumulated a lot of “friends” on social media, doesn’t mean you’ve made it.

Likewise, just because you write about health and fitness and have a voice and audience (which IS an accomplishment, I’m not denying that), it doesn’t mean you’re a pro.

Bragging about Twitter followers and placing far too much precedence on “marketing” yourself on Facebook, most specifically when you’re new to the industry, is pointless.

All you’re doing is hiding and not really doing anything.

Likewise, and maybe this is my own biased, old-school opinion, unless you’re actually coaching people – like, in real life – don’t write an article titled “How to Get More Clients” or  “X Mistakes Someone Makes Doing X Exercise.”

How would you even know?

The difference between a “pro” and an “amateur” in this context – in the fitness world at least, – is that a pro actually get results.

They don’t just write about it.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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