2 More Ways to Stand Out With Integrity in an Industry That Has Little

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Last week my friend and colleague, Jill Coleman, wrote a wonderful piece titled “8 Ways to Stand Out With Integrity  in an Industry That Has Little.

You can check it out HERE.

I thought it was the bees knees…and 1) I’m sorry for using the phrase “bees knees,” and 2) I shared it here on this blog (on my weekly Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work series) in addition to tossing it up on my social media outlets.

HINT: it…was…that…good.

So I Figured I’d Jump In

There isn’t much to add to Jill’s post; she hit on a lot of “big rock” themes I feel behooves any professional, regardless of occupation – to follow.1

To that end, I wanted to add a few salient points into the mix and to expound a bit on some of MY thoughts hovering around the same topic.

You know, just a few tidbits, tiddlywinks, and tickles(?) <— I couldn’t think of another good t-word to finish the alliteration.

1. Practice What You Preach

I’m a coach.

I like helping people get strong(er), feeling better, and/or conjuring their inner meathead. To steal an analogy from my good friend Dean Somerset: I like to think of myself as a fitness Sherpa.

Except in this case, instead of guiding people up Mt. Everest, I guide them through their Goblet Squats or get-ups; or my Gangstarr play list (alliteration!)

My job is to be their support system and direct them from Point A to Point B in the safest, most time efficient path possible.

The key here, of course, is the coaching part.

I actually coach.

Meaning, I work with people in real-life. It boggles my mind that there are some “fitness professionals” out there, a minority to be fair, who sell themselves as these industry messiahs who have worked with 1000’s of people and are “world renowned” despite being 21.

Now, I’m not saying someone can’t be a successful coach or even well-known in this industry at 21.

However, you know it, I know it, your best friend’s second cousin’s dog trainer’s Little League coach knows it…

…you’re full of shit.

Or, even worse, there are some fitness professionals out there – regardless of age – who market themselves as “experts” and write a good game – are featured on popular sites or sell a bunch of E-books – but train zero people.

Ben Bruno and I like to play a game whenever we come across an insane workout or program online. You can always tell those programs written by real, well-seasoned coaches (who work with real people) and those written by wannabes:

Real Coach

A1. Trap Bar Deadlift 3×5
A2. (Loaded) Push-Up 3×8,8,MAX

B1. Front Squat 5×3 @ 75-80%
B2. Chin-Up 5×5

C1. Chest Supported Row 3×12,10,8
C2. BearSaw 3×8-10

Coach Who’s Never Trained Anyone…Ever

A1. Deadlift 10×10
A2. Handstand Walks over Broken Glass 10x400m

B1. Bench Press 10×10
B2. Punch a lumberjack in the beard 10xMAX reps

C1. Back Squat 10×10
C2. Barbell Bicep Curl w/ Weight Releasers, 5/5/5 Tempo – Blindfolded 10×5

Listen, all I am saying is this:

Don’t be a clown. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. It’s not worth it and (most) people are going to be able to see right through the nonsense anyway, which is not going to help your career in the long run.

Moreover, and this is just my own personal aside: I have rarely programmed an exercise (or protocol) that I haven’t performed myself.

  • 20-rep squats?…yup.
  • 21 straight days of deadlifting?…stupid, but yes.
  • THIS?


Well, the video proves it…;o)

I can think of no better way to hammer home this point than with a story I heard Martin Rooney say years ago centered around the Monk, the Mom and the Toddler (paraphrased):

A mother was incensed she could not get her toddler to stop eating sugar. As a final hail mary she decided to seek the advice of the wise Monk.

Mother: “Oh wise Monk, can you tell me how I to get my toddler to stop eating sugar?”

Monk: “Come back in two weeks and I will tell you.”

Mother: “FML, (like I said, paraphrased) that doesn’t help me, but okay. See you in two weeks.”

(Fast forward two weeks)

Mother: “Alright Monk, it’s been two weeks. How do I get my toddler to stop eating sugar?”

Monk (looks directly at the toddler): “Stop eating sugar.”

Mother (incredulous): Wait, what? That’s what I have been doing all along! This makes no sense. Some wise Monk you are!”

Monk: “I had to stop eating sugar before I could tell someone else to do the same.”

That’s integrity.


2. Don’t Buy Followers

Recently I watched Bret Contreras’s presentation via the NSCA Personal Trainer’s Virtual Conference on how to grow your Instagram following.

Bret’s someone who has over 800k+ followers so he knows a thing or two about what to do and what not to do.

To Do:

  • Prioritize actionable content
  • Treat it like a job (I.e., good content takes more than 10 minutes to produce. Bret spends, on average, 3-4 hours PER DAY creating content and interacting with his followers)
  • Good content is a combination of training yourself, training other people, and READING
  • A good microphone, lighting, and knowing your angles matters.
  • Be authentic

Not to Do

  • Buy followers

I see it all the time.

Someone has 100,000 followers yet two comments on each post.

Don’t buy followers.

Just. Don’t.

3. I’m Done, Just Realized The Irishman is Now Available to Watch on Netflix


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.
  1. Unless you’re Jason Bourne. Then, never-mind.

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