It’s been a long and really fun journey with a lot of changes along the way. I never imagined when I took on my first client that it would open the door to such a cool future. I wanted to take a few minutes and write down thirty-one things that quickly came to mind that I’ve learned or experienced over my career to date.

Perhaps this will be a fun quick read for you. It’s a window into the evolution of a very cool industry! The bullets are in no particular order. Only as they randomly popped into my head (what a strange expression). Enjoy!

  1. Some info taught in college 20 years ago may no longer apply.
  2. The microbiome was barely discussed when I was in college. Now, it’s a major focal point in so many of our metabolic reactions and outcomes. It plays a real role in our metabolism and health.
  3. Every person responds to something different. Fitness and health is not one size fit all.
  4. Sugar. It’s one of the most significant underlying foods causing a lot of problems in society.
  5. A lot of fruit is not conducive to a lean physique. There’s still a lot of sugar in fruit.
  6. Hyperplasia (additional muscle tissue rather than expansion of the muscle cell) can happen under extreme circumstances and with the addition of exogenous hormones (steroids).
  7. As a trainer, if you don’t understand the real reason someone wants to change you won’t be successful in helping them.
  8. Don’t waste time focusing on your competitors. Use that energy to run the best business you can and focus on your clients.
  9. High touch customer service is always superior to technology. Hands down!
  10. Compliance is almost always less than stated by the client.
  11. A half-hour is all that’s necessary to accomplish a great workout if you’re training for general fitness and health.
  12. Just because a particular fitness regimen has worked for you, it doesn’t guarantee it will work for someone else.
  13. Old school lifts still dominate in building muscle.
  14. Don’t be afraid of heavyweight. Failure at a six range will produce awesome results.
  15. Too much exercise is not a good thing. There’s no need to spend hours and hours in the gym.
  16. Muscle is built at rest, not when you’re breaking it down at the gym through strenuous exercise.
  17. Rolling your muscles and stretching is just as important as strength and cardiovascular training. Especially as we age.
  18. The elevated metabolism from muscle gain is overstated.
  19. But, the hormonal changes and improvements from additional muscle mass are understated.
  20. Never underestimate the joint pain an older client is perceiving.
  21. Long term clients tend to turn into great friends.
  22. Some clients hire you more for the social aspect than the exercise. That’s okay. You’re still improving their lives by listening to them while simultaneously keeping them fit.
  23. Spending so much personal time with such culturally different individuals broadens one’s perspective and horizons. It allows for a very open-minded view of the world. If we were all the same, it would be super boring.
  24. Sometimes the best therapy is a good workout. And it can be in the form of a hike, yoga, strength training, a run, etc.
  25. Sadly, the myth that one can spot reduce fat just won’t go away.
  26. On that note, too many people put more emphasis on exercise than food. What we eat is still more important.
  27. In the fitness industry, “everyone’s an expert.” Oy!!!!
  28. There are too many trainers who promise a perfect body to potential clients. If you find one of these individuals, turn and run.
  29. On that note, too many trainers think that every potential client wants a perfect body. That’s not what I experienced in the last thirty-one years. Most people just want to feel good and be more comfortable in their skin.
  30. If your client leaves their session feeling better than when they arrived, then it was a successful session. It’s not always about how hard the workout was or if they’re making progress. Yes, you want to push for progress, but those acute bouts of therapy are super helpful.
  31. I sincerely believe the arrival of fitness-based social media has diluted the industry and done more harm than good. It’s great if it inspires, but there’s a lot of false information that’s become too pervasive.

I believe I could go on and on, but I’ll continue to add to the list each year.

31 Things I’ve learned over thirty-one years as a trainer

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