Education is key to all our development. No matter if you work in a bank, building site or in a gym like me.
In all walks of life there are people who believe they know it all, those people are talking crap.
The day I stop learning is the day I enter the fiery furnace of hell. I know I’m going there, as my clients seem to tell me regularly enough.
As a fitness professional there are a lot of courses out there that tick the right boxes for affiliation, but don’t fulfill what the coach or trainer actually should and needs to be learning.
I remember attending a course on VIPR (something I didn’t use before I went and certainly haven’t used since) and of a 6-hour course I learnt one thing. The course pretty much was a selling tool for an online PT facility, with VIPR thrown in on top. The course leader was an American gentleman who was possibly the biggest diva I have ever met. Amongst throwing strops, complaining about other well-known trainers and regularly walking out of the days teaching without any rhyme or reason, he said one thing that has stuck with me since.
“If you read one article, blog or journal per day and take one piece of knowledge from it, at the end of a year you’ll have learnt 365 new things.”
I learnt more in that 15-second sentence than I did in the other 5 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds of the course and I have to thank him for that advice.
This leads me on to probably my biggest hate within our industry at the current time.
MLM. Those 3 letters strike anger and hatred into me.
MLM or Multi Level Marketing is the technical term for Pyramid Sales.
Basically con-merchants are selling low-grade supplements as meal replacements to vulnerable, uneducated people, desperate to lose weight.
The definition of Supplement: “A thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it.”
The way these MLM products are being sold is as a meal replacement. I am happy to admit I use bodybuilding supplements including whey protein, multi-vits, glutamine and creatine, however my diet is my main priority.
When working with any client my aim is to educate them in how to a) change their diet to suit their lives, b) educate them that healthy eating is manageable, maintainable and doesn’t have to be bland and boring.
Education of your clients is paramount to them getting the optimal capacity from training and nutrition.
MLM has also bred a bunch of apparent experts in nutrition. A bunch of experts whose education in nutrition came from a sales pitch from the local dealer who in turns nutritional expertise came free with a box of cereal.
Now we have these “experts” also putting on bootcamps to try and entice people in to the cult.
Put it this way, if they really do have the clients best interests at heart (and were even slightly educated in nutrition) do you really think they would recommend a 2 shakes a day and 1 square meal diet?
No. All they are interested in is your cash and funding that dream BMW that is talked about in the initial indoctrination!
As fitness professionals that moment when you sell out your morals and ethics to make a quick buck it’s time to hang up the clipboard and stopwatch as your credibility has hit rock bottom. You build a client base on maintainable results, long term change, loyalty and honesty.
Preying on the weak and vulnerable in every day life is a punishable offence, yet we don’t blink an eye when it involves allowing people to be fleeced over their health. The usual argument is that they sponsor top athletes such as Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. My argument back is that they also are sponsored by KFC and I don’t see them whacking that in before and after training.
Read. Learn. Read some more. And kids, please stay away from MLM products.