The evidence based fitness industry isn’t helping “most people”.
We’re helping lots of people, but not “most people”.
I’m not helping “most people”.
I actually AM “most people”, so that does give me a bit of an advantage. I have a beat on how “most people” think.
I’m always pondering how I’m going to expand my audience and reach more people – maybe I can reach some of those “most people” that I’m talking about.
I would never sell something that was bullshit to turn a quick buck.
My name isn’t Asprey, Ferris, or Anderson.
But at the same time, those 3 (and many more like them) are onto something. There is a reason why those 3 resonate with others, in spite of the ludicrous recommendations they make.
Looking closely at “most people” and how “most people” behave can teach us about how we should reach them.
And as I previously stated, I am seriously…….”most people”. At least I was at one time. Now, you can probably state that I’m “weird”.
Here’s how I was “most people”:
- Attended elementary school and high school.
- Played sports.
- Went to university, mainly because I didn’t know what else to do and I thought that’s what you “should” do.
- Quit playing sports and got really fat.
- Became engaged in my last year of college.
- Graduated with my undergrad.
- Joined the workforce as a teacher.
- Got married one year later.
- Moved into a house one year after that.
- Got fatter.
- Got wife pregnant.
- Had kid.
- Got fatter still.
Up until this point in my life, I was 100% “most people”.
Then I stopped being “most people”, and I became weird as shit, jumped down the rabbit hole of evidence based fitness, started a blog, and now I write articles like this one.
I feel like I’m on the verge of becoming one of those self-employed douches who tells others how to live their lives.
Isn’t this world strange?
During that entire time I was like “most people”, I thought differently than I do now.
Here are a few thoughts about how “most people” think.
This is how I used to think………and I represent “most people”.
Most people don’t even lift.
Not even a little bit.
In fact, most people would rather do anything else BUT lift.
Most people would hire someone to move their couches if they could.
We need to make the barrier to lifting more accessible to most people.
An absolute minimum amount of lifting to produce maximum results should be the entry-level barrier to lifting for most people.
You need to hook them first.
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Most people don’t want to even lift.
When given the option, jogging around the block or doing a Zumba class sounds like more fun than lifting.
Lifting is scary and intimidating.
Lifting is where all the bodybuilders are.
Planet Fitness caters to “most people” and they do it beautifully.
I’m not even mad – they saw a need and filled it.
My Dad is “most people”.
He joined Planet Fitness, lost 50 pounds, and looks great.
So, what’s your beef, exactly?
Most people, if they even lift, don’t want to deadlift.
It’s form-intensive and you can injure yourself if you’re not on point.
Although it can be argued deadlifting is actually better for your back over time than not deadlifting, the fact remains that deadlifting gives most people the perception that one day they’ll be laid up in a hospital bed awaiting back surgery.
Most people don’t want to deal with that shit.
Most people, if they do want to deadlift, sure as hell don’t want to squat.
So………you’re supposed to put weight on your back, squat all the way down until your hips are below your knees and stand back up?
No thanks, I’m good.
Most people would prefer some leg presses.
Or they will just skip it all together.
Most people hate “leg day”.
Think about that the next time you post a meme about “Bros not letting bros skipping leg day”.
Most people don’t care about leg day.
Most people don’t care why it works, they just want it to work.
Screw your studies, most people don’t care.
I don’t know how my microwave makes my Hot Pocket 472 degrees on the outside and frozen on the inside.
But it does, and that’s good enough for me.
And it’s good enough for most people.
Most people get bored with doing the same thing over and over again.
Look, I get it. The best way to gain strength at the start is through a basic linear progression of squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
But that’s boring.
So, don’t let people get bored.
Schedule some arms days for the hell of it.
Make people do push-ups, burpees, walking lunges, and leg raises.
Is it the most optimal method? Probably not for a beginner.
But it’s far superior to boredom.
Boredom is a dangerous thing.
Most people have very little time to train……at first.
Most people have shit to do.
They have lives, jobs, bosses, traffic, and Facebook statuses to distract them.
Over time, if they get results, they will find the time to train.
The positive feedback loop must be established first before they find the extra time.
Most people just want to look good.
Screw being healthy and forget longevity.
Most men don’t want to have to wear a shirt at the beach because they’re embarrassed by their bitch tits.
Most women don’t want to wear a bikini because they’re self conscious of the excess jiggle.
Most people despise what they see when they look in the mirror.
For most people, aesthetics takes priority number one.
Looking good does not require any exercise, let alone a powerlifting movement.
Be sure your recommendations align with their goals.
Most people, after they look good, want to feel more alive and healthy.
Maybe most people don’t give an actual shit about lab tests and body fat percentage.
But most people do want to feel better.
Most people have digestive issues, deal with chronic exhaustion, and pop antacids way too frequently.
I know what it feels like to be out of breath after tying my shoes.
It’s emasculating to have to shuffle to get down to my laces due to my huge gut.
Shedding the fat comes first and foremost, and it needs to be done quickly at the start of a fitness regimen.
Nothing improves how you feel more than dropping the 50 pounds of fat that’s holding you back.
Most people are turned off by negativity.
When I made this video, my wife recorded it.
In the video, I mentioned Tracy Anderson and poked fun at her.
I generally don’t do that, but I was just joking around – not being negative.
My wife asked me afterwards:
Who the hell is Tracy Anderson?
I was a bit surprised by that question. My wife watches the Kardashians and all that shit on TV. (Don’t judge – that’s annoying, too.)
She’s the trainer of all these famous people, including the Kardashians. She’s a total nut job.
Who gives a shit? Why do you have to be negative towards someone else?
Wow. Damn. Put in my place, and she was right.
My wife lifts.
As in, she squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, etc.
She doesn’t follow “The Tracy Anderson Method”.
Nor does she give one, single f**k about who she is or why she’s shitty, though.
Think long and hard before you bash anyone on social media. Even if it is an idiot charlatan.
Most people don’t spend their time worrying about such nonsense.
And if you do go on a “rant”, it will not attract “most people”.
At best, you will stay in your circle-jerk of evidence based fitness friends.
At worst, people will get tired of your negativity and will look the other way.
Spoiler alert: Tracy Anderson is doing a better job of reaching “most people” than we are.
Maybe we could learn a thing or two from her.
Most people have never heard of Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld.
I say this with a grain of salt, as these two may be the two men I look towards the most for recommendations.
Their word is the gospel, and I have nothing but the highest opinions of them, so I don’t want to get this point twisted.
You should apply what these two are talking about with your own clients.
You can refer to them in your blog posts – and you should.
But there needs to be a way to meld the worlds of evidence based fitness and the general public.
Most people haven’t heard of them.
But they have heard of Asprey, Hari, Oz, Horton, and Blanks.
Our goal as fitness coaches should be to find a way to bridge this gap.
Keep your ethics in tact and never compromise your morals.
But there must be a way to use the destructive powers of the charlatans for good instead of evil.
I don’t know exactly how to do this. I’m trying like hell to answer this question, but I have a ways to go myself.
Which leads me to my next point………..
Most people are hooked by shiny objects and gimmicks rather than science and objectivity.
Want to know who I really admire in fitness?
Yeah, I know, he can be douchey.
But he has mastered the art of selling, and he’s only getting better.
And can you really argue with his methods?
Controlling your calories via fasting, training hard in a minimalist fashion, and “living the lifestyle”.
This dude gets so much misplaced hate, it’s ridiculous.
You know where the hate comes from? “Fitness folks”, mostly.
Ermagerd, he’s promoting a LIE – he’s telling people they will have a life like him if they buy his ebooks!
Ummmmmmmm, yeah. And?
If Greg is getting people to buy his books, they’re using his methods, and they’re getting results, what does it matter?
How is this a negative thing?
Online business is a bit strange. Aren’t we all “pretending” just a little bit.
Shit, I do it right here on this very site, to be quite honest.
The glossy picture of me on the beach – the one on the sidebar – is a subliminal message, saying:
Hey, all you “normal people”, if you hire me as a Coach, you can look like meeeeeeee……….
Everyone does this. But Greg gets hate for it.
Sounds like jealousy to me.
Guess what – I’ve never even MET the guy – “irl” or on the webs.
I simply admire what he’s doing.
The biggest goal of a marketer is to sell an “idea” and not a “product”.
Greg O’Gallagher is selling a lifestyle, not a workout and dieting plan.
Tony Horton is selling the idea of “muscle confusion”, not a training DVD.
Apple is selling the idea of “simplicity” and being “part of the movement”.
What idea are you selling?
Most people will not trust you until you bare your soul.
Play this to your advantage.
Be someone that others are not.
Don’t be afraid to use your own voice.
If you’ve never been afraid to hit “publish” when you write an article, you’re not challenging yourself.
Likely, nobody will want to read what you’ve written.
The first time I was deathly afraid to hit “publish” was in this article, where I described why getting a 6-pack didn’t do anything for my mental state of happiness.
I was terrified again to publish this article, where I exposed the bullshit which is the “fitness pictures” you see around the internet.
I cried the entire time I wrote this one, as I relived one of the most frightening experiences of my life, where my entire family was almost taken from me.
I could barely even publish this one. I admitted my past mistakes, what keeps me up at night, and told the story of heartbreaking failures that nobody else has ever known.
Every time I post an article like this, I get afraid.
I get scared.
I feel like I will be “outed” for being a phony.
I feel like someone else will call me weak, and claim I’m living a lie.
Miles Davis is famous for saying:
You have to play for a long time to sound like yourself.
How far down have you tried to reach?
Are you merely scratching the surface?
Do you have more to give? More to offer? More value to bring to the table?
Then what are you waiting for?
It’s time to start playing the game.
Or else “most people” will miss your message.