S&C Circle Jerk

February 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

I guess this is part 2 of me admitting that I’m an asshole. That I judge. That I think I’m awesome, that my poop is stenchless, and whatever else people think I think.  It all comes down to the fact that I take what I do seriously, have integrity, and want to provide the best material I can.

I want to share with you what I call the “elite” professional community in the S&C/Fitness industry: the S&C Circle Jerk Party.

Let me break it down a little, and explain how sometimes I find myself joining in-then realize that I don’t always wanna be part of the circle jerk party.

It goes like this:

ME “I saw this guy doing squats on BOSU ball…”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.”

ME “I know. Clearly he hasn’t seen the scientificals about how that’s totally gonna minimize his clients results.”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.” 


ME “WTF is that person doing?”

second trainer “they probably think that’s a swing. more like a kneecap ugh-sploder”

ME “This is exactly why people think swings are bad for your back. That and biggest loser.”

second trainer “what. a. dumbass.”


lecturer at Perform Better “….and that’s why you shouldn’t run”

everyone in crowd “yeah! fuck running!”

sorta reminds me of this


I’ve been guilty of all of those things above, and I’m torn….because I realize two things:

1. Us trainers who are striving for the utmost professionalism in our industry want to hold everyone who represents our industry to a high standard. We want for our messages which we have studied, have proven, and hold dearly to be the beacons of light in the dark world of commercialized fitness where women still think they’ll get bulky from lifting heavy weights, where people still think cardio is how to best reduce bodyfat, and where a low fat diet is touted as the best way to lose fat. We wish there was a barrier of entry akin to chiropractors, or massage therapy, or at the very least that everyone would have one of the nasm/nsca/acsm/ace credentials that are nationally accredited. (though, let’s be honest-does that really even matter? I’ll get back to that). We wish and want these things because we love fitness and helping, and we identify ourselves with the industry, we are emotionally attached to what we view ourselves as, and so we only want ourselves to be represented correctly. Yes, we are selfish. And without being to aynrandy I think that is a good thing, because if us in the industry don’t hold each other accountable then we might end up with Richard Simmons running the show again.

2. Conversely, 1 is still more than zero. What I mean is this: if someone gets off their ass, and into the gym and does anything that’s better than when they were doing nothing. If there is a trainer who honestly wants to help, who realistically doesn’t have a high expertise level (aka MOST trainers), but is so engaging and passionate that he/she trains 50 people a week who then have some positive results-should I still be mad? What if I tell someone that the things they want to do aren’t going to deliver them the results they are looking for? I’d be telling the truth but I also run the risk that I stop them dead in their tracks and send them back to their diet cokes, fritos, and couches. I have said multiple times that the best form of exercise that anyone can do is the type they enjoy…

but do I even really believe that?

Sort of. I believe it, but I don’t like it. I believe it and even embrace it because I hope that people see results and then hunger for more results….and to get more results one needs more knowledge, so I assume people will start to seek out that knowledge. Unfortunately this brings us back full circle to the uneducated trainer who is delivering suboptimal advice through limited knowledge-at some point that advice stops working, and then the person becomes disheartened and perhaps even mistrusting of our industry-or they actually get so into things they sorta join in the circle jerk themselves, which is basically what every paleo internet warrior does when they argue which starches/sugars are safe and which ones are poison. Which I guess is a win, albeit an annoying one.

I, like most trainers who are working with people still, enjoy seeing people improve their health, fitness, and hotness levels and want to maximize our clients’ results through the most effective methods available. Those methods generally are opposite of what people are willing/expecting to do.

What are those things?

1. Understanding that eating like an asshole will render you gym efforts useless from a body composition standpoint. (If you think working out allows you to eat shitty food-you are mistaken)

2. Accepting the fact that strength training is the most important thing you can do in the gym, and that ‘cardio’ may be a bad time investment for physique changes. (Adding muscle and losing fat is what adds tone. Strength is what allows you to do things.)

3. Embracing the fact that you must work hard-not just show up. (If you think that just walking into the gym and spending an hour texting/facebooking/reading on the bicycle is gonna make a difference, you are mistaken.)

4. Understanding that even if you eat well, and workout smartly that you still have to have a healthy lifestyle to make serious changes. (if you are up late reading this on your electrical device, or watching TV, or getting up in 5 hours, or avoiding sunlight, or not enjoying the company of loved ones, or not taking the time to relax and enjoy ‘stuff’, your life probably sucks and you probably aren’t happy and probably aren’t maximizing your results because of that).

5. Understanding that nothing happens really really fast-nothing that lasts anyways.

These are the things that some of our, let’s say “less honest/educated” trainers, don’t mention or blatantly lie about while promising the world to potential clients. I know there are clients I’ve lost because I’m honest, and I can only do what I can do.

I guess the circle jerk isn’t a bad thing as long as we don’t turn it into a pissing circle with the less educated in the middle getting drenched. If we are just congratulating each other on good blog posts, or on who has found the most minimal shoe ever that isn’t just duct taped soles of their feet, then we aren’t hurting anyone—but sometimes the circle jerk does turn into a “piss on the uneducated person”….which isn’t cool when it’s just someone who is excited, and wants to help but doesn’t know that they don’t know. It is cool when it’s pissing on someone who is spreading crap info because they haven’t bothered to attempt to learn the whys and hows of things, or they’re jumping in on a trendy tool/name to cash in even when they don’t know WTF they’re doing.  In truly ignorant but good natured trainer cases, maybe we need to have a little more patience, perhaps even invite them to the circle and pass them some lotion knowledge.

An example: I’ve recently been introduced to the bulgarian bag training tool. I’ve had the opportunity to train with Steve Nave, maybe the “second in command” of the entire bulgarian bag system, and he showed me the three basic fundamental moves, (this was a month ago). I have not had any clients use the bulgarian bag in the new methods I’ve learned because I don’t think I’m expert enough in the teaching/cueing/demonstrating of the tool-and I like to think that I’m pretty good about my movements and ability to coach new things. I understand that you don’t need to be a certified kettlebell/dumbbell/shakeweight instructor to deliver solid coaching, but I also KNOW that you should be very confident and knowledgeable with what you teach before you start trying to teach it. If you aren’t knowledgable, first let your ego go and know that it’s ok to not be the master of every training tool/system ever, and second: go learn before you (mis)use new tools/concepts!! If you don’t do those things, then you deserve to get pissed on, and nobody will invite your to our circle jerk party.

Seriously, there ARE SOOOOO MANY opportunities for getting better! How and why wouldn’t you?! Here are some ideas to get started: 1. go to a convention/seminar and take notes at lectures, don’t just hang out at the socials and check out the zumba dancers 2. go to Mike Robertson’s site and read everything 3. pay attention to Ben Bruno’s site and read his “blog posts of the week” posts each week 4. get certified in something you are interested in 5. buy a dvd and watch it, twice 6. buy sessions with a personal trainer who is an expert in something you arent and learn it, then practice it, then finally teach it.

I remember when I did all sorts of stuff on the bosu ball, or only did bodybuilding splits, or loved yoga, then hated yoga, or knew that people shouldn’t eat too much saturated fat. What I’m saying is I have been, and will be again the enthusiastic uneducated person who is doing something that other people “just know” is wrong, and I might get pissed on—-but most likely I’m already working on watching a recorded lecture/reading a book/attending a seminar so that I can avoid getting urine allover my sweet V neck and can join in the S&C circle jerk instead.

I think the, including my, tendencies of starting to pee on people prematurely is because I/we are trying to continually learn, and I/we get upset at others who aren’t. We live this. We want our jobs to be made easier by all of us spreading the same message….well at least messages that aren’t completely false.

In summary: I’m still torn about whether being in the circle jerk party is a good thing or a bad thing…I know that anyone trying to help is realistically doing more good than bad if they are providing enjoyable experiences to people, but, I just wish everyone had the desire to keep learning and be true to the bettering of our profession. Sorry I’m not sorry for being passionate about keeping up our standards…I guess I’m just an asshole.

Oh well.

Back to the circle jerk where I’ll message my S&C buddies some awesome new blog post about the benefits of barefoot training the morning after ingesting at least 3.7 grams of O3 fatty acids in whole food form in conjunction with 1.2g of animal protein per KG of lean body mass….which is basically just putting a quarter sized dab of coconut oil in each of our hands.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Stronger & Toning « BA training. - April 2, 2015

    […] Toning: 2 years ago I wrote about the S&C circle Jerk – not much has changed obviously industry wide – but how about you personally? Are you getting to understanding that as long as you embrace, and help people with what they want, and not what you want or think, that you will do so much better as a trainer? This article about “what does toning mean?” has a number of quotes about what “toning” means – and it’s clear that some of the trainers “get it”: for instance: […]

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