Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.


Quote of the week:

"There’s no glory in failure. Nobody wants to fail. A guy who was branded a serial entrepreneur told me, ‘I’m only a serial entrepreneur because it hasn’t worked out. Nobody wants to be a serial entrepreneur.'"
                                                                                          - Yelp cofounder Jeremy Stoppelman on How I Built This
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. When "stay in your lane" is bad advice
  2. Are the Blue Zones a mirage?
  3. The easiest way to help your fellow trainers
  4. The best advice I’ve never taken
1. When "stay in your lane" is bad advice

"Stay in your lane, bro" makes for a good punchline in a commercial. And it sometimes makes sense in a career context, especially when you’re asked for advice in areas that are clearly beyond your scope of practice. Nobody wants a dude with an ACE certification performing soft-tissue work or second-guessing a diabetic client’s insulin dosage.  

But as Mike T. Nelson argues here, it can also be a self-limiting belief system if it prevents you from learning as much as you can about training, nutrition, and rehab.

His reason is simple: "The human body is an elaborate, complex, intricately connected organism. The more you learn about it, the better a trainer you’ll be. In other words, there are lots of good reasons to change lanes early and often."

He says that with two pretty big caveats: You need to master the basics of training and nutrition, and you need to fully understand new systems and methods before you start throwing them together.

The takeaway: Nelson says there’s a simple way to tell if you’re ready to incorporate a new discipline with other parts of your practice: Does anyone pay you to do that thing, and only that thing? At that point, you have a green light to change lanes.  

Go deeper: Nutrition and training are separate disciplines, but your clients will never get the full benefits of the latter without paying attention to the former. Do you know enough about nutrition to help your clients? In a recent PTDC article, Chad Landers looked at five mistakes trainers make when offering advice about diet and supplements.
2. Are the Blue Zones a mirage - Lou Schuler

In The New Rules of Lifting for Life, I made this confession: "I’m highly suspicious of any longevity advice based on the lifestyle of isolated, agrarian populations."

It wasn’t a critique of Blue Zones—places where an unusual number of people live to unusually old ages—so much as skepticism about the idea that we’ll live longer if we try to eat or move or live like they do.

Turns out, I wasn’t skeptical enough. A new study suggests that some supercentenarians, the oldest of the old, aren’t as old as they think they are, or claim to be.

In the U.S., the problem is faulty records and faulty memories. In Italy and Japan, it could be something more nefarious, like pension fraud—pretending to be someone else to collect their benefits.

"Only about one in 1,000 people who live to the age of 100 make it to 110," writes Kelsey Piper of Vox. "The vast majority of people would never impersonate their parent or older sibling for benefits, or forge a birth certificate, or participate in identity theft, or get confused about how old they even are. But if one in 1,000 people would do that, then fraudulent supercentenarians will be more common than bona fide supercentenarians."

The takeaway: We know what helps people live longer: a moderate diet, moderate physical activity, moderate body weight. But most important of all is to choose your parents and your demographics carefully. Remember that the next time you’re tempted to go all-in on the latest version of "this one thing will help you cheat death."
3. The easiest way to help your fellow trainers

"I refuse to charge people to … observe or shadow for a day," writes Tony Gentilcore in this blog post.

He doesn’t condemn coaches who charge trainers to follow them around. He just questions the most common reason: that an observer will walk out the door with previously hidden knowledge of the coach’s proprietary training methods.  

"Someone [was] doing what you’re doing long before you graced the world with your version of contrast sets," he says.

And if you’re worried about losing clients to someone who learns your trade secrets? "I know I’m a good coach," he says. "But I also know the bulk of people who continually work with me do so because I’m not a d*** and am generally a pleasant human being to be around."

The takeaway: Gentilcore’s conclusion: "It’s an honor" when a fellow trainer chooses to come by a few hours, sacrificing their own income to learn how he makes a living. "I have nothing to hide. And, honestly, business is still good."

4. The best advice I’ve never taken - Jonathan Goodman

Outcomes aren’t always in your control but your actions are. And you will win when you take the right actions every day. This doesn’t mean that you will win every time, but you will win in the long run.

You should celebrate the wins, of course. But you should also celebrate the losses—not because you lost, but because you know there’s something positive to take away from every loss.

Even if things didn’t work out, the actions you took toward your goal deserve to be celebrated.

When you do something positive, regardless of the outcome, celebrate.

This is the best advice I’ve never taken, but am going to start now.

**Thanks for reading. What to do next**

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