I can feel the fitness industry cringe as they read the title of this article.
There will be a backlash coming for sure. “How could you say that Coach Taylor? We have to make fitness fun and exciting for people to keep them interested and help them change their life!”
After 15 years working full time in this industry I would just have one question to all of those who disagree with me: how is that working out for you?
Seriously. Let’s just try for one second to look at the ACTUAL statistics instead of further diving into the magical unicorn wonderland that exists inside the heads of all the well meaning but grossly maligned people working in the fitness industry.
Obesity is on the rise.
Participation in fitness programs is stagnant.
Diabetes is on the rise.
Heart disease is not disappearing.
Joint replacement surgeries, bariatric surgeries, and other medical procedures related to poor fitness are all on the rise.
Depression is on the rise.
I could continue this list for most of my morning. However, I believe I have made my point.
The entire fitness industry has acted with alarming repetition for the last 4 decades. Fun. Interest. Excitement. The keywords that guide every fitness program and are puked out of the mouths of almost every speaker at every conference I have ever attended.
The thought is that we need to entice and coax people into a fitness environment that they enjoy and find fun in order to get them healthy and exercising. The whole industry does everything they can to make sure people have a plethora of options so that they can choose something that work the best for them. If we can help people find that one thing that they love doing then all of their health and fitness problems will be solved!
And guess what? YOU SHOULD LVOE LIFTING WEIGHTS! Or, YOU SHOULD LOVE RUNNING.
Not only do we want to make sure you love what you are doing, we also know what is best for you and will spend exorbitant amounts of time coercing and convincing you that you will love it too!
Three weeks! That’s all it takes to make a habit! You just have to stick it out for three weeks and then you’ll also love getting up at 5am, chowing egg whites and cabbage before heading to the gym to throw some iron around! Don’t worry you’ll love it! Look at me, look at me, look at me!!! See how much I love it!!!! And have you seen the latest half naked pic of me on my Instagram feed? Don’t I look awesome? Don’t you want to look awesome like me?
All you have to do is find out what you like doing that fits within the same things that I do and tough it out for three weeks and then fucking BAMMMO…..you will also be living inside my magical unicorn wonderland!!!!!!
Again fitness industry….how it that working out for you?
We need to flip the script. To change everything. To completely revamp the message and the practice.
I have evolved. And now you all need to live inside MY magical unicorn wonderland.
Lol, that’s a joke for all the idiots who are going to message me later about my huge ego and how I have no fucking idea what I am talking about. Don’t bother, there is a very high likelihood I don’t much care about your opinion.
I am old. Very, very old. I am pushing towards 40 years old and have been doing this full time as a career for over 15 years. Literally, when this became my career the majority of today’s fitness trainers and coaches were averaging in age around 5 to 10 years old. If you survey fitness professionals with more than a decade of full time experience and are around 40 years of age or older I would suspect they would tell you the same thing I am about to tell you.
I don’t know for sure though as it is a tough group of people to question as they are more concerned with actually working to make peoples lives better and aren’t answering the latest insta story survey question.
Alas….I digress again.
Fitness should be a chore.
No, wait. Let’s make that a more assertive statement.
I hear the chorus of voices now, ‘but I love fitness, it isn’t a chore at all!’ I hear you. You just might think that.
Did you know there are actually people who LIKE gardening? Who LIKE cleaning their house? There are even humans that exist who LIKE cooking their own food!
But for the vast majority of people all of those activities are chores.
They are all activities that HAVE to get done in order for us to live and be healthy. We let farmers do our gardening. We either force ourselves to clean or join the growing trend of hiring house cleaners so we can avoid that as well. And most people wouldn’t know the difference between sautéing, steaming, boiling, or roasting their veggies anymore. Because that is just so much work.
These three examples are great to elucidate the fact that fitness led the pack many decades ago of things that are vital to humans that we will not do if given the chance.
And I truly believe that it is destroying us.
The great social experiment has to end. We have tried. We have tried to convince people to exercise. We have tried to make it fun, inviting, and entertaining. It hasn’t worked.
Now more than ever we must change the entire way we perceive health and fitness. Because we are on a treacherous path that is getting worse and most people have their heads stuck in the sand.
People don’t open their own car doors anymore. Chop or prepare their own food. Walk anywhere. Fuck, grocery DELIVERY is becoming more popular. We are so lazy now we can’t even be bothered going to a store to collect the food that has been grown, harvested, and prepared already for us.
We are moving less and less and less. If you truly look at how much you move in a day and go even deeper and look at the quality of that extremely small amount of movement I believe most people, including those working in the industry, would be truly shocked. It is horrific. It is scary. It needs to change.
And we need to change our entire collective attitude about it.
Fitness is a chore.
We need to coach it as a chore.
We need to treat it like a chore.
We need to market like a chore.
It needs TO BE a chore.
I am going to let you in on my philosophy of physical fitness:
I.Do. Not. Care. If. You. Like. Your. Fitness. Program.
I don’t care if it’s boring, I don’t care if it’s not exciting, I don’t care if you have done that exercise twice this month already, I don’t care if you don’t like getting up early, I don’t care if Netflix just released a whole season of Stranger Things and you need to binge it right now.
I. Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck.
What I do care about it that you are able to move better tomorrow. I care that you are able to wipe your own ass when you are 70. I care that you can take that dream vacation to Europe and you don’t have to spend it riding around on a bus merely looking at landmarks as you pass by. I care that you don’t have high blood pressure. I care that you don’t develop type 2 diabetes. I care that you can take our dog outside and enjoy watching them frolic in the grass while the sun warms your face and you sip a freshly ground coffee.
How much you ‘like’ getting to that place is irrelevant.
We live in a culture of excess and comfort that is beyond anything humans have experienced in our thousands of years of evolution. And if we continue to view our fitness as something that we don’t have to do simply because we don’t like it and it makes us a little uncomfortable then we must prepare to build more braces, commit to more surgeries, and get a drug plan subscription in order to keep our hearts still beating.
It is a truly horrific path that we are walking down.
And I won’t be a part of it anymore.
If you can find physical activity that you love and you get excited for I think that is truly awesome. Keep it up!
But for the other 90%…
It’s over. Your lazy, excuse fueled, bullshit rhetoric of why do choose to let your bodies die a slow death while you agonize over the atrophy of decay that is so visceral you can smell it, just won’t work on me anymore.
I am here to help those who want advice and who want to make their lives better.
I am not here to be your entertainer, your friend, your confidant, your motivator, or your therapist.
I am here to be your health and fitness coach. I will tell you exactly what you need to do to ensure the best chance of a long and active time on this earth.
I don’t care if you like it. I only care that you do it.
And if you do then you will be in a position to truly make the most of this precious thing you have been granted that so many are deprived of: Life.