Coach, Trainer, or Entertainer

This is the title of a recent article posted at breakingmuscle.com, and I believe it sums up the fitness industry perfectly. Here is my spin on the topic…

Person after person wanting ‘in’ on the fitness industry comes calling themselves a coach, even a hi performance coach. Perhaps they have taken a weekend course to become a fitness trainer, or perhaps they have completed a marathon, or an iron distance triathlon and now believe that they have all that is needed in order to claim their share of the fitness industry.

Many call themselves a coach but are anything but….

The Entertainer

An entertainer is one who may have been an athlete, perhaps even an athlete who achieved at a National even International level, and as a result can do some pretty ‘flashy’ stuff… in the gym, in the pool, on the track, on a bike. And this is how the entertainer ‘coaches’: they demonstrate showing off what they can do – since they are the ‘entertainer’ – and then it is up to their apprentices to replicate. To them this is training and this is what they ‘sell’ as training to their athletes; if you can do what I can do, then you will be as good as I am.

Without considering individual ability level, skill level or capacity of their athletes, the entertainer simply throws you into the ring and encourages you to ‘fight hard’. As a result, most athletes who work with an ‘entertainer’ type coach fail to achieve much if anything, most ending up either injured/ill.

As an aside… the typical triathlon coach is an entertainer: they lived to cross an ironman triathlon finish line, and now ‘sell’ training plans which are little more than their own re-purposed training plan. In a mindset of this is what I did, therefore if you do it too… then you too will cross a finish line. These coaches provide minor variations to their training so they can call what they sell to be individualized training, but without any actual education or experience all they can do is throw cliche after cliche at their athletes – e.g. try hard, give it your best, I believe in you – in hopes that their positivity will push their athletes to success.

The Trainer

A trainer is someone who knows how to instruct a beginner in the safe use of gym equipment, and/or the safe execution of a generic exercise (e.g. the bench press). That is all that a trainer knows how to do, and that is all that a trainer should do; but that is not what trainers do (as in personal trainers at your local health club/gym). Trainers typically proclaim themselves as ‘all-knowing’. Having taken a course that took one whole weekend from their life, they end up believing that they’ve seen it all now, and know it all, and since they are ‘experts’ in the use of gym equipment and the performance of simple basic generic exercises… they figure themselves as to be hi performance coaches, or as strength & conditioning coaches, and some throw in for free expertise in nutrition, even injury prevention, and some go as far as to proclaim themselves as life coaches (yet none have any credentials in the health sciences, rehab medicine or psychotherapy).

Without the education or experience to truly understand health, let alone pathology, trainers ignorance leads to arrogance. They know what they know and figuring that that is all that there is to know about the human body, they take on a persona of health & fitness guru. And it works because to the general public… a trainer does know more than they do.

If any professional – as in health professional – made claims the way trainers do, they would undoubtedly end up with a malpractice or fraud complaint to their regulatory body with an investigation and disciplinary action coming swiftly. No health professional can make claims anywhere close to the claims the typical trainer makes, yet how many trainers think themselves as being ‘professionals’. Without a regulatory body to keep claims in check, and to keep trainers in check… the level of bullshit amongst trainers has truly reached epic proportions.

The Coach

A coach is a true professional, one who assesses each and every athlete to identify their own specific skill sets, as well as deficiencies. A coach is often a former athlete who failed to achieve greatly in sport, and it is as a result of their failure that they were led into researching, experimenting, and to the experiences and the education to fully comprehend how and why they failed to progress beyond a particular point. As a result, these individuals are unequivocally capable of coaching others beyond their prior limits.

Whereas entertainers and trainers are self absorbed, coaches are those who typically failed in sport (to the level they expected of themselves) and unsatisfied with that failure sought to learn, and then unsatisfied with the limits they experienced selflessly want to share what they have learnt to uplift another generation of athlete.

Whereas entertainers and trainers are in the industry for either profit or popularity or both, coaches are in the industry because of their love of the sport, as a result of their love of progress be it their own or that of others.

Whereas entertainers and trainers are intimidated and threatened by the potential and the successes of the athletes they work with, coaches live for their athletes to surpass their achievements.

A coach is an entirely different breed of individual.

If you want to find your potential as an athlete, take the time to find a coach, and don’t waste a moment of your life with those who call themselves coaches yet are nothing more than entertainers or trainers.

You Need Your Sleep

My daughter did a high school project for her psychology class on the subject of sleep. As part of the project she ended up polling students at her school to find out how much sleep on average they are getting a night, and what reasons if any are there for less sleep than the students would want to get.

My daughter discovered that although some of her school mates are getting more than 8hrs, the majority are not and are instead getting 6-8hrs of sleep a night. Worrisome, is that there were a number getting even less… only 4-6hrs of sleep a night, and then there were others getting even less sleep (<4hrs a night).

Now consider this…

URL for full article @ runningmagazine.ca: https://runningmagazine.ca/health-nutrition/under-slept-runners-are-70-per-cent-more-likely-to-develop-an-injury/

Athletes and coaches often focus on success arising simply from training, more training and then even more training. Sometimes the key to gains in training and racing isn’t training, it’s the stuff we don’t generally consider as being as important… like sleep.

Must Read for Aspiring Consistent Peak Performers

Philippe Gilbert is a UCI WorldTour level cyclist who has ridden on the best of the best teams… Omega Pharma, BMC, Quickstep and now on Lotto-Soudal. From stage wins in all three grand tours to wins across almost all the classics during his career, re-inventing oneself doesn’t just happen when you leave sport, it happens within sport if you are going to remain a consistent peak performer. Learn to do it in sport, and then doing it once your career as an athlete is done, is no stretch. Read…

Click here to link to the full article at cyclingnews.com

And Then There Is Simply Maliciousness

If you thought do-gooders were the extent of the harm that we collectively face as a society, think again. There are good intentions which do-gooders truly believe will save the world but due to either a complete lack of education on one end, to simply incomplete education on the other, paired with a devastating lack of real life experience, add in a load of monetization and exit strategy fantasies and you get a primary list of catastrophes that we are facing and will face. Then, there are the not so good intentions, the pure malicious intentions to make money at any cost and with that comes a secondary list of catastrophes.

The list is not short of companies willing to sell the world in order to grow their top and bottom lines, and considering the corporate firepower behind some of these money-making machines its clear that the only thing keeping the human species alive is the Hand of God.

Boeing – its becoming clearer and clearer that Boeing executives and engineers deliberately doomed the 737 Max airplane as profits took priority over everything including the human lives that would be flying on their planes.

Bombshell Report: Boeing ‘Whistleblower’ Says Company Focused On Profit Over Safety Of Doomed 737 Max

Boeing 737 Max Unsafe To Fly, New Scathing Report By Pilot, Software Designer

The Best Analysis Of What Really Happened To The Boeing 737 Max From A Pilot & Software Engineer

Earlier Versions Of Boeing’s MCAS Included Crucial Safeguards That Were Kept Off The 737 MAX

If It’s A Boeing I’m Not Going…

Monsanto – it has genetically modified agricultural crops for one purpose and one purpose only: to sell more of its weed killing and insect killing chemicals with the long term effects of these poisons building up in the environment being irrelevant to the bio-engineers, biologists and chemists.

Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer Found In Top Beer And Wine Brands

Nestle Steps Up Testing After Finding High Levels Of Dangerous Weedkiller In Coffee Beans

Weed-Killing Carcinogen Glyphosate Found In Children’s Foods

Monsanto is finally getting a taste of its own poison

New Study Finds 41% Increase In Cancer Risk From Roundup’s Glyphosate

Now the one thing we have to remember is that corporations do not run themselves (at least not yet… maybe in a few years AI will run corporations but for now its still human beings pulling the levers behind the curtain). Point being… its people that are developing genetically modified organisms and releasing them into the world without any consideration for the long term effects. With an eye only on the short term ‘low hanging fruit’ the focus is fully on how quickly their concepts can be monetized. People are developing these toxins and selling them as if once they are poured over thousands and thousands of acres, these poisons will simply disappear… failing to realize that these poisons flow into local streams, which feed local rivers, and eventually flow into waterways that we enjoy swimming in, boating on, and fishing in. Into waterways that we drink from, water crops with, eat fish from. Its people who decided to eliminate safety features to save a few bucks, disregarding the human lives that will be counting on those features to ensure that their travel is safe and that they return home to their family.

After reading these articles you may think that we live in a world filled with monsters. Monsters who have managed to validate that its the corporation ‘making’ them do these things, as if they have no option to refuse.

But if you really think about it you will realize, no, we don’t live in a world of monsters, we live in a world of spineless, gutless wimps and wimpettes who don’t and won’t stand up for what is truly right and do what is truly right.

It takes a strong physical core to take a stand.

It takes a strong set of convictions to take a stand.

It takes strength to have the stability to stand against the backlash of taking a stand.

The easy road is giving in and compromising.

The hard road is taking a stand, and then holding firm in that stand.

Problem is… with the most medicated morbidly obese drugged and high society ever to exist, we are short on those who have any strength, and long on those who will compromise, eager to sell themselves out as quickly as possible.

To be able to live your life freely, it takes strength… physical, mental and emotional and there is only one place where you build all of those simultaneously (and it ain’t on the couch).

Do-Gooders with PhDs

If there is anything worse than a simple do-gooder, its a do-gooder with a PhD. There is only so much harm a do-gooder with ‘good’ intentions can do but giv’em a PhD and the harm that a do-gooder can do goes next level… it goes epic.

Case in point… the do-gooder filled company Oxitec out of the UK which proposed to Brazil a solution of genetically modifying mosquitoes which they guaranteed were unable to reproduce would not only curb the population of the insects, but more importantly would eradicate the Zika virus. With politicians scared stiff of the high probability that they wouldn’t get re-elected as a result of their failure to do anything about Zika, they willingly said ‘yes’ to this harebrained scheme. And, the genetically modified mosquitoes were released into the wild.

What do you get when you release a genetically modified organism into the world – without performing any long term research to prove that your hypothesis actually works – and simply hope that your good intentions will actually pan out?

You create a natural, environmental and public health catastrophe! Read on…

Science Catastrophe In South America Could Kill Millions

Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population

Today we have not only do-gooders, we have do-gooder filled corporations (most with PhDs) running around promising that either one or all of your life problems are solved simply with their product or service… weight loss, smoking cessation (read prior post on e-cigarettes and how well thats working), fitness, nutrition, health, finances, relationships… you name it.

For example, how many have been sold – literally sold – that protein immediately after training will lead to that muscle growth you are hoping for? And, how many have been sold – literally sold – container after container of protein powder that they consumed obeying strictly the instructions of their personal trainer, coach, nutritionist, whoever? And upon what long term research were those promises of muscle growth made, hmm? And now a study – click here – questions all those claims.

Its time to call enough is enough of do-gooders, especially do-gooders with all so good intentions, and most of all do-gooders with PhDs. Have an idea, great! Go spend the next 5-10years proving that it works in the long term and then try to monetize your idea. Enough of using all of us as your lab rats as your first clinical trial of your simple solution aimed at curing us of all our deficiencies. Fix yourself, then you may have something to offer as a solution.

Enough is Enough of “Do-Gooders”

Its time we called enough is enough with all the “do-gooders” claiming to have the solutions for what ails society: they come up with some scheme that on paper sounds reasonable, perhaps even do a PhD on the subject just to substantiate the logic behind their solution, but without any actual long term studies and evidence just egotistical naivety that good intentions are good enough and that good intentions always translate into good outcomes… in the end we are left worse off.

Take for instance the “do-gooders” who wanted to help the world quit smoking. These egotistical a-holes came up with e-cigarettes claiming that they will help all those seeking to quit, and… what do we have?

We have an epidemic on our hands of an entire generation – todays teens – who were highly unlikely to become addicted to nicotine due to the decreasing levels of cigarette smoking amongst their population becoming enchanted with the flavors of e-cigarettes and with e-cigarette companies using teens or at least young looking individuals in their marketing which was heavily skewed to social media (which teens just happen to inhale), and we end up with an entire new generation addicted to nicotine.

Congratulations do-gooders… didn’t see this one coming now did you?

How are you gonna solve this now? With more good intentions?

Oh, but the do-gooders didn’t stop there with screwing up society… hell no, they were just beginning because the so-called harmless or at least less harmful effects of e-cigarettes vs cigarettes which were made based on hope and not on any evidence that would occur with long term studies were just that… hope and nothing else. Long term studies? Who has time for that… its about monetizing any scheme you can come up asap especially if its labelled as being put in place by some do-gooder whose intentions are to heal the world. Do-gooders sell themselves as such virtuous individuals that obviously their ‘solution’ has nothing to do with making millions or billions but simply to ‘save the world’.

Now those vaping (i.e. using e-cigarettes) are coming down with mysterious pneumonia type symptoms and with a growing number of them dying, US states are starting to clamp down on e-cigarettes by either taxing them heavily or banning them. India on the other hand is clearly far smarter and has decided that enough is enough and has banned them entirely.

The shitshow that these do-gooders have unleashed doesn’t stop there… with e-cigarettes causing mysterious illnesses and killing people faster than traditional cigarettes guess what is coming up as the short term solution to vaping? That’s right… smoking good ole fashioned cigarettes!

Just when we were moving away from cigarette smoking, do-gooders come along with their short term solutions based on little more than their egotistical belief that their virtuousness is enough evidence and… re-addict the world to cigarette smoking.

If you didn’t read this blog on the connection between heart disease and smoking and not the connection we were sold (i.e. dietary fat and heart disease) you may want to read about perhaps the largest con job pulled by do-gooders… then again, e-cigarettes being sold as the “healthy” way to quit a nicotine addiction is coming darn close.

So instead of solving something, do-gooders have made the world a worse place because not only have they failed to offer a way to quit cigarettes, they have addicted an entire new generation to nicotine and now have introduced additional health problems – as if our health care systems needed another problem to deal with – and guess who is now going to have to pay to cover… that’s right, the taxpayer.

Great job all you do-gooder a-holes!

What is the connection to sport? This is exactly what is happening in sport with HiiT. Do-gooder personal trainers and do-gooder coaches are taking advice from do-gooder exercise physiologists who have done as much long term research on HiiT (hi intensity interval training – e.g. Tabata, Bootcamps, CrossFit, et al) as was done on e-cigarettes and are promoting HiiT as ‘the solution’ to everything related to health, wellness and peak performance in sport.

HiiT we are told is the short-cut to fitness and health the way e-cigarettes have been promoted as the short-cut to quitting smoking. Yet the reality is… neither is the solution they claim to be, and in fact both are creating far more problems than either is solving.

Be careful the next time you run into a do-gooder selling you on their short cut solution to saving you and/or the world… its a short-cut alright, a short-cut to them monetizing your fears and leaving you worse off.

References:

  1. Teen Vaping Linked to More Health Risks
  2. Vapers Are Quitting E-Cigarettes… And Switching To Regular Cigs Instead
  3. New York Becomes 2nd State To Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes As ‘Vaping Illness’ Claims 7th Life
  4. Altria Tumbles To 5 Year Low As Mystery Vaping Disease Cases Rise To 530
  5. FDA Launches Criminal Investigation Into Vaping Crisis
  6. Marijuana Vape Sales Drop Dramatically
  7. Marijuana Vape Sales Plunge In Massachusetts Amid Mysterious Outbreak 
  8. Mysterious ‘Vaping Illness’ Claims 12th Victim; Cases Reported In 46 States

Update on Juul… October 31, 2019

Juul Valuation Up In Smoke: Altria Writes Down Stake By 33%, Fidelity Slashes By 48%

US death toll : 21
UK death toll : 1

Plus… all the other lawsuits, a new one…

“A former employee of the company, in a lawsuit filed last week, accused Juul of selling over 1 million contaminated e-cigarette pods earlier this year without issuing a recall or notifying customers. ” [quote from above link]

The response from the company about potentially contaminated pods…

“Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods,” Breja claims that CEO Kevin Burns said to him, in response.

And there you go people… do-gooders here, do-gooders there, everywhere a do-gooder.

Numb Yourself And… You End up Numb

Two recent studies both from Ohio University have ‘discovered’ the shocking fact that… taking pain killers makes you less sensitive – i.e. desensitizes you – to your own pain, and also to the pain experienced by others. Shocking! You take a pain killer not to feel pain, and can you imagine that the drug does what it says and… makes you less sensitive to pain!

The article at Running Magazine.ca is titled:

Is your pain reliever making you less empathetic?

Your acetaminophen use could be making you less sensitive not only to your own pain, but also to others’

Click here to link to the article at runningmagazine.ca

That this is noteworthy research is puzzling because what exactly is newsworthy? The only point that carries any value is the final sentence in the article where the author cites the researchers:

“Researchers recommend that if you need to take Tylenol regularly, you may be overdoing it in training, and you should consult your health professional.”

I would assume that if you are popping Tylenol like its candy, then hopefully at some point you clue in to the fact that there is a problem, that you have a problem… but based on the ‘numbing’ effects and the problem avoidance which is inherent to the solution of ‘numbing’ oneself be it by prescription drug, recreational drug, or illegal drug then perhaps it is worth noting that addicts rarely believe they are addicts and need an intervention in order to ‘see’ the light.

So… if you are a painkiller addict or better yet, if you know that someone is a painkiller addict… they need help and I do not mean picking up more painkillers for them. Want to be done with numbing yourself to life, then you need to get to the root of why you are trying and dig into why are you running away from life, attempting to avoid life by desensitizing yourself to it, to yourself, and by default to everyone else around you. There are solutions, there are options, there are those who are able and willing to help, but you need to take the step of waking up and realizing that there is indeed a problem.

Why Nutrition “Research” Verges on Useless

This article sums up well why nutrition research – in general – is not worth the paper its written on, and explains why we are constantly reading contradicting and conflicting headlines…

e.g. eggs good, eggs bad, back to good, oh no… eggs are definitely bad, and so on.

Click on the image above to enlarge

Click here to link to the full article

So next time you read that kale will do this for your health, and that acai berries mixed with avocado will cure this, and that quinoa mixed with barley will heal that… don’t waste your time chasing yet another poorly conducted study in hopes that health comes by eating a diet of a magic mixture of ‘super-foods’.

There is no magic to health… it starts with a life that is lived on purpose, a life that has meaning, supplemented with strategies to dealing with stochastic as well as consistent stresses and stressors, plus a daily does of aerobic exercise which respects your individual capacity, skill and ability level, and a common sense diet consumed in an appropriate eating window (i.e. intermittent fasting). In time – no, not over a weekend or two at Bernie’s – and you will slowly restore and regain your health.

Fail to have all these components, and your health will fail (sooner or later).

There is no magic. And, there is definitely no ‘super food’ that is a cure all.

Short vs Long

Ask runners and the key event for them will undoubtedly be either a half or full marathon. Ask an open water swimmer and their event will be 4, 5 or 10km open water swims (with a few going so far as to suggest that nothing short of 15k is the pre-eminent event). Ask triathletes… actually you don’t have to ask triathletes because they will tell you before you get a chance to ask that nothing less than a 70.3 or full 140.6 iron distance triathlon is the metric of a triathlete.

You mean nothing except the longest distances pose a challenge?

I beg to differ, and not only do I but the author of this article…

Click here to link to the full article

Excerpt from the article:

“…on the hierarchy of running achievement, longer doesn’t automatically mean more difficult. Another way of putting this is that it’s less about what you run and more about how you run.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Real satisfaction comes not from mindlessly trying to finish longer and longer distances in any sport.

Real satisfaction comes from performing in sport at higher and higher levels of technical excellence.

Success in Supplements

Recently I blogged on the TOEST.ca website how the hyper competitive environment in amateur sport is leading children and their parents to explore and pursue every opportunity that may offer a competitive advantage. In the past, this usually led to additional training opportunities but today, the mindset is that training is for losers and the ‘low hanging fruit’ to being faster is in equipment and supplements. Why waste time training, when being faster is as easy as lighter components, more aero gear, or supplements yielding performance benefits?

Click here to link to the article

Undoubtedly there is benefit to equipment and supplements, the point is not to argue that, the point is to highlight that when process and progress in training is not the primary focus, and when everything else does become the focus… its unreal how far athletes, their parents, and coaches will go. No red spinach vs beets is not the issue, the issue is that today children and their parents are resorting to ‘legal doping’ in order to obtain desired outcomes. Children and parents have figured out that some of the prescribed medications children are on actually yield performance benefits. So what happens now, when some children are on such drugs for medical reasons which have performance enhancing benefits, yet other children are not? How exactly is competition fair? How exactly is qualifying fair if cut off times are being established based on times achieved with performance enhancing drugs… even if they are legal, even if mom & dad have a TUE? How long before parents of children who are not on meds starting seeking options to ‘help’ level the playing field?

This is how perverted amateur sports is becoming. Its not about children using sport as a metaphor for life and developing a skill set to succeed as adults… its all about putting children in head to head competition for the sake of selling the 0.1% chance that the child is going to Worlds, to the Olympics, etc…

Big business has taken over sport, and as big business does… it seeks to monetize the dreams of children & parents selling short cuts with massive price tags instead of selling process and proper progression with the price tag being proper training (not equipment & supplements).

If it was only red spinach or beets, then there would be no issue but the point of linking to this article is to showcase the overall mindset that has been emphasized. Training on sport websites, on sport teams and in the sports media has been cut down to cookie cutter 10, 12 and 16week training programs dumbing-down training to HiiT and eliminating any discussion as to skill, technique, and physiological capacity. Its hard training, end of discussion.

When training is dumbed-down to this extent, then athletes start looking elsewhere. And the elsewhere is now prescribed medications used along with a TUE in order to obtain cuts, qualifying times, to make it onto various teams.

We need to go back to basics, back to the beginning, emphasizing the development of body/kinesthetic intelligence seeing it as the primary engine of performance; and leaving all the supplements and equipment as the turbo effect. In this way, remembering that a turbo is useless without a proper engine should help us keep first things first.