Don’t let the title of this article fool you. I am an extremely social animal and thoroughly enjoy interacting with people making new friends and acquaintances wherever I roam. I take my work and professions very seriously, but never myself – preferring to keep interactions upbeat, loose, respectful and mutually beneficial.
My Golden Rules I Follow
In order to maintain forward progress and live a happy, productive and self respecting life, I have rigidly adopted and practice the following “golden rules” especially as it applies to dealing with some of the dolts in the fitness industry.
You treat me good – I will treat you better
You treat me bad- I will treat you worse and drop you out of my life like a bad habit.
If you want to rain on my parade, then I will piss all over yours.
It’s quite simple – Those who drain my energy, waste my time and derail my pursuit of productive happiness with their toxic behaviors are about as welcome in my life as somebody tossing a loaded diaper at me.
I love and enjoy being fit and staying connected to fitness, but I cannot stand the fitness industry and the reprehensible people it attracts for the most part-specifically the many fitness trainers and gym owners I have interacted with over the years who seem to universally share the same poor behaviors that attracts the wretched and repels anything decent.
There are a lot of people in the fitness industry who may not like what I have to say, but I don’t care since these are usually the hopelessly damaged types of characters I have vowed to avoid who populate this industry like a virus anyway. If you’re looking for someone to ignore their experiences and dealings in this industry and not tell it like it is in favor of dodging reality, sugar coating a sour industry and behaving like a typical Hollywood type fitness phony – then please look elsewhere and don’t darken my blog’s doorstep.
In any interaction, whether it be social or business, I look to see if someone is basically a good person and someone I want to associate with first and foremost. I have met some truly wonderful trainers and gym owners in my travels over the years, but I wouldn’t cross the street to spit on the majority of these truly reprehensible, shallow, morally bankrupt people I have had the displeasure of dealing with in the fitness industry. For the most part, the fitness industry seems to attract the worst of humanity for some odd reason.
In all my time and dealings on this planet in various industries, I have never been lied to, undermined and subjected to such vile, cowardly behavior as with my dealings with fitness trainers and gym owners. I have been around the proverbial fitness block and have a large collection of experiences to draw from which serve to fuel my opinions.
My Observations And Direct Experiences In This Ridiculous Industry
Here are just some of the vile and self defeating behaviors fitness trainers and gym owners exhibit that stand out off the top of my head:
I have been part of fitness organizations where they treat you like cult members and the so called “leaders” try to set themselves up as unapproachable, all-knowing gurus whose every word and suggestion should be treated like that of some otherworldly deity. Oh, and all the while they have their hand in your wallet expecting you to go along with their ridiculous shenanigans and spread their self serving agendas. I am sorry to say that I have been briefly aligned with a few of these organizations who expect you to pray at their fitness altars as they try to pick your pocket clean at every shady opportunity they can cook up.
They will attempt to rule by collective peer pressure, intimidation and will badger and berate you as they desperately try to establish themselves as the ultimate authority in some type of fitness or health niche. I sever my ties with any of these outfits and loons as soon as I sniff out their dishonorable methodologies, but some are very slick and can fool you for a while.
Fitness industry people are the most disorganized and insecure motley lot of characters you will ever have the displeasure of associating with- either as a fellow trainer or unlucky client.
Most of these characters are unprepared and unprofessional, dishonest, phony and one-dimensional.
Some of these people are so without scruples or redeeming qualities that when you shake their hand you better count your fingers to make sure they are all there!
I cut toxic people who are drains and pains to me out of my life pretty damn quick. In all of the industries I have had associations with, the fitness industry – specifically trainers and gym owners represent the largest segment of people I have cut out of my life in order to preserve my sanity and avoid getting sucked in to all their unproductive nonsense and drama.
There is very little positive reciprocity or rooting for the success of fellow trainers in the fitness world – It is mostly of the mindset of “Hooray for me and fuck you!” What a great industry!
The perpetual bad mouthing and undermining that goes on when you put a few fitness trainers in the same working environment or facility is legendary. If you have never worked in a nest of venom-spewing vipers, spend some time working in a gym or the fitness industry and you will get a quick lesson!
I have recommended and referred many people to gyms, trainers, fitness and health workshops and programs over the years and most of the time never received even a simple acknowledgement let alone a thank you for not only putting money in other people’s pockets, but putting my reputation on the line for the benefit of others in this industry.
I have also paid a lot of money for side services and projects that fellow trainers and gym owners peddle and have bombarded me with to make ends meet as I have felt sorry for them since most are perpetually broke due to their business ineptness and inability to build sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships. I rarely ever received so much as a follow-up call or simple thank you. I wised up and no longer feel sorry for any of the ridiculous misfortune these toxic buffoons bring upon themselves as a result of their poor choices and lack of character.
I especially loathe the trend of the “business savvy” trainer or gym owner who aligns themselves with some type of supplement outfit or half baked pyramid or multi level scheme whereby they peddle all kinds of un regulated potions, powders and pills to desperate clients looking for that unobtainable quick fix health solution. These disingenuous trainers and gym owners are no better than drug pushers and modern day snake oil merchants all too willing to make a buck by feeding into a client’s emotional insecurities and delusions about how best to get fit and healthy. This is pretty alarming as most of these swindlers have absolutely no clue as to how this crap they are pushing on you will impact your health and well being today or in the future. Make sure you check with your doctor and thoroughly do your due diligence in researching a product before considering ingesting anything some fitness hack pushes on you.
Are supplements necessary for good health? I share my views and reasoning on the subject.
Most of the characters I have come across in the fitness industry are pretty self-centered and selfish – they don’t genuinely give anything back to the industry or the profession let alone share anything relevant with their fellow trainers in their own work places where they are all supposedly working toward a common goal.
By giving back, I am not talking about those many insecure rubes in this industry who have no respect or confidence in their skills and just give their services away for free all the time. These people are so insecure of their own skills and abilities they literally operate like bizarre “starving artist” types or social workers undercutting each other’s prices stumbling over each other to give their services away for free. However, in all fairness, from what I have witnessed with some of these charlatan fitness trainers and the actual value they offer – charging nothing for their services seems about right. You don’t see solid doctors, lawyers and accountants giving their services away for free- so why do trainers and gym owners flock together and feed this cheap trend?
A lot of these trainers and gym owners are eternal “takers.” It’s like they are genetically programmed to conduct themselves in a manner where they want to get something for nothing without offering anything of value back. A lot of these characters approach me or contact me and the first words out of their mouth is “Can you do this for me?” , “Show me how to do this”, “Set me up with this” or “Teach me your methods for this.” My all time favorite is when I either get a pen shoved at me or verbal e-mail request and told “Hey! write me an exercise program with that kettlebell and sandbag stuff you do!”
They will aggressively solicit information I have acquired throughout a lifetime of learning and tedious trial and error experimentation as if they have a bizarre sense of entitlement to it and expect I should happily rush to accommodate them as if it were my supreme privilege to do so. This ass backwards sense of entitlement some of these clueless dopes adopt into their value system is disturbing and truly appalling. I will help you, but first demonstrate and put forth some value first to make me want to help you so I am not wasting my time on lost causes.
The great universally babbled mantra and got-to fall back line almost all trainers and gym owners spout is that they are “so passionate” about what they do and have a “burning desire” to help people. What Bunk! – most can’t even help or manage themselves or treat their co-workers/peers with respect let alone behave in a productive manner – and besides these overused statements are at odds with their actual demonstrated poor behavior and actions.
Getting fit and healthy is not rocket science, folks – a lot of gym owners and trainers would have you believe that getting fit is overly complicated to further their dishonest marketing practices and feed their monumental egos. Hogwash!
A large portion of a sound fitness plan may simply involve getting out and taking a brisk walk or hike with a few rounds of resistance exercises performed during the week. Never underestimate the powerful benefits of simply getting out and moving your body around mother earth as often as you can. That’s about as uncomplicated as you can get and anybody can reap fantastic dividends from a simple foundational fitness plan such as this.
Let me give you some perspective. I am also a professional in the high voltage power distribution industry. My colleagues in this industry deal with difficult problems and situations on a daily basis that are as pretty damn close to real rocket science as you can get if not its equivalent. So I have a frame of reference to use for this particular analogy- not just hype and supposition as exhibited by a large number of trainers and gym owners.
I also have the perspective of being a student of physical culture- witnessing, practicing and evaluating fitness trends and methods since Jimmy Carter was president.
Let me be clear- Teaching and promoting sound fitness and health is only considered rocket science to any trainer or dopey gym owner who is disorganized, inept, uninspiring, unmotivated, lazy and disingenuous who can’t grasp or understand foundational movement and dietary concepts, recovery concepts or has no clue matching programs to client’s needs.
The sad reality is that most fitness “professionals” are viewed as one step above circus clowns on the respect and relevancy meter as occupations go. I do apologize to the many truly dedicated circus clowns for this unflattering comparison. Oh and if you decide to embark on a fitness program, please choose whether you want to really get fit or join the circus.
I have been in the presence of so many insecure gym owners/trainers who literally drift with the wind with no plans – standing for nothing ; thereby producing nothing of sustainable value. They are content chasing the latest hyped up fad or desperately trying to copy the latest YouTube dunce’s crazy routines and outlandish exercise feats. Like confused chameleons, a lot of trainers adapt to and adopt whatever over sensationalized drivel the media or the current Hollywood fitness phony of the day spews to the headline reading masses instead of actually devoting the time to connect with established fitness and health foundational principles that actually work and stand the test of time. They trip over themselves rushing to embrace and incorporate mindless and meaningless exercise variety big on flash and glitz yet devoid of substance- ultimately confusing their client base producing no value or sustainable results.
Due to their colossal egos and deep insecurities, a lot of gym owners will refuse to surround themselves with fitness professionals skilled in areas they are lacking in order to lay a solid and sustainable foundation for their business. Instead, I see a lot of gym owners surround themselves with lackluster fitness training talent, kiss asses and weak willed toadies ensuring the spotlight remains constantly on them – feeding into their ego driven tendencies and flawed perception of reality as their business suffers. It’s quite a disastrous cycle, since a lot of these gym owners and fitness trainers are profoundly flawed and inept themselves so by further surrounding themselves with even worse talent by comparison to feed their egos and hide their flaws they perpetuate this toxic and extremely counterproductive business model. If this were not so sad and pathetic, it would be extremely comedic.
If you are rushing to go out of business and create a horrible workplace environment, then follow this business model. Nobody benefits from this type of situation-owners, trainers or especially the unfortunate client who unknowingly enters into these toxic business environments.
I have witnessed far too many gym owners who exhibit zero leadership in their facilities whether it be for their employees, clients or the surrounding community. These owners don’t know whether to be the ringleader or put the clown suit on when it comes to running a business, organizational dynamics or how to cultivate a harmonious, productive work environment.
I have visited many gyms where I would walk in cold off the street and never get greeted by any staff. I would walk around looking for direction only to be treated like a nuisance by trainer and gym owner alike. Many times I just walked right out. These same gym owners and fitness trainers will then bitch about how they have no business or income – telling each other how wonderful they are while blaming the clients for their lack of success. Welcome to a typical gym – no leadership or consistent, productive management let alone common sense customer service practices!
The word of most gym owners and fitness trainers I have interacted with over the years? Meaningless!
Their promises? Broken with such alarming regularity it will make your head spin!
Excuses? They can fill entire landfills up with them!
I have never seen such an inconsistent classification of people exhibiting such a lack of character.
Gym owners and fitness trainers always seem to have plenty of time to indulge in nonsense activities and squabbles via the internet or with other local trainers grandstanding about their merits or desperately trying to establish themselves as an instant expert at something. There will always be pettiness, showboating and horrendous behavior in any industry, but the fitness industry seems to embrace this type of counterproductive insanity and is legendary for fostering it to extreme proportions.
A lot of trainers and gym owners pray at the altars of “fitness celebrities” and self styled media fitness gurus like rabid cult members and put these characters on pedestals no human can hope to live up to. I have met a number of these celebrities and media gurus and some do indeed have value to offer and I respect some of them as individuals, but they don’t walk on water or cure diseases – nor will I ever bow down to them like some thoughtless milksop insecure of my own capabilities like so many in this industry do. I respect everybody until their actions warrant otherwise and then they will either get an ear full of what I think and we come to terms or I don’t involve myself in their nonsense going forward. This goes for all the Hollywood type fitness phonies, “fitness experts” and gurus and others of their ilk in the fitness world.
Most fitness trainers and gym owners don’t have the desire or ability to embrace or handle the success of their peers or colleagues they work with. They do, however, enjoy feeding on each other’s misery and entrenched bad habits undermining each other’s progress every chance they get as they collectively drag themselves down to vile mediocrity.
A lot of trainers seem to live on extremes. They are either extremely devoid of skill, technique, programming knowledge, basic business sense, positive social interaction or initiative. Or they extremely over coach and exercise clients into physical and mental submission ultimately chasing them out the door or driving them to the ranks of the semi functional injured list or worse.
I have been known to visit trainers and fitness facilities in a gesture of good will and professional courtesy over the years with the intention of forming mutually beneficial alliances and just to establish positive comradery through good old fashioned professional introductions. I would reach out to these people and freely offer to share knowledge, help them with the logistics of training workshops and help get the word out so they could reach more potential clients as a lot of these people were struggling for business. I asked for nothing in return.
While I have met some wonderful trainers and gym owners by reaching out in this unheard of and basically selfless manner, most people I have visited dropped the ball and returned my kindness and generosity with overbearing posturing, extreme insecurity and rude passive aggressive dismissiveness usually culminating in some delusional speech detailing how wonderful they are as they thumped their chests.
One of the most bizarre things I have witnessed frequently is when a gym owner or fitness trainer acts like what I freely share with them has no value or merit, then soon after immediately incorporates it into their business model whether it be something relating to training, marketing or business operations. I would never hear another peep out of them as if they were somehow resentful for learning something of value from me that they themselves lacked the vision, skill or sense to implement. And they would then bad mouth me to boot! I don’t take it personally anymore as I have learned to just avoid the many toxic and morally flawed rogues and swindlers of the fitness industry once they tip their hand as to their true nature which I have learned to sniff out pretty quick.
I laugh at the trend whereby I see youngsters barely out of high school or college desperately trying to set themselves up as fitness gurus or experts who maybe attended some fitness seminar for a weekend and then badger the world into bestowing instant respect upon them like it is owed to them somehow. They are so desperate for instant credibility and making a quick, disingenuous buck they will burn every bridge and potentially meaningful professional and personal relationship along their path to failure. I cannot tell you how many times I have been begged by some of these characters to give them positive reviews on some social media platform in order to make it look like they are credible and relevant and have something of value going on. These “instant” experts preach about all the worldly experience they have in the industry, but sadly demonstrate nothing except perhaps shameless behavior, shoddy and dishonest business practices riddled with annoying and disruptive junk marketing campaigns which every unoriginal fitness “professional” seems to have universally adopted.
It is extreme self-serving behavior like this on top of all the other nonsense that has convinced me that those with social disorders, no moral character, personality defects, mental illness to varying degrees and unemployability in the legitimate business world are attracted to the fitness industry. It is like a dysfunctional safe haven for a lot of the misfits in the workforce to flock to like fish to a chum bucket as they rush to failure to ply their trade – practicing economic socialism in their methodologies wondering why they never progress .
They seem to keep themselves eternally busy getting involved in wacky marketing schemes, get rich quick pie in the sky ideas, treating customers like ticket numbers and blaming everybody around them for their flaws, ineptness and lack of income. Where they don’t spend a lot of time or busying themselves with is creating quality fitness programming and improving their business, interpersonal, organizational or professional skills. Instead, they opt to do the bare minimum in all their endeavors – usually putting little or no thought into self improvement and hastily throwing together poorly conceived fitness programs to haphazardly dump the average low information fitness client into.
I hear people talk about their bad experiences with horrible gym owners and fitness trainers all the time. They usually rattle off a list of offensive behaviors they have experienced like they were taken advantage of, lied to, disrespected, intimidated, put into uncomfortable situations or were treated like idiots, nuisances, afterthoughts or intrusions. You don’t have to convince me – I agree with you all as there are not too many of these so called fitness professionals I would defend or go to bat for.
Nowadays I just chuckle when I hear people vent their horrible experiences because these are such common and rampant lists of complaints sadly attributed to the ridiculousness that is the fitness industry. Much like interacting with a snake, scorpion or crab, expect to get bit and have a painful experience when dealing with a lot of these gym owners and fitness trainers. They can’t help their bad behavior – it’s ingrained in their nature!
I have found that most of these fitness trainers and gym owners love to put forth an illusion of success, yet most are virtually broke or bankrupt and couldn’t make a living if all they had to do was exert the effort and initiative to stoop down and pick up money laying on the ground at their own feet.
Most trainers and gym owners do not have the ability to collaborate or find common ground with others in their industry. Put a dozen trainers and gym owners in a room – I doubt that they can agree the sun will rise tomorrow let alone produce something of value. They would all be too busy talking over each other as they rush to undermine and criticize each other while making sure they told you how great they were.
I have attended many fitness and health workshops and seminars over the years and some of the speakers offered some really meaningful and valuable information. I have also been to many events where the speakers literally charged you money to listen to them parrot their own infomercials back to you as they told you how wonderful they were while breathing their own exhaust. Regardless of the quality of these seminars, there are always some clueless, rude and attention starved fitness trainers in the audience.
Like clockwork, these trainers would stand up and do ridiculous and disruptive things such as trying to constantly disprove a speaker’s position and asking stupid questions they could care less about the answers to. These immature antics were nothing more than transparent attempts at self propaganda and spotlight stealing ploys in order to feed their fragile, insecure egos at the expense of the poor, ambushed speakers. Yes, there are such a thing as stupid questions if they are pathetically self serving and are framed in such a way as to undermine and embarrass a speaker or presenter. I have rarely seen this kind of trashy behavior at legitimate business seminars I routinely attend. God, how the fitness industry is full of shit birds and shameful characters!
It’s pathetically sad that a lot of these fitness trainers have no frame of reference or clue as to how horrible and petty they are since they never did anything substantial or of note in the real business world where you are actually held accountable for producing something of value. They all seem to have the same bad traits like a pack of hyenas so they don’t realize what a dysfunctional lot they are. I find that a lot of gyms, fitness facilities and niche fitness organizations are nothing more than cleverly disguised fitness asylums attracting dysfunctional humans and trainers in droves.
If you happen to be a fitness trainer or gym owner or leader in a fitness organization who is a credit to the fitness industry and has not left a trail of destruction in their wake, please keep doing what your doing – you are desperately needed and should be praised for your fine example!
I will praise you at least – don’t count on a kind word from your peers in this industry, however – it’s not in their nature to do so.
If you are a crummy fitness trainer, gym owner or fitness cult leader and are guilty of some of the ridiculously bad behaviors pointed out in this article and don’t like my synopsis of the fitness industry, then don’t waste your time bitching at me for daring to tell it like it is. Instead, prove me wrong and take your scary talents and go out and change this industry and the perception of it being populated by disingenuous characters laden with shady practices and make it a respectable profession.
Stay Well! Take Action! Be Consistent! Train and Eat Smart! Get rid of the people and situations that are Drains and Pains in Your Life! Value your loved ones and friends and get out and have some active, safe fun!
Just a simple eternal student of physical culture who doesn’t bother with most fitness industry types for fear of being dragged down to mediocrity, misery and unhappiness!
Seven Stars Fitness