Last year I attended a Personal Training Business Summit. Although it was a while ago, some recent press about personal trainers has prompted me to write this article. One of the interesting discussions that cropped up at the conference in New Jersey is the subject of expertise in our field. Then again this morning, I was on line talking with a group of trainers in the Eastern U.S. This subject came up and the proliferation of fitness
material available not only on the Internet but also the T.V. In fact, I find myself sometimes mesmerized by fitness gadgets and the latest exercise DVD on the Shopping Channel. So, what constitutes an expert? Good question.
At the conference, there was a lecture by Mike Boyle, strength coach from Boston. Mike Boyle has been in the strength and conditioning field for many, many years coaching athletes at all levels. One comment he made
came from the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book he studies exceptional people (smart people, rich people successful people). In his book he talks about the 10,000 hour Rule. Studies suggest that the key to success in any field has nothing to do with talent. It's simply practice, 10,000 hours of it — 20 hours a week for 10 years.
I think that is so true in almost anything. Yes, an education is needed and it is important to have done the studies and learned the theory, but it is also necessary to get in the trenches and put in the time honing your craft. What do you think? So, naturally when this comment was made at the Conference I had to think about my own time spent training clients. So, I had to calculate it out. Over the past 9 years, I have approximately 23,760 hours put in “in the trenches”. Does that make me an expert? I don't believe so, but I think I am a bit more qualified than the trainer who trains a few clients for a couple of months and puts out a DVD or book.
So, if you are reading articles in magazines, newspapers or see something of interest on TV, consider the source first. Is their opinion based on science and research with years of practice, or are they spouting off the latest trend to hit the fitness world?
Also, in Mike Boyle's lecture he passed along some quotes from Bill Gates. I thought they were so appropriate and wanted to share just a couple of them with you.
1) Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand parents had a different view of flipping – they called it opportunity.
2) Life is not fair – get used to it.
3) Life is not divided into semesters. You won't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
4) Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
So, that being said and with my coffee cup empty, I'm off to find another little job to do.
Till next time,
“Monitoring, Mentoring, Motivation”