Truth in Reporting: A Lost Art

Posted: September 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

By now, everyone out there on social media should know, that propaganda is not limited to third world countries or the days of the Cold War. It is VERY much alive here in the United States, along with racism, sexism & just about every other grave ugly human trait there is.

Ironically each of those terms comes with a perception or bias as to meaning and direction. Examples: when you say “racism”, you’re automatically assuming someone white acting a certain way towards someone non-white (everything is “white supremacy” apparently these days). When you say “sexism”, you’re assuming this is a man treating a woman a certain way.

Plot twist: that’s not only presumptuous, but I would contend that it’s also – racist, sexist & just plain ignorant.

In some other countries, the media is controlled by ‘the state’ (government), which means you are fed whatever they want you to eat in terms of information. China, North Korea, Iran…all great examples. Here, in the US, this isn’t the case, or is it?

As long as there are people Involved; there will be bias.

Read that again. Keep reading that until it’s burnt into your brain. It doesn’t matter what side of the isle you sit on; there is a media outlet that caters to your beliefs based on what you were pushed to develop beliefs in. Yes; you are all sheep of different folds. You’re a “customer” to your news outlet. Hell, look at some elected officials with their conduct and rhetoric. If you subscribe to their party’s beliefs, then you adopt their attitudes and actions as justified and not callous. Mainly because, well, they’re elected officials so they are supposed to operate at a higher standard then the general populace. Yeah – ok.

“Fake News” is a real thing; not a President Donald Trump thing. It’s something heavily discussed on this NPR podcast, which I’d highly encourage you to listen to.

Understanding it’s origin, power and usage are important to understand the current media climate.

Earlier I said that “if people are involved, there will be bias”. How does that relate to countries who control their media and all those nasty human traits I pointed out? Well, for one thing, those traits are not gender or race specific. That is; if you’re a racist, you’re a racist. Black, white, brown or red…makes no difference. Behavior is color blind & racism is a behavior – it’s people.

‘Belief’ is a strong thing as many, many things influence a persons beliefs and there are very few things that can change them. Actually there’s only one thing that can change someone’s belief – themselves. Good luck with that with all the spin you see these days and all the information/ misinformation there is for anyone to google.

Another podcast episode to listen to discusses this. Often, we lose sight of the bigger picture because we are so emboldened in protecting what we believe to be true (whether it is or not) and wanting to be heard in lieu of listening to another point of view.

Effective communication, though, comes from a listening to understand – not merely to respond. Because simply responding shows you’re not entertaining another point of view as credible and won’t accept it as valid.

Something that should also really be taken into consideration is that most things you see on “the news”, is actually OPINION. Op-ed.

Of course, you have to figure that out for yourselves but ACTUAL news is reported without bias towards any interpretation…it’s reported stating the facts. But what are facts? These days facts are subjective as everyone interprets what they read based on their own beliefs.

So you see how the viscous cycle repeats on and on. If you are listening to information to merely confirm what YOU believe – you are part of the problem. If you are listening to information to question and learn different perspectives in search of the truth and bipartisanship – you are part of the solution.

These days, it seems, it’s; “you’re entitled to your opinion…as long as it’s the same as mine.” There are facts and then there are interpretations of those facts, so be mindful of this.

“Listen intently and consider the source.” ~ Ronald Reagan



The Problem with Influencers

Posted: August 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog, and I felt the first topic I’d like to discuss is social media influencers.

I’ve written before about social media and how’s its rapidly shaped so many aspects of how we conduct ourselves, but this year it’s really taken hold…& it’s showing no signs of stopping.

When I present in sales meetings, one of the topics I discuss is social media influencers and how five years ago “who knew you could just be cool, post pictures about things & make money?”.

Well, there’s not always a direct pay out to influencers out there on your feed. There are clearly paid endorsers of products (they discuss product or display it prominently in a “lifestyle post”), and there are also those influencing you to buy into THEM so you’ll maybe buy their services. Instagram “trainers” (insert heavy eye roll there) are a prime example. Tight abs, tight ass, great lighting and a professional photographer will make you all the money in the world apparently.

I’m not going to knock people for thinking of ways to make money, but I AM knocking those “professionals” that have a piece of paper (if any at all & that actually matters in the field) and lean more on their looks (playing you) than actual knowledge (what you really need).

While many will argue (and I’ll agree to a point) that a trainer should “look the part”, we’re a narcissistic society that also gets butt hurt when people are giving an opinion about something that we don’t like. Especially sensitive when it comes to looks. So, we hold trainers to a higher standard (agreed) but why base their effectiveness or professionalism SOLEY on their looks? Seems to me that people looking for guidance and to get in shape (for whatever reason) don’t like people making blind assumptions about THEM. Judge much?

I’ve always maintained you should interview your trainer and ask for credentials. If they haven’t taken the time to invest in education AND credentials that have weight in the field ON TOP OF experience in the field (how many years etc.?), why on earth would you hire them JUST because they look a certain way or are great sales people – or both. Because – plot twist – it’s a business and they’re trying to sell you to buy their services.

“Invest in what I’m telling you to do, because I care about you, but I don’t care enough about you to put in the time to have an education, proper certification and real life experience to be a true professional. Just buy what I’m selling because I look a certain way and can talk like I know what I’m doing. Now go eat chicken and rice five times a day while I read up on “science” from and non reputable or other fraud sources so I can sound more like I know what I’m doing”

Run far and fast from these people.

The point of this post isn’t to tell you that there are a lot of bad seeds out there, surely you can see that on your own. No, the point of this post is to encourage you to take your power, take responsibility and look beyond the surface of what you see on every occasion. This applies to life decisions as well. Would you just buy a car without driving it first or a house just by looking at the outside?


Why? Because that would be absolute stupidity. So, unless your doctor had diagnosed you as clinically stupid…you should be doing the same thing when hiring someone who will be helping you achieve your fitness and health goals. This is about your body, it’s complicated. Would you hire an accountant to fix the brakes on your car? Then why hire someone with questionable credentials (if any) & no real explanation of experience other than “I’ve been doing this a long time”?

In my decade + of training (closer to 20 but who’s counting), I must say that, the greater portion of my clients came from OTHER trainers who messed them up. So I had to deprogram bad habits and create newer healthy ones; identify movement issues or asymmetries and create processes to correct those and strengthen from there.

Again, I applaud the entrepreneurial spirit and there are many, many GREAT trainers you’ll see on Instagram, Facebook or wherever. Just do yourself a favor and put in as much effort into making sure whoever you hire is the right fit, as you’ll commit to your journey. It’ll save you a lot of time, money and aggravation. Interview THEM, ask questions about their processes, personal questions like “why’d you get into this profession?” (and look for the deeper answer).

Yes this is a service and that requires sales and a knack for them, but if the main drive for them in sales and second is service…that’s easy to spot.

Influencers aren’t going away, and that’s ok. Just make sure you’re understanding their role or what they’re agenda really is to make the best decision for yourself when following them into a purchase or a product or service.


It’s been quite a while since I last blogged or did a podcast, but I felt it was time to throw my hat back into the arena.

In my absence, it seems things have changed… actually they’ve gotten much worse.

Social media is ruling you.

When social media kicked into high gear, people were clamoring to set themselves apart. You had the “thirsty” attention seekers posting “progress pics” daily, conveniently in provocative positions to get likes. Then you had the narcissistic anti-narcissists who went after those people and created their own following. Then something funny happened.

That second group became the first group.

The narcissistic-anti-narcissists realized their follower base plateaued, and soon they started posting slightly suggestive pics, under some other pretense of course, because THEY couldn’t be narcissistic. No no no. Sad really when you see people you respected, that called out those thirsty social media narcissists, become them to “compete” on media but the reason is really simple:

They’re really not that interesting.

On media, the name of the game is CONTENT. When I had my training business I had to do everything. It was exhausting and I thought I had decent content but lacked the tools to give it the best light (& really the energy to keep up with it all). But I own that. I never copied or felt compelled to stoop to a different level because “everyone else was doing it” and it “worked for them”. It wasn’t the goal to “get as many likes/ followers as possible”, it was to provide another perspective or perhaps voice what the reader/ viewer is thinking.

I’m trying to be the best ME; not the best ‘someone else’

If you look closely you’ll see what I mean; girls that normally were more respectable are now flashing “FBF/TBT” pictures of them barely clothed and saying things like “oh I hated this look”, or “back when I used to never eat…”. It’s all for attention and a cleverly devised tactic.

Guys are taking the “I’m a Gary V student and I’m prophetic and influential” approach, while mildly having that reach. Gary posts cool pictures of himself, with personal quotes and his signature on the memes. So what do you see other people doing? Exactly.

Both sexes love to post motivational memes continuously & incessantly, with very little (if any) personal extrapolation on them. So, basically just posting to post and come off prophetic. Everyone posts that stuff, I’m no different, but it’s not my job nor do I just post bc I think that’s what people want to see/ hear. I post bc it’s what I believe and I’m sharing those beliefs with whatever audience wants to be bored by my content lol.

There are people I know, personally, that post the SAME content over and over (memes may change but the message is the same; photo shoot pics sprinkled in – that they’re bragging about but are paying for) that don’t even follow the messages they post. Complete frauds…& instagrammers just eat it up and idolize them. Sad state of events I’d say.

If these people were interesting in the first place, they wouldn’t need to literally mimic, or in many cases plagiarize someone else’s content. If the goal is to set yourself apart, then why copy someone else’s blueprint?

Maybe that’s why I don’t have 407K followers or YouTube subscribers etc. . My ideas and posts are mine, and mine alone. My insight is mine, and mine alone and I’ve been the same way and doing that for many years before the social media boom.

My departing thought is this:

There is no perfect formula. Let Gary V. do Gary V. Let Tony Robbins do Tony Robbins. Bring content that’s unique and inherently YOU. Take the time to follow, comment and network with people who are different than you because that’s how you learn!

GET INTERESTED in different perspectives.

Thanks for reading and next time I promise to write something more interesting.


 You may be asking yourself why a Trainer/ Coach would write a blog with such a title. I felt compelled to do so because I feel that people may have some incorrect notions of what the expectations in a client/ trainer relationship are and aren’t able to identify when it’s become toxic. “Toxic? This is a business relationship, what does that even mean Ryan?”.

 Let me start by saying that business is based on relationships. Those relationships are built the same way personal ones are built and, in fact, the personal and business will inevitably intertwine. If you’re bad at relationships you’ll be bad at business. That’s not to say you won’t make money maybe, but that doesn’t mean you’re successful and will continue to grow. Eventually it will catch up to you and you’ll burn out. 

 In Personal Training, the business and personal are symbiotic. That is, the arrangement doesn’t work without both. A positive client/ trainer relationship is based ENORMOUSLY on trust and communication. When one of these starts to erode; it’s time to move on before it becomes a needless cycle of contempt. 

You’re paying a lot of money – but not seeing the ROI. 

  ROI? Yes – Return On Investment. Time is money, no doubt about that. Are you – or your trainer respecting that time? Are you both showing up on time? Do either of you take your session time for granted? Are you present in the session (anyone on their cell phone or not paying attention and going through the motions)? Does your trainer “know everything” and has no network of other professionals he uses to refer out to?

 At some point you have to ask yourself if you’re getting anything out of this relationship. You both do. I’ve fired clients who have not done their part or have not respected my time by being late or chronically cancelling. It goes both ways. 

My trainer has done shows, so he/ she must know what they’re talking about since he/ she looks like that. I’ll stick it out

 This is probably the most common misconception when hiring a trainer and maintaining that relationship. In the age of the “Insta-Trainer”, literally ANYONE can claim to be a trainer and give you some cookie cutter workout and diet. 

 Let me ask you, if your boyfriend or girlfriend was super “hot” but didn’t give you the attention you needed, didn’t respect you or communicate effectively and you didn’t trust them…why would you stay with them? “Because they’re hot” is NOT the right answer. Neither is “because they’re ripped/ jacked”. Often times THEY have hired someone to help THEM. Although going to extremes to attain most of these physiques takes hard work and dedication, the vast majority are doing other things to enhance that that aren’t healthy – or even legal, and that doesn’t qualify them to give professional advice or that you’ll achieve that same level of “success”.  INTERVIEW YOUR TRAINER. 

 The relationship between client and trainer is important because it’s in direct proportion to both individuals level of “success”. You want to be healthy/strong/ jacked/ ripped/ run faster/ play better…whatever. They want to know they’re truly helping someone and making a difference in their lives (hopefully). Also, if they’re legitimate, showing that they know their stuff and that all the actual education and course work os getting good use. 

 Hiring a TRUE professional may cost a little more, but in the end it actually costs less than hiring an amateur. We invest a lot of time and money in our educations, and in our clients. Investing in us shows the level of seriousness YOU have in attaining lasting and meaningful goals. Why would you short-change yourself by hiring someone based on their low rates? Maybe you should ask yourself why you’re entering into that relationship in the first place then?

Honesty is the key. 

 Be honest with ‘why’ you are hiring a certain individual as much as ‘why’ you are hiring a PT in the first place. Align your goals with your INVESTMENT to maximize your ROI. We have to be honest when taking clients about our skills and abilities as it relates to the clients needs and situation (at least that’s how true professionals should think). You need to do the same, and if we’re both honest with ourselves then we can be honest with each other. If both parties are lagging, even a little, the relationship will fall like a deck of cards, and then it’ll be time to break up with your trainer. 

Everywhere you look on the internet now there’s a wave of posts on various websites and blogs about “The 5 [7/10, whatever] Things..”. Really it’s a trend on grabbing your short attention spans, and bullet-pointing information so it will resonate. It’s a sound idea, given that our attention spans have been shortened dramatically over the last decade. In fact, according to a Fortune.Com article published in January of last year (2015), the average attention span for an adult has dropped from 12 minutes to a paltry 5. Yes 5. So by grabbing your attention with the promise that this will be a short, yet information packed read, the hope is that you will continue to pay attention to the site/ person delivering the message.


Mis-information is at the root of all of it. It’s safe to say that if a well known website or “celebrity” publishes something, you’ll believe it’s true. I’d challenge you to question what you read. Challenge everything. People can justify, or back up, everything they say or write – but that doesn’t mean it holds up. Some of these “experts” aren’t really that at all, they’re just well spoken or can write exceptionally well, which is really a disservice to you. So, like most things, do YOUR part and research what you read or hear. There is SO much information out there that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know who, or what to trust. Let this sink in:

” Listen intently and consider the source.”

Who is this and why are they writing or saying this? Motive. This builds off of mis-information, because sometimes what you’re reading is subtle propaganda for a service; ideology or a product. It’s safe to say that, when you bash a person, product or service that is a competitor or has a different way of thinking; you actually make yourself look bad. Never do that. Instead, embrace the fact that there are different opinions and options that will strike and serve people in different ways, which they will have to decide for themselves of their worth. You are providing a premium option to help people and your integrity will determine it’s longevity, or you’ll be providing an opinion that is just that – your opinion. I should mention that your opinion is influenced by your personal experiences and influencers..and everyone is different so give the tolerance that you want for yourself. Worry about what YOU’RE doing and building YOUR brand with products and services; respect other peoples opinions as you would want them to respect yours.

Last week I saw a post written by a well known person in the supplement industry, who is known and promoted as someone who is very smart – like PhD smart. What was interesting about that post was its inaccuracy, and how the people that commented followed with comments of love and adoration – except for one person. That person, kindly, questioned the writers post and that writer kindly backed up his declaration with some anecdotal research studies. Well, those research studies were outdated, copies of each other with varying results and did I mention that that person has a supplement brand that is made by So, of course he’d twist some information to make himself look more credible and thereby, making you trust his brand moreso than others. Clever huh? When you’re reading something on social media – and I mean you actually READ the article and not just the image with the link – and it maybe bashes eating meat for example…are you looking at who is writing that? What evidence and reasearch do they provide? Who is sponsoring that research? Question it, all of it. If you’re comfortable with what you discover and learned something – then that’s great.

Don’t fall prey to those taking advantage of your short attention span, take the time and look into things; there could be way more than 5 things that can help educate and send you in the best direction for YOU.



The Proof Is In The…

Posted: September 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 Seems like every year we are more reliant on technology to “educate” and inform. Fitness “experts” are everywhere from Spreaker to YouTube, Periscope to  SnapChat. While information sharing can be very valuable, its important to remember that each of the sources you view as “credible”, are only so within the limits of whatever science (if any) they’re referencing and THEIR interpretation of said science/ information that THEY’RE given. So you’re really getting, at best, second or third hand information for yourself. 

  I would suggest that, in researching whatever topic you’re interested in learning more about; listen intently and consider the source. There will undoubtedly  be some motivating factor from how it’s  delivered to why the information is being shared in a certain way. So really listen or read, always scrutinize. I’m a firm believer in questions, you should always be questioning to learn, not just drinking what’s in the glass put in front of you. This goes for professionals as well. We, as professionals should steer away from speaking in finite terms and, if we’re not fully educated or understanding certain lifts or exercises; we shouldn’t be teaching them. I’m a huge fan and advocate of ‘referring out’, and find that even bringing  in someone more knowledgable on a topic to help instruct, or talk about it, produces  better service and a much stronger professional network. For me, and for my clients. 

 Increasing in popularity are Olympic lifts, so I’ll touch on those as an example of what I’m talking about. Being a USAW L1 Coach and referee, I may know a thing or two about the topic to bring it up and I will admit that, for all that CrossFit has done to butcher these lifts, it has also shot them more into mainstream than ever which is awesome. So much so that everyone and their mother is trying to do them, and not just in CrossFit gyms which is all well and good, but they’re lacking the quality instruction needed to really capitalize on their benefits. Also, people need to ask themselves why they’re doing them. I will state that EVERYONE can benefit from learning these lifts not only because of their complexity, but because of how they tax the body, and also by becoming proficient in the necessary transfer and auxiliary movements needed to truly benefit from the end result lifts (can everyone benefit from an overhead squat?). 

 They are far more than explosive movements that look cool. 

 These take time to be proficient in, and not everyone has that amount of time, but if these lifts are something client/ athlete and coach are interested in programming; you can make the time. There’s such a thing as ‘off season’ for athletes and the superstars will still be working then, that’s how they come to perform at high level. For non-athletes it’s just a matter of prioritizing.  Are there other lifts that can be more beneficial and specific to an individuals goals? Of course! However, anyone can benefit from these from athlete to non athlete. Necessary? Arguable. Beneficial? Yes (look at the pieces of the pie and not just the whole pie). Some collegiate programs (multiple sports mind you) use them heavily to great success, others don’t use them much or at all, and are equally successful. How can this be? Coaching and programming. Plain and simple. 

 Everyone has their own take on programming and how to be successful, and the beauty of S&C is there’s room for more than one great way to do something. It also takes time and intelligence to understand where to program these lifts on paper, versus actually doing these lifts in reality. This goes back to why you’re doing them, and what your goals are. If you’re working with the general population or an athlete population, and don’t have a firm grasp of these lifts and where to program them; how to instruct transfer exercises and then put it all together, chances are whomever you’re working with will NOT benefit. If you can’t do it; don’t teach it. If you’re a current client who’s trainer is attempting to instruct you in these; I’d suggest that you to ask them about why they’re programming the way they are; why they’re  breaking down each lift into phases they way they are as well as how they learned to do this. Expertise doesn’t always guarantee good teaching. Always educate yourselves and ask questions, just as the professionals should be doing. 

 I’m going out on a limb and saying that the vast majority of people instructing others in these lifts aren’t carrying the necessary credentials to do so, and while that would be nice if they did, it will sadly never be reality. If anything you’re going to attempt has anything to do with sports performance, do yourself a favor and at least work with a professional who’s education is geared more towards that. Look for a preferred CSCS or NSCA-CPT designation (NSCA is the foremost authority on Strength & Conditioning), a USAW Coach designation (for this specific topic if possible – there aren’t a lot of actual Coaches out there), or even NASM at the very least (they are geared toward corrective movement but have specific designations and often that goes hand in hand with athletics).  Above all else…

 Always make sure that what you’re doing makes sense to your overall goal(s).

Train hard; train safe. 


The “ideal”, what does that mean? A better question might be; what does that mean to YOU? Safe to say that 10 people may have a different idea of what that word means to them, so it would also be safe to say that question itself is a bit of a conundrum. 

 Many of you in social media land are in pursuit of the “ideal” physique, which consumes most of your time and, in most cases, comes to consume your identity. It’s a sad but all true reality, more so because those engulfed by it don’t even see what’s happened to them. What you often overlook is the fact that in a physique sport, you’re judged by a panel of individuals that are basing their critique on a certain standard they’re looking for, against a field of competitors that all look different. It’s subjective – not finite. So, should you win I feel comfortable saying that you were the “ideal” – that day in that competition, yet still maybe not the “ideal” within the industry. Make sense?

 Let’s talk about S&C and training, and use the squat as our example. The “king” of all exercises has variations, but we’ll use a standard, shoulder width stance for the purposes of this discussion.  If you read my blogs or follow me on social media, chances are you’re a Coach; Trainer or generally someone who understands and encourages proper form in exercise. While this is all well and good, I think it’s important not to be too critical when assessing someone working out or working with a trainer. I know, I know, we all see the ridiculousness that goes on in the gyms, and those of us whom are truly professional can tell the wannabes from the legitimate Trainers. The reality is that  everyone’s squat pattern is different, mechanics are different and therefore COULD be “ideal” – but “ideal” for THEM. 

 Think about it. Exercise is individual; therefore individual attention and guidance is necessary to help you reach your potential. Understanding your physical abilities and, more importantly, limitations while being honest about both is vital to your growth. Not just physically but mentally as well. If you fail to acknowledge you need improvement in some area(s), what do you have to work towards? You should always be asking yourself (or those judges if you’re a physique athlete) how you can improve. I don’t care what your “coach”, boyfriend or mom and dad tell you….you can always improve. When the best continue to improve and you’re not even close to that. So worry about what anyone else is doing; focus on YOU and what YOU need to do, too many people are super critical. You have all that energy to spend on critiquing other people? The pit fall of continuously comparing yourself to others is that you’ll never know what YOUR ideal rally is…chasing after someone else’s. 
Stop fishing for ‘likes’ and just ‘like’ yourself.