The futility of Elite Fitness training

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Today, everybody is an elite trainer, training elite athletes or special ops personnel. It’s the new celebrity training. If you can’t land an A-list actor or performer, the next best thing (which is easier to embellish), is to be a tactical or pro athlete trainer.

I am no stranger to glamorizing the above concept myself at times. And yes, I have trained a few elite athletes (in the sports of baseball, gymnastics, golf, volleyball, ski: real athletes with endorsements in the millions or world titles) as well as in the armed forces (SWAT, DSS, FBI, SEALs, Border Patrol, Army Rangers, Marines). Some were one-offs, some were regular weekly clients. And let’s face it, it’s cool to add that to your résumé. Even cooler, you can add a neat tagline to products you sell by stating “used by such and such agency”. It’s a matter of how connected you are first, and then, if you’re any good and deliver, your claims can stick with honesty.

The problem then becomes in translating that to your real bread and butter. If you like meat, it’s about how you bring home the bacon. I love bacon, so I reach for the lowest hanging fruit (can you tell I’m writing this around lunch time and am still hungry?). Trainers, what’s going to make you money is not that you train people whose existence lies in being physical, be it for competition, survival or protection. Their incentive is way stronger than anyone’s, they’re super dialed in and easy to train. No complaints, no excuses. Just like being a celebrity trainer: if you’re lucky to land an action hero A-lister who collects millions for a fun part, they:

  • Have won the genetic lottery.
  • Have the multimillion dollar incentive.
  • Have the time and resources to train in a vacuum of variables and optimal conditions.

Dear trainers, your income will be from the folks who grind all day at a desk, are spending a lot of time carting kids around in their minivan or family sedan, cook at home and occasionally out or take-out, are involved in the community on their own time and dime, deal with traffic and just want to be healthy and combat what real life hits them with.

The real magic happens there, with the real-life people who don’t have access to all the resources, the conveniences or channels of the celeb super soldier pro athlete. You get those everyday great people results despite the less than perfect conditions and you have yourself the best source of available marketing, loyalty and client retention. Throw in some education to strengthen your points when training setbacks occur to keep it real, don’t promise the Moon, stay on Earth, but reach for the stars in the sky, not on the silver screen.

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