Don’t copy off the gifted kid!

A disturbing trend I see in fitness are people taking cookie cutter programs and advice from so called “professionals.” Programs that are not geared towards their specific needs. In most cases people take advice from a book or a trainer who has not taken the time to assess YOUR  specific needs. I strongly encourage all of you to do your research on the people you take advice from. Their experience? Certifications? Degrees? Do they get results with people like you?

Sadly some “professionals” in our industry can get away with the “I look good so listen to me” marketing technique, and it works?!?! This is one thing I will never get. If a doctor or physical therapist looked great and they had no degree, experience, or certifications would you take them seriously? If they had a certification that required   a weekend course would you go to them for advice? I am here to tell you there is no difference when it comes to picking a trainer to work with your body. None. Of course they should practice what they preach, but look at the big picture.

If a trainer does not have the self-awareness to understand that what comes easy to them is a challenge for others, they will not be effective for 98.49er% of the people out there. It’s easy for the genetically gifted  amongst us to get results. There are some people that can look at a weight and get stronger. Some people  that came out running before they could crawl. They  also had some form of early success and/or  extreme interest(obsession)  in this area which then led to them putting in even more hours and being that much better than the average person.

I know my strengths and weaknesses. I will never forget my first trip to the rec center to lifts weights. I had just been cut from a team and told I was too weak. I remember going with my friend Adam who was a tall lanky pitcher who struck me and others out more than a few times. I never excelled is pure athletic sports, but pretty good at skill related sports/activities.  For those of you who have not met me I am not exactly the tallest person in the world. Some people have even used the word short to describe me. Like every other guy in America we went straight to the bench press and I finally found something I was better than him at. Finally an advantage to being short!  I had early success with lifting and never stopped. I studied every book to understand what was going on with the body because I knew I could not compete with the “gifted athletes.” Being average, and motivated by people telling me no, actually gave me an advantage for this career path!!

Below are  some assumptions to avoid for the 98.49er% of the people that need more than what most fitness “professionals” are providing…….

The trainer or new place is popular so they must be good! — Let me use an example with things you should not be eating. McDonald’s is more popular than that mom and pop spot serving the same burger correct? Which one is better? If something has taken off in the fitness industry it has probably been so watered down with overnight certified trainers and cookie cutter programs it will not help the 98.49er% Most of these places are only good for people that already know what to do.

They trained professional athletes and actors so they must be good enough for you!–   Early in my career I worked in the college setting and sports performance centers. It’s much easier to train someone who already has “the gift” and motivation to workout. They can succeed even if the trainer is bad. I was also a teacher for a while and realize a “gifted” kid will excel with anything you give them.

If they trained Jennifer Lopez or Morris Chesnutt it does not mean they are good at what they do.  I saw one of these workouts this past week marketed towards general population fat loss and it was terrible. There was no way you can follow this program without blowing out a knee! No way you can follow a program geared toward someone who has not missed workout in 20 years, if you are just starting up!

A real COACH, TEACHER, TRAINER,  can work their magic with someone who lacks natural gifts! I  take way  more pride in changing lives and COACHING people who actually need quality professionals! I take way more pride in being someone’s last chance, than their first choice.

They played in the NFL so I should take their advice! ……Don’t take advice from Tom Brady unless it’s about winning super bowls. Too many people think they can be fitness professionals even though they have not trained one person a day in their life! It really makes me mad when I see professionals ruining kids with these programs. Just because the coach was a great athlete does not mean your kids will turn into one because they worked with them.

They are a professional bodybuilder or crossfitter so they must know how to train me! — 10 times out of 9 the information coming from someone who works out 14 hours per week whose goal is to get to an unhealthy body fat percentage/compete does not apply to  98.49er% of people. I am in no way trashing their work ethic, knowledge, or sport.  It has nothing to do with your goals!! Following these programs are a good way to get injured and create eating disorders.

The trainer who trains everyone at what they are good at! —  Watch out for the trainer who takes whatever they are good at, and trains everyone like that! A good trainer starts by listening to your goals and then uses assessments to write the correct program FOR YOU!  If I just took what I was good at and had everyone do it 75%  would end injured with the other 25% losing motivation after 3 weeks.

If you are ready to get results then send over an email to to schedule your  FREE SUCCESS SESSION! I believe in helping you take baby steps. With each success you are building a habit that will last a lifetime. But you have to get started today!!

Detric Smith, CSCS, ACSM EP-C, 49ers fan