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*I truly feel this applies to everyone: not just personal trainers and coaches; rather, it speaks to EVERYONE in a career field they love.*

Let me be frank (well Lou): I haven’t been in the industry long enough as the Jon Goodman’s, Roger Lawson’s, Nick Tumminello’s, or even my personal mentors Dave Quevedo and Frank Pucher but I sure as hell learned a lot from them as well as many others. The one BIG lesson I have learned is ASK QUESTIONS and DO NOT BE A KNOW IT ALL PRICK! 

“Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

So as I sit here and reflect on all I have done in my career as a personal trainer, first thing that comes to mind is, “damn, this is NOTHING like I though it would be.” and truthfully, it surpasses EVERY BIT OF FULFILLMENT I was looking for when I first began this journey. One of the first few articles I ever read on wanting a career as a fitness professional was on T-Nation last year. It is one of the most truthful write-ups to date about this particular profession. 

That said, you know what separates the mediocre and good trainers from the great trainers that create IMPACT? The great trainers continue to grow, furthering their knowledge, sharing ideas and thoughts, and wanting to be more than the person who just stands there counting, “6…7…8..ok 2 more…9…come on come onnnnnn…10..good”….and yes, that was me…and in fact, that was, I’m sure, some of the great trainers and coaches when they first started. Fitness is a lifestyle. There are no magic pills, there are no “amazing diets”, there is no shortcuts..anywhere. As a trainer/coach, we are held to a higher standard as not only the person who provides programs to clients based on individual needs/wants, we also provide education to the clients so they are informed and don’t continue to make the same mistakes and bad judgements based on what they feel comfortable with or knowledge from those less educated. 

This leads me to the next point: The only way to build your knowledge so you CAN educate your clients is to ask questions. Ask a TON of questions. I sure as hell don’t have it all figured out and my guess is you don’t either. Personally I have had conversations with trainers and coaches from Cali to Florida to Canada to Boston to the Galactic Empire. Everyone has something to share. Personally, I have not come across any coach or trainer who has shunned me from asking questions and in fact, it has made me the trainer I am today. Lessons are learned from making mistakes. Mistakes are common in this profession, just face it. If you want to be great, you have to be willing to learn..and learn A LOT.

If someone offers information, do not be a dickhead and refute it because it doesn’t agree with your thoughts and methods. This is not how you build your bridge. This is how you burn it. One of the greatest lessons I also learned is, “take all the good you can and throw away the rest.” I can’t say I have a niche in training. I’m still learning. What I can say is I will continue to ask questions. I will continue to grow and expand my knowledge. I will continue to question my own practices, methods, ideas, and knowledge. But while I do that, it puts me in a position to continue building bridges. If you think you know it all, you are already isolated and at this point, the bridges you may have started to build, are no burned. 

Build your bridges…or remain isolated.