Matt Perryman

The wannabe trainer didn’t care about why

By Matt Perryman

A few years back, when I was involved in education for personal trainers, I had this one guy come through on a course that told me “he didn’t need to know all that stuff” because he was busy training clients.

By “that stuff” he meant such non-essential knowledge as what joint the triceps move.

I can almost sympathize with his perspective. I’m one of the biggest critics of over-education and over-intellectualizing what should be simple, hands-on activities. I don’t believe that knowledge for the sake of knowledge has any real impact on athletic results, or the competence of a coach to create them.

Whether we’re talking muscle gains, strength gains, fat loss, or any other performance measure, results are about 80% biology and 19% work ethic. The remaining 1% is knowledge (and I may be over-estimating).

All that said, you’ve got to be one impatient, incurious, over-confident and ultimately ineffective ball of sludge to have that attitude about the history and facts of your chosen field.

Imagine you took your car in for service and the mechanic told you he didn’t care how cars worked because he was too busy fixing them. You can almost see the point. Do you trust this guy to bring your car back in top shape?

Ol’ boy expected me to sign off on his workbook assessment despite having about enough anatomical knowledge to walk through a Barbie doll.

The trouble with guys like that isn’t about what he knows or doesn’t. It’s the attitude that sets them up for failure. The self-taught know-it-all is, in my considerable experience with them, always limited to a single approach that works for a single type of person.

They’ve found the hammer and the world is full of nails.

Throw them any sort of curve ball and they cannot adapt to it. That’s the curse of the tactician. He’s good at fighting one kind of battle, close-up. He has no overview of the battlefield, no concept of strategic goals.

An expert that is not at all curious about his subject isn’t a very good expert. I’d start to wonder real hard about exactly what kind of results he was busy getting.

That’s the trouble with an image-based field. Looking good is no indication that you know how to get anybody else there. It’s not even a sign that you know how YOU got there.

So it is.

As for me, I don’t deal with that nonsense any more. I burned out on the midwit pretty people and all the tough-guy talk.

I’m much happier exploring what’s happening inside. That’s where the real changes happen.

Matt Perryman

P.S. If you might want my help with your own inner game for fantastic outer results, click here.

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