Something that has always been interesting for me to discuss with people is their beliefs about exercise (part of their story around health). No surprise there. I don’t work as a fitness professional anymore and I have no desire to do so unless someone is willing to pay me lots of money to tell them to do some very simple things. And I mean a lot of money. The reason being is that most people I encounter have some very simple goals like losing a few pounds, having more energy, and gaining some strength. My advice, “Move more, eat less.” If you do that, you’ll hit the first two on that list no problem. Getting stronger might involve 3-4 body weight exercises that you have to schedule 20 minutes/exercise each week. That’s still very simple and accessible. Do you really want to pay me $150/hour for that? I didn’t think so…
“But Travis, why is it so expensive?” In part, you are paying for my expertise in physical training, but most of the fee is related to me having to be your psychologist. Over the years I’ve listened to people talk about what they believe they need to do to get in shape. You all have read me write about these things on many occasions:
- I need the gym and at least an hour
- I need some competition/event to prepare for like a marathon
- If I don’t sweat hard then I don’t think I’ve done anything
I could go on but the trend is to believe that physical fitness requires a fairly significant investment of time and energy. Maybe so much time and energy that one becomes overwhelmed and then apathetic towards the task. Or, one becomes obsessed with the task. Maybe people migrate between the two extremes. I’ve met people who hate exercise and never want to do anything physical because they believe that massive amounts of work is required to see change. I’ve met people who obsess over exercise and diet because they believe massive amounts of work is required to see change. Different response to the same belief.
As a younger man I tended towards the obsessive side. As I got older, the limitations of my body and some simple forecasting made me begin to question my logic. Physical burnout, injuries, declining strength, and digestive issues made me realize I was pushing too hard. It took me a long time to get that realization. Also, how are you supposed to have a family, a full-time job, start a business, etc. if you’re spending so much time working out? No wonder there’s a thing called a ‘Dad-Bod’.
In terms of exercise, I think doing nothing is going to leave your body more fragile than it has to be, and I think that any routine that you have to build your life around might be asking too much of yourself (unless you are a professional athlete or you are someone who really loves working out, like me). The way my body receives a hard workout is going to be different because of the simple fact that my beliefs around working out have evolved. Exercise is not a necessary evil to me. It is therapeutic. I love living a physical lifestyle. I love the extreme nature of pursuing Mixed Martial Arts Competition. But someone will see me and believe that what I’m doing is needed for general health and fitness and that’s not true. Breaking down that belief system and getting a person to understand their health goals in context with the parameters of their own life is a much harder task than writing workouts and being a cheerleader… And that’s why you have to pay me $250/hour for personal training.
“Travis?! You said $150/hour at the beginning of this post?!” I know, but writing this out reminded me of all the hard and exhausting conversations I’ve had with people over the years trying to help them get out of their own way. If I keep writing we’ll be at $350/hour…