7 Sins of an Unconventional Trainer
I am not your typical trainer (in fact, I’m not usually associated with things, mannerisms, or ideas that could be considered “normal”). While that is not the reason I came up with the term “Unconventional Training,” calling what I do “unconventional” is an easy way to explain why the things I practice don’t match typical fitness professionals.
I have an interesting reaction when people say, “I want to get a donut, but I feel guilty because you’re here.” I laugh, then I get a donut myself (or I grab two). I am not part of the “fitness police.” I am part of the fitness information provider force; I help find, organize, and disseminate information, then expect you to make decisions yourself.
When that same person says something like, “But you’re a trainer!” I correct them by saying, “I’m an UNCONVENTIONAL trainer, meaning that I do what I want.” I’m not trying to be funny when I say this, I’m just trying to help people understand that their perception of fitness professionals may be a little off; there is a new breed coming around, and we don’t follow the same rules. Here are seven ways I break away from the standards:
#1: I don’t train everyday.
When you start to look at fitness in loooooonnngggg terms, training everyday isn’t really necessary. I think of progressive exercise in terms of decades, not days, weeks, months, or seasons. In the long run, consistent training will have better results than going nuts to hit some personal record, crazy movement, body fat percentage, etc. I train consistently, and that doesn’t necessitate daily.
#2: When I do workout, it’s not for that long.
To be in “excellent” shape, most people think that you need to workout A LOT. What if I told you that with progressive, long term exercise techniques, you could get solid results with 30 minutes or less a day? Because that is what I do. No, I’m not at the level of an Olympian or professional athlete, but I am extremely functional AND I barely spend any time training. This leaves with me with lots of time to share ideas about how everyone can achieve the same level doing the same thing :).
#3: I eat donuts (and hamburgers).
I eat a lot of stuff that most fitness professionals would be appalled by (hamburgers and bacon are my favorite foods for goodness sake!). But I don’t eat bad stuff all the time, which makes it acceptable to eat it sometimes. Be good most of the time, so you can enjoy being bad some of the time.
#4: I drink beer (and whiskey).
No matter how those articles you read try to spin it, alcohol is not good for you. Yes, wine has antioxidants and beer lowers cholesterol somehow, but no more than a good supplement or healthy habit (much less actually). I drink because it’s fun, it relaxes me, and it helps me socialize (I’m an introvert after all). Again, I don’t see anything wrong with indulging in something that isn’t necessarily “good” for you, as long as you don’t do it all the time.
#5: I don’t care about looks (I care about performance and longevity).
Do I need washboard abs, boulder shoulders, and bulging biceps to feel like a man? F@#$ no! Any aesthetic gain I get from my training is a welcome benefit, but hardly the point or necessity of my training. It’s hard enough to squeeze in all of the other goals I want to achieve (namely strength, conditioning, agility, balance, longevity, durability, flexibility, mobility, etc.) without having to worry about the size of my arms, chest, and waste line.
#6: I don’t want to help you (unless you want to help you).
Everyone thinks that every trainer in the world is concerned with every person’s fitness, but it isn’t for me. As much as I like helping people, trying to help someone who isn’t looking for assistance is like trying to resuscitate a guy with CPR who’s awake and breathing (and screaming at you). They don’t want it, it wastes your energy, and even if you could sell them on changing themselves for their own good, it probably won’t last, and as I said before, my goals are loooonnnnnggg term. Fixing you for 30 days doesn’t give me any satisfaction! I need years and decades! This goal requires commitment to change; you need to want to help you to make that happen!
#7: I don’t like exercise that much (I like life).
Yes, getting a good sweat, improving my lifts, and joining in on the comrade of a solid group workout is satisfying, but if I could trade it all for a 1-minute solution, I probably would. I like exercise because it helps me keep up with my two kids, helps me avoid or recover from aches and pains, makes me feel like more of a man, and gives me the confidence of knowing that I could throw down if I needed to to protect my family from maniacs, disasters, and common household tasks that require some strength (like opening up the pickle jar with ease).