Life can be a funny game sometimes…
…It’s like being a batter in baseball who absolutely owns a certain pitcher every time you face the guy. You can have a .500 batting average against that pitcher and just when you think you know what he’s going to throw at you…
…He throws you a curve or a different pitch you never saw coming.
Well, I gave up on my baseball days nearly 23 years ago (damn I’m gettin’ up there) but I didn’t see this day coming.
I’ve decided to ‘retire‘ from the fitness industry.
But, before I go riding off into the sunset I wanted to let you know why I’m leaving and the events that played out leading up to now.
I’m not going to lie to you…
And, no it’s not so I can let myself get out of shape and live like a fat cat
…On a serious note, for a while now I felt like I’ve lost my passion for training clients.
The funny thing I’ve realized over the years is that passions can and often do change however the one constant is my life purpose.
I had gotten to a place where I started feeling an emptiness inside of me that I couldn’t really pin-point or figure out why it was there…It just was.
I kept feeling like there is something more I’m supposed to do with my life and training clients just isn’t it for me.
Now, this isn’t to say anything negative about any fitness professionals who train clients for a living. As fitness professionals we have the unique opportunity to help change lives and I LOVE that. I am only speaking about my experience and that’s all.
Anyway, this all started during my trip to Istanbul back in 2010 when I spoke for 2 days in 2 cities to 51 fit pros. All I can say is after that experience something inside of me shifted.
During the entire flight home I felt like speaking to audiences was IT for me.
I loved it…I felt a buzz of electricity…I felt excited…but most of all…
…I felt ALIVE again!
I realized that although I enjoyed working with my clients (with the small exception of a few over the years who just were not the right fit for me) the part I enjoyed most was empowering them with the belief in themselves to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams in life.
And, for me that involved not only a unique approach to implementing fitness programs that would help them achieve that but also the mindset side of things I found was even more important.
Most of my clients had given up on enjoying life because of their injuries that doctors and other health professionals were having a difficult time treating.
But, to inspire them in a way that shifted their mindset from ‘I can’t‘ to ‘I can’ just lit me up inside.
So, where does leaving the fitness industry fit in?
Well, I’ve been quiet for a while now as I’ve been actively pursuing opportunities to speak to audiences.
And, it seems that every time I speak on the topic of believing in yourself and going after your dreams audience members love it.
I mean they REALLY tell me how much it connects with them.
I even had a couple of women literally in tears following one of my speeches because they said it connected so powerfully with them.
I’ve had teens, young adults and parents approach me to say how much they enjoyed my speeches.
And, most of all I love hitting the platform or the stage to speak. I can’t describe exactly in words how I feel but it’s a strong connection that tells me THIS is what I’m supposed to do with my life.
Here’s a clip of a recent speech I gave in Sacramento, California to an audience of over 350 teens, young adults and parents on chasing greatness:
Crazy to see me doing that huh?
See, the truth is that for the last few years I let my fears of what other people might think about me stop me from pursuing this dream.
I constantly worried that nobody would want to see a personal trainer as a motivational speaker.
But, still this dream wouldn’t die and something inside of me wouldn’t let it go.
It kept gnawing at me constantly…
…Urging me to push on despite my fears.
Knowing I’ve got one shot at this lifetime and that I might as well live it chasing my dream.
And, then came subtle signs that this is what I’m meant to do…
…People asking me how long I’ve been speaking for…
…Telling me how powerful of a speaker I am…
…Saying how I should pursue this as a career.
Anyway, this is what I’ve chosen to do and I’ve already got dates booked to speak in September and October as I work to fill up my schedule for the rest of the year and then into next year.
I’ve even written a new book called ‘The D.R.E.A.M. Principles: 5 Fundamentals To Re-Inventing Yourself & Living Life By Your Own Rules’.
If you want to check it out and also see what I’m up to now you find out more on my website.
I’d actually love for you to check it out and let me know what you think
I’ve officially finished with my last training client and it is with it that I bid a farewell to the industry that has taught me so much over the last 13+ years.
I’m still fulfilling my life purpose of empowering people to change their lives. I’m just doing so through a different passion now.
I also want to let you know that I appreciate the fact that you’ve put your trust in me over the years and I hope that you feel you’ve acquired a few training tools here and there to help your clients.
And, if you have any muscle imbalance or injury related questions you can still post them up on my old YouTube Channel.
As I embark on this new path I’ve chosen I really do wish you all the best on your journey down your path.
Perhaps our paths will cross someday in the future if only briefly. If that day happens I hope you’ll say ‘hi‘.
I received a question regarding a previous video where I showed how to use the upright row as a shoulder rehab exercise.
Yeah, I know it’s supposedly a ‘bad’ shoulder exercise that’s often declared taboo.
But, when you understand the principles of how the shoulder functions it actually makes sense.
Anyway, I was asked if the upright row should be used as an actual shoulder rehabilitation exercise or as an injury prevention exercise.
I thought it was a great question and so here’s my answer:
So, what do you think?
What’s your biggest takeaway from this video?
I won’t mind if you ‘like‘ this post or click one of the share links below so it can reach those who need it most.
But, ONLY if you feel it’ll really help someone out ok?
In yesterday’s article I shared 5 absolutely HUGE lessons I learned about correcting muscle imbalances and injuries.
The reason I’m sharing these with you is because I was recently thinking back to my early days in the fitness industry…
…I had left my former life as a grocery clerk (a job I had for 10 long and frustrating years) because I was completely miserable and wanted more for my life then standing around for 40 hours a week in a check stand listening to customers fuss and haggle whenever they thought an item was 5 cents less than what was charged.
Not to mention having an absolute pain-in-the-ass manager that culminated in what I now call the ‘goatee incident‘.
But, I’ll save that story for another time as it was absolutely crazy!
Anyway, after the ‘goatee incident‘ I walked out of that job in the middle of my shift and began my career as a personal trainer soon after.
I remember feeling so much excitement because I was now going to live my passion for helping others transform their lives through health and fitness.
Unfortunately, that passion began to die a slow and painful death when most of the clients that came to me didn’t quite fit the ‘apparently healthy‘ fitness classification that my textbooks and personal training certification courses had only permitted me to work with.
None of my ‘training‘ prepared me to help clients (or myself and my own injuries) with injuries from muscle imbalances.
So, after investing a lot of time, energy and money in my education I learned some assessments and exercises for identifying and addressing muscle imbalances but I only grew more frustrated when they didn’t turn out nice and neat like I was taught.
I realized that there were a couple of problems:
1. No System- While I learned a bunch of individual assessments and exercises there wasn’t an actual method for which ones to use, when to use them and in what order.
Instead I was left on my own to try and figure it out. Of course, this led to inconsistent results with my clients.
2. No Principles- I quickly discovered that each client had their own unique needs and that even those who had the same type of injuries didn’t all respond the same way to the same exercises.
There’s just no one-size-fits-all set of exercises that works for everyone.
Exercises are just TACTICS you use but when they don’t work you’re basically screwed unless you understand the PRINCIPLES that govern it all.
Principles will always let you know the exact exercises and training methods each client needs to ensure their success.
So, today I’m going share with you 3 ‘lost’ principles I’ve learned about dealing with muscle imbalances and injuries:
When I was starting out working with clients suffering from nagging pain and injuries due to muscle imbalances I dealt with a LOT of frustration because so many of the exercises and stretches I learned in my personal training certification courses, text books, workshops and at the physical therapy clinic where I also worked weren’t working.
I’d take courses and learn all kinds of assessments for the neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, mobility, stability and such but they didn’t teach you which ones to use in what order or when.
I also learned corrective exercises and stretches to help with anterior pelvic tilt, rounded shoulders, forward head posture, medial knee rotation, foot and ankle over pronation or supination and many others only to see that they weren’t really helping.
It got to the point where I nearly quit the fitness industry for good.
Fortunately, I found a mentor who taught me something I had never learned in all the books, courses and experience…
…He taught me the principles of correcting muscle imbalances.
See, it’s one thing to learn a bunch of exercises and stretches for this and that but each client has unique needs and therefore what works for one person with an injury doesn’t work for everyone else with the same injury.
Exercises and stretches don’t teach you this but principles do.
And, I wanted to share some of the most valuable lessons I learned from my experience so you don’t have to go through all the same problems I did in trying to figure it all out on your own.
So, here’s 5 huge lessons I learned:
There are a LOT of different opinions and opposing views on squatting particularly for those dealing with injuries to areas like the low back, hips and/or knees.
There are those who feel squatting is unnecessary and should be avoided…
…There are those who believe people with low back or knee pain must avoid squatting or can only perform modified versions.
There is controversy over which foot position and stance is most effective…
…and on it goes.
So, I put together an in-depth analysis of the squat and some tips to look for when assessing your clients.
In the video you’ll learn:
=>The effects of squatting on lower back and knee pain
=>How to teach the squat for clients with low back pain for pain free squatting
=>Whether or not the way your client squats is setting them up for improved function or dysfunction
=>The difference between foot position and the pros and cons associated with each (toes out vs toes in)
Plus quite a bit more info I packed into this one.
I think you’ll get a lot of valuable content from this video:
I’d like to know what you think.
Go ahead and leave me a comment below and let me know
I’ve been getting some questions lately on how to correct muscle imbalances causing anterior pelvic tilt and low back pain.
Obviously, hip flexor tightness is a major cause of muscular imbalances involving lower back pain and injuries.
The problem for many people is they don’t know how to correct the imbalances.
So, I put together a 4-part video series to help low back pain sufferers who aren’t getting results despite doing hip flexor and lower back stretches and various abdominal, lower back and corrective exercises.
Part 1 shows you 3 simple self-assessments you can perform to identify if you have muscular imbalances involving the hip flexors :
The shoulder is one of the easiest areas to develop muscular imbalances given how much mobility the shoulder provides without a whole lot of stability.
One of the most important lessons I learned for addressing injuries was to identify the causes which in most cases are muscle imbalances.
And, the biggest mistake I see fitness enthusiasts and some physical therapists make is treating the injured area itself.
Why is this a mistake?
Because the area where you feel pain is often a symptom but not the actual cause of pain.
For example, lower back pain is rarely caused by the low back itself. It’s often the result of muscle imbalances that force the low back to take the brunt of the stress which causes pain.
In the video below I answer a question from someone suffering from years of intense neck, shoulder and arm pain. He’s tried various neck and shoulder rehabilitation methods and treatments but nothing seems to be working
There’s 5 shoulder rehab exercise tips I cover that most doctors and therapists are NOT aware of:
I just answered a question from someone suffering from a combination of muscle imbalances that have resulted in shoulder pain, neck pain, lower back pain and TMJ.
This is an interesting case in the way her pain patterns have manifested on the same side of her body.
But, I have to warn you…
…This video is unlike ANY of the others I’ve done before.
I’ve always addressed what makes the most sense to fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts–the PHYSICAL issues like muscular imbalances, corrective exercises, conditioning exercises, strengthening exercise and stretches.
However I have never mentioned the other contributing causes to so many pain patterns…
If you’re wondering what UFO spaceship abducted me and scrambled my brain worse than a 3-egg omelet at ‘Lenny’s’ watch the video and I’ll explain exactly what I mean.
This isn’t some ‘airy-fairy’ stuff that has no validity. It’s very real indeed.
You’ll also discover:
–>The link between shoulder, neck and low back pain
–>How emotions can create muscle imbalances and trigger shoulder pain
–>The most common blockage that leads to shoulder and neck pain
–>Why physical corrective exercises may not be enough to eliminate pain and what else to look for
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Why or why not?
I recently received a question on shoulder rehabilitation exercise tips for shoulder impingement.
In a previous video I demonstrated how to reduce shoulder muscle imbalances and improve shoulder mobility in minutes so in this one I focused on some topics that most rehabilitation exercises for muscle imbalances of the shoulder fail to properly address.
In the video below you’ll learn:
–How to identify 2 common types of shoulder injuries so you’ll know which muscle imbalances to address
–The biggest mistake with pulling exercises in rehab and gym settings
–The most common mistakes physical rehabilitation programs make with shoulder rehabilitation exercises
–The dangers of rotator cuff strengthening exercises used in most physical rehab programs
–3 ranges needed to properly condition muscular imbalances of the shoulder
So, what did you think?
Leave a comment below.
I just got an e-mail from a runner who’s been suffering from lower back pain for the last 15 years.
His rehabilitation program isn’t helping much and he asked if I could help him out.
So, I shot a video revealing 3 hidden lower back pain causes that are commonly missed in physical rehabilitation programs and some tips to help eliminate them.
Here’s the main topics I share in the video:
- Why anterior pelvic tilt is not always caused by a tight psoas or tight quadriceps
- Why stretching tight muscles is not the answer
- How stress can lead to psoas weakness and poor running performance
- The 1 ‘thing’ that can cause weakness of the psoas in runners (and it’s not the musculoskeletal system)
- How most physical rehabilitation exercises often make lower back pain worse rather than better