Monday, October 22, 2012

Looking for the messages from the Lance events

Watching the Lance Armstrong drug allegations situation I feel this event may be more significant that it appears on the surface. It certainly raised a lot of questions for me – including how far into cycling will the expose go and will it jump to other sports. However the biggest question I have yet to answer is why such a big name American athlete has been ‘taken down’. If you read between the lines there has arguably been a degree of protection offered to high profile US athletes in relation to positive or potentially positive drug tests, so why Lance?

I can only think of two possibilities. Firstly he really upset someone. However the collateral damage to the sport of cycling is too big for this. Which leaves me with my second possible answer – it’s a genuine desire to play it straight, a rare example in a sporting landscape that has all the rules but so few ever get caught up on the wrong side of the rules.

If this is the case, what is driving this position of greater integrity? Is this a sign of the promise of 2012 and the ushering in of a higher social values with the Age of Aquarius?

This will be interesting to watch, to see if this is just that or an aberration before things return to the way they were.

Nike’s decision to cut ties with Lance was either a case of their corporate ethics genuinely being violated, or they were concerned about the impact on their bottom line. Either way, it was a significant move.
One thing I can say with certainty is that I have not seen any promise of this greater integrity in corporate or organizational ethics in physical preparation. I am familiar with certain US companies that see fit to continue to retain and endorse certain individuals who values and actions include publishing other peoples works unreferenced, uncredited and in many cases verbatim, and on a number of occasions claiming or inferring it as their own. In essence, what I believe has been the greatest intellectual property heist in modern physical preparation. Yet these companies still endorse and engage these individuals.

Will the corporate integrity shown in cycling and Nike spread to physical preparation? I hope so, for everyone’s sake.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

And then it was over

I was driving past a playing field at 6am this morning and saw a group of young people participating in a group training session. I thought on my way back I would stop and watch, get some cultural insights. A few minutes later I was back, and pulled over, enjoying the fresh morning sun and the crisp morning air. They were stretching, in a static hip flexor position, a very popular one, however it only covers half the work needed in that area, so I hoped they would show greater variety in this position. They didn’t. In fairness I didn’t know if they had done this before I stopped. But what I did note was they were doing two stretches in one – an upper body one at the same time they were doing a lower body one. I could see the influence for this, as it’s a current dominant trend.

I was looking forward to the rest of the workout. Then they stopped. I was wondering if it was a drink break, but by the way they were back slapping and packing up I realised it was all over.

Then I remembered – you only do static stretching, at the end of the workout! Another new trend. Then I saw the heavy ropes being packed up, and the Prowler. That was all I needed to know – they were doing all the ‘current things’.

I have had this discussion with many around the world – athletes, coaches, and personal trainers. And one thing keeps coming up – they can rationalize the benefits of it. Overlooking the fact that most of these rationalizations are little more than parroting the marketing – let me make this point. I am not interested in whether you think it is beneficial. I want to know if it is the best thing to be doing. I want to know if you have asked yourself this question. I want to know if you have put in the energy that the end users adaptations deserve as to whether what you are doing is the best choice.

Now if you are involved in personal training, I can cut you some slack. Expectations on outcome are less precise. The main concern is the injury potential of what you are doing. But if you are involved with athletes, there is more weighing on your decisions as the outcome as measured by competitive success is more specific – very specific – and the rationalization that it’s a dominant trend or you can regurgitate the benefits are of even less value, and any absence of discernment in decision making more potentially serious – you are now not only dealing with injury potential, you are also dealing with performance decrement or increase.

The unique thing about sports training is you can’t market or convince your way onto the podium.

So I repeat – I am not interested in the rationalization of the benefits of your training choices. I am not interested whether what you choose to do is the current dominant trend (in fact I am almost definitely going to be concerned if this is the case). I just want to know how much discernment you are willing to employ in your decision making. The world needs more discernment, less non-thinking compliance to training methods and exercise equipment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our people are growing while the rest of the world is shrinking

At the end of each quarter (every 3 months) I go over the KSI students business and financial reports for that quarter. This applies to Level 5 and above. I did 2 today – one from a Level 5, the second from a Level 6.

The first one was up 28% from last quarter, and 700% up on six months ago. Okay, so this student was in the first year at this level, so maybe that explains it.

So the next case was in their 4th year – and they were up 62% on last month!!! And this coach increased their client base by 31% over last quarter and achieved a record profit in last quarter!

We are not talking year on year, which is a review and comparison to the same quarter 12 months prior – we are talking 3 months!

Want year on year? The second coaches income was up 32% on the same quarter last year, and his expenses down by 48%!

Okay, maybe this is just recent success. What about since joining the KSI Coaching Program 4 years ago? Quarterly income up by 225%.

Now we offer a holistic approach and this is only one of their income streams, albeit their oldest, being their physical preparation service income. We also mentor them in other income streams.

Not bad for a time when most of the world is imploding and shrinking economically, where most people have had their client list and asset base shrunken substantially by the forces of the economy.

We are committed to guiding our students to growth even during the most challenging economic times in this 80 years cycle. Isn’t that great!

After all we believe that for all those shrinking financially, .there is a vacuum to be filled by someone growing and expanding. That’s what we do. Help people by staying with them daily, weekly and yearly, guiding them to fulfil their potential. As opposed to doing a 2 day seminar in which we convince them of our greatness and they go home to their own devices. That’s much easier. It’s much more demanding standing in the front line of the battle field with them. Our success in many areas is only achieved when our students success. Which means we are more than committed to this outcome – we are determined about it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The future is here

Over a decade ago i concluded that the business model used by our partner company was ahead of its time. This conclusion was based on my study of business books that described new trends in business.  Some of my current top team members became business partners on the basis of these writings.  Now i believe – the future is here.  And here is an example, another mainstream conventional business product distribution shifting to our way of business. One of the first was computers, with Michael Dell’s direct to the customer model. Now read what’s happening in cars sales and distribution – and not just bottom end cars – this article is about the top end of the brand options.

"How about a car dealership with, er, no cars.  Audi’s virtual showroom in London is hailed  as the future of automobile retailing.   ‘Audio City is revolutionizing the future of retailing by combining digital product presentation and personal contact with dealers’, says Interbrand, which annually rates the value of global car companies. Other makers, including BMW and Infiniti, are working on similar products.” (1)

That’s what we do. We offer personal relationships to consumer, using virtual displays and a small amount of hard product, and arrange distribution from the manufacturer to the consumer. We even offer customization at a level not yet achieved by any other in our industry.

Make no mistake – the future is here. It’s time to stop thinking and living in the past. That’s going to be tough for many who do not embrace change, and who cling to the mind-set of the masses. But then being left behind economically and in standard of living – the price you will pay for failing to keep up and change – is not going to be very easy either. And that ‘un-ease’ will be experienced by more than yourself. It will be experienced by all those who depend on you – you partner, your off-spring, your relatives and any others you influence.  There is one saying that will always apply – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Your decision in embracing new models of commerce will in a significant way determine if you are part of the poor getting poorer equation.

Yes, the future is here. I embraced it over a decade ago and have been paving the way for thousands who have followed my lead. Are you still living in the past? If so, and i expect that would be the honest answer, you probably have  a collection of vinyl records also...

Want to learn more? Email

(1)    Duff, Craig, 2012, Soft sell via the hard drive, The Saturday Mail, Brisbane, p. 3 of the Cars Guide lift-out.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Physical preparation coach and father understands the limitations of earned income

Carl was born in Birmingham, England originally, and moved to Cornwall when he was 11. He competed in many sports as a kid - karate, rugby, soccer track & field to name a few. Carl is now a 4 time state powerlifting champion and plans to add a fifth title shortly. He is also a medallist at national level

As he describes it, he drifted through the earlier years of his life without a great deal of care or regard for him self or health. He met his wife in England and came over to Australia as a young adult. Around 2004 his dad had heart surgery, so Carl flew back to the UK. During this visit he made a clear and conscious decision that he did not want to follow this health path.

Carl took up weight training at about 18 years of age and training was the thing he would look forward to during his earlier jobs as work such as driving forklifts and as a boner in a meatworks. His dad’s surgery was a catalyst for him deciding to enter the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer. Since then his journey has taken him across the world and lead him to find like minded people and role models.

He is now also involved in the KSI Coaching program (Level 5) and has increased his athlete client base substantially. Despite being on the road to achieve what most in physical preparation deem to be the ideal client base, Carl recognizes that this is more to life than working. As a father and husband with a young family, the limitations of earned income are very apparent to him. It doesn’t matter how high profile the athlete, or how high the hourly rate – it’s a very limited income source. IF you don’t work, you don’t get paid. And when you are working, you are not with your family.

In Carl’s search a better way to live life, Carl choose to join our entrepreneurial group, where he is a few years into gaining a degree of leverage. His goal is to master the art of leveraged income, and continue working with selected clients by choose – not by necessity.

From using the products alone, Carl feels he has experienced amazing results, especially post children in terms of my energy and recovery abilities. From his involvement in our mastermind group, he feels he as learned how business works and a great deal about his mindset towards money. The growth I have had in business and as a man have been amazing & I am enjoying the journey of challenges and success.

Carl is grateful for finding our entrepreneurial group and looks forward to sharing it with many others who want to take control of their own health & wealth.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

They will be exposed - in a way that will last forever

They will be exposed – in a way that will stand forever

I received a number of responses to the blog article ‘Can’t attract athlete clients? Here’s three solutions’. Here is one of them, and my response.

"Hi Ian, why the protection of xx in this article? Sure that’s who is being referred to in this - his plagiarism should be greatly exposed - unless of course there is some legal agenda ? Keep up the great work, best wishes, Mark."

Mark, in response to your post: Thank you for your comments. I value hearing your concern that the actions of plagiarists and copyright infringers be exposed. I will take a moment to respond to your post if I may.

The examples used in this article were simply that – examples. The main aim and message of this article was in relation to the most common solutions used to gain work with athletes, and concluded with my recommended method. I did not want to dilute this message.

Another consideration in my decisions in writing this article was my concern that naming people for negative contributions gives too much credit and attention to them, which is in part what they seek – attention. Therefore I am very conscious of this and selective in my use for this reason. I do not wish to bring the spotlight on these people any more than is worthy. Unfortunately, there is time when it is necessary to bring them into the light. I would much prefer to bring the light to those who make a positive contribution to the industry specifically the betterment of humanity generally. The people you refer to, in my opinion, do not fall into this category.

A further consideration is that I recognize the substantial number of people who either lack the intelligence or the integrity to acknowledge the extensive intellectual property infringements, for varying reasons not limited to because they don’t want to, because ‘he’s a really nice guy’, or because they have a vested interest in maintaining the veneer that nothing inappropriate has occurred. I seek to avoid exposure to this sub-section of the industry as they further damage my belief in the goodness of humanity.

However, when the medium is appropriate, I assure you, there is no ‘protection’ of those who choose this path of deceit and misleading. A reality for me is that when th0se who seek this instant gratification to be ‘experienced’ and an expert in their field actually reaching the conclusions and achievements and theories the claim to have, do these acts of intellectual property infringement, they overlook the far-reaching implications that the written word becomes an artefact that potentially lasts for centuries.

Therefore long after their lives have ended, their lasting legacy will be these artefacts, which will forever bear testament to their actions as serial plagiarists. This fate will befall both their self-published as well as their mainstream published artefacts.

I would like to gift you a copy of the e-book version of my book ‘Barbells & Bullshit’. You will note that this text begins to expose the extent of the infringements. Send me an email at so I have an email address for you.

I would also to draw your attention to the future release of my book and course titled ‘Apocalypse – What some are willing to do, others are willing to turn a blind eye to, and the majority have got no idea about’. The electronic course version will be in excess of 750 pages. This publication exposes what I describe as the greatest intellectual property heist in modern physical preparation, and all the individuals and companies that have participated.

In conclusion we share the belief that the actions of plagiarist should be exposed, and during the remainder of my life I will do just that. I optimistically trust that, for the betterment of those entering our industry, as well as for the greater good of society as a whole, those supporting our position in this and other matters of integrity will grow, and contribute to forcing a change in the values of American-led professional and commercial standards in such as a way that acts such as these will be more effectively discouraged and ultimately stamped out.

The fiscal cliff

I write this article specifically for my American brothers and sisters. I have been flying in and out of the US for about 23 years now, so I feel adequately positioned to share my observations. Since 2001 I have noted a significant contraction of the US economy. Sure there have been occasional rallies, but overall the pattern has been decidedly down. In contrast to many other economies, including the Asia Pacific ones, America has been declining now for at least a decade, and some would say longer.

It’s been enough to have people like martial artist turned movie star Chuck Norris publicly express their concern for the US economy, for the US way of life, for the future of the country. I believe Americans should be very concerned. In my opinion, this once great nation stands to experience the greatest contrast in economic fortunes and quality of life for its citizens than any other country.

Yes, I know you hear over-riding chatter about Greece and other struggling European countries. I suggest that is a smoke screen. Yes, Greece is in trouble. However should Greece fail, it makes relatively little difference to the global economy. Should the US fail in the same way that most fear for Greece – that is a different story.

The concerns for US are now so apparent, at least outside of the US, that I am seeing reference in global media to the ‘financial cliff’ faced by the US economy post election.

Why post election? Because most economists openly recognize that the US economy ‘coincidently’ looks above the trend in the pre-election year. I will leave you to figure out how that happens.

I believe that if the mainstream media have picked up on it, it must be glaringly obvious. However I sense that many of my American brothers and sisters have their heads in the sand. Hoping that the next government will save them. I am sure they have had these same hopes ever four years for the past few presidential cycles. I suggest they will be seriously disappointed. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, in my opinion, can save them.

So how valuable is my opinion. After all, I am just a coach. And I know what my detractors would say – that I should stick to coaching. This is the same thing they said when I broke out of the strength coach mould and created my unique approach to endurance training. This is the same thing they said when I broke out of the strength coach mould and created my unique approach to speed training. This is the same thing they said when I broke out of the strength coach mould and created my unique approach to flexibility training. Of course until the acceptance of my ideas reached a critical mass or tipping point, then they started to teach my approach as their own to ensure they appeared to be bringing them to the market…

So yes, you can view my theories on the economy as being outside of my field of expertise. However I know you will ultimately jump on board at some stage down the track when the trend spotters, who criticise today, and copy tomorrow, being teaching these same ideas. When ‘most people’ are either doing them or happy to accept them. This is what trend-spotters do, and these are the people who dominate marketing in our industry. And what the blind masses, like sheep to the slaughter, wait until this point to participate. You don’t have to. You can act now. And I strongly suggest you should.

Mark my words – this is not a new training trend that it’s okay to delay a few years to accept. This is an economically led social revolution which will occur in the next few years that will change you life forever. Should you fail to prepare for it, it will most likely be a change that will leave you gasping for air, one that you may struggle to recover from. I recommend you take this more seriously than you do a training theory. Your income, your standard of living, and that of your family, depend on this.

I am not alone in believing that your once great nation is heading towards a significant economic milestone, one that will have significant ‘challenging’ repercussions for every American. I am not the one who coined the term ‘economic cliff’. I endorse the concept, and have been calling this for nearly a decade now. Yes, relatively few have listened. Most would prefer to be impressed by a smoke-and-mirrors display of guru-ness by ‘coaches’ selling someone else’s ideas as their own. You have no chance of finding an economic solution from these fraudulent chameleons.

KSI leads the world not only in physical preparation teaching, but also in how we teach and live. We teach a holistic approach in a way that imitators will not be able to do – because they lack the discipline and delayed gratitude to live this way. We provide a global economic solution for those who are passionate about their physical preparation.

In summary, we unite and guide physical preparation coaches throughout the world who are passionate about serving with integrity and excellence yet also value leveraged income, and seek to develop this concurrently with their physical preparation life role, in a synergistic way that adds value to their clients, colleagues, friends and family.

We know that those who have stepped up from countries around the world and joined our team in the last month or so have begun to understand what they have opened themselves up to, and why they intuitively knew to trust us. The opportunity to prepare for the greatest economic change in the 80 year generational cycle is upon us.

Every day really does matter. This is sink or swim time. Your country is a ship in serious trouble. And this has serious implications for the world economy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Can't attract athletes clients? Three solutions

In my opinion most athlete preparation is doing more harm than good to most athletes. This statement should not be a surprise to those who have read my works over the last few decades. What surprises me is that so many decades later nothings changed. In fact, I fear it’s got worse. In seeking to understand why this might be I reflect on the career path of most would-be athlete preparation coaches, and share these reflections with you. You might not like what I say, although it is not written with any intent to offend. It does challenge the dominant thinking, so on the basis of this I understand that this may be the effect. However if so few as one athlete is saved from the rubbish training and subsequent career shortening and performance decreasing training stimulus that most athletes get exposed to, the bruising of the reader and the stab wounds in my back will be worth it.

After over thirty years of coaching athletes and educating coaches I have seen the athlete preparation industry go from being an unknown and unheard of role to being a frequently sought after career path. I have also seen many express their desire for the opportunity to train athletes, and watched how they have gone about it. My interest in this has been more than casual, due to my concurrent role in both training athletes and educating coaches. I will share with you the two most popular solutions I have seen used by those seeking to become trainers of athletes. I share them with you not because I endorse them, but rather because this is what I see. I don’t like these solutions and I will tell you exactly why that is. Then rather than leaving you with what not to do, I will share my preferred solution.

Solution 1 – Get higher levels of education

I watched a number of young men graduate from sports science degree in the 1980s and long to work with athletes. Nothing happened. One sustained himself with teaching first aid courses, and the others worked as gym instructors. After a few years most went back to university and obtained higher degrees. Then they succeed in obtaining work with athletes – by impressing the sports administrators, not by attracting the athletes independently.

I was working with a professional national league team in the late 1980s and early 1990s when a young man approached the team. He had never trained athletes before but he was involved in a higher degree course. The coach hired him on the basis of that.

I have seen this solution unfold on many occasions. A graduate wants to work with athletes, but cannot attract them. They go back to university and armed with the authority of their research needs or conclusions, they approach coaches and sporting administrators to gain work. This solution is very effective it seems, and the social status of ‘research’ may hold the explanation. When I say successful, I am referring to the would-be coach. Not the athlete. If you can’t coach, if you can’t attract athletes, there is nothing in a higher degree course that I have seen that is going to make you a better coach, or more likely to attract athletes. They don’t care. They go where their instincts tell them they can trust. Except in a team sport situation – their contractual obligations require them to conform and work with the ‘physical coach’ hired by their team.

As a result many athletes get trained by highly qualified inexperienced and incompetent coaches. The end result – shorter careers and lost opportunities, due to the application of performance decreasing and injury producing training methods.

Now let’s get real clear – I am not attacking higher education. I am critical however of the use of this socially respected qualification to back-door into coach athletes. If you can’t coach, if you lack the gift or the competency, getting a piece of paper, doing some research, and reading a lot of ‘information’ doesn’t change this. I know that is going to upset a lot of people, but irrespective of the unstoppable march of ‘research’ credibility, there is an art to coaching, and I have never seen this art taught successfully in a university.

I believe this trend will continue. In fact you will probably need a PhD in a decade or so just to get hired by many teams. Just remember – this doesn’t mean you can or should coach. It means you are more likely to get a job with a sports team, and more athletes are going to suffer for this.

I call this the back-door approach to coaching – what you can do to get into coaching if you can’t coach. I also liken it to the ‘bail-out’ strategies used by governments during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s’. In the second half of the 2000’s decade a number of national economies got into strife (and are still there). The solution of choice by many governments was to ‘bail-out’ selected industries and companies. Those who support the free market system suggested that the bailed-out industries should have been left to market forces – if that meant they collapse and disappear so be it.

What will be the implications of the bail-out solution? The future holds the answer to this question.
Imagine what would happen if the ability to attract athletes based on competence rather than qualifications or marketing was the system applied? I suggest many currently employed would be out of a job, and many athletes would be better off for this.

Solution 2 – Market Yourself

This scenario starts out the same way, typically with a young person who has graduated from their sports science course and fails to attract athlete clients. The only difference is now some don’t wait to graduate to employ this strategy.

Here’s a great example. In the late 1990s I was approached by a young man who expressed his burning desire to gain employment training athletes. He expressed this goal in his CV, in his emails, and verbally.

“Objective: To gain a full time professional strength and conditioning position with a professional sports organization or high level training facility.”

He had graduated some five years prior and was having no success. He had hoped gaining access to my information would be the key to him overcoming this challenge and finally attracting athletes. It wasn’t.

“I have read "so you want..." thoroughly. While I agree with your statements it is easier for you with an established record to attract new clients than it is for an "outsider" like me to break in. The reason I'm asking is to see where my weaknesses are - what is holding me back in other words as I'm failing to identify it somehow.”

Even when I sought to help him out be referring athletes to him it didn’t work.

“Incidentally the volleyball team that you put me in contact with didn't return my emails. I guess I'm not important enough yet.”

He could not understand why it wasn’t happening.

“I don't think it is qualifications - I have a bundle - and I don't think its training experience - I have lots of that - it just seems to be sports teams/organisations in general that I can't break into …Your other comments as regards not allowing administrators to evaluate you is a good one - but until I am "in" as it were I don't see what I can do to avoid it.”

Finally he began to lose hope and consider alternative career paths.

“I'd like to move out of the personal training field and train athletes exclusively but bills need to be paid. I've been at this gym since late Sep and was this week offered the head personal trainer position -- unsure as to whether or not to accept it -- the money is a little more - but the job becomes more of an administrative position….I'm just concerned as to whether or not the move to an administrative position would "hurt" my career in the longer term (ie the goal being to train athletes similar to yourself).”

Then he found marketing. With the tools developed by a fellow failed coach turned marketing expert, he was able to market his way to his desired perception of significance. Through self claims and claims through third party, the perception was promoted.

“In the fitness industry I am probably best known for my ability to design programs…

…he has a stable of Olympic and national level athletes that swear by his training methods.

…he’s a performance coach….”

He just needed to take another coaches experiences and training theories, mix them with the deception that they were his experiences and conclusions, turbo-charge them with marketing – and voila – he was instantly a great coach worthy of learning from.

In fact people pay top dollar to attend his coach education seminars, and he is given regular speaking opportunities at professional development seminars. And people are influenced by this information. Not bad for a person who failed to attract any meaningful athlete client base. That is, if you think that is good. History has shown – he would starve if he relied on his ability to attract athlete clients based on his coaching ability.

In my opinion there is no positive correlation between marketing competency and coaching competency. Rather I suggest their may be an inverse correlation – the more a person markets the lower their coaching competency. You could liken to the theory of compensating.

Here’s another ‘challenge’ from these first two solutions. The two solutions outlined above are now the dominant methods of choice. So when a young or new coach entering the profession seeks ‘practical’ information, they are more likely to be influenced by those who have chosen these two solutions than any other influence.

If they watch sport covered by television they will see the dominant training trends – and probably copy them. When they select books and articles on the basis of the best marketing – because this is the path I suggest most take in selecting their influences – their minds are filled with a lot of damaging, ineffective and confused training methods. Who does this serve? The egos and the bank accounts of those who seek to achieve the perception of ‘greatness’ through marketing. No-one else.

Solution 3 – Get better

For me this is the only solution that serves the world. If you want to attract more athletes, or any athletes, get better at coaching. Not the answer you wanted, I’m sure. I have seen this concept rejected by many before you, some who have turned to the above two solutions instead.

Imagine this. You get one person and train them. You analyse the results of a long period of time. If the results are not good enough you change, experiment. You don’t talk about it, boast about it, lie about it, embellish it, and post about it. You just do it and accept the realities of the outcome. Then you do it again, and with more people, and get better. You may start with kids. You may not charge when you start. The only constant variable is you do and objectively assess. And keep going. To aid your progress you avoid being influenced by those who failed to attract athlete clients or can’t coach. You selectively choose influences that from your first hand experience you know have coached successfully. It means putting the athlete first, ahead of your own ego.

Yes, this would take delayed gratification. It might be slow. It might be hard work. It might mean not feeling important or significant for a long time. It may mean playing second fiddle to the needs of the athlete. This is why most don’t do this. The first two solutions I reviewed above will get faster results in terms of perceptions. They won’t mean you can coach, and they won’t provide you with the tools to attract an athlete client base independent of team employment for the rest of your life.

What it will mean if you follow my third solution of getting better at coaching is that you will positively enhance the careers and lives of athletes. You will develop skills that will ensure you can put food on the table for the rest of your life. You might not become ‘internet famous’ but you may fulfill your potential to serve others. Imagine that.

It’s your choice. I believe however that the world needs more people to follow solution three.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Personal Trainer Professional Development - the KSI Way

In 1998 I recorded a live seminar in which I released for the first time a number of my unique, original innovations in training that I had developed, tested and refined in the prior 18 years of coaching. The concepts released in that seminar have proven to be the most influential (and most imitated/copied) concepts on the planet.

The impact and value of these concepts has, in my opinion, been diluted by the extent of copying they have been subject to. Many personal trainers in the US market have been exposed to some of these concepts – however in a diluted, confused and off-intent manner. Here’s a chance for you to get it right.

Spend a day live in seminar and learn first hand, from the source, the most effective methods for how to write and how to teach training programs, aimed at personal trainers.

This one day seminar will be equally divided between 'how to write' and 'how to teach', using methods many seek to imamate, but only KSI can truly teach - because we created them! These methods are timeless - you will not need to rely on the 'latest trend' or the 'latest equipment' when you follow the path taught during this seminar.

Take my exercise innovations for example. One of them, the single leg stiff legged deadlift, was first reproduced without consent of acknowledgement in a Men’s Health magazine in the early 2000s, but a so called ‘student’ of KSI. Something went badly wrong, because the picture accompanying the short article was of a person with the non-working leg lifted back up in the air, making the exercise virtually useless. Suffice to say, this ‘variation’ has now become a main-stay of the ‘functional training movement’ – without anyone realizing how this exercise came to be!

Or take my lines of movement concept – you know the horizontal and vertical push/pull, and quad and hip dominant. For the first few years post release most acknowledged the source, however one particular ‘variation’ of this concept changed the word ‘quad’ for ‘knee’. Pity whoever did this didn’t read the original rationale behind my word selection, as clearly outlined in my 2000 ‘How to Teach’ book. And it hasn’t helped that he most prolific publisher of my concept didn’t seem keen to acknowledge the source for the first 10 years after he caused a mass walkout of my 1999 north-east USA seminar!

Or take the business advice I rolled out in my 1999 ‘So you want to become a physical preparation coach’ book. Not be confused of course with the article of the same name with the exception of the words ‘personal trainer’ inserted, published nearly a decade later.

Or take my ‘over-reaction/under-reaction’ saying and concept. In my limited exposure to marketing-dependant US personal trainer ‘education’ I recently learned that it was apparently the concept of ‘another’ persons’!

Or take my concept of ‘Capable vs. Optimal’ – reversing the words to ‘Optimal vs. Capable’ may fool the masses to thinking it is original, but for me the willingness and propensity to flip words around for self serving purposes is at the expense of the receiver of the message.

Or take my philosophies for example. When you read a paragraph that is poorly paraphrased from my book ‘The Way of the Physical Preparation Coach’, such as this one, that a certain internet magazine thought it was okay to leave posted on their site:

My original version 2005:
Resist the temptation in program design to conform to mainstream paradigms simply for the sake of conforming, no matter how dogmatically they are presented, or how much you may be ridiculed or ostracized for trusting your intuition over conformity….

‘Later version’ 2006:

When designing training programs, resist the pressure to conform to any tradition or system of beliefs, no matter how dogmatically that tradition or those beliefs are presented, or how much you get "slammed" for not conforming. This applies to training and life

…and in the same article read the ‘author’ claim the philosophies are based on their ‘own experiences’…how many times do you need to be lied to before you realize it’s not in your best interests?

Or during the last seven years you could have paid anywhere between one to two thousand dollars to attend a Californian based seminar on program design, in which you would have been taught my concepts such as family trees, progressing and regressing exercise, reversing exercise sequence in subsequent programs, using the first stage to develop and correct muscle balances and so on. You would probably have got more value by reading my ‘How to Write’ and ‘How to Teach’ books – at least you would have got the honest original source. It least you would receive honest information. And you could have used that money difference to contribute to a worthwhile charity of your choice.

And even when you read in other’s ‘works’ where they could not be bothered to paraphrase and write exactly the same things, such as this paragraph, which has appeared a number of times verbatim in the ‘works’ of the same ‘author’:

all things being equal, and independent of any specificity demands, the selection of exercises should show balance throughout the body

…I still suggest the message is lost. And then there is of course the issue that you are getting your education from thieves who compound the integrity issue by seeking to claim it as their own...

Now some suggest that they don’t care where they get their information? Let me share some insights – most of what you are being taught has not been done by the marketer teaching you it, because for the most part many of them don’t train. To add to this non-experience based training, you often get ‘athlete preparation’ tips, peppered with vague references such as the first name of a boxing medallist from an Olympic games (at a time when the ‘speaker’ was a teenager)….by ‘coaches’ that are only coaches by virtue of calling themselves a ‘coach’ (or more importantly, a performance expert), who have not accumulated enough coaching experience to warrant teaching anyone.

Now if you are happy to be bullshitted to, go ahead and keep learning from these sources. For those who would prefer to get it straight without the BS, here is your chance – learn from the source!

Personal trainer professional development – the KSI Way! Sunday 19 August 2012, Los Angeles. Register here:

Please help me understand Lou

Lou – I have attempted a number of times to respond online to your comments about me that you posted at or about 11 January 2011 on the Amazon forum For some strange reason my responses are not being received and posted.

Following my decision to expose what I describe the biggest intellectual property theft in modern physical preparation, you have chosen to make a number of statements of facts about my integrity and I have not been able to respond. So I have responded here

Essentially you must have excellent evidence at hand that allows you to make these statements of fact. Can you please share them with me?  Would really appreciate being enlightened. Thanks.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

You're up to date? Then I'm scared for the athlete

Among the many emails I receive was one recently from a sports coach seeking advice on their warm up strategy. In the email was the comment that they made every effort 'to keep up to date'. Upon reviewing the warm up I noted conformity to trends, including predominantly 'dynamic warm up drills'.

Here are abbreviated version of some of the points I responded with:

1. My general rule of thumb for a young athlete to have any chance of avoiding developing injuries is to ensure that at least x% of their total training time is dedicated to tension reducing activities such as stretching, massage, and other recovery methods...

2. There is no such thing as a dynamic stretch in my opinion. There is a dynamic movement and we can discuss the role of this in the warm up in a separate discussion if you wish. I understand that the dominant paradigm is that there is such a thing as a dynamic stretch. Problem is if you continue doing what most believe and do, any coach and athlete will receive what most get – injuries earlier, more frequent and more severe than necessary.....

3. Cool downs are over-rated and in the scheme of the limited time most athletes/coaches get in their specific sports training, redundant.

4. Static stretching at end of training. I am fully aware again of the power and prevalence of this paradigm. I am also aware of the theory of the benefits of this toward recovery. However I state quite simply that compared to the value of stretching before training, and compared to the training impact of stretching earlier in the training session when the energy and focus is higher – there is no comparison....

The full response is available to Level 1 and above KSI coaches at the site.

I was at a game of sport at the weekend, as I am multiple times most weekends, and I noted a group of young athletes being warmed up by their coaches. When I say them doing walking lunges, dynamic external rotations of the hips and walking partial range lateral lunge squats – it struck me – this coach is ‘up to date’!

Whenever I see coaches provided the dominant paradigms of the day (which change decade to decade) I know that whilst their coaches feel good in ‘being up to date’, I cringe for the athlete. I don’t want coaches to be ‘up to date’, which for me is a euphemism for being trend compliant – I want them to be analytical and critical thinkers. Or at worst use their common sense. Forget about being ‘up to date’. You might get a warm feeling, but the athletes are getting wrecked.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

International expansion of our supplement distribution division

Some of you may be aware that 12 years ago I set up a supplement distribution division in partnership with a US company. We do it quietly, we do it with integrity, we do it with the best interests of our customers and sales team, and we do it in a way that is compliant with the rules and regulations of the countries we do business in. This alone rules out most supplement operations!

I train athletes because I have as gift and am passionate about helping athletes succeed in sport. I teach my coaches to do the same – fulfil their gifts and passion for training athletes.

However I concluded a long time ago that excellence-based service does not provide the financial freedom that is possible. So I developed a product distribution arm in partnership with a US company listed on the US stock exchanges. I selected this company after two years of trials with athletes at elite level.

Quite simply product sales provide leverage that selling your service doesn’t. And the compensation plan involved provides potential for passive or residual income, something that few in business ever achieve. I concluded by mid-1990s that at the rate I was going, after 25 years coaching, I had no leverage or financial security irrespective of being one of the truly highest paid coaches in the world at the time. You can learn more about this in my ‘Paycheck to Passive’ book and or workbook.

I spent the next half decade developing my financial intelligence. However I had no desire to create a ‘McDonalds’ like approach to physical preparation – by hiring cheap and low competence trainers and selling their services to clients. This is not my approach. I do not support this approach to training. I don’t make a habit of eating at McDonalds and I don’t believe athletes should receive services where the primary aim is to make a profit.

From my studies into financial and business education I selected a business model and company and established a division which would allow and support physical preparation coaches who loved what they did but realized they needed more to create the financial security for themselves and their families.
During the last 12 years we have created structures and systems in training and teamwork that have supported this goal, as evidenced by physical preparation coaches around the world who have created leveraged income.

During the last few weeks we have expanded also our supplement distribution division into the Singapore and China markets. What many of you may not be aware because it is rare, our products are:

• Labelling compliant in all countries we are approved to distribute into

• Component compliant in all countries we are approved to distribute into

• The products have are World Anti-Doping Agency compliant, so we know athletes will not test positive in drug testing at any WADA compliant testing

• Produced by choice at pharmaceutical grade standards

• In-house production facilities (not out-sourced production)

• Our manufacturing facilities are inspected and approved all countries we are approved to distribute in

• The potency of every pill in every bottle is guaranteed to be what is on the label

• Backed by a team of focused and supportive scientists who answer our questions when we need them to

Our supplement division is not for everyone. We don’t buy into mainstream trends and beliefs. We don’t believe in get rich quick schemes. We accept it takes years to build something great. We believe in putting the needs of others first. We don’t support lying, cheating and stealing. If its not excellence based, we don’t get involved.

We recognize that most average people won’t do what others are not prepared to do so they can receive what others will never receive. Most people are drawn to promises of fast results and other instant gratification themes.

I can tell you most of you will take years to develop entrepreneurial skills required to successfully develop truly leveraged income. The greatest challenge is learning the mindset of the entrepuer – moving from the left to the right of Kiyosaki’s cash flow quadrant. This will take years for most. In fact, most will never meet a person who has mastered this and is willing to teach it. Most will pay to attend seminars with people who talk a great story but have not actually achieved the financial position they infer they have.

Some will recognize they need leveraged income to get ahead, and be ready to work and change to achieve it. Some realize that the cost of living is rising faster than their income and the economy is changing so fast that intuitively know they need to develop new business models. If you are one these people, you can talk to any of the top KSI coaches to learn more.

We are expanding into new markets and existing markets, and constantly assess individuals for their potential to contribute. In essence we look for good people, people with integrity, who are committed to taking long term action to secure the financial future for themselves and their families. We will be able to tell fairly quickly whether you have what it takes at this stage to succeed with us in this business or not.

Ian King

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Could this be the beginning of a return to integrity?

In my Barbells & Bullshit series (2009, book, video and audio) I spoke of a possible return to integrity at a global social level, brought about by a number of factors including the dawn of a new Age, the Age of Aquarius. So you can imagine I was very excited when I came upon one of the first fitness industry writers calling for integrity:

I’m taking it upon myself to clean up the online strength & conditioning world, one guru at a time…Hopefully this will make a difference and keep gurus more grounded and honest, but in the meantime, I’m goin’ hunting!
I was further excited when I read his list of the top 12 things the online industry could learn from the journal publication process:
1. No plagiarism tolerable – you give credit where credit is due
I was attracted to the promise of what this writers actions may result in:
….these posts will serve four purposes:

1. They might make gurus think twice about what they say

2. They’ll teach my readers to think critically and sift through the b.s.

3. They might help cult followers wake up and smell the coffee

4. Critical analysis and discussion can only lead to more knowledge and advancements in sports science
The writer had a definite focus on plagiarism:

7. Plagiarism
I was further impressed in another article with the suggestion that those who put profit ahead of principle would be ‘shunned by the same industry that made him rich’. You see, I have not seen this to date.
It’s funny when I stumble upon a site that steals my work right out from underneath me. Personal Trainer/Life Coach Danny plagiarizes my Deadlifting article from Wannabebig here, here, and here. I encourage anyone out there to spread my methods and advice. It’s always nice when individuals give credit to the originator too. But if you use someone’s exact wording from an article, the least you could do is reference the article!
I pity the individual whose primary goal is to maximize profit at any expense. This individual will never get a second chance to make a first impression, and unless he changes his ways he’ll be shunned by the same industry that made him rich since the experts will see through his bullshit and the consumers will eventually realize that they’ve been scammed.
Those who are aware of the copyright breaches that have been conducted in relation to my works have certainly not shunned the offenders. If anything, they have embraced them and provided excuses and justifications and excuses for them. Surely not this writer however, based on what I have read.

And when I read the below I thought he may have been referring to my situation!

Here’s another thing I can’t tell you: the number of times I see my colleagues get “ripped off” by aspiring writers who try to play another individual’s idea off as their own. It’s not necessary to credit every single aspect of every article, but novel ideas should be credited and in general your articles should reference other writers.
…I want to make sure I’m not repeating something someone else made public. We all have unique readers and should therefore be sharing others’ brilliant work, but we should make sure to give credit where credit is due.
This sounded great! I was truly happy to read a person seeking to return integrity to the American-led fitness industry, especially in the much-needed area of publishing.Imagine that – another person who believed it was inappropriate for a person to seek to take credit for another person’s concepts! And who believes that one should make the effort before publishing to ensure this!

Now this was published in the lead up to the first  guru-grilling’ , so I thought if I analyzed this first ‘guru grilling’ it would give me an indication as to whether the actions would support the rhetoric.

This writer was a self-proclaimed ‘guru-hunter’, which was very promising.

After reading this first ‘guru grilling’ I was concerned as to whether this writer had the conviction of his claims, as I felt he broke some of his own rules:
There’s nothing wrong with arguing and disagreeing. Just be sure to focus on the topic, not the person. Sure you can mention a person and quote them in your argument, but be fair, give them the benefit of the doubt, and don’t call them names.
I was willing to give him some latitude – he appeared to be upset by the perception of the treatment he had received, so I read on.

And then I found a very specific reference that I believe would be an excellent test of the congruency between his words and his actions, this in a post below one of his articles:
Dave C says:
August 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm
Awesome vids from Ian King, that guy is spot on with his stuff, very funny. Any opinion on his claims of plagiarism by some very well known coaches?
What would the response be? I quickly found out:

Bret Contreras says:
August 22, 2010 at 1:35 am

Dave, I didn’t watch this video because I’ve already spoken to some of the accused. I think it’s a bit of a misunderstanding on the part of the accused. I believe Ian has accused a few coaches and one in particular I feel was very undeserved of this accusation. There is definitely some damning evidence regarding the main target of the accused but I think that he obviously learned his lesson and won’t continue to do it. Since I really like the main target of the accused, I am biased. I think this guy is one of the nicest guys in the industry and I feel horrible about the entire situation. I can definitely see Ian’s point though.  
I was shocked – not what I was expecting. Looks like I was not the only one:

Josh R. says:
August 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

The main accused person is 100% guilty of plagiarism and should have to deal with consequences that are commensurate to the gravity of his actions. The accused has a history besides this of copying other people’s work, almost word for word. If this were any other field aside from the lucrative cash cow side of the fitness industry, he would of likely faced graver consequences. Directly copying someone’s written work is completely unethical to our society’s standards.
The response confirmed some key points in the original response by the writer:
Bret Contreras says:
August 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm
Josh, not trying to make excuses for the accused, but have you ever met him? One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. That’s why it’s hard for me to be objective here. I also don’t like to speculate when I haven’t heard both sides of the story. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses as I’ve heard of the other situations as well, but I’m just wondering if there is more to the story that I don’t know.
So to summarize:

• I didn’t watch this video because I’ve already spoken to some of the accused.

• I think it’s a bit of a misunderstanding on the part of the accused.

• ... [the main target] obviously learned his lesson and won’t continue to do it.

• I really like the main target of the accused, I am biased

• I think this guy is one of the nicest guys in the industry

• … have you ever met him [the accused]? One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

•  I’m just wondering if there is more to the story that I don’t know.

I also wondered why no names were being mentioned – they were coded as ‘main target’ etc. This struck me because in another article in the ‘guru-grilling’ series, the writer has very clearly spoken about the need to name people you are talking about:

Reason One Violations – Making Shit Up, Being a Jealous Hater, Talking About Stuff Without Possessing Experience, Cherry Picking, Not Admitting When Wrong, Being Too Scared to Name Names

 7. Why are you afraid to name names?

Ian King says:
May 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm
Bret – I tire of people making excuses for blatant copyright breaching or plagiarism as you would call academia. One of these ‘nice’ guys (we can go without name use if you want) has published enough of my work verbatim to fill a book, and used this content to form the basis of books and articles of many years. This is irrefutable. If you have seen anywhere that permission was granted for use let me know. It doesn’t exist. Who would give permission to copy such extensive volumes of work? Where are the credits? Where is the ‘permission given’ to copy? It doesn’t exist because – it doesn’t exist. And where the paraphrasing was used that may avoid legal definition of copyright breach, this issue of non-original work comes into play. I understand the inter-connecters of friends and not wanting to throw these associates under the bus etc etc – so I appreciate you and others want to keep out of this – but lets call a spade a spade – this is in my 30 years of being in the industry the most extensive case of copyright breaching I have ever seen – so please, let’s not pretend is a minor issue or a ‘mis-understanding’.
 I appreciate you efforts to stamp out plagiarism, non-crediting, and non-original works. I would hope therefore it would be difficult to side-step this one, no-matter how many time it is claimed the dog ate the permission letter…..I don’t normally engage in forum / blog exchanges about this, however after publishing so many innovations over the last few decades it’s not much fun watching the attempts to take credit or benefit commercially and professionally from my works. It’s even less fun watching professionals with integrity turn a blind eye out of fear of offending their buddies or damaging their cash cow, especially in these public forums. The message to others if the industry turns a collective blind eye to this is more of the same. Thank you for your time.
By then I stumbled upon another article by this writer that included adulating comments about certain ‘coaches’ , and I realized that it would be very unlikely that this writer would apply his ‘commandments’ and ‘guru-grilling’ against certain people. They were buddies.

Unfortunately I don’t think there will be too many people concerned by the threat:But perhaps it is the beginning of something greater – a genuine return to integrity. A world where those who lie, cheat and steal are truly shunned.
If you want to avoid my scrutiny, just be humble, be cautious with your conclusions (say things like, “I feel,” “I think,” “It is my belief,” etc.), don’t act like you’re superior to all the hardworking trainers out there, stick to what you know, gain experience with something before drawing a conclusion, focus on science, present both sides of an argument, and in general don’t alienate other trainers and try to brainwash your followers. Hopefully this will make a difference and keep gurus more grounded and honest, but in the meantime, I’m goin’ hunting!
It was great to see the issue of integrity and zero tolerance to plagiarism. It didn’t rise to the promise of the writer’s words but it was a start.Anyway, I always seek to act respectfully and understand that in this case he would not want to name is friends, so in my response I respectfully complied with this mode of communication:

Note - References available on request