Thursday, December 10, 2015

Strength training makes you weak and should not be done

We’ve been conducting some studies lately and have reached the conclusion that strength training is bad and should not be done.

The protocol we have been using has been to complete a set of near Repetition Maximum reps in the squat, and to test vertical jump and speed within a few minutes of the sets.

There was a direct correlation between level of muscle fatigue and reduced strength, power and speed. There is also a direct correlation between the number of sets and the decrement in strength, power and speed.

The evidence is clear – strength training makes you weaker and slower, and should not be conducted. If you must do strength training, the lower you Repetition maximum you go the less strength, power and speed you will loose, and the less sets you do, the same applies.

I have conferred with a number or colleagues on this and it is our learned recommendation you stop strength training.

Whilst this position has not been formally adopted by any professional development associations, we are confident we will find enough academics and marketing gurus whose lack of strength and understanding of strength should be sufficient motivation for them to temporarily adopt a falsehood until they conduct further personal investigations and gain a higher level of knowledge and personal competence in this area, which will be followed by a range of trend based crappy e-products that create short term cash and the perception of marking leading knowledge, advocating the use of strength training.

And due to the fact that, in the 1950 words of the great Dr Albert Schweitzer, 'man does not think' (read - most humans are too dumb or at least have been dumb-downed to question powerful presented paradigms and trends} this will be a really easy sell.

By then, there will be a generation of humans who struggle to loose the conditioning that strength is bad, and who will pass this myth on to their children in a highly non-scientific way, and another if not more generations of humans will suffer for this falsehood that suited the vested interests of a minority.

Hold it - I might be getting confused with the fate of stretching….

PS. Make sure the masses don't hear that if you waited a few more minutes to test strength it would be a different outcome...

PPS. How is that blindness side-effect going?....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The post 2000 fitness ‘professional’ – the long road back

I often comment on how there’s some really distinct believes and behaviours that I believe identify the persons new to the ‘fitness industry’ post 2000, as a result of the ‘influences’ they were exposed to in this heavily internet marketing based decade. This is a decade I have called a number of things from the Decade of Deceit to the Decade of Bullshit. And these poor souls brought their blank slate into this environment. It’s been an interesting phenomenon to observe. I believe it sent this gullible, trusting cohort on a money and time wasting merry-go-round of confusion.

When someone shared this article with me, written by a Oliver Cummings out of the UK, it summed up this experience better than I could, because he lived it. I learnt from reading the article he fitted the description to a T- a post 2000 entrant to the industry, and he got caught up what most if not all post 2000 newbies got caught up in. To his credit it looks like he has begun the long journey back from this, and in his own words, its been a long road back.

A question I have of those who suffered this fate, this post-2000 intake or cohort - can the mind ever be emptied enough recover from the information they absorbed during this decade when they were so malleable?

Here’s the article, and here’s the authors contact details:
"Part 1 of 2. After a conversation with some clients this past week about training methods and a younger trainer last week who asked me about some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made during the last 12 years of coaching, I thought I’d share some of these.

1) Becoming a Functional Trainer specialising in movement patterns. After graduating in 2002, I went on and got my fitness qualifications to work in a gym and quickly found out I didn’t know much so I started reading lots of books on the latest wave of training that was hitting the states – functional training. Shit I was doing it all wrong, barbell curls and any form of sit ups were now on the banned list. So off I went to Canada after devouring the previous 12 months study material to get qualified as a Functional Trainer. From squatting on swiss balls, doing single leg work on wobble boards, stability cushions, to lunging in every angle imaginable with a rotational twist always involved, sometimes even blindfolded..yip that was the “advanced stage..”, and performing countless core drills and exercises to activate the transversus abdominis and other core muscles I didn’t know existed, I wore that t-shirt loud and proud. Apparently my clients and myself were using corrective exercise to improve how our body’s functioned in real life. All this twisting and bending was how we were meant to move as human beings. And I was sold the idea that there would be a transfer over to speed and strength due to being able to recruit my stabilisers much more effectively. Result? Strength and power went backwards, and the back pain that some of my clients and myself were suffering from at that time got worse. This was back in 2003-2004. That shit never worked then and doesn’t work now, no matter how much the new governing body selling their certification program try to convince us.

2) The assessment guy. As part of becoming a functional trainer who now specialised in movement patterns, I needed be able to assess and correct. This consisted of a comprehensive assessment of posture, balance, flexibility, and movement assessments. The assessment took 1 -2 hours to complete for one person which bored the life out of clients, myself included if I’m being honest.

The results of the assessments were now showing that most of my clients and myself were dysfunctional in some way or another– from leg length differences to over tight muscle groups, shoulders not being level on either side, too much forward head carriage, to core being weak and a lot more. The results highlighted red flags which now needed priority in programme design and prevented me from giving clients a lot of the traditional lifts in the gym, these big compound lifts could now kill us. Training programmes were now called Corrective Exercise programmes and consisted of 4 phases of development lasting 6-8 weeks each before you were allowed to pick anything heavy up off the floor. By the end of stage 4 you had lost the will to live never mind lift heavy.

What I’ve learned from experience is that every training session is a testing session. Coaching involves observing clients closely – looking at how their body moves while they perform the warm up and during the training session itself. Things can be corrected on the spot with proper coaching cues. For Gaelic players and soccer players, with a sound athletic programme in place that accounts for structural balance there is no need to spend 4-8 weeks focusing primarily on movement prep and core activation work. All these things can be part of the overall programme but not at the expense of getting the real job done in the weights room – developing explosive strength and power.

With all the work going into FMS and core work over the past few years there seems to be little carryover in preventing injuries going by the global epidemic in sports injuries. As an observation after doing a few thousand hours of assessing normal clients and Gaelic players, a lot of the movement tests can be learned in a relatively short period of time. I still assess all new clients but the difference now and back then is that I’m more specific on what I’m testing for whether it’s a sports person looking to improve speed or a new client with a long term injury. Most of the time all I want to see if there is a major difference between left and right, and if pain exists when they move. After that were good to train.

3) Buying into the whole core myth. This ties in with the first two points. Spending an extensive part of your training time strengthening and activating the core muscles means nothing if your ankles, hamstrings, or neck are weak. Where can all this new core strength go? Your ankles are continually breaking down, your hamstrings are tearing every other game and you think training the core will correct these problems. Fantasy land. I used to believe this too until I found much more effective ways of training for both injury prevention and performance.

Here’s another thing, if you’re sucking your core in to activate your transversus when doing any form of athletic or core training you are destabilising the spine and making the core weaker. If you’re being taught to do this by a physio or anyone else like I was years ago in my functional trainer days then you need to direct them to the work of Dr Stuart McGill a professor of spine biomechanics who has done extensive research on patients and elite athletes with back injuries. Ask any boxer to suck in his abs when punching or when being punched to see his response, or a powerlifter at the bottom of a squat or deadlift – that weight won’t be coming back up again. Instead learn to brace the abs. Squeezing a crap activates the abs more than all that “suck your belly button in” nonsense. Train the abs just like any other body part, no need to specialise unless there is a major weakness, and don’t forget to blast the lower back, when it gets stronger the whole mid-section does too.

4) Joining the Anti-Stretching Establishment. At the time of studying for a sports science degree the research was coming out that static stretching did not reduce injuries and it actually decreased power output if performed before a training session. So I basically stopped stretching and focused instead on dynamic warm up movements. Problem was I sitting all day at university, my hips were becoming chronically tighter, and doing 10-15 minutes of dynamic movements only loosened them up for the training session ahead but did not correct the tightness that was restricting movement. And in today’s day and age this is a common theme for people who drive to work and sit all day over an office desk.

As with any type of training there’s a time and place for all types of stretching. If certain muscles are experiencing chronic tightness get them stretched statically and hold the stretch for 2-5 minutes, 15 second holds don’t cut it as most of us have experienced. Other muscles not as tight can be stretched dynamically, with bands or with PNF.

As much as strength training can enhance athleticism and improve a person’s physique, I’ve learned to incorporate a lot more stretching into the programmes over the years as opposed to 100% dynamic based stretching, and as a result seen a reduction in soft tissue injuries, better range of movement at the bottom of squats and other lower limb exercises and an improvement in stride length while sprinting especially with Gaelic players. For clients pressed for time, static stretching for the lower body specifically the hip area can be performed between rest intervals during upper body training sessions to accommodate training economy. And for coaches who overthink about calming the parasympathetic nervous system down too much doing all this static stretching then weigh out the pros and cons. Having banged up hips from years of sports training won’t benefit performance.

5) Training every client for body composition goals and thinking they need to be at an impressively low level of bodyfat to gain recognition as a trainer who knows what I’m doing. I fell into the trap of thinking every client had my goals – which was to be as lean as possible at all times during the year. Problem was I wasn’t listening to what their goals truly were. If you were a male I wanted you at 10-12% or below bodyfat and if you were a female 15-20%. And in the process I don’t want you having a life away from the gym because that means you won’t hit those figures. And we got to get you in there in 12 weeks or less.

What I’ve learned is that not every client wants to walk about lean or ripped. Some clients just want to get healthier, lose weight to look respectable, and be able to train 3-4 times weekly to feel good about themselves. For quite a few this is much better than doing nothing at all to improve their health or fitness. Being satisfied overweight and not getting healthier or improving fitness levels is not what I’m talking about here, going to the extreme of not being able to eat out and enjoy food on the banned list for 3-6 months is. For competitive athletes, and females and males getting ready for figure or bodybuilding competitions who I have dealt with that’s a whole different ball game. And clients who sign up specifically for a transformation challenge obviously the guidelines are a lot stricter.

But for people new to fitness and those already involved who don’t want the extreme approach the key is compliance and to find what is sustainable long term while keeping the client involved in fitness, otherwise we lose them.

As a side note to this, back in my body composition days, I used to keep my subcutaneous bodyfat at no higher than 12% year round, because I needed to be able to do it myself and to gain respect from clients who would see that if I can be relatively lean all year then I must know what I’m doing. My theory was true to a certain extent but over time I’ve found that the reality is 9 times out of 10, clients or potential clients don’t care if a trainer has a six pack or not. Looking like a sack of shit obviously isn’t a good advertisement for business, being in shape is and can help..a bit. BUT the only thing they truly want to know is can we help them achieve what their looking for. If you’re a new trainer on the scene – that means 3 years or less and you think the current trend on social media of showing what you ate for breakfast and displaying how lean your serratus anterior is I’ve got news for you – clients don’t give one shit. That does not inspire or motivate or help get you new clients.

Arriving at Westside Barbell in Columbus Ohio back in 2008 to spend 2 weeks with Louis Simmons, and after spending the previous year or so training Westside style and mixing it with a strict paleo diet which I had been eating anyway since 2004, Louie shook my hand welcomed me into the gym and asked me if I was a tennis player. Thanks Louie. So much for getting lean.

6) The ball buster. I’ll keep this brief. Training should be conducted with proper intensity and positive stress should be applied at a progressive rate over time so as to get an adaptation response. If too much stress is applied overtime and the person struggles to adapt to the new stress then signs and symptoms of over-reaching can start to show up. That’s when it’s time to back off. If every session is the ball buster, harder than last time, longer than last time etc then progress stalls. We eventually set people up for failure. Being the hardest trainer in town delivering the hardest sessions in town is the one of the first mistakes the new trainer makes to create an impression and looking back I did it too. Not that my sessions are any easier now or less intense, the difference is periodisation of intensity and volume over 4-8-12 weeks periods to get the best possible training outcome. When delivering sessions now I’m asking myself, will this help and progress the client or leave them so tired and fatigued they have a hard time recovering from it. Training clients into a state of exhaustion seems to be a current trend in the fitness industry whereby if they are not on their back wiped out at the end of it the session then it wasn’t productive. From a recovery point of view this is called bullshit. My primary role is to provide a safe and effective coaching environment, and to help a client, not exhaust them. Having a team of paramedics land at one of the gyms I was working at before soon taught me a lesson to calm the fuck down with clients. The minimal effective dose to get the best training response is always the best method. Anything beyond that is a waste of time and messes with the whole recovery process - that forgotten piece of the training process where we do nothing but do the most important thing.

7) The more I learn the less I know. Becoming too emotionally attached to one style of training was something that I suffered from years ago. I’ve invested a fair chunk of my income since 2002 on certification programmes, seminars, workshops, and in private internships, not to mention taking time off from work to shadow coaches at the top of their game in NFL, professional boxing, English and Welsh rugby, and functional nutrition/medicine in America, Canada, and Europe. I look back at the early days and realise that with the few strength and conditioning, nutrition and fitness qualifications I had gained, some good others not so good, that I was becoming attached to certain styles of training and nutrition. Why?

It’s all I knew at the time and I had just spent a fair amount of money and time getting qualified in them so I did become emotionally attached to some of them. Plus I went to these courses and internships to learn with an open mind which I still do, but at the beginning I opened my mind up too much to new ideas that my brain nearly fell out. The old saying that a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous is so true in the fitness industry and hands up it applied to me before. I look at some trainers today who have been in the industry less than 3-5 years which is nothing and they fall into the same trap of believing everything they have been taught in the weekend certification programme they attended or the 4 year sport science degree they have recently completed or worse the latest e-book. Now when I attend seminars or complete certification programmes

I’m looking for that 5-10% piece of information that I feel could be valuable and can be integrated into my system of training. I’m not looking to radically change everything come Monday morning when back at work, I’m looking to fit different pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together so that I can now offer a better way of getting results with clients or teams. Having interned with some of the best coaches in the world and applied their methods over a 12-13 year period I’ve a bit of an idea of what works now and what doesn’t and in comparison to 10 years ago I’m much better at detecting bullshit when I’m looking at new methods from both certification programmes and coaches. I’m still searching for answers to stuff I haven’t figured out and there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t figured out yet.

8) Gurus are a dime a dozen. This follows on from the last point. If you’re a new trainer then you need to learn fast that nobody has all the answers. I used to believe every word that came out of some coaches mouths but found that when I applied some of the information it didn’t work, sometimes results got worse, and sometimes their advice accelerated results greatly. It all gets back to the famous Bruce Lee quote “absorb what is useful, discard what is not.” Every coach has flaws, every training programme has flaws, nothing perfect exists in the training world no matter what the guru tells us or the latest up and coming coach who has had a bit of success over the last 3 year period. The world of strength and conditioning does not begin and end with any one person’s methods no matter how successful they have become. The key is to learn from different coaches and see what works for yourself in your environment.

How do you pick a coach to learn from? Here’s a few tips. Look at their background. How many years have they been coaching? Anything less than 5-7 and be careful. What is their track record? What coaches at the top did they learn from themselves and how many? Success leaves clues. Pick people who have had success, have been in the industry for a respectable period of time, and have learned a lot from other successful coaches at the top themselves.

Bonus tip – being successful on social media platforms and having a good few thousand raving fans and likes means nothing. As for online coaches who have more online clients than people in real life, that isn’t coaching. That’s cutting and pasting programmes and sending it off to the new online client. The best coaches who I have learned from, you won’t find on social media, ever. They are too busy in the real world coaching some of the best athletes in the world. That’s not to say there aren’t any top coaches on the internet, there’s quite a few using the internet to get their information out there. The problem is there is a lot of bullshitters using social media to make themselves look like experts. If their blogging and answering questions on the internet at peak gym times Monday to Friday then you got to question who the hell their coaching in real life.

9) The business of fitness marketing. During the whole time of interning, and attending seminars and courses the common piece of business advice from a lot of the coaches was that when you start to produce results the clients will soon knock on the door. This is partly true and to this day a fair chunk of my business whether it is individuals or teams still comes from referrals which I am always thankful for. There have been times in the past however when business was really bad. Leaving a gym I had worked at for 6 years in 2009 to start working in another gym resulted in losing quite a few clients due to the new gym being geographically too far away to travel for a lot of clients. After quickly discovering that thinking good thoughts and spreading love and positivity out into the universe didn’t attract new clients it gave me a good kick up the arse to start reading reality books like business and marketing. Something that I felt I didn’t need to know and actually hated the thought of to be honest, but it needed to be done as I was self-employed and running a personal training business meant if I didn’t have clients I didn’t get paid and just like everyone else I had bills to pay.

Fast forward 6 years later and I still haven’t really applied anywhere near the amount of the marketing info that I have learned but have become a lot more clued up on the overall business side of things and now appreciate the value of understanding and knowing my numbers, tracking, and generally keeping account of everything. I have during this time read and followed leading figures in the fitness marketing side of things, and have signed up and paid quite a bit for business mentorship programmes. Having already learnt from my past mistakes on the training side of things, I was now able to make a good decision whether Coach X from sunshine coast in some part of America (who I had never heard of before) and was promising to show the secrets to getting more clients than you can handle and earning a 6 figure annual income was legit or a fraud.

I’ve put 6 figure in as it’s the common trend in their advertisements. Their mystical methods that had them running massively successful gyms and bootcamps yet they decided to sell up and teach their principles to gullible personal trainers because there must be more money in that, or they didn’t actually run a successful business at all. What you will find with a lot of these fitness marketing gurus and companies is that 90% of their information products comes from basic books on business and marketing, with the language slightly changed to suit fitness. If you want to learn more about business do yourself a favour and read anything by Michael E. Gerber or Michael Port before you blow money on some guy who for all we know could be and likely is running an imaginary 6 figure business while sitting with his laptop in the bedroom of his parent’s house.

There are however really good business coaches out there who have and still do run successful gyms and other fitness businesses. Find one stick to his methods and don’t get lost amongst all the rest of the noise.

The key point to understand if you’re new to the industry - learn your trade first then study business but don’t leave it to 8 years down the line like I did. But get a handle of the basic business stuff from day one as it will help. On the other hand if you know more about Instagram and other forms of social media than you do about proper programme design and coaching then your priorities are all wrong.

A really good tip for letting people know you’re a trainer on Facebook is to do the following. Go on a diet that absolutely kills you for 12-16 weeks, knock some strong fat burners and whatever else down the neck during this time, train cardio on an empty stomach 5 mornings weekly and weight train in the afternoon. I’m assuming you’re in your twenties and have no family commitments or anything outside of the gym to distract you – you know like real life stuff. Once you’ve leaned out get the fake tan on and get a photo shoot done.

Once you’ve nailed that now you can start advertising for clients on social media. Here’s the rules. Peter Thomas after your name and designer boxer shorts for the profile pic. Daily motivational quotes will now be the norm from here on in not to mention pictures of your breakfast just for extra inspiration. And remember to hit that beast mode button after every training session just in case we forgot about your AM workout that happened 4 hours beforehand. Now go search for that ideal high end client who will stick to your realistic guidelines for getting in shape. Marketing made simple.

That’s pretty much it, I could go into much more detail on any of the above points and I could share much more but I honestly haven’t got the time. Hopefully the new kids on the block learnt something and the more experienced guys in the industry can associate with some of the points.

To finish off I just want to let any coaches know my internship programme will be starting in January 2016. Level 1 National Trainer will last for one weekend and if you pass all practical and written exams you can proceed to Level 2 International Master Trainer which will take 2 weekends to complete. Once you complete Master Trainer Level 2 after 2 weekends you will have your name put up as an affiliated link on my website. This will help clients in your local area find you. But if you don’t reinvest into the programme and retake exams within a 2 year period I will take your name down off the website because I’ll be teaching completely different material in 2 years, and what you were taught 2 years previous to this won’t work anymore. This is the way a lot of fitness qualifications are done now so my Master Trainer Award will be no different. Get signed up on the link below."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Can you give it to me for a discounted price?

Can I have a discount? Vs. I wish to pay full price

I received a request recently from a customer – ‘Can I have a discount?’ Why? 'Because I’m really short of cash this month.'

I’ve dealt with this more than a few times however on this occasion I wanted to share the lesson with more than just the asker.

There was a time when I would have say ‘Sure’ as I felt for the story of challenge combined with want, now.

Or perhaps influenced by the fear of a loss of a sale.

However over the last few decades I have been exposed to a number of mentors who have taught me that I actually do not serve the person by giving them the impression that to have more they don’t need to change.

Here’s one of those influences, Jim Rohn:

“I wish to pay full price for every value…For what it will make of me….If I wish to have more, I must become more….Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.”--Jim Rohn

Another reason Jim taught was the value in paying fair price or earning something rather than being gifted something:

"The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. That is why I wish to pay fair price for every value. If I have to pay for it or earn it, that makes something of me. If I get it for free, that makes nothing of me."--Jim Rohn

So now I say, as much as it hurts me on earlier values, I am not serving you by giving you a discount for no other reason than you asked for one based on how tough life is for you financially.

I know many teachers who share this value, based first on what they do, and secondly then what they teach. In fact I heard one just a few days ago say the same thing, and another person influenced by Jim Rohn amongst others.

Perhaps the lesson will be received. Perhaps not. And in case you were interested, the full price of the item was 44 dollars….We collectively expended more time in writing emails than the value of any discount could have been…

When I hear something ask for a reduced price simply because they perceive something to be out of their reach, I conclude they have not been exposed to these lessons, so I choose to pass on the wisdom of Jim Rohn and others.

In conclusion, another Jim Rohn wisdom:

"I used to say, "Things cost too much." Then my teacher straightened me out on that by saying, "The problem isn't that things cost too much. The problem is that you can't afford it." That's when I finally understood that the problem wasn't "it" – the problem was "me."-- Jim Rohn

Monday, October 19, 2015

I’ve learnt a few keys to failure!

One of the benefits of talking to people about taking action and potentially experiencing change in life is that you get to learn about how the average person thinks.

Napoleon Hill wrote a famous book called ‘Think and Grow Rich – The Keys to Success’ on the basis of his chats with highly successful people. I believe my chats are leading me to form the content for a manuscript of a similar kind – just the opposite ‘The Keys to Failing!’

So in the lead up to Season 3 of the KSI Leveraged Challenge I have been doing my best to give away $1,000, free training, mentoring with myself - in a program that can and has changed peoples lives.

At the same time every week this year I watch a certain man’s business outperform and out earn mine – despite him passing away over a decade ago. And his wife and children are the beneficiaries of this. Now we will catch up and exceed his business success, and whilst I do feel a bit embarrassed that at least 2 of my former colleagues have passed and still out-perform me from the grave, here I am talking to people who may never take the action to have this potential reward! I can assure you they will not be generating income for their family post their working life, or post their life. They are committed to failing.

I heard a phenomenal quote recently as I studied some seminar footage, where the speakers minimum requirement was they had to be 7 figure income earners per year. Not turnover, personal income. That’s right, a million or more per year or you can’t speak. And yes, it was not a physical preparation seminar….

And one of the speakers said words to the effect:

The average person…

….works out how (or if they think) they can do it..
….says yes…
…and then tells people.

The above-average person….

…says yes…
….tells the world...
…and then works out how to do it.

And the challenge with that is the ordinary person doesn’t know how to solve their challenges, other than using the solutions that got them to their current challenges. So they don’t know how to do it and will never figure it out because the answers only come after you start! So they are right – they can’t take action or change!

So if you are looking for reasons not to take action and not to change, and are committed to being as you are and hoping things don’t change around you too much, you can use this!

So, in case this turns into a series, here’s one of the ‘Keys to Failure’! Say:
‘I can’t do it until I have worked out how to do it!’

Friday, October 16, 2015

KSI L1 Graduate Coach Interview - Tui Katene

Firstly, congratulations on completing the KSI U Level 1 course! And thanks in advance for taking the time to share your experiences with the reader. To get started, I’d like to ask:

1. How long have you been in the industry and what is your current role?

I’ve worked in the industry for over 20 years and held pretty much every position, gym floor worker, Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Manager. Now I own my own gym and service my local community. When I’m not training, I get a few quality personal training sessions in with some of my members.

2. How did you first get involved in the industry?

The gym thing has always been a major part of my life, I started working out in the gym when I was 15, I had just made the New Zealand Touch Football Team and when I wasn’t playing or running around with my ball, I would be in the gym. I’d hang out there for hours, watching, learning and listening, then I was offered a part time job as a student and, that was it…Hooked!

3. What do you see as the ideal position to be in and why?

My ideal position would be to be coaching high performance athletes. As a four times international athlete myself giving back to the industry that helped build my sporting career would be the ultimate.

4. What type of clients do you deal with and is there anything you are planning to change with regard to your client base?

I work with clients of all shapes and sizes, makes and models, from the everyday person wanting to get fit and healthy to elite athletes representing New Zealand. In the near future I’d like to work predominantly with elite athletes and focus more on high performance sports conditioning.

5. What led you to start the KSI Coach program?

I attended a powerlifting 3 lift course in August this year run by Cathy Millen. Cathy talked about KSI Coach Program and her own experiences in working with Ian King. Something resonated with me about the information Cathy delivered and I decided the best way to learn more was to commit some of my time to starting the KSI Level 1 Course.

6. How was the experience of doing the KSI Coach program?

Wow best decision ever! There were so many light bulb moments, from Milo the Greek wrestler in 6th Century BC to legend Charlie Francis. The KSI Coach program just made so much sense. What have been the biggest lessons you have taken from the KSI Coach program? The biggest lessons have been so many, and I find myself going back and revisiting my notes on a daily basis. If I were to name a few of those key lessons they would be:

• It’s ok to follow your intuition
• It’s ok to trust your instincts and resist the temptation to conform.

Ian King you are a Legacy!

7. In your opinion and experience what makes the KSI unique?

There is nothing like KSI, you will not find the history behind the concepts anywhere else. No one else will be able to give you the detailed facts “no holds barred” like Ian. Ian says it how it is, and makes sense of it. Ian talks from experience, he talks with honesty and integrity. In my book nothing beats that.

8. What are some of the frustrations you have faced in your work and what are some of these that you have found a solution for?

The biggest frustration I’ve had over the years is clients who think they know what’s best for them because they read something on google. They get caught up in wanting to do whatever the latest trend is. I guess I look at the trend now and google and talk a lot more about where these trends or programs have come from. I talk a lot more about the history of where these ideas come from, and the type of people who are writing or developing these trends, commercialism, marketing, to name a few.

9. What are your plans for the future?

Initial plans are heading to Canada in November for the Commonwealth Powerlifting Champs then back into KSI Level 2 for a starter in 2016. I’d really like to increase my athlete client base for 2016 so that’s on the cards.

10. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Hang out with my cats, Rocky and See-me, for relaxing, Surfing for fun and a diving for seafood (kaimoana) for dinner.

11. What do you belief are the greatest challenges facing our industry and or someone in this industry?

People and PTs being influenced by what they see on the internet and following exercise trends. It’s crazy. I see new PTs coming in giving ad hoc advice about trends and making up their own version without knowing the correct technique. It’s scary, creates bad habits, which in turn creates injury. A problem I believe the industry will suffer from in the near future.

12. What advice do you have for anyone considering starting the KSI Coach program? Just do it! Nothing comes close.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. Every time anyone completes a task they set out to do they stand out, as not everyone does this. So well done, you deserve a big pat on the back!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

KSI L1 Graduate Coach Interview Sebastien Buttigieg

Firstly, congratulations on completing the KSI U Level 1 course! And thanks in advance for taking the time to share your experiences with the reader.

To get started, I’d like to ask:

1. How long have you been in the industry and what is your current role?

I have been working in the industry for almost 7 years now. I began by completing my Cert III in Fitness to become a gym instructor and work in a gym, which I did for a couple of years. I followed that up by completing my Cert IV in Fitness and becoming a Personal Trainer, which I also did for a period of time. I then decided to go back to study and complete my Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sport Science, which I completed earlier this year.

2. How did you first get involved in the industry?

I had been weight training for a year or so when I decided to do my Cert III in fitness as a way to develop my own knowledge of training and the processes of the human body. After completing it, I found that I had really enjoyed learning everything and that the fitness industry was something I was quite passionate about. I managed to fall into my first gym job, when a friend of mine was leaving the gym that he worked at for another job. I spoke with the manager who I knew quite well by this stage and said that I had completed my qualifications and that I was looking to get some work in a gym. Things just went from there.

3. What do you see as the ideal position to be in and why?

Ideally I would one day like to be working alongside elite athletes in a strength and conditioning setting within a sporting team such as an AFL club, EPL soccer team or even NBA or NFL team. I love working with regular people that are looking to get into better shape, however, having grown up within such a big sporting family, I would love to be able to get involved at the highest level to help these athletes prepare and achieve as much success as possible.

4. What type of clients do you deal with and is there anything you are planning to change with regard to your client base?

Currently I work with a range of clients from older women looking to improve their lives, lose a little bit of weight and get in better shape, to helping out with teaching/running strength and conditioning sessions for teenage athletes. I have also recently started working at a new studio, which deals more with a fitter clientele and those looking to transform their physiques. In the New Year I am aiming to get my foot in the door at an AFL club and start developing experience working alongside elite athletes.

5. What led you to start the KSI Coach program?

I attended a lecture by Ian earlier in the year, after being recommended to go by my mother and fellow USANA colleagues. I found the talk to be extremely informative and it gave me the hunger to learn more about what Ian has done and how I can get to where he has gotten to within the industry. I did some research in the days following and spoke with Ian on the internet and he told me about the KSI Coach program. I looked into it and it immediately appealed to me, so I signed up.

6. How was the experience of doing the KSI Coach program?

At the time of beginning the program it was a bit hard to keep up with regularly doing things, as I was in the final 6 months of my uni degree at the time and was being bombarded with assignments left right and center. However, once my degree was finished it was much easier to sit down and really absorb as much as possible from the program. Everything was easy to follow and the information presented gave me the thirst to attain even more knowledge about the KSI way.

7. What have been the biggest lessons you have taken from the KSI Coach program?

The main lessons that I have taken away from the program are to not just take someone’s word and believe that it is the be all and end all of it. I found it extremely enlightening that so-called “experts” that I had received information from over the years, had in fact been ripping off information that was developed by Ian in the first place. I have also started adopting some of the strategies that Ian has developed with regards to exercise prescription, techniques and programming protocols within my own training and that of my own clients (obviously being mindful to not claim them as my own ideas).

8. What are some of the frustrations you have faced in your work and what are some of these that you have found a solution for?

The most frustrating thing that I have found is dealing with clients that do not have a strong work ethic and seem to only be training to tell their friends that they are going to the gym. The large majority of the time the clients that I have dealt with have been amazing, they have gotten the results that they want, by putting in the hard work that it takes to achieve those results. It is clients like that, who make it a joy to do what I do. It is frustrating when a client comes along and as soon as the going gets a little challenging they make up a myriad of excuses as to why they cannot do something. I have found that over the years, with more experience and more knowledge, I have been able to gradually change these characteristics in certain clients and help them to develop a better attitude towards their training. I have still not mastered the ability to motivate 100% of the clients that I deal with and to get them to do the hard things outside of the gym (i.e. changing their diet habits, stretching, recovering), but I feel as though I am getting much better at this.

9. What are your plans for the future?

Within the next few months I aim to get a position working within the strength and conditioning department of an AFL team, even if it is only a voluntary part-time position. I also want to complete the KSI Level 2 program and be eligible to participate in Levels 3 and 4 of the program next year. I want to attain my ASCA Strength and Conditioning accreditation as well. Most importantly I want to learn more and more in order to become the best coach that I can possibly be.

10. What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I am not working or training myself I like to spend my spare time with my lovely partner, (as it is hard to spend quality time during the week with the hours we both keep). Playing with my two dogs and I am also a musician and play a variety of instruments along with singing. After a long hard day I do enjoy sitting down on the couch to watch a good TV Show (get into Modern Family if you haven’t already!) and playing a computer game or two with my little cousin.

11. What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing our industry and or someone in this industry?

Working solely as a personal trainer is hard, as you only get paid for the time that you are physically training with someone. Week to week that time can vary quite a lot, as it is highly dependant upon the client, how they are feeling day to day, how busy they are at work, how much money they have, whether they are going away on holidays etc. Whenever people are strapped for cash it is things like personal training that get dropped first as it is not a priority for most people, which is totally understandable. It is not a consistent form of income and at certain times of the year it can be quite difficult, especially during Christmas where their money is going elsewhere or they are going away on holiday. Also through the middle of winter, a large majority of the people I come across lack the motivation to train.

12. What advice do you have for anyone considering starting the KSI Coach program?

The best advice I could give is to simply do it! You won’t regret it.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. Every time anyone completes a task they set out to do they stand out, as not everyone does this. So well done, you deserve a big pat on the back!

Ian King

KSI Coach Education Program Learn original material based on real coaching – the best way to become the best you can be! Learn more:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

We don’t care, just leave us alone to talk about sets and reps

I've really gone out on a limb in the last 6 months to warn as many who will listen and give them a chance to prepare, to take new directions in life. I’ve taken a real risk because I’ve seen how many people opt out when I dare to write about money. It would be a lot easier to write about popular shallow things, such as how to buff your biceps in 3 days using an little know secret that you can only learn by signing up for my next course…or something as benign and deceitful as that which is typical of what’s offered in our typical industry marketing.

It's amazing how so many in physical preparations shut down, opt out, walk away. They don't want to talk about anything than sets and reps. It will be interesting how that plays out in their 'golden years'.

How that will support them when they are grey that will put their kids through education…fund their medical costs…support their parents as well as their kids….put food on the table….

I guess they want things to stay the same, keep getting the average PT income of 20--40k/year....and that was before the potential downturn…and that income will look like a fortune compared to the income they will receive in the later decades of their life.

However things are not going to stay the same, and I believe you have two choices in change. You can choose change and it hurts. Or you can have change forced on you and that will hurts a lot more. And I believe that type of pain is on the horizon for many. Well actually, the majority - based on what I see of so many turning their back on this information, concluding that they don’t need it.

I’ve been studying specifically the risks of 2016 for the last decade and a half, and few were talking about it back then. Now it’s become a mainstream discussion with

When a Harvard professor is writing for the Washington Post singing from the same song sheet as those who have been calling the risks of 2016 for over a decade, you know the evidence is mounting. The author is Lawrence Summers is a professor at and past president of Harvard University. He was treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001 and an economic adviser to President Obama from 2009 through 2010.

There were a few paragraphs that really stood out to me. Firstly the way so many in physical preparation appear to be putting their head in their sand. They are low incomes now, with little upside even in a ‘normal’ economy. In a downturn they will be screwed. But they want to keep doing what they are doing.
As always when things go badly, there is a great debate between those who believe in staying the course and those who urge a serious correction. I am convinced of the urgent need for substantial changes in the world’s economic strategy.
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, as the role model of success appears at least the fitness industry to be more about the perception of greatness defined by likes and friends, and very little about competence or quality of life.

I’ve been studying the impending financial period and solutions for it for a long time now. And when I see what I see regarding people not wanting to do things differently, not willing to learn new values and skills, I really relate to this statement by the authors:
As always when things go badly, there is a great debate between those who believe in staying the course and those who urge a serious correction. I am convinced of the urgent need for substantial changes in the world’s economic strategy.
So what does this mean to the physical preparation coach? Insert the words ‘;hsyical preparation coach’ for ‘world’s policymakers’ in the below statement, as you truly are your own policy maker:
What does all this mean for the world’s policymakers gathering in Lima? This is no time for complacency. The idea that slow growth is only a temporary consequence of the 2008 financial crisis is absurd. The latest data suggest growth is slowing in the United States, and it is already slow in Europe and Japan. A global economy near stall speed is one where the primary danger is recession.
I will repeat – this is no time for complacency. Reminds me a lot of the stories from the Titanic – when people suggested it was time to leave, most might have thought ‘It can’t be, this ship can’t sink!’. I suggest that is exactly what we are seeing now….

Who are you going to be? The ones in the water drowning or the ones in the life boats?

Read the full article at

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What’s all this economy stuff got to do with me as a physical preparation coach?

This is a question that many will be asking. At least those who have not already opted out because their minds apparently can only accommodate things about how to get ripped or similar…

Let me explain why I believe this economy stuff is relevant to you. In years to come you can look back with the strength of hindsight and judge how relevant this is…

Here’s a brief economic lesson to give you an insight into why many believe challenges in the US economy will affect the world economy, and how they might affect your economy.

The US is the greatest consumer country in the world; some suggest accounting for around 50% of the world’s consumption. When the US contracts, demands for goods drop. Most goods are now produced in China and other parts of Asia. So whilst the Asians economies are stronger than the Europe and Americas, they stand to contract on reduced demand for goods.

The countries that make their money be exporting raw minerals to the production countries will have less demand for their resources, and in turn they will contract. Australia is a great example of this, where Australia’s economy is closely tied to the demand from China for its resources.

So the challenges faced by the US, with its 17 trillion dollar (and that’s just the Govt debt – some suggest the combined real debt is in excess of 40 trillion) debt and growing – are a potential trigger for serious economic downturns in all countries.

Now what’ that got to do with you as a physical preparation coach you ask?

If you have clients, and their incomes are threatened, you will suffer a reduction in demand for your services. Your income stands to drop. The only buffer will be having really, really wealthy clients, and even during the 2006-2010 period, many learnt that your high net worth clients weren’t so financially stable as you thought.

If you have a lease on a facility, and your suffer reduced income, you are going to face an additional challenge in being able to pay the lease payments owned on your facility.

If you are relying on your assets to secure your loans, and your assets take a serious tumble in value, you will be under scrutiny from your lenders.

That’s what I think it has to do with you as a physical preparation coach!

If that concerns you, and if you have not already done so, click here to learn more:

We can all look back in the years to come and ask - was I on track? Did i do enough?

Ian King

PS. We've had an offer on the table for nearly 3 wks now where we have offered to rebate 10% of start up costs for new business in a particular offer. Offer ends 11 Sep 2015...

Friday, September 4, 2015

I spoke to xxxx (professional) and they said it can’t be so….

There is a phenomenon in sport, and perhaps life, where decisions are made about potential, possibilities and peoples lives from a remote, authoritarian and dogmatic perspective.

But who does it serve? Surely it wouldn’t be that humbling to take a less all-knowing approach?

In the 1980s a young national league Australian Rules player suffered what we now call chronic fatigue. The coach told him “I talked to the trainer and there is nothing wrong with you. You just aren’t fit enough.” So they send him off on a special training camp where he paddled in the ocean for hours, ran along beaches for hours, swam in open seas for hours.

Who does it serve? The coach’s and trainers need to be able to diagnose all conditions, the ego of the trainer about more of their services being needed…but what about the athlete? Would it be so demeaning to seek independent unbiased professional advice? To say “I don’t really know why you are complaining about being tired, but lets explore your situation and find out more to help you get over the condition.”

In the 1990s in the lead up to a World Cup, a head national coach put his team through a grueling training session, applying the dominant trend of the time, which essentially ended the team’s hope of winning (and that’s the opinion of some of the athletes involved in retrospect). Faced with a very tired and sore group of athletes, the head coach told the team: “I have spoken with the support staff and they have all told me you can’t be tired, so you are not tired!”

Who does it serve? The coach’s need to be right, the ego of the professional o feeling good about being remotely all knowing…but what about the athlete? Or the team? Would it be so terrible to say “I don’t really know why you are complaining about being tired, but lets explore your situation and find out more to help us win?”

In the 2000s a provincial level rugby playing hurt his shoulder. The coach, supported by the medical staff, decided he was okay, and sent him back on. He damaged his shoulder so extensively later in that game it shortened his career and affected his quality of life forever.

Who does it serve? It helped the team win that game. It confirmed the coach had full control over medical interpretations….but what about the athlete? Would it have been so scary for the team to lose that player for the rest of the game to prevent future surgery? To have said “I don’t like the thought of losing you in this tight game but based on your concerns lets check out your injury and not take risks with you.”

In the post 2010 decade I was working with a young UK soccer player who was recovering unsuccessfully from surgery. He had entered into an agreement to play for a US college on scholarship, but was in no condition to do so. The head college told him “The physical therapist tells me there is no reason why you cannot play and train so I expect you to turn up on Monday and participate fully.” And that was before the physical therapist had even laid hands on the athlete…

Who does it serve? The interests of the college, the ego of the professional…but what about the athlete? Would it be so dangerous to say “I don’t really know why you are reporting pain or concern, but lets explore your situation and find out more?”

Post 2010 I raised a point of concern with a sports coordinator of a high school about injury risks in a training session. The response included “I have spoken to our strength and condition coach and he tells me that the volume of training the athletes are doing does not represent a risk.”

Who does it serve? The interests of the school, the ego of the professional to be right, to be all knowing…,but what about the athlete? Would it be so bad to say “I don’t really know why you concerned about pain, but lets explore your situation and find out more?”

I don’t know what training is going to do. I have a theory or hypothesis and I take it carefully in case I am off-track. If it turns out I missed the target, then I seek to amend the situation, and learn from it. It’s not that hard if you can put aside the need to be all knowing or be right. I even tell the athlete in advance – I don’t know for sure but this is where I am thinking of going, is that okay, and let’s learn from this. Together. It’s not that difficult.

Who does it serve? The athlete.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This is not a dress rehearsal

...(and it's definitely not 'scare tactics')

Someone suggested in a response to a recent FB page that I was engaging in ‘scare tactics’. That post was not about scare tactics. I have no reason to use 'tactics'. I am simply reaching out and giving you an opportunity to manage life moving forwards in a period that you may not be ready for, with strategies that I have been developing for the last fifteen years.

Let me explain

Growing up in a household where the dominant economic belief was that ‘the sky was falling’, that the stock market would crash at any movement. As I learnt more about history I understood why. My grandfather was a young father with little children when the 1930s Great Depression hit. That would have left scars.

But only scars for one generation or an 80-year cycle. In the same way as a Great World War – it’s when those who remember them pass, and those who do not remember them shape up for another one, that history repeats itself And I suggest history – the 1930s – is about to repeat itself.

I spend most of my life going contrary to the negative outlook on the economy of my upbringing. And this bullish approach served me well, giving a degree of financial success.

However later in life I began to wonder what it took to indicate a Depression, because I had been very aggressive in my investing, and I realized that if I took this highly leveraged approach into a major downturn or Depression I would be smashed. And after spending my early years listening to stories about economic depressions, I had no excuse for totally ignoring the lessons of my upbringing.

I had become a student of money and business in the early 1990s when I had the hard realization that I had nothing to show for my financial position other than the warm feeling of being successful and highly paid in my profession.

However in the early 2000s, in particular post the September 11 2001 Twin Towers events, I asked different questions – what would it take to create a financial depression and what were the signs?

From the research into the subject of economic depressions, in 2003 I began teaching my inner circle about the 2007/2008 dates for a economic downturn. This information saved me financially, and also served my coaches. My colleagues and acquaintances who didn’t want to heed my advice paid the price during what was called the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (GFC).

My study in the early 2000s let me to the belief that a larger economic shock was going to hit the world in about 2016.

And that’s were we are today. On the brink of 2016. With the definite signs of a meltdown showing, we may be months, and if not just years away, from experiencing massive financial changes in our lives, in our cultures, and in a way that could significantly affect our daily life.

I don’t need to be right, but if I am on track, and you ignored this heads up because you thought it was ‘scare tactics’, I look forward to swapping notes in about 5 years time. Maybe some of you do need to be scared now!

I have been reaching out more this year to those outside my inner circle. Has it been effective? Not really, most think I am crazy. That’s okay. In retrospect they can review their initial conclusions, and I will look back as say I did what I could to give a warning.

Even those who have shown interest in this more recent reaching out have shown inadequate responses and actions. All I can say is - this is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real deal. It may just be the warm up, but this is the real deal, it is going to happen. How serious it will be, we don’ t know. How much it will affect you we don’t know. But what we do know is that I have reached out, and the ‘ball is in your court’.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Physical train wrecks

It does not have to be this way

Every day I speak with athletes who have more injuries than I believe are necessary or acceptable. The list of injuries is getting longer, relative to the decades past. This may be the trend, however no athlete needs to follow the trend. However for them to buck the trend, they will need to think differently, act differently and have different values than those around them. Because too many in the sports circle now accept, embrace and even benefit from this high incidence of injury.

Todays athlete injuries story – shoulder surgery at 17 years of age, multiple shin stress fractures in the next few years, following by multiple ankle joint and ligament strains in the next few years, followed by a dislocated wrist.

The one before – ACL, torn peck, etc etc.

Now I don’t blame the athlete in the first instance, especially when their first injury was in an age when in other aspect of life society does not deem them legally responsible. Noting that the exposure to ‘strength and conditioning’ was about two years prior to the shoulder injury, I confirm another example supporting my hypothesis that if we were to remove all ‘strength and conditioning’ programs globally, the athlete injury rare would halve or more.

In the first instance the sports administrators, coaches, physical coaches, and commercial sellers of goods and services should take a look at their values and competencies. Coaches - if just getting a job gives you a sense of fulfilment, I hope one day you look for more, including best the best you can be for the athlete. However as that is not likely to occur en-mass, the responsibility must come back to the athlete, especially the athlete 18 years or older.

Athletes – it’s time to wake up. You don’t have to be injured. You don’t have to accept this paradigm. But you are going to need to do something about it yourself because no one else is. Its your call. Accept the smorgasbord of injuries like most do – or be different. Find out what you can do to fulfill your potential through injury free training and competing. It is possible. We do it every day.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

If the ship goes down what will be your fate?

I’ve been a student of the economy, business, finance and success since the early 1999s. By that time I realized I had ‘cracked’ the code on training, yet at the same time realized I was a white belt in the financial stakes. So I set to work, as I do, studying widely and seriously. As with my training innovations, I didn’t write about my study and experiments for a decade, when I wrote my first financial education book ‘Paycheck to Passive’, and began teaching about money in our holistic physical preparation coach education through KSI U circa 1999.

Yes, I know. Physical prep coaches should not be talking about finances, have no right doing so, and most of you are not interested. Which is why most of you will become losers at the money game. And if the predictions I have been exposed to about events in the next few years are anywhere near accurate, those who lose at the money are facing a small upper-cut – rather a left / right combination and a hook and an uppercut.

I don’t speak too often or openly about money and business outside of our inner circles KSI Coaching group, however I chose to go out on a lim b recently in a general blog here:

With this in mind I found the following article very interesting:

My favorite line in the article:

“But Wiedemer’s outlook for the U.S. economy today makes Trump’s observations seem almost optimistic.”

Yes see we’ve being studying and improving and helping others in physical preparation improve, prepare and thrive in the holistic areas such as money, business and financial education now for about a decade and a half. We are unique in what we teach – we actually teach from personal experience. And we are very concerned that most of you are going to sink if the ship goes down because you may not be taking the warnings seriously.

Now hopefully the prediction and wrong and you can continue doing and thinking exactly what you are doing right now and survive. However, if the predictions are on track, all we can say is we did our best to reach out and inform you….its up to you.

If you have a concern about your future and you want to chat we are willing to reach out and help. We can make this offer because we know we are not going to over-run. Most of you are still lving with the habits in the mind and body of an economy that left the station years ago. Email us at

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I never get lost – I’m always being told what I should and shouldn’t do….

I’ve a personal joke about never getting lost because in everything I do or go there is always someone keen to tell me what I can or should do or not do!

Here are some of the things I have been told I can and can’t do, or what I am. That I chose to ignore and instead make my own decision about what I should do or be, just as I encourage everyone to do.

You can’t coach!

It was about 1981 and I was doing a sport specific coach accreditation course. I got a ‘C’ for my practical coaching assessment, and it was pretty clear the coach teaching the course believed I could not coach. That coach went on to be the national coaching director amongst other roles. Right or wrong, I keep going, and there are thousands of athletes who would score me a bit higher than a ‘C’ from their personal experiences!

You can’t teach!

I was doing my final year of practical PE teaching and the superving teacher left me no doubt as to his assessment – I could not teach. Right or wrong, I keep going, and there are thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands in training around the world who have benefitted from and enjoyed my teachings.

You don’t know what you are doing in training!

I was the first Australian to make a living out of training athletes, and yet many who came later were common in their claims that I didn’t know what I was doing. Apparently I had no idea on how to train athletes. Knowing what I now knew about the intentions of these ‘coaches’, I get why Right or wrong, I keep going, and there are thousands of athletes who whose sporting goals were met or exceeded, and hundreds of thousands if not millions whose training has been positively impacted by my training conclusions.

You can’t write!

After I published my first book on bodybuilding (Get Buffed! 1999) I received an email from an established industry writer with professional training in journalism. He went paragraph after paragraph about how bad my writing was. I got the sense he wanted me to stop writing, and knowing his influences, I get why. Right or wrong, I keep going, and there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world if not millions whose training has been positively impacted by my writings.

You can’t present and your concepts are crap!

During a seminar in Boston around 2000 I noted a mass walk out of attendees, let by a local coach who I had never head of before, despite travelling throughout and studying all prominent S&C coaches in North American for the prior decade. Later that day he sent a scathing email to my host telling them my content was really bad, and my delivery was really bad, and threatening what would happen to my host if they dared bring me back. Knowing what I now know about the intentions of this ‘coach’, I get why. Right or wrong, I keep presenting, every year there are thousands around the world who seem to really enjoy and benefit from my presentations!

You are an arse-hole and nobody likes you!

During a presenters dinner at a national level conference about a decade ago I listened to a physical preparation coach embellish their role in the success of an athlete (nothing new about that!). Then I watched them walk into the trap being set by another at the dinner table, who then set about challenging why that had had certain technical limitation. At this stage the embellisher didn’t know which hole to crawl into. I was almost on the floor laughing. It was, at least in my opinion, really funny! I got the obligatory ‘no-one likes you email’ a few days later…

Shortly after than I got an email from a young wannabe who sought direction in relation to his first knee reconstruction. I asked him some direct questions, which resulted in an immediate push back, and that was the end of the dialogue. Within 12 months that same person who could not engage in a straight discussion about why they got injured in the first place has work hard on marketing themselves on having a bullet proof solution on how to prevent or rehab knee injuries….

I get a lot of emails (nothing new about that) most asking for guidance. When I give them guidance, I look at their willingness to help themselves. Are they willing to buy the educational material I suggest, or is their interest limited to if they receive ongoing free email mentoring from me. Sometimes I even ask them what action they have taken in relation to the prior actions that I gave them to do to test their true intentions. Sometimes this doesn’t go down too well, like the one writer who suggested I was an arse-hole for suggesting that there was a limit to my desire to provide free email mentoring in the absence of a commitment to take the actions I recommend….

Right or wrong if you speak BS (there a number of bi or multi-linguals in the industry…English…BS…!) I will laugh. Right or wrong if you ask me send me emails asking for my help I will continue to challenge you in your thinking and (I know, very audacious!) expect you to take action to find your own answers also! If you don’t like it, stop BS’ing or don’t send me emails asking for something when you are not willing to take action for yourself, to reflect on your own paradigms!

I keep answering emails in the same I reserve the right to ask you a question also way. And every year (and there’s been a few years since emails entered our lives) there are thousands around the world who seem to really enjoy and benefit from my responses!

Now I ‘ve give heaps of personal examples. I know you have heaps too. The only question is – will you stand true to your path or be buffeted by the actions of others whose motives are at best questionable? Will you be true to yourself, or feel the need to follow the directions given to you indirectly by those who do not necessarily have your best interests at heart?

We all face these decisions, ever day.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ground hog day for the physical preparation coach

After spending a few hours on the phone with Bruce from the UK a number of points he made struck home. Not that they were new, just that the strength and commonality of the pattern had become distant for me.

He spoke of waking up and realizing each day was the same as it was over a decade ago.
“…The realization struck me recently that my working day is similar to what it was thirteen years ago.”
He spoke of realizing that his income was not growing. But that the cost of living was.

He spoke of the realization that whilst making money per se was never his initial goal, he now realized that the obtainment legal tender (was critical to support those that relied him.
“…Making money was not my main concern when I initially set up in business but my outlook has changed considerably as I now have a family to provide for, as well as retired parents for whom I want to ensure quality of life into old age.”
And even though it is almost heretical to talk about family values in physical preparation, the reality is many will have family, have kids, and spend more time with their clients than their kids.
“….So my main personal challenge is simply to create financial security for my family, and I currently feel a long way from this and a little lost as how to achieve it. I also want to be in a position where I can enjoy time with my children and, however clichéd it sounds, watch them grow up.”
No, it’s not cliché to me – maybe to the average ‘I just want to talk about sets and reps’ kind, but not to me. I made a plan to give my kids the same level of service or better than the athletes I trained like they were my kids.

He spoke of realizing the need to do something differently to get a differently result.
“I believe I have grown my companies almost as much as I can …and, looking forward, I do not see much capacity for a change in my circumstances.”
Now let me say this. Many will discard this text as boring soppy crap. And I can assure you that those same people, in 10-20 years time (if not before) would, if they were to be honest, say they missed the point, and wished they would have taken more notice all those years ago when an older, more experienced person who had figured this out had thrown them a lifeline.

One day you might realize, it’s physical preparation ground hog day – and it’s not a movie, it’s your life….

It an amazing opportunity to be a coach – but how many reps are you counting count for clients before you realize that choice would be great. Choice meaning you can vary your day from what it year in, year out….

I know, I make a lot of people angry when I have the audacity and rudeness to holistically, because the unwritten rule in coaching is you are just a coach, get used to it, and don’t dare to be a anything more than a one trick pony.” I have been teaching holistically for a number of decades now and I’m pretty desensitized to the less than complimentary comments (they are part of being an innovator, and doing what you feel is the right thing to do as opposed to what you think others want you to do – I get them daily…).

I am also pretty desensitized to seeing older coaches doing what they were doing decades prior, for less money, for less joy and the pain is evident in their voice and body (assuming they have not left the industry in disillusionment).

It doesn’t have to be this way. How do I know? Because I have mentored many to a life that is very different to the fate most of you face.

The first case study I share is that of a college strength & conditioning coach in North America who 15 yrs ago took up the challenge:

The second case study is that of an Australian physical preparation coach who 10 years ago took up the challenge:

The third example is that of a Californian PT and physique competitor who not only took up the challenge but also became the winner of our first formalized season of the Leveraged Income Challenge:

So here’s you chance to choose between a future of ground hog day for the physical preparation coach or choice. Your call.

Interested to learn more about the KSI Leveraged Income Challenge? Click here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trust and action

I speak and present to a lot of people. Ideally to highly pre-qualified people who have my experience and drive to excellence. However in the case of presenting to large groups I understand the need to be give anyone in the audience a chance to be exposed to the lessons I share, knowing some will ignore the message for a variety of reasons.

One of the most common reasons I believe is I teach things that are beyond the current dominant paradigms, things that are not trend yet – so the majority won’t want to do them – but things that once the industry trend-spotters pick up on the groundswell and imminent tipping point they will rush to publish them (even if it means rewriting chapters from previously published book) – just to be seen as the ones who ‘brought this stuff to light’ (one of my favorite BS statements code for we had no idea but realized it was going to be a hit so we wanted to be associated with it’s popularity).

So when I receive feedback from an otherwise lowly pre-qualified seminar attendee who has never heard of me before, never met me before, and never had a one on one consult with me before – they were simply in the audience – that they have taken action and it has opened their eyes to the possibilities and potentially changed the quality of their lives – well, that’s really, really rewarding.

This is exactly what happened when I received this email today:

“Hi Ian, I met you on Saturday afternoon in Perth, I was asking questions about where to start when you’re broken. You recommended a stretching DVD. Was that the Guide to Individual Stretching that you talking about? And is the DVD the same as the video that is available on your site? If so, then I’ll buy the one on your site. I just wanted to be sure it was the correct video that you mentioned.

After the presentation I went searching and found an article that you wrote a few years back on the Lazy Man’s Guide to Stretching.

About four weeks ago I tore my left soleus, only a minor tear, but the second one on that leg in two years (the previous one was a grade 2 tear in the gastroc). After resting for a week my physio said I could walk as much as I wanted as long as the leg didn’t hurt, and not to walk two days in a row so as to give it time to rest in between. Since I don’t have a moderate bone in my body, I walked 12km in the next few days (with the days off in between) at a pace that was only just slower than my running pace. My calf didn’t hurt, but I did end up inflaming both hips and glutes. Since then, for the last three weeks I’ve had a burning muscular pain in my glutes and aching hips. Foam rolling, massage, gentle walking, none of it really helped. It improved a little, but was hurting constantly.

I did the Lazy Man’s stretching last night, and a few minutes after finishing I realized that neither my hips nor glutes were hurting. I had a little bit of an ache this morning when I got up, so did the stretches again and have been fine all day. Three weeks of discomfort and it’s gone with two sessions of stretching.

This is why I’d rather not wait a few weeks for the DVD if I can access it via video now. If a few simple stretches can fix that then I can’t wait to see what a proper full body routine could do! Thanks,
--M, Perth

To which I replied:

“M – that is the DVD I was referring to - you can get it hard copy here

Or electronic here:

Great to see you dig up an online article! Here are a few more for you:

When you say:

“Three weeks of discomfort and it’s gone with two sessions of stretching."

I get very happy! And people wonder why I am so confident about he effective of my conclusions about the best way to train!

To reward you for you willingness to trust my recommendations, to take action, to find ways to heal yourself – I have just given you free 1 month access to the ‘KSI Athletes, Family and Friends section of the KSI E-Video Library – which includes the e-version of the dvd you are going to buy – so that you can get started now! And you will note this section includes so much more incredible (and now free to you) content!

Well done! I am so proud of you!”

--Ian King

Wow! Isn’t it great to impact peoples lives through training, only possible with trust and action!

Ian King

Monday, May 11, 2015

NSCA seeks feedback from long serving members

I received an email from the NSCA that was unique in my 30+ years of membership. They recognised my long-term membership, and sought my opinion. I don't recall that ever happening before. So I shared it with them. At the end of the questionnaire there was a box to tick if you were happy for them to share your feedback in an upcoming publication. I ticked that box, but am not holding my breath as to it happening. The questions and and mhy responses are below:
Dear Ian,

First of all, I want to thank you for your commitment to the NSCA as an organization through 10 or more years of service. Our Association is only as strong as its members, and you have raised the bar in terms of your commitment to the NSCA and to the profession - thank you!

We hope you can spare a few minutes of your time to complete a short profile of yourself by answering a few questions about your experience as a member and your growth as a professional.

Thanks in advance for a few minutes of your time to share your membership experience with us. We plan to feature several of these responses in an upcoming NSCA Bulletin as well as other channels.
* 1. Tell us a little about your current role in strength and conditioning.
I began coaching in 1980 and founded one of the world’s first athlete preparation / coach education companies in 1986, and continue in this capacity to this date.

* 2. How did you first hear about the NSCA?
I was first introduced to the NSCA in about 1981 by my college professor, who gave me a number of his personal NSCA journals, and I became a member shortly afterwards.

* 3. What are the most significant changes you’ve seen in your line of work since you became a member of the NSCA?
I believe the most significant changes I’ve seen in my line of work is the Internet, and not necessarily for the better. The Internet has provided the opportunity for individuals who lack integrity and experience to plagiarize and promote themselves beyond their competencies. When these same individuals are then giving positions of teaching and influence in professional development such as presented at the NSCA convention, it provides a sub-standard and inappropriate role model to the young members who are seeking direction early in their careers. This has not been a positive step forward in this profession. The losers are the athletes and others influenced by athlete training. We are seeing, in my professional opinion, an epidemic of training induced injuries, largely as a result of publications and teachings by individuals who lack the experience (in some case any experience training athletes) to be teachers.

* 4. What is the most meaningful highlight of your career since becoming an NSCA member?
Helping athletes fulfill their potential as athletes and in life, and guiding coaches to achieve similar results with athletes.

* 5. Why have you stayed with the NSCA these years?
I have stayed with the NSCA as a member for over 30 years because I am thankful for the opportunities to meet with and learn from experienced coaches during the formative years of my career, during the 1980s and 1990s. I have chosen to support and remain loyal for this reason, combined with an optimistic hope that one day the NSCA may return to an organization of values more similar to the early days, rather than what i see now in the NSCA. I have also remained a member despite the NSCA choosing not to take a stand against plagiarism and other blatant ethical breaches, not to fulfill its promise and potential as an organization that sets a high standard of ethics and enforces it. And I have chosen to remain loyal despite the NSCA's choice to endorse plagiarism and plagiarists by appointing certain speakers to their events knowing they have an extensive track record of unethical behavior. As such you are testing my desire to remain loyal.

* 6. Why did you choose NSCA over other associations?
When I joined the NSCA (early 1980s) there was no other organization. However over time i have noted the NSCA has moved away from its roots of training athletes through strength & conditioning coaches to a greater personal training focus.

7. How can the NSCA better serve you? (optional)
I only ask that the NSCA give consideration to its role in maintaining ethical behavior in an environment, which is in great need of it. I am sure that had Fleck & Kraemers books (or any other prominent NSCA member) been plagiarized to the extend that my books have, that the offenders would not have avoided sanction, and that the offenders would not have been speaking at the NSCA conventions, including the upcoming 2015 convention. This lack of consistency in maintaining industry standards has many pitfalls, i suggest, and is a failing of the NSCA to fulfill it's potential to provide an ethical environment for all members. I am encouraged and thankful, however, that for the first time in over 30 years, that my long service has been recognized and my opinion sought, although I am realistic, based on the responses (or lack of) that I have received from the NSCA during the last five years, as to whether my message will be heeded.

Beyond sets and reps - securing your economic future (what few in physical preparation will tell you about)

I’m going to give you a brief economics lesson because we are holistic teachers. So if you find that boring or offensive, you can shut down, close the email and go back to whatever you are going. After all I know there are many who, for whatever reason, have interest only for the narrow focus of their tomorrow. No future focus.

On the flip, if you have any inkling that the future economy could have a massive impact on your personal financial security, your ability to put food on the table and the ability for you to cloth your children, you might choose to read on.

I have been holding back on this message to you for nearly 15 years, waiting to see if the signs support the predictions I have been collating from those whose insights into future economy I trust. And as the time is getting closer, if I don’t tell you know, I will suffer regret for my silence.

So on one side I have the risk of the small percent who will opt out in disgust at our audacity to talk about something outside of sets and reps, body fat and how to get bigger and stronger. I do that, and have been prolific contributor in professional development for many decades. What I also do it teach holistically. You can tell me you are only interested in sets and reps and bodyfat and strength all you want, but know that some point in your future your ability to do those things will be impacted directly or indirectly by your ability to create the legal tender to survive.

So if your head isn’t in the sand by now, I want to share with you the consensus of opinion from my teachers about the impending economic challenges we may face in the next few years.

I was raised in a Great Depression household, where my father watched his father struggle during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the flat 1940s. It left a strong imprint on that generation. However as the western economies boomed through the 1970s and beyond, the next generation became complacent. After witnessing the 2001 9/11 impact on the US economy I wanted to learn the signs and triggers of any potential future depression, so I could be forewarned and share this with others.

Those in my inner coaching circle who were with me in the early 2000s will vividly recall me talking about the prediction that the world economy would suffer a significant downturn in the 2007-2008 period.

This prediction was spot on – the US suffered what become known as the ‘Sub-Prime’ loans crisis, where the collapse of a large number of housing loans brought the US economy to it’s knees. Australia called it’s economic challenges the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (GFC).

Now as a person who earns their money training people, you may ask what does this have to do with me. I not interested in economics or future predictions! I understand this, but what I want to share it this – when the economy turns down significantly you are/will be affected.

Why do I say this? I watched the impact of the 2007-2009 economic downturn in various countries.

As a student of futurism and holism, the study of future economic changes of significance has been. Sport sponsorship reduced sharply and wages and number of positions in sport contracted. Everyone in the general population was affected financially, and the spending on non-essential services such as gym membership and personal training declined.

I have many wealthy friends and after watching the impact on them during the 2007-2009 period, I learnt that no-one is immune.

So you can stick your head in the sand and say ‘If its not about sets and reps, I couldn’t give a flying f---!’. And I look forward studying the outcome of this group, as well as the group who take my future economy concerns more seriously.

One of the strongest themes I have seen about the economy in the immediate future is reference to 2016. Which is why now, in 2015, there has never been a better or more important time to learn new skills such as those taught hrough the KSI Leveraged Income Challenge. Click here to learn more:

Robert Kiyosaki, US financial educator, has been calling this period for some time, writing about this in his book “Rich Dad’s Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming… And How You Can Prepare Yourself.”

US futurist Harry Dent is also very concerned about this period, writing about it in his recent book "The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation of 2014–2019.”

Thom Hartmann promotes his new book ‘The Crash of 2016’ with the suggestion that another great depression looms over the United States in 2016, because of all the economic fraud and corruption by the 1%, the mega corporation, and politicians all buying laws to enrich themselves, and bankrupting the rest of the economy. (sounds like what I see in the fitness industry – self enrichment at the cost of the masses…)

“We’ve been saying for years that we believe the period of 2016-2018 is the start of an overwhelming financial crisis, possibly much worse than the 2000/2001 stock market collapse, and the 2008/2009 credit crisis. 2016 appears to be the peak of the financial markets and economic escalation, with the giant reverse beginning as early as 2016 and as late as 2018, but more likely as late as 2017.”
-- Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo,

This is just a sample of those who express concern for the economy during this period. And of course there are as many who say don’t worry, there will be no crash.

Now let’s say the doom predictions are all wrong. That nothing happens. Or better still the economy booms in that time. I am very happy. I don’t need to be right. I don’t expect my teachers to be right. I just want to act and see them act in the best interests of those we seek to serve, to be honest, and to help others be prepared for the possibilities.

However there is one thing I feel very confident of guaranteeing you – the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. Your income’s buying power will shrink. The cost of living will rise faster than your wage rises. In summary if you don’t start doing things differently, you will slide down the standard of living scales. So you can tell me now that all you want to do is think, learn and talk about sets and reps and bodyfat and getting stronger – and I will ask you how you are going in 10, 20, 30, 40 years etc from now what you are doing, what you are interested in, and how life is going for you. I am confident those who take action will respond positively, and those who shut down and put their heads in the sand will have a ‘different’ outlook than the one than have now, one where regret will most likely figure prominently….

As individuals and as a company we do three things – we train athletes, we teach coaches, and we change lives holistically.

We currently giving you a phenomenal opportunity to change and create a stronger position from which to deal with any possible future economic downturns, as well as change your life now matter what happens. Through the KSI Leveraged Income Challenge. Click here to learn more:

There are ways to take control of your financial destiny, and they are exciting opportunities. Darren Hardy, Founder of Success Magazine and student of success, is passionate that now is the time to begin your entrepreneurial journey.

Ian King

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

If the government says zig with your money - I say zag with your money!

With the Australian central ‘bank’, the Reserve ‘Bank’ of Australia, cutting interest rates to an all-time low, many industry commentators came out and put their spin on the decision.

Amongst them was the incumbent governments Treasurer, who suggested:

“"Now is the time to borrow and invest, whether you be a household or small business – now is the time to have a go," Mr Hockey said after the decision.”

The way I read that is simple – if that is what the government is recommending – and many people will be influenced by this – then there will be blood on the streets (figuratively speaking)for those who do just that. Those who expand their debt on the recommendation of the government will most likely be amongst the victims of an economic contraction placing them in jeopardy, during the next 1-2 years.

It reminded me of the time in about 2007 when the Australian government changed the super-annuation rules allowing a larged one off deposit into personal retirement plans and encouraged people to do so.

Many sold their real estate and invested the cash from the sale into predominantly stock market based retirement schemes. Within about 18 months the stock market had crashed, with most losing about 50% of their stock value, and real estate held firm for the most part.

So if the government is recommending you get into further debt – consider the opposite direction!

The rise of the strength sports – and associated training trends

Many have noted the rise of popularity of the strength sports, particularly Olympic and power lifting. A spin off from the training faciliites offering ‘Crossfit’, many suggest, which is a positive for the respective strength sports (and equipment suppliers to these sports!)

What has also become apparent is the trends in training in some circles. Take for example the trend of powerlifting training six days a week, including 3-4 squat sessions a week and at least one three lift day each week.

Training trends far removed from the practice and wisdom of only a few decades ago.

Now as a student of training, I am always open to take a lesson. However as part of being a student I also apply the practice of creating hypothesis for the purpose of testing theories.

So here I go – generally speaking, all things being equal, those adopting these new trends in training in the strength sports will enjoy initial gains (first year). Then they will plateau (within 2 years). And then they will have significant injuries (within 4 years).

Just a hypothesis. I look forward to the study conclusions in the years to come based on adequate samples sizes of at least case studies. Happy however not to be one of the guinea pigs!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Should I stretch before or after training?

Shortly after the ‘stretching before training and games is bad' paradigm raised up in the late 1990s, a default position was also promoted – to stretch afterwards. Ironic (or tragic) in that in my opinion for the most part, those promoting this position don’t stretch and have low competency and personal scores in flexibility.

I am often asked my position on this topic. The mere fact a person asks indicates they have been influenced in some way by this ‘trend’. Here is typically how I answer this:

The new athlete asked: “Do would you recommend stretching before or after training?”

Coach King: “Stretch before. Stretching afterwards is the default positioned promoted by those involved in discouraging effective stretching, their motive something we could chat fo hours on.

Stretching after has the single advantage of having higher body temperature, which in itself is not a pre-requisite for success or change from stretching.

Stretching after has the following disadvantages:
1. You fail to receive the benefits of pre-training stretching, which include but are not limited to increased joint gap therefore reduced joint wear, reduced compression of nerves, better blood supply, and less pain.
2. You are tired and therefore risk the following - performing the stretching will less quality than if done first and fresh; and not doing it all because you just want to have a shower, meal etc and relax

So if it was a choice, I would always do before.”
--Ian King