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.” http://www.smh.com.au/business/robert-kiyosaki-says-to-prepare-for-the-worst-20141114-11jyhr.html

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, http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/financial-markets-prediction-2016-2018-start-of-major-financial-tragedy

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. http://bit.ly/TheresNeverBeenABettterTime

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.” http://www.afr.com/news/economy/monetary-policy/reserve-bank-bets-the-house-on-rate-cut-20150505-ggus1s

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