WSBB Blog: Follow The Leader
Over the past ten years, the internet and internet culture has permanently changed how we socialize, learn, and earn a living. Not only has this impacted our daily lives and how we consume information, but it has also impacted how professionals do business. Strength training is no different. Today, we see countless social media influencers, coaches, and athletes developing online popularity by posting training information, training footage, or various powerlifting-related memes.
Powerlifting has continued to become more and more popular as internet culture continues to fuel interest in strength training, which is a great thing for society. There is no doubt that modern human beings need to become more physically active to avoid health issues, so it is good to see people taking up strength sports as a way to become a better version of themselves. Unfortunately, as the popularity of strength and conditioning continues to grow online, so do the ambitions of individuals looking to capitalize off of the growing strength and conditioning community.
At Westside, we 100% support individuals taking it upon themselves to start a business and take their financial destiny into their own hands. Skilled individuals deserve to have the chance to succeed and make a living doing what they do best; it's that simple. Today, a beginner lifter has the opportunity to learn from many great coaches, with some of that information being available free of charge. Unfortunately, the same beginner lifter also has the chance to run into a barbell charlatan, leading said lifter down the path of failure.
Big Ego, Small Mind
Nowadays, it is very common to find coaches who become their own biggest fans on social media. We all have seen this type of person; they are constantly patting themselves on the back, talking about former or future triumphs, and are always on the hunt for a new ass to kiss so they can accrue some credibility off of someone else's name. They are constantly posting to their story and timeline, showing the next great method or movement. These individuals are likely to be the first people a new lifter encounters when exploring the online strength and conditioning social media realm.
To a new lifter, this athlete seems like they must know their shit. They speak confidently and can present themselves professionally using creative digital media marketing campaigns. It all looks right on the surface until you begin to think outside of the spectacle presented to you on social media. You may notice these individuals have rarely worked with successful athletes. As a coach, you make your name improving the sports performance of others, not yourself.
These types of coaches also specialize in turning fear into profit. Using the ever-evolving "movement and mobility" online health crisis, the charlatan coach emphasizes the dangers of strength training to all beginner and intermediate lifters. The goal? Place these individuals in fear, create the perception that the coach has arcane knowledge that will keep them safe from injury, and count all cash that flows into their PayPal.
Before you know it, you are wearing some dork's t-shirt, using inferior training methods, and standing on a Bosu ball holding a broomstick squatting with your eyes closed to improve the mobility in your big toe. After all, that's why you're failing your lifts constantly, isn't it?
Real Coach, Real Results
Fortunately, the online strength and conditioning community has an excellent coach to make up for every turd coach promoting bad ideas and methodology. As a new lifter, the good coaches can be difficult to come into contact with at first. Some are extremely popular, some are not as popular, but chances are both are typically busy focusing on their ever-growing list of clients. This means you may not see all of the sponsorship posts, high-class video presentations, and emotional appeal posts that the shithead coach used to lure you in. What you will see, though, is real-life results.
The real coach will not only be personally successful in their personal strength training endeavors, but they will also have a list of individuals they have helped become better, stronger versions of themselves. Likely, this coach will have many individuals ready to cosign their work based on their results while working with them. This means no big-name sponsors, no networking to create the perception of association, just real clients speaking the truth about the methodology's effectiveness.
Ultimately, this is a game of follow the leader. As a beginner, your likelihood of success is slim unless you can receive some instruction or consultation from a lifter with more experience. Hiring a coach can be the best choice you ever made or the worst. Good coaching can save you countless hours of wasted training time, while lousy coaching can leave you discouraged, weak, and injured. As a consumer, you must do your due diligence, read between the lines, and resist the bullshit campaigns put on by these strength coach charlatans.
Success in life, as in the gym, is all about making the right choices. No matter how experienced you are or how strong you are, your training success will always depend on regularly making the best training choices. Seek the coaches doing the actual work, with real clients posting actual results. Don't fall victim to a creative social media profile and emotional appeals.
Remember, the loudest in the room is usually the weakest—the real move in silence.