Social Media is Ruining the Industry

Ok. Maybe that title is a little overstated, but I think there’s some truth to it. 

Social media has definitely ruined free content when it comes to educating coaches to be better coaches on the training floor. Which is my bread and butter. 

Consuming free blog posts and videos were a huge part of my weekly coaching routine when I first got into the industry. 

I’d print out monster articles that were 5–15 pages long from people like Mike Robertson and Lance Goyke. I’d spend hours highlighting and taking notes, figuring out how I was going to apply the information I had just learned. 

In my earlier years in the industry, I felt like I was CONSTANTLY learning. However, my version of always taking in new information is different than how coaches are educating themselves these days. 

When I first got started, I was going to 2–3 seminars a year, buying 1–2 new products, and digesting 1–3 long articles a week from credible blogs. 

The primary form of learning for coaches in today’s society is by consistently being glued to social media, jumping from one webinar to another, and joining every mentoring group that is launched but not actually participating.

Everyone is just trying to keep up with everyone else on social media #alwayslearning. 

Because of social media, anyone can have a platform and produce content.

The route to becoming a reliable source in our industry has begun to be dictated by how many followers you have rather than having an already credible source find you worthy enough to be a guest on their platform.

Even the most credible sources now seek people based on their social media popularity instead of their expertise because they understand how this shit works. People will talk trash about other well-known sources but still invite them on their podcast or blog because they have 50K followers. Ew. No, thank you. 

Social media content is not useful for educational coaching content. 

In 2020, I started doing more one-on-one and group mentoring sessions, which opened my eyes to the impact social media content was truly having on coaches and clinicians. 

It ultimately made me reflect on my own content and how I had been using Instagram as an educational platform. 

A couple of months ago I asked myself this: 

If I were to rate the value of my social media content, how would it compare to the kind of content that I used to consume? 

My honest answer was 1 out of 10. Which explains why you haven’t been seeing much of me on Instagram. 

One out of ten is definitely not a great score for something that takes HOURS out of my life to refine. For those who don’t produce content, one little post can take over an hour to come up with. Trust me, you don’t even want to know how long a 14-second reel takes to make. It might make people laugh and get a lot of shares, but what impact did it have on people?

Social media leaves creators competing for attention, not education.

At the end of the day, we’re left competing for likes, shares, and content engagement. We rank our worth and prioritize our creative work by feeding into a system that is based solely on attention. 

Is social media something that rewards meaningful content? Is the content that rises to the top always the most impactful? If my true purpose is to educate, should I even be on a platform that gets me more reach by showing more skin?

Was it the content? Or was it my boobs?

Dudes spend money on professional photographers to show off their six-packs alongside their posts because that’s the kind of content that gets the most reach. I’m not making assumptions here, they’ve told me. 

Mike Robertson didn’t need to show his body for his blog to get a massive reach. His articles were shared all over the internet because of the IMPACT that the content had on coaches. 

I’m not judging others for being sucked into this; I am 100 percent guilty of it, too. This article is mostly calling myself out while also encouraging consumers and creators to reflect on what I’m saying. 

Around 2019, I stopped blogging consistently and started putting more time into social media, where my following and engagement percentage increased daily. That was a big mistake because I was chasing attention rather than focusing on the work that created the most impact, like my immensely popular “Squat Progression” article. 

Success using social media is driven by an algorithm. 

The algorithm is formulated by an app that is specifically designed to keep you addicted to your phone. 

Let that sink in. 

As a creator, do I want to feed into a society that can’t function without social media? Could my time be best spent elsewhere?

As a consumer, do you want to consume information on an app that is designed to keep you addicted? Could your time be best spent elsewhere? How many times have you been unable to make it through an entire caption before you get distracted with scrolling? 

Social media content’s intention doesn’t match the impact.

Using Instagram leaves educators with so many constraints that it pushes us to talk about coaching with the following narrative: 

If “a” leads to “b” then “w” IS THE ANSWER.

The narrative promotes black and white thinking and feeds into our polarization tendencies. Snarky remarks and calling other modalities out are definitely loved by the algorithm. 

With the limited capacity of words, there is zero room for context. You can’t even begin to explain how complex humans actually are with a ten-picture slideshow. 

These little snippets of education push coaches’ beliefs concerning pain and movement into single-factor thinking. Movement is explained as if the human body is an algorithmic biomechanical machine. 

This single-factor way of thinking causes more harm than good because humans are more than their ribcage structure and compensatory patterns.

Even if the creator’s intent wasn’t to oversimplify the human body and confuse people, that is definitely the impact. 

Trust me, most of my mentoring sessions are spent un-fucking people’s confusion about what they’ve learned from social media. And their confusion has come not just from other coaches but even from MY OWN content. 

I have to make a decision: 

Do I spend HOURS of my free time each week putting together content that is most likely just rubbing people’s intellectual boners rather than helping them? 

OR,

Do I use that free time to focus on other things? Should I focus less on educating the masses through social media? Is it more beneficial to focus less on the 400–800 people that quickly look through my stories and more on the 25 that clicked on my 3,000-word blog post and actually read it?

As a social media creator, I don’t know you how you know me

Having an “internet platform” is weird AF. 

When Cooper is sick, people I don’t even know will reach out to me and tell me that they’re thinking of me. 

But who doesn’t develop a soft spot for a cat with severe separation anxiety?

People I don’t know will bring up roadblocks that I overcame four years ago to remind me of my value when I mention that I’m having a hard day. 

As much as I LOVE the fact that I get to connect with a bunch of people, it’s still fucking weird. 

Social media creates the illusional relationship of the “influencer” and the “follower.” You know everything about an influencer’s life; you connect with them through their content and you FEEL like they’re your friend, but they don’t know shit about you.

I’m not sure how many times is too many times to write the word “weird,” but it’s weird, and it rubs me the wrong way. 

The influencer-follower relationship gets to people’s heads, and I’m never allowing myself to go there. Having power and influence changes people, and it’s usually not for the better. 

I genuinely want to know the people who are consuming my content. 

I want to know about their cats, their side hustles, their job, their struggles, the funny embarrassing things that happen to them, and most importantly, I want to see what I can learn from them

When you get to know someone on a personal level, there’s always something you can learn from them, and they typically end up being your equal.

Social media makes an authentic relationship hard to come by, which is why I spend time interacting with people “face to face” in my mentoring group rather than only on Instagram. (I’m sorry if I ever ignore and/or forget to DM you back.) 

2021 will be the year that I spend less time on Instagram.

I’m changing the way I use social media, and I think you should too. Whether you’re a creator or consumer, we can all do better. 

Or, you can disagree with everything that I’ve just said, which you’re 100% allowed to do. 

How I will be using my social media: 

  • To show you my authentic self.
  • To push people’s buttons and challenge their thought processes. 
  • To remind you of my services and blog posts.
  • For quick little lessons that I feel don’t need much supplementary context.
  • To keep up and connect with the lives of those I care about, especially in the industry. ALL of my best friends have been social media connections. 
  • Reels, because I’m good at them and I think I’m funny sometimes. 
  • To share pictures of my cats; especially the one with separation anxiety because you have all developed a soft spot for him.
  • For pictures of food because it’s one of my core values, and my foodie friends appreciate them—just like I love seeing their amazing meals. 
  • To share the thoughts that I’ve spent some time thinking I was the only one but then social media proves me wrong. Much like this one: being really uncomfortable if long sleeves roll up when you put a sweater on.

What I think you should do instead of being glued to social media:

Find one mentor, or mentoring group, and stick with them for a while. 

If you’re in multiple mentoring groups but you’re barely participating, constantly attending new online and in-person events, reading one book after another, and going from one social media page to the next all day trying to “learn,” are you taking the necessary time you need to implement what you’re learning?

Probably not. 

So, where should you go? 

Join my monthly coaching membership

I have a monthly membership where you can be immersed in my gym’s online classes. It’s like an internship that allows you to have a client perspective where you’re required to participate in the class. By signing up, you can be coached by me and my business partner every week. 

After being a part-time teacher in an accredited personal training school for over 2 years, I noticed the students who I consistently coached ended up being some of the best coaches.

After each class, I block out 15–30 minutes, where the coaches stay on the Zoom call and the participants get to ask questions. Questions might be about the class they just attended or even a problem that they ran into while coaching.

This program is not only perfect for new-ish coaches who are just joining the industry but also for those who want to build a consistent training model but struggle to implement it with their current clients.

This program is also an AMAZING starting point for those who have been dealing with some chronic pain issues and/or those who have previously been taught about biomechanics and are now scared to lift. 

This brings me to my next recommendation: 

Learn from Zac Cupples. 

I’ve seen Zac teach his model 10 times over the course of 2 years, and IMO, there’s no one better at teaching you about movement than he is. 

It can be dangerous to teach people about biomechanics.

When not done right, it’s easy to leave people (clients AND coaches) believing they are broken, unable to train because of their compensatory patterns, and down a rabbit hole that they’ll most likely struggle to get out of. 

Zac is able to teach you alllll about the human body and will help you dive deep into biomechanics—without being left with the idea that you can’t let yourself (or your clients) lift. 

If you’re wanting to dig into how to assess others who work to increase people’s movement options, Zac’s course Human Matrix, alongside his one-on-one mentoring, is a must! 

Join Michelle Boland’s group classroom  

Enrollment is open for her next group that starts in February!

When in-person seminars were a thing, Michelle and I hosted a few coaching workshops. She was good in all the areas I sucked, which is why I find her so valuable and like to send people in her direction. 

Michelle is the master of building systems and organizing information. 

Her mentoring group will help you create your own training principles to guide decision making. She’ll take you through effectively coaching fundamental positions and exercises, and how to create exercises that are based on both intent and the MBT exercise creation model.

She’s the perfect fit if you struggle with taking information and building up your coaching knowledge; Michelle will help you understand what to put on paper. 

Whatever you choose, stick with it.

Buying new things and registering for courses don’t automatically make you a better coach. You actually have to do the work and slowly progress by using the information that you’re learning. 

In order to be successful with something, you have to fail at it, which I wrote about HERE

Stop getting distracted with all of the new shiny things if you haven’t gone all-in with the things that you’ve already purchased. Stop thinking that social media is actually educating you when it has nothing to do with making you a better coach.

If you’re struggling to figure out where to get help, book a call with me and if it’s not me, the people I mentioned above, I’ll connect you to the other amazing connections I have 🙂

The Training Floor is Your Classroom (FREE WEBINAR)

Are You Providing The Learning Environment For Your Clients to Have the Best Experience?

What does a classroom have in common with the training floor?

Answer: Not much, because our industry doesn’t teach coaches how to be great educators. This limits our ability to provide a learning environment for our clients that results in a better experience for them.

Educators, teachers, and professors all follow a process when It comes to structuring their day/lessons. 

They follow a sequence of progressive steps during each classroom, to make sure all students follow along and get to the desired outcome. 

It’s the structure that facilitates every student’s learning experience. It makes sure there are no boxes left unchecked throughout the classroom, allowing everyone to progress. 

The education industry has this process down. It’s how they’re able to take people from kindergarten where they know nothing, all the way to graduating college and beyond.

The fitness industry kind of sucks at this. 

Read More

A Better Industry For Everyone- FFA Talk

Is it important to see people like you in a position of influence? Is it really that important for people who don’t look like you to feel represented in this industry?

YES

Can we acknowledge we have a problem and voice our concerns about our industry’s leaders without creating an “us vs them“?

YES

I took this quote from White Fragility and changed “political system” to “fitness industry”

“The Identities of those sitting at the table of power in this fitness industry have remained remarkable similar: white, male, middle- and upper-class, able-bodied. 

The decisions made at those tables affect the lives of those not at the tables. 

Exclusion by those at the table doesn’t depend on willful intent; We don’t have to intend to exclude for the results of our actions to be exclusion. While implicit bias is always at play because all human have bias, inequity can occur simply through homogeneity; If I am not aware of the barriers you face, then I won’t see them, much less be motivated to remove them.”

White Fragility- Robin Diangelo

An industry who doesn’t represent everyone leaves people not feeling heard or understood.

A better industry for everyone means it’s one where everyone feels represented. It’s important to look at people at the top and see those who share your race, sexual orientation, culture, struggles, fears, past experiences….etc

During my FFA talk, I share my own struggles to show anyone who is dealing with mental illness knows, they’re being represented.

When we join the industry we are sold solutions to help people achieve their health and fitness goals, and the illusion that it will be easy. Never once were we told our industry doesn’t actually help everyone and makes it safe for all people to be a part of it.

Never once were we told our industry doesn’t actually help everyone and makes it safe for all people to be a part of it. We’re not told how complex the human body is, and how many factors out of our control will impact our client’s ability to be healthy.

We’re all put in a lose-lose situation.

What we expect clients to do and what they expect us to be able to help them with, are all based on a faulty foundation that our industry created.

To add to the losing situation, we’re unable to have difficult conversation to make meaningful change in this industry. We back off at the first sign of discomfort and then nothing changes.

We no longer talk about how racial inequality can be affecting your clients.

We no longer talk about how trauma can be affecting your clients.

We no longer talk about how mental illness can be affecting your clients.

We no longer talk about how autoimmune disease is affecting your clients.

We no longer can talk about how we should all change our approach to dealing with clients and we continue with the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.

If you’re in the industry to make people healthy, we have to talk about race inequality, different sexual orientations, periods, poop, trauma, mental illness, autoimmune disease…etc

It has to get messy and uncomfortable.

We tell clients to get out of their comfort zone and just push through challenging times (training sessions). It’s time for us to do the same.

Want to start making this industry a better place for everyone? Watch my presentation I did for the Female Fitness Alliance! Below you’ll see the intro.

(For the whole talk CLICK HERE. It’s password protective! To retrieve the password, subscribe to my newsletter or check the email sent from FFA)

(To catch the rest of the talks LIVE and receive access, Sign up here)

This presentation will challenge you to redefine what it means to be in this industry and show you all the opportunities you have to make this industry a better place for everyone. 

When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Which means I can’t do this alone. The goal here is not just to get my perspective of how this industry can be better. I got my long list, but the true goal is to push you to look for other’s as well. during my talk I asked people to answered “Why is representation from people on top important?”

Here are their answers <3

Helps to guarantee authenticity

Donna

Reciprocity. Sense of belonging/worthiness

Becca

Because no one benefits when they feel alone

Stacey

It is important because you know you’re not alone, connecting, and growth

Jessica

To normalize imperfections

Michelle

The influencers pour into the people that follow them and either validate or invalidate them

Sanda

It is important because there is no one size fits all

Ashley

People follow those who lead by example

Beverley

Because I learn best what I can do and what I’m capable of and more importantly HOW to do things, but learning from others and realizing that I too can do that too

Autumn

There is someone you can trust and look up to

Jeannie

Make success feel attainable

Molly

Show everyone that they are capable

Jody

We want to feel equal and like our goal is attainable, so seeing like you is comforting and reassuring

Matt

Connection, relatability

Laurel

Because they are role models and we strive to become like them.

Borbala

Because when you are dealing with mental illness you need to know that you can reach out to the top and be heard and not judged. Feel free to ask questions and lean in a space of respect

Paige

Different ideas and walks of life are voiced

Sierra

Normalization and connection

Ashley

Be an inspiration for those you seek for it!

Eva

Everyone’s story is valid and worthy of sharing

Rachel

Knowing there are many paths to sucess

Julia

Give guidance and direction when feeling lost or confused with to many options

Melanie

I think that it’s important to have representation because it’s taken me approx. 30 years to recognize that my imposter syndrome held me back and that if I had a strong powerful women to look up at as a young woman, then I wouldn’t have taken so much time to try to be someone else.

Ilona

They influence the thoughts and beliefs of those learning and following

Emily

What we see everyday/repeatedly influences what we understand as “normal”. And if “success” doesn’t “normally” look like me, then trying to achieve it immediately feels outside of what I should strive for. Living outside of the “shoulds” brings about immense shame and guilt.

Kayla

It changes lives. Gives hope and inspiration. A sense of connection. I can do this too. I am not alone. Representation is SO IMPORTANT.

Zach

Knowing that what is the conceived “normal” doesn’t limit your own capabilities

Maggi

People with my background and ethnicity can also be seen as a professional and what we have to say matters

Solana

Knowing you’re not the first person to experience something

Julia

Fewer social, political, and economic issues will be overlooked if more diversity of people are represented at the top.

Jess

 I think representation from people at the top is important because people at the top set the tone for the industry. For example, in the past, the tone has been “white cis men” can be successful coaches. Same goes for body shapes.

Christine

Representation matters because trainers come from all types of backgrounds and so do our clients. We need different voices in the room in order to serve as many people as possible.

Elisha

If you can see it, you can be it.

There’s hope that people who look like you can understand your experience and stand for those issues.

Alyne

Feeling like we’re supposed to have ALL the answers—especially regarding nutrition and ‘fast fat loss’ lately

Kate

Not everyone is the same, having diversity is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Similar to what you’re saying, knowing you’re not alone and having others to connect with that share your stories, because not every story is the same, but we share similarities

Caroline

It shows they are the same as us

Jen