“I’ve come to believe that there is an 80/20 reality to things. 1-2 out of every 10 trainers are skilled to well skilled. These are the “thinking persons trainers” and compared against their peers they can often seem over-qualified. Another 1-2 out of 10 can reach that level with mentorship,education,time and personal dedication. Some reach this level faster than others and age is not an indicator.” “80/20” June 2016 (1)
I ticked some people off following the 80/20 blog and its eventual follow-up. What I never addressed were the challenges faced by the 20%, and the 10-20% of trainers that are actively working towards professional growth.
Personally, I owe some thanks to the 80%. If it weren’t for them I might not be where I am today, and they remind me why I continually drive to improve myself. I want to crack that 20% range someday, and I can say I’m closer this year than I was last year.
FACT: NO TRAINER started off automatically in the 20%, this includes those with degrees and the CSCS or any other fancy combination of letters after their name.(2) The 20% worked hard to improve themselves to get to that point, and for the dedicated it is a never-ending process. It would be arrogant of me to assume that I’m in the 20%,but every year I get better than before. Furthermore, I recognize areas which I consider myself in the 80%, and thankfully have the benefit of knowing whom to consult or refer out when needed.
The 20% can face the challenge of being surrounded by people whom they cannot professionally relate. The fact they perform similar functions and cannot communicate on the basics and scientific principles of training can be mentally draining.
In some cases, the 20% trainer may be viewed negatively simply because they do things differently from the majority. If the majority of trainers are having clients perform random circuits and exercises with little attention to form, and the minority are prescribing client-defined exercises with suitable levels of progression then the latter might appear to be the oddballs.
Interestingly, when the minority are viewed positively it seems that little managerial effort is given towards retaining them, or at least leveraging their positive qualities to improve the majority.
For some of the 20%, it can be demotivating to pursue costly, academically demanding or physically challenging continuing education courses when your co-workers are looking for the paths of least cost/least resistance…and they still sit on their thumbs until the last minute to complete even those small requirements! (3)
TRUTH TIME: It can be hard to listen to some trainers talk or try rationalizing things, and even harder to watch some of them with their clients. At one point I tried telling myself to not let it effect me, but I’ve since changed my opinion and don’t want to ever become numb to what amounts to malpractice.
(2) Will likely generate more hate mail.
(3) Or worse, they think attending YouTube University is the same as actually attending a live course and being tested on the material by a subject matter expert.