Majoring in the Minor

When I first started training at the age of 14 in 1999, I would go up into my family’s “play” room and do all the exercises in a book my dad had given me from when he was a kid (from the 1960’s). I had no clue what I was doing and just looked at the pictures in the book and tried to mimic them as best I could. At the time, there was no social media, no camera phones, and no fitness fashion trends. I just went into the room and worked out for 3 hours or more. Was most of it stupid? Of course!

At some point I found a Flex magazine and started doing whatever program I could find out of there. I would still lock myself in our play room and do a million exercises I had no clue how to do. I even convinced my parents to buy me some supplements. The protein powder tasted horrible and the creatine made my stomach cramp up horribly. I didn’t have anyone giving me nutrition advice so I had to go by whatever the ads said. At some point, I got a gym membership and went there for 3 hours and did a bunch of stupid stuff. Still though, there was no facebook, no selfies, and no Lulu Lemon.

I probably trained for about 8 years doing dumb stuff before I received any quality information from anyone half knowledgeable. In today’s world, anyone at any level of fitness has direct access to the best information possible. So looking back, would I have changed what I did? Do I wis  I had the access that people today have? The answer is no.

My answer is no because I got the opportunity to learn and to develop, to think on my own and to grow in my own training. I got the opportunity to learn what was most important when it came to training and nutrition and life. I got the opportunity to set the habits in place early on without having to deal with all the fluff.

The fluff is all the bullshit that comes along with working out in today’s culture. People today don’t just train anymore. They have to have the right clothing, they have to make sure they’re matching, they have make sure their hair is done so they look good for their selfies, they have to make sure they have the right instagram filter on, they have to make sure they get a lot of likes on the pictures they post of their food, they have to make sure they have cool tattoos, they have to make sure everyone knows they’re hardcore, they have to make sure they post awesome gym memes showing everyone how special they are, they have to perfect their keyboard argument skills so everyone knows how much smarter they are than everyone else, and all the other bullshit that I see going on constantly. And on top of all this, people are becoming horribly impatient. They look at people who have been training for 10+ years and expect to reach their level in 1 or 2 years. They don’t want to put in the long hours, the hard training sessions or deal with the pain, the social pressure, and all the other steps you must go through to reach a high level. The same can be said for fitness professionals. No one wants to show up and put in the hard work and long hours. They don’t want to learn the training skills, the business skills, or the sales skills that take years to develop. They all want to be millionaires yesterday.

As someone who is in the fitness business, I’ve gotten caught up in all this fluff as well at times. I have to learn to live the fine line of using all the positive aspects of today’s social media and technology to grow my business and share knowledge with others without falling into the trap of majoring in the minor. I define majoring in the minor as letting your focus drift from the daily grind to that which does not actually make you better. Posting a food selfie doesn’t make you stronger, healthier, or leaner, staying on your nutrition plan even when you’re struggling does. Posting a video of your deadlift PR doesn’t make you a better deadlifter, still showing up to train after a long day of work does. There is nothing wrong with the minor. In fact, it helps others see the proper way to train and learn the proper way to eat and it helps them see what the possibilities are and what it truly takes to be great. Be careful not to let that become the focus of your daily routine. Be sure to focus your energy into that what will make you better. Forget the fluff and major in the major.

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