Health and fitness has changed - very likely permanently - and the entire world is jumping on board in one way or another.
People are scouring the internet for weights, bands, benches, treadmills and indoor bikes - whatever they can get their hands on in order to maintain some sense of normalcy in an abnormal time.
Both professionally and personally, having the ability to reach a larger audience has been incredible. I’ve worked with people from more than 20 countries, learning not only about their health and fitness motivations, but their culture and their experiences, as well.
Even after working with thousands of people, I still get excited when someone puts their trust in me.
On the other hand, I’ve witnessed an incredible amount of people throwing their hat in the ring, claiming to be a health and fitness expert simply because they enjoy exercise and appear to “look the part”.
This has been the case on social media for quite some time now, but due to pandemic-based restrictions it has increased ten-fold in the last year, leading to even more misinformation and confusion when it comes to picking a reliable coach.
I get it - it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if a person appears muscular and athletic, that they must be a great trainer. The two don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, nor are they mutually exclusive.
Let me be clear - just because a person has figured out something that works for them, does NOT mean they know how to coach other people.
I mean, I like to read about the judicial system and medical journals - that doesn’t make me a lawyer or a doctor, does it?
Why should it be different for exercise? Or nutrition for that matter?
In a lot of ways, my journey is no different than anyone else’s - it took trial and error, success and failure and, eventually, a moment of realization and awakening.
I never really strength trained when I was in high school, mainly because I didn’t know how.
I got into endurance training in my late teens and early 20s, at one point logging more 1500 running miles per year.
In my mid-twenties, I went back to university to pursue the rehabilitation sciences, because I wanted to learn more about how to avoid pain and injury that, in hindsight, was caused by overtraining and too much running.
While I studied, I worked part-time as a trainer, which was an eye-opener when it came to witnessing how I could directly impact and inspire people multiple times per week.
From there, I constantly surrounded myself with some of the best in the business - and learned more and more about the value of strength, stability and overall well-being, especially as we age.
I took an interest in mobility, because falling into the rabbit hole of repeatedly doing my favourite exercises - and avoiding the ones I didn’t like - had left me injured and uninspired.
Today, I train essential movement patterns with the primary goal of feeling healthier in my 30s (and beyond) than I did in my late teens and early 20s.
‘Why?’ you might ask.
Because before all of that, I was the typical overweight teen, the one hesitant to draw attention to himself because I was self-conscious about what people thought about me and my appearance.
I was that person who had the drive and motivation, but just didn’t have the know-how or the confidence to ask a professional. I didn’t even know where to find a reliable professional.
I was the person who looked at the magazine covers, wondering how it was possible to get into such incredible shape, and thought that having a six-pack was the ultimate picture of health and fitness.
I was the person that thought I needed to change my diet and stop eating so much - even though I had no idea what to eat or how to prepare it.
To say it was overwhelming was an understatement.
MAC Fitness is meant to change what you thought you knew about health and fitness.
You need to explore as many different avenues of movement and possible. Strength. Stability. Endurance. Mindful movement. All of it, because just like anything else, variety is the spice of life - and it’s the only way to improve in multiple facets.
You need to learn how to listen to your body, because it’s not a skill we are naturally born with. It’s like learning a new language, and very few people ever become fluent.
You need to value mental and emotional well-being as much as the physical - because they have an intimate relationship, and they will affect one another.
You need to value sleep, and make it a priority - even when life gets in the way.
You need someone who can help you navigate every element, because it isn’t easy - and it’s not supposed to be.
A good coach can help you get started.
A great one will make sure that you never give up.