I’ve observed fitness gurus closely over the past several years and I believe I’ve figured out most of their secrets. The good news is that if you want to be a fitness guru, you can achieve this title by following the 25 easy steps I’ve outlined below.
- Master the Art of Marketing – Who cares if you don’t really know the science or if you haven’t spent time in the trenches? You have money to make and the quickest route from rags to riches is to spend your days studying marketing. Granted, you’ll be pedaling shit because you won’t have anything substantial to market, but the general public is extremely naive about fitness and they’ll believe anything.
- Make Bold Claims – All gurus are empowered by the boldness of their claims. The bolder, the better. Use words like “always” and “never” as often as possible. Spend a considerable portion of your day trying to think up witty and bold one-liners to post on Facebook.
- Be Controversial - Your popularity is directly proportional to the level of controversy you create. Find out what’s currently popular and go gunning against it.
- Pick a Few Exercises and Forms of Exercise to Crucify – Every hero needs a villain and every protagonist needs an antagonist. How will you ever be a hero if there are no villains?
- Pick a Few Exercises to Hail as King – There are plenty of great movements to choose from; just pick a few and declare them to be superior to all other exercises, and insinuate from time to time that they’re the solution to everything – including cancer.
- Create Your Own Exercise Naming System – Do not refer to exercises by the same names as everyone else; this makes you just like them. Your system needs to be unique, so come up with a new way to name the movements.
- Don’t Read Research – Why bother reading research? You need to spend your time studying marketing. While other jackasses are trying to understand the science, you’ll be laughing your way to the bank.
- Be a User – No guru these days does it on his own; in order for you to reach the pinnacle of success you’ll need help. But why pay good money for this help when there are plenty of suckers out there who will work for minimum wage to make you successful? Find some folks to write your articles, train your clients, and do your dirty work. You belong on the beach or the golf course. And who cares if they’re struggling to pay their bills while you’re living the good life? Convince yourself that you’re helping them. Do not empower them to rise up in their own careers. Feed them a fish or two but don’t dare teach them how to fish for themselves. You need them to stay put.
- Learn a Bit of Scientific Knowledge then Take Huge Leaps – Read a few book chapters and journal articles per year and use the little knowledge you gained to form a United Theory of Everything. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way on the internet!
- Build Up an Army – You’ll be much more convincing if you have a team of followers proclaiming you as the God of Fitness. Aim for a young and uneducated army – they’re easier to manipulate.
- See Things in Black and White – Gurus don’t see things in shades of gray. Things are either black, or they are white. There is no in-between.
- Don’t Train Many People – If you train a bunch of folks you might realize that your claims aren’t legit, and this is not good for your confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re right; all that matters is whether you appear right. Training people takes precious time away that could be spent on marketing endeavors.
- Never Publicly Ask Questions – Asking questions shows weakness, and gurus can’t be weak. If you don’t know the answer to something, don’t reach out to anyone and ask questions, and don’t read up on the topic. You need to spend your time reading marketing topics. There will be some folks who do get off their asses and learn the science, but you can simply out-market them so don’t sweat it.
- Never Admit that You Don’t Know – Gurus must create the illusion that they know everything. If you don’t know the answer, make something up. Defend your answer at all costs.
- Be Arrogant and Overly Cocky – Tell people how smart and/or strong you are. Brag relentlessly. Whenever the slightest thing exciting happens in your life, announce it to all of your Facebook and Twitter followers. If you have a strong squat, then you are smarter than everyone who is weaker than you. If you have a good physique, then you are automatically more intelligent than those with inferior builds. People need to know this!
- Don’t Reply on Social Media – Take the time to create a blog, a Facebook page, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and a Youtube account, but don’t reply to any of your fans. You need to appear busy, like you’re training Olympians around the clock. Don’t be bothered by pedestrians!
- Surround Yourself With Clones and Parrots – Don’t surround yourself with brilliant scientists, physical therapists, biomechanists, or exercise physiologists as they’ll just impair your ability to be cocky when you realize that your theories aren’t so earth-shattering and are lacking in substance. Find some folks who think exactly the way you do and promote each other round the clock. This will help you feel better about yourself.
- Don’t Credit Others or Acknowledge Competing Theories – You need to appear innovative, but since you don’t train people or read much, this will be quite difficult. Don’t fret; simply steal other people’s ideas without giving them credit. And no matter how great a colleague’s work, do not draw attention to it. You might lose followers. Do not ever promote anyone else’s articles, ideas, or theories unless you’re an affiliate. You are not a teacher. You’re a businessman dammit!
- Don’t Conduct Research Experiments – To reach guru status you’ll need to come up with some bold theories. Don’t ever try to figure out ways to find answers to the questions your theory formulates. Don’t ever utilize the scientific method. Your theories could in fact be wrong and this would be detrimental to your image. Rather than waste time investigating theories, spend your time creating new theories. Let the researchers waste their time investigating your claims. You need to “stay ahead of the research.”
- When Research Proves You Wrong, Refute It at All Costs – Your claims will inevitably become popular due to your supreme boldness and the backing of your army. Researchers are bound to start conducting experiments to test your theories. If the researchers’ findings support your theories, then blast this evidence all over cyberspace. But if the researchers’ findings don’t support your theories, what do those skinny geeks know anyway? Refute their claims at all costs and don’t ever falter.
- Confuse Popularity With Superiority – Who cares if some folks in the field take issue with your claims? Clearly you’re superior to them – you have more followers. While they’re busy training folks, taking courses, conducting experiments, and reading research, you’re on the golf course pretending to train Olympians. Don’t be bothered by folks who care about the science and their petty claims.
- Resort to Name-Calling and Despise Those Who Disagree with You – When people call you out, just refer to them as “haters,” “contrarians,” “armchair experts,” or “meatheads.” These people are evil and are trying to get in your way of taking over the fitness world. If another expert disagrees with you then you must find a way to knock him down immediately. Those who disagree are “unbelievers” and do not deserve your respect.
- Justify and Rationalize – Who cares how annoying you are with your marketing tactics? Caveat emptor, right? Anything to do with health and fitness has to be good for the public even if your flawed logic is readily apparent. Justify and rationalize your actions by telling everyone that you’re “busy helping as many people as possible.”
- Reinvent Yourself Every Few Years – A quick and easy way to make money is to simply change your mind about a particular topic and do a 180°. Create a new product that discusses your revelation. Your followers will be very happy that they’re finally allowed to perform a banned movement or eat a banned food item and you’ll be exalted.
- Create a Cult – People long to be part of a group and receive attention. Eventually your army will be large enough to transform into a cult. Create a hierarchy system and use mind control tactics. You do not want to encourage free-thinking as this could backfire on you. You need to intimidate and brain-wash your followers. Use fear tactics and make sure your underlings know that the second they rise up and formulate thoughts of their own they’ll be ousted from the club.
If you choose to go this route, you will not be taken seriously by your peers, as any coach with an appreciation for science will be able to pick you apart. But you will develop one hell of a following.
To be honest, I’ve committed at least 8 of these acts myself. Most of my esteemed colleagues are guilty of several of them as well. The trick is to not commit every single one of them, to have integrity, and to balance marketing and self-promotion with good information and valuable products.
Though this article was written in jest, I feel compelled to advise caution. If I could go back in time, I’d do things a bit differently, as several years ago I was definitely a “guru in the making.” Now I’m slightly embarrassed over some of my former actions. However, such is life and I’m very proud of the path I’m currently pursuing.
If your goal is to be taken seriously in the field, then I recommend taking a different path. In a few days I’ll follow up on this article and post my advice to prospective S&C writers and professionals.