Years ago I was at a crossroads.
I was working as a personal trainer in three different gyms, plus helping a friend coach athletes at a private facility.
And I was burning out fast.
I needed to get off the gym floor at least a few hours a day, but I still needed to make money.
And for some self loathing reason, I wanted to stay in fitness.
Good thing was it was back when the internet was starting to explode with fitness & bodybuilding magazine type web-sites — and I really enjoyed writing.
So I went back to school again (this time for Journalism, I already had degrees in Psychology and English) and started emailing the editor-in-chief of every online & print muscle magazine I could find.
Apart from a few 200-word throwaway assignments, I got a whole lot of nothing back.
Until, my big (potential) break emerged.
The editor for a small up & coming site had an awesome assignment for me.
There was a trainer in Texas who apparently had a reputation for getting ordinary folks in amazing shape, fast.
My job was to phone him up and get his “secrets” and then write up THE latest-greatest fat loss article for ordinary folks looking to become extraordinary.
It… didn’t go so well.
Every time I asked him for specifics he gave variations of the dreaded “it depends.”
Our conversation went something like this:
What type of training do you prefer? Basic barbells? More isolation work? High volume? Low volume?
“I build the program around their needs versus their goals, age, injuries, and the amount of time they can commit.”
Okay. What diet do you recommend? High carb? High fat? Paleo? Zone?
“I work with how the individual prefers to eat, in terms of food choices and meal frequency, and then help them eat better, consistently.”
How about a sample training or diet routine for fat loss?
“For fat loss a DAILY routine is way more important. When you go to bed, when you wake up, when you exercise, when you eat, and how you deal with cravings. Those are keys.”
So… what? There are no best practices?
“Of course there are. I use the best exercises for that person, and we focus on getting stronger or better.
“We use the best food choices from their list of favorite foods and show them how to eat the right amounts, for them.
“And we build everything around their lifestyle, their schedules.
“So it’s not my best plan; it’s their best plan.”
And with that, the call ended.
I didn’t have so much as a sets and reps scheme.
The editor was pissed, said the article was worthless and that it was now on HIM to call the coach back and get the “real story.”
I never heard from him again. My big break was a big bust.
I also never saw an improved version of the story get published, and the site was out of business less than a year later.
Which was maybe a good thing.
Cause now I can honestly say I might’ve written the greatest fat loss article to never get published.