We’ve all seen the fine print almost invisible under that tiny asterisk in the bottom corner of the magazine ad: “Results not typical”. Or as an addendum at the end of an infomercial at 2am that, surprise surprise, seems just a little too good to be true.
And of course, typically is. We all know it’s part and parcel of the fitness industry—the Photoshopping, touching up pictures, and now, the holy grail of them all, filtering. Because hey, if you can’t put actual effort into building your physique (and, I’m guessing, the self-esteem that goes along with that physique), just filter the living shit out of your picture and convince everybody that you look great, at least online. Who needs dieting, when a mere push of a button can bring abs and striations into existence that until thirty seconds ago were a mere figment of the imagination!
Over this past year, I have started to foray more into building a training company, rather than just being a solo personal trainer. And with that comes learning more about marketing. If you can’t tell, marketing isn’t my strength. A tad too much cursing, and far too blunt and honest—if marketing can best be described as “the subtle art of bullshitting people in order to scam their money”, well, ain’t a subtle bone in my body, and I’m not much for bullshitting either. I’d rather make my mountains of money the old-fashioned way: working my fucking ass off, and being the best at what I do.
In my sharp learning curve this past year, I have gotten to see how people can use Facebook and Instagram to help build their businesses and reputations. And we have invested a small amount into running—or attempting to run—some Facebook ads.
Only to be told: You can’t use those ads, as they show results that are not typical.
For the record, I’ve been working as a personal trainer for a little over eleven years now, and never once have I filtered a picture, doctored a picture, lied about somebody’s progress or results, inflated statistics, Photoshopped anything, filtered anything, or stretched the truth when it came to the accomplishments of my clients. And if you’ve been paying any attention this year, I have launched our “Results” campaign, showing off a different and unique picture of a TEAM Warrior Within client who saw amazing results—body fat loss, muscle gain, complete body transformation, you name it—every single day of the year. Yes, 365 jaw-dropping transformations. With a ton more in the bank.
But no, I’m not allowed to show them off to people because they display “non-typical results”.
The question being, of course: if I have over 365 of these sitting in a folder, plus potentially hundreds more I could put up on any given day, how exactly are they “not typical”?
No, instead, I get to play the guilty party, and be made to feel bad for actually being good at my craft. We’ve heard much about “fat shaming” and “fit shaming”, but here’s the kicker to end it all: I am supposed to use crappy examples of changing people’s lives, and dumb-down the amazing progression of TWW clients, because most training companies out there couldn’t get you in shape if their lives depended on it. Because TEAM Warrior Within is “above typical”, we are not allowed to show our actual clients and their amazing achievements. Because we’re “not typical”.
Because we should feel guilty about not being as fat and lazy as the rest of the country.
Because we should apologize for our work ethic and dedication.
Because we should instead embrace bullshit trends and fly-by-night fitness scams that, in actuality, do nothing to get people in shape.
Because, while others talk about and market “getting in shape”, we’re busy grinding it the fuck out on the stepper, and just taking a picture—a non-filtered picture, mind you—when all is said and done, showing simple facts and realities: getting in shape is pretty easy, if you do the right things.
So, because TEAM Warrior Within is not a typical training company—we’re better than a typical training company, because we actually know what we’re doing—we are deemed “not typical”, and thus not allowed to market ourselves.
The logical alternative, of course, is that we should allow crappy training companies to market the living hell out of themselves, so consumers continue to invest their hard-earned dollars into gimmicks—and individuals—who will never get them any farther on their fitness journey.
Makes sense. Let’s perpetuate the lies and bullshit into infinity. Certainly that’s in the best interest of all the overweight, obese, and sick people in this country who are currently getting absolutely nowhere with their uneducated, gimmicky, marketing-guru trainers.
So, if you’re looking for typical results, please do not call us. Thank god you didn’t see our marketing. It is not typical. We don’t not crank out typical people.
We crank out champions. And we refuse to apologize for it.
-David A. Johnston
David Johnston is the founder and lead trainer of TEAM Warrior Within. You can also listen to him weekely on the GEARD Up podcast. ( GEARDUp.com ) David works with clients ranging from the everyday person just trying to lose weight and get healthy, local and national bodybuilding and physique competitors, to IFBB professional athletes.
David lives and breathes all things related to physique transformation, and has devoted nearly half of his life to passionately studying and educating himself to be the absolute best at what he does. His intensity in the gym is matched only by the passion he gives to his clients.