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Is Sick The New Normal?

Shocking insights into the disease epidemic affecting our neighbors, families, and friends!  That's what you're about to experience as you read through this important and revealing article.  If you're a personal trainer with a passion for helping others, you have some very real opportunity to change the world!  Exaggeration?  Not one bit.  Read on . . . 

In a recent presentation I asked and answered the questions, is the environment right and is the time now for a core group of personal trainers to claim their rightful position as credible contributors to Allied Health Care (if you haven’t yet viewed the Seven Powers presentation, I’ll include a link at the end of this piece).  The glaring answer is yes, but in preparing the presentation to fit into a 15-minute window, I simply summarized some of the statistics.  I thought, as a personal trainer, you might want a real statistical glimpse of how right and how prime the timing really is.

US Population

Of the 7 Billion people in the world, 315 million call the United States home.  Let’s start with that as our universe.   According the to latest IHRSA reports, roughly 45 million belong to health clubs.  Let’s identify that segment, 14%, as individuals who have at some point said, “I want to improve and I believe a health club may be an option.”  Without digging into the abysmal failure rate health clubs maintain in delivering desired results, let’s just take it at face value and say that that subset of our population, that 14%, includes the great majority of personal training clients.  It’s also fair to say that the obese population makes up a tiny segment of the health club market.

Now let’s take a look at how many Americans are overweight. 

The CDC says 34% of our population is obese with an additional 34.4% overweight and not yet considered obese.  Simple math says that nearly 70% of our population has a challenge with bodyfat!  

We’re looking at well over 200 million people who have more fat on their body than is considered normal or healthy which, when combined with everything outlined previously, suggests that far more than 50% of our population has unfulfilled fitness need.

Here’s where it gets a little crazy.

With all of the fitness and weight loss options being marketed, subsidized, and introduced, according to an article in the journal, Obesity, July 2008, we are moving toward seeing 86% of our population overweight or obese by 2030.

Dollars and Sense??!?

It isn’t for lack of spending that problem escalates.  Health care spending reached $3 trillion this year and according to the report, Health Spending Projections for 2016 (John A. Poisal, et al; Health Affairs, February 2007), we will top $4.2 billion per year within the next 4 years.

Let’s simplify.

  • Most people are overweight.
  • Most people do not belong to health clubs.
  • Even the people who belong to health clubs are challenged in finding results.
  • Despite resources and extreme spending, the health challenges worsen.

You read this and you shake your head from side to side wondering why these people fail to seek you out, why this struggling population doesn’t feel a magnetic pull toward personal training.  The answers aren’t comforting.

Are We Prepared?

Most personal trainers haven’t any training in working with what used to be called, Special Populations.  What was once referred to as “Special” is now in the majority!  That means most personal trainers haven’t any specialized knowledge in working with the majority of our population.

Secondly, there is a massive rift between conventional personal training and conventional medicine, and although doctors will agree that “eat right and exercise” is preventative and potentially curative, they do not, as an industry, respect the professional expertise of personal trainers.

So the problem is real, punishing, and costly, and the genuine solutions that lie in the field of offerings are few and far between.

It’s Different Now

Here’s the key.  If a handful of personal trainers recognize that our population has changed, that our food supply has changed, that our air quality has changed, and that our toxic environment can have hormonal, emotional, and physical ramification, they can learn new strategies for addressing Americans in the 21st century . . . and the medical field is nowhere near evolving to that degree.

We have an opportunity and a response-ability, and I’m prepared to lead the charge.  I’m prepared to pave the way, to make the bold statements, to speak before medical, corporate, and government groups, and to play a role in changing the culture of the American lifestyle so people can return to the enjoyment of health, energy, fitness, and well-being.

Will you come along?  I’m prepared to share.  In fact, I’m doing just that.  Beginning in a matter of weeks, I’ll be teaching a small group of trainers to master the methodologies and strategies that will empower them to claim their rightful position.

I said our population has changed.  That isn’t conjecture.  That’s reality.  One in two Americans has been diagnosed with a chronic condition!  That’s one in two!!! 

The drug companies love that, as it feeds the massive machine that cranks out new “condition-managing” drugs as readily as the M&M factory spits out little round chocolates.

Slow and Gradual Dis-ease

The leading chronic diseases are slowly-progressing, degenerative conditions that move their victims away from health, and statistically, toward premature death.  They include:

  • Diabetes (epidemic proportions)
  • Cardiovascular Diseases including hypertension (epidemic proportions)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (epidemic proportions)
  • Hormonal imbalances including hypothyroidism (epidemic proportions)

72% of non-fracture, non-surgical medical visits are related to chronic conditions.  Four in five health care dollars (79.6%) are spent on the training or managing of chronic conditions. If I share the trends, you’ll be looking at numbers that suggest 200 billion individuals with chronic conditions in the U.S. by 2030.

Recognizing what our population is becoming (and what it has already become) is vital in riding the wave of change in the field of personal training.  The reality is, you can take someone with chronic disease, have them make better choices in the grocery store, exercise with resistance and aerobic modalities, drink more water, and still fail to improve the underlying causes of disease (inflammation, insulin resistance, hormonal disruption).

Here’s where you have to be forward thinking. Here’s where you have to move the ego that says, “I know this stuff” out of the way.  Consider that the realities are rarely acknowledged in a way that prompts genuine change, and as new hospitals are built, and new drugs are prescribed, statistics don’t lie.  Things are getting worse for the individuals who make up our workforce, our communities, and our families.  I have learned amazing strategies for facilitating the type of change people need.  Over the past few years I’ve been working with individuals of all ages and conditions, under the scope of the medical field, and demonstrating unprecedented impact in individuals with chronic conditions, and I can show you how to do the same.

Swept Under the Rug

The research that would prove most insightful to the population is quietly dismissed, as the big businesses that drive prescription, food manufacture, commercial farming, and conventional medical care have little benefit in promoting the truths that underlie positive physical change.  I’ve studied the research, tested the conclusions, and presented before experts in all disciplines of medicine, and I can promise you . . . what I have to share with you can completely change your career.

Here are a few excerpts / conclusions from the volumes of research data I’ll share in my ASPIRE program:

  • Reduction in Recovery Rate and Improved Parasympathetic Response reduces cytokine activity indicating a decrease in inflammation.  A simple 6 minute routine has proven consistent in reducing recovery rate and inflammatory markers.
  • CRP is a more reliable marker for heart disease than cholesterol yet doctors continue to prescribe statin drugs to manage hypercholesterolemia.  We can bring about marked decreases in CRP production through balancing exercise load and recovery and significantly reduce, not only the risk of diabetes and diabetes-induced death, but also the risks associated with cardiovascular conditions.
  • Exercise and nutritional shifts can reduce the negative impact of adrenal stress and restore hormonal balance through improvements in metabolic energy.  A highly efficient exercise strategy works to restore biochemical balance, functional, local, and balanced strength, and movement patterns and it can be performed in less than 20 minutes.


I want to speak for a moment to the trainers between 20 and 30 who are enjoying bootcamp, crossfit, kettlebell, and TRX training.  I have great admiration and respect for these trainers, as they’re doing an incredible job of helping our healthy population improve fitness.  I also, however, find that they frequently misinterpret my message.  They hear my urgings to step up as an invitation to work with a sick population.  If you fail into that group, I want you to understand . . . I’m talking about “normal” people! 

Many of the clients I’ve taken through my A.L.I.V.E. protocol were in the right weight ranges, many no more than 10-15 pounds overweight.  They appear healthy, they function well, they work, they produce . . . but they’re compromised.  We don’t think of them as “sick,” as they’ve become the norm.  The doctor writes a prescription for a blood sugar controlling drug, a anti-depressant, and a hormone cream and they walk through this world just as you and I do.  This is not an urging to work with the sick, but rather the exposing of an untapped market and a promising opportunity.

I would not discourage any trainer from pursuing whatever path is most compelling, but I don’t want trainers who can have a strong and secure future to miss this train as it leaves the station.  I think those trainers who are looking at a career lasting the next 25-30 years have a massive opportunity to elevate and to command positions of respect not previously bestowed upon personal trainers.


The bottom line is . . . the closer you look at realities, the more you dig into statistics, the more you evaluate the impact of conventional medicine among the challenges that most plague our population, the more you realize the absurdity of dis-ease epidemic.  In my ASPIRE program I’ll share realities about food, realities about the right volume and intensity of exercise to stimulate cure, and the psychological strategies that tap directly into the long-discussed mind-body connection.


Important Note: I haven’t addressed cancer although it is one of the leading causes of disease and death.  It merits a completely separate discussion.  While we are still plagued by fully understanding the causes of cancer, in some regards we are crystal clear.  It is now determined that well over 90% of lung cancer is the result of smoking, and lung cancer is the deadliest of all.  If we consider that smoking is a chosen behavior, it suggests that, at least in the case of lung cancer, most of the cases could have been prevented.  That should expand thinking to consider that ALL cancers may be directly related to behaviors and/or environmental factors that haven’t yet been attached to a definitive cause.  By reversing inflammation, strengthening metabolic energy, and optimizing the human’s cleansing and detox systems (naturally . . . not with fasts or programmed cleanses), we may have a greater power over cancer than we’ve ever realized.  I’ll save that discussion for a future article.  I just didn’t want you to think I accidentally missed this in discussing chronic disease.


We’ll meet remotely once a week over the course of 16 weeks in a small group and I’ll share the strategies, ideas, realities, and methodologies that will give you a completely new perspective on the impact we can have both individually and collectively.

I’ll stop here . . . for now.  I won’t get into the evidence in the corporate world of the ROI fitness investment brings.  I won’t get into the sad reality that major food manufacturers have found loopholes that allow them to sell chemically treated and genetically modified foods under the headings of Natural, Organic, Functional, and Healthy.  I won’t discuss how big players have created a nutritional supplement industry that generates $21.7 billion annually with less than 4% of the products on the store shelves having true efficacy.

This is reality.  You can change the reality in the lives of those you meet.  You should. 

One final note.  Our industry has evolved as a subset or spin-off of the health club industry.  While conventional health clubs may still offer a facility where we can facilitate change in individuals, we have to distance ourselves from a positioning standpoint.  Health clubs are not equipped to provide direction and assistance in battling the most prevalent chronic conditions and if we are going to be revered as specialists, the power must lie, not in a membership, but in a connection with you, the catalyst for change.

In my ASPIRE Program I’ll share key foundational success principles that will allow you to leverage your new perspective and knowledge to increase exposure, income, and recognition.

You’ll come to appreciate that with a specialized knowledge, Personal Trainers can implement programs and protocols that:

  • Reverse inflammation
  • Resolve insulin resistance
  • Optimize hormonal balance and metabolic energy
  • Dramatically improve local, functional, and balanced strength with conservative volume

So what do you need to make this work for you?  A few things . .

  • An open mind
  • A new education
  • Evidence
  • New Positioning
  • New Affiliations

You’ll also need to:

  • Understand the primary classes of drugs and how they affect biochemistry
  • Understand the inflammatory process and how it lies as the root cause of all disease
  • With all of these strengths in place, you develop mastery of what I’ve coined the Seven Powers.

Ready to grow?  Get further details and register for ASPIRE.

More info / Related info:


The Rest of the Powers

The Landscape Has Changed

The New Synergy