- Do you guarantee results?
No, I do not, for the simple reason that I am not you. I only promise to give you the best advice that I can, based on both evidence and experience, and to also admit when I don’t know something or when the evidence for a claim is lacking. The fitness industry is chock full of nonsense. I’ll help you spot it and stay away from it. Ultimately, your success at weight loss, fitness improvement, or any other health goal you have, will depend on your ability to implement and sustain the strategy that we will develop together. After knowledge, the single biggest determinant of your long-term success is you and your will to succeed.
- Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?
Yes, I do. If you believe that, after eight coaching sessions, we failed to cover a topic or issue that really mattered to you (and that you did wait until the last minute to raise), I will give you an another coaching session at no charge.
- What kinds of people can you work with and help?
I can work with anyone who is willing to work, learn, grow, and change.
- Because you are a physician assistant with expertise in internal medicine and rehabilitation medicine, can you diagnose or treat illnesses or injuries?
No, I cannot. I can, however, talk to you about the interplay between fitness and your health. Fitness impacts, and is impacted by, disease risk, disease states, and medications. Exercise is the most important of all forms of self-care; it is inappropriate, dangerous, or unhelpful only for an extremely small number of people, usually those who are already very ill. For everyone else, it is the foundation of a lifelong prevention strategy and the most proactive, positive thing you can do for yourself every single day to maximize your ability live life fully.
- Can you talk to me about the healthcare industry generally and the claims medical care providers make about exercise, diet, health screenings, and other issues?
Absolutely. I am one of the most vocal and persistent critics of our healthcare industry, which is designed mostly to make money, not actually make people better. I believe that the most important way for you to view the healthcare industry is as a necessary evil that you should use as little as possible and only when absolutely necessary.
I can help you understand how health plans, hospitals, drug companies, and others lie to you about your actual risks for disease (for example, the difference between absolute risk and relative risk) in order to scare you into submitting to screenings and other tests that you almost certainly don’t need. Studies show that most physicians don’t even know the difference between those two kinds of risk.
I will help you see through the claims of many players in the fitness and nutrition industries, who make quite a living by selling people false hopes. The supplements industry and whack-a-doodle professions like chiropractic, worth $37 billion and $15 billion per year, respectively, have gained acceptance by selling peoples false hope. I don’t sell false hope; I sell an optimistic, but demanding, reality.
- How is working with you different from joining a gym?
I believe that the world is your gym. In the last two years, however, I had an awakening because after taking up karate I discovered that although I was very strong, I did not move well. So, I set about a strategy of improving my movement, but maintaining (even improving) my strength. And, I’ve done that, using a few kettlebells, sandbags, a slosh pipe, and the weight of my own body. I’ve actually sold all of my conventional weights.
According to Statista.com, there are about 34,000 gyms in the U.S., with over 50 million members, which means that about 1 in 5 American adults belongs to a gym. Yet, we are in far worse shape now than we’ve ever been and equally confused about what to do. Most Americans don’t belong to a gym and never will; the ones who do belong frequently don’t go, which is exactly what the gym industry wants. You don’t need a gym. You need knowledge and will.
- Why does the knowledge component matter so much?
Because we are drowning in gimmicks, myths, and outright lies when it comes to personal fitness and health management. This is due in part to the woeful job done by the educational system (right up through college) in teaching young people how to care for their first and most important resource…their bodies. Then there is the fitness market, which is a charlatan’s dream. You can sell almost any fitness gizmo to anyone because everyone wants the quick fix. There are no quick fixes. There are no shortcuts.
- Is this the same as personal training?
To call what I do personal training is like saying that a Ferrari is just a car.