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Jonathan Goodman: Uniting Trainers Online (Podcast)

Today I’m talking to Jonathan Goodman, a trainer and author who founded the Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC) in 2011. The goal of the site was to bring fitness professionals the information, support, and business guidance they needed but couldn’t find anywhere else. I’ve known Jonathan since right around that time, and he’s quietly — and sometimes not so quietly — built what I think is an immensely valuable resource for the fitness industry as a whole. We discuss the past, present, and future of personal training and where the industry will and won’t succeed in moving toward more remote and virtual training models.

On this episode of The BarBend Podcast, host David Thomas Tao talks to PTDC founder Jonathan Goodman about: 

  • The origins of the Personal Trainer Development Center (2:18)
  • “I know nobody, I don’t have much money. How do I get people to know about my book?” (5:00)
  • Early topics that trainers struggled with, and how Jonathan started compiling resources for them (9:01)
  • Why the best program doesn’t exist, and the difference between really good programs and good enough programs (12:50)
  • Publishing Op-Eds in fitness (15:30)
  • How to collaborate in fitness online and in person (21:00)
  • The core flaw of personal training, and how we can address it (24:00)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

The difference between a really good program and a good enough program for the majority of exercisers is actually not that great. What really matters and what really moves the needle is that you understand enough about the psychology of adherence, of self efficacy to get somebody to want to do the program.

 

If somebody actually does something that’s perhaps not quite as good, they’re going to get way better results physiologically, physically, mentally than they are if you give them the best program that’s going to beat the crap out of them, that might not be right for them, or that you can’t communicate as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host David Thomas Tao and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

 

Today, I’m talking to Jonathan Goodman, a trainer and author, who founded the “Personal Training Development Center” way back in 2011. The goal of the site was to bring fitness professionals the information, support, and business guidance they needed but couldn’t find anywhere else.

 

I’ve know Jonathan since right around that time. He’s quietly — OK, sometimes not so quietly — built an immensely valuable resource for the fitness industry, as a whole. We discuss the past, present, and future of personal training and where the industry will and won’t succeed in moving toward more remote and virtual-training models.

 

We’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the “BarBend Podcast” in your app of choice. I’d also recommend subscribing to the “BarBend Newsletter” to stay up-to-date on all things strength. Just go to barbend.com/newsletter, to start becoming the smartest person in your gym today. Now, let’s get to it.

 

John Goodman, thanks so much for joining us. I have to dive right into it. I think the thing that you’re most associated within the fitness industry is the PTDC. Tell us what it stands for. Tell us what it originally began as, because it’s grown a lot since then.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 Sure. PTDC stands for Personal Trainer Development Center. It’s grown into the largest independent collaborative blog for personal trainers. It’s grown into a remote education company.

 

Really, what it started out as was John Goodman’s little blog to promote his book called “Ignite the Fire” back in 2011. I figured out really early that I only had so many good ideas. Maybe two.

 

Over the course of a year, there’s probably at least 25 other good trainers who also had two good ideas. If we publish one good idea a year, that’s 52 good ideas total. 25 people have two, and I have two, that’s 52, so, one a week. I felt like that was important for absolutely no good reason.

 

I turned it into a collaborative blog. We just started publishing and celebrating other people. We were syndicating content before syndicating content was cool.

 

We were really just this idea of abundance. I’ve published an independent unbiased list every Sunday at 6:00 AM since 2012 of the best fitness content on the net by other people. We have people outside of our company make the list and their only instruction is find the best information possible.

 

Fine, we don’t take care if they’re competitors, we don’t care if we like them or if we don’t like them. The best information in the fitness industry needs to be shared.

 

Yes, it’s grown from there into books, into certification. A whole bunch of stuff we’ve [laughs] tried that hasn’t worked, as the norm.

David TaoDavid Tao

How did the PTDC originally start gaining some traction, because you have a long history as a personal trainer? I remember actually in the early days of the PTDC, that was around the time we started working together, we became friends.

 

I remember you’d pop by New York and you were talking about it. A lot of it was very grassroots marketing. You were literally going into gyms and talking to your friends and being like, “Hey, check out this blog. Do you want to contribute? Do you have ideas?”

 

How did you originally start gaining traction, and what was your pitch to get other personal trainers involved sharing their ideas?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

That’s a good question. I knew so little about how things should be done that I made it up as I went, which I think is actually perhaps the best lesson here. I feel there’s this level of optimistic ignorance that everybody needs when they start a company, and it’s harder and harder to attain that level.

 

It’s too easy to know too much about something. It’s too easy to over-ask questions when you really have zero context but through which to put those answers.

 

How did it start? Man. I had a book, right? I was a 24-year-old personal trainer who wrote a book about personal training, because yeah, I was so into it to have no idea of why I shouldn’t have written the book, so I just wrote the book.

 

Then, I looked around. I was like, “Well, I have this book. How do I get it edited? How do I promote this book and form the PTDC.” I was like, “Well, I know nobody. I don’t have much money. [laughs] How do I get people to know this book?”

 

I just started talking. I think one summer I went to New York City, eight times. I started attending every single event. At the same time, I would cold-email and cold-call.

 

How did I find my editor? I was like, “Well, who has published a book in the fitness industry?” I literally googled fitness books. I just emailed all of them. I was like, “Hey, I’m looking for an editor for my book. Do you know someone?”

 

Now, I’m starting to build relationships with them. Brad Schoenfeld was actually the person who put me in touch with [inaudible 6:04] editor Kelly Jamieson, for that book, and everybody got back to me.

 

I think that was the biggest trigger moment early on was that, when you reach out to people respectfully, no matter how great you think they are, they will get back to you.

 

Then, I just started looking for ways to add value to them. I would often try to meet them at events and things like that, and just shake their hand. I mean, you’re not trying to get anything out of anybody when you first meet them at an event. You just want like a face.

 

Then, I would try to syndicate their content. I’d say, “OK, I want to get to know David Thomas Tao, because he’s a big deal. He’s working at this company called Greatest.com. That’s pretty cool.”

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s way back when, taking it way back.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Way back when. “He’s pretty cool. I think 10 years from now, we might want to do a podcast together. How do I get to know him?” Well, he’s written this really great article that our audience can benefit from.

 

I have this professional sounding website, Personal Trainer Development Center, that nobody really knows it’s a website that I built and run out of my one-bedroom apartment at night, after personal training workouts. Because it’s a website, nobody knows that it’s that.

 

I just found content that was already great, but often was missing a headline, or structure, or formatting, or editing. I would just ask permission to syndicate it. I would say, “Hey, you know, this piece is great. Can I pull it over into this blog? I’ll pay you 100 bucks. You, the sole author, pure attribution.”

 

Nowadays, you just put a line at the top, saying, “This is the original source of the article.” You do a little bit with the link, to make sure that the Internet at Google knows that the original is someone else.

 

Then, we published it. I didn’t even ask him to share it. Now these people started sharing the website because they were on it. Over the years, we have over 1,000 people that have been involved with contributing content to the website.

 

You can’t have a thousand nodes on a network that are all producers, that all have their own platforms, that are all producing information, and not have that thing turn into something. It’s just not possible.

 

We didn’t pay any advertising. We didn’t spend a dollar in advertising, until I think it was 2015, 2016, like five years in, we didn’t, and even then, I mean, we do a launch where we do 1.5 million bucks or something, 2 million bucks. Then, we spend $15,000, max. I mean, we did all the hard stuff that takes a long time.

David TaoDavid Tao

What are some of the original topics, way back when, inspired by your book “Ignite the Fire” that you started publishing on the PTDC? If you remember, what are some of the first topics in the personal-training sphere that others started contributing on the PTDC?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 It’s funny because these things are so controversial now, core rotation, anti-rotation.

David TaoDavid Tao

Those are controversial now? Those are still controversial in the fitness industry?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 I don’t know. Should you do sit-ups? Should you stretch? Should you [inaudible 9:36] , all of those types of things.

David TaoDavid Tao

These are legitimately topics that have gone. They’ve peaked and valleyed in the controversial sphere. They become conventional wisdom. Then, it’s like, “Wait a minute, research says…”

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Research says that it shouldn’t [inaudible 9:52] are the best things that ever. Well, you don’t actually need to.

 

Those types of topics, the two topics that I still went back on, these are the things that broke the site, in terms of these are the trigger moments. These were things that were not controversial but things that I feel like anybody who was deeply embedded in the industry intuitively knew but couldn’t quite articulate.

 

When I said it and when I published it, I was one of the first people to really publish the subject, and everybody was like, “Holy crap, that’s right.” The first was “Personal trainers shouldn’t periodize.”

David TaoDavid Tao

They shouldn’t periodize.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

They shouldn’t periodize. The majority of clients…and I mean, really undulating periodization is potentially an exception because undulating periodization basically means give people what they need when they need it.

 

When I say “Personal trainers shouldn’t periodize,” I’m like, “Personal trainers probably shouldn’t try to build these macro-micro cycles. Most clients are general pop. Even trainers who work with primarily the professional athletes, the majority of their business is still general population, almost always.

 

Even trainers who work with the top celebrities in the world, the majority of their business is still general population. General population has life that gets in the way. They forget to tell you that there’s a wedding coming up. They get sick. Their whatever is going on.

 

I was sitting there and I’m building…I read Tudor Bompa’s work. I’d read these textbooks and look at all of these periodization structures and I’d try to emulate them as a trainer, thinking that’s what I should be doing.

 

Then I took a step back and I was like, “No man, this doesn’t work. This doesn’t work for my client. I’m building you this beautiful three-month program and you forgot to tell me you have a vacation in two weeks.”

 

Then, what I did is I built a system — you share this in the article — where every one of my clients had a spreadsheet and they basically had colors coming up, and the colors were general preparation phase, power phase, [inaudible 12:07] phase, fat loss, whatever. Before every month, I said, “Hey, what do you got coming up this month?”

 

Then I would color-code it and I would be able to very easily look back at, “OK, if they were going to come up on fat loss because they had a vacation coming up, maybe we want to do a hyper [inaudible 12:28] . That was one.

 

The second, which is the biggest one, which is really what Ignite the Fire is build off of, is the idea that it’s more commonly known, but it’s the idea that psychology matters much more that physiology, a lot of the time, with most exercisers. The importance of the quality of a program you give to a client pales in comparison to the importance of your ability to get a client to want to do that program.

 

I realized, after a few years of personal training, that the difference between the best program, if it exists, which it doesn’t because fitness is a mastery thing where a constant, there’s no real defined best…

 

The difference between a really good program and a good enough program for the majority of exercisers is not that great. What matters and what moves the needle is that you understand enough about the psychology of adherence, of self-efficacy, to get somebody to want to do the program.

 

If somebody actually does something that’s perhaps not what is good, they’re going to get way better results physiologically, physically, mentally, than they are if you give them the best program that’s going to beat the crap out of them that might not be right for them, or that you can’t communicate as well.

 

None of this is saying that you shouldn’t strive to give them a better program but first is you have to understand what makes people tick. Ignite the Fire was the first book to publish that concept, and that’s what people resonated with.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about conflicting ideas. There are a lot of controversial things in the fitness industry. Some are actually controversial. Some are falsely controversial because people like controversy and people like to argue.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 Like ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, low-carb, like how [inaudible 14:22] the exact same thing and they come back every 10 years.

David TaoDavid Tao

Stuff whatever buzzwords you want into this in the transcript, so Google picks it up and this podcast does really well, whatever buzzwords, paleo, fat loss, whatever buzzwords you want, because we transcribe these.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Is the ketogenic diet good?

David TaoDavid Tao

How do you follow the ketogenic diet? Is the ketogenic diet paleo?

 

All these buzzwords. Let’s get the feature snippets. Controversy. Some of it is controversial. There’s things that are controversial. Some things aren’t. Some things we don’t think should be controversial, and suddenly a new meta-analysis comes out and says, “Wait, everyone was wrong,” etc.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Which doesn’t happen that often, but…

David TaoDavid Tao

It doesn’t happen that often, but…

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Eventually, there are things that are a little bit surprising, but it doesn’t happen that often.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about conflicting ideas and opinions. What is the PTDC stance on publishing two articles that might be in opposition but they come from different opinions and they have different…There’s a logical basis to each?

 

For example, on BarBend, we have an op-ed section. People write opinion editorials. Sometimes they’re in conflict, and sometimes, something I really enjoy is we’ll publish an op-ed, and then someone, one of our writers, contributors, someone really smart, will want to publish a reaction to that op-ed or a counter to that op-ed, which is really cool because you can put them in dialogue. When you can put smart authors in dialogue publicly, and they’re both down for it, that’s really cool.

 

How does the PTDC handle that? Is that something that doesn’t really come up?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 It doesn’t really come up because we don’t really talk about the science of training that much.

David TaoDavid Tao

It might not be on the science. It could be something that’s not necessarily research-based, for example.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

We have done it in the past. We’ve done point-counterpoint before, where basically we publish something. Our audience or a couple people in our audience say, “We don’t…” and we’re like, “Yeah, give us a counterpoint.” We have done that. The majority of what the PTDC publishes now is business career advice.

 

There’s this kind of less about them, but my personal stance on it is academic debate, intelligence debate, discourse, respectful debate, is always positive to people who are listening. Where I struggle with it is that the people who need to listen to it, don’t.

 

I understand enough about cognitive dissonance. I understand enough about things like ad hominem and strongman attacks to know that it’s so easy to persuade people.

 

Once one person associates with a certain viewpoint, good luck trying to get him to even listen to the other viewpoint, especially in the day of the filter bubble that we live in now. You’re running up against a brick wall to a brick wall to a brick wall. Intellectually, it’s an incredibly positive thing. Personally, I believe very strongly of…

 

I subscribe to a whole bunch of magazines. I actually published on my Instagram this morning some articles from [inaudible 17:35] Magazine, which I really love. I think it’s by the creator of VICE Media put it together.

 

Why I love it is it’s a whole bunch of random stories from around the world about the most random subjects ever, like from this Kurdish empress a century ago to a cuneiform tablet in Mesopotamia talking about a cocoa trader who cheated his partners to [inaudible 18:08] who are these like fashionistas in Congo.

 

The reason why I love this so much is, it’s stuff I would never…with force-fed if you just do what most people do, which is, log on to these media sites you like and log on to social media. You’re fed stuff that already agrees with what you agreed with. You don’t know that this is happening, but this is how these systems have been built.

 

You never see opposing viewpoints, intelligent viewpoints. You never open yourself up to it. You never see things that are just completely different that get your brain to work different ways.

 

I just think it’s really, really important, inside of fitness and outside of fitness, to subscribe and make time to fill your head with things that you would never otherwise see, that would never be delivered to you. You’ve got to go pretty far out of your way to do that these days.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

What do you think the PTDC can do in a better way or do more of to fight the echo chamber effect that develops in communities, the fitness community being just one of literally infinite examples?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Man, that’s a good question. [inaudible 19:24] . The interesting thing about the PTDC is that we’ve kind of been Switzerland for the last like nine years. The fitness industry is very fractured, where particular factions don’t speak to each other that much.

 

Bodybuilders don’t really speak to CrossFitters, don’t really speak to Zumba instructors, don’t really speak to people who, say, do Orangetheory or Beachbody-type workouts.

 

Then, of course, you’ve got certification companies that are, by and large, around the world unregulated by anybody. Despite what they might say, there actually is no scope of practice basically anymore.

 

A certification might have a scope of practice, but they’re an independent for-profit company. Their scope of practice is whatever they say that they should do. It’s not going to be regulated.

 

What the certification companies do is they’re a business, they want you to keep buying from them, so they don’t introduce you to people outside of them.

 

Then you have people in individual countries who don’t. See folks, you can just see how many different factions, how fractured the whole industry is.

 

What the PTDC has done a reasonably good job over the years [inaudible 20:43] is that we’ve been able to kind of usurp all of that.

 

We have everybody from small gym owners to big-box gym owners to owners of big gym chains in Singapore to CrossFitters to body builders to physique models to Zumba instructors all listening to us, which actually doesn’t exist on very many platforms. We’ve always been Switzerland that way.

 

What we can do better is put out more messages of collaboration and be very upfront and very outspoken about how we’re doing that and why we’re doing that. The fitness industry is broken in a lot of ways.

 

The fitness industry is still a very, very young industry. It’s in a very awkward, teenager, adolescent phase right now, where we don’t quite have an identity. Everybody’s fighting and everybody’s whining and everybody thinks they’re right. There’s emotions and hormones flying around. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

On a more positive note, to inject a little positivity…

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

I don’t think it’s not positive.

David TaoDavid Tao

Not that it wasn’t positive. Growth is growth. Growth and maturation are growth and maturation. There’s positive, there’s negative. I am curious just because I don’t get to ask everyone this because I haven’t known everyone on this podcast. In fact, I haven’t known most people on this podcast for as long as I’ve known you. It’s close to ten years.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 It’s been a while.

David TaoDavid Tao

Closer to 10 than it is to 5, let’s put it that way. What about the fitness industry has changed — over the course of our relationship — for the better? What are a couple things that might spring to mind?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Opportunities.

David TaoDavid Tao

Opportunity?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

There is so much opportunity in the fitness industry. When you and I first met, there were big players that by and large controlled the flow of information, that by and large controlled the certification, the gyms, where you could work, how you could work, the business model.

 

There wasn’t a lot of publicly known information, and this is just starting now, of careers in the fitness industry outside of personal trainer. It used to be you’d enter the fitness industry, you’d be a personal trainer, and you might stumble around for a little bit and then you probably [inaudible 23:14] .

 

When there were a lot of people still starting as personal trainers that like you aren’t staffed to be a personal trainer. A lot people start, but most of the people who work for a company were personal trainers at one point, and now they’re everything from marketers to personal assistants to graphic designers to project managers to developers to advertisers, but they still love fitness.

 

They still want to support the fitness industry because lot of opportunity there. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for anybody who wants to go and grab it, to build their own business, to craft out the right model for them.

 

We’re huge proponents of online training. I wrote the only textbook in the world for online trainers. We’ve got the only certification course for online trainers.

 

The reason for that is online training allows any personal trainer to begin to attain some semblance of freedom and flexibility in what they do. It’s not, “Hey, let me put my feet up and sit on a beach and sip Mai Tais.”

 

It’s, “I need to reverse the business-dictating fitness continuum. I need to identify and move towards a model whereby fitness of my clients, the success of my clients, dictates the success of my business.”

 

With online, or hybrid online posting, which is the majority of people that we work with do, or a combination of both, what you can then do is you can actually craft a model that’s perfect for every single client, giving them what they need, when they need it, how they need it.

 

The perfect workout is almost never 30 minutes or 45 minutes or an hour, but the constraints in the gym force that. The perfect workout doesn’t start at 6:00 PM on the dot every single Tuesday and Thursday PM. That’s not how lives work, but the constraints in the gym force that.

 

Back in 2013, 2012, we really started thinking about it. It was like, “Well, what if there was a better way?” We started teaching people how to build online businesses, how to build online into their business, in 2013.

 

Now, of course, it’s grown considerably, but I see so much opportunity. Once you have online, now you’re not forced your location, but now you’re also not forced into a very specific schedule where you’re trading your time specifically for money, which opens up a ton of opportunities to do more, be more, help more, which is really what it’s about.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

Where is some places that you look to, or people who you look to for inspiration and ideas within the fitness industry right now, because I know, in just talking with you back and forth, you’re someone who likes taking in a lot of information from a broad spectrum.

 

You talked about how you like reading magazine stories that have nothing to do with fitness, or might be just very much tangential, but within the fitness industry, where do you look for these days for some inspiration and ideas? This is a question I actually remember asking you probably eight years ago.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

What did I say then?

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m sure I had a list. I took a lot of notes back then in a little notebook.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

That’s fun.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m curious what it is now. Maybe I can go back later and compare notes, if I can take the notebook out of a closet.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

‘d love to see what happened before John had grey hair. That would be really interesting to know what the difference is. Where do I look to now?

 

I’m very fortunate that I have a whole bunch of systems built around me. I’ve considered myself a talent scout, I guess, in the business industry. This goes back into the guerrilla marketing aspect, as well.

 

I believe very strongly that there are people out there that are going to be very successful because of who they are and what they are, and of certain qualities that are common amongst them.

 

What I have done over the years is I’ve built systems into my business and members of my team, and, for example, the Sunday Best Content List, to basically bring people to me and identify people who are going to be good just before they are, before they’re known to be good.

 

There’s this old adage, it’s like, “Try, fail, try, try, fail, fail, fail, try, fail, reinvent yourself, and then five years later, you become an overnight success.” If you could catch somebody in that try-fail phase and be the person to lift them up and publish them and be like, “Yo, I got you.”

 

Build a relationship with them. Well, when that person inevitably then becomes really successful, even they’re a lot, try getting in touch. Try building a relationship with somebody when they’re already at the top.

 

They don’t need anyone. They’re busy. They have lots of people trying to reach out to them, but if you’ve known them for a lot of years, but then pull backwards for you. What we do is we have members of our team basically insistence that scan the net for people just putting out good content, good material.

 

We have processes of just making sure we’re checking in with them, making sure we’re seeing what they’re doing. Trying to figure out ways that we can support them on the way out. No idea whether it will ever turn into anything.

 

You know there’s somebody who we had a call with yesterday that we might work with. You might become the head coach for one of our projects that we’re working with. I’ve known him for ten years, attended his events, his conferences always just kept in touch with him a bit, borrowing stuff when he put it out.

 

Send him messages, just I believe very strongly in catching people in the act of doing something great. Lot of times, it’s so easy to catch people in the act of doing something poorly and the only time you reach out or you hear from somebody is like, “Oh, you’re doing something wrong.”

 

“You made a mistake. You made a typo.” Now be like, “Yo, I got you. I got you. I got you. You did something cool there. You did something good there.” Be that person to identify it. I believe very strongly in never resisting a generous impulse.

 

If you ever feel like doing something nice for somebody, knee jerk reaction just do it. Send that message, send that coat, buy that gift card, buy that post in the key lime pie when you meet up with them in the middle of a park in New York City.

 

Really, that’s super memorable. I mean when we met up, I think I went visited the greatest offices. Then you and I had a coffee in one of the many concrete pubs in New York. You just walked down.

 

You knew that I love key lime pie. You just walked down with a coffee and a little single-serve key lime pie for me.

David TaoDavid Tao

 It was super convenient to do that, by the way, because the offices at the time were right above a bakery.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

So regardless.

David TaoDavid Tao

It was fortuitous. It was fortuitous.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

It’s New York. You give yourself too little credit. It’s New York City. There’s a bakery every three doors.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s true. That’s true.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

It would not have been difficult for you to find a bakery.

 

But it’s that idea. So the question — who do you listen to? Who do you go to for advice? I’m not particularly interested in training anymore. I’m interested in being in shape for sure. As long as I move every day, I’m happy.

 

So normally, I ride my bike to and from the office. It’s 15 minutes and then I’ll go for a jog or an outdoor body workout because gyms are still closed here at lunch. Well, today, I have calls after lunch.

 

We’re going to go stand up paddleboarding, my wife and I, on the Humble River here in Toronto with our son. We’ve got three-year-olds. So we’re going to go stand up paddleboarding after work.

 

It’s going to be a beautiful day which means I can’t ride my bike to work because she is picking up the car to go paddleboarding. So at the end to work, I don’t really care what I do. It’s 25 minutes. As long as I move.

 

So I’m not I’m not particularly interested in training so I really don’t believe much about training. I’m interested in people. I’m interested in people doing great work. What does that mean?

 

How are people getting messages through these days in the fitness industry, in a really special way that is not just building a platform but is eliciting action amongst that platform? That’s the really, really special stuff.

 

I can name a few names if you want, but it’s more the idea behind the name because that looks different. There’s so many people who have big audiences in the fitness industry who have to wait tables on weekends to make ends meet.

 

Just because you have a lot of people following you on Instagram doesn’t mean you can make any money from that because nobody actually cares about you. They just care about photos of you twerking.

 

That’s why I follow you, Dave.

David TaoDavid Tao

Well, there’s no photos of me twerking, but if you go on TikTok there is a very popular TikTok with hundreds of thousands of views that features my butt.

 

So that’s a story for a different day. That’s actually come up on the podcast before.

 

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 

No, it’s a story for now.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m just owning it. We did this thing. It’s a whole thing. I had a podcast with Jen Widerstrom. We’re talking about TikTok. If you go to the BarBend TikTok account, the most popular video by far.

 

We don’t have a huge presence on TikTok. We need to invest in some growth there. It’s of the butt test where you roll a loaded barbell over someone’s butt and if it passes their butt, they fail the butt test, felt like a glute size thing.

 

I did it and by a factor, by two orders of magnitude, it’s the most popular video we’ve ever put out.

 

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Did you pass the butt test?

David TaoDavid Tao

With flying colors, with flying colors, John.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

 Impressive.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’ve met me in person multiple times. I’m just glutes and then the rest of me.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

If you were born in Canada, you would have been a very effective hockey player. Hockey players have tough butts. They’re just water.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That is the nicest, honestly, that will not be topped. That’s the nicest compliment anyone’s paid me for a while.

My grandmother’s from Canada so I feel like that’s in a way a very visceral familial compliment. So I’m not going to top that. We’re going to basically end on that.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

That’s it. We’re done.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m going to say, John where’s the best place for people to keep up to date with the work you’re doing?

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Absolutely, thank you for asking. If anybody’s interested in online training business whether you’re in the industry not in the industry, we’ve got the Online Trainer Show, which is our podcast.

 

You can search Online Trainer Podcast, which is onlinetrainer.com/podcast. You can look at it, get all the links on YouTube, Spotify, those types of things.

 

Then Personal Trainer Development Center, we’ve got thousands of articles about everything you’d ever want to know about personal training.

David TaoDavid Tao

Well, John, thanks so much for your time. It’s always a pleasure to catch up. When we do it again in 10 years, I’m sure things will be slightly different. No, I’m kidding.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

Hopefully you can still pass the butt test. I feel like as you age…

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Oh no, don’t even.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

It might be sad.

David TaoDavid Tao

We’ll see. We’ll check-in. [laughs]

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

You know how sad that would be? I can’t even. I stretched out all of these pants and now they don’t fit anymore.

David TaoDavid Tao

This is my worst nightmare. We’re just going to end it on that. Thanks for joining us, John.

Jon GoodmanJon Goodman

All right, thanks buddy.

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