In the fitness world, it’s really common for people to criticize each other for doing a skill “wrong” when performed differently from the way they learned it.
Really, there’s no perfect way to do things, and you can do whatever the hell works for you! So don’t worry what other people think or say.
Here’s a snippet of what Ryan had to say on the matter:
It’s sad that today, so many people feel like they need permission to do what they want. But we’ll be the guys to give you that permission – it’s okay to do whatever the hell you want!
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
- (0:56) Finding what makes you happy when it comes to working out
- (02:05) What Ryan learned from working with his various handstand coaches.
- (02:42) Most of us are not professional athletes. We’re doing this for fun, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you say, this is the one right way that things must be done, then yes the people in your context group – that works for them. But there’s a lot of people that might be looking at you from the outside who don’t understand that.
- (06:35) Apparently Ryan did the hollow back plank “wrong” 😉
- (08:40) Assumptions can lead to unnecessarily unpleasant conversations with people.
- (09:12) Yup, Ryan really does look like Nicolas Cage!
There’s no single way to do anything in life, so figure out what works for you.
- (10:55) When you’re trying to figure out what you want, it’s all about context.
- (12:36) If someone criticizes you for how you’re doing things, just realize they might be coming from a different context.
- (14:21) It’s faster to learn from someone who’s a few steps ahead of you, who has been where you are and can help you get to where you want to go.
- (15:37) Now that we have a good group of trainers, we always work to match up the right trainer with the right client, so it’s not only a good fit from a personality standpoint but also for their goals.
The best teachers and coaches in any discipline never try to impose a model on the student. Rather, they try to allow the student to become the best version of themselves they can.
- (18:51) Choosing for yourself is a much bigger responsibility than just putting your choices in the hands of a “guru” – but it’s really important.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
Andy: All right. Welcome to the GMB Show. Over the next 20 minutes, plus or minus, we’re going to be talking about all kinds of good stuff centered around how to live better and move better and move better so you live better, live better so you move better.
Ryan: There you go.
Andy: Be a better person.
Ryan: Be a better person. That’s what it’s about, right?
Andy: We can teach you to be better because we are better than you’ve heard before, probably not better than you though. Was that a good intro, Ryan?
Ryan: That was great. Nailed it! You nailed this one. Like it. I like it. Yeah, we got the deep topic today, so very deep, very deep. We’re going to be talking about basically you just do whatever the hell you want. That’s it and we’re done. It’s a wrap.
We will talk a little bit about today about finding actually what makes you happy, huge topic, but in regards to working out. So there’s a lot of stuff on the internet out there that says you have to perform a certain thing or you have to be able to do a certain amount of weight or reps or something like that. And really you know what? You don’t have to.
You can really do whatever you really want to do. So it’s sad that nowadays a lot of people need permission to be able to do whatever the hell they want. But we will be the guys to give you that permission. So it’s OK to do whatever you want.
Ryan: We will kind of start this off for me. To be honest, it was the handstands. So as all of you probably know or for those of you who have been with us for a while know I did a lot of handstands over the past couple of years. Had quite a few handstand coaches and learned so much and I respect those people so much. But something that kept creeping up was it had to be done a specific way or it’s wrong.
And just over time, it’s just, “No, that’s wrong, no that’s wrong. No, you have to do it this way,” and I get that. I really do. If you’re going to be performing in let’s say cirque or maybe you’re getting paid to perform handstands and things like that, yes. I’m sure that there are certain ways that it must be done. But if you’re not a professional athlete, if you’re just doing this for fun, like the majority of us out there – I’m not a professional athlete. Andy, he is but he just doesn’t know it. That’s something that you can talk about later.
But no, we’re not professional athletes. We’re doing this for fun. That’s what we’re after and so it was kind of tough for me because I was in a different life from these other people and again I respect these people wholeheartedly. I think what they’re doing is wonderful. But it sometimes bothers me when particular people say, “No, it has to be this way and if you don’t do it this way, you’re a bad person,” sort of thing.
And really over the past – it’s quite a while, like six months. I just really wanted to get away from the hand – I don’t want to just say the handstand group but the mentality and the groups out there that say that it has to be done one particular way or you’re wrong.
Andy: Yeah. I think it’s something that’s really common and it makes sense in the context of a system or a goal and you chart a path through all the things you could be doing and you piece them together and you say this is the way that I think works best to achieve this goal with these elements and in order to get there in the most efficient way, you must do them this way.
Now that makes sense in that context. But the thing is, is that you can’t judge other people from – in that same context, right? And you can’t expect everyone to agree with or follow all those rules if they’re not in the same context.
If I am a jazz musician and I judge a punk band on their knowledge of model [0:04:28] [Phonetic] theory, then that’s going to be pretty dumb, right?
Ryan: And that’s a very good point. Yeah. If you’re within let’s say – let’s say you come out and you say, “I am a jazz guitarist.” Then other – you’ve set yourself up and you’ve explained to other people that this is where I am. This is what I want to do, therefore yes. I don’t want to say rules but there are some certain things within jazz, modalities that you follow that allow you to express your version of your jazz.
But if you’re just interested in playing the guitar and you want to learn and do different kinds of things, I just think it’s unfortunate that sometimes people will judge you based on the fact that you’re maybe not in their group or not playing a particular style that they’re playing.
Andy: It’s not always about judgment too. It’s about putting – it’s about trying to set down rules for even beginners to follow that don’t know any better, right?
Andy: And so if you say this is the one right way that things must be done, well, then yes, the people in your context group, that works for them. But there are a lot of people that might be looking at you from outside that don’t understand that and what you really do is you’re confusing the hell out of them and you’re maybe just giving them a freaking complex about doing stuff wrong when they should really just be focused on finding what works for them.
Ryan: Exactly. A good example – and this happened last year and it’s sometimes where – well, it’s not sometimes. It’s usually where the person that’s giving advice has no idea what you’re really working on and they only see something from their point of view from having only done one thing.
So I posted or we posted this picture of me performing a hollow back plank position. So basically it’s like the push-up position but my back is rounded.
Ryan: Right? So a yoga instructor whom – I don’t know her at all. She just happened to see my photo and flat out said, “That is wrong. That is absolutely wrong and this is the way that you have to do it.” She didn’t say “should” or anything. It’s, “This is how you have to do it.”
Well, that was unfortunate. It was unfortunate in the fact that one, she assumed that I was just trying to teach someone yoga and she assumed that I was trying to do something that she was involved in, right?
And I’m saying differently in that way because it doesn’t just have to be yoga. Now, I remember the reply was I appreciate – I didn’t – no, you’re wrong and this is the way it should be done. No. I appreciate your comment and what not, but this is what I’m after and this is why I’m doing it and a good discussion came of it because then she realized, “Oh, OK, you’re not doing this for yoga and this is not why you’re doing it. Oh, this is another option.” So I think …
Andy: Yeah, I remember that and she understood what was going on after that. Yeah …
Ryan: But in the beginning, it was assuming. And so I do think – getting back to the handstand thing, I think it’s very important. Line work I think is absolutely so important, pointing your toes, and there are reasons for that. There are reasons for that but I think that if a person lets say is doing something and whatever it is – let’s say you see a person and there’s a picture and boom, it looks like they’re doing a one-arm handstand and they post that picture.
They just say maybe like playing with movement, and someone assumes that’s a one-arm handstand when in actuality they were doing a cartwheel, then it would be kind of strange to say, “Oh, no, no. no. In order to do a one-arm handstand thing …”
So the assumptions I think cannot only get – I don’t want to say get you in trouble but can lead to some unpleasant correspondence between people and so getting back to the original topic, so no matter what you do, no – I mean it can just be just anything. People are going to have an opinion. That’s fine. And you know what? Don’t worry about what the hell they say unless that person matters to you. That’s fine.
But really, if someone comments on something and it’s like, “Oh my god, you look like Nicolas Cage and your eyebrows are so thick. What the hell are you doing?” I mean whatever. OK? It doesn’t really matter. So do what you want to do.
Ryan: If there are things that you want to do, skills, I’m talking about skills here, like say you want to be able to do the front lever, maybe the back lever. Figure out what is going to work for you. There are so many different ways to get skills. There’s no single way to do anything in life. Now there are ways that are going to be more beneficial than the other but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be the best way for you because we’re all a little bit different.
The GMB programs for example are just an example, one example of a way that you can train to get particular skills. What you need to do is figure out if that works for you, and first of all, put some time into training it, to see if it does work for you and if it doesn’t, figure out what will work for you.
Andy: So, maybe some thoughts on how this applies to people who are not teaching or not coaches. Obviously we’re not talking to people really who are coaches here. We’re talking to people who are wanting to learn how to do things with their bodies basically. So what does this mean? I mean so we’re not just saying do whatever the hell you want. Who cares? That’s not it at all.
It doesn’t matter. You can practice buttering your toast with your toes and eventually you will be able to do levers. No, that’s not what we’re saying. It’s not whatever the hell make up whatever you think. But when you’re out there trying to figure out how to do what you want, when you’re trying to figure out what you want, you need to look at the context that it plays in your life.
I keep coming back to context because it’s really, really important. It reminds me of martial arts discussions where, oh, that’s the wrong way to do a sidekick. It’s only the wrong way if you’re doing taekwondo which is stupid.
It got in conversations because different things have different contexts. This is really important. You need to know your own context for what you want to get out of the effort that you’ve put in if it’s training or practicing for a sport or just to get stronger or whatever it is.
Also understand that when you are out looking for information, that everywhere you find information, all of these experts out there, well, we all have our own context. The context might be circus hand balance performance. It might be gymnastics. It might be capoeira. It might be – it could be anything, right?
Ryan: It really doesn’t – whatever, yeah.
Andy: It might be exercise. It might be – I don’t know. It could be anything. But the point is, is that we all have a context that we’re coming from and you need to make sure that the context we’re in matches the one that is closest to your goals because otherwise, that advice is not going to work, right? And then also as you start down that path, once you find a good contextual fit for that – you start getting advice that is geared towards what you need. Once you start going down that path, you will also start finding that acquaintances maybe from a different context might say that’s wrong.
Well, it might be to them for their needs and you just – you need to know that maybe they’ve got a different context and that I think allows you to not have to worry about too much what people say and think or get into arguments or to feel like maybe you’re doing the wrong thing. I mean maybe you are doing the wrong thing. I mean you should always examine that.
But as long as you know that you’re getting good advice from someone who shares your world view and your goal for that, then follow it and work with it and if it’s working for you, then no one else gets to tell you it’s wrong ever.
Ryan: And that’s the key point and something – you brought this up I mean a couple of years ago. It was like three, even maybe four years ago. When someone asked us what’s a good martial art to learn and I remember your answer was not this martial art or this other martial art. It was find an instructor that you truly believe can help you and it really doesn’t matter what martial art it is then. It’s a matter of seeing this instructor, this teacher, this coach or whatever the heck you want to call him and really seeing that that person is passionate about what they do but also cares about you and learning it, and so the same way with like what we’re trying to do here. There are going to be people who come to GMB that are not going to be a good fit for us and we will let you know and we will even suggest other people to train with.
Andy: We do it all the time.
Ryan: We do it all the time.
Ryan: The thing is though, if you really, really want to get a particular skill or something, it’s faster to learn from the person who has already traveled further up the mountain than you because they have already had those experiences of failing and hopefully when they fail, they learn from it and they can help you to see what’s going to be good for you and that’s the thing that separates a coach and a very, very, very good coach.
That is a coach can just tell you what to do. Well, let me rephrase this. Sometimes you just say like a teacher. A person can teach you and show you what to do but a good coach is going to say, “OK. Here are some options. Here’s what’s going to fit for you,” and then they help you get there instead of saying, “No, it has to be done exactly this way every single time and there’s no way, no ‘ands,’ ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it.”
So this is something that we talk a lot about in our GMB coaching because we have our online coaching, right? There are also people that we turn away because we say, “Listen, I don’t think we’re going to be a good coach for you,” and it’s not just me coaching people because now it’s the GMB trainers that we have coaching a lot of people and what we try and do is even within GMB, pair up a person with one of the GMB trainers that’s going to match. It’s not just a random let’s pick this person out of the hat and pair him up with this person. No, it has got to match.
Andy: A good match for both personality and for the skills that the – and abilities the person – that the client wants.
Andy: Try to find a trainer who’s the best match for that and now that we have quite a few of them, we can do a good job of that.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. And it’s great because in that way, we can look at that – look at the person’s lifestyle and know that OK, this GMB trainer has similar experiences in that and they get it. Then when they match them together, hopefully it’s going to create this electric spark to help this person really see exactly what they not only want to do but maybe what they kind of need to do in order to help them go along and that’s what a good coach does is to give them what they want but also what they need in a way that’s going to be connected to their lifestyle and match their lifestyle.
Andy: I’ve always thought that the best teachers and coaches in any discipline never try to impose a model on the student. Rather they try to allow the student to become the best version of themselves as they can, right? And they use different models and techniques to do that but it’s like the whole thing with Michelangelo who was freeing the statue from the stone, right?
Ryan: Yes, yes, yes.
Andy: It’s not carving in. It has got to look like this. He’s releasing what’s there and it’s not to be woo-woo or anything too. But I mean like we said before, we assume that all of our clients – we assume you, even if you’re not a client, you watching us, listening to this right now, you are an adult who is in charge of your own destiny and we don’t have the assumption that you’re coming to us bowing at our feet, asking to be disciples, learning how to be like us.
We sincerely hope that’s not the case. So you have your own life. You’re an adult. You have your own essence and like personality now. We’re not going to tell you, “You have to be like this. You must eat this way and you must value these things.” That’s dumb because that’s us trying to impose our values on you. We just want to show you with your own values if you are interested in the things we teach. We want to show you how to get better at being able to do the things you want to do for that. That’s all.
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. I mean figure out really what you want to do and it’s a huge, huge question. Who do you want to be? I mean …
Andy: Well, it’s a big responsibility.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s the thing. So – and of course it changes during your life. So like right now, obviously you and I, we’re married. We have children and so that has changed a lot and not to go too much into it but the responsibility portion of it, it actually makes it a bit easier when you have kids and you’re married because you know where you stay in and what you need to do whereas before when you’re free, it could be tough because you’re kind of like …
Andy: It’s not even that. I mean even just choosing for yourself is a big responsibility. It’s too easy to then – to just be the disciple and to fall at the feet of the guru and say, “You tell me what to do. Tell me who to be.” That is easy to do but it’s a recipe for a not very fulfilling life and so it’s a big responsibility for you to step up to make the decision for yourself of what’s important and what you value and that takes a little bit of introspection but it’s important. It’s important for us all to do that and so that’s the attitude that we hope you’re coming to GMB with or to anyone …
Ryan: Anyone you go to, not just us.
Andy: Great. So with that said, do whatever the hell you want!
Ryan: Do whatever the hell you want. Bam! Yeah, good rant today. I like that. I like that. Yeah, and again if you do have any questions and you’re perplexed on life, feel free to send us an email and we will try and help you in the best way we can.
Andy: Yes. If you’re looking for a coach to help you out with stuff, we’ve got several good ones who can work with you. So …
Ryan: That’s right. Let us know. All right. All right. Thanks for listening everybody. We will catch you next time. Have a wonderful, wonderful week, day, month, end of year. Until next time. See you.
[End of transcript]
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show: