Why I Dance In My Videos, And Why Being A Generalist Is Awesome

Unprofessional? Blasphemy!

1389051248_2751The truth is, you’ll always have haters out there.

The more my public profile develops, the more frequently I’m reminded of this.

In my last blog article, I made mention of the importance of building relationships in the industry. In the upper tiers of any industry, people who are at the top are usually humble, and in good standing with one another.  That almost immediately ostracizes the haters from the circle, since no one has become successful by bullying, hating, and snarky commenting their way to the top.

Check out my YouTube videos and you’ll even find the odd angry troll comment about the unbecoming lack of professionalism that they associate with me dancing and otherwise acting silly at the end of my video.


The amount of “unwritten rules” that permeate this industry (and by industry, I don’t mean strength training. I mean online marketing, blogging, video shooting, and social networking) by people who literally have the sharp ends of HB pencils stuck up their hind parts, is always something that amazes me.

See, if the “rules” of professionalism applied to uploading personal videos on a public website, then shouldn’t it be taboo for a coach to swear in such videos? Most view this as a sign of “authenticity”. How about the fact that most gyms don’t allow their trainers to train or instruct clients in the gym while wearing sleeveless shirts? Some coaches present with no shirt at all, to show that they walk the talk.

Crushing a new PR calls for celebration. It’s a PR!

The number one thing I look for whenever I watch a video by a professional in the industry is quality– usually by way of what I consider to be an accurate demonstration or explanation of training methods. I don’t care about what goes on outside of the actual cues of the exercise and their execution.  That’s up to the guy in front of the camera.

The cool thing about this day and age is that we’re able to choose our own “groove” to make us unique. Some trainers do the shirtless thing. Others may keep the video hi-grade by using a movie quality camera. Haters have more to preoccupy themselves with than the atmosphere of the video or content that’s being put out for free in order to help the masses.

So, why do I like to dance after a good set?

Because I enjoy my job, enjoy crushing some solid weights, and I’m not camera shy.

Plus, it makes for one hell of a video.


This goes back to the note of building relationships I mentioned earlier. I get emails from people frequently that look something like this:

Hey Lee,

Love your articles on (insert publication name here)! I’m a fan of your work and had a quick question: I’m a strength coach who’s new to the industry, freshly certified. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for which direction I should move in to become a top level coach? Are there certain books or courses you recommend I take? Also, should I study more in strength training? Olympic lifting? Sport specific training?



It seems to be simple enough, with the solution being to respond by quickly guiding the eager beaver down my most recommended path – or at least my most favourite.

The truth is, I don’t have one.

I likely won’t become as prolific as other coaches in my career simply because I don’t really “specialize” in a specific training method.  I call myself a generalist because I feel that being one is the best vehicle to an unbiased and well-rounded knowledge base in this industry.  Most true strength coaches are going to come from a background in something athletic before getting licensed to train clients. For some, it’s a sport like football, track, or swimming. For others it may be fitness competition. Their experience will affect the way they approach training their clients, unless they make a tremendous effort against it.

My track and field background shapes plenty of the training principles I apply to my programming for clients. This is why, on purpose, I’ve made it a point to focus on improving as many areas of smart strength training as possible (if you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I spent this entire summer and fall working on the Olympic lifts).  Focusing on training for more than just sport performance, whether it’s hypertrophy, general conditioning, or maximum strength, have also been included in my priority lists.

IMG_5663 (1)

Straight up, I think it’s just plain fun to be able to mix things up so as not to be married to one method of training – as long as that method makes sense in the bigger picture. Learning the motor patterns involved in something that you’re not used to presents not only a new challenge for your body, but a new ground of knowledge that you haven’t covered yet.


Just like the fitness industry itself is completely unregulated, so is the world of fitness training. If you’re not competing in a sport or upcoming meet, it wouldn’t kill you to change things up every now and then.  Take it from me.  A step out of your comfort zone – and I mean WAY out; not going from isolation training to strength moevments – can have a threefold advantage and benefit to your maturation as a coach.

And when you finally see improvements, it may even make you want to do a little dance.

Just sayin’.

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