Since posting my training results from following the Gymnastic Bodies Foundation One programme for 8 weeks, my website traffic spiked to thousands of views instead of hundreds…Why?
Apart from posting a link to the article on Reddit in the bodyweightfitness section, which played a significant part towards increasing its exposure, I believe there’s deeper reasons as to why people were interested.
The first big thing that comes to mind is the Results factor. It’s a well known tactic of marketers and black belt advertisers to use social proof (in the form of data and media showing other people benefitting from their product) to get people to engage.
With all the products out there that advise you how to train properly, how to get stronger etc, there’s very little material available in the way of actual results. And by results, I don’t mean testimonials. I mean hard data. Numbers, graphs, photos and figures that prove there was some sort of improvement by means of undertaking the programme. Not just someone reviewing how great the material was put together, or how much they enjoyed the specialised workout.
I know from my own experience through teaching people to slackline, that a testimonial is literally a summarised, positive generalisation about a specific product or service. It does very little to tell you what people actually gained, or did not gain by putting the product to use, yet we still fall its charm of social proof – if everyone likes it, it must be good.
What I really enjoy is testing these theories and pieces of information myself, and then sharing with you all what I encountered along the way. I test it for myself because that provides personal experience, through which I discover truths about my own body and mind.
And with clarity of hindsight, I can go back, look through what I had just experienced and collect pieces of information that worked, taking them forward with me and my training.
Everyone wants to know what’s in a training programme for them. But for those of us who are more clued up, we know it’s not enough to be reeled in by the bullshit used in the product’s marketing campaign. The marketers want us to know the product is for us, without telling us exactly why. Partly because that’s impossible – every person will respond to the same programme slightly differently, so you can’t make specific promises to a potential customer, only generalisations. And partly because that’s how products sell.
I thought originally that no one would find my results helpful, because what they discover will probably be completely different to what I did. But actually, if you’re looking to get in shape, stronger or fitter, looking at someone’s data that shows improvement in an area that matches your ideals can be a massive motivator towards getting on the journey of improvement yourself. And can save you the ball ache of making the same mistakes they did.
I find Tim Ferriss’ approach to sharing information very beneficial for this reason. He tries ideas, theories and practices, for himself to see what constitutes its success, or failure, and then reveals the results, like the awesome 4 Hour Body book.
Hopefully from my account of starting the Gymnastic Bodies programme, people will be able to take the most useful 20% of what I discovered, and through implementing and testing those ideas for themselves, they improve.
For now, it’s back on a weightlifting programme I have hybridised myself, from strength and conditioning giants Dave Tate and Joe DeFranco. The goal is to work on my weaker areas for 8 weeks using a mixture of bodyweight and free weights. There’s some one-arm chin-up progressions in there, handstand shit, and a lot of benching and squatting.
Train hard, and if you have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments box below!
Harry Cloudfoot is a slackline instructor and unconventional trainer, based in London, UK.
He teaches people of all ages to improve their balance and get the most out of their training, whatever their goals.
You can follow him on Twitter or follow his diaries here.
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