Thomas Plummer: The Evolution of a Trainer

This is an excerpt from The Soul of a Trainer

Year One
A one-day wonder certification is like a learner’s permit for driving, but you don’t know that if you are first-year guy. You already think you are better than all those old coaches. You have been working out for years (about three in reality), know every­thing there is to know about coaching because you have spent 20 hours watching YouTube, and now you are a Trainer . . .

Gym Trainer . . . with a license to kill.

Year Three
You are married to specific methodology. Your way is the only way. You are pure; the rest of us are flawed, and while you crap outside in a peasant squat, eat only food you prepare, go to bed at exactly 9:00 every night and have no sex because it might drain your “vital energy,” yes, you might actually live longer than the rest of us, but who cares, because you won’t have a single friend. You have irritated everyone in your life for so long that everyone avoids your craziness and you haven’t been laid since your prom night 10 years ago.

Year 10
You now become the master trainer the first-year guy thought he was after three months. You have thousands of sessions done and recorded, have trained and men­tored other coaches, and have mastered a variety of methodologies.

Finally, you are able to say, “I don’t know; I might have to refer you out.”

Congratulations, you are now one of the best in the world.

Year 15
You are standing on a stage in front of 300 coaches, wondering if you were as ever as young and dumb as some of the faces staring at you. Then you remember you were, take a deep breath, sigh a little, and proceed to try to change a whole bunch of lives who secretly think they are better than you at everything.

Year 20
“Hey kid, just pick up those kettlebells and walk down to the end of the street and back for 30 minutes. When you get back, we will sit and have a scotch and talk about the rest of your life.”

It seems the older we get, the more “simple” seems to work.

Finally, you become that old guy working out quietly in the corner of a real gym.

Your workout is your meditation. The hours in the gym have been some of the best in your life. Your gym friends are your only friends.

And still, sometimes sitting alone, you smile at the young clueless bastard you were back in the beginning and wonder how you survived such a long and perfect career.

[afl_shortcode url=”″  product_id=’45139′] [afl_shortcode url=”″  product_id=’2847′]

Tap into the Brains of Some of the World’s Leading Performance Experts

FREE Access to the OTP Vault


Inside the OTP Vault, you’ll find over 20 articles and videos from leading strength coaches, trainers and physical therapists such as Dan John, Gray Cook, Michael Boyle, Stuart McGill and Sue Falsone.

Click here to get FREE access to the On Target Publications vault and receive the latest relevant content to help you and your clients move and perform better.