Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Sarah’s Soapbox: Fitness Industry Egos-


The fitness industry would be better served by professionals who were more concerned about forming their own conclusions and finding methods that best serve their clients…instead of constantly trying to inflate one’s ego by slamming this or that method and/or worrying so much about whatever everyone else is doing, more of us need to look inward…identify our core values and shape a philosophy that helps people.

All of the back and forth “look at how much I know” and “I’m right and you’re wrong” BS by some is a attempt to fortify a broken sense of self, and quite frankly, it is embarrassing.

We should not be in this profession not here because we want to be standing on top of some podium of egotistical supremacy, although it’s forever obvious that many have the mistaken notion that this is the case.

We should be here because we want to improve the lives of others. The Internet is an open arena for anyone and everyone to make claims and throw out their opinions, just as I am doing right now.

There are many brilliant minds in this industry, but there is way too much testosterone-laden petty nitpicking…and way too many fragile egos.

Education should be the cornerstone of our profession, and it most definitely sets the cream of the crop from the mediocre. Education in this field should be viewed as a means of bettering ourselves so that we may better serve our clients. It should not be viewed as something to acquire more and more of, in the attempt to come across as “better than” others and/or put to use without a sound grasp of the principles and application behind it.

Keep an open mind and keep your BS detector powered up. I have come to the point in my career where I do not feel the need to play the Internet “proving” game. We are all right in many ways, and we are also wrong in others. It all boils down to how one looks at things. No one is ever going to have all the answers, no one is ever going to be “smart” enough, and no one is ever going to have “enough” experience.

Lets do our best to keep the focus on the reason we are all here – improving the health and lives of our the people who have come to us for our expertise, experience, and genuine passion for what we do! Do not lose sight of the fact that as fitness professionals, we are given a plethora of opportunities to learn, grow, and (gasp) change the way we see things…each and every day. Those who are unwilling to admit they are wrong are fools, for they will never truly be able to grow, adapt, and improve as fitness professionals AND as human beings.

Our clients are our most precious resource, not only because they fund our livelihood, but more importantly, THEY teach us…they allow us to practice what we preach…they enable us to translate all of what we have learned from our studies and continuing education into REAL LIFE.

In closing, I realize that some people take offense to my outspoken and unabashedly-honest takes on various topics that pertain to everything under the sun…from politics to nutrition to training dogma to fitness guru-worship to religion…to chiropractic to methods of endurance programming to “functional” training to client assessments…on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! The list can go on and on.

Haters gonna keep on hatin’…I hope they are able to channel that negative energy into something constructive!

I am very well aware of the fact that I have been unfriended on Facebook by several Crossfit-loving people. No biggie. Not surprising that those who fall into this category are in their 20’s and did not seem to give a rat’s butt about what I had to say…until I brought up my thoughts on their beloved fitness dogma. Quite hypocritical, don’t you think? Not surprising, this seems to be “the” way I am treated by similar folk. Fortunately, most people I interact with seem to have their heads less in the clouds and more in the real world, where the plethora of viewpoints is so vast, it seems no one sees eye to eye!


This is what I have come to appreciate as a fitness professional…the fact that there simply is no ONE way of doing things. To attempt to isolate oneself by adhering to a certain belief system at the exclusion of all others is proof of a lack of real-world experience.


Anyone who knows me in person knows that I am not an asshole, I know what I’m talking about because I do my research and appreciate both the art AND science of exercise, and tend to not speak up unless I feel strongly about something. The people who are so closely-tied to their love of a specific group (or religion/fraternity/cult/whatever you wanna call it) that they cannot stand hearing from anyone who challenges their beliefs need to grow up and get outa little bit more. I have been around the block plenty of times in my 36 years on this planet, and am happy that I am secure enough in myself to welcome opposing thoughts and actually (gasp) appreciate them! The world would be a nicer place if more people could do this.


One more time… 🙂

Until next time, stay healthy and CHOOSE to be happy!

6 responses

  1. Definitely worth a read by any fit pro online! Sarah style:)

    November 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    • Thank you, G!!!!!!!! 😀

      November 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

  2. Ruthie B

    I wish I could disagree with you Sarah, but yet again it looks like we think alike! Good Blog Post babe!

    November 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

    • Thank ya, Ruth!!!!! 😀

      It is our responsibility to be doing all we can to provide the best for our clients. Being super-smart about all this stuff but not knowing how to apply it properly to the needs of one’s clients means zero, zip, zilch, nada! On the same note, refusing to learn, grow, and modify one’s thought process in order to better serve their clients is just as bad!

      So many amazing minds out there and so many ways of providing an excellent fitness experience IF and only if one is humble enough to put the client first, forget their beloved dogma, and utilize a hybrid approach that best serves the individual!

      Ever notice that the ego BS is most often fueled by guys? 🙂 Not saying that we ladies are innocent, because we are not, but boy the men in this industry sure love to puff themselves up and try to one up each other. It may not be blatantly obvious but it IS definitely present…and it’s quite ridiculous!!

      Have a great week!

      November 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  3. Jenn Deaton

    I just shake my head every time I read your posts! LOL In a good way….its like you’re reading my mind! Shoot, if I didn’t have 5 kids on top of my training maybe I would blog myself! I don’t know if the World Wide Web would wanna hear from 2 of us though 😉 Keep it up sista! You truly inspire this chic! And honestly, you hit the nail on the head with the whole cult/religion, etc. It really is a field that so easily is focused on self, but if you can take YOU out of the equation, that is the trainer that will be changing lives; physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    • Jenn, I’m happy to be sharing brain cells with ya! The world needs more of us! 🙂

      November 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

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