Monday, February 28, 2011

Just some things that have to be said.....

This Logan Christopher/300 Snatch controversy have stirred up a lot of emotions. Here are some things that I feel have to be said:

1. Fast and Loose: Numbers have meaning. Words have meaning too. When you say "kettlebell snatch", people have a preconceived notion of what it means. It doesn't mean "superior conditioning". It doesn't mean "lung-blowing feat of strength". It means that you explosively bring a kettlebell overhead to a locked position in one motion. No matter how fast you move, it is either a snatch or it isn't. Don't play fast and loose with words order to achieve a number. The number doesn't mean anything if the words don't. Again, I can appreciate it for being a great test of superior strength, conditioning, and mental toughness, but that doesn't make it "300 snatches". Just because you don't think 300 snatches is impossible in 10 minutes doesn't give you free reign to change the scope of a snatch.

2. Blindly forwarding content is no better than SPAM: If I subscribe to your mailing list, and you send me a video and say that I need to watch it, I think it is assumed that you have watched it. If you haven't, don't pimp it around to your subscribers. What you are saying is that my time is not as valuable as yours. More time was taken to market the product than look at the product. I see a disturbing trend of cross promotion that focuses on the person and not the content. Remember, content is KING and thus should always come first.

Even the people who send me spam about Viagara, hip replacements, and Work-from-Home jobs have taken the time to know what is on the other end of the link. And I don't even know those people.

3) Buildup: If you build something up, it better be worth the buildup. I have a friend that I bowled with in the Florida State Tournaments. He got waaaaaaaaaaaay too excited about it for way to long. At the end of the day, it is just bowling. He built it up so big that he couldn't just enjoy it. It is what it is, a fun weekend of bowling and competition, if you make it any more than that, you will be disappointed.

I think some of the backlash from this video was they way it was hyped. It was announced two weeks in advance. People asked about it on the forums. People kept asking about it. It was promoted by two Master RKCs. You had to provide your e-mail to see it. There was a 4-6 minute introduction. There were comparisons to Valery and Superman. It didn't live up to the hype for everyone. Because of that there was going to be backlash. They were expecting one thing, and got another. If you think it was bad on DragonDoor, you should have seen the criticism on Iron Garm.

4) Stay genuinely excited with fitness accomplishements: Are we so jaded with kettlebell lifting that when someone asks you to help promote a video with the words "300 snatches" that the video is not worth watching BEFORE passing it on to others? I mean, there were people having wet dreams about this on the forum for over a week before it came out. I hope that no matter where I go in this industry that I never get so involved in the business side of things that I can't get excited when someone performs amazing feats of physical strength and endurance. Imagine this conversation:

Peter: Hey Faizal, did you hear some dude out in Northern California did 300 snatches in 10 minutes. I mean, you were happy the first time you got over 200. I got 100 in under 5 minutes and it damn near killed me. I got a link to the video, do you want to watch it?

Faizal: No, I don't have time. Tell you what, I bet my blog subscribers and Meetup Group want to see it. Send me a link, and I will pass it on to them.

5) Look through your own eyes: When I got Logan's video, while I was impressed with the effort (just keeping a bell up in the air for 10 minutes is killer), the very first thing I did is asked the people who sent me the video "Did you watch this video?" My heart of hearts told me they didn't.

If you were on either of the mailing lists, and your first gut response was to not ask "Did you watch this video?" of the person sending it to you, you REALLY need to think whose eyes you are looking at stuff through. If that answer is anyone's but your own, you really need to take a good look in the mirror. I saw this quote this weekend: "You see what you see, not what someone else sees. A friend of mine posted an opinion about what he saw on FB, and was told that "He shouldn't write stuff like that, people will get mad." SO WHAT! What you see is what you see, no matter the context of what you are looking at. I won't get mad at someone because I disagree with them. I will get mad if they lie to me. I have had disagreements about lots of thing in the fitness industry. Even if I don't agree with them, I learn from it. No one should ever be afraid of questioning what they are told because of who they might upset. If the person gets upset, it is because they:

* Don't have an answer or logical reasoning, and/or

* They are insecure.

I have known generally when I have upset people, 1 of the above was true. When I asked if "Did you watch the video?", I was glad I got honest answers! It takes a lot of guts to be honest. Your reaction to the video should be about what you see, not what your affiliation is or who your role model it.


Pat Flynn said...

"content is KING and thus should always come first."

- Couldn't agree more with that

David said...

You say it's not a snatch, then what is it?


Eric J. Moss said...

I can't believe you have had disagreements with things in the fitness industry. I never have :)

Ian said...

Great blog. Cross-promotion runs rife in the industry, frankly to the detriment of the actual product (at least, to any customer who can spot the same pattern happening over and over again).

Boris said...

Good post Faiz. You're going to make a lot of friends with that one.


Faizal S. Enu said...

If thinking that way means I can't be a success in the fitness industry, I would rather be a drug dealer or a pimp.

Boris said...

Honest opinions are nice to hear in our community Faiz.

Faizal S. Enu said...

David, all I ask for in a snatch is, esp. in the context is this marketing:
* Locked out
* Overhead

If that is not achieved, you can call it whatever you want. It is not about "style", it is about "completion criteria".

david said...

Maybe we didn't watch the same video Faizal?