Man, 16 years ago I knew it all. I came into the fitness world on fire, ready to turn every client I had into me, an amateur bodybuilder with a love of the bench press.

But seriously, 10 years ago I had the fitness industry figured out. Every single exercise was to be done on an unstable surface and tire flips were the key to performance. No more isolation, only full body unstable integration.

Well, actually, 5 years ago is when I really got it. Corrective exercise was all about foam rolling and stretching. The core was the main (and only) component to movement and function, and anything unstable was bad.

And now here I am. I know what I’ve known. And I realized, many times, what I knew wasn’t what I know now. And in five years, I’ll realize that again

That’s the beauty of being involved in the relatively young fitness industry. There are almost no absolutes. The world we work in is organic. Parts of the last 16 years surface, then resurface again, then get modified to meet my current level of understanding of health and physical fitness.

It’s great.

I can be, and have been, wrong. But at the time it was cutting edge according to the latest research in the strength and conditioning field. I look back at some of my writing over the last 10 years (that’s the problem with writing and publishing, it stays with you, lol) and I see that I have done complete 180’s in some aspects of my fitness philosophy.

The fitness world is a dynamic one.

The tough part is learning to unlearn. Most people become comfortable with specific philosophies. They have become accustomed to talking about and presenting them, and find it difficult to even entertain ideas that oppose the status quo. Letting go of ideas that you believe define you as a professional is hard.

But the alternative is worse. You’ll become a fitness dinosaur and will be left in the dust by your contemporaries.

So, do your research.

Test what you learn and use it until you realize it doesn’t work the way you thought, or it becomes obsolete.

Then research again, repeat, and enjoy the evolution.

It’s your turn. Emerge.

Matt Pirtle MA CSCS