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Episode 72: Legendary strength coach Ian King on problems with the fitness industry

Ian King ( is a fitness performance pioneer. Ian founded one of the world’s original physical preparation services for elite athlete in 1986 and has trained elite athletes in over 20 different sports in over 10 different countries.

Ian is one of the most respected strength coaches in the field. Yet due to his commitment to detailed research, and unwavering distaste for gimmicky trends in the sports performance, Ian is not as visible as most self-proclaimed strength & conditioning coaches. However, anyone in the past 25+ years who claim to be a strength coach, know and respect the name Ian King.

The author of the training classic, “Get Buffed,” “The Book of Muscle,” and several other books, e-books, and DVDs, continues to focus on athlete preparation for high level athletes, including Olympians, as well as provides top notch education services for for some of the most sought-after coaches in the world.

Ian takes time out of his busy schedule to discuss the following with Mike & Sincere: 

  • Why Ian does not “try stuff out”
  • How long does Ian research his training programs before publishing it publicly and what coaches can learn from his philosophy
  • Why does Ian find strength-oriented research and training boring
  • What is Ian’s opinion of Crossfit and why
  • What aspects of the fitness industry makes Ian feel embarrassed
  • Individualization vs. Randomness and the problem between the two
  • Ian shares how many years he feels it takes to create a “scientific” cause-effect relationship to training
  • Ian discusses the issues and relationships between marketing, scarcity, fear, and impatience in the fitness industry
  • How does Ian avoid clients who have the instant gratification mindset
  • Why most high profile fitness marketers are the least competent coaches
  • Ian shares how he would help a client improve on the power lifts (i.e. squats/bench/deadlfts)
  • Why injury can actually be a good thing
  • Why there really is no difference in training for the high level athlete and the everyday Joe & Jane
  • Why should trainees address unilateral training and correcting imbalances

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