book proposal & the certification issue revisited

I am been hemming and hawing for quite some time about redoing my ebook, “The body that God intended us to USE.” The reason I want to rewrite the book is because I realize how ineffective it is. I love the beginning where I go over the research behind Functional Fitness, and there are some other chapters I still feel are important, however, the book focuses on creating exercises and workouts. It even goes so far as to try and help folks share their workouts with others. I realize now my mistake.

This last year has taught me a lesson – only a very small select few want to take the time and create their own workouts. Making the main theme of a book about guiding people to create their own program is…well I hate to say it…asking too much of people. As my wife had always said, “who wants to do all that work? Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”  Of course she only is referring to the workouts (I don’t tell her what to do in any other aspect of our life). 🙂

There is another facet of the book that I feel is out of touch with what I want to say. The book has a sort of “we are elite crazy people doing weird and exciting exercises.”  Basically it has this cult-like feel similar to Crossfit. And those that know me, know that I am not Crossfit. I even redesigned this website months ago to reflect the new direction.

Also I have written K-Crosstrain, the 8 week crosstraining program for runners and ultra runners to get into Functional Fitness, as well as “The Low Cost Gym,” another free ebook on the site written to help save money by creating a really cool at home gym with things like the Clubbell and the Macebell.

I want this book to be a accumulation of all of those things. Here is a gist of the topics I want to cover:

-I want to keep a chapter on defining Functional Fitness.

-I plan on keeping the research and science behind the idea of working movements versus muscle isolation.

-I will continue to talk about equipment, but focusing on homemade equipment.

-I was hoping to talk about natural form running, being barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes for running and for the workouts.

-I need to make the chapters flow better. I had a review that gave me good ratings, but talked about my poor writing. Ouch!  I need to fix that.

-I was thinking of cutting out the whole idea of creating your own workout program. I will still give tips on how to work around injuries, weak joints, etc., but I will steer readers to this website instead. Basically I realized that there are too many exercises and workouts to put into a book. Instead I will send readers here for all the resources they need. That way the website can grow with its tool box and the book does not become outdated.

-I was also hoping to write this as a manuscript to submit to a literary agent for publishing (an actual real book) in lieu of the ebook format.

Now that brings us onto the next big issue:  certification.  I recently wrote a post about the certification debate, which is huge right now in the natural form (or barefoot) running community. Since I am contemplating querying a literary agent, I am wondering if it would give legitimacy to have a Functional Fitness Specialist certification. If I don’t would that impede any agents from wanting to help publish a fitness book?

Let me know your thoughts on the these matters. Just comment on this post.

Oh and here are some ideas for a title.  “The Functional Fitness Guide:  Get a natural shape through natural form crosstraining.”  The problem with that one is there is a website called the Functional Fitness Guide.  I could go with the Functional Fitness Book, but then I just feel like I’m mimicking Jason Robillard’sThe Barefoot Running Book.”  I already steal enough of his ideas as it is! 🙂  There is always,”The Functional Fitness Book:  You don’t need a gym or even shoes.”

Again, let me know what you think. Should I spring for a certification? How about the subject of the book?  Any ideas on a title?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I definitely agree that you need to get rid of the “plan your own workout” idea. A lot of people will think that is too hard, especially beginners. I’ve been lifting weights for over 10 years, and I’m still leery about doing my own programming.

    I love your workout plan in K-Crosstrain. All you need to do is give someone a sample workout like that, and tell them to come to your website for future workouts.

    In all honesty, it’s a better business model to make them dependant on you rather than setting them free to do their own thing.

    And I would say skip the natural running section, or make it brief. A lot of functional fitness folks hate running.

  2. Kemme Fitness

    I do see your point about the running. The mere mention of it turns the stomach of some of those I train. I think I can tie it into Functional Fitness, so maybe then something very brief. This book isn’t about what I enjoy, so I have to stay focused. Great thoughts. I could give a beginner and an advanced workout sample to wet the taste buds so to say.

    1. Jason Robillard

      Don’t listen to Christian, his head’s in the clouds. 😉

      Seriously though, I think I agree with his point about designing your own workout. The idea REALLY appeals to me, but that’s what we do. The vast majority of people really would like to be given a workout. I also agree it works out to be a pretty good business model.

      As far as certification and querying agents- remember it’s all about money. Specifically, can you make them money? Same deal with publishers. They’re in business to sell books. Certs only help if they help build your audience. An agent or publisher could care less about your credentials… unless those credentials give you a big-ass audience. Audience = potential customers = interest from agents/publishers.

      Despite the review, you have the writing chops. You have the concept. You have a great idea of where to take the ebook to make it a better fit for the audience. All you need to do is keep building the audience.

      Based on a few facebook comments from mutual friends (and your now-huge following within the dept.), your ideas are crazy addictive. All it will take is a few more people like Christian to recognizing it and start talking about it. 😉

      1. Kemme Fitness

        Thanks Jason. I did register for the certification. I found a credible one that had a sale (funny right) so it was not much of an investment. Part of the reason was to legimatize my training here at work – the powers to be were hoping I would get one. Plus other things have come up that it would have come in handy for. Also, I’m sure I’ll learn a few things along the way.

        Oh I did see that Christian went shopping for PVC. I’ll never forget the day you introduced me to your Slosh Tube – I didn’t know at the time how it would change so much for me.

        So any ideas on the name of the book?? I am struggling with whether to focus on the natural form with working out (ie barefoot) or to put that on the back seat.

      2. Jason Robillard

        The certification for work would be a good idea… the more legitimate you are in their eyes, the more freedom they’ll likely give in the future. Your group is an excellent “playground” to experiment with new ideas and receive immediate and valuable feedback. That will pay off down the road. 😉 My anti-certification rants are based on a future utopia, not reality. There are some legitimate reasons to get various certifications; your reason is a good example of that.

        We still haven’t made a slosh tube… I keep putting it off. I think I may have to go shopping this weekend!

        In regards to the title- I’m not sure. I chose mine for simplicity’s sake and search engine visibility. Now any time someone hears about ANY barefoot running book and google the term, mine comes up. I ride coattails whenever possible. 🙂

        If you think ‘functional fitness” will be the term people use to describe… well, functional fitness, the title will work great.

      3. Kemme Fitness

        You telling me you ride coattails is quite the irony. I’ve been dragging on yours for a few years now 🙂

        Thanks again for your advice. By the way, consider a homemade Clubbell instead (10 lbs versus the 30 of the Slosh Tube). Plus the size is easier to transport. It focuses a bit more on shoulders/back, but still hits it all.

  3. Shane

    I actually really like the last title “Functional Fitness: You Don’t Need a Gym or Even Shoes!”. Because really, the book title should sum up what you are trying to teach. If “guide” is taken, you can also go with “The Functional Fitness Handbook” or something like that. I probably like that title because it reminds me of all the “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbooks” I used to own.

    On the certification side, aside from cost, I don’t see much downside to certifying. It does lend you legitimacy for those literary agents, and for your readers. You also will likely learn some things in the process of certifying. And learning things is always gooder!

    I’m torn on the running. I hated running, but now its become crack to me. I’m seriously debating running for fun after I do this next Spartacus workout. But TMGBG (PBUH!) makes a solid point about functional fitness people hate running. But on the other hand, running is part of being functionally fit.

  4. Kemme Fitness

    I just might like the idea of using the term “handbook.” By the way, Lawrence Boivin, creator of many of our workouts recently confessed to being an avid D&D lad in his youth.

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