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I came across an article about a personal trainer named Pavel Ladziak, he calls himself the Polish Viking. Like many other people involved in the fitness industry he has spent a great portion of his time on sites such as Facebook and Instagram attempting to build his followers by doing what most everyone else is/was doing.. posing, flexing, and a few workout videos here and there. Much like many others his audience wasn't growing as fast as he'd expected, even with a great transformation story and a decent set of abs. I mean, if you've seen one great body, you've seen them all.. and there are only so many different angles, and variations of filtering and lighting you can work with before your assumed uniqueness gets looked over for someone's else assumed mastery.

Pawel decided to get creative. In a way many people may call deceitful, or immoral. Although it's fair to mention many of these people are peers and fellow competitors, often quietly amused, but publicly shaming when something is done that surpassed their attempts.. especially in short time.

What did he do exactly? Well, he decided if he was to gain any traction and attention, he needed to mature fast, and he did so... literally.

This guy is only 35. It makes perfect sense, right? The reason many people workout is to look and feel great as they age. To make the aging process as smooth and less anxious as possible. To maintain youthful energy and the tenacity to continue living happily. We "think" many people look to younger trainers, or coaches for help, but when you're dealing with life issues, and you're at a point in your life where your body has matured and doesn't react/respond the same as it once did... we find excitement and continued positivity in those ahead of us who manage to keep their life interesting and healthy. We see a timeline of positive growth, anyone of curious interest would love to be a fly on the wall to have just a fraction of that insight and encouragement.

I look at this in two different aspects. On one hand, it's great branding. Being a personal trainer/coach, he is essentially the product, so he did what he felt was needed to brand himself in a way that places him in front of the demand. He knew what he was doing, from his posing, his filtering, and most importantly he choice of attire. Also, when building an audience on Social Media, normalcy rarely finds it's audience, even if met with skill and talent. We often go into social media to see something more exciting, and more unusual than we do in our normal every day routines. This is where character branding comes into play. (sidenote: I mean, we are living in an age where fantasy continually seems to trump reality, aaaaand gain much more traction). Now if he is publicly promoting himself as an older mature trainer, I would obviously see a problem here.. For example, many people associated his likeness to that of Gianluca Vacchi (well, they call it swagger jacking) and you could say him posting the below side by side "vs" pic is him feeding into the hype (although we OBVIOUSLY know) he is.

He simply found an amazing way to connect with an audience in a way that it benefits both him, and them. Because let's be honest, although he is in above average shape compared to most, as a basic 35 year old trainer you'd expect him to be in shape, but as a "presumed 40-50+" year old man his figure immediately goes from decent, to impressive.

My complete thoughts? Well, my opinion is biased here... as I don't really see him promoting himself as an older figure, just simply a play on perception and great marketing (Did I fail to mention my Masters is in Marketing?) so I as well found myself amused at his angle. I mean what more did he really do aside from what females are already doing? Hair color and attire change? I consider this guys methods pretty official, and a definite salute. End the end result leads to him bettering someone's life in a positive way, then his approach shouldn't be called into question so long as it doesn't violate anyone (even though many people could care less about this, sharks have no morals).

So yeah, there's my take. Good on him. Would you see me trying to summon my best Sean Connery or Denzil'ish personality to garner in a wider audience? Never say never.

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