How to distinguish good training advice from bad advice.

An article form my blog I'd like to share with WBB

Get ripped fast! In just four weeks with this one simple rule! Sound familiar? How about slim down and tone with 20 minutes a week and 5 easy payments of $29.95! I'm sure you've heard many, many, marketing ploys.

With all of today's marketing especially in the supplement industry and its DE-regulation it’s often challenging to distinguish credible training advice from false advice. Especially for the younger generation and the trainee who is just getting in to the beautiful world of training. So how do we distinguish between good and bad advice?

Lets go back to my Sr year of high school. Oh young Thomas, so many things I need to warn you about but can’t. Just like any other Monday it was time for the mighty bench press! The most egotistical of all lifts. What does any person want? A firm and sculpted upper body of course. Well arguably the bench press is the best movement for such a goal. Now my young friend at the time, (lets call him Dave) told me to raise my butt in the air when bench pressing and I would be able to lift more weight making me stronger and firmer. Well I was all excited about this new “technique” which is actually known as bridging and is a big time no-no and leads to injury. Now to get to my point. Who was I taking advice from? Was this a fitness professional or a gym rat? Did Dave have testimonials from clients? Did Dave's own physique show his information is successful? Where was Dave getting this information from and what science did he have to back it up?

Is the adviser big, strong, fast and cut? Well if he is then he must know what he is talking about, right? This is not always true, as sometimes having a good physique is the offspring of superior heredity, rather than knowledge. I have met people who can cut fat and add lean body mass by just looking at weights! However, the adviser being in shape is a bonus and shows they have success in their training protocol. This brings me to my next point.

What are their Credentials and do they practice what they preach? Are you taking advice from a misinformed source or an educated person? Now what makes an educated person? The over weight personal trainer at your gym told you to only use the smith machine and never free weights as they are dangerous. He's a certified trainer that makes this information good, right? No, no, and no! Just because someone is a personal trainer does not mean they know the physiological process of the body and the bio-mechanics of human movement. Same thing goes for fitness and nutrition experts with degrees, as many nutritionist's and strength trainer have a very flawed philosophy. You can pay for 12 hour seminars these days and become a certified trainer. This is not to say all fitness professionals are bad because there are many out there who are very good at what they do. Now I'm sure we've all been approached by the oxy-moron. Ah yes, 300lb Betty telling you the magical time to stop eating carbs. Again, who is this information coming from? Where are they getting this information from? Chances are 300lb Debbie got it from a magazine which is often a non-reputable source.

The Gym Rat Vs the Educated Professional. I am in the gym roughly 35 hours week training clients and myself. I've heard and seen it all. From chewing gum while you workout to help you lose weight from gripping the bar wider to give you a wider chest or back. Another funny one is “I was in shape but then I got old.” More like you were in shape and let yourself go, which is much more of a logical explanation to being out of shape. Not the chronological or biological effect aging has on our body. There are so many options to expand on lets start with my favorite and a very common one, especially but not exclusively from women. “I don't want to lift heavy weights because I'll get bulky.” This statement infers that women have the endocrine system to put on lean body mass as if it’s easy. I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but women, your endocrine system does not produce enough testosterone to become “bulky” from lifting weights. Most men do not naturally produce enough testosterone to put on a good amount of lean mass without a proper diet and many years of training.

In fact it's the exact opposite, by weight training heavy relative to the rep count we burn calories and raise our metabolic function through increasing our lean body mass. Lets take a look at 5lbs of muscle and 5lbs of fat.

As you can see fat makes you bulky not muscle. Just another example of science vs What you hear in the gym.

Do they have anything to gain from telling you this? This one is huge. I see blatant lies in the fitness industry on a daily basis. Especially in the supplement industry. When a company wants to put a supplement on the market it used to be like making a prescription drug, you had to prove it was effective and safe. Well, Senator Warren Hatch of Utah thought that was a real annoyance and now the supplement industry doesn't have to prove the many claims of its products at all. This resulted in an explosion of products that simply do not work. Here's a lovely example of the lies that go in the in supplement and fitness industry.

This photo was taken in the same day!(from the documentery Bigger, Stronger, Faster) Now what science did this supplement have to show to support getting shredded in 6 weeks? None, just marketing hype. What testimonials did they have other than photoshop and a paid actor? Be cautious with anything that offers fast and easy results. The journey in fitness and a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. What about the equipment like bow-flex, or the total gym etc...? I mean, come on Chuck Norris and all those sculpted people use them like they say on the commercials for only 20 minutes at a time! Yea, and pigs can fly. First off, equipment like this does not let the body correctly anatomically express itself under resistance. You are taking a forced pathway, skewing the body's natural movement and leading to overuse injury. Everybody's anthropometry is different. The obesity crisis in America would be far less than it would be, wouldn't it? You would be a lot farther in your training goals, wouldn't you? Why are personal trainers, fitness centers, and nutritionist's still in work while the bow-flex collects dust in the garage? Because results don't come easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and consistency, just like the majority of things in life to become successful. Don't let the fitness industry fool you with its paid actors, who pay their dues in the gym rather than the 20 minutes a day on the bowflex, total gym, or pilates DVD.

In conclusion be weary of who you take advice from, and where you get it from. Don't listen to the first Joe in the gym or the so called “Fitness Professional without reasoning and logic to back it up. It's a scary training world out there. Don't listen to the first magazine article you read or the weight loss pill that promises results. Training with tried and proven techniques and philosophies are the way to go. There are no shortcuts or magic bullets. I hope this article gave you a better view of the health industry and what advice to utilize.

Thomas Grove-CPT, FNC