The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member LovinLiftin's Avatar
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    Ethical Question

    note: if you are a personal trainer this is not to offend you nor an assumption that I have your knowledge, this is merely an observation of the last 2 gyms I have joined.

    Ok so you're fat, way overweight and its not muscle, no lying to yourself about that. You go to the doctor and they tell you your cholesterol is up, your blood pressure is too high and you are on the verge of being diabetic if you don't do something about your weight. Now you've never done sports in high school, shoot back then you didnt have to, and your mother worked so dinners were usually fast food or frozen dinners. So your history hasnt added much experience to your knowledge of exercising or dieting... You go home and decide its time to join a gym. You go online and look up a gym near you and see they have a free session with a personal trainer when you sign up. You think great, now I can get some good knowledge and help so I start to go in the right direction.

    Meanwhile a college sophmore looks in the mirror and decides he is sick of being so darn skinny. He isn't scrawny, but he doesn't exactly have a physique he admires. He decides to join a gym as well. He goes to the gym and starts lifting. While working out he notices all the stronger men in the gym and starts to wonder if his lifting routine is good enough. He figures the best place to go is the gyms personal trainer.

    So both you and the sophmore both go to the personal trainer with completely opposite goals...

    The next week you are both doing the same rountine of step ups , push ups on a medicene ball, and crunches, etc...

    1) How can it be right to have personal trainers (who get paid and are certified) give such seemingly bogus rountines to people who are honestly trying to better themselves? Isn't there something wrong when you can't go to a gym and get good information from its employees?

    Now I only mention this b/c it really bugs me and I see it all the time at the gym (a very well known gym at that.) I meet a guy at the gym trying to bulk up, he wanted advice and went to a personal trainer (after all they have a degree and certifcation). I saw him doing the most assanine work out routine I've ever seen (with barely any free weights). I have also met others with differeny trainers and similar situations. (luckily the guy was smart enough not to do the guys weird routine, and i recommend this site to him.)

    Now I don't know about what you go through to be a personal trainer ( i hated biology I couldn't do it) but something doesn't seem right here. Does anyone else notice this at their gym?

    P.S. none of the above situations were mine, just sorta hypothetical
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  3. #2
    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    As long as you realize that a quick read over 10% of WBB's articles will give you a greater knowledge base than 90% of personal trainers out there.... You have your answer, mate.
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  4. #3
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Honestly, the training for cutting vs bulking is not fundamentally different. You'll likely toss in a little bit of cardio on a cut, and you'll probably want to train more in the hypertrophy range for a bulk (vs strength range for a cut), but the main difference is going to be DIET. IMHO, bulking or cutting, diet is at least 80% of the equation.

    Which I have YET to hear emphasized by a PT in a gym.

  5. #4
    Lleu Llaw Gyffes Miker's Avatar
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    Unfortunately you hit the nail on the head. Most Trainers at a gym are like piece workers.. they get paid the more they do. It's easier just to plop some joe on a program that you have in your filing cabinet that may do some good.. but will not specifically address certain goals. Also.. a vast majority of PT's have little to no dietary or nutritional knowledge.

    Working towards training in a home studio I have started accumulating multitudes of workout programmes geared to all sorts of body types and goals... and I have done a **** load of research into nutrition. I want to ensure my clients walk away feeling like they are on track, they have a Trainer they can trust to guide them properly to their goals.

    I see some of the trainers at the gym Cal and I go to.. seem to just go through the motions.. do this, do that, count reps.. etc. A trainer can make a lifestyle change for those examples you give or break it. If they put them on programs that don't get them anywhere or leave them with a bad experience.. maybe that fat person will retreat back to the lifestyle they were trying to avoid.. and that skinny guy will get frustrated and just quit.

    I think employer gyms have to be more vigilant.
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    "The trainee needs to look past the obvious solution to any problem and look for the real solution. For example, every arm training article in the last ten years to improve your arm circumference has included a workout based on curls and triceps extensions. Do you really think a lack of doing curls is the reason why most guys have less than impressive arms?

    Every article on how to improve your chin-ups includes a program with a shitload of chin-ups in it. Is that all you've got? Improve your chin-ups by just doing more of them?

    Really fucking cutting edge that is!"
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Honestly, the training for cutting vs bulking is not fundamentally different. You'll likely toss in a little bit of cardio on a cut, and you'll probably want to train more in the hypertrophy range for a bulk (vs strength range for a cut), but the main difference is going to be DIET. IMHO, bulking or cutting, diet is at least 80% of the equation.
    :withstupi

    There are so many variables and styles when it comes to personal training that you can't really judge based on a couple of limited scenarios. (S)he could put everyone through a trial routine to gadge strength/level of fitness. Maybe they are starting with machines to build some foundation strength before moving to free weights. Debatable on which method is better, but to each their own.

    Basically, what I've learned is there are so many routines and training methods out there that WORK, you can't let your own biases get in the way. Have an open mind. 5 years ago I would have said squatting 3 times a week would be overkill. But it's one of the best routines I've ever been on. I literally noticed a difference within weeks.
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  7. #6
    Really, really tiny Tarendol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Which I have YET to hear emphasized by a PT in a gym.
    When I first came to grad school I got a PT, he actually was not even allowed to talk to me about diet! For legal reasons... makes me wonder what kind of advice they were giving people before the ban.

  8. #7
    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    ...(S)he could put everyone through a trial routine to gadge strength/level of fitness. Maybe they are starting with machines to build some foundation strength before moving to free weights...
    My thoughts are kind of in line with Built and Anthony. Someone who is new in the gym should start a very basic routine with simple movements. Doesn't really matter at that point if you want to add or lose size, routines may be similar. Diet is going to be the main area of difference based on their goals.
    Best way to cheat on deadlifts...

    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

  9. #8
    Senior Member LovinLiftin's Avatar
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    but its they always show them stuff on smith machines and make the people do 12 reps <-- u can always hear them counting for them... I don't know maybe I expect too much from PT and are too sympathetic to the ignorant here... ok well i vented and now i feel better thanx all
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  10. #9
    Banned spencerjrus's Avatar
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    The problem is that its not a personal trainers job to turn you into a jacked beast or a ripped Bruce Lee-esque martial arts master.

    It's much easier to simply tell a client to grab the pink weights and do isolation exercises until you feel the burn. And so what? Even if people arent really accomplishing anything they are still boosting their ego and consequently feeling better about themselves, which is really what most of these people want.

    Casual people DO NOT care about how their body looks, simple as that, they might SAY they do, but anyone who actually cares about something will take the time to do it properly.

  11. #10
    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovinLiftin
    but its they always show them stuff on smith machines and make the people do 12 reps <-- u can always hear them counting for them... I don't know maybe I expect too much from PT and are too sympathetic to the ignorant here... ok well i vented and now i feel better thanx all
    I like to start a newbie off with very low weight and higher reps to begin, for the purpose of getting the range of motion down. I want them to know how to properly perform an exercise before adding any resistance. Counting the reps for them is so the trainee can focus on the lift, alone.
    Best way to cheat on deadlifts...

    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

  12. #11
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Yeah I started almost all my clients off on machines before moving up to guided free weights (or whatever you'd like to call them) and then to free weights. Lots of them have injuries also which means you should gradually get to free weights. What is wrong with 12 reps?

    I stressed nutrition/diet with my clients even though it sometimes seems hopeless because some will just lie about what they've eaten (when the truth comes out later they've been stopping at the ice cream shop after every workout) and then wonder why they aren't seeing results.

    I won't lie though, most trainers really either don't know what they're doing or don't care.
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  13. #12
    Banned spencerjrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    Y

    I stressed nutrition/diet with my clients even though it sometimes seems hopeless because some will just lie about what they've eaten (when the truth comes out later they've been stopping at the ice cream shop after every workout) and then wonder why they aren't seeing results.

    You cant get people to change their lifestyle like that. Even with mediocre genetics you can eat alot of dirty/high cal food and still stay fit, it just requires more discipline in the rest of your diet. Telling people that they can never touch dessert again is a good way to get people to stop coming to the gym.

  14. #13
    Gym ratt/Part-time pimp LAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker
    Unfortunately you hit the nail on the head. Most Trainers at a gym are like piece workers.. they get paid the more they do. It's easier just to plop some joe on a program that you have in your filing cabinet that may do some good.. but will not specifically address certain goals. Also.. a vast majority of PT's have little to no dietary or nutritional knowledge.
    that is definetly part of the problem. although we can all attest to knowing how hard it is to get the majority of people to change their diets. it's one of the hardest things in the world to do. most people are not willing to put forth the effort of undoing decades of unhealthy diet practices and actually learning about nutrition.

  15. #14
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    When I decided to start working out, I already had a crappy Weider home gym machine that I was using to hang clothes on. I figured that if I stuck with it for a month @ 3 times per week, I would sell it and buy some adjustable dumbells and a cheap bench.

    Meanwhile, I was spending hour upon hour every Saturday afternoon, searching the internet for lifting information. I didn't have a routine yet, and figured there was a lot I needed to learn. I had done some lifting a few years ago, but I was just following a friend around the gym and really had no idea what was going on.

    The first place I found that had good information www.intense-workout.com--it's a simple site, but it gave me a lot of ideas, thoughts, and questions. I continued searching, and found a site with tons of picture/description examples of movements, so I copied a crapload of them and put them in a binder for reference. At some point during all of this, while still searcing for a routine and the answer to "what muscles do I work on each day," I came across WBB. The discussion and articles have done more than anything I searched on all those Saturdays, along with making some friends to keep me motivated.

    The thing about people who use trainers is; they aren't looking to self-educate. They either don't realize how many sub-par certifications are out there for PT's, or they don't understand that like anything else, everything you ever wanted to know about diet and exercise is available free on the web. In lots of cases, it's probably just laziness on their part, and they think the trainer will do just as good a job as they would have on their own. Truthfully though, despite the fact that there are a lot of great PT's out there, learning it on your own and allowing yourself that personal growth supersedes anyhing a trainer will be able to teach you.
    Last edited by Patz; 10-16-2005 at 09:42 AM.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    There are great PTs and there are crappy ones.

    As many have already said, there is nothing wrong w. starting people w. different goals off on the same routine. The personal trainer might be doing that as a basic fitness test or primer for future training sessions.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    The thing about people who use trainers is; they aren't looking to self-educate. They either don't realize how many sub-par certifications are out there for PT's, or they don't understand that like anything else, everything you ever wanted to know about diet and exercise is available free on the web. In lots of cases, it's probably just laziness on their part, and they think the trainer will do just as good a job as they would have on their own.
    Although I more or less agree with you, I certainly understand that most people don't share the same passion I have for strength training and most people aren't willing to dedicate 10% of the time I spend on it either...

    There is a TON of misinformation on the internet and a gazillion "experts". It's tough for a newbie to get started on the right foot. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is just put your faith in a trainer and get started - nothing wrong with that.

  17. #16
    Grasshoppa
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    Whether I am cutting or bulking, I tend to employ the same lifting routines. Any routine I use would employ all of the basic compound movements: squats, bench, deadlifts (sometimes cut them during a cut). As has been said, the major difference will be with your diet.
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  18. #17
    Hmmmm..... Spiderman's Avatar
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    I'm presuming you were a member at 24 Hour Fitness and Bally's in the past. That would explain a LOT.
    Last edited by Spiderman; 10-16-2005 at 03:01 PM.

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  19. #18
    Hmmmm..... Spiderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovinLiftin
    1) How can it be right to have personal trainers (who get paid and are certified) give such seemingly bogus rountines to people who are honestly trying to better themselves? Isn't there something wrong when you can't go to a gym and get good information from its employees?

    Now I only mention this b/c it really bugs me and I see it all the time at the gym (a very well known gym at that.) I meet a guy at the gym trying to bulk up, he wanted advice and went to a personal trainer (after all they have a degree and certifcation). I saw him doing the most assanine work out routine I've ever seen (with barely any free weights). I have also met others with differeny trainers and similar situations. (luckily the guy was smart enough not to do the guys weird routine, and i recommend this site to him.)

    Now I don't know about what you go through to be a personal trainer ( i hated biology I couldn't do it) but something doesn't seem right here. Does anyone else notice this at their gym?

    P.S. none of the above situations were mine, just sorta hypothetical
    **Yes, unfortunately there is something wrong. Its called, crappy personal trainers. Not all facilities emphasize good personal trainers. In fact, when I interviewed at 24 Hour Fitness, they emphasized how good I could sell supplements and make them money, there wasn't a single question pertaining to training knowledge. Ask anyone who's ever interviewed there and they'll agree. (Its the same way with Bally's) Not ALL trainers have a degree mind you. In today's industry, I could pay $100.00 online and have a certification, it's that simple. Having a certification doesn't mean you're a good trainer, and have a degree doesn't mean you're going to be a good trainer either. (or both mind you). Its having and USING the combination of each and your own personality to keep the person motivated that makes someone a good trainer. That guy who was trying to put on muscle probably got bad advice. Most places will hire you if you just have a certification. Your knowledge base could be crap, but if you have that piece of paper you're golden. A friend of mine just got certified through Cooper here in Dallas. Does he know a damn thing about the body? Hell no. He's got a degree in marketing. But, b/c he paid 600.00 for the class, and passed the test he got certified. This is what you're going to run into all the time. Its unfortunate as I said, but that's how it is.
    Last edited by Spiderman; 10-16-2005 at 03:17 PM.

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  20. #19
    Down with the Sickness
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    You also have to take in to consideration that BOTH people are out of shape except on eis fat and one is skinny. I wouldn't say they jusy put them on some bogus routine, i would think that everyone starts somewhere. It just makes sense to me that one session is not going to do alot for you but you have to build the fundamentals. For instance someone ask for advice here in the forums and they are new to BB, Most will say focus on the big three to gain mass and strength i.e. bench deads and squats then as you progress focus on adding movements. I wouldn't blame the PT i would blame the client fornot having enough patience to stick with the PT to progress in programs or weight gain or loss.

  21. #20
    Senior Member LovinLiftin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublime99
    You also have to take in to consideration that BOTH people are out of shape except on eis fat and one is skinny. I wouldn't say they jusy put them on some bogus routine, i would think that everyone starts somewhere. It just makes sense to me that one session is not going to do alot for you but you have to build the fundamentals. For instance someone ask for advice here in the forums and they are new to BB, Most will say focus on the big three to gain mass and strength i.e. bench deads and squats then as you progress focus on adding movements. I wouldn't blame the PT i would blame the client fornot having enough patience to stick with the PT to progress in programs or weight gain or loss.
    Just a note for most people there are multiple sessions and no bench, deads or squats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderman
    I'm presuming you were a member at 24 Hour Fitness and Bally's in the past. That would explain a LOT.
    Naw never tried them, think more of a lifting gym True True about the internet, good source, but hard to sift thru the crap to get the good stuff! Considering its hard to believe research on the internet I was thinking these people thought they could get valid adivce from a trainer and know it was valid, instead of hours of sifting...

    Ok well i guess I just expected too much from PT's. Guess the majority I see are people making money, not PT's making a difference or giving a sh1t...
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