Identify the Red Flags!
The truth is, we have access to a superhighway of information these days with the world wide web. However, anyone can create a website, a social media page, a blog, and really have little to no experience on the associated subject matter! Scary stuff, and it’s easy to see why over the past ten years that the way we digest information has drastically changed from what we did in the 80’s and 90’s.
When did it all change? If you look at the timeline of events it all changed when social media was introduced, roughly, around 2008. We started to make decisions based on “snippets” of information, over solid, real world facts! Now, that’s a scary proposition, when we allow small snippets of information to change the way we think and act!
Too much of a good thing
Hey, I am not knocking social media, it does have it’s benefits. However, you have to make sure you do your own due diligence before changing your entire belief system based on a few snippets. The fitness industry is not immune from snippet beliefs, in fact it is probably one of the biggest victims. Trends are formed based on abundance, hence people act a little, monkey-like. You know, the old monkey see, monkey do deal! Why? Because people don’t like to be left out, or on the outer fringe of what’s popular, they like to be, with the in crowd! Sad to say, the masses are not always on the right track!
It’s not that hard to follow the wrong advices
Just because you see it everyday, doesn’t mean it’s right! One of the biggest blunders when it comes to weight training advice is the theory that all you need are the three heavy compound movements, squats, deadlifts and bench press. Social media is littered with videos and images of gym goers performing these movements, most of the time with extremely shoddy form! I mean, this big three mentality is right out of the monkey-see play book and a good example of how people are influenced by “snippets” of information, and the best type of snippets are the visual based kind, yes, videos and photos!
Wheres the visual proof?
Despite the fact that these three movements are more power lifting based movements, and the risk of injury is very high if you do not have exceptional form, especially for a gym newbie. How are the big three scoring so far, in respect to real-world results? Sad to say, they not looking so good. In fact I can go on the record to say that there are LESS great physiques around these days, than there was in the 80’s and 90’s. If these three movements were the muscle-building holy grail, where are all the great physiques? I see young guys squatting with crazy weights, with back breaking form, with legs that resemble a half chewed chicken drumstick! Where’s all the muscle from these heavy weights?
Then I see clowns performing ridiculous poundages on the dead lift. Once again the from is terrible, and I can’t imagine the damage that is being done to their young spines. In fact, I have warned many of my colleagues about doing this crazy lift with big weights. I said, you are going to have a major injury, most just shrugged it off, because they want to get more clicks on instagram and facebook! Then I see a post a few months later, how they have torn their hamstring from the bone or ripped their bicep, or ruptured a disc! But what do I know, I have only been training for close to 40 years and at over 50 years of age hold a good physique, injury free!
The Calorie Myth Continues
The dietary snippets and herd mentality are just as bad as the lift big theory. Some folk like to believe that all calories are created equal, and it’s just a matter of either eating in surplus or deficit of your daily caloric level. I wish it was that simple, but simples things attract simple minds. More so, what I see people do in the fitness industry, is eat and think, or base their dietary beliefs on what they “Like” to eat. If they are a little addicted to carbs, they get very upset when someone states that sugar /carbs are the enemy. Most back up their calorie deficit theory on Coke funded science, you know the studies conducted by Coca Cola, because sugar can’t be all that bad, or can it? Either way, snippets of information influence people’s belief system, without any real-world knowledge!
Spotting the Bogus Plans
To be brutally honest, if you want to look like everyone else, do what everyone else is doing! If everyone else performing the big three lifts and following the old calorie deficit plan are looking like sub standard, do you follow them? I dearly hope you answer, NO to that question, otherwise I can’t help you. You can only lead a horse to water, right?
Bogus plans are easy to spot, big promises, overly complicated, fake before and after pictures, usually featuring people that have lost 100lbs of fat they should have never gained in the first place! The trainer has 6 weeks of personal training course under his belt, or his uncles, brothers, friend of a friend use to train with Arnold back in the 70’s! I am sure you have seen this kind of pitch before, because it makes up a good part of the programs being pitched when you perform a google search! Yes indeed, buyer beware.
How to Spot a Real Success Plan?
The pudding is the proof. Look for someone that has lived and still lives the lifestyle and looks great. There is NO beating real-world experience in ANY field. Also, logic always prevails. Look for a program that makes sense, if it doesn’t make sense, or it’s overly complicated, the chances are someone if trying to baffle you with bullshit! Amateurs tend to try and over complicate training and diet to baffle newbies, they start pulling fancy terms out build your confidence. The true art of success in anything is to not just have knowledge, but have an understanding of how things work. This is where understanding is more important than knowledge. Let’s be honest, all you need to pass a test is a good memory, you don’t have to be smart! So, to summarize how to spot a real-deal plan. Look at who’s pitching it, how long have they been in the business, are they living proof, and does their pitch sound logical.
Who am I to judge?
Well, I will you be the judge of that. I have been involved in the health, fitness, bodybuilding industry for close to 40 years. I have owned and operated four successful gyms across the Asia Pacific region, competing successfully in close to one hundred Bodybuilding events, winning and placing in a host of titles. More importantly I do actually practice what I preach, and I still hold together a pretty decent, injury free physique at 50 years of age.
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– Steve Jones
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