Information Overload

If there is one thing I dislike about being part of the health/fitness/training/performance industry, it’s the way information is taken and used. We have so many credible professionals working in the field with countless degrees and hours upon hours spent learning and researching the human body and methods to change it;  yet, that doesn’t stop everybody else from sharing their views on what is right or wrong in the gym. This KILLS ME! When it comes to teeth, people will refer to a dentist. For most people, they will leave car repairs to the mechanics. In the spring, our taxes get sent to the accountants. For training advice? Ask anyone and they’ll have an opinion on what is right or what is wrong. Here are my two favourite gym personas.

The Hater

We all know a few of these. In fact, we have all probably been this person before at some time or another. The hater loves to watch somebody else workout, then trash every part of what they are doing. I’m not saying that said exerciser is perfect by any means, but The Hater is usually not qualified to decide that they know better. Yet here they are, high and mighty, insisting that they definitely know better. Meanwhile, the organization or commitment to any training program for The Hater is usually scattered at best.

The Helper

For the most part, getting help from someone who knows better is awesome, and should be taken well, unless you are a stubborn mule who refuses help for anything. The Helper goes beyond this. The Helper has learned enough to know better, but not enough to keep his mouth shut. Instead of distributing hints or tips to some of the local gym buddies, The Helper insists that his way is the only way, and takes it upon himself to let EVERYONE in the gym know why they aren’t exceeding expectations right now. The Helper doesn’t take into account programming goals and individual differences because he doesn’t take the time to find out your back story. He merely inserts himself into your workout with his ‘can’t-lose’ training nugget and insists it is appropriate and a guaranteed improvement.

Realistically, nothing is going to change anytime soon, because very few people are willing to admit when they are wrong. Ideally though, these things will start to happen in the near future…

1) Experts who can walk the walk will use appropriate tact when offering help, and understand there is a time and a place for it

2) Anybody who is not a certified trainer will understand that while they may have some useful tips for other gym-goers, they don’t necessarily know better

3) Even those people who have a basic knowledge in training can see the benefit in seeing an expert every now and again to refine their approach and technique

For many of us, training is a legitimate field of expertise with a very high level of scientific knowledge and experience providing the foundation.  I look forward to a day where this is recognized by a lot of people not just a select few.

It’s About Getting Better!

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