Getting solid workout advice from a reputable source
Some of the best advice I ever got was “if you want success in any area of your life, get advice from those who are successful”. I have disregarded the information more than once with disastrous results. After several “learning lessons” as I call them, I only follow the advice of experts in their respective fields. That doesn’t mean I’m rude and won’t listen to folks, it just means I won’t follow every Tom, Dick and Harry’s advice.
Lets say you are in financial trouble and need advice. Your aunt who’s had three bankruptcies, lives in a trailer park and is being hounded by the IRS offers a few helpful financial hints. Or you’re having marriage problems and need help. Your brother steps up and tells you exactly what to do. Problem is that your brother has been divorced four times and owes more child support than you make in a month. Or lets say you start a new workout program and a fat dumpy guy tells you how they’d do things all while taking down a half box of doughnuts. In all three cases your best bet is to smile, be nice and later toss that advice right out the window.
But inevitably people will follow bad advice like lambs to the slaughter. I am no exception and have made the mistake myself. One of my biggest pet peeves I have is when someone takes the advice of someone who has not seen the inside of a gym in years. Here is a clue, if the guy gets winded tying his shoes he’s probably not your best bet for fitness advice. Come on people use some common sense. Your going to invest your time and effort and you want something to show for all your hard work. So get the best advice you can and follow it.
I was a member of a local gym for years. It was one of the huge mega gym chains. They had “trainers” who showed new members the gym and how equipment worked. With any new membership you were offered a complimentary training session. The training sessions were only a teaser and if you wanted a “Real Training Session” you could buy a training package. I used to laugh at the new members who fell for this sham. It usually went something like this. A middle-aged guy who’s obviously trying to make a change in his life gets a new gym membership right after the first of the year. He gets a “Free Training Session” and ends up getting advice from a overweight “trainer”, who’s yet to use the equipment himself. Somehow the trainer convinces the guy that he needs more personalized training sessions and the guy falls for it. Now that same guy wouldn’t ask someone to build his home without references and yet he’ll blindly let fatty guide him along, all the while spending a small fortune and getting nowhere.
I don’t blame the gym or the trainers though; they are just trying to make a buck. Instead I blame the poor dude that was dumb enough to hand over his time and money for something that obviously won’t work. It’s simple to figure out if someone is giving sound advice. If they look fit, if they have muscles or are toned they might know what they are talking about. If they look like they haven’t been off the couch in years, I promise they don’t know crap. I can already hear the arguments against me, so I’ll play the devils advocate and write what your thinking. You think, “there are numerous coaches out there that are not professional athletes and are out of shape, yet they seem to teach others just fine” and I agree. There is one difference though. Most of the coaches have competed for years at some level in their sport and for various reasons do not participate anymore. You see they have experience and are able to impart their wisdom to their trainees. The new trainer you find at the gym might have a certificate or maybe even an AA but that doesn’t mean they have experience. Anyone who’s ever worked will agree with me, you always learn more doing the job than what you learned in school. And hear me out, I am not knocking trainers and I’m not saying I know everything because I don’t. There are many trainers out there that know a lot more than I do. There are trainers who are new to the profession who have the knowledge they learned in school plus the practical experience and it shows. I’m also not knocking the man or woman out there who’s giving out rock solid advice when they know what they are talking about. I am knocking the fools who dish out advice about everything from world politics to fitness and know nothing about either.
So what should a newbie do for solid advice?
- Find someone who looks like they know what they’re talking about and ask them what you should be doing.
- Read fitness magazines, forget about the ones where the guys look like ridiculously huge super humans and go with Mens Health or something along those lines. They have great articles for the average man and woman and their workouts reflect that.
- Go ahead and talk to a trainer at your local gym, but ask a lot of questions about their experience and look at them. If they look like crap keep looking.
- Look online. There are more resources than you can imagine, if you can’t find it online it probably doesn’t exist.
And remember, “If it looks like crap, smells like crap, and tastes like crap, it’s crap “ and we all know what to do to crap “Flush it”.
See you on the hills !