Tuesday, November 1, 2016

7 Individuals not to rely on for fitness advice

Re-post of one of the most popular articles in the past year


Almost everyone in any given gym has their own way of doing things. Experienced gym goers have found things that work for them by trial and error. That doesn’t mean it will work for you

I started writing this post some time ago but it kept getting longer and longer and longer. When it comes to the media, the list of what and who you should not rely on seems to get longer every day.
So I had to decide how to divide the subject into more than one post. So here’s the first installment.

The largest health problems for American people, and people of most other developed nations, are obesity and chronic diseases associated with obesity. (Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer) And individuals suffering from these issues have become a marketing and/or scam artist’s dream. (Sometimes they are one and the same).

We are constantly bombarded with weight loss “breakthroughs”. Whether diet plans, meal plans, exercise “guru’s to the stars”, exercise equipment, or long lost “secret formulas” that guarantee you weight loss or muscle gain by drinking “Bohemian Koo-Koo Berry Juice”.

They “guarantee” you’ll lose 10 pounds the first week or 100 pounds in 3 months or whatever you want to hear. And we, as a population, are so desperate for quick and easy solution that we fall for it. 
Want to lose 50 pounds, “buy our revolutionary new machine that works in only 10 minutes a day” or “our revolutionary new diet pill” or “our complete meal plan in microwavable bowls, delivered right to your door”. 

So, who or what should you watch out for?

Professional bodybuilder’s workouts

You can learn a lot from magazines if you read the articles written by trainers and coaches. But don’t get caught up in all the workouts of the pros. Many of the pros have been at this for decades. Their workouts work for them. They probably won’t work for you. Their workouts and their nutrition plans are generally for a specific goal. Getting “show ready”, bulking up in the off season, targeting specific muscles that that are “lagging”.

They typically have coaches (plural), and nutrition experts. They may spend several hours a day in the gym. It’s their job!

And they don’t look like the pictures in the magazine. Oh, they are big. And many of them are strong. But every photo you see is professionally shot with special lighting, makeup, spray tan and stylists. They may take days to shoot. And they are usually shot when the lifter is “stage ready”.

Most competitors at that level have a genetic makeup only a handful of people in the world can match. And the odds are that you aren’t one of them.

The biggest guy in the gym

You’d naturally thing that the biggest, strongest guy would know what he’s talking about. But if he’s that good, he’s probably been at it for years if not decades. He knows exactly what works for him. He’s learned the hard way what works. He’s progressed way beyond where you most likely are. His goals are going to be very, very different from yours and his program is going to reflect that fact. And, if he is that big, chances are genetics are involved.

Any guy who wears a weight belt for every exercise

He’s a tool…..

Anyone with a pink dumbbell in their hand

She’s probably skinny but probably not in good physical condition. There is a huge difference between skinny and fit. If her arms are only slightly larger than her wrist and elbow, and her muscles are “flat” with little definition, she’s doing it wrong!

 Her lack of muscle and fat means she was probably born with the genes.(Ectomorph) She’s wasting her time and will waste yours. There is a condition known as “skinny-fat”. There will be many more discussions about this term but, in short, it means skinny on the outside but carrying visceral, unhealthy fat on the inside.

She’s pretending or she’s terribly misinformed about fitness and probably reads too many women’s health magazines and has “drunk the kool-aid.


They’ve been in the gym less than 6 to 12 months. They may have tried dozens of different approaches in that short period; never sticking with one long enough to find out if it really works. But they love to espouse to anyone who’ll listen about their latest and greatest program. Though they’ve only been using it 2 weeks.

The person on the treadmill for 90 minutes every day

Steady state cardio makes you god at one thing…..stead state cardio. Let me begin by saying I have no objections to steady state cardio. “Cardio” refers to your cardiovascular system which begins (and ends) with the heart. Cardio is good for the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. Do cardio to your heart’s content (pun intended). Will it help you lose fat? As a rule, for the first 30 minutes of steady state cardio you will burn no fat.

Why doesn’t it work? The short answer: “Adaptive Response”. The body is one of the most efficient and adaptive “machines” in existence. It responds to mechanical stress extremely fast and finds the most efficient way to deal with it. In this case, steady state cardio, being fairly low on the physical stress scale, is not much of a challenge for the body. It simply adjusts quickly to steady and predictable.  Lower heart rate, very, very minor hormone adjustment (if any) and Boom! Your body says “I’ve got this”. So quickly, in fact, you may actually gain weight doing steady state.
Remember, too, your body fights very hard to not use fat stores-its fuel of last resort.

Anyone offering unsolicited advice

Unless they are a trainer or an employee. Or unless you are doing something dangerous to yourself or others and they are trying to save your hide, they’re likely a “Newbie”. They’ve been in the gym for a month and have been reading “Muscle and Strength” or “Flex” and want to show off their new found knowledge, such as it is.

 Who should you listen to? Your trainer, your coach, but mostly, your own body.
 “You are different, just like everybody else”. In the beginning, it’s a game of trial and error. Set specific goals and educate yourself on what works for your goals. Getting fit and staying fit should be a long term goal. It might not be easy, but it’s worth it.

SEND YOU QUESTIONS TO alphaedgefitness@gmail.com  If I don’t have an answer I’ll try to find someone who does. But be patient. Getting answers can take awhile.

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