Stop the shambles...
Whatever the world of fitness means to you, with its growing popularity there comes a lot of misguidance too. I think it’s great how diverse the fitness industry is, that there are so many fitness professionals who specialise in different fields from bodybuilding to kickboxing. In this blog I won’t be covering benefits of training and exercise. The aim of this blog it to indicate the issue of the fitness industry lacking a regulation protocol.
So how does one distinguish a difference between a good and a bad advice/a good and a bad coach/quality and trash? Does one consider who is giving the advice and where is a statement coming from?
I would love to believe that by now everyone understands that there are no shortcuts and magic plans when it comes to a change in body composition and performance improvements. Well, consistency and progressive overload do magic if you like. I’d also like to think that by now everyone knows that there is more to it than a ‘6-week booty building plan’, ‘Get ABS in 10 days’, or ‘Eat broccoli every day and lose weight quickly’. Sadly, some wish there would be the short way, some don’t like to do the work and don’t enjoy training, sweating and commitments. I get it, but honestly, what do people think that happens after following ‘something’ for a short period of time, whether it’s an increase in energy expenditure or a decrease in a calorie intake? A change will happen for sure. But it’s not permanent if you won’t be putting the work in permanently, unfortunately.
Anyway, exercise is a scientific field and should be treated with respect. From a consumer’s point of view and from fitness professionals’ point of view. I really don’t like to see fitness people on Instagram giving conclusive advices. Who are you to give a generalised advice? What knowledge do you have? Do you understand biomechanics? The issue I see is that there is zero regulation in the fitness world. The fact that fitness is being promoted and more people are being encouraged to exercise is great, but what is it they actually advertise? Is it the personal best lift, the ‘HIIT’ workout, the pre-workout routine, the meal plan? Surely, it’s all fine to do and share, and I know it’s a way of making money for many and that’s great for them, but the picture can get too ‘pretty’ and misleading when they don’t know what they are about. For instance, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been massively promoted over last couple of years and I’d swear that 80% of people advertising it don’t have a clue what they are talking about. Cutting the rest period short doesn’t mean you are working at high intensity, making exercises look like a circus show doesn’t mean you are working harder. We don’t need to crawl from a gym after a session and we don’t need to feel DOMS to make progress. This doesn’t measure the adaptation and results.
Good coaches are here to teach what is optimal and help understanding that following a 16-week training block is a hard work. I am trying to stress here the importance of being critical. In fairness, the best answer for any question should be that ‘it depends’. Because, well, it really depends. The context depends, the background depends, the desired adaptation depends, etc. I have all the respect for other, more knowledgeable and wise people, and I think it’s completely fine to say, ‘I don’t know’. We don’t have to know everything, we evolve, coaches evolve, science evolves. First and foremost, if you’re not qualified to give advice, don’t. Or at least mind your wording because whatever works for you may not work for someone else. Human physiology is a complex field where coaches and sports scientists are trying to understand, manipulate and apply the best strategy to the system. Sooner or later there hopefully will be a governing body to regulate the fitness industry. The ultimate idea should be using scientific perspective to achieve measurable results.