Why did you do that?

Posted on February 3, 2012. Filed under: Exercise, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , |

A very bad pattern in the fitness industry is the use of traditional philosophies.  Or holding on to ideas that are just wrong.


Please note I didn’t say old,  I said traditional.  As in “this the way we have always done this, so therefore we will always do it this way.”


Tradition causes more pain in the industry then practically anything an infomercial can come up with.  and leaves us with nothing but pain in embarrassing regrets.

If you are working with a trainer and they have you do something they should be able to explain why they have you do it.  And also why they believe it works.


If you ask these questions and your trainer responds with either irritation or a lot of jargon-ese that you can’t understand there should be concern.


For example, why do we believe 6 meals a day boosts your metabolism?


It’s because of a study on boxers trying to cut weight (1).  Yet the thing is, there is no study that shows eating multiple meals boosts your metabolism.  There are studies which indicate other positive health markers(2).  The boosting metabolism thing, totally made up.  Probably to help sell a diet book.


I still have certain clients do it, I just don’t want them doing something for the wrong reasons.  Usually when people do that, they end up hitting plateaus and are unable to figure out how to get out of it, panic, and then take extreme measures to get out of it.  Thus leading to the infamous yo-yo effect.


I’m not saying you need to wait for a scientific study to validate something before you use it.  I am suggesting however when you choose a path, you understand why you are heading in that direction.

I learn just as much from my clients, as they learn from me

There’s an old military story I like to think of to encourage me to question and think:

  • During World War II just before the Americans entered the war they were studying the big guns of the Germans.  They found that they could fire a shell every 10 seconds.  The best the Americans could do was one every 30 seconds.
  • They assigned a colonel to study the matter.  He found that the gunners were told to wait 20 seconds after firing a shell.  When he asked why, everyone said because it is in the manual.
  • The Colonel went back to examine the World War I manual.  It said: “…fire the shot and wait 20 seconds.”
  • Frustrated, he went back all the way through the archives until finally h came upon the civil war manuals.  They  said:  : “.. fire the cannon and wait 20 seconds to steady the horses.”    😛


Don’t let this be you.  There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to think about where you are going.  And questioning before you choose.  In fact, it’s highly encouraged

Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W


  1. Iwao S et al, Effects of meal frequency on body composition during weight control in boxers.  Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1996  Oct;6(5):265-72
  2. Antonio et al, International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2011; 8: 4



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One Response to “Why did you do that?”

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I totally agree; it reminds me of a Seinfeld skit: Kenny Banna tells Jerry to start lifting weights – Jerry asks why? Kenny’s response is ,” Gee, I don’t know.” A trainer that doesn’t give you adequate information , is not a quality trainer at all. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

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