Please stop regurgitating fitness info, it’s getting on my shoes

Posted on April 5, 2012. Filed under: Exercise, Misc | Tags: , , , , |

I’m feeling philosophical today.

It’s amazing how many people I meet and associate with who are certain they know everything. This is very common in coaching, especially personal training.

It used to be a young trainer thing. As is the case for so many of us when we are young and invincible, we are certain we know all there is to know about anything and everything. Ah, the good old days

I find it to be more so of a problem among trainers nowadays. Scary part is, the age factor is becoming irrelevant.

Here’s a good test for some of you to help filter things out. When a trainer or coach starts going on and telling you why something is the way it is, ask for some kind of proof.

This proof does not necessarily have to be a scientific study. It could be something they have noticed over the years working with different people. Patterns, habits, they found effective and have stuck with. And over time have theorized a reason why it happened so consistently.

If the response is along the lines of ‘because I say so,’ or ‘Everybody knows this is true,’ or they are just right about it and that’s the end of the discussion. Be concerned.

They are regurgitating information. They have not thought it through, or questioned. They have chosen their camp, be it CrossFit, HIT, Westside, etc, and our sticking with it. Whether it fits the proper situation or not, is a moot point. Call it a confirmation bias.

A trainer or coach finds something that works well for a certain group of athletes, clients or even as a narrow a field as themselves. And once they have adopted someone’s beliefs wholeheartedly as the gospel they refrain from learning anything to challenge those beliefs.

For example, coming up is my girlfriend’s b-day weekend. I love her and thus in my eye’s she is the one of the loveliest, most wonderful people on the planet.

bias aside, she is pretty glorious 🙂

Now for arguments sake, if there was a way to measure this against every other woman on the planet, she might do well. But chances are, I’m a bit bias. 😉

I find this among certain colleagues quite often, and in some ways it’s an occupational hazard. Despite what any coach tells you, you can’t be good at everything in the fitness industry. You have to pick a specialty. In order to specialize in a certain field you have to focus on certain sources of information that pertain to your goals.

However…

 

If you only take your info from those sources alone you are asking for trouble.

I see it far too often. A coach will apply what they learned from a certain coach. Be it Poliquin, Boyle, the guy who runs 8weeksout.com. And it works great, so they apply more info which also works well. Then somewhere along the line everything this coach says becomes gospel. And this is when I stop asking them questions.

Suddenly any questioning of this coach is offensive, disrespectful, and insulting. They have drunk the Kool aid and if you question the ingredients they are act as if you spit in it. I find it best to just smile and nod at this point.

 

The focus of my career for some time will be fat loss. And over the last year I have read and added items to my tool box from a physical therapist, bodybuilder, kettlebells instructor, and an Olympic lifting Coach. None of these tools by the way I found on purpose by the way.

I heard what they were saying about treating patients, athletes, and thought about the principles behind them and how they would or could apply to my clients. Then slowly tried one principle to see how it worked, if it worked I kept it. If it didn’t I tossed it.

 

Now here is the kicker, I find. When you toss an idea, don’t toss the resource. I’ve read the philosophies of different coaches for years before something they said actually applied to my situation. On top of that sometimes I just wasn’t mentally prepared to hear what they were saying.

I once spoke with Alwyn Cosgrove who told me a story about one of his trainers. Cosgrove pays for his trainers to go to seminars so they their skills stay sharp and up-to-date. He said his trainer went to a 3 day seminar and when he asked how it was the response was lukewarm. There was ‘nothing being taught he could really use.’

The next year he sent the trainer back again, and this time the seminar was incredible. He even asked Cosgrove what they did to change it.

Cosgrove explained they didn’t do anything different. It was the trainer who had changed.

Do you have a favorite philosophy, psychology, or business book you have not read in years. Go back and read it again, I promise you will learn something new from it. You are not the same person. Your knowledge and experiences have given you a different perspective.

Socrates once said, “I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.”  So don’t just regurgitate info. Take it in, question it, apply it, and build your own toolbox. Whatever color you like 😉

Keep Fitness Groovy

Coach W

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2 Responses to “Please stop regurgitating fitness info, it’s getting on my shoes”

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How refreshing…you get it!

Keep spreading the word. More will get the idea eventually 🙂


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