You don’t need any of their crap to get ripped and to look better than you ever have before.
These are just a small sampling of the harmful fallacies commonly believed by many, and they will bury you in a rut of frustration that inevitably leads to you quitting because of little or no real results.
Now, where did the many fitness and nutrition myths come from? Well, I don’t want to waste your time with the boring history of the world of weightlifting, supplements, and information resources, but the long story short is simply this:
When people are willing to spend big amounts of money on certain types of products or to solve specific problems, there will never be a scarcity of new, “cutting edge” things for them to empty their wallets on, and there will always be scores of brilliant marketers inventing new schemes to keep people spending.
It’s pretty simple, really. All we have to do is look where most people get their training and nutritional advice from. Almost everyone gets it from one or more of these three sources: magazines, personal trainers, or friends…and you’ll almost never learn anything useful from any of them.
How can I make such bold claims, you wonder? Because I’ve seen it all, tried it all, and while I don’t know it all, I do know what works and what doesn’t.
Last time I looked, close to a dozen bodybuilding magazines were waiting on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, all shiny and ready to lure in victims like Venus flytraps. Simply put, every time you buy one of the big bodybuilding magazines, you’re paying to be lied to.
Here’s a fun fact that you probably didn’t know: MuscleMag, IronMan, Flex, Muscular Development, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle Media, and the rest of the mainstream bodybuilding magazines are owned by supplement companies and are used simply as mouthpieces for their products. Yup. MuscleMag is controlled by MuscleTech; IronMan is MuscleLink’s cheerleader; Muscular Development is Twinlab’s shill piece; Muscle & Fitness and Flex were owned by Joe Weider and thus were promotion catalogues for his companies, such as Weider, Metaform, MuscleTribe,and several others; and the list goes on and on.
The primary goal of these magazines is to sell supplements for the companies controlling them, and they work damn well. The magazines push products in various ways. They have pretty advertisements all over the place, they regularly run “advertorials” (advertisements disguised as informative articles), and they balance the lot of sales pitches with some actual articles that provide workout and nutrition advice (which also, in many cases, end with product recommendations of some kind).
So, this is the first blow that magazines deal to you: They give you a lot of “advice” that is geared first and foremost to selling you products, not helping you achieve your goals.
The supplement companies know that if they can just keep getting these magazines into people’s hands, they will keep selling products. So, how do they ensure that you will keep buying? By coming up with a constant flow of new advice and ideas, of course.
And this is the second, probably more harmful, blow: They inundate you with all kinds of false ideas about what it takes to get into great shape. If they told the simple truth every month, they would have maybe 20 articles or so that they could re-print over and over. Instead, they get quite creative with all kinds of sophisticated (but useless) workout routines, “tricks,” and diets (that include certain supplements to really MAXIMIZE the effectiveness, of course).
The bottom line is that you can’t trust these types of magazines. They are all either owned by or financially dependent upon supplement companies, and what I outlined above is the game they play.
Most personal trainers are a waste of time and money.
Every week I see trainers who either have no clue what they’re doing or who just don’t care about their clients. These poor people are paying $50-75 per hour to do silly, ineffective workout routines that usually consist of the wrong exercises done with bad form (and they make little or no gains).
And, let’s not forget that many personal trainers aren’t even in good shape themselves, which always confuses me. How can you honestly sell yourself as a fitness expert when you’re flabby and out of shape? Who could possibly believe you? Well, for some reason, these types of trainers get business all the time, and their clients almost always stay flabby and out of shape themselves.
To compound the disservice, most trainers don’t even bother giving their clients nutritional plans, which really ensures lackluster gains. The fact is that 70-80% of how you look is a reflection of how you eat. Fat, skinny, ripped, whatever—working out is only 20-30% of the equation. Eat wrong, and you will stay fat no matter how much cardio you do; eat wrong, and you will stay skinny and weak no matter how much you struggle with weights. Eat right, however, and you can unlock the maximum potential gains from working out: rapid, long-term fat loss and muscle gains that will turn heads and get your friends and family talking.
You might be wondering why these trainers know so little as certified professionals. Well, I have several good friends who are trainers, and they’ve all told me the same thing, which is that passing the certification test does not make you an expert—it means that you can memorize some basic information about nutrition and exercise…that’s about it.
While some people are happy to pay a trainer just to force themselves to show up every day, trainers are usually in a similar boat as the magazines. They have to constantly justify their existence, and they do it by changing up routines and talking about “sophisticated” workout principles (that they read about in the magazines)…and when it’s all said and done, their clients waste thousands of dollars to make poor gains.
That said, there absolutely are great trainers out there who are in awesome shape themselves, who do know how to quickly and effectively get others into shape, and who do really care. If you’re one of them, I applaud you because you’re carrying the weight of the profession on your shoulders.
What do you think about the state of the industry? Let me know in the comments below!