It’s not easy to navigate the world of nutrition and training these days. With health and fitness trending online, there’s plenty of misinformation floating around that could potentially derail any lifter or bodybuilder‘s regimen.
To cut through the fluff and get to the good stuff, we asked seasoned coaches and trainers in the fitness industry for tips and advice that they wish all their clients and social media followers knew. From dispelling myths about training with injuries to assuming all box gyms suck, your training IQ is all but guaranteed to rise a few points after digesting these tidbits.
Beginners Should Pony Up for A Coach
“I suggest hiring a personal trainer for eight to 10 sessions. He or she can teach you what muscle groups each piece of equipment works, as well as proper technique, breathing patterns, and rep cadence. A good trainer will also help you develop a workout program that is suited to you and your goals and can address any injuries or limitations.”
– Eric Broser is a trainer and former professional bodybuilder.
Don’t Trust Every “Fitfluencer”
“Before I record or write a [social media] post, I’m thinking, “How can this help other people?” It’s way too common on social media for people in the fitness space to be like, “Look at me with no shirt on! I’m jacked! I’m shredded! I’m great! Look how great I am!” Read the last three posts [of someone you think you want to follow], and if they’re saying “I” more than “you,” or there are pictures of them with their shirts off, or you can’t say you learned something from that, that’s a “look at me account,” not someone who is in this industry for the right reason—to help people. That’s why I got into this [business], because I genuinely enjoy coaching and helping people.”
– Joe DeFranco is a strength and conditioning coach and owner of DeFranco’s Gym.
You Can Probably Train Through Injuries
“There is almost no example, ever, in which I will tell someone not to exercise. Between everything that there is—stationary bikes, Pilates, swimming, weights—we’ll work around your injury. I send people to PT and pain management to work on things. If it’s a little uncomfortable, OK. If it hurts, stop. ”
–Natalie Azar, M.D., is an NBC News medical contributor and assistant clinical professor, rheumatology, NYU Langone Medical Center.
Don’t Write Off Big-Box Gyms for Boutique Gyms
“The boutique fitness boom raked in $32.2 billion in 2018, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. And larger gym chains have taken notice and are looking to pull members back into the box. Big-box gyms are coming after the boutiques—and they’re cheap.
A company out of Connecticut called the Edge Fitness Clubs— a $20-a-month club—gives you everything: turf, classes, a movie theater with spin bikes. Instead of day care for your kids, they have a mini gym where the day care staff trains your kids. How cool is that? So they’re actually doing what Mommy and Daddy are doing and will grow up with those good habits. Brilliant idea.”
– Frank Nash is a consultant and owner of Frank Nash Training Systems.
If You Can’t Do the Move on the Ground, Skip the Bosu Ball
“Most people can’t perform the movements properly on the floor (stable surface). On social media, I keep seeing the damn Bosu ball, and I’m like, “Ugh, why?” Training on unstable surfaces is automatically going to force you to not be able to use as much muscle mass. You’re not going to be able to move as much weight. The amount of total work that you can do is reduced. That’s going to reduce the number of physical adaptations your body can go through.”
Pat Davidson, Ph.D., is an exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach.
Learn to Expect and Embrace Discomfort
“Everyone wants to give you all these magic pills, but [to improve] you need to start physically and mentally putting yourself through some type of suck.”
– Kara Kilian Lazauskas is muscle research coordinator at Cal State Fullerton.
Veganism might not work out for you
Twenty percent more Americans are eating plant-based foods in 2018 compared with 2017, though we still eat roughly four times more meat as the rest of the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“[Vegans] are the sickest group of patients that I take care of. When you’re young, you can get away with not eating a lot of animal protein, because you maintain muscle tissue with high amounts of growth hormone, and other things. But five or 10 years down the line, a lot of women have issues with periods and fertility, teeth and gums receding, brittle bones, brittle teeth. And the longer it goes is a problem, and that’s the big thing you’re talking about.”
– Gabrielle Lyon, D.O., is a functional medicine physician specializing in muscle-centric medicine.
This article was originally published on Source