03 Aug The “Masters of Disguise” of the fitness world
In the modern day S&C and fitness industry, the Internet is a huge player. There are some truly educated people in the field, who have a great deal to offer, but on the flipside however, can also come many who have very little education and/or experience, and are dishing out poor information left, right and centre.
Many of the latter are what I like to call “Masters of Disguise’. Many of these ‘Masters’ will use fancy terminology; maybe some fancy equipment and generally others philosophies to market themselves as ‘experts’ in their field. They are often fantastic salesmen/women which is fine in itself; but ultimately have their mind focused on $$$ rather than being well educated and delivering sound information.
Many times, this comes across in a form of an ‘Extremism’ approach – opinions promoting a latest and greatest training concept, diet, equipment, supplement etc. Unfortunately, many of these extreme ideas or opinions are not backed by any significant research. Instead, a small sliver of information from a study here and there is often taken out of context and ‘Cherry picked’ to try to support an idea – or in many cases, sell a particular product under the guise of the next big thing.
The reality is that with training and nutrition, there is often more than one way to reach a goal. Training the same way day in, day out is a sure fire way to have results stagnate; manipulating different variables depending on the training needs at the time will always be paramount. Likewise, the influx of nutrition ideas are getting larger by the day – the 5 and 2 diet, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, Atkins – you get the idea.
So many people ask “what’s the best?’ The un-sexy truth often comes down to the basics – the ‘best’ is not one idea taken to the extreme, but a balance of everything, while finding the positive effects out of many protocols to suit your needs.
I know this doesn’t sound exciting. No magic, glitter and Houdini tricks. Work out your purpose for training in the first place, and be compliant and consistent in your training to master the simple things that have proven to work over the years and through the research. Put simply – do the simple things well. If you Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull and Carry something, you’re likely in the right ball park.
Find the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients to suit your specific nutrition needs. By all means, use elements from all types of diets that may suit and work well for your body. Try not to vilify certain foods. Often those who label foods excessively as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ can have the poorest relationship with food. There is a place for most things if we look to hit our general main targets and aim for ‘moderation’. Find a balance and use a common-sense approach.
And always be cautious of someone trying to sell you or promote something as the next big thing – it is generally a giant, red flag. Being in this game for 20 years, I still always feel that ‘the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know’. There is a constant need to keep developing. But keep in mind some of the less glamorous tried and tested principles work for a reason.
So while the ‘gurus’ can hide behind their extremes and fancy products, know that if you truly plan to excel in this field, you need to know your craft and get things done. Some information out there offers some excellent advice. But you also don’t want ‘Extremism’ to result in extreme disappointment.
John Vincenti- WESTSTAR strength and conditioning coach.