Functional Fitness

Inspirational or Fitness Expert?

In Observations, Training on March 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Let’s face it, everybody is a fitness expert, whether it is the guy starting his second week of P90X or the borderline anorexic lady in her 60s, they all are more then willing to give unsolicited fitness advice. I will never forget the time I received some unsolicited advice which turned out to be very awkward. A “bigger” girl took it upon herself to tell me that dancing was the best workout ever. For the record I think dancing can be a great workout, just look at the girls from Dancing with the Stars! It became awkward because she told me I was wasting my time doing what I was doing and that I should just dance. She then said, “I have been dancing for 3 years and I am in great shape”. Look no offense but this girl needed to lose at lease 30-lb just to become healthy, she was far from being consider fit no matter how you looked at it, AWKWARD!

Well, give me a minute to stroke my own ego. I am the real deal! I have been around 10% body fat my entire life, with the last three years having a consistent body fat level between 6-8%. I am a competitive triathlete, “pound for pound” one of the stronger people I know, and I rarely get sick. I am not telling you this to brag, I mention it as a “list” of my credentials. Why? Because I have noticed that when it comes to weight loss many people confuse the people who inspire them with the people they ask for advice. Let me give you an example:

You have a heavy (putting it nicely) co-worker weighing in at 300-lbs, he decides that he is going to finally lose the weight and 6-months later he weighs in at 250-lbs. 50-lbs is 6-months is awesome and your co-worker should be congratulated for his efforts! His loss of 50-lbs may even inspire you to start losing some weight because “hey, if he could do it”. So while he may be an inspiration to you, he is the last person you should be asking or listening to for advice! Why? Because what are his credentials? First, at 250-lbs he is still very heavy and by no means a fitness “expert”. Second it has only been 6-months! If after a couple of years he weighs in at a trim 180-lb and maintains that weight for a few more years then you can assume he know what he is doing. It is a lot like the kid who consistently get test scores of Ds and Fs and then one day he gets a B-. His parents are ecstatic! All of a sudden this kid is a genius. How about we give it a few more test scores before we start asking this kid about his study habits and declaring him a genius. Meanwhile you get straight As and then bring home one B and your parents tell you that you need to focus more.

Weight loss is not only possible but very easy in the short term. Just about any crazy workout plan or whatever the new lemon juice diet fad is, will produce results in the short term. But lets be honest, your goal is not lose 30-lbs, it is to lose 30-lbs and never gain it back. How many times have you seen people lose 30-lbs only to gain 35-lbs a year later? Take the Biggest Loser, the long term success rate of the contestants is horrible, it is because they lose most of their weight by basically starving themselves and working out 6+ hours a day, which is not only unrealistic it is not sustainable!

Remember you would not take career advice from your unemployed alcoholic uncle, so you should not take fitness/health advice from the fat secretary on the Weight Watchers plan. Lastly, until you have made significant improvements and have maintained those improvements how about you ease up on the unsolicited heath advice.

  1. Nice article…Is the girl in the pic a fitness instructor?
    I don’t follow advice, I do my own thing… Excersize and running has become to scientific and formulated for my likings. I like to just go out and run and not need a math degree to train.


    • The girl in the photo is a stock photo I found so I don’t know if she is an instructor. I agree sometimes people get too scientific when it comes to exercise and it gets overwhelming but there is no substitute for just going and working out on a consistent basis. Keep it up!

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