The Problem With The Fitness Industry
What’s one of your biggest gripes with the fitness industry? If you’re like most people, it’s the almost constant state of contradiction from experts and so-called experts alike. These days, it’s almost impossible to take anything as a given. One day coffee is bad for you, the next it fights cancer. Sometimes it’s good to do your cardio before you lift weights, other times it’s better to split them up. Depending on who you ask, the best way to burn fat is high-intensity cardio, others will say long and slow is the best way. This back-and-forth, no concrete answers makes things very difficult for people who haven’t spent a lifetime studying health and fitness; i.e. your average Joe or Jane.
If you’re like me, you really appreciate having fact-based, scientific answers or at least reason to believe something. Going off and doing something on a whim, or without any basis is hard for me to do. It becomes especially hard to do when it takes a lot of time and effort. How disheartening would it be to find out the six-day a week program you’ve been on has been doing little more than wasting your time. When it comes to fitness, I fully realize people want to maximize their time and effort; we’re simply too busy for anything else. So, how to reconcile the plethora of contradicting fitness information while maintaining our sanity AND learning how to take the best advice to achieve our goals? It’s actually not as hard as you might imagine…
Exercise Less, Lose More Weight
Lets take a look at a recent study featured on the homepage of CNN.com. A new Danish, university study produce some intriguing results. In short, researchers examined several groups of individuals. Those who didn’t exercise, those who were put on a 30 minute a day exercise plan, and those on a 60 minute a day exercise plan. Participant weights and other health markers were taken before the study commenced. After 13 weeks, researchers compared the weight and other markers against the pre-study numbers. Astonishingly, the group exercising 30 minutes per day had a much larger weight loss than the 60 minute per day group. Not surprisingly, the group that didn’t exercise was nowhere near as successful as the former two groups. For a full review of the study, click here.
Now, there’s been a lot of chatter about the results of this study. On social media outlets and blogs everywhere, the findings are being twisted and contorted in a variety of ways. Some people out there are saying with absolute certainty that less exercise is better for weight loss goals. Fitness plans are being created as I type this that jump on the “less is more” bandwagon. People are being fed information based on this ONE study. This is exactly how contradicting and confusion can quickly overtake a person searching for quality fitness information.
Consider Your Source
First off, there’s nothing wrong with this study. It was a simple, well-designed, and ethically performed exercise study. We have no reason to assume the integrity of this study or researchers have been compromised. They accurately stated their findings while acknowledging possible reasons for the outcome, as well as potential flaws that could have contributed to the results. They did everything good researchers should be doing.
The problem lies in the sources who take this studies or studies like this, and put their own spin on them. How many times have you read an article on a blog or social media site and wondered how they formed their opinion. Often times sources aren’t listed, so you are left to take whatever the author has said at face value. At the very least, some sort of detailed explanation of reasoning should be given. When sources aren’t listed and/or sound reasoning for the author’s belief isn’t given, alarms should start going off. The fitness world is rife with unfounded statements and advice. Often times these bits of advice are crafted to sway you towards a particular product, workout plan, or supplement; understand this. Your job is to start discerning the good authority figures from the bad, and in turn, you should begin developing a better sense of what is fact and what isn’t.
Find Sources that Speak to YOU
Something else to consider; fitness isn’t an exact science. No matter what some people will tell you, there isn’t one road that leads to your goals. What works for one individual or group of people may very well not work for another. By recognizing this, you can start to see why there are so many different opinions on the same topics in the fitness world. What works best for high-performance athletes may not work for body builders. What works for body builders may not work for your average business professional or student who only has 3-4 hours a week to work out. The best way to find trusted and reliable sources on the web is to find those who target you and/or people like you. If you’re a twenty-something female, who works out from home and the gym 3-4 times a week, bodybuilding.com probably isn’t going to be for you.
Start to follow a few blogs that have a style and tone that reflects you and your lifestyle, and over time you will begin to see a trend in their postings. If they are worth their salt, they should also be delivering high-quality advice and workouts that bring about noticeable changes. It may take time, but you should be able to find sources that you trust and are geared towards you in a relatively short time.
Breath, Relax…It’s going to be OK
Above all else, don’t get overwhelmed by the massive amount of information out there. In reality, most of the information is paraphrased anyways; the ideas are the same. You need to get beyond the re-write copy and find out quality sources. Admittedly, it’s pretty hard to find a source that pumps out original content on a regular basis. It’s even harder to find a source that pumps out QUALITY, original content on a regular basis. Nonetheless, seek these sources out; they’re out there.
Doing a search for “how to get a six-pack” will produce tens of millions of results. The bulk of this is the same information repeated in a different way, with a different product for sale at the bottom of the page. Ignore the mountain of salesy, gimmicky, and unfounded fitness tips. Dig a little deeper and sure enough, you’ll find a quality blog you can relate to. The worst thing you can do is get so overwhelmed by all of this information and simply stop searching. Far too often, people give up, or just take some haphazard advice because the search for quality information has become too much of a burden. Don’t be one of these people…perserve and you will be rewarded.
- Seek out information backed by studies and/or well thought out logic. Question unfounded opinions and advice.
- Keep all studies in context. One lone study doesn’t prove or disprove anything. Look for studies that have replicated the same results time and time again. Additionally, consider the sample size whenever analyzing a study.
- Understand fitness isn’t an exact science; find sources who speak to you and your goals. What works very well for one person may not work very well for another.
- Most copy on the web are the same basic ideas, paraphrased another way, selling a different product. Seek out blogs and sources that produce regular, high-quality content, geared towards you and your lifestyle.
- Don’t become overwhelmed. The worst thing you can do is stop seeking out quality information and advice because of all the crap that is out there. There are loads of great fitness resources out there, you’ve just got to find them.
The Share It Fitness Way
At Share It Fitness, we aim to deliver only original, quality, fact-based information for all of our users. Our workouts and information target the busy student or working professional not looking to run a two and a half hour marathon, but simply wanting to drop some pounds, improve their physique, and lead a healthier life. If this sounds like it describes you, consider subscribing to the blog so you don’t miss any of our great content, but also check out our premium site, ShareItFitness.com. Here you’ll find hundreds of OnDemand fitness classes ready to be streamed to your phone, tablet, computer, or TV. These full-length classes are just like the DVD programs or real-life group fitness classes you may be taking…with the added benefit of being able to take them anywhere, anytime. Best of all, we’re still offering free beta memberships for a little while longer, so come give us a shot.