Contradictory information

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 04, 2007 8:42 PM GMT
    I'm exaggerating a bit, but it seems like for every thing I've been told is positive, someone else turns around and says it's bad to do (or eat, or whatever).

    I try to sort things out, but it's difficult. For example, I worked with a trainer for almost two years and saw some amazing results. If I had stuck to the eating plan, I would be much further along. However, there were times where I would go to other gyms and a trainer would come up and tell me I was doing a specific exercise wrong. My trainer also had me doing super sets, incorporating a lot of cardiovascular activity into our workouts. We also varied our workouts quite a bit and generally didn't do the exact same workout each time (or more than 3 times. However, a trainer here said he would never do something like that to his clients.

    These are just a few examples and I have many more (and not just from my former personal trainer). I moved away and no longer work with a trainer but am using the workouts he gave me. I enjoy them quite a bit - more than any other workouts I've done - but don't want to be doing something detrimental.

    So, I'd be interested in hearing from you on how you sort out what is best to do in terms of eating and working out (and if you have any helpful hints on how to stick to an eating plan, feel free to pass those along). I don't have a lot of time to read up on things as I'd like, but if I knew which sources are reputable I'd be willing to find the time.

    Thanks!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 04, 2007 10:05 PM GMT
    LOL... working out is like trying to claim insanity for a double homicide....
    You're always gonna find some expert or another to claim yes or no..

    you're gonna have to go with the consensus and/or what sounds right for you
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 04, 2007 10:55 PM GMT

    Let me get this straight...

    You went to the trouble of finding a reputable trainer who you worked intensly wit, and who got you great results.

    Then you are willing to listen to the next trainer off the street who walks up to you and gives you an off the cuff opinion without asking you for an in depth history or what you are trying to accomplish.

    I get this all the time in my field. I have about 30 years of computer systtems experience, degrees in IT and Systems Engeineering, 1 decade of experience at IBM, and now own a successful multinational company. Clients will come to me and spend the $500/hr I charge them for detailed expert advice; then they will go home and listen to their idiot neighbors over the backyard fence opinion.

    Guess which one they listen to as often as not?

    It's ok with me. They eventually come back with something fouled up and I get to bill them again.

    You went to someone for advice, paid good money, got great results...

    Tell me again why you are listening to someone else's free advice?

    Hint: you normally get what you pay for.

    Rob
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Sep 04, 2007 11:58 PM GMT
    AMEN to that ITjock....

    i've given up these forums, trying to help others.

    seems to be human nature, that they want a magic bullet or know the magic bullet.

    the myth's that are shared on these forums are wacked. most of the questions need a qualified expert to answer them, not a weekend worrior.

    but like you said, they come to you in the end. wasted money and time.

    good buisness for us!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2007 2:01 AM GMT
    With something as nebulous as "fitness" there can be many strategies that, within certain broad constraints, can reach similar goals. Frequently there is more than one "right way" to do something. However, if you are trying to follow a specific program, you need to stick with it long enough to give it a chance to work. Before you start, you should have some idea of how long that might be, and exactly what measurements you will use to decide if it's working. Essentially, when you start a new regime, you are doing an experiment. If you keep introducing new variables, you will never really know what was effective and what wasn't.

    Of course, you want to design the best experiment that you can, because you don't want to waste your time learning about too many things that don't work. Choosing between competing authorities is always difficult. Unfortunately, in fitness and nutrition, the signal to noise ratio is especially unfavorable.

    If someone is offering you advice, can they provide a reason for that advice? (BTW, Neither "I'm a great jock and it worked for me," or "I have this certificate of authority and I say so," are valid reasons.) If you ask a question about physiology, can they explain it in terms of physiology, or do they talk about mysticism or try to sell you a DVD? Can they even spell the terms correctly? If not, how much could they have really studied them? And magazines contradict themselves from month to month because of course, if they had all the right answers, there would be no need for more magazines! The web... ehhh, it's still useless, unless you put in enough effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Another weird and complicating aspect of human nature is that people are unnecessarily Boolean. Things get lumped into categories of "right" vs "wrong" or "good" vs "evil," without much thought. Reality rarely works that way. In my experience, the more incompetent a person, the more they cling to "black or white" pronouncements. (I worked for too many years at a large government installation, where the first part of every day was wasted reading memos about things that were formerly mandatory, but now forbidden. And vice verse.) I guess it's just easier to know if something is on the "good" list or the "evil" list, than it is to understand it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2007 2:36 AM GMT
    You know half the fun of working out and trying different things health wise, is discovering things yourself. As different as we are inside and out, your results are going to vary.

    Having done this for 20+ years has given me perspective to see fads come and go. So exercise your brain as well as your body. Read, listen, but prove things for yourself. I wish there was an internet when I started because nowadays you can Google anything.

    Learn to listen to your body. After all you live in it 24and7. Be persistent and don't give up. Feel good about what you are doing!

    BTW, good fishing picture!;)
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 05, 2007 2:40 AM GMT
    There are many paths to the same goal. Some of them more efficient, some of them less so. Some of them will be straight highways for one man while complete dead ends to another.

    The unfortunate truth is that there is no single answer. There is no magic bullet. Your body is your body and you have to figure out what works for it.

    Some people's bodies thrive on constant change of routine and build and burn fast with it. Other people's bodies just get confused and stall out with the same rapid change.

    Neither is there a magic bullet for eating. Personally I've found an absolutely rock solid inflexible diet to be completely infeasible and utterly useless because it gets broken so fast it might as well not be there. My good friend has found she HAS to have an inflexible eating plan to make her goals.

    Try it. If it works, do it. If it doesn't, change. 6 weeks is usually enough to get a good idea if it will work or not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2007 4:40 AM GMT
    When you first start working out, results are typically fast, no matter what you do, as long as you're lifting progressively heavier weight and increasing your cardio time/effort.

    Then as you approach your so-called "genetic potential," you tend to plateau and results are slower. "Experts" have developed all kinds of alleged tricks (like supersetting) to supposedly shock the body into moving you beyond a plateau. There's also the "trick" of changing up your exercises.

    I've found, as I've said countless times here, that rather than pushing and pushing to increase the weight, which puts your connective tissue at risk, it's better to take a week or two off, drop back the weight considerably and then add progressively more until you reach your max at the end of about 8 weeks.

    This is the principle behind Hypertrophy Specific Training. Instead of blasting your muscles, you decondition them and start over, because it's progressive resistance, not the weight itself, that builds muscle. (And this is why changing up exercises tends to work: It forces you to drop back the weight, typically.)

    Another thing: Most experts in gyms are anything but. I've watched trainers with weekend certificates give people harmful advice constantly. I suspect they only maintain clientele because they are working mainly with beginners who will benefit from just about anything. But once you get beyond that level, the typical trainer is a waste of money. You really have to search hard to find someone genuinely helpful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2007 5:17 AM GMT
    Good advice there, Diver.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 07, 2007 6:49 AM GMT
    I think most gym warriors in here would struggle to reach their genetic potential its another one of those misnomas that people use for settling where they are. It just means that you need to up the anti and fine tune from where you are.

    People start off with basic plans, eat healthy, train hard and gradually they get results. the get smarter they read more they unerstand and they learn how to tweak their programme and the minutia that goes with it.

    There is no "best way" to achieve anything other than its the one that consistantly gives YOU results and one that keps you motivated to keep going.

    The rest is down to the basics of structure, sleep, htdration and nutrition (thats in no [particular order).

    If it comes down to efficiency yuo can reach the same goal in the gym in 3 days a week as you could in 7 if you know how to structure your programme and diet. For some they simply give up on that as they dont feel they are working hard enough.

    As others have said it baffles me why people sek a professionals advice when they havent achieved their goal in the past and then all of a sudden think they know better (thats not aimed at the OP).

    The only thing I would say its a lot more efficient to eat less to lose weight than it is to run swim or cycle off the fat. But you try telling the masses that who have this inherent programming of "I MUST RUN".

    I blame Jane Fonda! She should be hung drawn and quartered!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 07, 2007 1:24 PM GMT
    I find this topic common to many areas of 'expertise.'

    OW and DiverScience are on the money here. If you look at any area where there are many experts, and it doesn't matter whether your talking about fitness, the stock market, playing a musical instrument, etc., there are many more unsupported 'systems' out there than effective ones.

    Consider the variables (in no particular order) like: genetics, age, diet, environment, lifestyle, physiological history, psychological background, personal goals and I'm sure there are more. With this much variation, it's clear that there is no one perfect way.

    If you look at a number of different approaches to these systems and methods, you start to see that a lot of them have certain underlying principles and standards. These are the basics of what you should pay attention to. There are always some wild and completely nontraditional approaches that can be dismissed for the time being. (Some very small percentage of these nontraditional approaches may end up being valid, but the chance that you going to find the one that is valid, is too low to take a chance with your health on.)

    The other thing to keep in mind is that fitness is an equation of sorts and that pulling one aspect out of the equation without it's dependencies presents an inaccurate if not completely distorted conclusions. These are almost always preceded by statements like "The most important thing is..." as if there is one crucial aspect of the process.

    You can have 2 completely different approaches that have the same level of averaged effectiveness for different reasons. One may be more effective for you than the other and both may be only moderately effective at best. If you switch from a method that's 20% effective to one that's 40% effective, you'll notice a 100% improvement. You will still be using a method that's only 40% effective.

    In other words, "Be skeptical."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 07, 2007 1:49 PM GMT
    BG makes some good point, as does OW and many of the other guys on here.

    I would temper a little of that by saying that most of us fall into the middle of the bell curve in most respects. That's why there are some general principles about working out that pretty much hold true across the board.

    But if you're going for more than a typical response - a higher goal for your body - then you have to look at your individual circumstance and needs, and a GOOD trainer (not just any trainer) can be helpful with that.

    A good trainer should be aware of your medical history, of your nutrition, of your exercise history, even of the stress levels and physical requirements of your daily life. Only with all that taken into account can he or she put together a comprehensive program that should address your needs. Then, of course, you have to DO it.

    Joey, NSCA-CPT
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 07, 2007 2:28 PM GMT
    I've found a relatively good rule of thumb is:

    If they can't explain WHY, then it's probably not a good idea to listen to them. And "because blah blah said so" is not a good reason. "Because your knee tendons work like so, so you're putting tortional strain on your joint" is a good reason.

    As BigJoey points out though, there are commonalities. While you may have to fine tune things there are definitely good and bad places to start from.