Waking The Fitness Industry Up!

I don’t know if there's a tendency to try and rattle peoples cages but of late I feel I’ve been writing about a few things that I ‘think’ are going to do that. I always seem to come out relatively unscathed despite talking about things that people are quite precious of.


I’m a pretty passionate person when it comes to what I do, the fact right now I can’t speak I guess is a testament to that. I was teaching this weekend and probably talked for two solid 8 hour blocks. Those of you that have worked with me, met me or heard me speak will know that.


With this passion alongside it there comes a lot of things I feel very strongly about and sometimes, not very often granted I will STRONGLY disagree with something to the point it will p**s a lot of people off because it doesn’t fit with what they ‘believe’ or know.


I’ve mentioned this scenario before where you can almost picture a bunch of slightly unintelligent people who are easily led wandering like zombies following what one person says like its the only thing that matters and the only thing that’s right. Hell, history is riddled with these people. Look at Hitler for crying out loud. Hundreds of thousands of people, with no rationale or logically thought process thought what he was doing was right.


People are easily led.


Now, just to clear things up to those of you that ‘follow’ me on Facebook. Everything I write about I to the best of my knowledge, is written through experience, the references and science is only the stuff ‘I’ have found and read so at times I will be wrong. At times I will be very wrong infact. I have no problems admitting when I am and write in a way that I feel is logical to me and hopefully makes sense to my reader.


Making sense of things and finding out better ways of doing the same thing Is a lot of what my industry is about after all.


Firstly I guess in this piece I want to have a bit of a rant then throw a couple of contentious topics that may anger or annoy certain people. I guess though if we’re to slice through a lot of the bad stuff that’s going on along the way I’ll pick up a few enemies or people that don’t like my thoughts.


So, the rant part…..


When I started in this industry and was who I was way back when I would turn up for work, do what I did, the best I could then leave. Now, years down the line I’m very privileged to be in the position I am. I’ve worked my arse off to get there, don’t get me wrong but along the way am sure I’ve had opportunities brought about by luck, timing or whatever it may be.


What I’ve found is that with success you bring a lot of haters. I am actually pretty astounded by my industry at times as to how downright malicious or unpleasant it can be at times. For the most part we are discussing the human body for the majority of the  time and as far as I’m concerned or as far as I know there is NEVER ultimately a right answer. I wrote about this only a few weeks ago.


When I read two very large figures, both of whom I have quite a bit of respect for going after each other I was pretty amazed. One of the major issues we may have is an industry full of similar personalities, a whole load of extroverts with similar personality traits? I don’t know.


I think growing up in the generation I have and with the invention of social networking we have reached new levels with this. We are far more aware of our supposed competition, we are engulfed at time with paranoia as people seem to be ‘out to get us’. I’m maybe just a little more laid back about this and to be frank I hate arguments. Discussions are fine if done by intelligent people.


I saw an interesting definition of some of these people we come across online:

‘An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion’.


Why do people join groups or pages they have no interest in? I never quite get that.


When people become protective over something it then becomes a topic people avoid which I think is bad. We lose all rationale and anything that may come to better or more productive solutions. We dismiss things at the drop of a hat which I also feel is bad.


This is part of the problem with the health and fitness of people out there.


I was explaining to a 14 year old boy at a talk I did a week or two ago. He came up to me and asked me if it was safe for him to weight train. I said YES!…….


For years there has been this topic of kids and weight training, the impact it could have on growth, development and that you could bend bones. I explained it to him like this.


If you drop off a step about the height of your knee you have forces up to three times your body going through your limbs, joints and bones. If you stood and did a barbell squat you would therefore need to squat 3x your bodyweight to exert the same amount of force. Clear.


Now, it’s ‘socially’ acceptable for kids to do gymnastics, dance and spend an awful amount of their time in ‘impact’ based sports. Running in itself is one of these. They also run and jump off things in most of their formative years. Now if you let a dancer or gymnast walk past me 90+% of the time I could tell you that they have done exactly that due to either curved femurs and/or tibia and externally rotated feet.


If you want to break something is it easier to hold it at either end and flex it (weight training) or hit it with something (impact based sports). If I was a physiotherapist I would stand at the last 5 miles of every major marathon and hand out business cards.


Common sense and a little basic information is a good thing.


Folklore, rumours, myths and bro science are NOT!


Another thing that got me this week and another discussion completely.


CAN you be healthy and overweight?


I see a LOT of pictures around that seem to be of a bunch of semi clad women of all shapes and sizes. Now, when I say shapes and sizes I’m not talking about skeletal or frame structure I’m talking about the fact these women are OBESE. The slogans tend to be revolving around encouraging people that this is ‘ok’. More people die from dietary or nutritionally related issues in the modern western world than anything else. A bad diet will result in obesity but we’re promoting the fact it’s OK. Is this the medical system pushing this? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any issues with people carrying a little extra fat or not being avid gym goers, I’m not saying fat is ugly or beautiful, what I’m saying is an excess of subcutaneous body fat is DANGEROUS!!!!.  It has NO health benefits it serves no purpose but to put stress on the body. WE DO NOT need this either personally or as a society. ‘Be comfortable in the skin you’re in’ is all well and good but anyone out there who’s overweight KNOWS it isn’t comfortable. Trust me….I know this!


I am in this industry to help people perform better, be healthier and feel MUCH better about themselves. It angers me a little when as a society we’re just giving in. We’re saying it’s ‘ok’ for our kids to eat junk, we’re saying its ‘ok’ to be obese….I just don’t get it.

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