Like in all industries, not all advocates are wise
A few weeks ago, I experienced a situation that struck a cord with me, an issue which I am very passionate about, and low and behold, here I am writing this blog on a sunday morning at 5am!
A client, and long standing friend of mine, was approached by another apparent “PT”, which is not the big issue here, as this is a pretty standard practice in the fitness industry. What was the big issue here, was the amount of uneducated, misguided, and not to mention discriminating information this apparent “PT” had to say in relation to my client and her health and fitness goals.
- there are no studies to say women benefit from performing deadlifts
- according to his study on biomechanics her feet must be straight when squatting
- only powerlifters squat with a wider stance because they want to lift heavier
- women don’t need to lift heavy
- if her back hurts, maybe squatting isn’t for her
- she needs to eat 5 meals a day, 3 hours apart to keep her metabolic rate up
- she needs to eat a certain amount of protein each meal according to her PTR (protein turnover rate)
- because of her race (indigenious) my client won’t be strong
- in 5 weeks time she will be coming back to him injured because her program requires her to perform the squat, bench and deadlift and to push her lifting capacity
- he assumes only powerlifters benefit from the squat, bench and deadlift in their program, and if you’re doing these lifts, well heck you must be a powerlifter
- he implied I do not care about how I look, just as long as I can lift heavy
- and the best one yet, he wanted to know how much WEIGHT she had lost in her time with me, because I guess, that is the only reliable form of measurement a PT would use in measuring results.
The issue that resonated with me, is not only was his information uneducated and misguided, but his discriminating outlook on how my client should train, and I assume look because she is female, contributes to the unhealthy societal view on how women should look, and the part that I am really passionate about, how this negatively impacts on their psychological well being.
From experiencing a thorough fare of body image related issues with my clients in my years as a personal trainer, plus my own personal experiences as a female growing up in society, WEIGHT was and still unfortunately is, a huge issue for many individuals, in particular women.
- trying to set goals* related to bodyweight(*Different if your sport is weight classed, but not what I am referring to in this case.)
- trying to achieve body weights that are unhealthy, meaning current muscle mass would need to be broken down to weigh the weight they have in their mind.
- trying to conform to “ideal” body weights and images as deemed by society
- deeming their worth by these “ideals” and “images”
- or already eating 1200 cals or less and doing 5-6 days of training and no longer getting anymore progress, and must continue to just maintain, or cannot sustain long term and as a result deem themselves as a failure.
Due to the misguided information/myths and reinforced practices performed by some “PT’s” in the health and fitness industry coupled with the generalised culture in society about how women should look, the end result is a female with a negative perspective of themselves, a negative association with food, and/or has adopted behaviours (behaviours at times stipulated and/or reinforced by their “PT”) that I believe and science can prove, are ridiculously unhealthy, unsustainable and not to mention metabolically damaging.
As evidence by my example above with my client and her recent experience, “PT’s” in this health and fitness industry (not all), reinforce these beliefs with uneducated and misguided information relating to:
- how beneficial strength training is, regardless of sex or race
- how to effectively apply the principles of strength training
- how effective the squat, bench and deadlift are in correlation to body composition, basic human movement and longevity
- how to apply the basic principles of the squat, bench and deadlift
- how measuring progress by kg’s lost and deeming yourself successful accordingly is psychologically damaging long term and irrelevant if you have a body composition goal. There is a bigger picture here.
- the actual science behind sports nutrition
- the difference between a lifestyle approach as opposed to competition prep.
Which brings me around to the point of my blog, there is a difference between broscience and science. Unfortunately not all advocates within the health and fitness industry are wise, many I find:
- are not open to the possiblity they need more education, or continually seeking more knowledge.
- are not educated fullstop.
- have psychological issues themselves, and/or then unconciously project these on others.
- do not account for the long term effects on the individual they bestow their practices on.
- do not account for the individuals psychological health, as well as their physiological health.
- has only one approach for diet and training to suit all individuals and it is generally more a case of if you are not getting the desired result, resort to doing more and eating less.
- are not held accountable for their actions to a higher authority
The main objective for me writing this blog was to have a rant (lol), AND to build awareness that within the health and fitness industry not all advocates are wise. Question is it broscience or science?