and isn’t that true? Going by what social media tells us, I can scroll through Facebook and Instagram and see that every man or women now believes that they have the answer to everything in the weight room, on the track or on the pitch. Now correct me if I am wrong but nobody impersonates a doctor/nurse, a fireman and certainly not a policeman (unless you’re on a stag or hen do but that’s a different matter). So why do people feel they can do it not having any qualification and/or training experience in the fitness industry?
People do one physique/bodybuilding contest or train for an athletic event and all of a sudden, they are telling younger and/or more inexperienced individuals, “do this, do that”. This is proven by just flicking through your social media, go on to either Facebook or Instagram, take yourself to some of the influential people in the fitness industry you follow and let us see if I can hit their post on the head;
Quick Guide to become an Instagram Fitness Professional
1) Picture of self under good lighting.
2) DO NOT Look into the camera.
3) Contract muscles as hard as you can without looking like you are straining for a poo but still look sassy.
4) Take another 60 photos if lighting is wrong, try another angle if muscles aren’t looking as big (you will be surprised what the change of angle can do for you!).
5) Once happy with photo insert the obligatory motivational quote.
6) Tag as many Brands into one photo to hope they will ask you to be their “athlete” (term which is used very loosely nowadays) and or brand ambassador’ and sell their product.
7) You get the offer, then you start telling people what they should do in training and how they should eat.
Don’t get me wrong I appreciate a good physique just as much as the next person and I know how much hard work goes into the training and nutrition, the discipline is second to none. But from hitting the gym it doesn’t mean you know how other people should train. It takes years to join the dots of experience and knowledge, gained by numerous courses and qualifications, mentorships, seminars whilst working with a wide variety of individuals as well as understanding how to apply what you have learnt to help people. What works for you doesn’t mean it is going to work for someone else.
This is by no means a rant to say I know it all for sure because believe me I don’t, this is an industry where for every piece of research stating one method works, there will be another piece stating it doesn’t. I am still on my learning journey, learning from my mentors, new coaches, clients and people that have nothing to do with the fitness/ business industry. This gives me a fresh perspective and allows me to make a more educated decision.
Unfortunately, the age-old saying is that, “opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one,” which leads me into the reason why I have written this article, so let me set the back ground. I had a client referred to me that suffered with Endometriosis (google it if unsure) and had suffered with symptoms since 2003.
Finally diagnosed in 2016 after undergoing numerous surgeries, she was on edge and fed up to say the least. So, when we started training in December 2017 that was the first thing we were to concentrate on, reducing the symptoms through becoming more aware of what was going into her body and what her physical activity consisted of.
This young lady has worked tirelessly week in week out, month after month, almost completely flipping her lifestyle around. She is eating healthier, being aware of what she is consuming and gradually increasing her training from 3 - 4/5 times a week. She has increased her fitness levels, changed her body shape and has just recently completed her first 10k run, In anyone’s eyes a success. Having watched this individual’s self-esteem and confidence grow has been a proud moment. She has had the odd flare up but has managed to take control of them and has dramatically reduced the symptoms therefore allowing her to get her life back.
She was on a high until one day, she was at work minding her own business until an individual thought he had the right to be able to pass comment on her calorie intake and what he assumed were her goals. Asking out of the blue, this young man asked when her next holiday was to which she replied she hadn’t got a big one planned until May 2019. The reply that was given is everything that I am talking about within this piece of writing,
“11 months, that should be enough time to get a ‘bikini’ body. If you start CUTTING calories and working out now, you should have a good body by next year.”
This lad does not possess the same knowledge as her consultant or other professionals she is working with and how she has suffered, or how hard and strenuous her journey has been to get to a point of some level of confidence. This confidence enabled a physical improvement in her physical symptoms as well as improving her mental state. But obviously he had trained in the gym for around a year and knows her condition and her body better than she does so must be qualified to be able to say this to her whilst walking past her in the office?? No No No!!!
It’s like me going to the airport to go on holiday and sitting over the shoulder of the pilot and saying, “mate I wouldn’t do that, I would pull that lever first and press that button, may work better for you,” any pilot that would listen to me needs to be re-evaluated…QUICKLY. I bet you have seen it or experienced it, someone is doing an exercise and the big silver back gorilla proceeds to walk up to another individual without any invitation.
Proceeding to give them tips on how to do the exercise although everything that is leaving their mouth is rubbish as you have been told to do otherwise by your instructor/coach. Well this was one of my personal experiences. I have great respect for people that have done their trade for years and have an open mind to growing their knowledge and practice however, I have zero respect for people that are narrow minded and believe that only their way is superior.
We live in a world where we are too quick to judge rather than listen and observe. Individuals jump to assumptions when they are misinformed and are unaware of the emotional impact it may have on others. After having spoken with my client about the above incident, it was clear to see that she was frustrated. Although this wouldn’t be the first time she had suffered a setback. I could see the frustration in her eyes, the negativity that she had experienced from others including such professionals as doctors and nurses. The resilience this young lady possesses allows her to bounce back from such comments and that is exactly what she has done. Pushing harder than ever in training, having the confidence to push herself out her comfort zone to a point where she is even considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2019 to raise money and awareness for Endometriosis and become a role model for others that are suffering with the condition and who have also experienced negative energy from others.
If you are one of the individuals that likes to go around and prod your nose into another person’s business just think before you say something because you do not know how that may affect an individual. The words that leave your mouth can have a negative impact on an individual and have a knock-on effect. Going back to earlier, listen and observe and let that information digest, let the brain link to your mouth before you open it and allow a slip of the tongue.