Nowhere else in the world does there live a cadre of people so utterly devoted to the creation of unadulterated bullshit, than the ‘fitness’ industry. I’m encompassing the fitness, nutrition and wellness spheres here, to make sure we don’t miss anyone.
Wait, there’s also politics and the conspiracy community, they’re obviously pretty clear competitors. We’ll leave that alone though, it’s just not worth it.
Hold up, what’s wrong with the fitness industry?
Let’s start with why I’m making such a bold, sweeping statement. It’s because, obviously, that’s the industry I work in, and the industry that I work in is a cesspool of idiots, charlatans and self indulgent, deluded narcissists. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are also those who float on top of this pond like serene swans, secure in their education, experience and general intelligence. The difficulty for the layman is discerning between the two.
To begin, let’s identify some of the main players here, in a generic sense.
- The ‘natural’ physique athlete/PT who is selling a program, ostensibly to attain his or her physique, while very clearly using bulk steroids.
- The holistic nutritionist who blatantly ignores all of the science ever compiled in the history of the world, to tell everyone that they need to remove gluten, dairy and and a myriad of other perfectly pointless things in order to reduce inflammation. Inflammation of what isn’t specified, because they don’t know. Just inflammation. Also detox.
- Anyone who has done one single bikini show and is now an online coach.
- Joel Seedman.
- Anyone who has done one powerlifting comp and is now an online coach.
- Companies that sell supplements. All of them. Not everything they sell is rubbish, but all supplement companies sell rubbish.
You know what? This list has no end, but I’ll cut it off there because otherwise the hate will flow through me, and I’ll turn to the dark side. While I’m dead keen to shoot lightning from my fingers, I draw the line at wholesale slaughter of young kids with rat tails. Let’s focus on these few examples.
When “Fitness” Purely Means Aesthetics
The first issue I have with the fitness industry (aside from the fact that the image of the fitness industry has literally nothing to do with actual fitness and everything to do with base vanity) is that it’s founded on lies and deceit. It’s predatory much of the time. Programs, diets, systems and coaching that just don’t work, or are completely impractical or even dangerous, sold by people who know the reality of their misrepresentations, but don’t care, because they’re hustling and grinding. By hustling and grinding, I mean PTs who don’t actually invest in their knowledge base as much as they invest in their PEDs. Commercial gyms have a lot of these people, however some of the best PTs I know work in commercial gyms. Some of the crappiest coaches work in small private gyms too, but you can also find the world’s best coaches in these spaces. It’s nothing to do with PED use either, because some of the best coaches in the world use PEDs. Knowing the difference between the two can be difficult, but if you take away what they look like and listen to what they say and how they talk, it’s pretty easy to discern who’s spewing bullshit buzzwords and who’s worth listening to. A tertiary education often means nothing, but it’s a place to start. Cost isn’t necessarily a good indicator of who’s good or crap, but a good coach will usually charge accordingly. Pay the money.
Speaking of lies and deceit, we should really mention the nutrition side of things, as it’s the residence of some of the most outrageous outliers as far as quackery, stupidity and cataclysmic ignorance. Basically, it’s like medicine: if you’re not speaking to a doctor about a medical issue, you’re an idiot. If you’re not speaking to a dietitian about a nutritional issue, you’re an idiot. There are a lot of people out there who can give you advice about how to lose weight, gain muscle and generally look or perform better, but unless they actually understand why they’re telling you to eat what you eat, then they’re just regurgitating stuff they got from someone else. Go to the source. Pay the money.
What About The Rest?
Let’s see, what else? Ok, I mentioned brand new coaches, but to be fair, we all start somewhere. Also, coaches are a product of their environment; they don’t have to have competed in order to have a great knowledge base provided they’ve mentored with someone who has. Most haven’t.
Supplement companies: Basically it’s an inverse sliding scale based on the gaudiness of the packaging. Buy accordingly, after consulting an actual dietitian.
Joel Seedman. Where to even start? At the circus I suppose.
Lastly, wellness and self care aren’t really a thing, it’s just not being at work. Fight me.