Fitness Misconceptions Part 4
I apologize for the delay. This semester has been really grinding me into the ground, but it’s almost over! I will try not to be gone so long in the middle of a series again. I promise.
I’ve actually had this topic in mind since the last time I wrote, so here we go. “That guy at the gym is really muscular. He must know what he’s talking about.”
This extends beyond the guys at the gym who come interrupt your workout and tell you how to live your life. Once my aunt was doing 50lbs on the leg press at the gym, and some meathead walks up and tells her not to lift so heavy, or she’ll get bulky.
I can guarantee you when walking around, her legs carry more than 50lbs. Furthermore, who asked you? She is a healthy adult woman lifting much below her threshold, and this man invited himself over for some unsound and unsolicited advice.
I think of this often, but I decided to write this after an incident I saw in the gym. I saw four people, two males and two females, doing some exercises with ropes in the gym. The guys were leading, selecting, and demonstrating the exercises, and they started off okay. At first they were solid, safe directions. Then these guys start instructing the ladies to do some ridiculous stuff. One of my classmates was on the stair master next to me, and we were both horrified. Not only were these exercises unsafe, but the guys were clearly more physically fit and definitely more acquainted with this gym equipment than their willing counterparts.
On a similar note, please remember not all fitness gurus are created equally. This is a particularly important point when considering the role of social media in our lives. Just because somebody on Instagram has a sexy body, videos of exercise, pictures of food and supplements, and has a ton of followers does not mean that he or she has any background in fitness. It does not mean that he or she knows anything about safety and proper performance. It does not mean that he or she knows about modifications for injuries or varying fitness levels. We don’t even know if they actually have any certifications or licenses to legally give counsel. The Internet is the perfect place to pretend you know things!
You also must remember that fitness is many of these people’s profession. The rest of us are trying to squeeze in a workout between school, job, kids, parents, bills, etc. Imagine if the 40+ hours a week you spent working was suddenly just free to devote to exercise. Your body might look a little different. Mine sure would.
In conclusion, you need to be careful. Not all advice is created equal. I was watching those four people on the ropes in the gym waiting for a shoulder dislocation, since that’s exactly where they were heading. Don’t judge a book by its cover
PS- On a personal note, I don’t always believe all of these social media superstars. Some of them give the impression that they gained their Grecian goddess bodies by only doing the low level activities that they demonstrate. Or at the least, they are not explicit that their body-sculpting involved much more work than they’ve let on.