4 Ways to Tell if Your Fitness Trainer or Health Professional is Clueless or Not

In today's world, we're seeing the internet, magazines, books, and tv shows/commercials flooded with tons of varied fitness and health advice. So how do you know who to actually trust and who may be giving you fitness misinformation and leading you down the wrong path?

Well, first of all, there ARE some sleezebags out there that all they want to do is sell you some crappy gimmick and make off with their quick buck.

In fact, more and more marketers with no fitness background or experience are getting involved in selling fitness and health products these days. Unfortunately, many of these pure marketers don't know the first thing about fitness and are just putting out total junk just to make sales (hmm, can anybody say hoodia or the parasite scare-tactic scam artists).  

On the other hand, the good thing is that most fitness and health professionals are well intentioned and do actually want to help you legitimately. Although being well-intentioned, many times these professionals have been misinformed over the years and led to believe certain health and fitness myths (that they think are factual) that are not always accurate.

I think the subject heading with the term "clueless" is a little harsh and I want to clearly state that even if a fitness professional or trainer is misinformed on a couple of topics here or there, it's still likely that 90% or more of their information is actually very helpful.

As a matter of fact, you'll almost never find 2 fitness professionals or trainers that completely agree with one another. However, usually most fitness pros will agree on about 80 or 90% of topics.  There are probably even a couple topics that I may be misinformed about (after all, nobody is perfect), but I'll always do my best to provide you with the most up-to-date and legitimate information I can find.

With that said, whenever I'm reading fitness publications, there are 4 key things I look for to see if the author or fitness "expert" really understands true nutrition and training principles. This can help you in your readings and dealings with trainers to decipher good info from bad info.

Here are 4 of the main aspects I look for to determine is a fitness pro or trainer is "in the know" or not:

1. If the resistance training portions of their workout routines are mostly comprised of machines and single-joint exercises such as leg extensions, leg curls, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, pec decks, leg press machines, shoulder raises, etc... then they probably have some misconceptions about training and you should beware.

I'll admit that there's a time and a place for just about any type of exercise (including the occasional use of machines and single joint exercises), but if these are what makes up the majority of their routines, then you should reconsider taking advice from them.

The fitness pros and trainers "in the know" will give you routines that are comprised of a balanced approach using free weight multi-joint exercises (and bodyweight exercises) for the majority of the exercises with only very limited machine or single-joint exercise use.

Here's another article I did on this topic:

Why Body Part Isolation Workouts Get Weak Training Results

2. The 2nd thing I look for in a knowledgeable or mislead fitness trainer is whether they think that cardio is the "only way" to lose body fat. For anybody that understands human physiology, the assertion that cardio is the only way to lose body fat is ludicrous.

After all, you can lose body fat without any exercise at all for that matter if you have a caloric deficit (although I don't recommend that route, because a non-exerciser is still flabby and unhealthy even with low body fat %).

In addition, you can lose plenty of body fat with resistance-only training routines without any cardio at all... it simply depends on the intensity of your workouts as a whole (whether they contain cardio, resistance training only, or a mixture of both), your resting metabolic rate, and the overall balance of your calorie intake vs calorie expenditure over time.

Here's another article I wrote about the myths on cardio training and better alternate workouts

3. The 3rd thing I look for in a knowledgeable or mislead fitness trainer or health professional is whether they falsely believe that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are bad for us.

I've beaten this issue into the ground, but I'll say it again... If there's one fact you must understand about nutrition, it's that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are essential parts of the natural human diet (and have been for thousands of years) and are not unhealthy for us depending on the source of the food (organic, etc).

The most unhealthy foods in our food supply are actually processed foods such as processed refined vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils (trans fats), deep fried foods, refined grains, refined sugars, and other boxed packaged "mutilated" foods.

Here's an article that explains the myth about saturated fat more clearly for you:

and if you're a scientific type that wants to understand the biochemistry of why saturated fat is not bad for you , this is a must read article by a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry

4. The 4th thing I look for in a knowledgeable or mislead fitness pro or health "expert" is whether they falsely think that artificial sweeteners are healthy. I see so many fitness pros promoting the use of artificial sweeteners just so that they can save on sugar intake. Well, the truth is that even though refined sugar is horrible for us, artificial sweeteners are "franken-foods" that are even worse for us! 

Here's an article that explains more details about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and other "diet" foods / drinks :

One thing I'd like to ask you is that if you found these articles beneficial, please email this link on to your friends, family, and co-workers that you think can benefit from these topics.

Also, if you think these articles can help your friends, feel free to copy any of these article links onto your myspace, facebook, blog pages (or any other networks) that you keep to help your friends be healthier and more fit as well.

Til next ezine issue,
Don't be lazy... be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder - TruthAboutAbs.com & Busy Man Fitness .com


back to ab training myths and fat loss tips

Diet, Exercise, and Training Techniques articles

Lean-Body Fitness Secrets Ezine Archives