Problems with Exercising, The Lies and The Solutions

Don’t worry! I’m not going to write about cliches like “pills won’t make you slim” or “miracle, fad diets won’t work” or “you don’t actually have to get your ass up from the chair and exercise“.

No. We all know those lies. If someone doesn’t know it, is either very-very young  or needs to LURK MOAR. Let’s look at the problems with exercising.

It’s not my job to save stupid people from themselves. I don’t even think it’s possible. I’m not affiliated with anything and this an unbiased and honest, maybe eve brutally honest blog post.

What I’m actually going to talk about is first-hand experience, impartial, unbiased first-hand experience of  a simple “man in a box” working full-time in this “Brave New World”(allusion to Huxley). You can read more about my fitness journey here.

I’m not really fond of exercise but I’m still doing it for various reasons. This is the case with most of us.

I’ve been trough many things but for the past nine months I was at a stable average weight and I seemed to have nailed my exercise routine, only to witness it fall apart unexpectedly before my very eyes after 9 months of hard work.

I stopped doing kettlebell and it made me think.

It  made me think about the problems and lies perpetuated within the fitness industry. I don’ mean the flashy ads and commercialized lies we are constantly bombarded with on any medium.

A rat holding a sign. The sign says "You lie" .Dishonesty, lies = masculinity ?

I don’t think so or do you? I hope not.

Still, it is impossible to have a an honest, proper conversation about fitness goals with any man over 30. Expressions such as “body fat percentage” are unknown and a typical (however satirized) locker-room conversation looks something like this:

Body what ? -accompanied by a confused stupid look

You mean you are fat. You don’t look, that fat and a proper man starts at 100 kg (220 pounds). – followed by a happy satisfied grunt combined with a deeply disturbing soulless (and brainless) stare”

Really 100 kg? Yes, if that man is over 2.50 meters (8.2 feet) high, then by all means. Body fat percentage is a scientific term and it’s the proper name of it.

 

We all have a certain percentage of body fat, if not I have bad news for you…(you are dead probably). What people mean by the murky designation as “fat”  or “being fat” is not the same.

Then there is of course the total inability to honestly talk about goals. Fitness goals for a man can only be :

  • building muscle
  • remedy back pain(common for kettlebell)
  • for bad posture (the half-truth I even used myself )
  • becoming stronger (Cliche!!! Also, are men over 30 stuck in the 50s?)

Nobody is honest and such things as body fat percentage reduction (even tough it’s not the same as the supposedly ultra-feminine goal of losing weight) are not even on the radar, when it comes to discussing goals and objectives.

This defeats the purpose of expensive personalized training with a personal trainer, because the trainer does not read minds and it can not properly help you if you are not honest (with yourself or with him).

So what exactly do you pay for? It’s really not cheap.

Solution: 

You are not totally honest because you are afraid of being seen as unmanly, ridiculed and not being accepted (consciously or subconsciously).

Well there is nothing more manlier then being an aggressively decisive, determined, independent thinker and fighting for your beliefs and values. Determination and rebelliousness are manly. Remember this, next-time it comes up. You are either a sheep or a wolf..

Short term goals  mean f****g nothing but motivation wins the day

They really don’t. The ads, the products, the services target your expectations and desires,which motivate you in the beginning but it won’t last forever. However a healthy lifestyle is forever. Weight loss, muscle building etc. are only the results of this lifestyle just as obesity is a result of a different lifestyle.

Solution:

Be it a conscious lifestyle choice or an unconscious one at any rate  you need short-term motivation and you need it everyday for the rest of the program. Instead of goals you should think about what motivates you. What keeps you going?

 

Which motivates you more? I will lose 10 lbs of fat and increase muscle size with hard work at the gym in 2 years OR I will go to the gym and get my biceps, back and shoulders pumped just in time to look like a beast for my date.
Obviously not the long-term goal.

If you are determined and stick with the program you will end up looking like a lean and muscular greek statue. No matter how you got there and how long it took.

All it mattes is to get there and for that you will need motivation every fucking day.

Doing sports, excising  is not fun and it’s not enjoyable. This brings us to one of the biggest lies about fitness.

Exercising is no fun!A cat looking disheveled while swimming. The picture has the caption "I enjoy exercise"

There may have been studies showing increased serotonin (“the feel good hormone”) levels due to exercise. If you actually read the studies and not just toss them around like your dirty week old unwashed boxer shorts on a laundry day, then you will find, that the relationship between exercise and serotonin levels is not that straightforward.

Extracellular hippocampal serotonin was higher (p < 0.05) during the first 40min of exercise than after 40min of being placed on the stationary treadmill, but this increase occurred only in those animals that learned more slowly and ran a shorter distance (1030+/-30m) and not in those that learned more rapidly and ran further (1150+/-20m).

So if you are a rat running on a treadmill, then it’s true. Even then the actual increase of serotonin is less than if you would drink half a can of beer (250 ml) or had sex. Still, the blogosphere takes it as a fact, that exercise is fun or should be fun.

Well it’s not.

You have a full time job and you know how to have a good time. You are not the weird one for not enjoying sweating in a gym after a 10+ hour day. Well at least the fit models on the creepy looking fitness stock photos have fun. Bit too much fun for it to be believable, if you ask me.

This brings us to the next point.

Don’t listen to personal trainers, coaches or any fitness
professional!

A chubby personal trainer.

The biggest proprietors of lies and dishonesty, of myths and half-truths. Who are they? The fitness professionals, the personal trainers, the coaches -who are not necessarily aware of this – and the companies behind them.

Why?

- personal trainers, coaches or fitness professionals are not the smartest

Just think of the people from your circle of acquaintances who became personal trainers.  Not the brightest bunch, right? It is often a last resort, a career move of necessity. True, dedicated, honest professionals are few and far between.

-hard to make a living out of it

They have bills to pay and have to make end’s meet just like anyone else. However, this means for you, that they have products to push, half-truths to tell (often themselves are not aware of it) and crappy, not well researched advice to give. Not to mention many of them sell illegal supplements, steroids o supplement their income.

- heavily biased

They are often affiliated with a product line, gym, some opinion leader blog\person etc.. and they act as their sales agents. Would you trust a used-cars salesman? Or a craigslist ad? My trainer always pushed different courses and products and he had a second job as well just to make ends meet.

Solution:

Easy. With the the spread of mobile internet you can have all the advice, info you could ever need, anywhere. Youtube videos show you how to use gym equipment properly and hundreds of websites are dedicated to giving you comprehensive lifestyle packages and advice.

So unless you are an absolute beginner, I strongly advise not to pay any personal trainer or any fitness professional anything.

The bottom line

Don’t just do something because you are supposed to do it if it does not make sense and you see it’s not working. Think it trough and make a decision based on facts and reason. If you don’t have time for that, then use you gut feeling. If you are at the right place at the right time, then things magically come together, effortlessly. If it’s not the case, then you are probably not operating at your optimal capacity and you need to move on. :)

I hope you found this helpful and if you liked it give me a like or a “+1″ or a tweet. Thanks! I appreciate it ans an added bonus here is my favourite comprhensive full-body exercise video online.

2 Thoughts on “Problems with Exercising, The Lies and The Solutions

  1. I’ve just had my first ever training session with a personal fitness instructor. I think I’ll be writing about that too, do you mind if I tag you Simon, so you can follow up?

    I understand where you’re coming from, and I’m still searching for the perfect trainer to help me with my contortion training goals. I’m not buying into the personal trainer for his ‘celebrity clients’ his personality, or hocus pocus feel good feel-me-up scotty factor. I’m looking for something else – but most people don’t know what they’re looking for so I think it speaks more about the type of person you are if you say ‘I have a personal trainer’ and are proud of it like some trophy badge.

    I wouldn’t put down the trainers at all for filling the stupid hole. There’s plenty of stupid people around that creates a market for personal effing trainers(!) As long as both sides of the agreement feels good about the deal, who cares!
    Juliana recently posted…Official 5 Months Contortion Training ProgressMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! No doubt about it, it’s a huge market and there are many people willing to pay for things they don’t even understand or need.Does it make it right? Could that money be put to a better use. Definitely. I can only quote the closing sentiment of my article: “Don’t just do something because you are supposed to do it, if it does not make sense and you see it’s not working. Think it trough and make a decision based on facts and reason. ”
      simonthesorcerer recently posted…Problems with Exercising, The Lies and The SolutionsMy Profile

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