When it comes to fitness, it seems like everyone has advice. However, personal trainers are paid for their fitness advice, so we fitness enthusiasts often feel compelled to believe what they say. Personal trainers are just people like anyone else, and they can have their own biases and unsubstantiated opinions just like the rest of us. In a recent article, Men’s Fitness released a list of fitness advice you should not take from your personal trainer.
“No pain, no gain.”
This, the oldest of fitness clichés, and one of the most egregiously misleading. Soreness felt post-workout is a tell-tale sign that a workout has done its job and gains are imminent. Pain during a workout is a tell-tale sign that something is wrong. Just because a move is difficult does not mean it should hurt. If you feel pain, stop what you are doing immediately no matter what your trainer says.
“You should take____”
Personal trainers cannot give dietary advice beyond the normal “Eat your vegetables, get enough protein” variety. Personal trainers who push supplements on their clients are overstepping their bounds, and could be doing a great deal of harm. For real advice about what you should be taking in tandem with your regular diet, consult a nutritionist or your doctor.
“It works for me.”
A personal trainer works for you. As a result, he should not simply be basing his advice on how he got fit. An exercise that works for a young, fit person may not work so well for someone with a few more years under their belt. Remember that a trainer is training you and should be basing advice around your body and your goals.
“Squats are bad for your knees.”
Squats have been shown by university studies to not only that they do not pose a threat to knees, but have been shown to increase stability and joint health. While certain physical conditions may prevent one from performing the exercise, the idea that squats are bad for the knees is hardly a universal truth. If your trainer tells you this, then they need to not be your trainer any longer.
“This will melt belly fat.”
Spot reduction is a myth and any trainer trying to sell you on it is either lying or does not know what they are talking about. Fat has to be dropped from the entire body. Working a particular area of the body will not only not make the fat leave that area, but it will make the muscle beneath grow larger, making it appear fatter. You and your trainer need to look for a total body solution to fat loss.