It’s a funny thing, ask any fitness professional over 30 what they do for a living and you know what words you will NOT hear? The words “I’m a personal trainer”….
Why? Because it’s an embarrassing title!
Just recently a friend of mine said “it seems that anyone who loses 10 pounds suddenly seems to be a personal trainer”. Damned right! And this guy got into health like 1 year ago and he’s already seen it.
Between taking a 1 or 2 day online course, many with absolutely no practical assessments, to even literally take an online exam and become a “certified” personal trainer and print your certificate is common. And some of these certs. you don’t even pay unless you pass.
There is an academy I know where they offer a course to become a trainer with ACE (American Council of Exercise), all good right? Wrong. Because if the “trainers” feel like they may not pass, this academy STILL gives them a fitness certification to show the unsuspecting clients. One that doesn’t need continuing education or has any valid international accreditation.
Imagine if doctors worked like this? Oh, you think you won’t pass? Here’s a PhD anyways.
And you wonder why long term fitness professionals are embarrassed to be called a “trainer”.
· We are fatter than ever
· We are sicker than ever
· Lifestyle related disease treatment (not prevention, not cure) are expected to cost over 1.2 TRILLION USD by 2022
· Cancer will be #1 killer in USA within 3-5 years
· It’s the #1 killer in Canada now.
· Obesity related diseases are up EVERYWHERE! Singapore has had a 40% increase. Malaysia is the fattest country in Asia. Breast cancer is 500% higher in the Philippines than the next leading country.
· And the list goes on…
So what do Personal Trainers and the fitness industry tell us to do?
Workout more and use a fad supplement or two or three.
These are NOT solutions. Not even close. They never have been. In fact they’re the opposite. Studies have shown that:
A- People who exercise tend to overeat as a reward.
B- People who exercise far believe they burned more calories that they did.
C- As gym memberships increase, so does obesity. In all countries.
D- That 30-60 minutes in the gym doesn’t make up for all that time sitting.
I can look for example at the Philippines. One of Asia top countries for both standard fitness gyms and CrossFit boxes. So many companies are targeting the Philippines for gyms and fitness courses. Yet they are very overweight compared to many other Asia countries. They are sick, breast cancer 500% higher amongst women than the next leading country.
They may join gyms in the Philippines, but they aren’t moving. The scored a low 3rd least moving country on the planet. Yet Manila alone has over 20 CrossFit boxes. In comparison, all of China doesn’t have that many, and Thailand has about 8 of them over the whole country.
But they aren’t alone. The USA and Canada don’t even hit 5,000 steps a day. Again, these 2 countries ARE THE FITNESS countries! These are the places where “modern fitness” is practically made!
It’s all about the fads, trends, hacks and bottles.
The sad truth is health & fitness is an industry. And like any other industry there are formulas we can use to get your money. But we can also play on your fears and deep self-conscious secrets. We can shame you. We can play on your pride, and ego. We can seductively insult you, and we can make you thank us for it!
We give you false hope, “lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks”. We promise you potions and lotions to help with weight loss and appearance. 6-pack now is a top Google search, and workout program offered by gyms. Yet why are 6 packs so rare then? But damned if we don’t use it in our advertising.
We also tell you that if you’re not ripped your not healthy. We ignore simple measures like BMI, waist to hip, healthy body fat %, waist to height measures, etc. The measure of health is a 6-pack like the ads say. Yes, you need to be a healthy body fat % level, but a 6-pack isn’t 100% that. In fact, most pro fitness models are their sickest when they are their leanest, and women in particular really can mess up their metabolism long term chasing those low body fat % numbers.
We ignore your stress chronic levels. We ignore your resting heart rate. We ignore your Heart Rate Variability. We ignore your C-Reactive protein counts. And our answer is always HIIT, HIIT, HIIT, Gym, Gym, Gym, WOD, WOD, WOD!
Then the fitness pros tell you to take this or that powder or pill. Look at Dr. Oz. That guy got roasted by the US government for making a bunch of BS claims about raspberry ketones and green coffee. And believe me he fooled a lot of people! I was working in a nutrition store during this time period. We had a person a day come to buy it. If we wanted to know what we needed to stock up on, we just watched Dr. F’N Oz!
Health & Wellness is going to be worth a Trillion Dollars too!
The Health & Wellness market space is dominated mostly by beauty and anti-aging product sales at $679 billion,
Followed by fitness and mind + body exercise ($390 billion) and then
Health eating, nutrition & weight loss sales ($277 billion).
We love our fad diets and trendy foods...
Kale. Did you know it’s #15 on the official super-greens list? Yep. 14 places behind watercress #1, Chinese Cabbage #2, Spinach #5, and even dark Lettuce #7, LETTUCE! But Kim K. doesn’t have a Watercress tank top now does she?
What else is new this month to confuse us and get us sicker? Let me think. Oh yes, over watch Jurassic World 2 this summer and pretend to be a T-Rex.
This past month the T-Rex Carnivore Diet is becoming a thing I hear. That’s right, eat only meat. But as is the usual, some doctor says it’s good for you and he’s doing great on it. Well, I was near the hospital a few days ago, and a bunch of doctors were outside smoking, so I guess then cigarettes are good too. Hey! Stop it right there pal! They are doctors and you’re not!
So let’s ignore the evidence a lot of meat probably contributes to cancer. Let’s ignore that only meat will raise your risk of Diverticulitis a LOT! Here you go: https://www.health.harvard.edu/digestive-health/harvard-researchers-link-diverticulitis-to-red-meat. Let's ignore thay say to eat bacon and sausages, and all the other stupid sh$t that I can say it would do.
So what can we do?
Well, for one, let’s look at the countries and peoples that are not overweight, that are not sick.
Japan comes in as one. They have the lowest obesity on the planet, and they have some of the lowest chronic illnesses on the planet. They have the highest number of steps, the lowest step variances between men and women, rich and poor. And the have the highest % of centarians globally. They eat small, they eat pretty well. They prep foods well. They keep junk and refined foods low. They drink plain green tea. They eat probiotic rich foods. Sounds too simple really.
But we don’t just have to stop there. We can look at much of Asia and Europe, which often beats the USA & Canada in measures of health and steps taken. And they don’t now ANYTHING about Paleo, Gluten free, Keto, Carb Backloading, being a pretend T-Rex, or IF, IIFYM, or any other silly anagrams I’m sure I’m missing.
We are missing the complete picture! The WHOLE(istic) picture!
We also MUST look at other issues besides “exercise and eating”
· Air pollution
· Clutter and it’s mental issues
· Home toxins
· Community & social involvement
· Food prep
· Food storage
· Daily physical activity (not exercise)
· Our home life; furnishings, gardening, cleaning supplies, even the paint on the walls!
· Buying local
· Saunas, and cold showers
· Light pollution or therapies
· Vegetable toxins and waxes…
None of this you will learn in ANY Personal Trainer course, and many of these topics take years and even decades to understand.
But those don’t make for great sales. You cant really bottle clean air (mind you its been tried), water filters are kind of boring and not sexy, how do I make $ off cold water showers? Cant’. Tupperware is cool to chat about. I cant sell you vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. You see where I’m going I think.
The moral of the story is this. Exercise is good. Eating well is good. But there is a lot more that can’t be packaged and sold to you that is worth as much and more. But you won't hear about these for the same reasons.