The gym is full of people with varied levels of experience and knowledge on fitness and nutrition. Some will talk like they’re personal trainers, while others actually are. Some will be supportive and suggestive when explaining things. Others will try to tell people what to do and pick out everything that they are doing wrong.
The problem is that sometimes people try to pick things out and back it up with incorrect facts. This is a growing issue as ‘bro-science’ is starting to drive the minds of beginner bodybuilders. Many end up believing the general consensuses of people in the gym or in an Internet community. However, the facts and studies to back up this information are not always there.
How Do We Know Which Workout Advice Is Right?
It’s hard, because something will sound right if it’s said by an authoritative figure or in an authoritative tone. If a personal trainer is telling us something about how to lift, we’re probably going to think he’s right. Meanwhile, the ‘bro-science’ may be the exact opposite.
Basically, what matters is what is proven and the only way to know if something is actually proven as true is to do some research.
We will need to look online to find out if there is reasoning to back up people’s claims. Even if they try to provide reasoning, double-check to make sure it’s right.
We want to believe that people have their best intentions at heart. We also want to believe that people wouldn’t spread inaccurate information. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes people think they know something and they actually don’t. If we take everything in as fact, we may be putting ourselves at a disadvantage and we could even be increasing our risk of injury.
Are Personal Trainers Always Right?
Even if someone has a professional background in the subject, it doesn’t mean that they are always right. It is important to understand that we, as humans, have room for error. We can slip-up even when we are talking about something that we are confident about understanding.
There aren’t many cases where a personal trainer can massively mislead someone, but it is still something to keep in mind.
The main thing to worry about would be if a personal trainer is misguiding someone while they are performing an exercise. For example, it would obviously be a big concern if they are misinforming them on how to perform a squat. With weights, this exercise can be very dangerous if done wrong.
As an example, many personal trainers, for some reason, advise clients to squat with their feet and toes pointing right in front of them. This limits the amount of range of motion and it puts additional stress on the knee joints. A safer way of doing the squat is to point the toes and feet slightly outward. This will allow the lifter to sit down lower into the squat and the knees will not take on as much of the load.
What About What ‘The Strangers’ Say?
There are only two ways that we can go about taking in information from random strangers.
Don’t believe in anything at all.
Be smart and research whatever people say.
Of course, there will be some cases where the information is easy to dissect. For instance, a stranger may say that deadlifts are not a good exercise or that machines are better than free weights. Stuff like this is easily proven as inaccurate as there is common knowledge on these subjects.
What If I Need Assistance?
The hard part comes when a problem occurs while at the gym and we need to figure out a solution.
The safest thing to do would be ask a personal trainer for help. However, this is not always an option. In that situation, we have to decide whether there is anyone around that can help us or not. Using a bit of common sense, it should not be too difficult to figure out which of the guys are dependable and approachable.