Information Overload

After over a decade of making my living from helping others reach their health and fitness goals, I still find myself perplexed at how many people get their training and nutrition advice from unqualified sources. These sources range from the gym rat who’s always eager to give advice at the drop of a hat (or should I say dumbbell), the friend of a friend who swears by her new detox program, the budding celebrity, or my favorite…. good ol’ Facebook (which I think is best described by one of my clients as “the human aquarium”).

This bombardment of information leads me into a daily segment with my clients which I call “shooting the shit.” It’s that part of the session, when a client inevitably asks me about what they heard from x, y, or z and if it’s true (please don’t take this as me ragging on people who share information, I truly believe most do it out of a place of love with the intention of helping others) at which point I shoot whatever scientifically or inapplicable idea to complete shit. To circumvent this problem of misinformation I always suggest that people limit their intake and digestion of fitness advice down to bits which can pass these three key questions:

1.) Does this information come from someone who makes a living either researching or applying this information?

In my experience when your livelyhood is on the line, you tend to stay up with modern research and have enough first-hand knowledge of the subject to disseminate proper and accurate advice. (Now there are still many who make a living and give bad advice, hence the next two questions.)

2.) Does this oracle practice the advice they are so freely handing out?
A guiding quote in my life has always been “the world is changed by your example, not by your opinion” by Paulo Coelho. If someone isn’t willing to follow the advice they are handing out, is it truly that useful? Not exemplifying the advice you’re giving is like giving directions down a road you have never travelled and no matter how precise google maps are, it can’t tell u about the pot holes in the road.

3.) Does this advice line up with my own research?

Yup, fuckin’ homework. Always check your facts, there are too many lemmings in this world quick to parrot and pass along information without using their own intellect. On a side note, if the person you received advice from has a problem with you checking their facts, they’re not someone you should be listening to in the first place. The sign of a true professional is the willingness (if not encouragement) of open criticism of their tactics and philosophies…it’s what keeps them at the top of their game.

So on your journey to a healthier you, try to narrow your intake of information down to a couple of reliable sources you trust and enjoy! Trust me it will save you time and headaches!