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Tunji Andrews: The Fitness Industry Is Not Being Entirely Honest With You

I feel sorry for fitness newbies as they spend a lot of money going out and buying any supplement they find or gym equipment they see on other gym users. The industry would be a lot more boring if it told you to fast to lose that tummy instead of coming for weeks of cardio.

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I was at a fitness meet up a few weeks ago; it had most of the big fitness names from across the country in attendance. It was a beautiful event that held the awesome fusion of networking and the focus on health that fitness as a concept presents.

What I, however, could not seem to stomach was the fact that a few people seemed to be selling ideas, which were not necessarily lies, but were not entirely true. Many were plain placebos, while another set felt like a huge stretch on the truth. To cut the long story short, I ended up saying things I felt the industry would not be happy with.

I need to share some of them and a few others with you.

See, the amount of misinformation out there in regards to fitness is just massive. Every single person that has ever done a bench press rep or taken an aerobics class is a fitness trainer, with a company name, logo and a heavy social media presence. It just seems like everyone is a fitness coach, handing out exercise routines and meal plans… Na wa!

I get it, you lost 50lbs and honestly, that’s awesome. But if you paid attention while at it, you’d realize that not every body-type is the same. Heck! Metabolism rates differ from person to person, so being able to walk someone else through their journey takes some study. But who can blame them? If the truth were to be made open, only pro athletes would need trainers.

This does not mean that all they say is trash, but the truth to achieving your fitness goals are always the simple stuff buried in the overload of information they give you.

Let me explain:

Myth 1: You Need a Gym to Lose Weight or Gain Muscles

First, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet and you can’t supplement poor calorie intake with excess bench presses.

My point? Your diet is like 70% of the work to losing weight or gaining muscle. What the gym does is add the cream on top. So to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. The gym helps you burn more calories.

If the gym was the key to having muscles, bricklayers would not have them. The gym is just a dedicated way to stimulate your muscles.

Myth 2: Waist Trainers Will… Well… Train Your Waist

For the one thing selling out the fastest in the fitness world, it’s actually amazing how it has very little science to back its claims.

Of course, under a dress, a waist trainer does exactly what the corset of the late 1500s and early 1600s did – snatch the waistline to give the hourglass shape while it is worn.

In fact, all the claims of it improving posture, strengthening the core, and attacking fat and impurities in the body are all hogwash. If you stopped to think for a second, you’d see it too. Nevertheless, the fact that no study on its claims exists should tell you something

Myth 3: Because The Person Calls Themselves Fitness Trainers/Coaches Means They Are

I can wear the white coat and hang a stethoscope around my neck, it doesn’t still make me a doctor. The one reason that anyone should be a Personal Trainer is that they are trained in teaching others how to exercise.

The importance of education when exercising is important for two primary reasons:

  1. If you don’t know which exercises are most effective for the goals you have, you are unlikely to achieve those goals.
  2. Education when performing exercises is essential in reducing the risk of injury. Many people every year are seriously injured by performing exercises (especially for the gram) they have not received training for and this can impact their health and fitness for a long time.

I can’t count how many support staff at gyms that I’ve seen become instructors over the years and at face value. This is perfectly fine; but, I’ve also been forced to call them aside to often warn them of the potential danger in the routine they’ve just put their client(s) through.

Myth 4: Slimming Teas Help You Lose Weight And Protein Supplements Are More Than… well… Supplements

Weight loss teas claim to suppress appetite, increase fat burning and boost metabolism. Many weight loss teas contain a natural laxative called senna.

Laxatives make you move your bowels more frequently and in some cases, senna can cause stomach cramps, pain, and diarrhoea.

These ingredients can lead to short-term loss of water weight, thereby giving you the illusion of having lost weight or feeling slimmer. As the name suggests, a drop in water weight is a drop in the amount of water stored in the body. This type of weight loss is not from a reduction of fat stores and is not a sustainable method of weight loss.

As soon as you stop using the tea or hydrate properly, you will regain the water weight.

As for protein supplements, I just altogether stopped using them about a year ago after seeing the hundreds of thousands I was spending on the thing which was designed to help me achieve my protein intake goals. The optimal daily protein intake for active adults and athletes is 1.2 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) came up with a similar number. It recommends 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day (or 0.6 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound) for most people who are exercising with the goal of building and maintaining muscle mass and strength.

Yeah, that’s a lot of protein. For a 150-pound adult, that’s an extra 21 to 81 grams of protein per day. It’s certainly not impossible to get all of that from your diet, but it also might not be the easiest or most palatable thing for some people.

The moral of my story is this: the industry feeds off our insecurities. I feel sorry for fitness newbies as they spend a lot of money going out and buying any supplement they find or gym equipment they see on other gym users. The industry would be a lot more boring if it told you to fast to lose that tummy instead of coming for weeks of cardio.

To fast is free and nobody can sell ‘free’.

Tunji Andrews is the founder of AWABAH. He is a financial literacy advocate, Macro-Economics thought leader and a renowned media personality. He is also an award winning media personality with various radio shows across the country including Nigeria info, Smooth FM, Classic FM to name a few.

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