by Geoff Roberts
Fitness is officially full-on trendy. There is no shortage of skinny-fat people sporting gym brands outside the gym as if they are hardcore, while they spend hundreds of dollars and thousands of minutes coordinating gym outfits strictly to take photos of themselves in the gym. It takes but one scroll through Instagram to learn that letting everyone know that you go to the gym has somehow become much more important than one’s actual progress in the gym.
This notion is not all that different from the way that being a nerd has become cool over the last few years. However from my experience, people rarely pretend to be nerds, rather they are just more likely to divulge that information about themselves. In the world of fitness in 2019, there are endless pretenders. More fakers then the WWE. More phonies than reality television. More liars than American politics. Fitness coaches are not immune to this fact. While there are certainly positives which come out of this new found trendiness in the fitness industry, what I refer to as confusion coaches are a serious negative.
With many times more people interested in this new trendy thing we call fitness comes much greater opportunity for coaches to cash in. Obviously this is not all bad. There are plenty of great coaches out there who make a great living and deserve every penny they earn. Confusion coaches do not fit this honorable mold. What is a confusion coach you ask? He or she is a coach who utilizes a decent physique, the clients complete and utter lack of knowledge, and a severely over complicated plan, in order to make said client believe they are far more intelligent than they are. I’ve worked in the supplement/fitness industry for over a decade and I’ve seen plenty of hogwash. This confusion coach paradox is the newest of the brood. In fact, I have two specific examples to share with you which took place within the last month.
Our first confusion coach in question is having totally normal people who are just trying to get into better shape buy a half dozen separate amino acid supplements and telling them to take them at certain intervals, up to five times per day. Not only is this strategy essentially worthless in regards to the client getting better results, but it confuses the diarrhea out of them and quickly burns a hole in their wallet for no reason at all. This is coming from the biggest supplement fan on earth, which says a lot. What’s more, this “coach” had this particular client eating 350 grams of carbs per day and training in the gym six days a week. The client had a full time job and children, weighed about 200 pounds with a spare tire, and was just looking to get leaner. Good luck with that. There are exactly zero humans who need to be in the gym six days a week in order to get into decent shape, and 350 carbs is what some 250 pound bodybuilders eat in the offseason. I’m a 210 pound competitive powerlifter and I eat one third of that many carbs per day at the very most.
Confusion coach number two was “coaching” a young female who was significantly out of shape and did not work out or know the first thing about nutrition. This particular confusion coach deemed it necessary for this young girl to make a shake everyday which had to contain at least ten ingredients. Chia, Flax, MCT oil, almond milk, hemp seeds, unicorn semen, comet shards and whatever else. I must be missing something. You could just limit your carbs, eat in a remotely responsible fashion and exercise, but I guess a 130 dollar sludge shake is a good plan as well.
If you take nothing else from this piece, learn to do your own research and please do not give your hard earned money to one of these fake confusion coaches in hopes of a miracle. What you need is motivation, not a supremely complicated and expensive protocol. Just because a person has a physique you admire and knows a bunch of terms that you don’t, does not mean they know how to get you in shape in the easiest and most efficient manner possible.