Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Aren't results what really matter???

There is so much criticism and opposing views in the strength/conditioning/fitness world that the internet has turned into a keyboard battle ground.  I know that some internet commandos don't know anything about getting stronger, and when it comes to anatomy, they don't know their ass from their elbow.  However, there are some real knowledgeable professionals that tend to disagree as well, and do so rather bluntly.

I'm all for a good session of constructive criticism.  I think I've learned more from doing stuff wrong than doing things the right way.  It is a little wake up call to your ego when you have a coach or trainer you admire basically call some exercises you prescribe as "a waste of time" or "too dangerous to teach, risk vs. reward".

It's important to accept others professional views. It is also important to spend time researching and gaining knowledge to determine why some "experts" feel the way they do about an exercise, program design, or training structure. The more knowledge you gain the more you will stand behind your training philosophy, or make changes where they are needed to get more efficient results. You don't have to agree with everything you read, but at least have knowledge on why you are doing an exercise / avoiding an exercise and understand which situations would be appropriate for various training programs.

This can also be applied to cardiovascular/fat loss protocols as well as discussing various diets.

Some industry leaders bash steady state cardio, and some get amazing results for their clients performing  5 / 45 min. sessions of incline walking a week.  Some people feel that interval training is the way to go for fat loss, others feel that "metabolic conditioning" is the most effective fat burning strategy.  Let's not even get started with the fasted cardio debate.

Discussing nutrition is even more lopsided.  Now there is such a big following of Intermittent Fasting, and the IF crowd is ridiculing the 6 meals a day crowd.  Then there are people that love to criticize anyone who mentions the term "Paleo", it's like the way you choose to eat is like the high school crowd you hung-out with.  Instead of the Jocks, Burn-outs, and Nerds- you have the IF'ers, Paleo's, and 6SM's (six small meals).

In the end, aren't results the only thing that matters.  Whether my athlete squats on both legs or performs single leg movements, as long as they get stronger and are more productive in their sport- I've been an effective coach.  If my athletes do Olympic lifts, or if I choose to focus on plyometric exercises for power production, as long as they remain healthy and perform more explosively, I have helped them achieve their desired result.

When it comes to Fat Loss / Cardio / Nutrition, as long as a client is getting leaner while retaining or even gaining lean body mass, does it matter if they are eating 3, 4, or 5 times a day?  Or if they are walking on a treadmill instead of performing intervals for their cardio based activity?  Or if they are carb cycling or following a ketogenic diet?

What matters is results.  I think some people just get all warm and fuzzy inside when they ridicule an article or blog post.  If another trainer or coach is getting measurable, desired results with their athletes or clients - don't they deserve enough respect to hear them out?  Like I said, we don't all have to agree, just understand why you disagree.  As far as getting someone stronger, leaner, and more muscular - there's more than one way to skin a cat, and we should spend more time understanding and applying various strategies than criticizing them.

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