Bad Advice and Fitness Tips that should have you saying WTF?

Experts share Worst Fitness TipsIf you’ve been going to the gym or fitness classes for any length of time, you’re probably just like the rest of us, having heard some pretty strange theories from fellow workout buffs. More often than not, the advice we receive is beneficial, but every once in a while, even trainers have heard some ridiculously bad fitness tips. Today, we’ll share some of the most erroneous counsel trainers have heard over the years.


Workout Classes for Everyone!

Dance workout guru Benjamin Allen is a celebrity choreographer and the creator of GROOV3. One of his biggest pet peeves is when instructors try to get more bodies on their exercise floor by telling them their classes are for “all levels”. In reality, Allen says any good class should be designed for a specific fitness level, whether it be beginner, intermediate or advanced.

“When I was starting my career in the dance fitness world,” Allen recalled, “I was told numerous times, ‘Come check out my class, it’s for all levels.’ But the actual level of the class was pretty advanced.

“There was no instruction given on how to modify moves and all of sudden we were throwing our bodies around, jumping, bouncing, and twisting. I realized how dangerous this was for anyone new—and the classes even left my knees and lower back screaming for an ice pack.”

As a moderately advanced fitness buff at the time, Allen was greatly concerned by what such a workout could do to the body of a beginner who fed into the “all levels” falsehood. Now, he recommends everyone, “Make sure you know the level of the class you’re walking into and don’t be afraid to talk to the teacher to let them know your personal fitness level.”


Muscle Confusion Theory

This next piece of bad advice was heard by LeanGains founder Martin Berkhan, a Swedish personal trainer, nutrition specialist and intermittent fasting (IF) expert. Berkhan said that, “Varying your weight training to build muscle is a load of crap. This nonsense is called muscle confusion theory.

“If you constantly switch around exercises, you can’t measure progress,” explained Berkhan. “Measuring progress means looking at what you lifted today and comparing it to what you lifted last week. To make the comparison meaningful, you’ll need to keep the variables constant,” he said.

To accomplish this, the personal trainer recommends the following: “Do the exercises in the same order and in the same routine that you did last week, and do it with almost the exact same weight.”

Ask yourself, “Did you do one more rep with the same weight, or the same number of reps with five pounds more?” So long as the weight or reps are increasing, even minimally, Berkhan say, “That’s progress.”


Stereotyping Ideal Weight by Body Type

Jenny Schatzle, an esteemed fitness trainer and founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program, brought this inappropriate fitness tip to our attention, saying, “No trainer or training program should ever tell you how much you should weigh.

“No one has the ability or right to tell you what a proper weight is,” said Schatzle, because, “every body is different. You were not meant to look like anyone else and your body’s proper weight is what makes you feel confident and comfortable.”

Having worked with people of all ages, fitness levels and body types for 15 years, she believes it’s time for everyone who wants to improve their body to, “Stop letting a number on the scale have so much power. Why are you letting your weight determine your happiness? You know what is healthy, fit, and sexy? Confidence!”


There’s Only One Path to Fitness

With so many fitness programs on the market today, Jen Sinkler—a fitness writer with over a decade experience in encouraging people to “make getting strong and living well as fun a prospect as possible”—is tired of hearing how there’s only one way to get fit. And everyone who says it seems to think their way is the only way.

“I’ve heard plenty of people say there’s one right answer or best way to approach fitness,” said Sinkler. “But there’s no such thing as [the] perfect squat or push-up.

“The best way for each person depends on movement history (and injury history!) and their environment (what they have access to).” In line with her own teaching method of making the experience fun, she added, “it’s important to know what they enjoy and what they will do.”

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