Warning, the following opinion piece may be controversial and should only be read by people with an open mind. It is not supported by any particular research and it may perturb some personal trainers.
I watched a PT in a club recently have a very heavy teenager do what can best be described as a “commando crawl” up and down between the isles of bikes and treadmills. Those of us using them watched and were entertained and the kid didn’t seem to mind at all. The PT probably saw the exercise on some extreme reality TV show like “Navy Seals” or maybe he bet someone that he could get the kid to crawl on the floor. Whatever the case it seemed like a pretty odd exercise to have him doing.
A lot of questions go through my head as I watch the gym-world unfold in front of me from the relative safety of a spinning bike. Are Trainers with a little bit of knowledge more dangerous to their clients than people just using a bit of common sense and figuring out things on their own?
Are their clients really incapable of counting their own reps? Is the exercise industry foisting some big exercise scam on us? Do dieticians really know what we should be eating and are they secretly eating a Little Debbie behind closed doors? Are weight loss gurus just people who are genetically blessed and like the word “Guru”? And the questions go on and on.
For a lot of years we (myself included) preached 50 % of your weight was based on diet and the other 50% on exercise. Increases to this or decreases to that that would help you lose weight. Then along came theories about your weight based on Blood Type or Ancestral Origins or Set Point or, well you get the idea, there are a lot of theories about our weight (and some carry no weight).
There is research that shows you can eat nothing but junk food and lose weight, and there’s research that shows exercising has no impact on weight loss or can actually cause you to gain weight. It’s confusing at best. Is weight loss more of a head game than anything else?
If your body requires a certain amount of calories to maintain itself, does it really care where they come from? Are cellular biologist and psychologists the future of weight loss? I don’t know, I don’t think anybody knows. I clearly have been giving all this too much thought.