They get you addicted like drug dealers and cartels like to keep addicts dependent.
So are you offended yet? Good. That means I have your attention. From gyms, to personal trainers, and the thousands of influencers online, most business models in fitness want to create some sort of dependency and loyalty around a specific brand. This is not to say that one should not make smart business decisions. If no one knows your brand and no one understands your message, how many people are you really helping? With that said, I believe we can effectively communicate our message, truly help and serve others, and empower individuals to independently take ownership of their life.
So what other misgivings does the industry partake in? Businesses are always preying on your hopes, fears, insecurities, and anxieties. They are looking for whatever emotion they can trigger to act as a catalyst for buying their product or service. This is not to say that everyone out there selling something is a charlatan, it is just that there is a lot of sketchy salesmanship out there. If you just buy this program and these supplements, you will be in the best shape of your life in 30 or 60 days. You hear that over and over again. Yes, you can make a significant transformation in 30 to 60 days. I don’t care. The goal should be for you to adopt a value of health and self concept of worthiness so that you regularly do healthy things. The idea is to create systems and habits so that being healthy is not a 30 or 60 day thing, but a rest of your life thing.
Another thing to consider is how many people take performance enhancing substances. Because many of these substances are not legal, or even verified for human consumption, influencers and “experts” taking these will not admit it. This is not to say that there is not a context where it actually makes sense to take performance enhancers, because there is. There are a small amount of individuals that are honest about what they take. Of course just because you take something, still does not guarantee results. You still have to train your ass off, eat well, sleep well, and have above average genetics. For us mere mortals, we need to have realistic expectations on body fat percentage and recovery ability. People using some sort of enhancer will be able to recover quicker and handle more volume. So keep that in mind. This does not necessarily negate the information from an expert using these substances, but you need to look at the information they are saying, cross reference it with other sources and try for yourself to see what works and what does not. Be your own scientist. Even if you choose to take some of my advice, it might or might not work for you. So you need to change it to fit you as an individual.
There are a shitload of sports supplements out there. There is a time and place for supplements that can help you meet your goals. I would encourage you to think food first. Food is your friend and ally, so think what foods you can add and subtract to help you achieve your goals. Once you have done that, you could consider a protein supplement. This will require trial and error so you can find something of good quality, with little to no artificial substances, that your stomach can digest well. For example, I am sensitive to Casein protein and cannot take it without lots of stomach issues, but if you can handle it, this slow digesting protein can help maintain a positive nitrogen balance for a long time. Branched Chained Amino Acid supplements, on the other hand, are not necessary. Just do your best to get enough protein from a variety of sources. Pre-workouts tend to be so loaded with caffeine, it would be probably be a lot cheaper and just as effective to have some coffee. I do personally believe a multivitamin, fish oil, and some other nutritional supplements are necessary for many reasons, but that would take me a long time to explain, so I would prefer to save that for a single post on my nutrition blog. Basically, over farming and traditional farming practices has left our soil extremely deficient in nutrients. At one point in time, a serving of spinach could provide a lot of iron, but this is not the case any longer. So consider shopping around for good quality nutritional supplements. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
There are more grievances in the fitness industry. Personally, I do not want to be a pain killer. I do not want people to be dependent on me. I do not want people to mindlessly follow me. I want to help inspire and guide others. I want to empower people. I want to help others learn so that they will have the confidence to lead themselves and make awesome decisions to have great physically, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I could try and sell programs, supplements, and a lot of other garbage. I could try to make sure people need my memberships and other stuff. What I would rather do is share what I have learned. Share my goals, my successes, and my failures. I want emphasize that this is a process; this is a journey that is great. Being healthy is hard at first like many challenges, and that is ok. As the community here grows, we can take gratification in the fact that we are not alone. All challenges we encounter in health and fitness are figuroutable. Just when we lose hope, get overwhelmed, or incredibly frustrated, there is someone who feels just like you.
Take everything at face value. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything and all opinions. What works best for you depends on your uniqueness and goals. Use what works and discard the rest. This was a key concept to the success of Bruce Lee. So this means there is also a lot of good in the fitness industry. Having a lot of information can be a great problem, but you need to evaluate that information and decide what is of value to you.
At the end of the day, take charge of your life, be your own leader, and remember it is better make progress than to fixate on perfection.