Our customers expect us to be experts in health and fitness. It’s important in the fitness industry that we have deep knowledge as an expert or a personal training brand. Many clients come to fitness with a lack of knowledge and armed with fitness myths. Not only should you really understand your craft but also manage and educate your clients with the proper nutrition, exercise, and health advice. When you start with a new client, it is important to debunk the three common fitness myths and advise the client appropriately.
The 3 Most Common Fitness Myths
1. Static Stretching
The first myth we debunk is the one thing all clients want to do when they come to the gym. We are talking about static stretching. At Alloy Fitness, we do little stretching because it doesn’t have much impact. Even though stretching feels good to the client, as fitness experts, we should do more to increase their mobility. Static stretching is old school, like putting your foot up on a bench and lean forward to stretch your hamstring while holding it for 30 seconds or until you get bored and then you do the other leg. In reality, static stretching is only part of the issue. To really increase flexibility with static stretching, other factors come into play. So we explain to our clients about the difference between mobility versus flexibility. Mobility is the ability to control that movement within that range of motion. We use an example with a client in an overhead squat. Somebody might not get into an overhead squat position with integrity. Now if you put them on their back and ask them to get in that same position, they can actually do it with decent dorsiflexion in their ankles while in the perfect squat position. What this shows is the perfect position isn’t because of flexibility, but what they didn’t have was mobility. What that means is they didn’t have the motor control to fire the right stabilizer muscles at the right time to allow them to go into a deep squat while bearing weight. So when the client says they need to do more stretching, we explain to our clients that there are parts of your body that need to be stronger and need to move better with mobility and stability throughout the body. Provide the client with good exercise, a good dynamic warmup, and maybe some corrective things if they need them, but we don’t run down that rabbit hole of just stretching. Ultimately, the client is interested in a better outcome.
2. Unstable Surface Training
Unstable surface training have been used as fitness tools to supposedly work on functional fitness and balance, but it turned into a crazy workouts that had little to do with real life. Typically they use stability balls, balance pads or Bosu balls to create a workout like standing on a stability ball doing barbell squats. That kind of workout becomes less functional as it doesn’t have any simulation of real life. For example, when working with an older client on their balance rarely is the real world environment that you’re standing on moving? Now when you examine how to train for instability, the answer is an unstable load. Take an odd objects like kettlebells with a decent load, and put the client in a split stance. Work the client through bilateral to unilateral progressions with an unstable load. This workout mimics real life more in walking and a surface.
3. Lifting Heavy Weights Makes You Bulky
There is a big misconception that lifting weights will make people bulky. If you look at a bodybuilder or weightlifter, the giant muscles you see comes from a very different and dedicated effort to achieve those results. Bodybuilders are a byproduct of many, many years of high volume lifting, great nutrition, lots of calories, the right hormone profile, and genetics that come into play to get those big muscles. Most people would benefit from strength training, because it will help their posture, strengths, lean muscle mass, burn more calories, and more benefits. Basically, it is like working on your engine to get more horsepower in your car. So now, when you go for a walk on the weekends, you’re can structurally support yourself, walk faster, and walk further. The foundation of your fitness program should always be strength conditioning and not to worry about getting too big and bulky. Alloy Personal Training Franchise workouts are not set up to promote massive muscle building or a bodybuilding program because most clients want to move better and look better. Also read Should Women Lift Heavy Weights?
Tune in to hear Rick and Matt debunk this and other myths and increase your fitness knowledge and ultimately educate your customers when they come to you for help.
- Why we don’t do a lot of static stretching (04:19)
- Mobility vs. Flexibility (05:41)
- Is unstable surface training effective? (13:33)
- How to train for balance with an unstable load (16:27)
- Does lifting heavy weights make women bulky? (20:22)
- Why most people would benefit from strength training (23:24)
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