Fitness Confusion

“Rookies debate and complicate, experts simplify.”

– Dustin Hassard

Are all of the fitness experts confusing you?

No matter what topic you come across in fitness, someone is telling you something different. What you thought you knew to be true is contradicted by someone else.

  • A new study says this.
  • A new study disproves that. 
  • Eat this to gain weight.
  • Eat that to lose weight.
  • 5 reps is better than 20 reps.
  • 20 reps is better than 5 reps.
  • Do this first.
  • Do that last.
  • This is the best exercise.
  • That is the worst exercise.
  • Stretching is important.
  • Stretching is not important.
  • Take this supplement.
  • Don’t take that supplement.
  • Cold plunges make you stronger.
  • Cold plunges make you weaker.

People will vent their frustration when they hear a new idea different from the old one. Others will argue for their idea over another, rarely convincing anyone to change their mind. We should be happy that there are many ideas and correct ways to achieve the same goal, but I understand it does get confusing. The more information people are introduced to, the more confused they get. Having new solutions to their problems makes it difficult to choose one, but there’s no need to be confused because the experts can all be right.

When experts speak with such passion, they can make it seem like there’s only one way, and that’s usually because it’s a one-way conversation. It’s not that the experts are wrong or absolutists. The nuances get lost in translation or aren’t made clear enough to be understood. But more so, there are just too many variables to factor in for any one thing to apply to everyone. The reality is anything can be effective depending on the circumstance. What’s right in one situation for one person may not be as effective for someone else.

At least the basic fitness information related to exercise, nutrition, and sleep is widely agreed upon. The most debated topics don’t even matter for most people. They are usually only valid for those operating with thin margins, such as elite athletes. For them, it matters a lot. For us regular people, it won’t make much of a difference if we do this or that unless we master the basics first. It’s fun to explore new ideas and nerd out on new information, but what the most experienced people realize is that the basics are enough.

What I love about fitness is that almost anything you do with any effort will be rewarded. Don’t fall into the trap of the rookie who gets sidetracked debating and does nothing consistently. Rather than scratch your head about what you should and shouldn’t do, pick something and do it. Be your own test subject. If you give it a consistent trial and it doesn’t work, do something else. It’s more about finding what suits you and the thousands of variables that exist in your life.

Keep listening to the experts. A true expert’s usefulness is to give you clarity and guide you on what will be most effective for you. I believe everyone should hire an expert, you just have to find the expert that’s right for you.

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