Who To Listen To

Logic:

In this world, you’re going to find that anyone and everyone has an opinion on pretty much everything.  These opinions always vary in quality and education.  The same is true in the fitness field.

First off, it’s necessary to go back to Aristotle’s approach to logic.  He stated:

Aristotle’s “Three Classic Laws of Thought”

1. “A is A”

2. “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive

3. Either “A is B” or “A is not B”

So, essentially, Aristotle set up a system of identifying what is truth.  A fact is a fact.

In the fitness realm, that means that there are some verifiable facts that researchers have found to be true about the human body’s response to exercise.  Some exercisers know these, and some don’t.  Some personal trainers know these, and some don’t.  Despite the disparity of knowledge, that doesn’t change the reality that the facts are the facts.

Essentially, not all information provided to an exerciser is equal.  There are some health professionals who are genuinely professionals.  However, there is a greater number of “health professionals” who are not professionals at all.  They are simply the result of a broken system in which anyone with a few brainwaves can become a “personal trainer”.

As a result of this system, we erroneously classify personal trainers who have spent years studying the human body from the most qualified sources (professors, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, and dietitians) as equal to those who attended a single weekend of classes.  Obviously, these two groups should not be perceived to be equal because they are not equal.  It’s something like trying to compare a Harvard Medical School graduate to an Ethiopian shaman.  They purport to do the same thing, but one is far more educated and effective.

Truth Vs. Authority

Does truth determine authority or does authority determine truth?  Does two plus two equal four only because Albert Einstein tells us it does or does Albert Einstein simply point us to the fact that two plus two equals four?  What happens when an authority in mathematics such as Albert Einstein tells us something false?  Like two plus two equals five?

This all comes back to the age-old struggle of verifiable, scientific truth against perceived authority.  This is a battle that many great thinkers have had to encounter.  Those within that number include great minds like Copernicus and Galileo.  Copernicus refused to publish his work until he lay on his death-bed because of his fear of the backlash from the Catholic Church.  In addition, the Catholic Church forced Galileo to renounce his belief that the earth orbited the sun.  Galileo did so, but he only did it to save his life.  His belief in the quality of his work did not change.  I say this not to shame the Catholic Church but to enforce the idea that sometimes truth turns out to be quite different than what we are told.

Fortunately, in the fitness realm, there are no public burnings at the stake.  However, the root of the issue is the same.  There is a disparity in the thought-processes of those who ascribe to scientific textbooks and those who ascribe authority.  Those who believe that textbooks hold the answers believe that the facts within those textbooks have been rationally deduced using reason with a big dose of skepticism.  Those who believe that the fitness authority in their life holds the answers believe that the authority has gone through due diligence to understand the subject and give their clients the best advice.

But what if the perceived authority hasn’t gone through due diligence?  What if they haven’t been prudent in their studies at all?  What if there are personal training certifications that an eleven year-old can get without any prior training in the field?  What if it only takes that eleven year old thirty minutes to get the certification?  What if the certification provides the answers to the test for the student?

That’s the world we live in.

In fact, I found an online personal training certification that I was able to pass without using any specialized knowledge about health and fitness.  All I used was the simple logic of the process of elimination.  I was able to do this because the certification told me which answers were right and which were wrong immediately after I took the test.  I just took it again five seconds later and blindly changed my answers to the questions they told me I got wrong.  Then, the process of elimination works everything out from there.  Does that sound outrageous?  Well, I proved it, and I have video evidence.

At first, I thought that I was going to have to go through the test a few times in order to guess the answers using a simple process of elimination.  I was wrong.  I had to take it twice.

The first fifty questions are true and false.  The last one hundred are multiple-choice.  In order to prove that a simple process of elimination could get me a personal training certification from there, I chose to select the first answer on every question.  That meant that I chose “true” on every true or false question, and I chose the first option of each list of four on the last one hundred questions.

The result of my first test was a 43%.  Not too bad for only selecting “true” and “A”.  Since they have no negative consequence for failure, and they notify you of which questions you got wrong, I opened up a second tab for my second test.  I kept the first one open telling me which questions I got wrong.  Then, I went through a second time with only two thoughts in mind.

1. If the first answer was correct, then do not change the answer on the second test.
2. If the first answer was incorrect, then change the answer on the second test to the next option.

That’s all I did.  I changed my “true” answers that were wrong to “false”, and I changed my “A” answers that were wrong to “B”.  I passed with a 72%.  If I would have been willing to input my credit card information, I would have become a “personal trainer” through this certifying company!  Thirty minutes of work with a simple understanding of the process of elimination resulted in a training certification.  Maybe your trainer isn’t as qualified as you think.

Are you willing to trust them with your most valuable asset, your health?  Take a moment to read a few of these articles, and I encourage you to research the matter even further.  Please take a moment to decide for yourself whether or not I am telling you the truth.  It’s your body, and it’s your responsibility.  In many cases, people have been permanently injured by negligent personal trainers.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/bbbconsumeralert/2010/09/07/bbb-warns-american-sports-and-fitness-association-offers-consumers-quick-and-easy-certification-for-cash/#more-296

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/dangerous-personal-trainers?page=1

So how can you tell if you’re dealing with Professionals or Pseudo-Professionals?  Find out what standard they ascribe to.  The professionals learn from the best.  They learn from the ones who actually do the research at the universities.  The pseudo-professionals learn from magazines, websites, and other pop-culture sources.

I’ve personally gone through every measure I can to be sure that this book always falls in line with what the writers of the textbooks say.  The writers of university textbooks for exercise science are Exercise Science doctorates who also typically associate themselves with the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) and/or the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine).  The writers of university textbooks for nutrition are Dietitians who are represented by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association).

I’ve wanted to write this book for years, but I’ve known the dangers of speaking before thinking.  Consequently, I thought long and hard.  I sought out the best Exercise Physiologists and Dietitians, and I learned from them.  My wife and I became the first ever co-valedictorians of our 2011 class at Fitness Institute International.  Because of Dr. Abbott and his team’s excellent instruction, my wife and I went on to get very high scores on the NSCA-CPT certification (Lisa holds potentially the third highest score ever achieved, and the top two scores ever achieved were also by Fitness Institute graduates).  The NSCA-CPT certification is the highest-ranked Strength and Conditioning personal training certification and is designed for Exercise Physiology bachelor’s degree holders.  The pass rate is 55%.

I honestly don’t say that to say that I hold any special knowledge.  I don’t say that so that you’ll blindly accept my word for what is true.  I have absolutely no desire to make myself anyone’s litmus test for truth.  My desire is simply to say that I have put in the time in order to be confident that I don’t pass on erroneous, potentially dangerous information.  Also, I have my super-genius wife to edit this for me as well.

Despite all of that, my only mission is to pass on the facts to you.  The facts help us see through this muddied water of half-truths.  Should you eat carbs?  Should you lift weights?  Should you ::fill in the blank::?  These questions will not be answered by my opinion.  These questions have already been answered by testing in universities to see how the human body is built and how it responds to different foods, exercises, etc.  Then, when I get to sections where I’m sharing my own logical deductions based on the facts, I’ll let you know.  These things make sense logically, but they’re still in the process of becoming proven.

For the rest of “The Simplified Science of How to be Healthy” go here.

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