3 min read

Where Did Common Sense Go?

How does one sit on a crocodile?

Is common sense really not all that common? That’s the saying, according to Voltaire.

My industry, just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Perhaps I’m an idealist, or maybe I just march to the beat of a different drummer. Seems to me though that we could be doing more than we are.

Instead we have fitness professionals bickering amongst one another over ‘best methods,’ while others often discourage people from being active at all, if it isn’t in their prescribed manner.

The doctrine: “If I don’t do it, neither should you.”

Weight training activists that condemn ‘cardiovascular’ exercise — needless to say that lifting weight does require a certain amount of cardiovascular workload to complete, so this is kind of ironic — and on the other end of the spectrum, endurance athletes/trainers that condemn weight training as a waste of time — I’ve yet to meet an endurance athlete who didn’t almost immediately benefit in performance from some kind of strength training, again ironic. 

Yoga instructors preaching that yoga is all you need to be healthy and fit. Aerobic researchers telling you just exercise aerobically if you want to stay fit for your entire life. Pilates Instructors telling me that they will make my body longer and leaner looking, but only if I do Pilates and Pilates only.

I hardly think that’s what Joseph Pilates was thinking when he came up with his system of rehabilitation in the early 20th century.

Is the holistic solution dead or was it never started?

I literally stumbled upon one of the lamest fitness articles I have ever seen not moments ago. It was titled, ‘Learning Single Leg Movements,’ and went on to discuss in detail the benefits of doing arm curls while standing on one leg. Not once, did it even discuss a leg movement.

Where did common sense go?

How is this honestly working the legs and why would you post something so ridiculous like that?

You may as well, have written, ‘walk,’ after the title and been more accurate. Yet these are the fitness professionals that many people are referring to when they cite bad experiences. There is more lore to this industry than any other I know of.

I’ve watched with amusement many times over the years, as people at the gym, proceed to do every lift they can come up with kneeling on a swiss ball or feet/arms on a BOSU. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of professionals in my industry right now that encourage this silly behavior, and I plead for it to change.

The BOSU activates the core, minutely, everything you do activates the core to some extent, but the BOSU does it at the expense of you really creating a training adaptation. It’s the product of the clever fitness marketing that’s been done for the last twenty-five years.

We might as well say, sitting up off the couch good for your core. There are far more beneficial ways to work the core, your balance and they all involve less risk than standing on a swiss ball.

Rather than teach something practical like pushing, pulling, squatting or picking something off the floor and carrying it with good form, we have a better idea!

We’re going to put you on a BOSU ball, with a barbell on your back, when you can’t even squat on a stable surface — let alone a squishy one — because that’s going to improve your stability and core strength?


This is practical…

You can cut the sarcasm here with a butter knife.

At the end of the day, watch out for “professionals” who try to fill your head with non-sense. The ones that tell you, you can put on 20 lbs of muscle in 4 weeks. The ones that tell you, you can lose 30 lbs this month. The ones that try to get you going on a 30 day program. What happens to these people after these miraculous short-term life changes? It may sound great, but common sense would dictate, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

These “professionals” are everywhere in my industry and on behalf of all of them, I would like to apologize to you all. We are a young, naive and overbearing industry who still has a lot to learn, but don’t give up on us. There are plenty of very talented coaches out there waiting to help you find a better you. I can help you find a good one if you need it, check out my project to be released in 2012.