Should you listen to those fitness tips?

I’ve been a Beachbody Coach (and damn proud of it) for almost 5 years. I’ve been a fitness professional (ACE, AFAA, ISSA, Powder Blue) for 4 years. In my time I’ve seen a lot of people ask for help getting in shape via social media. And in every single instance someone’s offered poor, wrong, or just harmful advice. So how does someone with no experience or knowledge, but a lot of desire, weed thru this storm of “Drink this! Eat that!” advice? Well there’s one very important thing to remember, everyone is different.

1) Listen to your gut. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you get the feeling that a tip is just wrong, it probably is. “My neighbor ate nothing but cloves and drank the blood from raw beef every day for a week and lost 20 pounds!” Really? No, just no.

2) Seek professional help. And no, I’m not talking about your medical doctor as, unfortunately, most of them don’t know more than the average Joe about weight loss and fitness. Find someone that has actual training in health and wellness. Look for someone with a certification from an accredited agency. NASM.org and ideafit.com are great resources for finding trainers in your area.

Along those lines, try to avoid Google for your one-stop fitness source. I know, you probably found my blog on Google, right? Well, even as a fitness professional what I say may not work for you. Now you can always message me, but fact is most fitness blogs and sites are just opinions of folks that have been working to get in shape themselves. Someone may have lost 100 pounds running 10 miles and drinking kale smoothies, but someone else could have done the exact same thing and blown out their knees. Who knows!

3) So once you find a professional, how do you approach them? Well, know that you may need to shell out some cash and get some skin in the game. After all, these folks are doing this to make a living. You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic and expect to swap your engine for free, right? But here’s a secret, if you’re genuine and nice MOST professionals will help ya out. Now, I’m not saying if you shoot me a message and want a full body profile made up with a nutrition plan and workout regimen I won’t ask for some compensation (ass, grass, or cash right?), but if you just want to throw an idea by me to get started I’m happy to help.

4) Once you’ve found a professional willing to help, do what they say. I can tell you from experience there is nothing more annoying than to spend time working up a plan only to have the person completely ignore it, then tell you it’s because they are doing something different. This is especially annoying if I’ve done the work pro bono and will definitely result in a “Fuck you I don’t care about YOUR fitness” attitude. Burn the bridge once and that’s it. But feelings aside, when working with a pro chances are they are tailoring a plan just for you, that will work. And if it doesn’t they’ll adjust it until it does. Something your Brother’s friend won’t do.

I know this whole post has pretty much been “don’t trust your friends, find help” but it’s absolutely true. Your body is a complex machine, and let’s face it, you can’t just go buy a new one. So when you’re ready to get fit and in shape sit down and ask yourself a very serious question. Are you willing to trust the only body you have to the random guy on Facebook you met that one time?

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Markus is the co-owner of the Cloak & Blaster gaming pub in Orlando, FL. He's a former personal trainer and Space Shuttle Engineer. He's currently married to the lovely Geek Fit Girl.

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