Your fitness coaches may seem tough at times, but they have reasons for everything they ask you to do.
As a strength coach myself, I have heard each of the items on the list below from a client at one point or another. Here is a list of five things you may not want to tell your coach and the reality behind the statement:
1. "I eat the same thing every day."
We don’t just eat food for enjoyment. We eat food for its nutrients, and not all foods have the same nutrients. Eating a variety of foods is as important to achieving your health and fitness goal as altering your training. In short, know what foods you are allowed to eat and rotate them to improve your health, fitness and palate.
2. "I know what I need to do to lose body fat. I just have a hard time doing it."
Usually this means you don’t know what you need to do to lose body fat. And that is okay! If you want to learn what you need to do, there are plenty of great coaches that can give you the tools to achieve your goals. The first step in that process is admitting you could use some help.
The reality is that a lot of those things you think you should be doing are actually making it harder for you do lose body fat. Find a good coach who can educate you so when you're ready to make a change, you know exactly what to do.
3. "I want to get those long, lean muscles."
Muscles are lean by nature, so they don’t need your help “becoming lean.” Muscles also have fixed points of origin and insertion. An origin is the point closest to the trunk where the muscle originates, and an insertion is the muscle that connects to another tendon at a distal joint to allow movement of your body.
Saying you want to lengthen your muscles would require the surgical detachment of your muscle attachments and then stretching them further across a joint and surgically reattaching them. This is a seemingly painful and tedious task with no discernible health or fitness benefit. What you really want to do is reduce body fat that is sitting on top of that beautifully lean muscle, which is most effectively achieved with combination of nutritional and weight training programs designed to deliver a result.
4. "I weigh myself every morning."
Weighing yourself can have damaging effects to your self worth, and it doesn't actually provide much useful information in the grand scheme of things.
Think about measuring your weight like GPS. A GPS can accurately determine your location anywhere on earth through a system of “triangulation,” which requires the collection of three points of data to effectively determine your location. Determining the composition of your body works a little like GPS in that we need to know your weight, along with the girth of your limbs and a fat measurement often collected by using a fat caliper to accurately determine what percentage of your “weight” is fat and muscle.
Don’t get fixated on an arbitrary number that does not matter unless you are competing in an athletic sport with weight classes. Instead, focus on the big things, like eating, training and sleeping to the best of your ability, and your body composition will change, along with your weight.
5. "I don't want to get 'too big.'"
Ask any body builder how they got “big,” and they will tell you it took lots of hard work. Adding muscle mass is not an easy endeavor for most people. It takes a commitment to feeding and training schedules and a serious commitment to rest days.
All too often I hear men and women voice their concerns over getting “too big” or “too muscular,” like they are going to train for a week and develop the kind of mass those in the body building community work so hard to achieve. The reality is that you will not “accidentally” get big unless you want to. You may, however, retain water and look bloated after exercise but this is not often a result of weight training. It's more likely a result of excessive inflammation, inability to repair and a sign of poor diet and sleep than a result of weight training. A proper nutrition and training program that tailors the level of activity to your ability to repair can most likely fix that issue.
Dusten Nelson is a Chicago-based strength coach, nutritional expert and practitioner of Chinese medicine. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and check out his website. You can email Nelson at info@DustenNelson.com.
Nelson is currently training Chicago filmmaker Kenneth Yoder to compete in a 100-day bodybuilding challenge. See the original story here.