Critical Fitness – Don’t Be A Jackass

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This is something I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a long time…

If you read this blog, come to my bootcamp, or have been to one of my seminars, you know more about metabolism, health, and fat loss than 95% of people.  Hell, you probably know more about it than most personal trainers at “big box” gyms!

So, when someone tells you they’ve taken up jogging or cut out fat or started skipping meals, you want to set them on the right path.

It’s only natural, the only thing more fun than knowing something cool is sharing something cool!

But the problem is that when you criticize someone’s fitness choice, they aren’t going to thank you.  They will most likely RESENT you.

When you point out a flaw in someone’s plan, they’re less likely to trust your judgment, because you just challenged theirs.

Of course lots of aerobics, low-fat high grain diets, and skipping meals will lower their metabolism and stop their weight loss.

Pointing out errors in someone’s actions will make someone think much less of you.

Their only other option is to think less of themselves – and it’s more comfortable (and more fun!) to think less of you instead.

What is far, far more effective in changing someone’s mind to the right way of fitness is to congratulate your friend on taking the best action they knew how at the time.

In fact, based on what most people know, your friend is doing EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING!

Anyone who has been with me to a party or networking function has heard this:

Mrs. Krensky: “Oh, you’re a personal trainer?  Cool!  I’ve just cut out fat and have started doing an hour of cardio every morning.”

What do I say then?:

A) “Mrs. Krensky, you moron!  Haven’t you read the studies that show aerobics are useless for fat loss and that cutting fat out of your diet is a sure-fire way to kill your metabolism?!?  What are you thinking!”


B) “That’s awesome!!  Getting up early and changing what you eat is HARD!  Let me know if I can ever help you dial those things in.”

Which will help Mrs Krensky?  Which is better?

B, of course.

Here’s the thing: I’ve heard people who know a little about fitness go with option A.

All that’s going to do is make Mrs Krensky mad at them.

Imagine you take up gardening, and Mrs Krensky is an expert.  You tell her you are starting some seeds on your windowsill so you can plant them.  Then she says, “WHAT?!? Everyone knows that the only way to start seeds is in peat pots in a greenhouse.  Why are you even bothering!?”

You’d be pissed.

What if she said this, instead: “Sweet!  You’re going to love gardening!  I have some great books that I really enjoyed that helped me get my garden growing the way I always dreamed, let me know if you ever want to borrow them!”

You’d love her.

Here’s the gist of what I want to say: Lead by example.  Be an ambassador of fitness.  Tell people how things are changing and point them to resources with the best information.

Encourage me and inspire me.  Don’t tell me I’m stupid.

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