The moment in any conversation when the person you’re talking to finds out that you are a trainer, they immediately pepper you with questions about training and diet theories they have learned from sound bytes on the news or at the hair salon or glossy magazines.
“Oh, I heard _______ are bad for you. Is that true???”, or “I do _______ because I saw so and so say that ________ is the BEST.”
The problem with these statements is that they are inherently wrong. In fitness and nutrition there are very few things that are 100% “good” or “bad”. Yes, McDonalds McRib sandwiches are absolutely “bad” and you would be hard pressed to find someone tell you that a salad with organic greens is not “good”, but everything else generally falls on a continuum in between.
The question we need to ask is not “good” vs. “bad”, but rather is it RIGHT for me???
Lets take the squat as a perfect example. “I heard squats are bad for your knees/back.” Well, for the young man in the photo above that may absolutely be the case, but not it is NOT because the squat is bad, but because HE is bad at squatting. Based on observing his movement, his body does not DESERVE to squat therefore he shouldn’t.
Unfortunately this is happening in weight rooms and gyms everywhere and here is where the myth then compounds:
-This young man is going to go home and complain of back/knee pain. His mom or dad is then going to ask what he did that may have caused it. After he tells them about how his coach had him do squats today in the gym, they immediately remember how their doctor once told them “squats are bad”. (This doctor by the way gets all of about 1 day of fitness education in all of their years of schooling. Don’t come to me if you are sick and don’t ask your GP about exercise.)
That then leads to “that coach has no idea what he is doing. Does he want his players to get hurt???” Chaos then ensues and now an edict is brought down that there will be no more squatting. Problem is that the kid working out next to him moves beautifully and really could benefit from the squat, so now he suffers.
So next time you get aches and pains after your workout don’t blame the exercise, but instead figure out why that workout wasn’t right for you, and what do you need to do in order to become deserving of doing that workout again if it is something you want to repeat.