These days there is no shortage of information. Want to learn about fitness, working out or running? There are millions of articles, books, websites and blogs packed full of the all the information you could ever want to know. Herein lies the problem. Information overload. What is the best way to learn new information? The water can get a little muddy between information that is outdated or obsolete and information that is intentionally misleading to sell you something. How do you know what and who to trust?
Before I became a personal trainer and a running coach, I honestly thought I pretty much knew everything about fitness and nutrition. After all, I had been a fitness enthusiast for over a decade, I read a ton of blogs, books and magazine articles. What more was there? Turns out, a whole lot. You just don't know what you don't know. Until I started the process of getting the education needed to become a fitness professional, I did what most people do, I skimmed the surface of the information available, I took what was valuable, meaningful and made sense to me and threw out the rest. I figured I was pretty equipped to see through the crap. Lose 20 lbs with this miracle shake? Fruit makes you fat? Get in the best shape of your life on 15 minutes a day? BS detector activated! These things were obvious.
But there is so much more that seems to make sense on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper you realize you're just another layer deep in sales tactics and misinformation. I realized that I had a lot of learn. I am always still growing and evolving. I read a lot, continue to work on certifications, listen to podcasts and talk to people smarter than me to stay up to date on the current trends in health and fitness.
In the fitness world full of celebrities like Dr. Oz, Food Babe and Tracy Anderson, if you're not careful, it can be pretty easy to be led down the wrong path of misinformation.
Over the last couple years a few voices have emerged to me as voices of reason. These were the people that I could look to for clarity of information. I know they aren't trying to sell me the latest fitness gimmick or fad. They have established themselves as experts and leaders in their field. These are the people that have proven to me time and time again that I could trust them in a fitness world that can't always be trusted. They are as a whole, committed to moderation in fitness (not extremes), body-positive messages and seeking/spreading the truth.
JOHN BERARDI - PRECISION NUTRITION
John Berardi is a writer, coach, professor, researcher, speaker and athlete behind Precision Nutrition. I am currently working on my Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification, but I have been following John and the Precision Nutrition blog for about a year. The precision nutrition blog is full of great information on coaching and nutrition that is backed by science and research. No woo or scare tactics to be found, which is all too common in the field of nutrition.
ON STRENGTH TRAINING
TOM VENUTO - BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE
I first bought Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle over 10 years ago as a printable e-book. After I used an entire ink cartridge printing out hundreds of pages, I remember thinking that I was going to cancel all my fitness magazine subscriptions. After everything I learned in this literal encyclopedia of health and fitness I felt like there wasn't anything a fitness magazine could write about that wasn't already covered more accurately in this monster book. Tom has been around for a long time teaching people the basics of strength training, cardio and nutrition. His book led me in the right direction shortly after I kicked off my healthy lifestyle all those years ago and lucky for you, that old ebook is available in hardcover now so you can save your ink cartridge. I love his message that everyone's path to fitness looks a little different and you have to learn what works for you and your body by tracking and experimenting. It was a game changer for me in my fitness journey.
CORI LEFKOWITH - REDEFINING STRENGTH
When I first stumbled upon Redefining Strength I was hooked immediately by Cori's message of strength and empowerment. She is strong, kind and funny. She offers tons of free workouts on her site and Facebook page and I love The Fitness Hacks Podcast. As a trainer and a gym owner she freely shares her wealth of knowledge about training and business. I've only been following for a short time but Cori made a big impression and I have learned a lot from her already.
ON THE MENTAL GAME
Leigh is a writer, researcher and personal trainer. I love her You Need to Hear This Podcast. While she is extremely knowledgable on weight lifting and nutrition, she talks a lot about the psychological side of health and fitness on her Podcast. I'm always interested in hearing her opinions on hot topics because he responses are always based on science and research. I can count on her to be rational and sensible, something that Is not always easy to find in this industry.
AMBER ROGERS - GO KALEO
Amber shares a message of inclusion, body-acceptance and moderation. She was probably that first voice I heard many years ago teaching that moderation was something to strive for in this fitness world of extremes. She taught me to look at the fitness industry a little more critically. She also seems to be a voice for people struggling with eating disorders. Lately she has taken to a message of overcoming emotional abuse, which honestly has lost me a little since this isn't something that I personally dealt with, but still is a positive message for the people who need to hear it.
JAMES FELL - BODY FOR WIFE
I am not sure "on the mental game" is the right category for James Fell. I am not sure he fits into any category. Maybe with James, I use the words "voice of reason" a little loosely. I like him because he is hilarious and he has seemed to have made a career out of calling out the bull shit in this industry. If you are offended by strong language or don't appreciate an in-your-face approach to fitness truth, he may not be the guy for you. On the other hand, if you like to laugh and need a little help wading through the misinformation, he may be your new best friend. He tells the hard truth about all the hot topics (and makes some people very angry along the way, he is worth to follow just for the comments).
Over the years I learned to tune out the many confusing voices of fitness and tune into a few key people that that have proven to operate on knowledge, science, compassion and truth. While I can't say they aren't selling anything, because they all make their living in the fitness industry selling courses, books, training, memberships, etc. I can trust that they aren't selling lies or misinformation.
Who are your fitness voices of reason? Did I miss anyone?
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.