Integrity and Ignorance in the "Fitness" Profession.
 
     A few weeks ago one of Julie’s friends called her to ask about body fat percentages.  She and her training partner had their body fat percentages calculated by their personal trainer. Their trainer told this lady her BF % was 25%, but the other an astounding 8%.  I laughed. No, seriously, I really laughed.   
    I originally intended to write how irrellevant body fat percentages are and of how inaccurate the tests are for it.  I was going to explain how most athletes perform at their best when they’ve a little fat on them.  That there is a point of dimenishing returns with fat loss.  But something else caught my attention from this lady’s story. 
      The trainer used the BF calipers, and used only this method to determine the girls’ bodyfat. That tells me the trainer is either just giving service to the calculation, or knows nothing of how inaccurrate the calipers are.  Either scenario is sad.
     But what gained my attention about the whole thing was, this trainer told these two ladies such different results and hadn’t the awareness that the two are built similarly and neither are obviously less than 20% BF. 
     So my question is, does the trainer just not know any better? Or worse, did the trainer purposely tell the one lady she is 8% just to stroke her ego and give merit and result to her Rx’d training program?  Either is sad.
     And now, the trainer has two clients, friends and training buddies…  one has been lied to or misinformed, but has elevated esteem.  The other is let down and will question the trainer, the trainer’s knowledge, and ultimately the trainer’s integrity. 
     The American public has lost faith in exercise, diets, trainers, and gyms because the fitness community has continually lowered it’s standards and integrity to please it’s clients. The fitness community, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and the Oprah’s of the world have told us all that "it’s ok to have a "cheat day" or "just listen to your body, it will tell you want it needs" or even "doing any activity is better than nothing".  They’re all bull, and represent a lazy, weak path that has lead our society to begin to consider obesity as a disease.  Hell, if that’s the case, we should be able claim laziness and lack of discipline on our health insurance too.
     The trainer and story I refer to is a good example of all this. The idea of telling clients what they want to here just to keep them coming back is violation of personal and professional integrity.
     I promise to never compromise our principles or results to keep a client at CFW.  Frankly, a client that doesn’t make honest attempts at improving their health, fitness, and wellness does represent what we do at CFW.  These clients are asked to leave CFW.  I just won’t take money for no services rendered.  But that is only part of it, a client content with mediocracy doesn’t benefit the atmosphere of our facility and does nothing to bolster the motivation of the members of the our highly energized family. 
     To those in the fitness community that use publications like Muscle & Fiction, Oxygen, or Men’s Health for their training "expertise"  and take peoples money but offer no results, get a clue.  And um, go ahead get a resume together…  CFs and athletic fitness facilities that care about their clients are putting you out of business.  No?  When was the last time you stopped by your local CrossFIt Affiliate and checked on the clients you used to train?
-t.

0 thoughts on “Posted: 4/19/2009

  1. Ezekiel says:

    Good article Tony – I agree wholeheartedly. CrossFit is HARD. CrossFit is damn HARD. It is so damn HARD that it will probably never be mainstream. The majority of the public is not looking for the real path to elite fitness; they are looking for the next wonder "gimmick". I'm proud to lead a motivated community that "gets it". We (both CFC and CFW) are a part of something great…I'm thankful that we have the opportunity to a part of something so different and fulfilling.

  2. cody d says:

    "remember who you are" WE ARE CROSSFIT. we represent one of the pillars of the institution that is CrossFit. at the core, we are determined. as simple and cliche as it may sound…we are determined. determined to rise above; to live a life of physicall well-being. at all costs, we are willing to push ourselves to the utter brink of failure to achieve the goals set by NONE! because these goals are percieved as insurmountable and insurpassable. we are willing to struggle and battle through that level of discomfort which very few (if any other than CF) athletes are willing to endure to reach goals previously percieved as impossible because we know what the final result will be. if it were easy, everyone would do it. we as "CFers" do it BECAUSE we know it will not be easy. and that 7…15…30…70 minute road to glory is all we know. and the battle along the way re-assures us that we are developing our minds, body, and spirit to a tier above the rest. we are CrossFit. "REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!" each morning rise and embrace the mindset that YOU are tier ONE. we DO MORE because we WANT MORE! 1..2..3..GO!

  3. Dana says:

    Honor, courage, and commitment!!!!! Hmmm…I learned that somewhere in my life. 🙂 I am honored to be a part of Crossfit! Great article tony!

  4. t. says:

    I think a couple of folks read this after being out on the town… Zeke, thanks for posting. Cody, posting and drinking is a lot like drunk dialing! Andrew… I know they're trying to teach you adaptive thinking and response in BLET, but that doesn't mean where there is no Dunkin Donuts, find an alliteration filled substitute!

  5. Tracy says:

    Great article Tony! I know we are apart of something amazing at CFW…and some of us are involved in other athletics beside CF…Im just wondering has anyone else beside myself seen improvements in their other sports…I played tennis the other day and my forehand and backhand was so strong I couldn't believe it..today I went for a bike/run and during my bike I was killing the MPH with the wind and going against the wind down at the beach and my run..WOW my legs were so strong. I used to train for my triathlons without CF and I know that I am reaping in the benefits of incorporating CF into my workouts!! So psyched for triathlon season to start and have people looking at the back of me when I zoom past them!! Love CFW!!