Paper Weights

The new copy of Men’s Journal (formerly Men’s Fitness) is sitting in my mailbox. Wrapped in plastic, with up-and-coming actor Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) gracing the cover. The dude looks fit! As I unwrap the plastic and pull out that crisp, new, and definitely untouched work of art, I quickly scan through the headlines on the cover: “The 7% Body Fat Diet” (more on fad diets in my next writing). They are definitely eye-catching, why would I not want to drop my body fat down to 7% in 21 days?! And of course, I want to be ripped like Chris Hemsworth.

So your 21-day diet plan is up and you have done the “Chris Hemsworth” workout 4 days a week for the last 3 weeks ... now what do you do? Wait for the next Men’s Fitness magazine? You can probably do the workout for a few more weeks and try the diet for a couple more weeks too but I promise your body will get used to it all. The magazines will keep putting out the same cookie-cutter workout programs just with different actors claiming they did this workout for this long when in all reality they paid this “trainer” $1000 a week and probably spent just as much on their weekly diet plan.

15-year flashback: I remember my very first Men’s Fitness magazine, I bought it from the local Jackson Country Mart while I was working part-time and going to college. Man, was I amazed... jacked dudes, nutritional supplements, love and relationship tips, and the never-ending collection of workout “programs”. Now, not knowing exactly what to do when I stepped into the gym for the first time I brought that new Men’s Fitness magazine with me. I thumbed through it, to the page that had a folded corner, to my very first “structured” workout. Thinking back, almost 15 years ago, I do not think Men’s Fitness used celebrities then ... I think they just used fitness models, physique competitors and bodybuilders.

I was paying $3 a month for FREE personal training?! What a deal! Man, was I wrong... I hit plateaus, I lost motivation, I did not feel challenged anymore. The editors of Men’s Fitness do not know you personally, so they do not care if you have lost motivation, you have already paid for your 2-year subscription. They just pump out 10 magazines a year with 10 different celebrities on them because who does not want to look like The Rock.

Fast forward 4 years and I am sitting in my very first Health Management course at SEMO. My plan was to get my degree in Exercise Science, Nutrition, and become a certified personal trainer. I put the magazine down and picked up a textbook. In my first year at SEMO, I was finally able to be myself, not someone that was trying to model themselves after celebrities. 100 pounds of weight loss was next on my list of goals to accomplish. One year later, done. I knew how to program my weightlifting and cardio and how to track my diet.

I know not everyone wants to go through 4 plus years of schooling and certifications, but I did. I stopped following everything that was printed in the magazines and started learning real scientific “stuff” in textbooks and journals. I went through the countless hours of training clients and gaining the experience necessary to be where I am today. Magazines do not know you like trainers do. They do not know your limits like an exercise specialist can. In addition, the magazine cannot tell you when to put the fork down but trainers can!

Accountability, Motivation, and Discipline: 3 things that you cannot put on paper.

Until Next Time | Danny the GM