Technology has done some amazing things for fitness and health. The average fitness consumer today is MUCH more knowledgeable than the average fitness consumer was 20 years ago when I first started working professionally as a personal trainer. Back then, I would blow female clients minds when I would explain to them that lifting heavy weights wouldn’t make them bulky. After their initial paradigms were shattered and they would trust me to take them through hard and heavy weight training sessions. These days that same information isn’t nearly as mind blowing as it was back then. Sure, some women still believe that lifting heavy weights will make them look like burly men, but it’s not EVERY woman like it used to be.
I used to hold nutrition seminars at the gyms I would work at to prospect for new clients. When I would explain to people that carbs and fats didn’t make you fat, but rather it was excess calories, people thought I was a nutrition god. Not even joking. Most fitness consumers had zero idea of the basic concept of how the body stored excess energy. Today it’s so widely understood that excess calories are stored as body fat that fitness consumers will ask questions like “besides eating too many calories, what other factors will contribute to fat gain?”
Although we still have a long way to go, its unequivocally true that people just generally know more about fitness and nutrition today than they did yesterday. This is because access to information has become vastly easier today than ever before. It’s crazy to think that if you own a smart phone (most Americans do, roughly 80%) you theoretically have access to ALL OF THE INFORMATION that has ever been recorded by humans. Not only do you have access, but you have EASY AND FAST access. People are simply more knowledgeable. The problem, however, is that more knowledge does NOT equal more wisdom.
A good personal trainer with integrity who has 8 years of personal training experience would be FAR MORE EFFECTIVE at helping people make fundamental changes to their lives in regards to exercise than the average newly graduated sports medicine or kinesiology PH.D could ever dream of being. Both have about an equal amount of “learning time” in the fields of fitness and human movement but they are both very different. The PH.D. will no doubt have far more knowledge. They will know biomechanics, human anatomy and human function at far deeper levels than the personal trainer, but the trainer has EXPERIENCE working with real everyday people. The trainer lacks the knowledge of the PH.D. but they have something that is (in this situation) far more valuable. They have the WISDOM of working with lots of people.
Another example would be comparing a spiritual master who meditated on a mountain top for 30 years versus the millennial who takes high doses of psychedelic drugs. Both can arguably be said to have peered into the very nature of consciousness but only the spiritual master has integrated their knowledge to develop true wisdom from the knowledge obtained by their decades of work. Wisdom is what is synthesized when we combine knowledge AND experience. There are no shortcuts to wisdom. You need experience along with knowledge and experience takes time. Wisdom in the fitness industry today is sorely lacking.
Keep all of this in mind when you are searching for whom you take your fitness advice from. Are they knowledgeable? Are they experienced? Do they have WISDOM. Find and follow those who fall under these criteria and the odds you will get the kind of information that you need to succeed will be much higher. Above all, also remember that getting YOURSELF to a place of real fitness and health requires your own wisdom. It takes time. It’s a practice and not a destination. Move forward with this understanding of the process and take your time and the odds are you will succeed.