The double edged sword of social media in regards to fitness is that we have access to information as quick as we want it, and on any topic. The downside is that it’s easy to get lost amongst all the information. How are we supposed to know whose right and who's wrong?
What advice has stood the test of time?
There is a reason, for example, that squats, deadlifts, overhead press, etc. are still in every lifters rotation. Because even though there are many different opinions on how often one should do squats, or what type of program ensures the best results, we can all agree it’s still one of the best movements whether its towards your strength or hypertrophy. Find what else follows this line of thinking. Over the years, trends will come and go, but what information seems to always stick around at the end of it?
Is there evidence?
There needs to be evidence to back up what is being said. Now, research isn't the end all and be all on what you should follow, but it should help further guide what route to go. A lot of people love to throw anecdotal evidence as “research” just to prove their method is best, but if there is nothing scientifically proven to back it up then what proof do they really have? Even more so, check to see if the research says the contrary to their claims.
What Gain do They Have?
When listening to certain individuals, make sure to keep in mind what they might have to gain from promoting whatever information they claim as best. Are they sponsored? Are they coming out with a new program they need to sell? There will usually be some sort of angle they have if it seems they’re going pretty hard on any one topic. A sure sign of an inexperienced trainer, coach, or influencer is one who thinks their “style” or “diet” is the best. Everyone is different and no one size fits all in this industry.
Anecdote + Research is the Real Key
Ultimately what I have found works best in terms of trying to gain new knowledge and knowing what information is not B.S. is their years of in the field experience working with clients AND the science that may go along with it. I know it sounds contradictory. But if the coach whose advice you are following has worked with hundreds of clients over their career ALONG with showing they continually look to further their education with research and studying, they’re probably a safe bet. Because they’ll always keep themselves in check as they continue along their journey, but they have years of experience to know what to filter out. Also, experience drives research. If something hasn’t been tested yet and a strong group of individuals are all experiencing the same results, it can help shine light onto newer methods that may hold value. Just because the research isn’t there YET, doesn’t mean it’ll never work.