Last summer I gave a lecture for the Live Well NY Fitness trade show at the Jacob Javitz center. As I am wont to do, I focused my lecture on dispelling many myths (and in the fitness industry, almost everything you read is myth!) and trying to re-educate folks so that they can improve their lives through safe and sane strength exercises and eating correctly.
I took out a small booth at the show to sell my wares and meet other health professionals. A few people stopped and chatted but everyone took a free pen. A bunch of people pointed to my book and said "Is that free?" A couple actually just took it and started casually walking away. People sure like free stuff I learned.
As I was policing my products, a woman in great shape stopped, looked at my sign which in part read "The 30 Minute a Week Exercise Solution" and tritely said "I don’t believe it." "You don’t believe what?" I replied. "I don’t believe that 30 minutes a week is enough."
She turned out to be a multi-certified professional trainer, one of those super-instructors you see bouncing all over Manhattan with all sorts of exercise devices strapped to their person. I explained that there is scientific evidence to back up the statement, and that a recent meta-analysis of over 150 peer reviewed and published papers indicates the statement is true. I explained that exercise is a stimulus, not an end in itself, so on and so forth.
For another 20 minutes we discussed many other issues – the dangers of certain exercises, the false premises of certain techniques like Pilates creating long, lean muscles, the dangers and misconceptions of stretching, diet, etc. She disagreed with and, much to my dismay, seemed hauntingly disinterested in everything I was saying. I delivered the science and her disagreement’s continued.
Talking about something diet related I believe, she suddenly paused. Looking at her attractive face her head, it appeared, was expanding – critically overloaded with this new information. She was deeply lost in thought. She then, very slowly started to walk backwards away from the booth, narrowly missing a collision with another attendee. She stopped in the middle of the aisle, peered at me sharply and confidently said "Well, I have my own science." and walked away.
Her own science. Well, it’s a good thing she doesn’t work for NASA.
It contiues to amaze me how many fitness professionals are willing to do what they feel is right even if it flies in the face of science. God help the clients!