New Year’s resolutions are right around the corner, which means many people who currently aren’t going to the gym will start back up again, and many people who are currently going to the gym — but only go once or twice a week - might sign up for a personal trainer in order to get better results.
If you’re one of the many thinking of jumping in with both feet into this world, however, it’s a good idea to have a strong bulls— detector — according to veteran personal trainer and exercise therapy specialist Bobby Whisnand.
Between trainers at major gym chains who receive fly-by-night certificates, the teaching of bad exercise form, anabolic steroids, supplements and false advertising, Whisnand says the fitness industry — years after its boom period — has become a complete joke.
“Most fitness instructors with overnight certifications have a complete disregard for form and technique,” Whisnand told Metro. “Backs and joints – people are actually depleting their health by the way they’re being taught to exercise. You hear, ‘no pain, no gain’ and ‘pain is just weakness leaving the body,’ that sort of stuff. It’s crap.”
Whisnand has been in the fitness industry since 1990 and has a new book titled “Fitness Frauds: Exposing the Truth About Drugs, Lies and Flex Appeal.”
He states: “My goals with this book are simple: to expose the personal training and exercise instructor industry for what it really is; to uncover the truth about drug use in all areas of fitness; to show you what’s hiding behind the smoke, mirrors and masquerades within the fitness advertisements; to clean up the dirty truth behind the food, nutrition and weight-loss industries and to give you my solutions to right the ship of fitness and wellness.”
Exercise is in no way “bad” for you, obviously. Whisnand’s main gripe is simply the fraudulent nature of this multi-billion dollar industry in 2017. Looking good at any price trumps actual health for many, and that’s a glaring problem.
“Exercising how you want or taking drugs to help things along is absolutely your right and your business; that’s not my point with this book,” Whisnand said. “But when fraudulent means and methods are used to make personal gains at the expense of others, especially when it comes to health, the crooks need to be exposed.”
Whisnand says that the majority of trainers, even at major gym chains, have had little to no training.
“The certifications are meaningless,” he told Metro. “I’ve got them, and I believe they’re meaningless. I’ve got all of them. These trainers can be convicted felons and there’s no way to check that. They put people through the same exercises over and over and at the end it’s like, ‘OK, your 10-pack of personal training sessions is up, write me a check.’”
Improper technique is one of Whisnand’s major concerns and he says that many trainers do not really care about the person who goes to the gym once a week or once a month. In most cases, the trainers know the results aren’t going to be there anyway. So, what’s the point of hammering home proper technique?
“You see it at the gym in every corner — exercises involving the knees and the back. People are going way too fast,” Whisnand said. “There’s an improper alignment of the body. If you look at squats — there should be a full pause. Knees are way out over the toes. The back is compromised. You see jerky motions, popping, bad posture. The trainers, they’re just like, ‘C’mon, get it up, bro.’ That sort of thing. It’s bad form … you can’t see what’s wrong until you know what’s right. That’s the problem.”
Steroids and supplements
Jealous of that absolutely ripped guy or girl at the gym?
Well, don’t be. He or she is probably on something that will affect their longterm health negatively.
“Professional sports have nothing on the fitness industry,” Whisnand told Metro. “I don’t care if you’re talking about your 60-year-old tennis player or your 60-year-old walking around with a 20-year-old’s body. The industry is completely saturated with anabolic steroids, illegal fat burners, blood doping, diuretics … it’s everywhere.”
There is a growing thought by many in the industry that steroids — in moderation — are just fine for you. It’s a theory that Whisnand dismisses immediately.
“You might as well drink gasoline. You can drink gasoline and get away with it too,” Whisnand said. “If you’re going to take drugs, take ’em. I really don’t care. But quit lying about it. When these companies sell their product or service and tell people — you can get this look from nothing but exercise — yeah, right.”
As for the rapidly growing supplement business, Whisnand says that it is completely unregulated.
“We have to question the ingredients,” Whisnand said. “Most of the supplements that people buy — they are not made by the distributor. They’re made by manufacturing labs, most of them in China. And the lab determines the quality. A company can list a group of ingredients – this is a loophole – all they have to do is list the molecular weight of the total complex or the total blend. They don’t have to list the individual amounts so the very ingredient that we want could be less than 1 percent of the total blend ... and they don’t have to tell you.”
Whisnand goes into these topics and more in his book, “Fitness Frauds” Exposing the Truth About Drugs, Lies and Flex Appeal.” The book is due out in January 2018. For more information visit BobbyWhisnand.com