5 shocking secrets the fitness industry doesn’t want you to know

January 6, 2014

5 shocking secrets the fitness industry doesn't want you to know
5 shocking secrets the fitness industry doesn't want you to know

Personal trainers might not be qualified

When you pay a personal trainer to guide you through your workouts, you naturally assume that they know what they’re talking about. Sadly that might not be the case. The number of personal trainers is expected to have risen by 24% between 2010 and 2020, and a large amount of that growth is down to the loose regulations it takes to become one. According to fitness firm CEO Gregory Florez, many personal trainers win potential clients over with their smiles and sales-talk, rather than knowledge of fitness. In fact, some personal trainer qualifications are so easy to achieve that they simply require paying a one off fee and completing an online test. Before you take a single session with a personal trainer, have a long chat with them to get a feel for their level of knowledge and experience.

Gyms are filled with germs

Did you know that 80% of all infectious diseases can be transmitted by both direct and indirect contact? That means the gym equipment you use multiple times a week could be crawling with all sorts of nasties without you even realising. The New York University Medical Center did a swab test on gym equipment including medicine balls, and found multiple traces of dangerous bacteria including MRSA. Philip Tierno, who led the NYU study, therefore recommends spraying down any piece of equipment before you use it, bringing your own towels instead of using the ones provided by the gym, and wearing long sleeved workout tops and leggings.

Abs aren’t just gained in the gym

It’s the promise of every gym, fitness centre and personal trainer the world over – they have just what you need to develop chiselled abs that you could bounce a penny off. What they’re failing to tell you is that abs aren’t all about how much you work out, but rather what you eat. If your abdominal muscles are covered by a layer of body fat, then nobody is going to see them no matter how long you spend working out. That’s why instead of wasting endless hours in the gym, you should first concentrate on your diet by eating a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.

Free gym membership might not be what it seems

Before you sign the dotted line on that shiny new gym or health club membership, ensure that you read the small print thoroughly. Then read it again for good measure. Gyms are notorious for sneakily locking you into long-term contracts that are deceptively difficult to cancel. The IRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) found that some gyms even trick members who think they’re signing up for a free trial into paying for a full membership. In one case the small print for the contract stipulated that if the user didn’t attend the gym at least 12 times within their one month free trial period, then they would automatically be entered into a multi-year full membership.

Quick fixes don’t work

If any fitness product promises to give you the body of your dreams with minimal effort, it’s safe to assume that you’re being lied to. The fitness industry rakes in millions every year from lazy people looking for the next quick fix, and they’ll keep doing it as long as you keep falling for it. Take the famous ‘ab-stimulators’ for example. They claim to build up washboard abs with no exercise required by contracting your muscles with small electronic impulses, which you might think makes sense from a scientific point of view. However the University of Wisconsin conducted a study proving that this is not true – although the ab-stimulator did cause the abdominal muscles to contract, it did not lead to any muscle development whatsoever.

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