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8 Things That Piss Me Off About the Fitness Industry

hand pounding dumbbell into tableExcuse me while I let go of some pent up frustrations. I’m starting (have been) to get annoyed at what the fitness industry is devolving into – a money hungry marketing machine willing to stop at nothing to “help” you. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great fitness companies out there, but the following are my pet peeves that I think we all need to watch out for.

Women’s Magazine Covers

This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. As you walk through the checkout lines of grocery stores, you are bombarded with magazine covers with headlines that make outrageous claims. Abs in 2 weeks, or tone your butt with this 2 minute workout. Look, I get it, headlines like “how to lose weight healthily and slowly” aren’t going to make people hand over their money and buy the magazine (although I would).

However, these magazines do more harm than good. Some people think that anything that gets people moving is a good thing. I disagree. It teaches people bad habits from the start. Bad habits that will eventually lead to a reversion to old lifestyle habits.

Here are a bunch of magazine covers and their misleading headlines for you to check out.

Artificial Processed Food Masquerading as Health Food

The health food industry is trying to jump on the fitness bandwagon. They do their best to slap an organic label on their products and call it healthy. I’ve got news for you, a processed food is still a processed food – it doesn’t matter if it’s made with organic ingredients or not.

The same goes for protein bars. Have you looked at the ingredients in these things? Artificial sweeteners, chemicals, additives, food colors – what’s healthy about that? Oh yeah, it has 25 grams of protein and it’s low carb. Who are you trying to fool? If you want a healthier bar, look into Lara Bars. There’s usually only a few whole food ingredients in them like nuts and fruit.

Gimmicky Fat Loss Supplements

I swear, if I see another green coffee bean fat loss commercial I’m gonna devote my life to killing the coffee plant (shhh, don’t tell my wife). I see these things in my Walmart or other stores and half of them are gone. All because someone like Dr. Oz gave it an OK. Here’s the honest truth – fat loss supplements work with a great diet and exercise program, but they’re overpriced, safety untested, completely unnecessary, and might give you a 5% bump in fat loss. That’s it.

90% of the people buying these products take them and don’t change a single other thing about their lifestyle, and then they wonder why they’re back looking for the next miracle pill. Let’s cut the monster off at the head and stop falling for the hype. If there’s a rumored shortage of some fat loss supplement, it’s because everyone’s falling for the fad. Put yourself in the other 10% that think independently and with common sense.

You can start by reading these 20 healthy weight loss tips from people who lost over 50 pounds.

Worthless Workout Equipment

Can you believe the shake weight is still around? I laugh my ass off at every one of the commercials I see for these things. Watch this extremely well-built man keep control of this out of control dumbbell. It’s laughable. 90% of workout equipment will never be used 6 months from now. It’s all manufactured cheaply so that you can come back and get something new. It’s become a disposable product.

I have my own gym equipment. It’s a power rack by EliteFTS. I have real olympic weights. This stuff will last the rest of my life. There are no special moving parts. The only thing that moves is me and the weight I’m holding. The rest of that specialty workout equipment that sells for $19.99 – close to worthless.

Unrealistic Weight Loss Ads

Plenty of the late-night fitness infomercials are also scams. They show fit people demonstrating exercises that they never once did to get their physiques.

In addition, many of the before and after pics can be done in the same day! That’s right, with special lighting, a change in facial expression, a little tan, body painting, and computer tricks, you too can lose 30 pounds overnight! Don’t believe me? Check out the video below! The fact of the matter is that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Blatant Marketing Towards Insecurities

I hate these commercials. I mostly hear them on the radio. They dig right down into your soul and tickle your insecurity bones. Afraid to go to the pool? Miss your high school body? Can’t lose weight no matter what you try? Embarrassed about how you’ll look in bed?

I’ve heard them all, and they’re hard to ignore. Marketers immediately search for your insecurity and then prey on it. They know making that connection with you is goal number one to sell their product. Avoid these slimeballs like the plague. If a fitness product first elicits a negative emotion, it’s not the product for you.

Personal Trainers Who Don’t Have a Clue

Don’t for a second assume that because someone is a personal trainer with a good body that they’re going to know what they’re talking about. I’ve met some pretty dumb people with great bodies. They really have no idea how they got their physiques. They just work out and eat whatever and then give advice that perpetuates just about every fitness myth out there.

I’m a certified personal trainer myself, and you know what, I don’t think it means much at all. Many personal trainers can get their certifications online with an open book! FYI, I’m certified by the Cooper Institute, and the exams are proctored (you go to a facility, empty your pockets and turn them inside out, and they stick a camera on you while you take the test to make sure you don’t cheat). This insures that you know the material on the test and aren’t just looking it up on Google real quick.

Regardless, what makes a good trainer or coach is not what they look like, or how much they know, or what certification they have, but how well they’re able to motivate and inspire change in individuals. They take them to where they need to be so that the client’s curiosity gets the best of them and they start learning for themselves instead of expecting all the answers to be given to them. You give them the tools, motivate, inspire, teach, and help them adhere to their program until they’re ready to go at it alone.

Fitness Companies Trying to Sponsor Bloggers to Make Their Products Look Better

This is a tough one to write about for me. As a blogger I understand the dilemma – you either stick to your values and make little money, or you put your brand behind a so-so product and make some good money. The problem is that the good and healthy brands are few and far between in the fitness industry, and really, they need no backing at all to sell, so bloggers are forced to sacrifice some integrity to pay the bills. It’s a tough choice we’ve all been faced with.

I’ve personally turned down offers from some pretty big brands because I would never in a million years use their products. I only write about products I personally use and recommend. I do my best to censor the ads that are shown here, but in all honesty, you can’t catch them all, and I can only hope that people learn enough to not fall for the quick-fixes. However, if I’ve written about a product within an article, it’s good to go in my opinion.

So then, what pisses you off about the fitness industry?

  • chizzie

    my biggest bug bear ..celebrity weight loss stories , they get a trainer ,get some liposuction and then write a book or do a video about how they lost all that weight and if you buy their products then you will be just as slim as they are ..only to see pics of them 4 months having put all the weight back on and yet their exercise video and books are still being bought by gullible people ..makes me mad

    • Coach Calorie

      That’s another one. There’s no shortage of deceit in the fitness industry.

  • Chelsey

    Meal replacements (like Slim Fast or Special K) that promote starvation as a healthy form of weight loss piss me off. Or maybe it’s just how I’m perceiving the commercials.

    • Coach Calorie

      Yup, meal replacements are just food products, not real food. They assume people are only going to look at the macronutrients instead of the ingredients. If they were to look at them, they’d be shocked.

  • Liz

    Maybe my favorite article you have written to date. Love all you stand for. Thank you for the daily motivation, and the reminder that there are no secrets, and no shortcuts!

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Liz! I appreciate the kind words, and you being a reader of the site :)

  • Sandy Ellis

    Planet Fitness has set the industry back 60 years alone……

    • Coach Calorie

      I don’t know much about Planet Fitness. What is it they are doing?

    • Julie Wachter

      Planet Fitness is affordable and they have knowledgeable personnel. When my physical therapy sessions were finished, the trainer at my local PF took my pt notes seriously and carefully explained to me what I could do at PF to continue what I had been doing at pt and his notes and explanations were spot on with my issue and what was recommended for me.

  • Cindy Dikeman

    Funny, one of the reasons I follow you is because it NEVER feels like you are selling me anything. You give good solid advice anchored in a healthy lifestyle — consistently, for the long term. I have subscribed then promptly unsubscribed from many other sites but will always be a fan of yours. Thanks for everything and keep up the great work!

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Cindy, I’m glad you feel that way. I adopted a business model of providing free information and just selling ad space to pay the bills. That affords me the opportunity to just write about the good stuff. Every once in a while a find a product that I like and I review it, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless I used it myself.
      Thanks for sticking around, and thanks for the kind words!

  • Kevin K

    I hate home exercise equipment. I agree most all of it is a worthless investment. Personally I have never been able to work out at home. I go to my local YMCA. There is one piece of exercise equipment I do have. A pull up bar. The kind that fits in a door frame. It is also the kind that raises the bar above the door so I don’t have to keep my legs bent. It was cheap and convenient to do pull ups and abs. To me it was a good $35 investment. By the way I am 6 foot tall 46 years old and dropped from 244 to 165 in last two years. I’m down to 11.5 % body fat. I recently discovered your site and it appears I got lucky and managed to do most things right.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Kevin,

      I’d say 90% of home exercise equipment is worthless. It’s just manufactured cheaply for the individual wanting to get in shape. They know they won’t last long, so they don’t build their products that way either. I like equipment with no moving parts. Just give me solid steel and weights. I might one day purchase a bike, but I’ll never buy an exercise trinket from a sporting goods store.

  • Aireen Vargas-Gendron

    I have developped an interest in the fitness competitions and what pisses me off is why are organizations charging so much to compete??? On top of it you don’t even make money out of it until you’re in the PRO level? It’s ironic how we pay to compete?

    • Coach Calorie

      That’s interesting Aireen. I can see why there would be some kind of fee just like any other sport, as there are costs involved, but setting a price that puts people out of reach of competing shouldn’t happen. Money should hold people back from competing. Have you ever looked at trying to get sponsored?

      • Aireen Vargas-Gendron

        Thanks for the tip…sponsoring is something nobody has ever mentioned to me yet, not my coach nor personal trainers, perhaps its due to the fact thats its quiet rare for a beginner. I do this for fun and the experience, I guess it’s one of those pricey hobbies! Great artcle btw! :D

  • Tracy

    Hi Tony!
    First let me say thank you for the info you provide here on CoachCalorie. This article was especially useful for me. I am not one to fall for worthless equipment – the only equipment I need is a MP3 player with strong beat tunes, weights and self determination. The women’s mags? – well I take information they offer for workouts and try to incorporate what I can into the my workout regimen – finding a good portion of my true motivation from the REAL women that talk about their weight loss journey and what worked for them. The one thing I was most surprised about was the video feed you have posted to this article – I knew the “results” of select products was too good to be true – but to actually see the airbrushing, lighting, etc.. and end picture – WOW. The gimmick I find myself drawn to is the “fatburner” or “metabolism booster”. I know they are stimulant based and maybe I am fooling myself, but they seem to give me that extra push I need to get it done plus I dont feel as hungry… Is there ANY you recommend? Or avoid them completely? (Note, I use them 3 months on – 3 months off)… Again thank you for the information you provide :o) much appreciated.

  • ritzi

    I hate to see in skinny people in health and fitness magazines. They should use real role models who actually lose weight by doing exercise and eating right, not by photoshop. enough with perfect figure.

  • Coach Calorie

    Hey Tracey! Here’s my take on fat burners: I’ve used plenty of them in the past, and for the most part, they all worked if I had my diet and exercise in check. They worked best when my body fat was already at low levels. Nowadays, I feel like I’d be sacrificing my health for fitness if I used them, and that isn’t my goal anymore. My goal now is to be healthy and fit, and I’ve noticed that my body composition reflects that when I’m doing it well. So no, I can’t recommend any to you, but I think you’ll be much happier without them :)

  • Chris

    Good thoughts man. I’ve fallen for most of these at some point.

    One word on the processed food stuff—I agree and had to learn this. And I think it’s important that people learn it. Mostly people do it out of convenience. And I don’t want to fault them too hard right out of the gate for not “eating clean” from the get go. I think some of these values come as the body + cravings + desires start to change.

    Then again I still have a lot to learn.

    • Coach Calorie

      No doubt, I ate all those protein bars too at some point, but at some point I thought that this was too good to be true. I took a closer look and started looking up the ingredients one by one. Never again did I buy one. Only real food for me these days.

  • G

    Thanks Coach! Great post, the honesty’s refreshing. Keep ‘em coming.

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks G!

  • brian l

    Well, I had a big response written out, but as I went to submit, an error occurred and deleted it. So I will try my best to recreate.

    I agree with your views here. It is all about marketing and promotion, about making a quick buck. Unfortunately that hurts those who actually need to make a change.

    I’m naive with magazine covers, I’m hoping that they inspire at least one person to actually commit to a lifestyle change and reach their goals. The one thing that I hate is how everyone is throwing these headlines around that belittle everyone else. An example would be those headlines that read “Ten things that you are doing wrong in the gym and the three simple things that you can do to get that body you want in just 20 minutes a day!” Most often these articles simply bash other techniques without any actual fact and then throw false promises at you with stupid claims. They fail to outline exactly what needs to be done from both the workout and the nutritional components and the articles are constructed to make someone believe that they can totally transform their body in a very, unrealistic, time period. They always finish with a claim of “unlock the three secrets to a better you for only $19.99″.

    I do not agree with these “10 things to do” types of approach as it takes much more than that to achieve results. Tips are different and are suggestions on ways to improve on current routines already in place, but they may not work for everyone, that is why they are tips.

    I’m going to be honest and say that when I first noticed your articles on G+, I thought, “great, here is another blog that promises amazing results with no work. Another blog that just recycles BS from around the web and sugar coats what actually needs to be done”. I’m glad to say that I was wrong and I enjoy reading the articles found here, they offer great advice. Keep up the good work.

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks for taking the time to rewrite your response Brian. I do my best to differentiate myself from others and bring a unique voice. After all, everything that needs to be known about fitness is alright out there on the internet. The difference is in how it’s how it’s explained and how you can make people think differently about those concepts. Sometimes that’s just enough to cause an epiphany moment that changes their life forever.

  • Charlene

    I love fitness and when I left the Army I trained to become a fitness instructor. Only after a couple of years I changed my career as one of the gyms I worked for was all about selling products and memberships and the second gym had me mainly working behind the juice bar. Maybe I gave up too soon but they put me off working for a gym :0(

    • Coach Calorie

      As a personal trainer at a gym, you are basically a sales rep, or so I’m told. I am a personal trainer, but only for furthering education purposes. Have you considered going into business for yourself? All it takes is helping one close friend reach their goals and then the word spreads.

  • Marisol Fernandez

    I love all the positive info u provide. Thank u for everything as I learn something new thx to u everyday :-)

  • Coach Calorie

    Thanks Marisol. Glad you like the articles, and thank you for being a reader!

  • Lisa

    Thanks for this article!! It’s true, I feel like you are giving us the truth in your articles and that was one of the reasons I felt good about getting the BodyMedia Fit Armband, b/c you were promoting it as a good product. I knew I could trust you. I am a new personal trainer and have a lot to learn. I have filed most of your articles so I can go back and read them again. Thanks for all your doing, keep it up!!! :)

    • Coach Calorie

      Glad you trusted me enough to give the product a try. My wife and I still use it to this day, but I’m a fitness technology addict ;)

  • Nicole Anne Chew

    Fitness bloggers… Lol! Some r so mad about putting up videos, every day. Then this desperation for “likes”… Then the plastic surgery… The oversized boobs, and serious annorexia. Omg… It has become my daily reality tv. We’re just waiting for their own neurosis to knock them out. Thank you for this post. It is funny.

    • Pilates1967

      One of my biggest pet peeves is when people want you to write them out a program for free. I’ve been in the fitness industry for 20 years now. People want your fit advice all day long which is fine, but working out is just a small piece of the pie. Love yourself enough to research on your own, or be willing to pay for some help.

  • Coach Calorie

    There are some of those out there, but if you look around, there are some truly authentic people that want to help. One day I will do an article of the best bloggers I recommend. It’s a tight community of people that share these ideals.

  • Stephaniee

    Planet fitness is a meet them where there at kind of gym. The membership is cheap and the offer things like pizza Monday. The don’t carry weights above 60 pounds and discourage loud grunting.

  • Colleen Gilleran

    Thankfully you actually sound like my “trainers” (if you want to call them that). I was reading this and thinking OMG, this is exactly the stuff that Curtis and Rachelle tell us all of the time! I find it hard, as I have been obese my entire life…well since I was about 4 and I am now 37, to break down the built up messages from the media and public that have rooted themselves into my brain. EVERY day is a struggle, but by golly, I put up one h3ll of a fight to right the wrongs in my brain! Thanks for the great read!

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Colleen. It just takes changing one single habit at a time. Make progress and don’t try to be perfect. Eventually, it all adds up!

  • Susan

    excellent article thank you so much for your hard work

  • A Fitter Image

    Great article! I love the honesty and reality-check you provide.
    I have 2 related things that really tick me off as a Personal Trainer myself… 1) other personal trainers who masquerade as trying to help you kickstart your business and then persuade you to sell the supplements that work for them (b/c “that is what will make your business great” – note sarcasm there). I got my PT certification to help people change their lives, not take their money by selling them useless stuff that won’t make a difference if they don’t change their habits.
    2) As a newly certified PT, I’m always searching for more info and expanding my knowledge base (which is how I found your blog – :) – which i love, thanks for all you do). But occasionally I come across the “here’s how to be a 6-figure trainer” folks who want to take $499 of your money to sell you a shoddily-made you tube video of themselves speaking in a conference room at the local Holiday Inn on marketing tactics. Those folks really tick me off. As you mentioned in one of your comments, it’s hard to find the folks on the internet who are quality writers/educators and speak to the values of helping people, and not just selling garbage (metaphorical or literal).
    Thanks again. ~ Karen

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Karen, wow, 500 bucks to teach me how to be a great trainer? Which Holiday Inn do I go to? :)
      Being genuine is what sells.

  • Karen

    Yes, yes, yes. Completely agree with you. My biggest pet peeve in “fitness” magazines is that they will publish an article on superfoods i.e. and then on the next page there is an ad for a product that contains artificial sweetners, and all kinds of horrible ingredients.
    BTW – love Coach Calorie!!

    • Coach Calorie

      Yes, that’s a problem, and it’s what I talked about in the article. The healthy food sells itself. There’s no need for advertising. So what we’re left with are products that need to be pushed to sell, and magazines that need the money in order to publish good articles. Those ads will always be around, even on this site sometimes. The good thing is that you never have to click on them, and if you actually read the articles, you should no better :)

  • Aimee

    OMG- love this! I read your blog all the time and truly appreciate you’re honesty.

    As far as exercise equipment- I first began my love affair with health and fitness when I was 14 (15 plus years ago) all I worked out with was my body weight and if I really wanted a challenge gallon milk jugs filled with water. But seriously, grab a can of soup and shake that around for a bit- a lot cheaper and you look still as ridiculous!

    I also wish that fitness magazines promoted real woman on the covers more and not these woman/celebrities who work out 3 hours a day or have had surgery or Photoshop on their side. You know what- I have 3 kids all 2 years apart and I still weigh the same as I did in high school and am in great shape. Yay for me right? Well, yes, but- it took a lot of work and dedication and my body composition is completely different. I have an awesome “mom pouch” that I learned to accept that I never had when I was younger. I guess a picture of my very toned -except for the marsupial pouch stomach- body wouldn’t make that magazine much money now would it??? But it would sure be refreshing and honest in my eyes ;-)

    Great blog- keep it up. I look forward to it!

  • Matt Jones

    Shows like the biggest loser:

    While I like to see how remarkable changes can be made on shows like the biggest loser, the fact is your not going to be able to do this at home. They are in a controlled environment with doctors, trainers, proper equipment, food, and probably psychologists to assist them through this process – not to mention possibly prescriptions to balance them out and so forth. The “real world” is not this sterile lab environment.

    They also emphasize intense workouts often, which I agree with to a point, but for the person just starting out – it is not only difficult but possibly dangerous. In the real world if you jump into a program like this you will see results, but eventually your body will scream at you for ice cream, fries, or other bad things as its trying to cope with the stress workload and find energy balance. It is much better to work into this, start slow, build a routine, set goals, and then start pushing yourself once your established working out and your body is used to activity. Establishing a routine of activity is a lot more important then puking during your first workouts.

    They also focus on weight lost, they should really be doing a DEXA scan or bodpod and looking at fat/muscle lost/gained. Its not healthy to be weight centric, who cares what you weigh if your fit and look great? I have read about people losing 10lbs of fat while packing on the same amount of muscle in a shorter then you would think period. Mainly those that never worked out, having a zero show on the scale is not necessarily a bad thing – if you packed on muscle!

    One more thing about that show – they don’t have a paleo or primal dietician, its all based on the pyramid or plate scheme which includes things like grains which have a lot of carbohydrates (and allergens). Granted they are working out hard and can use more carbs then a person sitting all day, but put a good primal/paleo person in there using unprocessed foods, carbs like sweet potatoes to help them out with glycogen, lots of good fats and enough protein, if the measurement was DEXA/Bod pod measurements you would see a lot more muscle added due to hormones balancing (you need fat and cholesterol for hormones), and I guarantee you’ll see better composition changes then the “half your plate should be grains” groups. I personally think that hanging onto grains or other carbs is asking for a relapse in diet as well, once off the ranch and not working out as hard those carbs aren’t going to be their friends.

    Beyond that show, supplements, for the most part are bogus. Especially things like thermogenics, testosterone boosters (unless pro hormone or other serious items), and the like. Sure there may be SOME assistance you can find in a herbal supplement, caffeine does help burn fat, but if your 40% overweight your going to get more benefit from adjusting your diet and activity then any pill can provide. The “thermogenics” may come into play when your nearly lean already, where every extra boost of fat burnt matters, not when your first starting. When first starting you can almost do anything to lose some fat, you don’t need the extra boost. Test boosters are the same way, there could be negligible boost but a lot of this stuff is untested and my be also causing the new “low T” syndrome so many men are having these days.

    If I had one suggestion for getting healthy or losing fat – it is simply to eat unprocessed foods. That is probably 75% of the diet equation right there.

  • aishah

    Totally agree with u Tony. Also among those are trainers who try to mask their ignorance or shortcomings by sounding aggressive rather than trying to uplift and educate. Eg “you should quit your job if you don’t know xyz about training!”. Fitness professionals who are passionate about it constantly learn and research in my opinion. So y try to stamp on other trainers when they know nothing about their methods!!

  • Coach Calorie

    I have no doubt that a magazine will eventually make it to the forefront. It will feature real people with real results. I have a dream ;)

  • Coach Calorie

    Don’t get me started on that show. I watched one episode and couldn’t stop commenting about everything that pissed me off. I would never recommend someone mimic what they do in that show.

    • trainerP

      not to mention, one of the trainers, has now released a book … which he blatantly boasts an 800k/cal for women, and 1200 for men ‘diet’ NO SH!T you’ll lose weight!! Why? BECAUSE YOU’RE STARVING YOURSELF!! how he can claim this can be even semi-permanent is beyond me. It’s insulting to Nutritionists, and trainers alike!!

  • Coach Calorie

    If a trainer makes it about themselves, then their philosophy is all wrong.

  • Connie Bounds

    what would you tell someone who is a apple shape what exercises would you tell them to do —i go to a gym and havent lost any weight in my stomach –abs area yet
    getting frustrated

    • Coach Calorie

      Focus more on your diet. That’s where the majority of your results are going to come from. Make small changes until 90% of your diet is whole foods.

  • GG1299

    I agree with everything you say in this article it was interesting to watch that video and the personal trainer section was very enlightening thank you

  • Michelle Shoemaker

    I love. love. love your articles, they are so in line with the way I teach my clients. My peave, is a person who knows enough to get themselves in trouble. They love to give advice on something they truly do not know about, but since they have heard one thing, they are now the expert. Thank you!

    • Coach Calorie

      Yeah, they learn a fun fact and like to show it off. Kinda funny :)

  • Debbie

    So true. Ive been going to the gym all my life and worked in the industry for 16 years and totally get what your saying. Love how you are so upfront and not full of bullshit. Keep it up

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Debbie

  • Amberish2002

    Oh, the 5 foods never to eat….. Are very similar to your foods to avoid….. Just saying. Artificial sweeteners, processed flours, sugar, etc…. Actually gets into recommending whole foods with low glycemic impact.

  • Coach Calorie

    Interesting. Have never clicked the ads before. Except the ad always has a giant banana. Really, a banana? A little deceiving if you ask me. Now, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, food colorings and things are a whole different story.

  • Kris

    I had to chuckle when I saw the first part with magazines promising the perfect body in two weeks. I have always struggled with my weight and when glancing through these magazine, realize that those plans might work for someone who needs to only loose 10 pounds or so, but not for someone who has 50 or so extra pounds to loose. I find myself wanting articles about someone who has lost a lot of weight safely over a long period of time, and tips from them. I have good intentions,but seem to loose the motivation to stick to eating healthy about 4 months into some new plan. It’s all confusing, calories in/calories out, low carb, no carb, Paleo/Cave Man…….I do have one thing going for me though. I love to exercise and belong to a private gym that is like Cross Fit on steroids.

  • Joe Leech

    Hey Tony

    Great article :) Your honesty and integrity is very admirable. So many people just sell out to the man for the $.

    The dietary supplement industry is booming here in Australia, commercials with sport stars telling us to eat pills such as the “chill pill – for everyday stress support”, which MAY help with stress symptoms (oh and it MAY NOT).

    Everyones looking for the quick fix because they’ve got no time or they dont make time, and the fitness industry is all over it. As long as we live busy lives the quick fix will reign supreme it seems.

  • Coach Calorie

    I don’t watch much tv, but I hear it on the radio and see them on the shelves in the stores. The Chill Pill huh…that’s a new one to me!

  • Sheryl Sheridan

    I love your daily blog, best out there quite honestly. I agree with all of your points and I am shocked at the lack research about fitness and nutrition that the general public actually does! I also love your little motivational quotes on your daily email I get. Keep it up, I pass alot of this info on to people I meet every day and it backs up my philosophy as well!

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Sheryl. I appreciate you reading. I always like starting the day with a little motivation, so I include them in the daily newsletter too.

  • jgirl

    I LOVEEEE Following you because of the sound advise, you have actually stopped me from falling into the “fads” or expensive pills, because of you I have lost 45 lbs on MY OWN with YOUR advise and articals! Love it

    • Coach Calorie

      45lbs is awesome! You did it the right way – you changed your lifestyle. :)

  • will

    This guy is a legend! I love your website!

  • Margaret Lewis

    You described my PT to a tee – she is a real person. She is compassionate, insightful, caring, knows her stuff, and I love her to death. She has changed my life, never sold me a thing, talks to me like a real person, never yells or looks down on me, and looks great without being one of the “unachievable”. I love her to death.

    • Coach Calorie

      Sounds like a winner to me!

  • Annie

    I have one little comment regarding certification of personal trainers. I received my certification through the ISSA.. they are one of the ones who allow you to do it completely online. Does that make it easy? No. Their tests require the person to go out in the field and actually research the stuff. You can’t just look it up on google. I had to go interview sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, personal trainers, gym managers, and lots more. I also had to study in great detail the many types of exercise equipment available out there. Learning about muscle mechanics and such was the easy part. Interestingly,all the answers to most of their test questions, cannot be found in their books, the NASM books, or the ACE manuals (I have them all)

    I actually did check into the Cooper Institute and quite a few other places and they were all cost prohibitive for me.

    I think an online program is great and you get out of it what you put into it. I know a few trainers with exercise science degrees who suck at training and they are who gets hired at a local huge and well known gym franchise. On the other hand, a favorite trainer of mine is ISSA certified, continues his education with enthusiasm, and is one of the best trainers I’ve ever met.

    So like you say, you can’t judge a trainer by their cover, but also, don’t look down your nose at an online program either. Just sayin :-)

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Annie, you no doubt get what you put into it, and it looks like you got a lot out of it. Like I also said, I think the certifications mean very little, as book smarts only get you so far as a personal trainer. I don’t know enough about the ISSA certification to comment on it, although I did notice the test was online, so I passed in favor of a proctored exam. There is a negative association with online certifications in the fitness industry simply because just about anyone can pass them. I am not speaking of ISSA in particular, but of others. In my opinion, certifications should be for your own benefit and continued education. So, I apologize if it seemed like I was looking down on you. That was not my intention.

    • annie

      you don’t need to apologize, ’cause I’m not mad or miffed or anything. I enjoy your posts, they always hit home.

  • Tony Sr.

    I have stuck with your program for 3 months now and so far 213 to 190lbs. its a life style change and walking program that takes time. I threw out the cookies and cakes and veges replace with water rather than sodas. thanks for the daily advice! it works!

    • Coach Calorie

      Happy that it is working for you. Keep making small changes, and they’ll eventually add up ;)

  • LeeLeeUK

    What a brilliant article – I love reading absolutely everything you submit – so interesting. Thank you for your honesty and integrity – a breath of fresh air!!

  • Rebekah

    Hey Coach – sooo appreciate your website! We’re real foodies, and my gym-hubby has been trying to turn me into a gym rat for years, but it’s been so hard to find sound fitness advice that advocates REAL FOOD! Your site has inspired and encouraged me to get my post-pregnancy body back. I’m excited to implement what I’ve learned. I’d like to lose 15 lbs or 10 percent body fat so I’m starting your “How to Lose 10 Lbs in a Month” plan tomorrow. Wish me luck!

  • PaigeV

    Being in the fitness industry for years, I LOVE the bit about trainers.(all of it actually, but the trainer bit is a hot point for me!) I *DO* think credentials are important, however, it is NOT the credentials that make a good trainer!!
    I also have a grave distaste for cookie cutter programs. To me, it seems unethical to promote any diet and exercise program without first hand knowledge of a client, their goals, health, etc. I have seen some amazing results from said programs, however, what does the average fitness laymen do, after the 12/16/20 weeks are done? they re-gain most of the weight, or plug aimlessly along on the same program, unaware their bodies adapt. (and grossly under eating in most cases, at the same time.)

  • Jane smith

    The fitness industry is a mess because it doesn’t have a ruling body. The ACSM does a sh*tty job because it can’t do otherwise. It allowed the Physical Therapists to take the finess half of our jobs and the RNs to take the cardiac rehab part of our jobs. If we were able to have the type of education those two occupations had and the type of certification those two occupations have then the words “personal trainer” might mean something. But it doesn’t. And the ACSM has NO ONE to blame but itself.

  • Rosy Saadeh

    Thanks for this post – I always laugh when I see the latest fad in weight loss and the millions who feed into it.

    It’s unfortunate that today’s mentality is about wanting results NOW and feeding into the machine that it can happen. At the end of the day, clean eating and an effective workout plan is the ONLY thing that will result in a good physique.

  • Rob

    You are awesome!!!! Finally someone says what I have been saying about organic and natural products!!! I hate when u see the commercials saying “They are all natural now.” Now?? What was it before???!!

    You can add the new fad; Greek Yogurt. Seems to be everywhere now!

  • andy

    Please can you add Shakeology to this. I’ve had success with P90X and Insanity and love Beachbody workouts but the ramming shakeology and then any support forums the coaches are straight on there trying to upsell you this…p’@ses me off!

  • Jodowl

    I owned and worked in a well known women’s gym where we taught about healthy eating combined with regular exercise in Australia for 4 years. I learned a lot and had great success in assisting quite a lot of women lose sometimes up to 30-40 kgs (66-88lbs) and most maintained it. I myself also lost 20kgs and have maintained it for 5 yrs now. But it was a rare thing to achieve those successes because everyone especially women want instant results the week they join, it is so hard to perpetuate the slow and steady option is the right one.
    One of my biggest pet peeves was when The Biggest Loser would restart back on Tv and we would be flooded with new members who wanted to lose weight as fast as they did on the show, knowing everyone on the show regains after :(

    Since immigrating to the US the well known women’s gym are few and far between with none in my local town so I was forced to join a ‘normal’ gym where I “once” employed the services of a personal trainer. This guy is a ‘seller’ of a weight loss shake, has muscles on muscles and was actually a nice person. BUT after the session with him I could not walk for a week. Which in my opinion made him a bad trainer, he did not take into account my fitness level, which I thought was not too bad for my age (37) and just pushed me to the max on my first session, leaving me incapacited incapacitated.

    • Coach Calorie


  • Rosana

    Those articles or commercials that tell you “you can loose 20 pounds following three simple steps” If it was that easy, we would not need to read on websites like this to get tips and inspiration to start or continue our healthy for life journey. But they don’t really piss me off, they just want me to go and make my own public announcement about how misleading those articles or commercials are.

  • Julie Wachter

    Thank you for speaking as a “real” person! Your knowledge and honesty is helping me more than you know, as I watch all the money being spent by my friends on the gimicks you just mentioned in this blog, who are seeing no results by the way.. You’re making this life long struggle easier by keeping it real and basic. :)

  • Rondo

    I would say one of the most disturbing thing for me is the phrase that resembles something like this. “get a 6 pack with just 3 minutes a day”. Or Lose that fat with these workouts in just minutes a day…As far as I know, you can never pick the spot you want to lose fat and make it go away!!! I agree that you can pick a muscle and work it out and create more of it. But that does not directly impact the layer of cellulite that is over that 6 pack and will still be there once you have created a six pack….The headlines want everyone to think that gaining muscle and losing cellulite is one in the same. But I don’t really think that is the way it works!!

  • Nichole Rae

    Great article! Thanks!!

  • Tyler K

    As a fellow trainer, I can completely relate to all of these. Especially the ignorant trainers. To make matters worse, it seems like most if not all corporate gyms have opted to being more financially aware and as a result the products that wind up for sale have become very disappointing to say the least. From the terrible processed protein bars you mentioned, to having those ridiculous low quality equipment just to reach out to those who ate looking for fads. It’s so disappointing to see the lack of attention on what we NEED, but based around what the ignorant consumer WANTS

  • Janine Bowen

    I LOVE reading your articles!!

    • Coach Calorie


  • Jennifer Medina Slack

    Coach Calorie, I just read this article and wanted to take a quick moment to thank you! I am not super thin…yet I can out box most people..I can kickbox with the best of them and I know what it takes to lose and gain weight..I LOVE working out..and have decided to follow my passion and train people..getting my certs and all of that..but I still carry about 10% extra body fat that I am working to get rid of..Thank you for the words about LOOKING perfect has no bearing on being a good trainer!! Its about knowledge and ability..

  • metalmancpa

    A HUGE turn off for me in fitness are the countless pictures of entirely ripped males / females in marketing and motivational posters etc. I am 53 years old and not in competition for anything, whereas most of those pictures are people who compete for a living. I look past it and do my thing, but those pictures alone can indirectly set unrealistic goals (“I want to look like that”) which can easily derail ones efforts.
    Another newly found pet peeve of mine is the “cardio junkie” approach to fitness. If you are a runner or cyclist and compete, that’s one thing. But I did cardio for 25 years because so much info said it was great. Then why a year ago when I changed my approach and added resistance training and lessened cardio did I lose 10+ pounds I didn’t think I had to lose and get a more “ripped” look (people have actually used that word to me – I chuckle). For instance, I love spinning, but to push it as THE way to get in shape to me is misinformation. It has a place, but not as the only thing.
    And lastly, nutrition. Supplements do play an important role (I think so, because if I believe in totally paleo then I’d be giving science no credit). But all of the pushing to sell gym memberships and expensive gym equipment to the masses do not properly inform the naïve public about a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is 70%+ important. I think EVERY piece of fitness equipment sold should come with some sort of a nutrition guide, at least to bring to light to the purchaser that nutrition must be considered.

  • Carolyn

    Tony, I love your articles. I have learned so much and they are always “right on!” I have a wonderful trainer that works with us in small groups. I made the decision last summer to have her help me change my diet because I was already working out really hard (just not seeing results). I lost 15 lbs and have kept it off. I’ve totally changed my mindset on how I eat and work out! Your blogs (articles) support everything I believe in! I’ve recommended your fb page to other friends!! :) Thanks for all you do!!

  • megachick

    how about gyms that offer ‘free pizza night’ or ‘bagel morning’? grrrr. talk about leveraging their position over a vulnerable population!

  • sandy

    Loved your article, it sure rang true. One pet peeve I have, is at my gym the trainers like to walk over and ask if they can talk to you about whatever you are doing. They correct you and to be honest the advice they gave me was wrong. They dont know Im also a trainer, I train people in their homes or outside. I feel its wrong to walk up to gym patrons and advise them on how to do things. I feel like they are just trying to get another client. I see people using the wrong form all the time but I would never have the nerve to go up and correct them. And getting $85 an hour for the workouts I see some of them getting is a joke.

  • Summer Project

    Coach: I love this site. I read every entry and it is so practical and encouraging. You keep your readers informed with simple truths. I made “myself” my summer project. I am eating whole foods, doing Tabata, and have finally decided to ignore the gimmicks. I am watching calories as well as te QUALITY of the calories. I have decided to let go of unreasonable, unachievable deadlines. I have been diligent for 4 weeks and have lost 4.5 pounds. It all started here. I feel GREAT! Thanks, Coach!

  • MsAnita

    I so agree with what Cindy said.. you are honest and to the point, I have learned a lot from you, I will admit I fall for those supplements all the time.. I do know that eating clean and working out dose work for me

  • mrck

    Fitness trainers who are judgemental and unkind towards clients, running them down behind their backs. There’s a lot of that.It’s highly unprofessional and humanly unattractive. I think if we are honest the fitness industry attracts a lot of vain insecure people, who are more concerned about their own appearance and feeling good about themselves than being of service to their clients. Irresponsible fitness trainers, the type who take on a client who is already slim or too slim and assist them in getting thinner, particularly female clients, as it impacts on fertility and future health. I see a lot of that too. Fitness instructors who don’t make the effort to understand how to help special populations, the elderly, people with learning difficulties, female clients who have post natal issues or child birth injuries, which is about one of five women who have vaginal deliveries ( prolapse etc) the level of ignorance around what a women can and should do in the such circumstances is astounding. Fitness instructors should at the very least know enough to know that you can’t deal with a client, and refer them to a qualified physio! More integrity would be great!

  • Russell Frye

    I hate the “Steroid alternative may get banned soon” that I see on facebook all the time. Well if its going to get banned soon then its probably really bad for your health! and they justify this with the claim that alcohol and tobacco are legal products, well if you are exercising and working out then you shouldn’t do those things either! I guess its not really the product itself but the attempt at justification with two other products that are about as bad as possible for your health.

  • Iowa Trainer

    As a personal trainer… I will argue that it is important to have the knowledge to back up what you are talking about . you can be motivational all you want but if you don’t know how to back it up then its pointless. I agree that you shouldn’t spoon feed then the knowledge but you need to be able to have a discussion with them about what they have researched because there is a lot of false information out there and if they are reading the wrong thing then that’s just as bad. So to me it is how much you know and being motivational. Knowledge is power for you and your clients.

  • Dotti

    Well, you asked!
    Pet hates:
    Trainers who tell clients that cardiovascular exercise will make them fat
    Trainers who try and flog gym members their vitamins, supplements and detox regimens
    Gym classes that are so overcrowded that they are almost an occupational health and safety hazard
    Gyms with management that allows members to wander into classes any time they see fit – even when the class has been underway for 20 minutes and is clearly full!

  • Michelle Delios

    Thank you for such an eye opener. I know about the magazines and the false ads, but you have really hit home on a lot of other topics. Such deceptions to people and what they are led to believe. Thanks again

  • Coach Calorie

    Knowledge is important for sure.

  • onefatmamma

    I have to say I enjoy watching the Biggest Loser & Extreme Weight Loss but mainly for motivational purposes! What better way to exercise than to watch a 500 lb person (not to offend anyone) exercising & telling myself, “If he can do it, why can’t you! So, no excuses!” I find I can stay on my elliptical longer, or keep lifting my weights while watching these people. I agree there should be more focus on the foods they eat (not just subway, Jennie-O, and chewing gum), but we all find inspiration/motivation somewhere so not all of its bad. As for what really pisses me off is the advertising for the exercise equipment; sure that perfectly fit person can get on that thing; now show me someone my size doing it! One of the great things with Richard Simmons was that his videos showed actual realistic people doing his workouts, not some supermodel claiming to have lost 80 lbs due to this product. Again the main concept & reason so many people love to watch shows like the Biggest Loser & Extreme Weight Loss because it shows actual people performing the exercises &using the exercise machines.

  • spankee

    Where to begin? I guess one of my pet peeves would be all the supplements, energy drinks, pills, new workout fads, bs trainers telling you to do all these crazy workouts. I am also a personal trainer. I spent 3 years working w a retired bodybuilder, then took a course and got certified. Certifications mean 0. There is no governing body over all the different companies. I have learned more from videos and personal weight loss and workouts than from these trainers I see in gyms today. I am 50 years old and didnt even set foot in a gym til I was 44, but boy have I learned alot. You are one of two or three I follow that gives consistently good advice. Thank you for your honesty. Now if we could just get gyms to do something about the members and their lack of gym etiquette…….. Topic for another day :)