Solon: Informed fitness consumers

Fitness Station

HOW do you really know if the health advice being given is sound and scientific? With all the fads these days, it’s close to impossible to determine what are facts and what are myths. It doesn’t help that there is an insane amount of fitness certifications being peddled, automatically turning the uninitiated into instant experts over a weekend.

Fitness information is all over social media, and so many others are suckered into it. We’ve heard of friends of friends having injuries and other health conditions from following a fad diet, workout. I hope more people understand the following tenets:


1. You can make your belly smaller by doing crunches.

2. Weight training makes women bigger.

3. Fad diets work.

4. Strength training stunts growth in children.

5. All supplements work and are not harmful to one’s health.


1. It takes consistency and dedication to see results.

2. Progressive workouts are key if you want to see gains in your fitness.

3. Both strength training and cardiovascular exercise are important in our pursuit of health.

4. One pound of fat is still 3,500 calories.

5. Weight loss can be done through a combination of exercise and a caloric deficit.

There are plenty more I wish to write down but I don’t have the space for them. The myths in fitness change every week depending on whoever snake-oil salesman is the flavor of the month. The truth is that the facts have been around since the Roman empire, and will likely not change anytime soon. Great fitness professionals understand the underlying principles and how to design appropriate programs based on foundation rather than fad.

To my knowledge in Australia, only Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) certified coaches are allowed to work inside academic institutions, and work with Olympic-level athletes. I hope and wish that our country will adapt a similar system to ensure that fitness folks and sports participants work with adequately certified professionals who have the academic, practical and pedagogical expertise to work with different segments of the population.

I am glad to see more competent coaches working and getting results for their clients, but we also hope to see more standardization and regulation in fitness and sports in the Philippines.


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