There are a lot of good personal trainers and a lot of terrible ones.
Beyond that, there are the good trainers who do dumb things.
Kinda like Darth Vader.
Great villain, crappy dad.
The biggest failure these otherwise “good” trainers make is constantly forgetting the big picture.
They get lost in fads, delusional quick money making, and wear blinders to any form of possible success that doesn’t fit their narrative.
Let’s be clear.
I am NOT saying every trainer should have the same approach and tactics as the next guy. Rather, some folks in the industry need to remember what their purpose ultimately is and that it may require them to adjust their one track mindset.
Today I am going to go over one major red flag for you to remember when sifting through the endless drivel of fitness “information” these days.
Supplementation is a huge rabbit hole that you and I are going to dip our feet into for a few minutes.
More often than not, supplements are constantly pushed by personal trainers, which is why I began the article the way I did. However, this information will be helpful to you whether you are seeking out a trainer or simply wanting to be better armed at calling out crap when you see it.
Let’s first dive into an understanding of supplementation and where its value actually resides.
The best way for me to simplify it for you is by explaning what I call the 98% vs. the 2% (Link to the 98/2 article I wrote a couple years ago).
In short, the 98% illustrates the big picture stuff that, if followed, will tackle virtually all of your goals and take most people to where they want to be whether it’s weight loss/gain, strength improvement, etc.
Think of it as you doing 98% of the things that will lead to your success.
The 98% includes things like:
- Taking in equal to, less than, or greater than your maintenance calories based on your goals while hitting ideal macronutrients.
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting 2–4 workouts in each week
- Limiting meals out and processed foods
- Being conservative with alcohol
Where as the 2% is the small stuff that, if done without the 98%, would NEVER get you to your goals. It’s only noticeable value is when taking intense next level steps beyond the basics.
The 2% includes things like:
- Using 12 different supplements
- Working out 5–7 days a week with occasional two a day workouts.
- Believing someone is as good as dead because they occasionally ingest sucralose.
- Requiring the perfect periodized workout program fit for a professional athlete.
- Spending 4 hours a day researching vitamins.
The 98% is where most of you are. You likely do not know many 2% people.
No one needs to touch the 2% until they can handle the 98%.
There are, however, boat loads of people who spend their entire life caught up in the 2% while completely avoiding the 98%.
This is why those people NEVER see results. They focus on 2% of what actually matters.
So why am I telling you this?
If you are reading this, you are likely apart of the 98%.
Simplistically put, you need to:
-Dial in your calories and macronutrients
-Strength train hard a couple times per week
-Drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep
-Avoid excessive processed foods, alcohol, and meals out
Thats 98% of what matters for you.
So when I hear so many trainers these days pushing supplement upon supplement to clients even the first day they meet them, I want to vomit.
You don’t need a trainers’ green food powder, vitamins, energy pills, fat burners, or any other stuff they try to push you.
They need to teach you to stop shoveling pizza, nachos, beer, and wings down your throat.
It isn’t rocket science.
Am I saying these supplements are BAD?
Not necessarily, no.
For example, many vitamins and green food powders are good, but they are NOT why you are 50 pounds overweight, have aching knees, shoulders, and back, are constantly lethargic, and are weak as a kitten.
Those are all things that can be fixed with the 98%, so chasing down supplements is a complete waste of your money. Right now. Remember, this article is aimed at beginners.
Now, the one partial caveat is a protein supplement.
When I start with a client I tell them the amount of protein I want them taking in each day.
While I always say they are more than welcome to reach that number via actual food, many people find it difficult. This is where a protein powder can come into play to more easily reach their daily goal.
However, I do not sell any protein powder to my clients.
I would rather give someone a link on Amazon than sell it to them myself and make five bucks.
This is where money for me and minor convenience for them don’t win.
Waiting two days to get something online trumps having a personal trainer who moonlights as a used car salesman.
The Bottom Line
No LEGAL supplement has ever been the reason your friend is ripped every summer at the beach just as no supplement has ever been the reason your aunt lost 100 pounds.
They both crush their nutrition among other 98% things.
Remember, I am not saying all supplements are bad, but you need to understand priorities when getting into fitness.
Furthermore, if your doctor tells you that you need to supplement with magnesium, vitamin D3, C, iron and so on because you are deficient, of course I am not saying you shouldn’t.
There are, of course, scenarios where people should be mastering the 98%, but adding 2% things because of outside health related issues.
But for the vast majority of you, wait to consider using supplements until you have truly dialed in your 98%. That is where the change is going to be found.
If you have any questions I can help you with, feel free to email me at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com
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