Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Food Source vs. Food intake

Today's post was actually inspired by an event from my long ago past. Back in 2006 Adam was pretty green in the performance and fitness field, and looking for a job. Even with the incredible amount of knowledge and experience I've gained since I feel as though I had earned a decent grasp of the goods, especially for a rookie.

Anyway, I had an interview at a commercial gym (that I'll keep nameless). Before this I'd never felt odd or out of place in an interview. I used to get nervous but that's about it. Too keep a long story short, cause it's really quite ridiculous. This girl walks up 30 min late, completely unprepared (but she was cute, I'll give her that). She hadn't even looked at my resume(commercial gyms will hire almost anyone that can talk and look halfway close to the part). So in some strange effort to make an interview out of this she starts badgering me with these weird questions that didn't make any sense and I had to come up with some BS answer. To say the least this girl's knowledge of training was idiotic at best, the interview went horrible, I almost stood up and walked out multiple times, and I didn't get the job (imagine that).

Well one of the questions was, "How many calories should a 130lb, 45 year old woman be eating per day?"

I remember it very well cause I'm sitting there thinking that is the dumbest question I've ever heard. I don't remember what came out of my mouth, but I remember thinking, "Are you kidding me?" To this day that question is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from another fitness professional. All I remember getting out was something about not being able to tell without proper evaluation, like Metabolic testing, body fat testing, or even a food log or something.
But then it gets better. She asks me to give her a number of calories. It's all she wants. This girl literally says, "Just give me a number".

It deserves to be said twice. This is by far and away the dumbest thing I've ever encountered up to this point in my field. This literally rivals Ryan Gerot and I shooting each other with BB guns when we were in grade school. (Don't give me that, you probably did it too).

I said it then and I'll say it now. There is no way to tell exactly how many calories you need without proper evaluation. NO WAY.

We humans are an incredibly diverse group. We're incredibly different in the way we react to food, store fat, use macronutrients, how we age, eating habits, activity levels, lifestyles, stress, etc etc... I'll say it again: There is NO WAY to be able to just throw out a number and think your even close. Charts, ratios, pyramids, all that stuff.....It doesn't work.

It doesn't work 'exactly' like this, but for sake of argument we'll use it.
There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. There are 7 days in a week. If you overeat 250 calories/day, you'll gain 2lb in 1 month. 250 calories is not much, you wouldn't notice eating an extra 250 calories in a day (maybe even a meal). But over 6 months that is 12 lbs. One year=24 lbs. Put 24lbs on anyone in a year and it's gonna be noticeable. Try walking around with that extra weight. Would be sure to suck. You'd be slower, less attractive, have less $$$ (new clothes), and more prone to injuries.

The only thing I'm going to say about commercial gym's is this: They are open for $$$$, bottom line. Any and all of them. If there is a training staff, anyone on that staff that has been there for more than 4 years is there for $$$$ too. If they were good enough they'd have gone somewhere else by now, and if they gave a crap they'd have been good enough. So be ware. I've worked with trainers that are about the money, they don't care about you or what you get from your investment. They just want that muuneee.

In my eyes they are the scum of the industry. The ones that give the rest of us a bad name, and make a mockery of what we do. I have no tolerance for these people, they drive me crazy.

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