Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Armchair Coaches, Trainers, and Judges

The effect technology has had on our lives over the years is astonishing! I was just talking with some co-workers today about how the Internet has revolutionized communication and information in the world. Sometimes I think about how things used to be when my grandparents were young. How did they know how to get places if they didn't have google maps? How did they find information on the latest medical breakthroughs without access to government health sites? How did they entertain themselves when they were bored at work when they didn't have youtube videos to watch? But more importantly how did they get access to their favorite celebrities when they didn't have message forums, Twitter, or Facebook?

There's an article in the latest Muscular Development magazine that talks about how fans used to write letters to their favorite bodybuilders. And if the bodybuilder had the time or the inclination to write back, they're respond. Celebrities were far removed from regular life. But now, with the invention of message boards, we have instant access to all our favorite celebrities! Some even have their own columns where anyone can ask them questions, and they'll respond! How cool is that?!

Now that celebrities are only a few keystrokes away, they seem more like normal people. (Well, they are, aren't they?) And suddenly, we're all experts and trainers who feel we have the right to make "suggestions" and to question these successful athletes. Everyone's an armchair IFBB judge. We can go online and tell bodybuilding greats like Shawn Ray how to train chest. We can question Jay Cutler's diet and caloric intake. We can suggest new training techniques like P90X for Lee Priest.

Sounds ridiculous, right? That's because it IS! Just because we now have access to these athletes doesn't mean we suddenly have more knowledge. These people got to this level through a lot of trial and error, hard work, determination, sacrifice, and dedication. Who do we think we are to tell them how they should or shouldn't be training, eating, and dieting? Who are we to question theirs and their trainers' techniques for contest prep? Because we read something in Men's Health or Shape? C'mon.

Yet I've been seeing it more and more often. People questioning tried and true diet and training techniques because someone came out with something new, great, wonderful ... easier. If competing were easy, everyone would be doing it! Heck, if I could eat cookies every day and still look phenomenal, I'd sign up for that program in a second!

The successful athletes are on these forums (not only for their own entertainment and because they get paid) to educate and help us reach our true potential. They're not there to answer dumb questions or to fend off "helpful" training techniques that we read about in GQ. We can all learn from them if we'd only just listen to them. Give their techniques a try; some may work for you, some may not. But who are we to question what or how they do things? Those athletes are successful for a reason: the training, diet, and cardio techniques they used WORKED. Period.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, Yep & Yes!!

    I have also thought that about the internet accessiblity. I can remember before the internet came out. We bought paper maps and navigated actual directions...and we looked in big paper phone books for things like carpet cleaning, or chinese food delivery. And that was in MY generation...but it feels like forever ago!