6:05 PM EDT, July 13, 2012
When most people start a new fitness adventure, it can be a challenge to find a dependable, credible source for effective fitness information that supports your goals.
In the modern age, there are almost too many sources of information, which can make it even more difficult to separate the "wheat from the chaff," so to speak. I'm going to break down for you from most to least dependable, my hierarchy of sources for solid fitness information.
1. Personal trainers or fitness instructors. Duh. This is a no-brainer as it's kinda what we get paid for. Well-informed fitness pros who attend trainings and who are constantly reading up on the latest in fitness are your absolute best source of effective advice how to get where you need to go. You will get customized advice that you can apply immediately.
2. Friends or family who have similar goals. People who have been where you've been and have experienced success can provide you with valuable tips are tricks for this stage in your training. They might have experienced the same pitfalls as you, and have garnered some knowledge from many of the sources here that you can benefit from without the work. They can't give you the "30,000-foot view" of your situation like a fitness pro, but they care about you, and their advice is often very helpful.
3. Fitness blogs and other online resources. Smart phone apps, fitness blogs, forums, webinars, free reports and such can be a great way to get information and advice for whatever your goal is. These sources are available 24/7, and are archived as long as the website is active. Some of my favorites are LiveStrong.com, T-Nation.com, and MensHealth.com. You won't necessarily get personalized advice, but up to date information on a well maintained blog can come daily or weekly.
4. Fitness videos. The fitness video business is exploding recently with series such as P90-X, Insanity, Turbo Fire, GSP Rush-Fit and others. They're selling millions of copies worldwide, so clearly it's not going anywhere. Their videos aren't your grandmother's aerobics tapes. These video series are a complete system, often packaged with training plans and some sort of nutritional program. The only downside to the videos is there is no personal instruction or supervision on these videos, so safety can be an issue.
5. Fitness magazines. Often, the monthly fitness magazine is a giant catalogue of ads with a smattering of information. Most of the best content is in the first few pages of the magazine with the rest usually being recycled workouts from whatever bodybuilder is being featured that month. Every now and then, you'll actually get some decent info, but unless you have a certain favorite contributor you follow in the mag, I'd stick to one of the other options above.
Use the sources above in the hierarchy I've provided, and you'll never run out of reliable fitness information to help you stay on track. And don't forget to keep reading my column while you're at it, but I could be biased ....
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to www.hometeamfitness.net for more information.
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