“There are as many opinions as there are experts.”

(quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a revelation for you. Get ready for this, because it’s GROUNDBREAKING:

It’s okay to disagree with the experts.

Whoa, do you need to sit down there? Feeling a little lightheaded at the thought of disagreeing with those who possess more knowledge than yourself? But surely they’re right because, well, they’re the EXPERTS, right?

Yes and no. Maybe. Sometimes. Not always.

I know, it’s a shock. But bear with me.

There’s a guest post up at Mizfit today which is by a so-called expert, Dr Paul, who gives us the “Top ten exercise mistakes women make”. 90% of the comments are all “oh, good points, I’m guilty of #X all the time” and “You’re right”. So many people are ignoring the issues here because this is a DOCTOR and doctors are EXPERTS and therefore they’re never wrong. Let me break it down Gemfit style:

  1. Too much cardio apparently makes you stay fat. First of all, where’s the research here? Don’t throw “facts” at me and then not back it up. And how much is too much? For who? Generic “facts” with no actual facts? FAIL
  2. No weight training or not enough weight training – fair point, but why is this only women?
  3. Spot reduction of fat – this is a mistake WOMEN make? How? It’s not possible to spot reduce for ANYONE – male, female, cat or dog. Just not possible. It can’t be a mistake people make because it doesn’t actually happen. FAIL
  4. Exercise is not a priority – this should apply to anyone, not women only. Again, why is this a mistake women make?
  5. We eat too much and we SHOULD be grazing all the time. Ignore the fact that this again seems to be a mistake women make (what, there are no overweight men?) but let’s look at the language here. He writes as if the ONLY way to eat is to graze on small meals all day. Nothing else works for anyone apparently. There is only ONE way and it’s HIS. FAIL
  6. Poor nutritional support. Now apparently we’re not eating ENOUGH. Make up your mind. FAIL
  7. We’re all doing the same exercise everyday. Only women. Never men. They’re smart S-M-R-T you know.
  8. We’re not doing intense enough cardio. But wait, I thought we were doing TOO MUCH cardio? Make up your mind again there Doc.
  9. We’re doing too much too soon – again, only women apparently. Men never burn out.
  10. We’re not consulting the EXPERTS because obviously we know nothing. We’re just stupid WOMEN you know.

Now I won’t deny that some of the tips he writes about are not bad tips – balance your exercise with cardio and weights, eat enough to fuel your body, don’t go all-out initially and burn out. But the tone and attitude that these are only mistakes women make? Total fail. And the attitude that these are all facts and the only way to go about things? Again, total fail. It all depends on your goal, your body and YOU. Too much cardio for you could be enough for me since I’m trying to start running. Grazing all day may end up seeing you eat too much because you work better on 3 meals a day. They’re all TIPS not facts. And until someone gives me the facts and studies that back up his points that these are FACTS and mistakes only WOMEN make, I’ll take his TIPS with a grain of salt.

/end rant

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15 thoughts on ““There are as many opinions as there are experts.”

  1. and me as well.
    ENTIRELY.

    Just becasue someone is an MD or PhD or trainer or whatevs doesnt make them right and it is indeed our duty to question everything and DECIDE for ourselves what works or doesnt or whats “true for us” or isnt.

    feel free to link your post in the comments!

  2. Great response! In this case I think it’s entirely ok to agree… With you!
    I guess the “dr” (what is he a doctor of? Does he have a PhD in Exercise Physiology?) would think my 1/2 marathon training is “too much cardio”. Now how does he explain the fact that I just lost 6lbs in a month?

  3. Love this! My pet peeve about fitness folks is they find what works FOR THEM and then automatically generalize it to everyone else. We’re all different. What works for you may not work for me and that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. And good call on the woman bashing – which is esp. weird as MizFit’s site isn’t just for women.

  4. I felt like I was being MANSPLAINED to. The readership of Mizfit are mostly women who are interested in and actively pursuing fitness – this is not an audience for such vague generalities. I would guess that most of us know at least as much as this expert.

    I’m not dissing his credentials, and I’m not in complete disagreement with most of what he said (some of it I am), but for every expert and every scientific study that says THIS thing works, there is an equally qualified expert and valid study that says it DOESN’T. The article would not have raised my hackles if it had been framed as possibilities, not absolutes. Like, “if your X program isn’t working for you, try doing Y.”

    The main thing that bothered me is targeting this information to women, as though women are the only ones making these mistakes. (Like others, I have to question whether they are “mistakes”; it depends on what your goals are – there was a very huge unspoken assumption that weight loss is the goal for every woman).

    Hardly anyone lifts heavy enough to effect real change in their body, male and female alike. For every woman in the gym lifting too light, there are 50 men doing endless reps of biceps curls.

    • Exactly! For me it was definitely the tone more than the material – none of the points are entirely wrong but why the target of women and the assumption that you’re aiming for weightloss only?

      GAH!

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. There’s a lot of bullet-pointed, numbered articles out there designed to grab your attention, not necessarily designed for the critical reader or one who already knows a lot about the subject. Some of the advice may be up for debate (graze? why?) Some of it may be sound, but just not work for you. I know the standard advice is to lift heavy, fewer reps. I usually do three sets of 20 or 25 reps so I’m obviously not lifting huge weights. I’ve been really pleased with my results (that is, when I’m good about lifting my weights!) At one point they were saying you should run slow (for fatburning!) and now they say to run fast (for fatburning!) You can have fun debating the fine points but at some point I have to remind myself the science is still evolving and what works, is good!

    • I have to remind myself the science is still evolving and what works, is good!

      So true! What frustrates me with a lot of the articles is the tone the writer can take – how their list is the DEFINITE list instead of simply looking at it as some tips that work for some people and some pitfalls to be aware of. But you’re right – whatever works for YOU is the best thing.

  6. Oh my gosh! I though the SAME thing!! I def did not like his tone. Thank you so much for putting this out there. I was just having a conversation with someone yesterday about how much misinformation doctors have – just because they are “experts” doesn’t mean they know everything.

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention “There are as many opinions as there are experts.” « Staying on course -- Topsy.com

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