In a world of fake weights, fake nattys, and fake influencers, the dark side of the fitness industry is trying with all it's might to overcome the light. Often times, this great battle of good and evil is fought much more subtly and far more nefariously than it can sometimes seem. For every V-Shred who is a Sith Lord puppet of known evil, there is a genuinely well-meaning Jesse James West that is, perhaps mostly unwittingly, promoting products and methods that are a waste of both time and money.
One of the most damaging examples of this fitness treachery, though not the silliest or cringiest, (think Stallone lifting the 45 lb plates or Liver Kings natty status) is the classic -
"Transform your body is 90 days!"
"I did it, so can you!"
"I can get you shredded in just 6 weeks!"
and so on.
What does all of this have to do with taking a scientific approach to training? The key to understanding the connection is the swimmer effect.
In a video by shredded sports science, there is a short clip of a man explaining the following principle - This is a paraphrase:
People look at body builders and see them as too large, they see runners and see them as too small. Then they see the swimmer, and think, "that's a nice physique." So, they start swimming. Seems reasonable. Then, after four months of swimming, they do not look at all like a swimmer, and they can't understand why. The answer is simple: Swimmers don't look the way they do because they swim. They swim, because they look the way they do.
Football players aren't big because they do football workouts, they play football because they are big. The most obvious example of this is that you don't get taller from playing basketball, you tend to play basketball if you're tall, because you'll likely be good at it. We gravitate towards the things we have natural aptitude for. Often times, though not always, great chess players found they had a natural skill with the game, and this natural ability led them to practice and devote and excel at it.
When you see these shredded fitness coaches and influencers, you need to stop and ask why it is that they do what they do. Did they have terrible genetics, decide to start training, get massively shredded, and then decide to start selling programs and supplements? It's possible. Those people do exist, but far more often you see genetic phenoms that build muscle easier than 99% of people, stay lean easier than 99% of people, and then, realizing their natural aptitude, they pursue that as a means of income and ethos.
All of this set up to get to this point - The insane before and after shots you see, the turkesterone, the wacky or unconventional workouts, the BCAA's and L-glutemines and all these other things that are expensive and distracting and unrealistic, are lies that are holding you back and delaying your success. You are unlikely to look like the people that claim they can make you look like them, you are not getting shredded in 90 days (though you will be extremely happy and surprised at the result you do make. They are still awesome!) There is no short cut, you don't need to be doing whatever the genetically blesses are doing, and they do not know what's right 100% of the time just because they have a great physique.
So, we arrive at the answer to why a scientific approach to training is the right one. It's not because you can't have fun, or you have to know the perfect way to do everything, or you can't just get in and lift. It's because knowledge is power, and utilizing training protocols and dietary models that are supported by human study, repeatable and statistically significant results, performed by honest and impartial scientists is the better place to start.
YOU need to learn what things work, why they work, and get an honest picture of what you can expect to achieve. Then you'll know you aren't wasting your time with things that wont really work for you, and you won't be wasting you money because thankfully, information is abundant and free (to a point).
Part of this is simply trying things, practicing, and reading. The other part is finding reputable sources for information, and there are many great people out there sharing excellent and honest information for normal people. It really is about the journey - it's the energy, the mood improvement, the confidence, the health. The physique is a wonderful bonus, and a valid motivation, but if that is your only motivation, you are not likely to succeed. In summary:
Make sure your motivations are right, and they are the sort that can sustain you.
Your health is your responsibility, take it seriously.
Don't just listen to any Tom, Dick, or Harry. Take it upon yourself to learn and practice and get better. You can learn more than you give yourself credit for.
Find a community that is positive, realistic and grounded to help you on this journey. Be discerning on who you listen to, and enjoy the ride.
And lastly, most importantly, drink Six Plates Coffee.