Look…I bet T.C., Tim and Chris feel like pulling their hair out, one strand at a time, with some of the stuff they get asked over and over. So, I’m not immune from asking a bonehead question every once and a while!
But are there questions that you’ve become so wary of answering and debating that you’ve just quit answering them? Mine is the “I want to “tone/firm-up”, but I don’t want to get lift weights and get bulky. What kind of workout should I do?”
After valiantly preventing myself from poking my eyes out with a pair of pink bunny dumbbells, I’ll usually point them in the direction of some aerobics/Swiss Ball class…
Do you guys have any?
Mufasa, I’m with you on the statement, “I just want to tone.” If someone asks me about training and utters the “tone” word, I just start screaming, “A-a-a-h! Tone is a four-letter word! There’s no such thing as ‘tone!’” I will then ask the person some pointed questions to help her refine her goal, then offer some suggestions on how to get there.
Yep I do. (yours is a great one, Mufasa). Mine is, “You look great! Wow, you must spend hours every single day in the gym, huh? Nice to have the time”.
Implication is, they don’t have the time and even if they did, not the will…little do they know, its only 50 min. 4 times a week. A hard 50 though.
While I am a preacher of “no gender specific training and diet” - I do have to admit the whole “I want to tone” thing is usually spewed out by a female (twisting face in agony aaargh). And my first inclination after hearing this, is to grab a bottle of beer and twist the cap off with my bare teeth. After which I glare at this chick and snarl…“oh, yeah…?” Ooops, sorry. Looks like I’ve already had a few too many - wait, is there such a thing? he he he
BUT - back to the question at hand. I'm always asked if I spend hours doing aerobics or cardio or "what do you do to stay so 'toned' ". Now, I just shrug and go to the 265lbs waiting for me to deadlift. I pretty much just hope my actions answer their question.
99% of the questions I hear or statements I hear from the general public would fall into this category. After being in the fitness business for several years I’ve heard all of them enough times i just tune everything out anymore.
Hope this doesn’t post twice, got interrupted while sending. It never fails, I’ll be in between sets of good mornings and someone will ask “Hey, isn’t that bad for your back?” I usually answer with something like “Not for mine, but probably for yours.” And my other favorite,“I just have a quick question. What do I eat?” Quick question? We could talk about this for days and you still won’t get it.
“I want to lose weight, but I can’t seem to stick to a diet. What should I do instead?”
I’ve gotten to the point that I usually just say, “You’re fucked for life” and then smile at whoever it is. If I’m really in a bad mood, I’ll run a hand over my washboard abs a couple of times as well. Tends to end the conversation pretty quickly.
This one is a classic that I deal with everyday: I don’t feel like I’m getting a workout during my cardio sessions, but I can’t leave my fat burning zone. These people think that as soon as they move out of their fat-burning zone, they are relying solely on anaerobic metabolism and that they are doing nothing useful but breaking down their bodies. Oh well, their questions keep business steady, so I can’t complain too much.
For me, it’s not so much a question as it is the assumption that some people make that if you are not overweight that you are in good shape. Natural slimness does not imply being in good shape. The other, again, is the assumption that only cardio will help with the reduction of weight–and that usually comes from women who think they will look like Arnold if they incorporate weights into their programs.
Excellent post as always, Mufasa.
One of my first jobs at T-mag was to answer all the leftover mail that wasn’t used in the Reader Mail section of the site. I answered thousands of e-mails. Here’s the funny thing: 95% of the answers were already found in T-mag and could be brought up with a simple search. So mostly my answers to these e-mails were links to whole articles that had already been written about the question. It did get a little frustrating.
I just had to keep telling myself that they were new to the site and may not have any noticed the FAQ and search engine. I’m sure I asked some annoying, oft repeated questions as a newbie too. But I also researched and read like crazy to learn as much as I could. These days, research is easy, especially with over 200 back issues of T-mag available for free online. There’s really no excuse.
To answer your question, yes, I have found that I sometimes just don’t answer questions because I’ve heard them so often and have answered them so many times already. This is especially true if I’ve written a whole article on what’s being asked. Luckily, you guys are pretty quick to point these newbies in the right direction.
The most annoying and common e-mail question has to be: “I need to get big and ripped, what do I do?” Sometimes these folks don’t even tell you their age, sex, experience levels, stats, or anything. My answer: “See FAQ section and fire up the printer. I’ll be glad to help out after you’ve done some reading.”
I also find it painful to visit the steroid forum. I can’t believe some of the people considering using (or already using) steroids when they obviously don’t have a clue. I get the impression that many of them are very young too. The thing is, T-mag has one of the smartest drug forums on the net, yet I still find it too painful to read it often.