If you knew enough about fitness to judge coaches/trainers, you’d not need one. This is why it’s important to be on the lookout for broscience, received wisdom, and misuse of science. You want an evidence-based trainer, but not one who uses science to push their agenda.
Here are a few tips to help you understand what you’re dealing with:
- Always ask why, whether it’s a trainer or a training partner! If they can’t justify it, it’s not wise to do it!
- Balance is always important: there are very few times when something is universally good or bad. “it depends” is almost always true – look for nuance.
- Common sense isn’t always common or sensible. Try to dig deeper and avoid explaining things with a “seems like it should be true” answer – it’s often a trap!
- Ask for a source. If you ever receive advice or information that doesn’t have any further reading, it can quite easily be nonsense.
- Read the studies! When someone points to a study on something you think is strange or too good to be true, give it a read. The “discussion” section is usually a good place to look for (at least) a simple idea of what the study is saying and it’s probably more nuanced than your local bro tries to make it!