Who you gonna call? Part III: nutrition advice from personal trainers

My friend Cheryl told me at the gym the other day that she got online with a “Virtual Personal Trainer.”   This guy has quite a following here locally and helped a friend of Cheryl’s.  

She  said to the trainer, “I’m trying to be vegan.   Can you help me increase my muscle mass and get more toned?”   (Don’t know why–Cheryl is turning 50 and is a size 3–she’s incredibly fit and looks about 34.)

 He said, “Sure, you can do that, if you’re willing to eat a lot of soy or whey protein powders.”   Cheryl’s pretty educated and knows why BOTH of those are a rotten idea.   If you don’t, see my Nutrition Manifesto Myth #1 on the GreenSmoothieGirl.com home page (and my “Soy Is A Health Food” myth is coming soon in  a free e-letter).  

Cheryl told him she didn’t want to eat that stuff.   The trainer told it would be impossible for her to get more toned, then–she simply HAS to eat chicken or fish or protein powders.   One of my personal-trainer friends is eating a 60 PERCENT animal-protein diet right now in preparation for a powerlifting competition!   I spend a lot of time at the gym, and every single trainer I know is pounding the protein bars and powders and slabs of dead animal carcasses (that’s what my vegetarian daughter calls them, lol).

Again, like most medical doctors and dieticians, like the Diet Doctors and Celebrities, personal trainers just aren’t a good source for nutrition information.   The vast majority of them accept the mainstream position wholesale, and the only thing they know about nutrition is to MAXIMIZE PROTEIN.  Thank goodness for that rare M.D. or dietician who does extracurricular homework.   And props to bodybuilders like Jason Ferruggia, Stephen Arlin, and athletes I blogged about last month.  They show you CAN be fit–even huge and ripped, if that’s the goal–eating a plant-based diet.   I’ll run a blog in a couple of days with good stuff from Jason Ferruggia.

 Ask a personal trainer how to lift weights.   Just please don’t ask him what to eat.

2 thoughts on “Who you gonna call? Part III: nutrition advice from personal trainers

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  1. So ‘toning’ makes me think of 2pd weights and bicep curls, both a waste of time, especially the latter.

    Try this: learn to squat and learn to deadlift (http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displayarticle.php?aid=54 ) Practice both with no weight, say squating one day then deadlifting 3-4 days later doing as many reps as you can w/o going to failure (i.e. don’t exhaust yourself; stop 1-3 reps short of the point where you can do no more). 1 set is plenty. USe dumbbells to GRADUALLY add weight while maintaining perfect form ( yes, even 2pd db’s!). BE sure to ignore anybody who tells you chicks shouldn’t squat/deadlift! No those pink weights AREN’T for you…

    Remember to add weight slowly but try to work up to a weight you can do no more than 15 reps with (over say a 3-6 month period). At that point you may have reached your goals, but if you want to really add muscle fiber, just keep gradually adding weight, and increase your caloric intake. no, you don’t need more protein per se, yes you do need more calories of any kind to feed muscle growth.

    YEs it’s that easy, squat then deadlift then add weight SLOWLY, repeat. Try it!!!!

  2. Hi Trey, I totally agree. I do squats with 90 lbs. A girl 15 years younger than me came up to me yesterday at the gym and said I have “cute” legs and ask how to get lean legs. I told her, it’s counterintuitive because people always talk about how you’ll “bulk up” if you do squats, but it’s not true: I’m the queen of squats.

    Why no bicep curls, though? Okay if you use 15-20 lbs.? (for us girls?)

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