10.) There are NO Absolutes

In health and fitness, almost everything is up for debate. I honestly don’t know any other industry that so easily divides participants up into so many different “camps.” THEIR way is the BEST way, and there’s nothing you can say to change their minds.

image: quickmeme

Often each camp is trying to undermine each other.

Ever heard of a little thing called Crossfit? But Andy, don’t you mean Cross-shit?

Paleo. IIFYM. Powerlifting. Bodybuilding. Kettlebells. Bodyweight. Gymnastics.

Everybody has their “thing” and it’s always better than everyone else.

To tell the truth, I’m equally as guilty of being an absolutist. I used to loathe Crossfit and everything they stood for. Forget about form, it’s all about intensity and reps was what I said sarcastically to my friends and other fitness-enthusiasts.

Olympic lifting? Partly because I learned from some seasoned coaches at the University of Tennessee, the risk vs. reward for the Olympic Lifts, including the clean and snatch, didn’t match up.

So they were useless to me. After all, it’s just triple extension (extension of the ankles, knees, and hips in an explosive manner). I can get that from box jumping. FTW and all Olympic lifts.

Nutrition is equally as dividing. Gluten will kill you. Fats are the devil. Carbs make you fat. GMO cause you to grow an extra limb from your forehead and birth reptilian monsters that breathe fire…any GoT fans out there? Can’t wait for the next season to start!

What’s worse, is social media in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. has given everyone in their respective fields a platform to spew their narrow view of the fitness world, and slather on a little hate here and there for anyone else that does things differently.

But the world isn’t so Black and White. We’re not in kindergarten here folks, and you know better.

If there was an ABSOLUTE BEST way to achieve your goals, we’d all know about it. If there was an ABSOLUTE BEST diet, we’d all know about it.

All we do know is that there are many ways of getting the job done. Barbells, kettlebells, Crossfit, bodybuilding, Oly lifts, etc. are just tools in the toolbox at our disposal to use as we please. We can only do the best we can with the knowledge we’re given, and continue to make progress towards finding the absolute truths, even when we know they don’t exixt. The answer will always be somewhere in the middle.

Ultimately, the BEST workout and the BEST diet is the one you’ll actually do. So find your thing. Rock it, and reap the rewards for your hard work.

Just don’t assume that you know better than everyone else. Come on. We both know that’s not true. Keep an open and supportive mind. Everyone has their thing, live and let live.

1.) It’s Not what you Want to Do

2.) Personal Training and S&C are Not the same

3.) It’s All Work, and It’s All Good

4.) Mentors

5.) Just because it’s Hard, Doesn’t mean it’s Good

6.) Just because it’s Simple, Doesn’t mean it’s not Hard

7.) If you’re going to do something, be prepared to Defend it

8.) Nothing is New

9.) The Best Workout in the World

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

2 Responses to “Important Lessons Learned in Coaching: Absolutely NO Absolutes”

  1. Rhonda Gilmore

    Wise words from anyone, but especially from one so young…Very good philosophy, and mature. Makes me crazy to see veins pop out on someone’s forehead when they adamantly swear to an exercise and diet philosophy that is constantly causing them injuries and makes them like a diet Jihadist. A good program should be doable, livable, and you should still be able to have relationships with family and former (non Crossfit) friends as well.

    • Andy Van Grinsven

      You’re absolutely right. I don’t think any exercise program is inherently “bad” because I (for the most part) support anything that will get someone moving towards better health and wellness. Sometimes though I think things get carried away. Injuries happen in all factions of fitness, and understanding the reasons why we get hurt are important so we can keep them from happening.

      Any program that you can do that makes you better, keeps you healthy and injury free, and doesn’t injure you is a good one. It’s just some extreme ways of doing things that makes those activities less optimal.


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