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How To Not Be A Fitness Dickhead

Fitness dickheads are everywhere. There are youtube channels devoted to fitness dickheadery with millions of devoted followers. They clog up your social media feeds with recipes: horrifying kale-and-sauerkraut abominations inexplicably labelled “paleo ice cream”. They stand in front of the dumbbell racks taking selfie after pouting selfie. And really, who cares? They’re not hurting anyone, they’re just dickheads. They’re not evil, you just want to be in shape without turning into one of them.

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I get it. I understand. Because I want that too. So here is a comprehensive list of how to be in shape without making everyone in your life want to murder you.

1 – For the love of god shut the f*ck up about macros – I will qualify this, because we talk about macros (aka macronutrients aka the ratio of fat/protein/carbohydrates that make up your diet) with our clients. But that’s our clients. We care about their diet because it’s our job. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the rest of the world gives a crap. This goes double for any supplements you might be taking. I have lost track of the amount of times someone has, on learning I work in fitness, launched into their extensive thoughts on diet and nutrition. It never fails to make me want to throw myself out the nearest window. And again: I actually work in this area and have an interest in it. So how do you think your poor tinder date or co-worker feels when you start breaking down the macros on their f*cking bolognese? Clue: They want to end your life, or theirs, or possibly both.

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The (Less Ranty) Take Away – This is your journey, its cool to be fascinated by it. Just don’t expect the same level of interest from everyone else.

2 – Stop searching for the holy grail of food – Here’s a question, when a monk becomes celibate, do you think they dedicate the rest of their life to designing the ultimate sex doll? No? Then what’s with the search for the ultimate sugar-free-fat-free-gluten-free brownie? Can’t you just eat actual healthy stuff most of the time, so that when you feel like having a brownie you can have one that tastes of something? This search for the one-brownie-to-rule-them-all has been going on at least as long as the Large Hadron Collider has been in existence and I guarantee we will find the God particle before we find a sugar and fat free brownie that doesn’t taste like a dog’s arsehole.

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The (Less Ranty, Sugar Free) Take Away – Spend less time trying to create an alternate universe where the shit food that made you fat is now suddenly good for you. Just eat a bit less of that stuff and learn to like meat, fish and veg.

3 – Don’t mistake fitness humour for actual funny humour – The thing is, the fitness world is full of meatheads and meatheads aren’t generally known for their Wildean wit. Even Arnold Scharzenegger, an actual smart person, got his biggest laughs from mangling ordinary human phrases like “get to the chopper”. I mean he’s a cool guy but he’s not exactly Noel Coward. Consequently, the bar for what constitutes funny in fitness is set staggeringly low. So while you may find it amusing to say “do you even lift bro?” for the five millionth time, or “tag a mate” on Facebook who “needs to train calves”, literally no one else does. Not even your mate. Even he hates you at this point.

The (Less Ranty) Take Away – There isn’t one really, just knock it off.

4 – Don’t become a true believer – The thing is, exercise and a good diet are pretty amazing. When you train well and eat well you really will feel better, sleep better, chronic conditions might start to improve. Which is wonderful. But that doesn’t mean fitness cures everything, and it really doesn’t mean you suddenly know more than a doctor. The Fitness True Believer is basically a born-again Christian who has replaced Jesus with broccoli. This is the kind of person who scorns others for taking nasty pharmaceuticals when they should be treating their epilepsy with f*cking rose hip oil or something. Actually, I can’t even be bothered to satirise this properly because I’m not up to date with whatever bullshit is currently in vogue.

The (Less Ranty) Take Away – Exercise and proper nutrition have awesome health benefits, but if you are sick, go see a doctor.

5 – Don’t Get (Too) Cocky – Feeling fit will make you more confident and thats a good thing. But it’s worth reminding yourself that Albert Einstein, despite changing the course of human history forever, probably had a shit bench press. There are a whole host of things that make us interesting, successful, worthwhile human beings and not all of them can be quantified in kilos, or body fat percentage. Health is important. Feeling fit is great. But they are one element of a whole rich tapestry of human experience.

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The (Less Ranty) Take Away – Read a book. Diversify your interests. A person who lives only for the gym is about as interesting as a sugar free brownie.


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Words by Zack Cahill