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Sunday, July 27, 2014

There is no instant success in fitness regimens

Joe Marchilena

It’s been a good 31⁄2 years that I’ve been writing about fitness, about things that I’ve experienced or read about, and tips and advice I’ve received from those who know.

But just because you might come to this spot on a regular basis for whatever knowledge I’m regurgitating, in no way would I expect you to consider me an expert. ...

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It’s been a good 31⁄2 years that I’ve been writing about fitness, about things that I’ve experienced or read about, and tips and advice I’ve received from those who know.

But just because you might come to this spot on a regular basis for whatever knowledge I’m regurgitating, in no way would I expect you to consider me an expert.

I’ve had no formal training in topics of fitness or nutrition. The closest I’ve come to that was taking Hampshire Hill’s “90 Day Commit to Get Fit” program, and while following that worked for me, and I’d certainly recommend it to anyone else, it may not be what’s best for you. And I certainly wouldn’t know what would be.

All the advice I’ve passed out over the last few years has come from the great people I’ve been lucky enough to work with, like Shelby Young and Tom Sapienza. They’re the ones with the knowledge.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with every fitness writer you might find out there.

I came across one such person the other day when perusing the Internet. Her name is Jen Selter and she’s the new fitness columnist for the The New York Post.

If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that’s OK, because you probably wouldn’t know her unless you saw one of her famous “belfies,” or a selfie of your butt. Selter’s claim to fame is the thousands of belfies she’s taken and posted on Instagram, where she has nearly four million followers.

That attention recently landed her the gig with the Post. And what experience does Selter have? Well, she used to work at the front desk of a gym and paid real close attention to what was going on there.

I’m sure plenty of people will read what Selter has to say for the same reason they follow her on Instagram. But should you really listen to her expertise?

“The reader should always ask ‘is this too good to be true?’ ” Young said when I shared the above information with him. “If the writer makes wild claims about amazing results in a very short amount of time, especially in the absence of hard work, then it probably is.”

Some other things Young said to be on the lookout for is comments the “expert” might have if he is writing online. If the topics are outrageous, chances are someone has said so in the comments. If there are claims of research being quotes, and then none is, it’s probably not to be believed.

It never hurts to learn more about the people you turn to for fitness and nutrition advice. If they’re good, it’s likely something they’re passionate about, and they’ll be passionate about sharing their knowledge with you.

And they likely don’t have an Instagram account full of belfies.

Joe Marchilena writes a weekly fitness column for Hampshire Hills. To find out more information about the “90 Day Commit to Get Fit” program, call 673-7123 or e-mail hhinfo@hampshirehills.com.