I’m on my way to a National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) workshop in San Francisco. For two days, I’ll be taught about the “proper” way to train clients. I’m sure that the practical side of things – learning about liability insurance for instance – will be helpful in the future, but there are some things that NASM preaches that I just can’t get over.
When I first received my NASM text book, the first thing I did was flip to the nutrition section. Of course I did, that’s what I’m really interested in. I needed to know what I would have to “fake learn” for lack of a better term. (Does anyone actually have a term for that? If so, please let me know.) Here’s how it’s gonna work:
I know certain things to be true. They’re true for myself and for a lot of you too. They’re backed up by serious science. However, the NASM text book doesn’t seem to agree with a lot of them. Or it’s stuck in 2001 scientifically. One of these things is that excess carbs jack up your blood sugar, leading to excess insulin which makes you fat. The NASM textbook states that
“Carbohydrate intake typically should be between 50 and 70% of total caloric intake according to preference, performance and satiety.”1
Let’s address this. I don’t even need to mention the 50-70% part. Most of you are already shaking your heads over that one. But the rest of the sentence interests me. Preference: So in other words, if you prefer carbs, you should eat more. What glucose-addicted, SAD-aflicted mind doesn’t prefer carbs? Seriously. Performance: okay, that one I can get on board with. If you’re working out a lot, increasing your carbs can help with that. But getting them from sweet potatoes or broccoli is much more beneficial than chowing down on bread and cake. Satiety: This one blows my mind. Everyone knows that if you eat a lot of carbs, you’re always fucking hungry. It’s when your body starts burning fat and protein for energy that your hungry regulates. It will be easy for me to remember this particular ridiculous recommendation, because eating 50-70% carbs for my total caloric intake would fuck. me. up.
But there’s more. Here’s the real problem:
I have to learn things like soybeans are good for you, peanuts are a great source of protein, fiber should be obtained from whole grains, and saturated fat causes high cholesterol and heart disease . Even that insulin resistance is caused by excess fat in the diet. W.T.F. I have to brain dump most of what I know to be true, and try to remember shit that isn’t right. Or has been proven to be wrong. The problem is that it’s so arbitrary. They’re on the mark when it comes to some things. They’re way off on others.
How the hell do I remember what is “right” in their eyes so that I can pass the test and then brain dump it again?? I seriously need help with this one. Have any of you had to do this? What did you do?
Those of you that are asking why I’m doing a NASM course in the first place, well, the military paid for it. Plain and simple. Also, it’s nationally recognized. I can walk into any gym with that cert and they could hire me. I can’t do that with a CrossFit cert, unless I find an awesome CF box that needs people. So far, I’ve found lots of awesome boxes, but so has everyone else with a desire to train for a living. I need a job. Bad.
1. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, Third Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008) p. 435