I am trying to provide plenty of info on this site but I can only do so much because I am saving some for my upcoming book.
Yeah, I'm totally lying. Could you tell? In fact this may be my NUMBER ONE pet peeve: Fitness books that employ the word SECRET in any way, shape or form. It's usually in the title of at least 60 percent of the e-books. Sometimes the authors don't mean much by it and sometime the word is used in a different sense than it's classic sense but it's nevertheless always annoying to me.
I may or may not write a book someday but you can bet it won't contain 'secrets'. I don't know anything, or have access to any information that you yourself could not find on your own with dilligent effort. Sure I'm super intelligent, super experienced, and super obsessed (NOT) but there is not a secret society called "they" withholding fitness information from "us". And if there was one I would not be a member.
It's all out there waiting to be learned by those patient enough to learn it.
Does that mean everyone, trainers and trainees alike, needs to spend all their time pouring over data? No. That is not everyone's thing and there are other ways to gain knowledge. You can find and keep up with a good number of people whose knowledge, experience, and judgement you trust. But everyone should arm themselves with some basic foundational data of exercise physiology, nutrition, etc..
It is the lack of this FOUNDATION that the 'SECRETS' people prey on. You've heard that knowledge is power, right? Well, this is part of it's power. Basic primary knowledge simply helps protect us from being duped by the snake-oil salesmen of the world.
A little while back I posted a pseudoscience detector. It was a list of questions to be applied to a work (of archaeology in this case but works anywhere) and if the answer to the question is yes..it assigns a certain number of points..the more points the more it points to pseudoscience.
Clearly, the authors felt as strongly as I did about the subject of this post:
29. 40 points for professing to be privy to information that is secret or to which no one else has access.
Forty points is one of the highest point values they gave for ANY question. Claiming to have "secret" knowledge is a clear sign of BS.
And don't forget number 4 on the ever popular Baloney Detection Collection:
4. Does the source claim that "the establishment is trying to suppress this discovery?"
I recommend that everyone own some primary textbooks and the like. You can do well with the internet but be aware that the internet contains "watered-down" knowledge. This does not mean that textbooks cannot be filled with dogmatic bs. There is no such thing as a perfect source and unlike others in the industry I do not ever say a source is "perfect".
There is a trick to using these types of sources: Never treat them as a BIBLE. Never treat large-scale sources as a bible. Use them for the basics and realize that ADVANCED knowledge is as much a product of experience, observations, experimentation, gathering, synthesizing, etc…because these things lead to self knowledge and that is the epitomy of advanced knowledge. If you do not know yourself you can never hope to truly help others.
Notice I said "large-scale" sources. There are many different types of knowledge sources and you must realize the purpose and place of them and treat them accordingly. Sometimes it is about the sum of the parts being greater than….this is something people miss the most often I think.
Take for instance a very popular book right now: Eric Cressy's Maximum Strength. It's a great resource and I recommend it. I have some criticisms, and one of them is a typical one of a quasi "order" to things, but all the methods are sound, if a bit too aggressive for many. Now, if you buy it it is right to ask questions and try to understand things. If you feel confident in your ability you could extract a lot of principles and ideas from it and simply integrate them over time into your own philosophy. But the mistake trainees make is knowing the difference between bits of data and principles.
Many people are buying the book and just doing the mobility warmup and foam rolling parts, for instance. Well that's great. It's a good addition to anyone's training, I think. But the mistake here is thinking you can extract one part from the book and get the results you would get from following all the principles. Well, if your training sucks, then just adding foam rolling and mobility isn't going to be a cure for that. So you have to realize that thought went into injury prevention, for instance, for the whole program. Cressey didn't just wing it and then throw in the warmups for good measure.
Now, that doesn't mean that their aren't many authors who do JUST that! That is why you must have many many sources of info. The more you're exposed to the more you can cross-reference that. After a while you begin to develop a filter for information. If it sounds complicated, it is. Sorry. If that doesn't please you could always go to any number of one zillion bodybuilding forums and have some guru tell you how simple it all it and not to over-think it. Funny thing is they are right for the wrong reason. They have it backwards. We don't use our minds to complicate things..we use them to simplify them. In the beginning we have a million choices…in the end we find we have few. But you have to do the work!
BTW, next to secret my next pet peeve is "insider".