Leave It To The Expert: YOU

In the odd chance you don?t subscribe to Kraft Food?s Twitter feed or keep up on cream-filled cookie news, you might be interested to know that Nabisco has recently signed athletes Shaquille O?Neal, Apolo Ono, Venus Williams and Eli Manning as spokesmen for its new Triple Double Oreo line. That?s right ? these sports greats are repping a cookie that outdoes the Double Stuf.

Shilling for this new crime against nutrition (it?s got three wafers and two layers of cream), Shaq had to say the following: ?Now that I am retired I can spend more time perfecting my twist, lick and dunk skills, and with an added layer of cream and a third cookie, it’s clear that I am going to need the practice.” Thanks, Kazaam.

Be your own man.

It doesn?t take a genius to realize that Nabisco is paying these fitness role models a buttload to hawk these tubby treats and that if these athletes had any future plans for a career, they?d steer clear of them. What do we have to learn here? Don?t take anybody?s advice regarding physical activity and nutrition as the end-all be-all, no matter how successful or ripped they happen to be.

I was recently scouring the internet for advice regarding the use of weight machines over free weights.

?Are they worth it? Too supportive? Do you really lose out on working out stabilizer muscles??

I read plenty of forum posts and articles regarding the issue and got a fair amount of useful information. Want to know what I learned more than anything in my pursuit? These guys don?t know squat about squats. Know-it-all, stubborn attitudes abound in the fitness world. Cruise the wrong forum and you could end up wasting months of your time or seriously injuring yourself taking some joker?s advice. The last guy you want to listen to is the one who thinks he knows what he?s doing. That was some sage advice I learned from a voice of reason on one of these forums.

Do you know that guy who acts like he?s the Dalai Lama of fitness, doling out advice on everything from protein intake to proper pronation, but looks like he just downed a caseload of Triple Double Oreos? Tell him to Double Stuf it and stick to what?s working for you. Take a cue from Fox Mulder of ?The X-Files? fame: Trust no one, especially somebody trying to sell you something. Half the guys on the web are just trying to lure you to their personal fitness websites, so you?ll click on some link to get 70% off Bowflex equipment.

Following somebody else?s fitness advice without considering your own physical limitations can actually be quite dangerous. For example, while it?s important to use more weight over time when trying to build muscle, trying to lift too much too soon can lead to serious injury. Listen to your body above all else.

Case in point: A few years ago, I got way into running. Looking for inspiration, I flipped through Runner?s World magazine and read an article about some woman running 90 miles a week. ?But, I?m only doing 10 a week,? I thought and, stupidly, upped my mileage to about 30 a week thereafter. Two months later I pulled a muscle and couldn?t run for months.

So, have an Oreo, have two. Just remember that, when it comes down to it, you?re the final say on the state of your physical fitness. Cull resources from books, trainers, magazines, etc., but remember to consider your own personal goals and limitations and do what you think is best for you. Keep at it and you might get paid millions of dollars to shill cream-filled cookies one day.

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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.

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