People love to argue and verbally spar with one another. I think it’s part of human nature. It doesn’t matter if the topic is about politics, sports, nutrition, or even about how people raise their pets; these are all fair game for sometimes intense arguments. What I find interesting is how some of these argumentative types know the least about the subject about which they are arguing.
In the world of conditioning and fitness, these battles are never ending. As I have said before, “everyone out there is a self-proclaimed expert”, so in essence – everyone will have a very strong opinion about what is right and what it wrong.
I have learned that in this field it is essential to first identify your own frame of reference and then the other person’s as well. This individual might write articles, conduct interviews, or just dispense information. It is key in processing information constructively to find out their frame of reference and compare it to yours.
So before you jump into an argument about a lifting routine or someone’s diet recommendations, or before you are quick to criticize an article that someone has written, identify your frame of reference. Maybe you have lifted weights for over ten years and have become very strong. Maybe you have worked directly with athletes as part of your career. You might actually be a personal trainer and hold a set of certifications. On the other hand, maybe you read every issue of Flex magazine so that makes you an expert. Whatever background you have, it forms your frame of reference.
It is important to have a frame of reference and to identify it before you openly challenge someone else’s point of view. There is nothing worse than someone who has a very small or limited frame of reference vehemently challenge the position of someone with a very large or expanded one. However, it happens all of the time.
It is fine to be someone who loves to argue and jump into debates; that can be fun. Nevertheless, do yourself a favor; develop a good, sound frame of reference on the subject area first. If you do not have one – keep your thoughts and arguments to yourself. You may save yourself a lot of embarrassment.