Sometimes it's hard to keep my mouth shut when all my friends are stressing about their fitness and working out with 5lbs dumbbells. I feel like I can't say anything and they kind of hate me when I do. How do I get better at handling this?
This is a particularly good question, because it's something I continue to struggle with, even going on a decade in this industry.
In other words, no one will undertake a journey of strength until he or she WANTS to. And that can be terribly frustrating for someone who has discovered that strength training is the most expedient way to burn fat, build beautiful muscles, and overcome inflexibility and nagging aches and pains.
There's a deeper layer, here too: people do not like the unknown. It's not comforting. Most of the time, people would rather persist in believing something -- even if it yields no benefit to them -- than risk uprooting the basis of their behavior.
This is why guys will buy ridiculous muscle-building supplements, and women will slave away on the elliptical or in a group class, hoisting tiny hand weights.
I have a pretty clear and unapologetic bias here. I hitch my wagon to the strength horse; it's what I believe in, and it's what I have seen work time and time again.
I am not the overlord of fitness. This is a free country. You can do (or not do) whatever you want, for the most part. That's why I have a rule: I don't offer unsolicited fitness advice. If a person comes to me DIRECTLY with a question I'll advise, but otherwise I try to keep my opinions to myself.
To be clear: I do not care what anybody else does for fitness, so long as it's safe and enjoyable for them.
Zumba, CrossFit, running, kettlebells -- what matters is that you pick something you can sustain and stick with it long enough to see a positive change.
So what do you tell your friends/family/coworkers when they complain about their lack of progress, or talk about whatever gimmicky new fitness routine they're trying? You encourage them! Say, "Wow, sounds cool, good luck!" Or "Don't give up, you can do it." Wish them the best.
If they eventually come around? Excellent.
Otherwise, lift and let lift.