HW: Fitness coach’s postings among Internet’s most popular

James Wilson shoots video of himself demonstrating an exercise for his blog, http://www.gjfatloss.com. The blog, on which the Grand Valley fitness coach and owner of Elite Training Systems posts fitness and nutrition information, was one of WordPress.com’s “Fastest Growing Blogs” this fall.

In a matter of two months, James Wilson saw his fitness blog go from several dozen readers to hundreds.

The Grand Valley fitness coach created http://www.gjfatloss.com two months ago to promote his business, Elite Training Systems, 2470 F Road, No. 3. This fall, leading blog site WordPress.com tagged
Wilson’s blog as one of its “Fastest Growing Blogs.”

Wilson updates his site up to five times a week with free nutrition and fitness tips, and he incorporates video demonstrations with tips.

The Internet has become increasingly popular as a source of free fitness and nutrition information, according to medical journals and articles.

But even Wilson advises people to be cautious about the free information they find online.

“The information you get is worth what you pay for it on some level,” Wilson said. “Fitness information is no different than anything on the Internet. There’s not a lot of regulation. If it sounds too outrageous to be true, it probably is. At a certain point, people have to take some self-responsibility.”

Jas Singh, founder of Slimtree.com, a free Web site with instructional exercise videos of all types based in California, said the anonymity and convenience of exercising at home has made free online videos and exercise information attractive options for consumers.

Wilson suggested people turning to free Internet sources for exercise, fitness and nutrition information look for advice focusing on processes and principles instead of advice promoting concrete methods.

For example, online videos demonstrating poses and exercises don’t necessarily tell people how to do the movements in the proper way or explain why featured movements won’t work for certain people. If people don’t see results, which could stem from doing a movement the wrong way, they may get discouraged and quit exercising altogether, Wilson said.

“I try to emphasize principles behind the methods,” he said. “I’ve got exercise demos (on my site), but
I understand there’s so much more than, ‘here’s a list.’ If I had any advice, find sites that talk about movement. It will help you learn how to use healthy movement in everything you come across.”

In addition, weight-loss pills and diets touted online often offer recipes and client testimonials, but if people don’t understand the principle behind weight loss, a diet might not work and people, again, could grow frustrated with nutrition and fitness, according to Wilson.

Wilson likes to blog and write, so he wants to keep his free resource growing in the Grand Valley. The blog’s primary focuses are youth athletes and general fitness for adults.

“The stuff that resonates (with his readers) are posts that go against traditional fitness philosophies,” Wilson said. “I try to give people good local resources for fitness. Just because we’re in a smaller town doesn’t mean we can’t have world-class fitness information. I try to emphasize fitness is a process,
and it’s a long-term process.”

Wilson is certified by the International Youth Conditioning Association. He said most of what he knows and teaches are fitness lessons he taught himself or learned through working with clients.


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