When it comes to training, the internet is a tool that can either be great or terrible depending on the context. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how much the internet sucks, how terrible it is, and how it has ruined training. Much of this revolves around the use of the internet and the context in which it's viewed. Unfortunately, many don't use the internet to their advantage to further their training or knowledge.

The purpose of this article is to examine the good and bad of the internet as well as the reality of it. I'll also discuss how to use it as a tool rather than something to bitch about.

The Bad

I wanted to get the bad out of the way first. There are many things wrong with the way many people use the internet in reference to training. I'm referring to all the social media posts and splash marketing as well as videos of poor applications of concepts, misinformation, and images showing movements with poor form. We all know that the internet has tons of bandwidth dedicated to all this trash that many get caught up in. Just about everywhere you turn, you can find someone to argue with if this gets you off.

I'm not a fan of all this, but at the same time, I also don't see the point in dedicating hours of my time viewing it or wasting more space on the internet bitching about it. The many people who dislike this use of it are further contributing to the problem by tying up more space and time complaining. While there are lots of irritating things out there, I would bet that many people are able to use the internet for more valuable things, which is what I want to focus on.

The Good

While there is a lot of junk spewed all over the web, there are also many useful and informative resources that can be accessed by anyone at any time. More information is available at the click of a button than ever before. While many people think this is a bad thing and some might argue that this creates too many people who overthink, I think it's a good thing. Let me explain.

Back in the "good 'ole days" or the "golden age," you had to buy a magazine, go to a meet, or know a friend of a friend who knew a guy who knew a coach/athlete/lifter in order to get training information. Or “you had to just figure it out for yourself.” While some may see this as a badge of honor or code to live by, I see this as a waste of time. Without the ability to access reliable information, the only option you were left with was trial and error, with possibly an emphasis on error. Having information at your fingertips 24/7 doesn't completely eliminate this, but at least it provides a framework for you to follow so that you aren't chasing your tail.

Group Of Business People Walking Outdoors With Global Communicat

Because the internet has become the massive entity that it is, you can contact almost anyone you can think of at any time. Depending on how you look at it, this can be good or bad. However,  knowledgeable people are putting information out there, often times for no charge. I can’t understand why this is a bad thing. Research on different training modalities is available with the click of a mouse, and you can purchase resources such as books, journals, and DVDs without leaving your house or office. If you want to correspond, collaborate, or discuss training with knowledgeable individuals, the ability is there without almost any barriers.

Whether you agree or not, a vast amount of information that has been published overseas contains sound research to back popular training concepts. This is a fact, not a matter of opinion. A large amount of this information has never been published in English. However, by using translation tools online, you can translate documents from the original language to English or whatever language you need. Before the internet, something like this would have taken several months and probably would have come at a monetary cost. Now, it can be done in minutes.

The Reality

The internet isn't all that much different from other things related to training that we face including exercise selection, training programs, and so on. Everything sucks and everything is great. One guy says that box squats cure cancer, the next guy says that they'll wreck your squat, and a third says that he was injured using them so no one should ever do them. Someone loves bands and chains and another says they're useless. One coach says that the only way to become an explosive athlete is to Olympic lift while another one says that Olympic lifting is the biggest waste of time and that you'll never be able to teach the lifts to athletes.

With the internet, one sect says that the internet is terrible. They think it's nothing but self-absorbed assholes taking shirtless pictures and calling each other “bro.” Another faction thinks that it's nothing more than a place to voice ill-conceived opinions as fact and argue with anyone with a different viewpoint while others think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Old timers might think that it's terrible because it's a bunch of young punks who haven’t paid their dues or put in enough time and others might argue that people on the internet are wasting their time doing nothing but posturing, arguing, and tying up bandwidth.

In reality, it is the implementation of the internet that can be bad and the context that it's used in needs work. For me, I don’t spend a lot of time on forums. I have a Facebook account and occasionally post, but for the most part, I just use it as another method of contact between people I know or care to speak with. While I have my own website and blog, I'll be the first to admit that I actually do a pretty crappy job of updating it regularly or putting out lots of information. Maybe part of me has tunnel vision. I'm focused on the tasks of my family life, work, coaching, and training and the internet is just a pastime. However, most of the time when I log on to the internet, it's to find information that I can use to my advantage.