Is Exercise Underrated?

27 Feb 2017 03:09

A YouTube video from a Channel called 'What I've Learned' recently caught my eye. The video was titled "Why Exercise is Underrated." Immediately, I question the assumption of the title. Is exercise underrated? The video focused on the faulty marketing of the fitness industry, saying that it focused on the wrong messages. All the while, the tacit assumption of the title was never challenged. No effort was made to examine any available statistics related to exercise behaviors, whether it be exercise avoidance or favorable and unfavorable attitudes toward exercise. Should such statistics exist, I am sure the content of the video would have changed greatly….

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What Is Strength Training?

22 Feb 2015 20:20

Strength training is actually simpler than you thought. The majority of basic articles on strength training do not bother to define strength training at all. When it is defined, the word "strength" is used in the explanation. The most typical type of definition looks something like this: "Strength training is using resistance to build your physical (or muscular) strength."

Usually, however, explanations focus on the benefits of strength training: Strength training builds muscle, decreases injury risk, makes bones stronger, etc….

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Humans Were not Meant to Run Long Distances?

19 Jul 2016 00:01

Whenever you hear a fitness professional talk about what humans were "meant" to do, your bullshit meter should be pinging. Online fitness gurus love to vomit forth all sorts of hypotheses about what the human body was designed to do. And, when I say hypotheses, I mean uneducated, ignorant guesses. Those who place a lot of emphasis on lifting weights love to tell people that running is bad for you and will ruin your joints. One of their arguments tends to be that we were not "designed" for long-distance running. For example, an article in Breaking Muscle, supposedly busting fitness myths, quotes none other than Charles Poliquin, saying "Humans are meant to either sprint or walk long distances."…

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Risk Aversion and Fear Avoidance in the Fitness Industry

14 Apr 2016 23:22

I was reading a long and engaging article the other day by a fitness trainer who was reacting to what she saw as hypocrisy in the fitness industry. I very much appreciate the article and I let her know as much in my comments….

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People Don't Work Hard Mr. Fitness Trainer?

23 Mar 2015 18:36

I try to keep my cool, but when 20-something certified "fitness trainers" start going on about how nobody wants to work hard, I start getting antsy. Sometimes I think that before you make such a statement you should have to list out your job history. Does it look something like this?…

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Why Looking for Your Weakness In Strength Training Will Make you Miserable

11 Feb 2018 22:34

For years now I have been saying something that flies in the face of conventional strength training and even fitness advice. Many say that in order to get stronger, you must identify your weaknesses and fix them. I say the opposite. I say you must identify your strengths, and play to them.

Many coaches believe something managers have been told for years, that they must identify and fix weaknesses in order for a trainee or an employee to be effective….

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Should You Deadlift With the Bar Against Your Legs?

09 Feb 2018 22:15

Some say that you should drag the bar against your shins and over your knees when deadlifting. Is this true?

I have a secret way to find information. Not just any information, but wrong information. I just go the Stronglifts site. There, I can find an author with absolutely no idea what he is talking about and have a never-ending stream of wrong information to correct. This is how I came upon an idea about how to deadlift and lower back pain….

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Banned Substances In Vitamin Supplements?

08 Feb 2018 21:10

Should Athletes be Worried About Potentially Banned Substances in Vitamin Supplements?

A lot of athletes are becoming frightened that they are going to end up coming up positive in a drug test because they've taken a vitamin supplement or some other perfectly ethical dietary supplement that has been adulterated or contaminated with a steroid drug or other drug. In this article, I want to clear give help you learn what kinds of products to avoid….

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Ten Big Lies Personal Trainers Tell Their Clients

08 Feb 2018 19:38

Everybody has their own idea about what are the biggest "untruths" that the personal fitness industry tells. Most lists mention spot reduction, a pound of muscle burns 30 calories a day, you can turn fat into muscle, etc. All myths, for sure. And I am sure there are trainers out there who don't mind crossing their fingers behind their backs and lying about those things, if it suits their figures. It may not be very original, but I have another such list in mind. So here are my top 10 picks, which I have expanded from an original five:


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What Is Skill-Related Or Athletic Fitness?

07 Feb 2018 22:54

The fitness industry tends to conflate two broad categories of fitness. We've already defined one of these: health-related fitness. The other is skill-related or athletic fitness….

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What Is Health-Related Fitness?

07 Feb 2018 22:40

This article is part of a series. See part one: You Cannot Be Generally Advanced - Advanced Fitness is Specific.

Two General Types of Fitness?

We can loosely identify two different broad fitness goals: Health-related fitness and skill-related fitness.

Health-related fitness encompasses physical fitness. This is the ability to meet the demands of daily living — to perform the tasks related to it, plus deal with the unexpected, within reasonable levels….

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Is Exercise Underrated?

27 Feb 2017 03:09

A YouTube video from a Channel called 'What I've Learned' recently caught my eye. The video was titled "Why Exercise is Underrated." Immediately, I question the assumption of the title. Is exercise underrated? The video focused on the faulty marketing of the fitness industry, saying that it focused on the wrong messages. All the while, the tacit assumption of the title was never challenged. No effort was made to examine any available statistics related to exercise behaviors, whether it be exercise avoidance or favorable and unfavorable attitudes toward exercise. Should such statistics exist, I am sure the content of the video would have changed greatly….

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The Big Bang Theory Of Fitness

25 Feb 2017 20:53

If you've ever watched the show Big Bang Theory you might know that it is an entertaining and funny show, but you may not realize that some of the ways in which science and scientists are characterized on the show are not very accurate. One of the main comedic elements of the show is between the character of Sheldon, a socially inept theoretical physicist, and Howard, an engineer. Sheldon arrogantly dismisses engineering as nothing more than the tinkering of those who aren't intelligent enough to do real science. Basically, to him, physicists do the work and engineers are not much more than glorified grease monkeys. Now, it is possible that many physicists feel this way but it shows a basic mistake in how the scientific process is perceived. So, for students of strength training or human performance, this is actually a good illustration of a common misconception about science, and it can serve to illustrate some of the misunderstandings of how science and scientific evidence can be used to inform training for increased human performance….

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If You Strength Train In the Morning, Drink Water

20 Feb 2017 18:06

I've long heard the advice that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day and you should not wait until you are thirsty. This is a myth that has been debunked many times. Thirst is actually an excellent indicator of when you should drink fluids. However, when you are exercising or competing in the hot sun, you should be proactive with your hydration. Related to this is the advice that you should always drink water first thing in the morning because you wake up dehydrated….

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Principles are Not Tools - More on Progressive Overload

20 Jan 2017 00:02

In my article Progressive Overload and Its Application to Strength Training, I stated that the term progressive overload gets thrown around so much in fitness that it loses all meaning. I said that it is too vague and misconstrued. I complained that the goal of progressive overload is often substituted for the actual performance goal, as if these things are one and the same. In many fitness domains, they may be, but in strength training, they are usually not. Progressive overload is a principle. While progressively overloading your body is a training tool, principles themselves are not tools. This probably seems like a contradiction….

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The Key Word in 'Body Acceptance' is Acceptance

18 Jan 2017 20:45

Imagine a fitness model writes an article condemning the sexualization and commercialization of fitness. Along with the article, she posts a picture of herself in a sexy bikini, posing for the camera. Would you cheer? Would you encourage? Many people would. Would you see the irony and hypocrisy, instead? How many other people would agree?

In fact, this kind of thing happens all the time. Why would someone proudly display themselves in a sexual manner along with a message condemning the sexualization of fitness? Why would that person then preach about body acceptance? Are they making some obscure coded message that only the most intelligent can decipher? The truth is, the picture is there to surprise you. To invoke a response. To make you share the article. It is marketing, similar to a flashy label on an otherwise mundane food item. And yes, articles complaining about the commercialization of fitness are common. I've written a few myself….

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Comparing And Contrasting Fitness Exercises

10 Jan 2017 21:52

Do you remember having to "compare and contrast" in school? It was an important writing and thinking exercise. Comparing and contrasting is also one of the main focuses of the fitness industry.

Often, when people are trying to sell us their ideas about a superior exercise or program, they pretend to be comparing and contrasting, but they are actually almost exclusively contrasting. Focusing on one or two small differences while ignoring the many similarities of two different things is a form of dishonesty….

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How Much Weight Can a Cheap Barbell Handle?

05 Jan 2017 23:04

Most lifters who train at home and own their own barbell have a cheap barbell. I've already written about a good quality but affordable barbell for home workouts. But, many are justifiably confused about what to look for in a barbell and are concerned that a less expensive bar will not be able to hold enough weight.

A cheap barbell will usually work quite well for an individual lifter. It doesn't need to stand up to multiple users and it can still last many years. Besides chrome coatings peeling off, which creates a hazard for your hands, the question most often asked is how much weight can an inexpensive barbell handle? Am I going to reach the limit of my bar and have it permanently bend or something?…

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Infraspinatus Muscle: Location, Action, and Trigger Points

19 Nov 2016 19:26

The infraspinatus muscle is a thick, triangular muscle which occupies most of the concave, dorsal surface of the scapula, a part of the scapula called the infraspinatus fossa. In other words, this muscle covers almost the entire scapula (shoulder blade) below the scapular spine….

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Why Can You Lift More On Flat Bench Press Than On Incline?

12 Aug 2016 00:19

Although you may come across a lifter, once in a while, who is stronger on incline bench press than flat bench, most of the time the regular flat bench press is stronger. Why is this?…

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I Get Why You Want a Shortcut to A Big Lift

05 Aug 2016 00:45

I would not try to mislead you with an article title, so I want to start by qualifying the title of this one. I do not claim to understand all the reasons why someone would be attracted to shortcut methods for getting a big deadlift or squat, and then end up wasting a lot of time on magic bullets that don't work. But, if your goal is a big lift, then I GET YOU!

And I while I have labored, preached, cajoled, and done everything else I could think of on these pages to dissuade people from taking such blind alleys, one thing I've never done is judged my readers. We want the same things. I'd rather take you out for a few beers than judge you for your mistakes. I've been misguided in the past, much more so than I'd like to admit….

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Was the Trap Bar Originally Designed Just for Training Traps?

02 Aug 2016 22:09

The trap bar really is good for shrugs, so it's a great way to train your traps. But, was the bar designed in the first place just for shrugs and trap training? Many sources say yes, the trap bar was meant to train the traps, and later on lifters accidentally discovered its use for deadlifts and other lifts….

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Is Getting Stronger All About How Much Weight You're Lifting?

01 Aug 2016 22:42

Why, yes! The popular entertainment site Buzzfeed loves to feature list articles where various 'experts' are asked questions. This probably actually means that the author simply features isolated quotes from their online articles, and pretends they interviewed a dozen people for one list article. In one such article, '18 Fitness Myths That Need To Be Stopped Immediately' I came across a gem….

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Are Cleansing and Detox Diets Just Fancy Anorexia?

25 Jul 2016 18:54

I've seen a quote about cleanse diets and detoxing being shared on Facebook quite a lot lately. Each time it shows up, it gets hundreds to thousands of likes and hundreds of shares. Amazing the power of a superficially logical statement that is actually based on a fallacy. This is one I would call a false analogy. I decided I'd like to write a few things about it….

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You Can't Isolate a Muscle, But Does it Matter?

24 Jul 2016 19:37

A favorite phrase of well-informed personal trainers, when asked how to isolate a certain muscle, is "you can't isolate a muscle."

Technically, it is true. Muscles never truly work in isolation. For instance, even during an exercise like preacher curls, which seems like it completely isolates the biceps, there are other muscles at work. The primary movement in any biceps curl is elbow flexion. Although you may focus on the biceps brachii, there are two other muscles at work with the biceps to flex the elbow, the brachialis and brachioradialis. In fact, some folks may inform you that the brachialis is the prime mover and not the biceps, since the brachialis is the only one which is a pure elbow flexor….

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