Fitness Industry: Stop Playing Darts With Evidence

18 Mar 2018 21:38

Fitness professionals, especially ones who ply their craft on the internet, have a curious relationship with the word evidence. That is, they love the word but give it no particular importance. This is my imagining of how "evidence" is being used by many people in the fitness industry who pay lip service to the word without a clear idea of what constitutes evidence or how to analyze it, or how to think about evidence BEFORE you go looking for it:…

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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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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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Cheap Barbells are NOT Your Problem in Strength Training & Muscle Building

07 May 2018 01:15

I have a friend who's starting a weight training equipment business in another country. We were discussing social media and marketing on Youtube, and while researching some keywords, I came across possibly the dumbest video on strength training and bodybuilding equipment I've ever seen. There exist thousands, if not hundreds, of people engaged in a "fake it till you make" it ploy on YouTube. These people make things up that sound authoritative and easily believable. What this fellow says, if you know anything about metal, let alone equipment, will make you do a double face-palm….

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Instinct Has Nothing To Do With Strength Training

05 May 2018 21:09

Have you ever heard that you should train by instinct? What about eating by instinct? What does it mean to use your instincts in the gym? How can this help you lift a heavier weight or build muscle? Do some people have access to some kind of innate knowledge or exercise behavior that you are somehow lacking?…

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Could Milo Of Croton Really Have Trained With the Bull?

30 Mar 2018 01:06

I am going to start this article off with a confession. Despite the fitness and strength training industry's ever-enduring fascination with the legend of Milo and his bull, I absolutely despise this story! The reason I despise it is that it is used by so many professionals to explain how progressive exercise, and in particular, progressive overload in strength training works, yet presents a gross exaggeration of the long-term use of progressive resistance….

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Why Strength Training Experience Matters for Trainers and Coaches

29 Mar 2018 21:17

One of the most silly ongoing debates (or pseudo-debates) concerns how much experience matters, as opposed to knowledge, for personal trainers, strength coaches, etc. If we want to train others for strength, or, if we want to hire them to help us train for strength, should we be more concerned with their theoretical knowledge or their practical experience? It is the wrong question! We should be equally concerned with both qualifications. One is not very useful without the other. A trainer with more experience but with knowledge equal to another trainer will always be more effective. And, yes, I am saying that the more experienced trainer will be more effective even if the next guy is smarter. In this article, I'm going to give you one of the many reasons why trying to research and apply theoretical knowledge of strength training without broader experience in the nuts and bolts of actual training leads to ineffective, and sometimes downright foolish, practices. I'm going to talk about:…

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Doctors Need More Training in Nutrition and Exercise?

24 Mar 2018 17:32

Trainers are Not Doctors

The title of this article, viewed through the lens of the fitness industry, is almost blasphemous. Personal training, as I've said before, is the blue-collar job that imagines it is white collar. Trainers think they are smarter than the average M.D. And, even some actual physicians figure it is easier to cash in on the billion dollar fitness industry than to actually practice medicine. So, they, along with the average trainer, will lament that medical doctors do not know enough about nutrition and exercise while implying that they themselves, can help you medically and thus prevent illness….

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Most Strength Trainees Need More Volume and Weight, Not Deloads

23 Mar 2018 21:54

There seems to be a whole new crop of strength training writers which are getting rabid followers by telling them what they want to hear. What do they want to hear? How they can get strong without hard work. In fact, it seems anything that is about getting strong but NOT about actual training is the most popular content….

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You Do Not Have to Be Accomplished To Be Fit

23 Mar 2018 21:21

You do not have to "get really good at something" to enjoy the type of fitness that the fitness industry should generally be promoting, general health-related fitness. Yet, the fitness industry continues to conflate athletic fitness and 'training' with general health-related fitness. It is clear that there is a halo effect associated with athletic training and fitness, one that is often not deserved….

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Fitness Industry: Stop Playing Darts With Evidence

18 Mar 2018 21:38

Fitness professionals, especially ones who ply their craft on the internet, have a curious relationship with the word evidence. That is, they love the word but give it no particular importance. This is my imagining of how "evidence" is being used by many people in the fitness industry who pay lip service to the word without a clear idea of what constitutes evidence or how to analyze it, or how to think about evidence BEFORE you go looking for it:…

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Glute Muscles: Origins, Insertions, and Actions w/ Videos

28 Feb 2018 05:14

The videos and information in this article provide an overview of the muscles of gluteal region, commonly called the glutes.

The first video covers the tensor fasciae latae, gluteus maxiumus, gluteus medius, gluteal minimus and piriformis muscles.

The second video covers the obdurator internus, superior gemellus, inferior gemellus, and quadratus femoris muscles….

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My Personal Trainer Says I Have a Vitamin/Mineral Deficiency

25 Feb 2018 18:21

A question came up about the muscles shaking during a workout. Many of us have had our muscles shudder and quiver while lifting very heavy weights or working against a lot of external resistance. But one of the answers to this question about muscle shakiness caught my eye. The person answering said that their personal trainer observed their muscles shaking during squats and, in response, the trainer told them their calcium was low and that the trainee should start taking a supplement before their next workout….

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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….

»Continue Reading...

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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