Is Your Expert Really an Expert? The Problem of Inappropriate Expertize and Name-Dropping in the Fitness Industry
26 Sep 2013 13:36
I've been making a lot of statements about expertize and experts lately. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, critical thinking and skepticism has become as popular as frozen Margaritas in Mexican restaurants, and just as bland and weak. Usually, these excited new thinkers invoke science. One of the secrets, it seems, to being scientific, is to go on and on about how you should be wary of experts and go around refuting them.
15 Sep 2013 17:47
You can read the article or listen to the video talk below, which has more material in it, with additional commentary.
The fitness industry is made up of in-groups and out-groups. Of course, whatever group you are in, is the in-group as far as you are concerned. Some groups have more social power than others, however, and are able to draw more members. So we have something like minorities in the fitness world. William Graham Summer, an American sociologist and a social-Darwinist, is said to have coined the terms in-group and out-group, in his 1906 book Folkways. I use these terms differently than the nasty way in which he used them.
10 Sep 2013 15:19
I find often that people who talk about rational thinking and skepticism a lot do not seem to think very hard at all. I was reading an article about skepticism in which the author made the point that you can still think rationally about a subject even when there is not a lot, or no, scientific evidence concerning it. This I agree with and it's a point that needs to be made given the constant shouting about evidence…even when you have it, your brain is not supposed to shut down.
01 Aug 2013 19:54
This is one of those patently absurd statements that shouldn't even have come close to being a part of strength training dogma. To keep your muscles from adapting, is to keep them from getting stronger (if we are talking about positive adaptations). When we achieve a new level of fitness, it is because of an adaptation to the imposed demands on our bodies. To seek to "block" this process is nonsense.
21 Jul 2013 22:14
I would love to be able to just do what I do and let others do what they do. Problem is, what others do often requires me to patiently explain to a trainee why a certain thing is not appropriate and why I am not going to "coach" them on some program or other that they are convinced they should be doing for no other reason than it being very popular on the internet. If you're a trainer then you've been there and you know what I am talking about. Start a strength training forum and see how much worse it gets. What do you think of this? What do you think of that?