Spotting Bad Fitness Articles

Posted on 27 Jan 2010 21:10

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Excessive Quotes in Fitness Articles

by EricTEricT 21 Jan 2010 21:28

I am starting this series of blog posts as a tongue in cheek1 way of helping you spot bullshit in fitness articles. You may know that I don't like the term fitness so I am using it purely out of convenience. I think it is important to mention that just because you notice some of the things I talk about in a fitness article, this does not mean the article in question is BS; only that you should be on BS alert as you consider it.

21 Jan 2010 21:28

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Unusual Words, Jargon, and Journalese in Fitness Articles

by EricTEricT 24 Jan 2010 22:37

Bad fitness articles are a nickel a dozen. True, this is only my second post on how to spot bad articles but I have enough ideas to keep this going for a long time. To be clear, I am not talking about bad writing, necessarily, but bad practices, designed to cover up a lack of depth or understanding.

Although there is much overlap between these things and bad writing in general, I am aiming to help you uncover bad articles, not bad writing. My writing may not always be up to even my standards for instance but while I have written articles that I would consider poorly written not very often have I written something which I consider to be bad content.

24 Jan 2010 22:37

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Assumptions are Critical: Part 3 of Bad Fitness Articles

by EricTEricT 29 Jan 2010 21:59

Assumptions are a perfect subject for this third post in the series. The first two I think held no real surprises. For this one, I wanted to write about something that would challenge your assumptions so I decided to write about assumptions themselves.

A good fitness article must make assumptions. There, I'll bet that threw at least some of you. I mean, aren't the best fitness writers omniscient?

29 Jan 2010 21:59

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Spotting Bad Fitness Articles: Dinosaurs Go Extinct

by EricTEricT 17 Feb 2010 01:10

As you peruse the internet you will come across fitness and strength writers who have written a great many articles or at least whose opinions are freely available in some form. Chances are you'll find someone who was writing articles in the year 2000 and is still writing them today, in 2010. Pay attention to the dates. Pay attention to the evolution. Ten years is a long time. Heck even five years is a long time and for me one year is long enough to turn my thinking on a subject one hundred sixty degrees.

17 Feb 2010 01:10

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Spotting Bad Fitness Articles: Reference Padding

by EricTEricT 30 Apr 2010 17:09

Reference padding is the practice of "padding" the source list of an article with many more citations than should be necessary given the information or ideas presented.

An extreme example may be an article which is around 5000 words long (pretty short to me) but which lists around 100 references. Although possible, it is unlikely that such a high number of sources were used to research such an article and it is especially blatant when the article is not a "research" article at all.

30 Apr 2010 17:09

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Spotting Bad Fitness Articles: A Study Said This

by EricTEricT 10 Jan 2012 16:22

Raise your hand if you have recently read a news or magazine article, on the web or elsewhere, explaining the results of one study and making concrete conclusions based on that one study. Yep, all of you. I figured as much.

A study in Australia revealed that young women fight off colds better than young men. Case closed. Not. First of all, "a study in Australia" is not an appropriate reference. No reference, no credibility. Second of all, there is no way that ONE study could possibly "reveal" conclusively that young women have colds that go away quicker than young men.

10 Jan 2012 16:22

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