Fallacies

31 Aug 2009 17:33

What Can the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) Tell Us About Training?

by EricTEricT 27 Jun 2014 22:11

Critical thinking, like "evidence based training" is all the rage these days. That's great, if it was anything more than a couple of buzz-words. However, it seems that people in the fitness industry want to talk about good thinking, rather than do it. It's hard work. It's never-ending. It's kind of like deadlifts. There are those who do them, and there are those who shout "Booyah, arrrgh, deadlifts, BEASTMODE! Hardcore!" One of my main reasons for not believing that critical thinking is really something the fitness industry, at large, cares about, is that too many of its members do it selectively. In other words, they think about things they have a negative reaction to, and criticize those things, but when something happens to coincide with their general views, the thinking stops, even if it doesn't represent a credible "scientific" stance. One of these instances is anecdotal evidence, and "this works for me" prescriptions given by individual trainees, or better yet, celebrities who strength train or stay fit for movies, or what have you.

27 Jun 2014 22:11

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Is Your Expert Really an Expert? The Problem of Inappropriate Expertize and Name-Dropping in the Fitness Industry

by EricTEricT 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.

26 Sep 2013 13:36

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False Comparisons in Strength Training Research and Literature

by EricTEricT 08 May 2013 16:20

The most frequent fallacy committed in studies related (however loosely) to strength training is the "false comparison," also known as the false analogy or questionable analogy. Sometimes, this happens because the researchers do not have any true understanding of overall practice of strength training, and therefore compare two things that really shouldn't be compared. Other times, however, the researchers well know that they are making a false comparison, and they are using this to discover relationships and move forward in their research, rather than to prove something. It is the strength training lay public that misunderstands this and uses these studies as evidence of something.

08 May 2013 16:20

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If you Don't Train to Failure, You'll Never Need a Spotter

by EricTEricT 13 Apr 2012 16:08

Oh my, so very, very, wrong. And yet it is a commonly stated idea. If you never need a spotter then it is fair to say you never truly train for strength. Strength training involves lifting very heavy weights and sometimes weights that exceed those you've lifted before. This isn't rocket surgery. You want to get strong you have to venture into uncharted territory and you can never be sure. Therefore there are always times in strength training where a spotter, or at least safety catches of some kind, are needed. This has nothing to do with just whether you train to failure or not. Anybody who is around strength training even a moderate amount of time will see lifters failing at lifts where a spotter should have been present, or, again, where the lifter at least should have been within a power rack with spotter bars. So, if someone says you never need a spotter unless you train to "failure," you're talking to someone who is twiddling around with strength training but that doesn't really know anything about it.

13 Apr 2012 16:08

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The Deadlift is not a Deadlift and Other Infectious Aphorisms

by EricTEricT 21 Feb 2012 18:54

Popular strength coaches, and bodybuilding coaches who talk about strength training as well, are always inventing little aphorisms and catch phrases designed to get across some central philosophy or concept inherent to their way of viewing training for strength. Problem is with catch slogans and aphorisms, is that they are designed to sell a concept rather than to teach a concept. An aphorism is only as good as the qualifications you give it when you explain its underlying rationale. With most of these statements, it is the style that sells them, more than the content. One of our members called this type of thing a fallacy by slogan and this is an apt way to put it. A good aphorism is catchy like an infectious rash: Everybody spreads it around and it does more harm than good.

21 Feb 2012 18:54

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Deadlifts and Muscle Mass: Myths that Sell

by EricTEricT 11 Feb 2012 19:20

Somebody recently implied that I try to sell pure strength training to everybody. The idea being, I suppose, that I want to convince everybody to engage in maximum strength training and think it is "bad" if they don't, or, by extension, fail to follow my advice. Well, those who have read my blog extensively, of course, know better, since the "selling of strength" training is something I adamantly oppose and often complain about.

11 Feb 2012 19:20

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20 Home Remedies for Treating Minor Burns: Not!

by EricTEricT 04 Dec 2011 21:14

Instead of listing out twenty tips in an obviously deceitful display of "yeah right you gullible fool," all I really need to say is this: Pick twenty random things from around your house that can be smeared on a burn, poured on a burn, etc. And you have your twenty home remedy tips.

Soy sauce. Mustard. Vinegar. Hey, take some chewing tobacco, chew it up real good, and spit it on your burns. I swear, it works wonders. My grandmother used to swear on it for bee stings, too. The point is it doesn't matter what I say, there is someone who will believe it.

04 Dec 2011 21:14

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Organic Versus GMO Soy, Isoflavones, Red Herrings and Junk Science

by EricTEricT 21 Oct 2011 19:17

I wanted to make a quick post about the review, The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets. After reading this, what I want everyone to notice is just WHAT the concerns about soy are centered on and what they are not. The concerns about soy have been centered on its isoflavone content as you can read about in the article. Mercola and many others seem to want to "shift" the debate to organic versus non-organic soy crops. This is called a "red herring" and is a signal that these writers want to deflect our attention. It's misdirection.

21 Oct 2011 19:17

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Food Label Zealots, Chemicals, Supplements, and Natural Food: Want Some Chlorophyll?

by EricTEricT 24 Jul 2011 20:42

As a continuance of my assault on the misleading ideas about "natural" food, this is yet another follow-up to a series of blog posts where I discuss chemicals in foods and the concept of natural. In the last one I talked about the difference between chemicals as nutrients and chemicals as pharmacologic agents. I explained that some chemicals in food do have a physiological affect beyond their basic biological functions. Others, such as compounds in herbals used for medicinal purposes simply have no function as a "nutrient." All of these, though, have one thing in common and that is summed up by saying that "The poison OR the remedy is in the DOSE." This is important in helping us recognize the difference between nutrition information and alternative medicine information.

24 Jul 2011 20:42

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Lifting and Carrying Stuff: It's Not Just About Your Legs and Arms

by EricTEricT 26 Jun 2011 04:12

Bench press, bench press, bench press. I'm amazed at how many bench press warriors I come across. No, I'm not talking about the guys who just love to bench press and like to see those numbers go up, but they try to keep their training balanced. I'm talking about people who only train upper body and actually consider bench press (and curls) to be a good measure of "strength".

26 Jun 2011 04:12

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Natural and Processed Food, Nutritionism and Pollanisms

by EricTEricT 29 Mar 2011 19:59

There has been a lot of support for Michal Pollan's books for the last few years (he was on Colbert ) and his books "In Defense of Food" as well as his earlier book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" are both very popular. I even saw Mike Boyle singing the praises of Pollan while imagining he knew more about nutrition than "nutritionists" by virtue of having read Pollan's books. Even though, strictly speaking, Pollan is not a nutritionist but a journalist. But hey, I've also seen Mike Boyle and others sing the praises of Mercola, so go figure. I would hesitate to get my nutrition information from a strength coach or a journalist. That is not to say that I would not take their advice, but only that I would hesitate to consider that advice as seriously as I would consider the advice of someone who is a nutrition specialist.

29 Mar 2011 19:59

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Homeopathy is Not a Drug and Other Babbles

by EricTEricT 28 Mar 2011 21:42

Recently I published some information on homeopathy from the 10:23 Campaign. This is a group that has staged some public mass homeopathic drug "overdoses". Don't worry it ain't no Jim Jones thing. It's a simple demonstration of the fact that no amount of a homeopathic drug can harm you because there is simply nothing in it but water and sugar.

28 Mar 2011 21:42

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Dogma Revisited and the Price of Conformity - The Selling of Strength Training

by EricTEricT 09 Oct 2010 18:30

Dare to be different. Why? You'll go viral, that's why. The world is awash in a sea of conformity. The internet even more so. Anybody who says something contrary to the mainstream will stand out. Regardless of the real value of his or her message. This creates a marketing potential for any idea that is primarily conceived to simply differ from that which is considered mainstream or dogma. I actually received a newsletter about an article that introduced the article by saying this:

09 Oct 2010 18:30

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Recreational Weight Training Makes You More Prone To Shoulder Injury?

by EricTEricT 30 Apr 2010 21:13

This is an older post from the GUStrength's Blog.

I noticed a post about a study at Male Pattern Fitness1 that I would like to have reacted to but for some reason the comments are always closed kinda quickly at this blog so I wanted to comment on it here. I feel it may be a bit misleading.

Yes, I agree completely that most people train in a way that predisposes them to imbalances and injury. Such as the internal rotator dominance that was brought up in the post.

30 Apr 2010 21:13

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A Strength Training Fallacy: The False Compromise

by EricTEricT 30 Mar 2010 19:52

Did your mom ever tell you that when you have a disagreement with a friend you have to learn to compromise? Not to disrespect your mom but the idea that we always must reach a compromise is nonsense and is a common fallacy of thought.

30 Mar 2010 19:52

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Clean Style Deadlift versus Powerlifting Deadlift

by EricTEricT 06 Sep 2009 04:16

What is the difference between a clean style and powerlifting style deadlift?

There is no such distinction. There never was. I am sure that many powerlifters think that they have a style of deadlifting that should be called a "powerlifting style deadlift" but the deadlift is not a derivative of the clean and jerk and there is no style that distinguishes such.

06 Sep 2009 04:16

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This page created 31 Aug 2009 17:33
Last updated 06 Apr 2012 05:29

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