What if the Fitness Industry Really Was Scientific?

08 Oct 2014 20:40

By Eric Troy

I'm sitting here after typing out the title, wondering if I should hit the backspace key until it disappears. I've just bit off quite a piece of jerky. After all, you could write an article about "what if scientists really were scientific." Even at the best of times, scientists don't completely live up to their ideals. But scientists, at least, do science rather than just wave a banner. The fitness industry reminds me, sometimes, of Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own." When I see how personal so many fitness scientists take things, I want to incredulously cry "There's no CRYING in science!"…

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The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets

19 Sep 2010 03:33

Soyfoods have long been prized among vegetarians for both their high protein content and versatility. Soybeans differ markedly in macronutrient content from other legumes, being much higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbohydrate. In recent years however, soyfoods and specific soybean constituents, especially isoflavones, have been the subject of an impressive amount of research. Nearly 2,000 soy-related papers are published annually. This research has focused primarily on the benefits that soyfoods may provide independent of their nutrient content. There is particular interest in the role that soyfoods have in reducing risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. However, the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones observed in animal studies have also raised concerns about potential harmful effects of soyfood consumption. This review addresses questions related to soy and chronic disease risk, provides recommendations for optimal intakes, and discusses potential contraindications. As reviewed, the evidence indicates that, with the exception of those individuals allergic to soy protein, soyfoods can play a beneficial role in the diets of vegetarians. Concerns about adverse effects are not supported by the clinical or epidemiologic literature. Based on the soy intake associated with health benefits in the epidemiologic studies and the benefits noted in clinical trials, optimal adult soy intake would appear to be between two and four servings per day….

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Self-Control: Not all its Cracked Up To Be

01 Sep 2010 15:44

More and more, everyone is learning that "diets" don't work. Sure, people drop weight on diets but they fail to make a lasting change. I don't need to go into this, you know all about yo-yo dieting. Despite this there are still plenty of judgmental folks (who probably wouldn't know a problem if it bit them in the tuchus) who will say stuff like, "jeez, whatever happened to old-fashioned self-control?"…

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They Are Not Smarter Than You: Facts, Knowledge, and Reasoning Skills

18 Aug 2010 22:52

Never assume that your authority figure is smarter than you. I constantly see trainees accepting everything a certain person says because they simply feel that they are not smart enough to apply any thought to it so they must simply absorb it as gospel.

I was looking around for Mel Siff items on the internet and came across Tony Gentilcore’s “Resource Page”. After the entry on Mel Siff’s book “Facts and Fallacies of Fitness” Gentilcore wrote:…

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Getting In The ZONE

10 Jul 2009 19:07

You know what I'm talking about, probably, and when you are at the gym trying to get that big PR, feeling all anxious about it, you've probably wondered how to get in that ZONE and if it's possible to learn….

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The Strength Training Honeymoon Period

09 Jul 2009 17:27

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Teaching Versus Learning The Lifts

09 Jul 2009 17:19

You know I love how the words 'teach' and 'learn' get mixed up. Provided you are concentrating on just a particular exercise rather than a general technique overview, you can teach a person a basic slow lift in 10 to 20 minutes.

Meaning, you can INSTRUCT them on it it that time frame and have them go through the motions, correct the mistakes, etc. That doesn't mean they have LEARNED the lift. That means they have received instruction on the lift and gone through an initial training session with it….

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Explain the Opposite

06 Jul 2009 13:12

You know what this is even if you haven't heard the term. You've come across it many times. You may not be a geek like me who reads psychology texts in his spare time, but I can guarantee you’ve seen it. Many times, in fact. And if you've posted on fitness related web-sites as much as I have you've seen it hundreds of times….

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Strength: Simple But Difficult?

05 Jul 2009 22:32

QUALIFIED.

That is a very important word. A reason I avoid using terse, oversimplified statements, which I refer to as aphorisms, is because for them to be useful they usually need to be qualified. That is, a set of conditions and explanation have to be put in place so that they fit a general audience. So that they are not taken too far….

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Strength, Fatloss, Skills, and Progression: Misconceptions Abound

04 Jul 2009 21:25

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What is Training People?

30 Jun 2009 21:57

I was perusing "fitness" blogs today and the funniest thing happened. I saw a blog post in which the post itself didn't interest me. It was more of the same old same old simplistic reaction to a complex "human" problem. What got me wanting to blog about the page, on this, my first post on my blog here, was the TITLE….

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Do Sports Drinks Prevent Hyponatremia?

29 Jun 2009 20:04

Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance in which the sodium concentration in blood plasma falls lower than normal. It has been believed, for many years that we "lose" salt through our sweat.

This is why our high school track coach encouraged us to take salt pills. Hyponatremia is also what sports drinks are supposed to prevent. As far as most coaches were concerned back then, we were losing salt by the gram as soon as we started sweating….

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So Many Good Strength and Bodybuilding Programs

29 Jun 2009 17:59

And so many gyms collecting fees for nothing

If you're reading this page you probably fall loosely into one of three categories (I mean loosely because you can't really put people into boxes):

1. You train or work out…whatever you want to call it…regularly

2. You are just beginning to work out and are looking for ideas, info, answers…

3. You want to begin working out and are looking for ways to get started

If you fall into the first category you may take it all for granted. If you fall into the second or third category you are, just possibly, overwhelmed by the possibilities.

One thing I try to remember is that there is a whole world of people out there that never heard of this site. That never heard of me. That have never lifted a weight. That are out of shape….

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Is Your "Strength Training" Actually Strength Training:Part 2

29 Jun 2009 16:38

In Part 1 we talked about watered down knowledge floating around, intensity, and its meanings, 'burning out' (or lack thereof), acclimation and percentage based training. In part 2 I simply want to talk about one thing: The Definition of Strength….

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Muscle Cramps Part V

29 Jun 2009 00:21

In the last article we introduced you to Randy, our imaginary 70 kg average male runner, and we created some potential scenarios regarding his fluid and sodium losses and replacement. The biggest take home message was to listen to your body and to drink to thirst, as this has been shown again and again in the field and the lab to keep people from drinking either too little or too much. We have received tons of feedback and discussion, and as we stated in the comments to that post we are pleased that so many of you are participating in the discussion, sharing your stories, and asking relevant and insightful questions….

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Make Your Own Dip Belt

26 Jun 2009 13:05

I finally made my own Dip Belt today.

I bought a cheap ass leather weightlifting belt for $7 (this is Bombay after all).

I then proceeded to buy a 6 foot long chain from a hardware shop for $2….

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Muscle Cramps Part 4.5

26 Jun 2009 03:17

This is a pseudo-Part V of our series on Muscle Cramps - I was tempted to call it Part V, but it's a little bit of a departure from what we've been talking about. In our next article, which we will be calling Part V, we'll wrap up this really challenging series and try to summarize all of the comments and our articles into one concluding piece….

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Pterygoid Muscle and Jaw Pain

25 Jun 2009 22:32

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Theories and Fallacies of Muscle Cramps Part IV: An explanation of the evolution of science

21 Jun 2009 18:24

Over the past three articles, we've taken what has turned out to be a pretty intense look at muscle cramps. We began with a discussion of how muscle cramps were first attributed to a low serum electrolyte concentration, without any substantial evidence for this theory. We then moved on to show that, in fact, people who cramped have the SAME electrolyte concentrations and levels of dehydration as those who do not cramp - this is pretty strongly suggestive that cramping is not caused by either dehydration or electrolyte depletion. Then in Part III, we described a new model for muscle cramps, involving a 'malfunction' in the reflex control of muscles during fatigue….

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What is Rolfing?

21 Jun 2009 01:18

Rolfing, otherwise known as Structural Integration, is named after Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Structural Integration is the outcome of her work from the 1920's all the way up to her death in 1979 although most sources say it was "created" in the 1960's.

This method of manipulation, instead of focusing on the muscles, is aimed at the fascia, which is the protective layer of connective tissue which surrounds the muscles, bones, and organs….

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Theories and Fallacies of Muscle Cramps Part III: A Novel Theory for Exercise-associated Muscle Cramps

19 Jun 2009 20:51

This marks the the third part of our series on muscle cramps. It was going to be the final installment in this particular series, but we've received some excellent and thoughtful questions and comments on the issue, so have decided that we'll do a fourth article, just summarizing some of those key "sticking" points. It seems from the feedback that this issue - electrolytes and cramps - is one of the more contentious ones around. So in our FOURTH article of the series, we'll look back and try to tie up any loose ends and conceptual issues….

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Pistol Squats Progression

19 Jun 2009 19:11

I finally managed to nail one legged squats with zero heel elevation!!!

It's been three months and I have gradually moved from using a thick heel elevation to using a thinner one and now I am left with none….

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Theories and Fallacies of Muscle Cramps Part II: Electrolyte Depletion Model of Muscle Cramps

17 Jun 2009 19:58

In part one of this series on muscle cramps we tried to set the scene by providing some history in this area. At times it might seem like we are a bit heavy on the historical side, but as we mentioned in one of our comments to Part I, understanding the historical record is crucial as often it helps us understand why we think what we do—-and this affects one's interpretation of the science. In this article we will focus on the prevailing premise that dehydration and electrolyte disturbances cause muscle cramps….

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The House of Cards

17 Jun 2009 01:58

Very recently I came across someone, and more importantly their training, and it warrants some blog attention.

This whole mess stems from single's training, which I dare say I know a thing or two about, and volume. The gist of the discussion is that if you perform more than one, or two, singles you are headed down the road to over-training. This person went from one extreme end, over-training, to the other, barely getting a training effect, and after posting a few comments and opinions I realized it was over before it began….

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