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 Impact of Zinc on Human Health: The Essential Toxin

13 Aug 2010 22:29

Compared to several other metal ions with similar chemical properties, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to high doses has toxic effects, making acute zinc intoxication a rare event. In addition to acute intoxication, long-term, high-dose zinc supplementation interferes with the uptake of copper. Hence, many of its toxic effects are in fact due to copper deficiency. While systemic homeostasis and efficient regulatory mechanisms on the cellular level generally prevent the uptake of cytotoxic doses of exogenous zinc, endogenous zinc plays a significant role in cytotoxic events in single cells. Here, zinc influences apoptosis by acting on several molecular regulators of programmed cell death, including caspases and proteins from the Bcl and Bax families. One organ where zinc is prominently involved in cell death is the brain, and cytotoxicity in consequence of ischemia or trauma involves the accumulation of free zinc. Rather than being a toxic metal ion, zinc is an essential trace element. Whereas intoxication by excessive exposure is rare, zinc deficiency is widespread and has a detrimental impact on growth, neuronal development, and immunity, and in severe cases its consequences are lethal. Zinc deficiency caused by malnutrition and foods with low bioavailability, aging, certain diseases, or deregulated homeostasis is a far more common risk to human health than intoxication….

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Amplitude Of Movement, Law of Repetitive Motion, and Plyometrics

13 Aug 2010 00:02

You may have heard trainers and coaches talk about movement amplitude. I often talk about amplitude as being one of those performance characteristics that determine the outcome of a training regimen and one of the factors indicating reductions or improvement in performance.

Amplitude is also part of the "law of repetitive motion" equation developed by Dr. Michael P. Leahy, who is the founder of Active Release Techniques (ART). This "law" is an equation describing the interaction between various parameters of human motion: I=NF/AR where:…

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Nutrition is Not a Top Ten Proposition and the Lycopene Bust

09 Aug 2010 02:28

I'm going to give you three vegetables. You pick the best one.

  • Tomatoes
  • Green (Bell) Peppers
  • Spinach

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Theories and Fallacies of Muscle Cramps Part I

16 Jun 2009 17:41

This is a follow-on from our series of articles on Fluid Intake and Dehydration, and as we were preparing to write this series, we realized that there may actually be even more nonsense and blatant lies in the media than there were for dehydration!…

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Importance Of Progression in Strength Training

16 Jun 2009 11:50

In my opinion, progression is the key to strength training. There is no point in hammering away at an exercise without progressing on it. But this is not new knowledge. This is simply an observation – an observation made by many strength specialists and this has recently gained a lot of momentum with online mention. But, I want to highlight how each exercise you have adopted into your training should be treated – or can be treated, differently in terms of progression….

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Fluid Intake, Dehydration, And Exercise Part IV

15 Jun 2009 16:25

So far we investigated the history of fluid ingestion in Part I, demonstrated why it is the metabolic rate that predicts temperature in Part II, and weighed up the strengths and weaknesses of the lab-based and field studies in Part III. For Part IV we will look at the thirst mechanism and why waiting until you are thirsty is not "too late."…

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Is Your "Strength Training" Actually Strength Training:Part 1

14 Jun 2009 20:02

A big problem with strength training is that it has been introduced in places (read: forums) where the general membership doesn't have adequate exposure or adequate knowledge. And like alot of internet sources and sites, the ideas and principles have been twisted and convoluted into something that it really isn't. With the large proponents of the distortion coming from the uneducated 'experts'….

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Fluid Intake Dehydration And Exercise Part III

12 Jun 2009 16:25

Welcome back for Part III in this series on fluid intake and dehydration during exercise! Thus far we have examined a brief history of fluid replacement during endurance exercise in Article I, and in Article II we tried to explain how some of the lab research has perhaps been over-interpreted, and how that has lead to a false belief that ingesting fluid during exercise will keep you cool. In that article we reported the findings of earlier researchers who concluded the following:

* The core temperature is maintained at a higher level during exercise
* It is the metabolic rate (or in other words, how hard you are exercising) that predicts the core temperature…

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Fluid Intake Dehydration And Exercise Part II

11 Jun 2009 14:49

This is the second article in our series on fluid intake, dehydration and exercise. In the last article we looked at the history of fluid intake and how radically our beliefs on the subject had changed. Today we turn our attention to the evidence that has accompanied this shift, beginning with the contention that runners who become dehydrated are likely to develop heat stroke….

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Fluid Intake, Dehydration, and Exercise Part I

10 Jun 2009 13:59

The story begins, as most do, at the beginning…a look at the history of fluid intake and drinking during endurance exercise, which serves to illustrate an important point, one which will be covered again and again in this series…For this post, we acknowledge Professor Tim Noakes of UCT, the fluid pioneer whose lifelong pursuit of the truth in this area (and a lone battle for much of it) has thrown up the excellent quotes and anecdotes we use as we delve into the issue….

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Anderson Half Squat

07 Jun 2009 21:11

Any of you that have been following my Journal here (Strength Journal) will know that I recently included the infamous 4 squat workout into my routine. This delightful little routine consists of 4 exercises, each with 4 sets (5,4,3, and 2 reps respectively)….

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Hernias of the Abdominal Wall

31 May 2009 17:08

The human body is divided into various compartments such as the thorax (chest), abdomen, skull, etc. The word hernia is derived from the Latin word for "rupture," and occurs when an organ normally contained in one of these cavities protrudes through the lining of that cavity. The term hernia is therefore very broad, as hernias can occur almost anywhere in the body. For example, a protrusion of an intervertebral disk of the spine into the spinal canal is called a herniated or ruptured disk; a protrusion of brain tissue, usually because of a head injury, through a natural opening at the base of the skull (called the foramen occipitalis) is referred to as an Uncal hernia. However the vast majority of hernias involve the abdominal cavity and therefore this article will concentrate specifically on this type of hernia….

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Homemade Medicine Ball Videos

26 May 2009 14:50

Medicine Ball DIY

Here are some do-it-yourself videos showing how to make your own homemade medicine balls.

This works. I have made medicine balls using methods similar to these and I use them all the time.

These homemade balls, of course, will not bounce, which is a useful function of a medicine ball as well so if you want bouncy ones you will need to buy them. But no need to wait. If you have an old basketball or any other balls of various sizes lying around then it's fairly simple….

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Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome

26 May 2009 01:23

Tell any long-distance runner or cyclist about your stinging pain at the side of the knee or hip, and you will get a knowing sympathetic look. ITB (Iliotibial band) friction syndrome is one of the commonest complaints amongst runners, cyclists and intense court sports….

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Ectomorph, Hargainer, Hardcore: Drop The Labels

19 May 2009 14:55

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How To Win An Argument: The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

08 May 2009 15:07

How do you win an argument?

Simple. Don't argue!…

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Fitness As A Goal Or Strength As A Goal: Fitness Writ Large

03 May 2009 23:47

You may have noticed this site is about strength training. I have a confession to make. I don't know how to give fitness advice. Because I cannot clearly conceptualize fitness. I can understand exercise for health. I cannot understand exercise for fitness unless "fitness" is another word for health. But it is not.

While I certainly care about the concept of "fitness" I don't believe that fitness is a defined goal in itself. Apparently many trainers do as I see all sorts of hybridized strength/cardio concepts supposedly designed to optimize your pursuit of "fitness"….

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

01 May 2009 13:19

Nerves and blood vessels travel from the neck to the upper limb through a series of three tunnels, known collectively as the thoracic outlet. (Picture 1)

The nerves and blood vessels pass through three triangular channels which make up the thoracic outlet: (A) the triangular space between the scalene muscles; (B) the costoclavicular space; and (C) a space beneath the pectoralis minor muscle….

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Plantar Fasciitis

29 Apr 2009 15:00

The plantar fascia provides support when the foot rises up on the toes during walking, running, or climbing. It supports the long arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is caused by strain of the plantar fascia. The injured tissue causes pain at the bottom of the foot when starting to walk or when standing still for a long period of time. It is one of the most common causes of foot pain in adults [1,2].Jumping, running, or prolonged standing often causes strain on the plantar fascia. The outcome is generally good, with approximately 80 percent of people having no pain within one year. Flat feet can be a predisposing cause for plantar fasciitis as can a high arched foot (pes cavus) [2]….

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Sciatica: Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

28 Apr 2009 20:39

Sciatica is a buttock pain radiating down the back of the thigh and leg and possibly into the calf or foot. Other characteristics of sciatica include varying degrees of weakness in the leg muscles and numbness and/or tingling that radiates down the leg. These symptoms occur because of compression and/or irritation of the sciatic nerve or nerve roots which are forming the sciatic nerve. The areas in the buttock and leg affected by this compression are the areas that the sciatic nerve supplies with messages for normal function. There are many other names for sciatica including lumbosacral radicular syndrome, radiating low back pain, nerve root pain, and nerve root entrapment….

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Myofascial Trigger Points and Trigger Point Therapy

28 Apr 2009 01:35

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Wobble Boards, Bosu Balls, or Foam: What's The Difference?

18 Apr 2009 16:00

You've probably seen a wobble board before. They are these round discs with a ball or disc underneath them. Bosu balls are similar but they are more like a half swiss ball with a platform attached. Figure 3 below shows a boy jumping from bosu ball to bosu ball using the "ball" side. These can also be turned over on a hard surface so that the ball is a pivot. People use this method for pushups, for instance….

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How to do Deadlifts: Hips Too High, Too Low, or Just Right

17 Apr 2009 01:18

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