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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Dietary Supplement Ripoffs to Avoid: Amino Acid Pills

07 Oct 2010 17:09

There is no long-term advantage for the strength trainee to taking expensive free form amino acid powders over simply ingesting whole proteins. However, if you do buy an amino acid powder (which I don't suggest) you expect it to contain single free form aminos acids, right?

Never trust the front label. Check the ingredients. The supplement ripoffs I am referring to are so-called amino acid capsules that actually contain overpriced whey or casein protein. Not free form single aminos but whole proteins compressed into a pill or put in a capsule. They will typically list an amino acid profile very prominently on the back of the label. This profile is nothing more than the typical amino acid yields of the whey or casein sources they use. When whey is used it is usually a mixture of whey protein concentrate or a mixture of concentrate and even cheaper non concentrated whey. Some may contain concentrates and isolates….

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Hook Grip Deadlift: Is It Superior to Alternated Grip?

04 Oct 2010 16:40

Here's the scenario: A strength trainee walks into a gym (or bar) and sets up to deadlift around 335 pounds, which will be a new personal record if he pulls it off. This guy weighs around 160 to 175 pounds. He's average weight and average height for a male.

As he has worked his way up from an initial pull of 150 pounds (with good form) his only problem has been maintaining quality and progressing in a sustainable way. Only recently has his grip strength started to pose a problem, but he's managed to hold onto the bar and his latest personal record is 325 pounds….

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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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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

Having a forward head posture puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your neck and jaw. Having a "forward head" means that your head (and often one or both shoulders, too) are in front of your body.

Where should your head be instead? Well, when you were a toddler, it was pretty much directly over your body and that's still where it should be. Due to habits, furniture, car seats, work and life, sometimes our head moves out in front of us. That causes a lot of symptoms and TMJ pain, or pain and difficulty moving your jaw, can be one of those symptoms….

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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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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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