Archive for May 2010

Quote of the day

May 29, 2010

From Matthew Perryman:

When you see most programs that include pullups, what do you see? Every damn thing else in the routine will have a precise number of sets and reps. Then you get to pullups and it says “three sets to failure”.

Really? That’s how you get a lift strong? The people writing these programs will acknowledge that they think every other exercise will benefit from some set/rep combo…but pullups you just go train to failure? Yeah, great logic.



How science is changing

May 25, 2010

According to a new study, significant individual contributions to science are becoming more and more difficult.

I thought this was an interesting point:

With the publication rate growing by 5.5 percent a year, someone able to read only a certain number of articles a year is seeing his or her “fraction of extant knowledge” decreasing by the same percentage.

The fitness industry has long been one in which “gurus” have a broad base of knowledge about most every aspect of diet & exercise. We are already seeing the affects of increasing knowledge about human physiology contributing to increasing specialization. How do you see this trend going?

Quote of the day

May 25, 2010

I’ve got a longer post in the works but today I wanted to take this detour and quote Mike Reinhold:

Selecting core exercises is typically more complicated than most people think. Sometimes I worry that too many people just try to create new exercises that look different and promote them as new “functional” techniques without any efficacy or research validation.

Too true, Mike. People have come up with a million and one different “core” exercises and in most cases have no idea how they all compare to one another. That’s why I am a big fan of Bret Contreras. He has recently done a bunch of personal EMG research, and while it isn’t peer reviewed, at least he is trying. I respect that.

Are athletes geniuses?

May 23, 2010

Athletes brains are different than non-athletes.


May 22, 2010

Hello, everyone. Thanks for visiting the blog!

Let me take a minute to explain what this blog is about.

In recent years a community of evidence-based fitness practitioners  has grown on the internet to fight the forces of misinformation that are so pervasive on the internet, in print, on TV, ect. You can find a number of these people under, “rational minds in fitness,” to the right.

Inspired by the epistemic virtues of this cohort, this blog will be a place of discussion on the topics of rationality, cognitive bias, and how they affect beliefs about fitness related topics. Essentially, this blog will be my attempt to be a rational, evidence-based fitness consumer and professional. It’s a perfect time for me to explore such topics as I will soon be returning to school to earn my Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology ( I want to go into cardiac rehab). This means I’ll once again have lot’s a free and easy access to full text journal articles (yes!). You won’t find any “abstract arguing” here.

I’ll finish by saying that I do not take myself to have the same level of expertise as the individuals on the right hand side of the page. My ability to accurately access scientific literature is not at the same level as theirs. I look forward to learning how to be a better evidence based practitioner and consumer in the coming months and years, and I would love it if you would follow along with me. Hopefully, with the help of your comments, we’ll learn more together – or, if you think you already know everything, feel free to tell me I am a hopeless moron (as long as you say it nicely).

In other words, I am not, and do not claim to be some great personal trainer/strength coach with years of experience. Nothing in this blog is the advice of an accomplished coach! This is simply my learning blog! I believe writing down my thoughts will lead to much greater retention of information. If it helps you learn something too, then that’s icing on the cake for me!