Anyone who is worth their weight in the gym has delved further past the crap “science” peddled by Men’s health magazine, or strewn about by self-proclaimed social media experts or god damn Crossfit “coaches”. And in this journey for an absolute truth you’ve undoubtedly found yourself face to face with a proper research article on PubMed or any popular journal database.
A feeling of calm comes over you; the clouds clear, as this shinning piece of ironclad knowledge peaks over the horizon. You read through it from abstract to discussion, interpreting chart and graphs, examining methods and protocols, exclusion criteria and so on.
But… with each line the clouds start to form over the horizon again and by the last line of the article your usually left with more questions than answers. Often left thinking “What a waste of time! These pencil neck researches don’t know anything about lifting!” Confused and frustrated you return back to your natural pecking order at the gym, suckling at the “broscience” knowledge teat of the next guy up the food chain.
But wait it, this does not have to be a useless endeavor…
What we can really learn from research;
Analyzing and applying research (as far as resistance training and body composition is concerned) is a classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees. The malleable mind of the impressionable gym rat gets lost in the analytics of research and loses focus of the big picture.
The bottom-line is, you can find research to prove anything. So the most valuable piece of knowledge you can draw from research, is a genuine understanding of the research method itself.
If you can develop your own hypothesis, establish your own procedures, outline your own objective measures, set your own time frame and most importantly control your own variables you will be able to get your ironclad, definitive answer that you’ve been searching for.