Misinformation in the strength and conditioning fitness realm.
The first thing we have to realize is that there isn’t a whole lot of regulation in regards to the standards of practice and there’s no real watchdog that makes sure everyone upholds the standards of practice. Anyone can really go and get a weekend qualification and call themselves a strength and conditioning coach with very little experience. Then they can essentially start to profess different pieces of information about certain topics. Now, we think there has definitely been a paradigm shift in the sense that the quality of information, there is really good information that people give away for free. I think the tricky part is trying to find it. The internet has been great in regards to being able to provide these resources for everyone. The tricky part is, there’s now too much information and it’s really hard to know what is good and what is bad information. We’ve spent a lot of time siphoning through large articles of information that the internet has provided us, trying to find the common themes from multiple different authors and sources of information. Within those common themes, you can start to see a bit of a pattern, if 10 highly regarded people have said this, it’s very likely that it’s true.
What we like to look for is an unbiased information, everyone’s gonna have an opinion, we have an opinion on all sorts of different things, but realistically we try and stay as unbiased as possible. Looking at all the different resources that we have access to, and trying to create an unbiased opinion, is quite challenging. We try and avoid talking in absolutes, because, at the end of the day, no one knows 100% of something. There’s gonna be the special 1% case where it was slightly different and unfortunately sometimes, when people see that one percent case, they assume that it works for everyone, and vice versa. It’s important to go into an article or a video that you might be reading, just knowing that not everyone, knows EVERYTHING about something (including me!). However, at least we are willing to have a look at it from different angles and different perspectives and yes, we’re allowed to change our minds. New information is gonna become apparent and it’s a good thing for someone to upskill themselves again, and relearn something if possible. When we change our minds on something, it’s rarely earth-shattering, it’s a subtle shift in our thinking. The principles stay the same, the methodology changes.
This is an interesting one, because sometimes the research can be a little bit behind what’s happening in the field. This is actually quite common in strength and conditioning, coaches are in the trenches working through different scenarios depending and sometimes we come across things way before the research does. A lot of the time, we use the current research to guide a lot of our decisions and really we’re just adding little bits and pieces. The good thing is, if coaches take information found in the field and give it back to someone that does prefer to do research we can get a clearer picture on whether something works or not. Science can also kinda capture the idea of mathematics and physics within the strength and conditioning world as well, so, those principles have held pretty true for a very long time. This is the balance between the art and science of sports performance.
We really back in strong anecdotal evidence, so someone that’s been doing it for a very long period of time and has had great success (taken someone to the Olympics, trains elite athletes). That’s a great resource of information, because they’ve proven themselves, they’ve shown that the training that they like to do, or the training that they have done with their athletes has worked. We do the same thing here, we just look at what’s worked, and we go with that. There’s no point always reinventing the wheel, maybe we make little tweaks here, little upgrades, but realistically, the big foundations are what we’re trying to hit.