Exercise. Most of us commit to it on January 1st, and think about it again the next January. But, for the few that continue on their quest – confusion abounds.
- What is the best routine?
- What is the proper frequency?
- How many reps?
- How much weight?
You’re not alone… and even the “experts” might not be able to answer those questions with reliable scientific based responses.
A recent NY Times article (see link below) explores some of the “science” behind the claims of many exercise technique proponents.
Turn out, muscle confusion, and many of the other exercise principles being bantered about have little basis in sound science. But they sound great and have developed a tremendous number of followers. Is that proof that it works? Not really.
Does that matter?
Those plans works for the same reason Mr. Rippetoe’s protocol works: The human body is an adaptation machine. If you force it to do something a little harder than it has had to do recently, it will respond — afterward, while you rest — by changing enough to be able to do that new hard task more comfortably next time
Sometimes the simplest approach is the most practical – and effective. Especially for strength or endurance training.
Face it, most of us exercise to flush out that mental fog and reinvigorate our souls. It is the quest for the rush of adrenaline that fuels our need to exercise. As well as our desire to control our waistlines.
If you can elevate your heart rate and hit the recommendations of our cardiology and physiology colleagues, you’re probably doing fine. But keep a close eye on the exercise space. Be skeptical, and try and follow along as the science evolves.
We now know that pushing “too hard” is harmful. Running “too long” and “too fast” might be harmful and we also know that short burst high intensity training might be just as beneficial as a 30 minute run.
Muscle confusion? That confuses me.
There are very, very few true experts out there… and I’m not one of them. I think that if you’re exercising at all, and eating well — you’re way ahead of the game.
Carl Reader says
Great Blog. I am an exercise therapist from South Africa and also believe that keeping things simple when it comes to exercise is vital. We have to learn how to enjoy exercises and movement and see it as part of our everyday life and not as a result of guilt!