Last year, our website introduced a brand new Exercise & Fitness Research Reviews section in which we regularly discuss new and exciting studies that have been carried out within the scientific community. We feel that it is very important to consider the latest fitness research, as all our training principles that we teach are based on results obtained objectively through the scientific community.
What I would like to discuss in this blog post is how to sift through the latest scientific research for your benefit in your health and fitness endeavours. There is often conflicting research that comes out of a lab, so how do you know what is accurate and what isn't? For example, one day you may hear that margarine is better than butter. The next day, a new study will conclude the complete opposite!
At university I studied advanced science with a major in biotechnology. There were obviously a large number of studies that we needed to review and in doing so, it enlightened me as to the importance of taking one study at a time and never making any assumptions, such as any one particular study being correct over all others with conflicting conclusions.
You don't need a science degree to understand the general concept of most scientific studies. However you do need to entertain each study with a fair degree of scepticism. Scientific studies are not perfect, especially those that deal with biology. Biology is such a complex topic; there so many simultaneous chemical reactions occurring with an organism that a scientist cannot possibly accommodate for every single variable. So, whilst one study may conclude that a particular training method may be the best approach for one particular goal, another study may conclude something different. This may be due to different testing environments, procedures, attention to detail, recording methodologies etc.
I'm fairly confident that you probably don't wish to subscribe to a scientific journal and read through all the latest results from the lab. So the point of this article is to read abroad and look at multiple reports, rather than any one in isolation. If you hear something on the news that scientists have determined that "such and such" is the best way to lose weight - do your research before implementing this into your lifestyle. Yes, one study may have come to this conclusion, but there may be 100 others that disagree. Almost without exception, the media will portray scientific studies in a news bulletin in a highly biased manner without the reporter having done substantial research.