Monday, November 20, 2006

Evidence - It's all around...

Is there research to back that up? There are questions that trigger my gag reflex and - the research question is one of them.
(I won't bore you with the rest of the list)

Should things be researched? Yes
Should I wait for that research before acting? No - Now use your judgement here - because there isn't any research proving that a parachute prevents you from meeting the ground at an extreme rate of speed but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use one! So I think I will use the parachute and wait for research to catch up with the "real world" experience. But there are things I will wait for research on - like some of the experimental drugs coming down the pipes from the pharmaceutical companies.

Physics can prove that a bumblebee cannot fly. It is impossible according to the physics "numbers" - but (having been stung by one) I can tell you that they do in fact - fly. Science actually has a few more of these paradoxes - Lumbard's paradox for the functioning of agonist and antagonist muscles that cross two joints and have opposing actions at those two joints during a movement- (correct me if I have the paradox wrong - I got a bit sleepy and dazed reading about it). But like the bumblebee - I have stood up from a seated position and can in fact tell you that my muscles performed opposing joint actions. A fabulous thing the human body!

Maybe it is a leap of faith - maybe it is the knowledge that good research is VERY hard to come by - maybe it is the fact that research lags WAY behind what is actually being applied in the world of exercise - but I continue to experiment on myself and let real world results speak to me - instead of waiting for the "proof" to be handed to me from a study.

4 comments:

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harrowdrive said...

A key factor to consider is this: How much risk are you prepared to take to get the edge?

If you are a high performance athelete going for that little bit extra that could make the difference between winning and losing you may well self experiment.

If you are a recreational sports player (in my case cricket) then there is no need to go anywhere apart from along the 'proven' path.

Brett Jones said...

harrowdrive,
The proven path and research often have little to do with one another - understand when I am referring to self-experimentation it is in exercise strategies and techniques - nothing else.
Research typically lags years behind what is being practiced in the field.

Geoff Neupert said...

Yeah, but hi-carb diets are still good for losing weight, aren't they?

But seriously, I was just thinking about this exact same thing today with regards to another topic.

If we waited around for the whitecoats to "prove" everything, we'd probably never get anything done. Contrast that with some of the "experiments" in exercise and sports science, and you wonder if any of these people ever exercised in their lives and therefore whether they are truly qualified to be running the experiments.

There's a big difference between book smarts and gym smarts.

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