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Why We Need an Evidence-Based Approach in the Fitness Field

February 13 2012

The article is posted in Brad Schoenfeld's website. Brad is a good friend of mine and is someone who I look upto in the fitness field. Brad is one of the very few who is equally adept at both research and application in the fitness feld.  

evidence based approach

The article is not for just the fitness enthiusaist but for anyone who is concerned for their health. Without further ado, here you go: Why We Need an Evidence-Based Approach in the Fitness Field

If you ever come across an argument against someone questioning the benefit of science or an evidence-based approach, please use this article. This article is probably the most important article I ever wrote.


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Karky | Mon February 20, 2012  

I agree that scientific evidence is important.. but if I could choose between being trained by the best exercise scientist in the world and the best practical coach in the world, I’d go with the coach :p

Anoop | Thu February 23, 2012  

Hi Karky,

Thanks for the comment.

I see your point. It is not an either or argument. Evidence-based medicine uses the best available research and combines it with the clinical expertise and experience and patient/client values. It becomes a problem when you solely depend on one of them.

And it depends. There are researchers who study basic science or do mechanistic research (work with cells & tissues). And there are others who does clinical research (work with patients).  Most people who think of researchers think of the first category.

LK | Mon February 27, 2012  

Hi Anoop,

Interesting read, but it kind of cherry picks its examples, lobotomies and blood-letting etc, however there are other examples of folk remedies that we useful long before science caught up, eg, willow bark.
The trouble with EBM is that it’s geared to Big Pharma. If a treatment cannot be proven to be effective for a large enough sales population then it doesn’t go into production. This is not the same as a compound being ineffective.
An example Otex. This uses chemicals that can cause scarring on the ear drum, but yet obviously passed EBM… you can however use olive oil, or hopi ear candles, but the companies producing these don’t have the same advertising budgets…so it’s about more than EBM, it’s always about the $.

Anoop | Thu March 01, 2012  

Hi Lk,

Thanks for the comment.

Blood letting was one of the major treatments based on the humoral theory performed for anything and everything.It was not just ONE of the treatments. Willow bark, cinchona bark, poppy seeds were all used in those days without having any clue what is it for and how to use it. Willow bark were used for malaria and thought they were curing malaria when all it did was reduce fever!

I gave examples of HRT & heart arrhythmia drugs being pulled because it were killing people. If it were for the Big Pharma pervading throughout science, people would be still taking those!

Ray | Wed May 24, 2017  

I agree with you we really do need more evidence based appraoch for the fitness field. It will make a great impact on everyone.

What do you think?



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