Scientists Prove That Exercise Doesn’t Work

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Going to keep this one short today because I have a boatload of work to do before I head back home to New York for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ll be getting up early tomorrow to head to facility to take part in what’s now the 3rd Annual Cressey Performance Thanksgiving Morning Lift. For those not familiar, here’s a peak into last year’s extravaganza, complete with a cameo appearance from my bicep (ladies, you can fast forward to 0:32 second mark):

Word on the street is that this year’s version is going to have one of our interns volunteer to put a bite suit on and get attacked by a dog in training for the special forces. Awesomeness. I’m definitely taking a video of that if it happens.

Anyways, since I’ll be traveling back home with my girlfriend for the holiday, I won’t be updating the blog for the rest of the week. I hope everyone (in the U.S at least) has a fantastic Thanksgiving. I bid you safe travels and please, eat your asses off. Not that I needed to tell you that. Conversely, for everyone else (not in the U.S), I’ll be back Monday. Happy, uh, rest of the 3rd week of November.

Before I go, however, I want to share with everyone an article that was sent my way by a handful of people last week: CLICK ME

In a nutshell, the article is titled The Workout Enigma, and basically goes on to say how researchers in Finland performed a study and found that some people just don’t respond to working out. Some, on rare occasions, actually become less fit. No, really. Less fit.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been this close to throwing up in my mouth since I saw Renee Zellweger’s shoulder blades cut glass on the red carpet.

While I’m no research snob, and I’m sure people like Mark Young or Bret Contreras could pick this study apart piece by piece, here are a few of my thoughts:

– 175 subjects seems like a pretty small sample size. Similarly, 21 weeks? That’s it?

– Not everyone responds the same way to exercise, true. But to say that people DECLINED in fitness is a bit absurd. I’ve been training people for close to ten years now, and I have yet to come across anyone who’s gotten LESS fit from starting to exercise. All that’s going to happen here is that after reading this article, people will take it as yet another excuse not to head to the gym.

– Did this study pay any attention what-so-ever to diet or behaviors during the time the subjects weren’t “exercising?” Because if we’re going to be honest, without that, it’s only half a study. Were they eating fruits and vegetables or Oreos?

– What’s more, on the topic of exercise, having people perform only 2x per week of resistance training and/or some light jogging or walking is a joke. I can only imagine what the “resistance training” entailed (machine based work, high reps, low loads), and are we really going to count “walking” as exercise?

– Which then begs the question: Was the exercise even supervised? We all know left to their own vices, most (not all) people aren’t going to even come close to pushing themselves hard enough.

– Above all, I really hate the fact they brought genetics into the mix here. Far too many people blame “genetics” for the fact they’re fat and out of shape. “Well, I picked the wrong parents. I’m just predisposed to be 50 lbs overweight. Bullshit. Of course, I recognize that it comes into play (to a degree). But then how do you explain (as much as I’m cringing at saying this) shows like The Biggest Loser who consistently demonstrate people losing weight and improving their fitness levels? The same people who claim genetics were the only reason they could never get results?

I’m not in any way condoning the methods they use on that show (I think it’s absolutely despicable what they make the contestants do), but those people aren’t just casually strolling on a treadmill and maybe lifting weights 2x per week. They’re training with some intensity! It’s no coincidence that they often see drastic (albeit unrealistic, particularly long-term) results in the same amount of time that the above study was performed (roughly six months).

Nevertheless, on a scale of 1-10: 1 being “just par for the course,” and 10 being “I am now dumber for having read that,” what are your thoughts?

Wait a second. I get it. Goddammit, why didn’t I think of it before. Did Tracy Andersom fund this study?

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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