Home Blog Random Friday Thoughts: 8/7/09

Random Friday Thoughts: 8/7/09

Written on August 7, 2009 at 6:49 am, by Eric Cressey

Back to the Friday randomness…

1.  A few weeks ago, Matt Fitzgerald (my co-author from Maximum Strength) and I filmed a series of “Monday Minute” segements for Competitor.com.  Basically, it’s a weekly one-minute exercise demonstration and description along with the rationale for that exercise.  Here’s this week’s:

Wasn’t that fun?

2. One of the resounding themes at this past weekend’s Perform Better Summit in Long Beach was “invest in yourself.”  It’s no coincidence that all the presenters at this year’s event agreed that devoting time, effort, and funds to continuing education was a huge part of their success.  In a dynamic field like fitness/strength and conditioning, if you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind.

Alwyn Cosgrove wrote a good blog the other day about how he and his wife Rachel have used this mindset to establish one of the best staffs of trainers in the country.  Likewise, Mike Reinold published an essential list of the best titles in physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, manual therapy, etc. here last week. Just being around guys like Alwyn and the rest of the presenters makes you want to get better and better, and reading stuff like this from Mike reaffirms that mindset.  Not coincidentally, this weekend preceded my twice-a-year book buying shopping spree.  I purchased ten books online last night and can’t wait to start devouring them.

So, I guess the question for the weekend is, “What are you doing to get better?”  Let’s hear what you are going to do in the next week to set yourself apart in your chosen field.  Are you going to read a book?  Attend a seminar?  Watch a colleague in practice or call him/her to talk shop?  If you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind.

3. This is the most flat-out atrocious piece of journalism I’ve seen in my entire life:

Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin

Talk about skewing research to tell the story to which you’re clearly biased  in order to generate some controversy!  There is no mention of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or the difference among different types of exercise (steady-state cardio, interval training, resistance training). There isn’t any discussion of visceral versus subcanteous fat loss.

And, it isn’t that exercise won’t make you thinner; it’s that exercise combined with increased calories may not make you thinner. In other words, exercise is good, but morons are bad.

This is a perfect example of a journalist who clearly knows NOTHING about exercise interviewing a bunch of experts and then presenting one side of a story without making some very important qualifying statements (trust me, I’ve seen this multiple times before when freelance writers have interviewed me for stories for mainstream magazines).  In this writer’s case, those qualifying statements should be:

a. “Research has shown that exercise in conjunction with a maintenance or reduction in calories does increase fat loss as compared to maintaining or reducing calories alone.”

b. “I really am in no way qualified to write this article.  In fact, I’m probably not even smart enough to turn on a treadmill, so they just put me on this hamster wheel in my cubicle to make me feel somewhat qualified to discuss exercise.”


Honestly, I could go on all day ranting and raving about this, but such rubbish journalism isn’t even worth my time.  Instead, I’d just encourage you to give up Time Magazine altogether for publishing such crap.  I know I will be doing so.

Have a good weekend.

8 Responses to “Random Friday Thoughts: 8/7/09”

  1. Bob Parr Says:

    I made the mistake of reading the original Time magazine article, Eric.

    The author’s wife’s friends wonder why they can’t lose weight when they stop at Starbucks for a latte and a muffin after their mile run??? WTF kind of post-workout nutrition is that?

    The author also describes his own fruitless exercise efforts such as a some crap Body-Ramp class he does. (Move some iron, dude!)

    He talks about how exercise can ramp up a person’s appetite and cause them to eat more… Yeah, so who says you can’t use that appetite to eat lots of healthy protein, essential fats, and some unprocessed carbs and improve your body composition? Since when does hunger automatically mean making shitty food choices? And why didn’t he interview Dr. John Berardi about G-Flux if the “exercise more and you’ll eat more” phenomenon is really such an issue?

    I think the article would have been much more appropriately titled: “Why Being a Dumbass Won’t Make You Thin!”

  2. Mark Young Says:

    Read that article today (my sister in law sent it to my wife and I) and I almost poked out my eyes and followed it up with a vinegar eye bath.

    Sadly, many of the lay public will heed this nonsense and use it as an excuse not to exercise.

  3. Vince Says:

    The Time magazine article (I believe it’s going to be the cover story) is an atrocity that I’ve been railing against all day. Unfortunately most that read the article are going to glaze over anything except “See, I told you, exercise makes me fat!” and go back to eating their McDonald’s feeling justified because “…oh well, nothing I can do about it…”

    The fat epidemic will simply remain as it is. I think this article is not only poor journalism, but irresponsible.

  4. Chris Linder Says:

    What books did you buy? How do you think they will improve your knowledge?

  5. Luka Hocevar Says:

    I almost didn’t wanna read the article because I knew it would mess up my mood. I was right….

    I also went on a shopping spree after Pefform Better, mostly getting a bunch of books that the presenters mentioned and I haven’t got yet. Alsoo picked up a book from Mike Reinolds list.

    This past week I also had the Atlanta Hawks Strength and Conditioning Coach come by Hocevar Performance, train with us and talk shop.

    Just trying to catch up with this guy Eric.


  6. Vic Magary - GymJunkies Says:

    Great Monday minute! Bird-Dogs are perfect for glutes and low back.

  7. Eric Says:

    The author of that article is on WNYC New York right now and they are taking callers – 212-433-WNYC (9692)


  8. Andrew Says:

    Wow, I had to repost this on facebook, even though it was awhile ago when it was first published. I wish I could have called in. The article got over 15,000 “likes” on fb. Letting idiots like these influence that many people is sickening.

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