Something that you’ve seen woven into my posts over the last few months are the conflicting conclusions from various studies, supposedly studying the same thing…and the often strong difference of opinion between experts on the same topic
…it’s a challenge trying to wade into results to check how valid they are…or more properly how the results, and the profile of the group being studied, apply to me
…a specific athlete…no two alike…a science experiment of one…a snowflake
…and one of the big reasons that I like logging every workout, and logging what I eat, is how valuable the information is when things go right…or wrong
The important thing that I’ve found is to not just read one article and launch off on a new idea without examining how logical and valid it is, for my situation and experience with my body
…a study of sedentary women beginning an exercise program, is not as valid as a study of age-group, male Masters endurance athletes…for me…if you’re a sedentary woman, the reverse would be true…of course, what I find is that the study may not exist as precisely as I’d like…so I…like the experts…and scientists…are left to extrapolate how a particular study result, may actually apply to me…so we should at least make sure that the base study is valid and not artificially skewed to begin with
Coach Gale Berhardt provides this summary of the study that says that studies are flawed:
Her advice in part:
Evaluating Research Claims
- Was the study published in a reputable scientific journal?
- Who were the researchers and did they have financial incentives to gain by the results of the experiment?
- What are the limitations of the study? Were the studies done on animals and not humans? Were the studies done on populations which are significantly different than those being questioned by the hypothesis? For example, if we want to determine the effects of 60-second interval training on masters level female cyclists, we don’t want the study group to be 20-year-old sedentary males. At best, the experiment may lend suggested relationships between the question and the results from the study group.
- Is the study “an amazing discovery?” Are there studies which directly contradict the amazing find? Or does the study, in some way, support research which is already known? This particular point will need to be reviewed, if there is a lack of past research on the subject.
- What was the size of the study group? A study on hundreds of people will have more weight than a study of ten people.
- What time period did the study cover? Many studies only cover a short time, a few weeks or months. How our bodies react to nutrients or a training stimulus are complex interactions of multiple factors. These reactions may take long periods of time.
And the article that Coach Gale refers to:
…too funny when you think that someone did a study that found that studies are flawed 🙂