How to Read Fitness Research – Product Review

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How to Read Fitness Research – Product Review

 

Recently I noticed a number of people doing interviews with this guy Mark Young on reading fitness research.

There are two thoughts that ran through my mind. First, who the heck is this Mark Young guy? Second, who cares about reading fitness research?

So who cares about reading fitness research? Obviously fitness professionals should. I definitely care both on a personal and professional level. You see, I try to share the best information possible with my coaching clients, customers, subscribers and even people who only read one post on my blog. But I also train myself, and I want to make sure I do the best job training myself.

If you train yourself, then you owe it to yourself to pay attention to the research to make sure you’re training yourself properly – even if you have a program from an “expert” that you’re following. (More on that below)




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I used to try to do my own research, but I found PubMed to be confusing most of the time, and I didn’t really know any other way to do research.

So shortly after I found out about How to Read Fitness Research (apparently I missed when it launched), I shot Mark an email and he was kind enough to let me have a peak so I could review it. Thanks Mark! 🙂

To be honest, I was actually pretty excited about this one. Other programs I’ve reviewed are great because they can give me new ideas, show me things I didn’t know and even sometimes provide me with a program I may follow myself.

However, How to Read Fitness Research is different. Having the ability to read and actually understand research (and know where to find it) is incredibly powerful. I can find out about new stuff before they make it into anyone’s program. I can see the research myself, rather than through the bias of a fitness expert or the media or some company trying to sell something to me.

I personally have no research background, no degree and up until recently – no real knowledge of how the research process actually works. Sure, I’ve got ideas of how to go about it, and I’m pretty smart so I could still get some stuff from the research I was looking at, but it wasn’t a very effective use of my time.

How to Read Fitness Research has 4 “seminars”, notes and 3 bonuses.

Seminar 1: The Purpose and Process of Research

Mark’s description:

“Find out why research actually matters. Discover why relying on textbooks for knowledge will leave you relying on antiquated information. Learn how research is done and why the process of publishing may affect what you get to read. Find out how studies are funded and how it affects the results you use to design your programs.”

This video was a little longer than I thought it should be. It seemed like Mark was taking a little long to make his point. For fitness professionals who do have a degree and have even done some research themselves, this video is probably pretty boring.

But for the consumer, a fitness enthusiast without a fitness related degree or research background it is a very useful video. I’m very blessed with the ability to catch onto things very quickly, so for a lot of people the video may be just the right length, I just personally felt it could’ve been cut down.

Seminar 2: Acquiring and Reading Fitness Research

Mark’s description:

“Stay on top of research by having the most current updates delivered right to your inbox. Discover the top journals you MUST read to stay on top of your field. Save hundreds or thousands of dollars by learning how to get your hands on studies for free. Learn the most important part of a paper. It probably isn’t what you think.”

This video is pure gold (in my obviously not very humble opinion). First, the list of ETOCs where you could start getting research is amazing. And the ideas for getting access to some of the research was amazing. I never realized it before, but I have access to a TON of research through the university across the street and there are other ways I can access research that Mark reveals in this video.

If I had paid for the product, that alone would’ve been worth the price to me. Yeah, a few of the ideas seem obvious, but I didn’t think of them before so that’s valuable to me. But that’s not even the end of video 2.

Mark goes on to tell you how to read the research so you can actually get something out of the research you have access to. This again was worth the price of the product to me. I used to find research confusing most of the time, and I found it difficult to actually get the information I was looking for.

After this video, I actually was so excited I went out and started doing some research – without even seeing the rest of the product! Just from this video I was able to get a lot more information A LOT faster.

In fact, I didn’t even go back to finish the product until a whole week later. Whoops.

Seminar 3: No Snooze Statistics and Research Design

“Discover the difference between experimental and observational research. Understand correlations and why you should always be cautious of their use. Learn the biggest mistake most people make when reading fitness research. Learn to simplify and understand the complex jargon associated with research.”

This video I wasn’t as impressed with. A LOT of it seemed pretty self-explanatory to me. Sure, he brought up some good points, but he seemed to drag it on FOREVER. If you’ve never heard of or don’t understand standard deviations and things like that then it may be very valuable, but to me that stuff held almost no value whatsoever.

Seminar 4: Interpreting and Implementing Research

“Learn why CONTROL is one of the most important elements of a study. Discover the biggest things you need to ask yourself when comparing research to the real world. Find out how to apply the information in research to your programs…and much more.”

In the fourth video Mark brings up some REALLY good points that a lot of people don’t think about. Even though some of them I generally pay attention to, it never hurts to have a refresher to make sure I’m keeping my head straight when reading the research.

Basically, this video helps you keep your head on straight and actually determine whether or not a study is useful, how it’s useful and what to do with the information – just like the title says.

After the disappointment of the third video, this one got me right back in my super excited mood.

Bonuses:

The bonuses are a great addition to help you get more out of the program. The one on Pubmed is great because it can be a confusing site, but Mark shows you how to use it efficiently.

Summary

The fitness industry is highly belief based. People I used to respect as highly knowledgeable experts turned out to be people who just had a bunch of strong opinions or beliefs without any real science to back it up.

People freak out about microwaves and how bad they are for you, but they actually aren’t. They were discovered by a radar engineer who’s chocolate bar melted in his pocket. People were walking around in this “radiation” unprotected all the time and they still are. But as soon as it’s in a microwave oven it’s suddenly bad for us? I don’t think so.

And almost everyone says you shouldn’t perform static stretching before exercise such as a workout or a sports game – but the reality is static stretching only decreases your performance for a short period of time, and if you follow it up with dynamic stretching before your game or workout there are no negative effects (assuming you’re not doing anything dangerous in your stretching of course).

Unfortunately, most of the people preaching fitness are not evidence based – even many who quote studies twist the studies and their conclusions to suit their marketing.

How to Read Fitness Research helps you cut through all the crap and figure out the truth for yourself, with the only bias being your own (and that of the researchers). Mark & his product have started me on a journey. I’ve started researching everything I believe about fitness. Even some of my most basic beliefs were just that – beliefs. Founded on essentially nothing.

Though the videos were are times longer than I felt they needed to be, and I will admit at a few points I was bored and hoping he’d get on with it, I honestly believe that How to Read Fitness Research is the most valuable fitness product I have ever come across.

Whether you’re a fitness professional or even just a consumer who wants to know the difference between hype and truth, or anyone who wants to stay on top of the latest research

On of my favorite lines from the entire product, “the primary purpose of research is not to prove but to test a hypothesis in a controlled environment.”

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