A few examples of Sampling Bias in Fitness.

I originally posted this on Facebook, just wanted to share my thoughts. Since the post was well received, thought I’d make a post here in the website as well:   A particular bias I find very interesting is the selection bias. I think in this case it may be called sampling bias. I’m not sure, but I’m not too interested in semantics.   I’m going to give one example of it. This includes 2 people: Alan Aragon and Spencer Alan. I chose to not hide their names so the examples can be better understood as I figure most people reading this know them. This isn’t calling them out or anything of the sort, I have a huge respect for both, and they both know it.   The first example is the idea that doctors often give bad advice, usually specific to training or nutrition. This topic arrives often, and it has come up in threads containing both Alan and Spencer. When that happens, they usually clash. I’ve seen this at least 4-5 times over the years. Spencer laughs at the idea that doctors aren’t knowledgeable in nutrition. I’ve seen him argue that if that were the case, they wouldn’t be able to pass their degree (or a similar argument, can’t recall the exact details). Alan on the other hand, believes this is false on a general level, and believes most doctors are ignorant about nutrition. Of course, Alan agrees that some doctors are exceptional, but ignorance is the norm. Meanwhile, Spencer agrees that some doctors are exceptional, but argues that adequate knowledge is the norm. Who’s right? I don’t...

Why body composition is under-rated for Powerlifting

I rarely see body composition being talked in Powerlifting. Sometimes it’s even discarded completely. How fat one is seems to be considered largely irrelevant, and all that matters is how much weight you can lift. That’s all well and good, if you’re a Super Heavy Weight, which is over 120-140kg (265-308lbs) depending on the fed. For everyone else, you should get as strong as possible, but within the weight class that makes you the most competitive. And that might mean you need to lose some fat. A lot of my clients that compete in Powerlifting get a bit confused when I recommend they should try to lose some fat if they’re a bit overweight. Powerlifting is a sport of strength, why does it matter if I have a bit of extra fat? In fact, despite being more stereotype than anything, Powerlifting is said to be a sport where you can be fat and not worry about it. There’s even an old joke that if you can’t be lean enough for bodybuilding, you can just do Powerlifting and have an excuse to be fat. The problem with this thinking is that Powerlifting is a sport with weight classes. Necessarily, you will compete with people of a similar weight to you. The strongest among that group will win. The reason why your body composition (and therefore your weight) matters so much is due to the fact that you’re competing with people of similar weight. So if you’re fat and your competitor is lean, since you have a similar weight, by default, he will have more muscle than you. And muscle is...

The benefits of having a coach

I’ve seen several times in forums and facebook groups, people mocking trainers and coaches. Sometimes online coaches, sometimes even in person ones. “Why would you ever need a trainer when there’s so much free info on the internet?” I’d guess most of you disagree, and rightfully so, but nevertheless, they have a point. Why would someone indeed need a coach, if you can just search and find all the information you need on the internet? First and foremost, this is not an advertisement for my services. The goal of this post isn’t to sell myself, this applies to every coach and every coaching endeavor. So, why would you need a coach? What’s the benefit of having one versus going on your own? There are 6 main benefits: 1) Advice/information Nowadays, you can search for literally anything on the internet. However, without a solid foundation of knowledge, it’s incredibly hard to know what’s actually good information or not. Yes, you can search “How to lose weight” on Google, and you will have tons of blogs and forum posts popping up. But you will quickly notice, not all of them say the same thing. One might say you need to increase protein, another might say you need to stop eating carbs, and another one might say you just need to do high intensity cardio. So who’s right? Who should you trust? This is the problem. Information is easy to get and free, but how can you know the information you’re getting is accurate? Even by yourself, you can get a rough idea, by reading books, scientific papers and following the world’s...

How to get better sleep

Most people will experience problems with sleep in their life. It’s thought that a third of people will have episodes of insomnia at some point. The causes can be physical, psychological or both. There are no official guidelines about how much sleep you should get each night, because everyone is different, but on average, a normal amount of sleep for an adult is considered to be around 7-8 hours a night, although older adults may sleep for less. Not only can bad sleep impact your health negatively, but also your training and performance. If you’re having problems sleeping, here’s some tips so you can sleep better: – Avoid caffeine or other stimulants later in the day – Avoid alcohol as this is known to disturb sleep – Don’t take naps during the day – Avoid heavy meals late at night, although a small snack is recommended. – Stick to regular times to go to bed and wake up. Even in the weekends – Minimize light during sleep as much as possible. Use thick curtains, blinds or an eye mask. Ideally your room (or your vision) should be absolute pitch black – Try earplugs to stop any noise disturbing you – Try taking a warm bath an hour before you go to bed – If possible, avoid intense exercise 2-4h before bed time – Try doing relaxing activities before bed, such as listening to calming music or reading a book – Your room should be slightly cold. Not too cold, but enough that you’d feel uncomfortable if you weren’t inside your bed. If needed use a fan or AC to...