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Old 05-26-2010, 06:51 PM   #33
Anoop Balachandran
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Join Date: May 2010
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If some novice is coming to me I'm gonna put them on Starting Strength + GOMAD for hypertrophy. Then if they wanna do some high rep work after they stall out on linear progression thats great.

I'm pretty sure I don't need studies to tell me that this works. And if I did then what Shaf is saying seems more or less about right.
I am pretty sure that’s not how evidence based approach works.

Evidence based studies combine the “best” available evidence and the individual expertise. So if you don’t have studies, you look for biological plausibility.

  • Studies ( Reviews, RCT’s, )
  • Basic science or plausibility
  • Individual expertise.

For a beginner routine for muscle growth, we know from reviews and taking a plausibility approach:

1. One or two sets is enough
2. 2-3 times full body workouts( higher frequency is better)
3. 1-2 exercises per body part
4. A periodized routine is superior
5. Multi-joint exercises are better

And take this workout to a body building site, they will clearly say since the reps are below 8 it is more of strength than a hypertrophy workout and no isolation exercises. Just like you have your anecdotes, they will have them too. What will be your reply?

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Fact of the matter is I used to have time to do read, debate, and write super long posts.. but it's just too time consuming and boring to do that now. Now I tend to write one liners for most everything if possible.
I like to keep it to the point too if you read my articles.


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This does not mean I don't keep reading studies and researching stuff, but if someone is going to be questioning ME why something works they can go do that research for themselves. I will point them in the right direction. I'm not a beck and call Q&A machine (unless you're paying me for it in which case I'll answer all the questions you want).
Yes, that’s understandable. And I don’t think that matters in this discussion.


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If someone wants to go DO research then by all means go for it. Just make sure your studies are well made because at least 90% of the crap coming out now in pubmed is sample size <15. It's terrible.
There is no standard for sample size and a large sample size is not always good. It usually depend on the number of dependent variables and they usually get it from a a power analysis. Good researchers know all that stuff. Most of the studies I pick from prominent labs. And you usually don’t go by just one study anyways.

When it comes to elite athletes or studies on rare diseases, lower sample size is generally accepted.

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What work is what works period. I'd LOVE to know the mechanisms behind why it works, but I don't NEED them.
Nobody said you need them. It only helps to have some critical thinking abilities, especially when there are 100's progarms & diets out there. And they all claim to WORK.

Here is something from Alan Aragon about the “why in one his articles:

"Question fitness advice given to you by others. “Why” is one of the most powerful words you can put in your vocabulary. Investigating the reasoning behind the advice will often reveal that the answer is “just because”, rendering the advice anywhere from helpful, to dangerous, to just a plain waste of time and resources. I encourage my clients, students, and colleagues to question everyone’s advice, including mine. I firmly believe that the better you can sharpen your thinking, the better you can continue to sharpen your physique."
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