The Paradigm Shift
If you’ve been on Instagram over the last year or two you’ve probably noticed the surge of “Science based” lifters pushing in the “new” era of training methodologies. Everywhere you look a new influencer is claiming “science said this is the best way to do this” or “you must do this and that at this specific time or this will happen”.
In my eyes, this is just blanketing the industry in a perpetual state of uncertainty and hesitation because the science has gotten so specific and nit picky that people who are looking to make a change have no idea where to start or what to believe.
This almost paralytic state new science has brought to the industry leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, because as a coach, the science can be pretty useful at times. But as modern science continues to expand, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a study that supports any ideology of training or nutrition that’s being spewed out on Tik Tok and Instagram.
Good or bad, science is still science and I believe it holds a place in the industry. But to what degree? And which bits of it actually matter? Let’s take a dive into it all.
What Actually Matters?
With everybody trying to be scientists now a days it gets hard to figure out what actually matters for you as an individual. Before we dive into that, here is a thought to help understand what the best course of action for you is. When goals are broad and general, so becomes the approach. When goals become more specific so does the approach.
Beginners + General Population
When you just started at the gym, I doubt you have aspirations to become Mr or Ms Olympia, or maybe you do. But, to be great, one must become a student of the fundamentals of training and nutrition. Science doesn’t mean anything if you cannot properly adhere to a macro or training regiment consistently for any given time.
For some people, this becomes their life goal, to constantly find balance between training, nutrition and their life outside of the gym. This is perfectly normal, as most people just want to feel good about themselves and perform well during life. For them, I would recommend to stay focused on the basics, consistently hit the gym, eat your macros, move well enough in training to prevent injury and do stuff you enjoy.
99% of the population does not need to hear a study about how adjusting the angle of a cable by .5 degrees can stimulate your iliac lat better than the next pull down variation. Or that you must eat exactly this amount of protein or you’ll loose all your muscle. For the 99% that just want to feel and look good, this is all noise.
For the 1% remaining, some science becomes a little more relevant, but what parts of it are actually useful when it comes to pushing the dial for results. If you’re someone who has been nailing the basics consistently for years now and is looking to take an extra step in the name of progress, these are some of the few bits of science, that in my opinion as a coach for over 8 years, will provide benefit to your progress.
First and foremost is learning and having a general understanding of human anatomy at a general to in depth level of both bones and the musculature that lays upon them. The reason being? It helps you visualize how the musculature and bone structures work in relation to one another. This can bring about benefits that look like better exercise selection as well as better exercise execution, which in turn, will help create more efficiency in ones training.
The next bit of science that can help propel the 1% to new heights is a step outside of the weight room and into the kitchen. Having a general knowledge and understanding of nutritional and supplementation physiology is a must when it comes to boosting performance and progress. Understanding how nutritionist and supplements interact with your body at a cellular level can help make better decisions when it comes to pre workout meals and supplements. As well as reducing stress on your gut and other processes in the body from the excess food.
Final Say From a Coach
As you can see, for most people it doesn’t take much science to see, maintain and keep making progress in the gym. A general understanding and execution of the basics can really take you a long way in your journey.
As for the 1% looking for that extra edge in their training, the 2 big pillars of science that will have the biggest impact on your progression are: 1 – having a general to deep understanding and knowledge of human anatomy and how bones and muscles interact with the environment. 2 – having a general to deep understanding of nutritional and supplemental physiology to help make better decisions within those two realms.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this article. For any follow up questions or inquiries feel free to message me at my email [email protected] or follow and message me on ig @Coach.palfrey for more training tips and info.