Don't Dismiss Practical Experience | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Opinion: Don't Dismiss Practical Experience

February 6, 2013 | Mitch Calvert

Must See Strength Training Videos

There's a growing appetite for science-based research in the health and fitness industry. But although research studies are great for finding new and innovative ways to train, we cannot completely eliminate the value of practical experience.

Science will never truly be able to determine the best exercises for everyone. Each of us is unique, and a particular weight training exercise, endurance activity or nutrition plan will suit some perfectly, while others simply won't receive the same benefits.

Let's say that you perform the Deadlfit—considered by many fitness experts as the best overall exercise—and you feel pain in your lower back. Yes, it may be a fantastic exercise, but it's not doing you much good if it's causing pain. So you should find an exercise that works better for you. (See Improve your performance with the Deadlift.)

What am I getting at? Focus on what works for you, no matter what the research shows or the Internet "gurus" say. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing health and fitness becoming more mainstream and medically studied; but sometimes a particular scientific finding is not the best advice for everyone.

I believe that fitness-related research will help us continue to improve as athletes, but don't dismiss the magic ingredient that drove you to pick up your sport in the first place: passion. Scientific studies can't measure that. It's what drives a person to dig out another two reps or find the will to finish that last mile when their body is telling them to give up. That simply cannot be explained in a PubMed-authored study. That comes from within.

Mitch Calvert
- Mitch Calvert, born and raised in Canada, chose a life of health and fitness eight years ago, transforming himself from a severely overweight teenager to...
Mitch Calvert
- Mitch Calvert, born and raised in Canada, chose a life of health and fitness eight years ago, transforming himself from a severely overweight teenager to...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

Living in an era where "old time" strength training is all the rage, it may seem that the oldest tool is still the most underused and undervalued...

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?