Fit Pro 2013 – What I would have presented had I been at the show!

This is the first fit pro convention that I have not presented at for years.  However, it has been a blessing in disguise.  The talks I would have done can now be brought to you on here so you do not miss out, and as it turns out, I probably could not have flown back from the US.

Fit Pro  – Day 1 Talk

My first fit pro talk would have been called ‘Science Fiction’ and so I want to share it with you.

Science Fiction – The neglected role educators have in the industry

For starters, the industry tends to cycle, with the economy and also with training trends.  Most of the people leading this are financially linked to the trend they are promoting or pushing.  This is a very important component to look at when evaluating what people tell you.

Fit Pro Photo the FTE trainers

The big flags to look out for –

Science cannot keep up with my techniques!

The idea that someone is completely ahead of all science and they are able to bring you techniques before science.  The level of arrogance you need to say this is amazing.

If I had waited for science I would not have done the things that people are now proving years after!

A non-specific statement like this could be applied to anything.  Amazingly, you never hear about what they were doing that science proved wrong and that cost their clients performance.  Also the techniques are often so broad that they cannot possibly claim the science now.


Everything I do is based on research…I have researched this very well…the “insert Guru’s name” technique is well researched and works.

Often this points to very bad research, or incomplete research, or a mixture of books and reference papers.

The Problem with Research!

Research like everything else, has levels of quality.  There is also a history and some would say pomp around being published in certain places.  Traditionally it is taught that in order to judge a research paper, then you must look for the following –

  • Quality of the journal that the paper appeared in
  • Relevance of the journal that the paper appeared in
  • Relevance of the author to the subject
  • Sample size of the research
  • Statistical significance of the result
  • The interpretation of the results


The problem with books and gurus!

Bias and sales!

Well let’s be fair, people don’t often write books to make money, and they do not become guru’s in our industry to become a guru.  However they do this help people understand something that they have or do, that gets them results.  Often the research follows, to prove the thought.  This is not necessarily different to a research scientist, however a research scientist (at a decent level PhD and staying credible) has a strict set of guidelines to stay with, in order to get published.  A ‘guru’ and or author do not, for them it is about selling.

At this point, our industry has moved the stage where we have people speaking about the guru from past as if they are the research!  This is very wrong, and something that makes it increasingly difficult to find out the correct information.

I suppose my point is, if you hear someone say well researched, then they talk about the science of “insert guru name here” or they have found a system no one else has found and now that is the basis of everything (be very careful if someone does this and shows you a trick not a direct application).

The last thing this leads me to, is a request.  Can you find me any good papers, in good journals, that are recent, and have been repeated, that show any evidence for the following?

1 – Techniques that directly affect fascia

2 – Valid reasons to static stretch

3 – How symmetry in movement or range of movement can directly predict injuries

I am not professing to be a research guru, I find papers hard to find, hard to read and hard to apply.  I rely on people to help me find them, interpret them and explain them when I read and challenge them after.

There is a lot of badly researched rubbish being spoken out there, but for all the right reasons, and these are the most dangerous.  I would say for 8 years I was that person too.  It is dangerous because you believe you are right, and you believe it is important to have all the answers, no matter where you get them.

To leave you with some advice from someone who has spent a career being conned for all the right reasons, question it all, look for the right research, be confident in the fact that we do not know that much, our techniques are crude at best, and that if people are claiming to be ahead of science, then they are stuck in a dangerous place!  (There are better researchers and scientists out there, and if you read papers and email the authors, you will meet some cool, passionate researchers who are not corporate slaves, but people who want to make a difference, try it, hug a scientist!)