Q:  I know that Results Fitness uses research to design their programs. Has anything come out recently that had you guys change any of your programming?

A: No but you have to think of this the other way around. I’m not a researcher. I’m not a librarian.

I’m a trainer. I’m a gym owner. And I’m a coach. Our gym trains people in the real world and sees real world results. Our entire success depends upon getting the job done with clients and athletes in the real world not reading medical databases.

So we don’t put much emphasis on research at all actually. In fact – we don’t even look at research initially.

First – we see what works in the gym – in reality. Then we talk to fellow gym owners and coaches as to what they see working in their facilities and share what we see. Then we look for research to explain the why.

So – it’s our own experience and observations. Then it’s the experience and observations of some of our colleagues. And then – only then – it’s the research. So I guess that’s “Cherry picking” a bit as we only look at what we’ve already seen work in the gym.

And again – I’m not looking at research for methods – I’m looking for further explanation as to the mechanisms. Charlie Francis once mentioned that he felt training research was at least five years behind what coaches and practitioners are doing. I agree. You aren’t seeing studies looking at self-limiting exercises performed in a circuit format with explosive lifting, TRX, kettlebell and sandbag exercises … with interval training finishers using sleds and ropes.

We’re ahead of what’s going on in the literature.

So we don’t look for research to tell us what to do — we’re looking for research to explain why, so we can go back and upgrade our programs. We look at research on body composition, sports performance, cardiovascular health and endurance, strength, hypertrophy and cancer amongst other things. Very occasionally I share some of that here — but trust me – I read far more than I ever write about.

To be blunt, we have more clients than are enrolled in most studies. And we don’t often see studies that show a better way of doing things than we do at our gym. When you think about it, even if we did — are we really going to believe research that tells us that we’re completely wrong with what we see going on with 300 clients per week, based on their study with 12 participants? The weight of the evidence is what we look at.

There will never be enough research, or research subjects in traditional trials to ever tell us what we need to know and in the time frame we need to know it, whether it’s fitness or otherwise.

Trust me – and this is important – we’d change our methods in a split second if there were better methods available. We have many times and will continue to do so. But I really don’t think many of those changes will come from studies