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Strong criticism of “more is better” strength training

updated

Tags: exercise, controversy, self-treatment, treatment, debunkery

One article on PainSci cites Carpinelli 2009: Strength Training Frequency

PainSci summary of Carpinelli 2009: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

Ralph Carpinelli strongly criticized the American College of Sports Medicine’s old position on “more is better” strength training advice, and he does so again with their 2009 position. It’s generally dry reading by necessity — refuting official positions published by major professional organizations requires tedious, thorough academic analysis — but the Discussion and Conclusions sections are almost entertaining. After presenting numerous examples of incredibly sloppy citing, Carpinelli fairly concludes:

Because ACSM Position Stands are so bereft of any science and apparently not open to criticism, there is very little expectation that the ACSM or its Position Stands will gain any respect from those who carefully read the studies and evaluate all the evidence. Readers can decide on the validity of the ACSM’s claims and recommendations and whether those claims and recommendations belong in a Position Stand supported by science or perhaps in an Opinion Statement supported by opinions.

Zing! Carpinelli also discloses the rather sordid details of the ACSM’s reaction to his criticisms: in 2002, he was “removed from the review process after challenging many of the references” and his criticisms have been ignored ever since, despite the fact that they are clearly substantive.

(This paper is discussed in quite a bit more detail in Strength Training Frequency.)

~ Paul Ingraham

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