The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    the lil engine that could chops's Avatar
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    what's the consensus on stretching before wo

    it's recommended, but how many actually practice it? from what i observe at my gym, not many ppl do.

    i'm naturally flexible. my head can touch my knees with barely any effort. is it still necessary to stretch?

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  3. #2
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    It's always a good idea. The older you get, the more necessary it becomes.
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  4. #3
    Gym ratt/Part-time pimp LAM's Avatar
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    stretching before is pretty pointless, it does not prevent injury. stretch post-workout when the muscles are warm and pliable

  5. #4
    Steak and Eggs pusher's Avatar
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    I don't strech, I do warm-up sets.
    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it." -John Ruskin 1819-1900

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not
    become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into
    you." - Nietzche

  6. #5
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    LAM, don't you think that it's important to get your muscles warm and pliable BEFORE you get to the bench? If you don't yet, you will ONE day!
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  7. #6
    Define Your Soul SoulOfKoRea's Avatar
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    well it's not a good idea to stretch a cold muscle, it's more likely to tear.

    after some light activity(warming up or some brisk walking/light cardio) then stretching, and stretching after the workout is always good.

    but No I don't practice this safety precaution, I quote Austin Powers when I say," I also like to live dangerously..." :
    My profile picture is about 5 years old, I'll get around to taking some progress pics eventually.

  8. #7
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Stretching....

    Well, personally I don't. For any exercise, sufficient warmup sets with a light weight will be plenty. The idea is simply to get the blood flowing and get the tissues in the proper state for lifting, so you don't want to tax yourself. I generally use an 8-10, 6, then 3-4's on up to my target working weight, with no more than 4 warmup sets usually.

    I think stretching in teh sense of static stretches being held is way overrated. It doesn't do much of anything for injury prevention because it doesn't result in any blood flow or increased metabolic activity. It also reduces the force output of the muscle if held too long. And if done from a resting state, it actually does increase the chance of injury. Connective tissues don't like to be mechanically stressed from a cold start.

    That said, I do quite a bit of dynamic and PNF-like stretching between sets. Dynamic stretching involves a quick stretch that's immediately released, whereas PNF involves holding a stretch, applying force against the object that's holding the limb, then relaxing into a deeper stretch. Both can actually aid in neural potentiation and blood flow, and performing them after the initial warmup you're not as at risk of connective tissue injury.

    Post-workout is fine for static stretches, and I do incorporate some at that point, though I don't have any structured regimen for doing so.

    For pre-lift warmups though, the exercise itself should be fine assuming you give it enough time and a proper stimulus.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  9. #8
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SoulOfKoRea
    well it's not a good idea to stretch a cold muscle, it's more likely to tear
    So why do I spend the first 20 minutes of martial arts class stretching? Or are you saying that THAT type of stretching is different?
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  10. #9
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by W8_4_Me
    So why do I spend the first 20 minutes of martial arts class stretching?
    You tell us.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  11. #10
    Define Your Soul SoulOfKoRea's Avatar
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    Originally posted by W8_4_Me


    So why do I spend the first 20 minutes of martial arts class stretching? Or are you saying that THAT type of stretching is different?
    "Stretching cold muscles does little to allow for the tiny fibers, called actin and myosin that make up the muscles, to slide apart. The movement of the actin and myosin is a chemical reaction which takes place more quickly in a warmer environment. It makes more sense to stretch a warm muscle than a cold muscle as the actin and myosin fibers can slide apart more easily with less chance of injury."

    http://www.ipms.org/problem/stretching.cfm

    tried to find reliable sources(I believe .edu sites are screened, correct?):

    http://scc.uchicago.edu/exerciseprogram.htm
    http://www.star.niu.edu/health/q_and_a/041103.asp
    https://www.hr.duke.edu/newme/weekeight.html
    Search Results

    here's something regarding martial arts classes:

    "Some martial arts instructors often pass on some very bad habits when it comes to stretching. The fact that they can do a split or kick higher than their heads is not proof that the way that they stretch is beneficial. Along with runners, dancers, and aerobic class participants, taekwondo students have, for years, preceded their workouts with stretching exercises. We now know the dangers of stretching cold muscles. It is best to warm up your muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Not only is there less danger of injury, you're also more likely to accomplish your flexibility goals. Ten to twenty minutes of poomse is a better way to start your class. Then take ten minutes to stretch before you begin your kicking or sparring drills. Knowledgeable weight lifters start with a warm-up set with light weights, then stretch the muscles involved before they move up to heavier weights. Sometimes, they'll even spend five or ten minutes in a run or on a stationary bike to warm-up their entire body, and then stretch in between sets. "

    http://www.ohiotkd.net/taekwondoreporter/page19.htm
    ^^ it's a taekwando site, you can question its integrity...
    My profile picture is about 5 years old, I'll get around to taking some progress pics eventually.

  12. #11
    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    I'm naturally unflexible and I can easily touch my head to my knees, I don't see the deal.

    Like others said, cold stretching before a work-out is not the best thing to do. A warm-up is much better, and it prepares the joints and tendon for the stress to come. If you want to stretch before training then warm-up, stretch then lift.

  13. #12
    3:16
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    Originally posted by W8_4_Me


    So why do I spend the first 20 minutes of martial arts class stretching? Or are you saying that THAT type of stretching is different?
    beacuse its tradational to do that before martial arts and the older master where not aware of anything different.

    do you do no actaul light running, skipping etc to get the blood flowing?
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  14. #13
    3:16
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    Originally posted by pusher
    I don't strech, I do warm-up sets.
    same here.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  15. #14
    Gen_chat worst nightmare
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    I don't stretch either. In fact I suspect that pre/post workout static stretching had a less than positive effect in my shoulder health. Besides, there's very little evidence suggesting that the type of stretching most people do in gyms actually does anything to prevent injuries. At least according to these abstracts.


    : Clin J Sport Med. 1999 Oct;9(4):221-7. Related Articles, Links


    Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: a critical review of the clinical and basic science literature.

    Shrier I.

    Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical and basic science evidence surrounding the hypothesis that stretching immediately before exercise prevents injury. DATA SOURCES AND SELECTION: MEDLINE was searched using MEDLINE subject headings (MeSH) and textwords for English- and French-language articles related to stretching and muscle injury. Additional references were reviewed from the bibliographies, and from citation searches on key articles. All articles related to stretching and injury or pathophysiology of muscle injury were reviewed. Clinical articles without a control group were excluded. RESULTS: Three (all prospective) of the four clinical articles that suggested stretching was beneficial included a cointervention of warm-up. The fourth study (cross-sectional) found stretching was associated with less groin/buttock problems in cyclists, but only in women. There were five studies suggesting no difference in injury rates between stretchers and nonstretchers (3 prospective, 2 cross-sectional) and three suggesting stretching was detrimental (all cross-sectional). The review of the basic science literature suggested five reasons why stretching before exercise would not prevent injuries. First, in animals, immobilization or heating-induced increases in muscle compliance cause tissues to rupture more easily. Second, stretching before exercise should have no effect for activities in which excessive muscle length is not an issue (e.g., jogging). Third, stretching won't affect muscle compliance during eccentric activity, when most strains are believed to occur. Fourth, stretching can produce damage at the cytoskeleton level. Fifth, stretching appears to mask muscle pain in humans. CONCLUSION: The basic science literature supports the epidemiologic evidence that stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of injury.

    Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review.

    Herbert RD, Gabriel M.

    School of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney, PO Box 170, Lidcombe, New South Wales 1825, Australia. R.Herbert@fhs.usyd.edu.au

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness after exercise, risk of injury, and athletic performance. METHOD: Systematic review. DATA SOURCES: Randomised or quasi-randomised studies identified by searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and PEDro, and by recursive checking of bibliographies. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Muscle soreness, incidence of injury, athletic performance. RESULTS: Five studies, all of moderate quality, reported sufficient data on the effects of stretching on muscle soreness to be included in the analysis. Outcomes seemed homogeneous. Stretching produced small and statistically non-significant reductions in muscle soreness. The pooled estimate of reduction in muscle soreness 24 hours after exercising was only 0.9 mm on a 100 mm scale (95% confidence interval -2.6 mm to 4.4 mm). Data from two studies on army recruits in military training show that muscle stretching before exercising does not produce useful reductions in injury risk (pooled hazard ratio 0.95, 0.78 to 1.16). CONCLUSIONS: Stretching before or after exercising does not confer protection from muscle soreness. Stretching before exercising does not seem to confer a practically useful reduction in the risk of injury, but the generality of this finding needs testing. Insufficient research has been done with which to determine the effects of stretching on sporting performance.

    Effect of static stretching on prevention of injuries for military recruits.

    Amako M, Oda T, Masuoka K, Yokoi H, Campisi P.

    Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Japan Self-Defense Force Beppu Hospital, 874-0828 Oita, Japan.

    This prospective study was designed to evaluate whether static stretching can prevent training-related injuries in Japan Ground Self-Defense Force military recruits. A total of 901 recruits between 1996 and 1998 were divided into two groups. Of which, 518 recruits were assigned to the stretching group and practiced static stretching before and after each physical training session. The control subjects (383 recruits in the nonstretching group) did not stretch statically prior to exercise. The static stretching consisted of 18 exercises. We collected injury data from medical records and assessed the incidence and the location of injury. The total injury rate was almost the same between two groups; however, the incidences of muscle/tendon injury and low back pain were significantly lower in the stretching group (p < 0.05). Static stretching decreased the incidence of muscle-related injuries but did not prevent bone or joint injuries.

    Flexibility and its effects on sports injury and performance.

    Gleim GW, McHugh MP.

    Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA. gleim@nismat.org

    Flexibility measures can be static [end of ROM (range of motion)], dynamic-passive (stiffness/compliance) or dynamic-active (muscle contracted, stiffness/compliance). Dynamic measures of flexibility are less dependent on patient discomfort and are more objective. Acute and chronic changes in flexibility are likely to occur with stretching exercises, but it is difficult to distinguish between changes in stretch tolerance as opposed to changes in muscle stiffness. How flexibility is measured impacts these findings. There is no scientifically based prescription for flexibility training and no conclusive statements can be made about the relationship of flexibility to athletic injury. The literature reports opposing findings from different samples, frequently does not distinguish between strain, sprain and overuse injury, and rarely uses the proper denominator of exposure. There is basic scientific evidence to suggest that active warm-up may be protective against muscle strain injury but clinical research is equivocal on this point. Typically, specific flexibility patterns are associated with specific sports and even positions within sports. The relationship of flexibility to athletic performance is likely to be sport-dependent. Decreased flexibility has been associated with increased in-line running and walking economy. Increased stiffness may be associated with increased isometric and concentric force generation, and muscle energy storage may be best manifested by closely matching muscle stiffness to the frequency of movement in stretch-shorten type contractions

  16. #15
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    Ok, if you say so. Tell ya what... I think I'll keep stretching!
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  17. #16
    260(-62) from 193 from 275
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    ignorance is bliss

    The Fitness Industry is a 1 billion dollar industry.
    --Dairy Queens Blizzard pulls in 3/4 of a billion.
    --------------We are the elite.------------

  18. #17
    the lil engine that could chops's Avatar
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    i currently aslo do include a warm up already. good to know that i can add 10 minutes quality gym time to my lunchtime wo w/o the stretching

  19. #18
    Road To Greatness.. RuLess's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Holto
    ignorance is bliss

  20. #19
    ----------- J450n's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pusher
    I don't strech, I do warm-up sets.
    :withstupi
    I'm not moaning, i'm having an opinion.

  21. #20
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    Fine, then let me remain blissful. The day I listen to 15 year old puke about weight training is the day I cash it all in.
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  22. #21
    Road To Greatness.. RuLess's Avatar
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    lmao if theres study's that show its bad why continue to do it, thats ignorant seriously

    juss like smoking

  23. #22
    260(-62) from 193 from 275
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    what is even more ignorant is to assume that a 15 yr old could not possibly know something he dosen't

    The Fitness Industry is a 1 billion dollar industry.
    --Dairy Queens Blizzard pulls in 3/4 of a billion.
    --------------We are the elite.------------

  24. #23
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by W8_4_Me
    Fine, then let me remain blissful. The day I listen to 15 year old puke about weight training is the day I cash it all in.
    How about a 23 year old puke that's right up there with you, if not better?
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  25. #24
    Road To Greatness.. RuLess's Avatar
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    lmao^^

  26. #25
    Pretty Fly for an Old Guy W8_4_Me's Avatar
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    LMAO! You kids are too much! Let me know when you REALLY got something, Ok?

    PowerMan... say what you will, but if you think you are "right up there" with me @ 23, then feel free to stop on by, boy... I'll be HAPPY to show you how much you still need to learn.

    As I re-read these posts, it occurs to me that many are talking about stretching as it might pertain to reducing injury and/or soreness. I am just talking about stretching to loosen up because it's more comfortable to do pretty much ANYTHING when you are all loosened up... are we talking about the same thing?
    "A winner...knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; A loser...wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has even learned enough to know how little he knows." - Sydney Harris


    "It takes a big man to cry, and an even BIGGER man to laugh at that man!" - Jack Handey


    "It's simple. If it jiggles, it's fat." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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