Seeing Through Fallacies and Misconceptions

This is an excellent facebook post by The Strength Guys that I thought was worth sharing. A big part of my motivation for running this site is to help people sort through the BS so they can get the results they desire.

Unscientific beliefs on scientific topics – there are plenty floating around on social media. Irrational, unscientific, and unfounded advice is not difficult to come by. The ramifications of following poor advice can vary in magnitude; which is why it’s important to be skeptical, ask questions, and use logic when discussing ideas. In this post we will present a list of the most common fallacies we see in fitness circles. It is important to recognize that naming fallacies should not be used as a way to get out of engaging with the underlying ideas. In our opinion, simply naming logical fallacies is intellectually lazy when used as a means of evading central topics at hand. With that said, it is important to have your “bullshit detector” on full blast in this community so here is a short list of common fallacies and examples you can expect to run into:

1) Appeal to nature – this is when something is assumed to be better just because it is “natural”. Example: Stevia is all natural, therefore it is better/safer. By this logic, since sharks and cyanide both occur in nature, they should be safe as well!

2) Appeal to authority – this is when something is assumed to be true because an authority figure says so. Example: I need to spike insulin post-workout because most IFBB Pros say I do. Except for in the case of genuine expertise, this is generally not a reliable way of establishing facts.

3) False dilemma/dichotomy – two options are presented in such a way that if one is true, then the other must be false. Example: Low reps are better than high reps for hypertrophy, so we should only train in low rep ranges and never in high rep ranges. In reality, there are often other alternatives, such as using both low reps and high reps in context.

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