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Thursday, October 4, 2007


I’m always leery of this. Always.

What am I talking about exactly? I’m talking about trainees and coaches whose experience and frame of reference is limited to one person. Whether that one person is them, one client, etc. is irrelevant.

You’ll quite often hear people say, “I did X with Y client and it worked great.” Or, “I do A and got B.” The inherent problem is this – would you get that same result with another person? With multiple people? With an entire training group?

What I’m getting at here is using the “I do this because so and so says so” pisses me off. Could that person be correct? Sure. For example, I’d accept just about anything that Stuart McGill has to say about low back care, simply because he has a huge frame of reference. He’s worked with an infinite amount of people, and thus has a huge frame of reference.

Contrast this with Johnny Trainer or Internet Warrior, who used a 6-day split routine (with two arm days) to add an inch to his guns. His N=1; it worked for him, but it may not work for everyone else. His frame of reference is quite small.

Whenever you try to take in and assimilate new information, you need to think about the author’s level of credibility, his experience, and the number of people he’s trained to draw his conclusions from. Critical thinking is imperative if you really want to understand any topic.

N=1 doesn’t cut it any more. The key is consistent results with a large number of patients, clients or athletes.

Mike Robertson

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