Science vs experience

There are those who will only coach with a science-based approach and those who only rely on experience. I’m all in for both. However, relying on only one of these methods is bound for failure. Let me explain.

I’m far from bashing research and science. However, every research takes the average approach. Enter the ‘’Bell curve’’.

The "Bell curve" refers to the shape that is created when a line is plotted using the data points for an item that meets the criteria of normal distribution. The center contains the greatest number of a value and, therefore, would be the highest point on the arc of the line. The important thing to note about a normal distribution is the curve is concentrated in the center and decreases on either side.

So, let’s take a given protocol for hypertrophy as an example of research. We would have the average results at the top of the curve (let’s say 30 out of 50 people) would have had a gain of 4-6 pounds of lean muscle tissue on that given program. On the extremes, we would have those who got far better results (6++ lbs.) and those who even lost muscle (-2 lbs.).

Usually, people look at the big titles, failing to read the small prints, which in this case, would be the elements and details of the study. As we all know, no one is the same, so expecting the same results would be stupid. What it gives us though, is clues that we can apply to our own system, programs, and/or protocols.

This is where experience comes in. We aren’t coaching for average, we coach unique individuals, everyday people or athletes. We bring experience, studies and expertise at once, while judging by the past and present results, ever changing lifestyle of one particular person.

One thing science can’t help us with is intuition. The accumulation of knowledge and experience provides us that intuition. It becomes like a sixth sense leading us into taking quick decisions on how someone can change some of their habits, on how they can squat better, how they can sleep better by tweaking their bedtime routine, etc.

Intuition comes from experience, knowledge and work. It is earned. Keep reading, practicing, taking notes and reviewing. It is a never-ending process.

Coach Eric

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