4. Aerobics: Myths,Lies and Misconceptions
By Mike Mentzer
Weight Training – Flexibility and Body Composition
Those supervising Project Total Conditioning used four measures of flexibility in human performance: trunk flexion, trunk extension, shoulder flexion and shoulder extension. The training subjects achieved much greater improvement than the control group—an average of 11 percent vs .85 percent for the controls.
The public’s fear that weight-training exercise causes people to become muscle-bound—a condition of abnormally tight muscles that results in a profound loss of flexibility—is without foundation. With proper weight-training methods that emphasize working the muscles through a full range of motion, giving equal work to the agonist and antagonist muscles, trainees will maintain and in many cases improve flexibility.
Finally, with regard to body composition, the subjects performing 10 weight-resistance exercises three times a week for less than 30 minutes per session lost more bodyfat than the control group.
With Nautilus/Sports Medical Industries funding the entire project—with costs in excess of $1,000,000—doctors from the Cooper Aerobics Center were flown in to conduct the cardiovascular tests while doctors from West Point did the strength testing.
In the past, I’ve alleged that the field of exercise science is a sham, with some of the most celebrated studies never having taken place. Since Project Total Conditioning in 1975—after millions more dollars were spent to develop the most precise testing devices possible—more than 60 other research projects have been conducted, all of which proved essentially the same thing: the overwhelming superiority of brief, high-intensity resistance training for enhancing total fitness.
In addition, while most of the studies have been published in scientific journals, the results continue to be ignored, for the most part, by aerobics advocates because they contradict what they’ve been espousing for decades.
I believe these results were ignored because they don’t support sales of trainers, or rows and rows of Cardio machines, wall mounted TVs. Think about it, the fitness team in your gym would actually have to train you if they had no machines to put you on?
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