Do you know why?

On Feb 23, 2007 In

I have a friend who recently decided that he would switch his workout from the evening to the morning. Like EARLY in the morning. Like, get up at 5am so he can eat, dress, go pick up his workout partner and arrive at the gym by 6:15, to start their workout at 6:30, which starts with “cardio”. This change, from a nice workout in the evening, which permitted sleeping to a decent hour in the morning to go to work. So I asked him why he was making the change. And the conversation went a bit like this:

Him: Joe (his workout partner, not his actual name) said we should workout in the morning because it burns more fat and we’re trying to lose fat. He read somewhere that that’s what we should do. And I remember hearing that it’s better to workout in the morning.
Me: Where did he read it? Where did you hear it?
Him: Oh, I don’t remember.
Me: Do you even know the theoretical rationale behind “working out the morning”?
Him: No.
Me: So, you basically changed your schedule to a more miserable one because you and Joe heard SOMEWHERE that it’s better to workout in the morning and you have no idea why.
Him: Well, it’s better, isn’t it?
[and so on and so on]

Personally, I find it completely incredible that when I recommend that someone take a medication (“Mr. Smith, you should probably take a statin because it will reduce your cholesterol”), that I get asked what it does, the possible side effects, the possible toxic effects if they take too much, how much to take, when to take it, what foods you can and cannot eat while taking it, whether I think it will help, if it’s addictive, how long they’re going to have to take it for, what does it taste like, and HOW IT WORKS, but that anyone can write in a magazine, “You should work out in the morning because it will burn more fat,” and cause a normally sane-thinking individual to COMPLETELY flip their daily schedule around, to get up at FIVE in the freaking morning (because he needs to eat and SOMEONE told him that he needs to eat about an hour before his work out) to work out FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

This is the inspiration for this blog. Most people would never take a pill, or have surgery just because someone told them to. Most people would never buy a car on the basis that someone told them it would go fast. Yet thousands, perhaps millions of fitness consumers, every day, spend countless hours and dollars performing mystical rituals of physical activity based on the recommendation of something that may or may not have any evidence to show that it is effective or beneficial. It’s time to stop the madness.

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