The One Exercise You Must Never Do! And Other Marketing Scams

The One Exercise You Must Never Do!

Come on, I know someone has sent an email to you with that headline. Maybe one of the Facebook Pages you follow or liked? Maybe on an ad-supported blog? I've written here and on a few other blogs about how our poor minds are assaulted by:

  • Bad Math
  • Bad Statistics
  • Bad Medicine
  • Bad Science

This is a perfect example.

Running will kill you and make you fat and make your heart explode and cause world terrorism and an outbreak of hot yoga.

Trail Running in Winter at Altitude - training for Mountaineering

Seriously though, I've mentioned before that there is a disproportionate number of runners with a high bodyfat percentage. Not a high BMI. They're well within the limits established by the FDA, the government organization in charge of selling prescription drugs and agricultural products.

Yes, if you run to the exclusion of weight or strength training (yoga and pilates are neither) then your muscles will become very efficient and streamlined. You will lose muscle that is not being used for running. You will even lose leg and core muscle, those actually used in running. You will become weak. You might have a very low bodyweight but still be 30% fat. Now, if you have half a brain and can do rudimentary logic, you'll notice that at no time did running cause this person to get fat. They probably always had 30 pounds of fat to carry around, and when they weighed 160 this was only 19%, which while not great, is at least reasonably "healthy" - but at 100 pounds of bodyweight it's an appalling percentage. It's the actual percentage that is most likely attributable to disease and demise, and not the actual pounds.

READ THIS - Steady State Cardio Debunked

But there are some amazing articles out there based on bad science, math and medicine, similar to the Vitamin E article I recently wrote. Here are a few headline examples:

  • Ultra-runners die younger from all diseases than any other group.
  • Marathon runners die younger from all diseases than any other group.
  • 5k runners die younger from all diseases than any other group.
  • People who run once a year die younger from all diseases than any other group.

I'm not sure how all four of those groups could simultaneously be the worst of any other group, including each other. What I do know though is that it makes for great support materials when you're writing ad copy for your products. When a company starts promoting and using these articles and using them in inflammatory advertising you know that something is up.

You probably hate running and the idea of running an hour a day is totally not going to work for your weak and fragile emotional stability. That's useful when someone tries to sell you something like:

"get buffer than buff in only 15 minutes a day on our HIIT program!"

Usually these ads will find some poster boy who is more often than not a genetic freak and looks amazing all the time and probably doesn't do the exercises they're selling except maybe for the illustrations or DVD. They might try to appeal to some macho element of manliness or some hot body female fantasy. Since you don't want to run anyway, they are reinforcing your weakness and appealing to your baser desires. They agree with you so you totally will say "Yes" to the first suggestion, never run. A common sales tactic is to try to get a potential client to say "Yes" to anything even once, then fork from there to various ideas until you get 6 "Yes" answers and at that point they're ready to sign anything. This is a core idea of many of the "How To Sell" programs from the self-help dudes.

Putting on my socks and running shoes

Beware of these sales pitches based on bad science, bad math, and bad medicine.

When and Why Should You Run?

If you don't know that then you are probably susceptible to these scammers. I know lots of runners of various types. I run for training and also train for running. It's a subtle distinction. Many people start out running for training and then suddenly get the idea they're runners and before long they get consumed with mileage and time and the rest of their life disappears into the dust from their heels on the road.

If you don't know how many miles and for how long you should run, depending on your goals and other sports activities, then you should find out ASAP. If you're training for a 5k you might never have to go more than 8 miles in a week, totaling an hour or less each week. If you're training for a marathon you might have to run 40 miles a week, and since it would be at a slower pace, probably take up 5 to 7 hours. That's still manageable in the context of a well rounded program. If you're not going to Place in an Age Group (meaning that if you're not going to be the top 3 in your decade of age - 40's, 50's etc.) you have no reason to do more than that.

Incline Treadmmill at 24% training for mountaineering
If your sport of choice is not running than what is your sport? Tennis? Maybe you need to run 20 minutes a day and not even worry about distance or speed. You're trying to build up endurance to be strong at the end of a match. You do run in tennis in brief bursts of energy, so sprinting would be a great addition to your running training.

I'm not going to go through all the sports and relate them to running. Hopefully you get the idea that marketing speak that forces you to switch gears needlessly might do more harm than good. All to sell you something you probably don't need.

Bottom Line:

  • Know why you run, and relate it to a realistic program
  • Add in the appropriate amount of strength and weight training
  • Eat the best fuel available to support your training but not unhealthy fat