Last month in Applied Metabolics, several studies presented at a recent science conference were featured, in this case, the annual conference of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, that focused on various aspects of nutrition and exercise. As I pointed out last month, most of these science conferences are nothing more than a chance for researchers to schmooze and tell each other how great they are in often exotic locales. But the best part of such conferences by far is what's called the poster presentations. To recap what these are, they are large posters placed on boards that detail the results of new and as yet, unpublished studies. As such, they offer a good view of what's coming up in the world of exercise and nutrition. Often, they provide enlightening information on some of the myths and misinformation that is promulgated in the popular media, such as magazines, as well as the junk often found on the Internet. While nothing is written in stone, evidence-based studies are still the most reliable source of information unless they are tainted by commercial bias. While such commercial bias has not been a major problem in the past, these days it plays an increasingly dominant role in who pays for many of the studies. Somebody has to foot the bill of these often expensive studies, and you can bet that any company that invests in such studies won't be happy about studies that show their product in a negative light. As such, these sponsored studies always portray the products as being quite effective. Since these studies can easily be manipulated to produce positive results, I tend to avoid writing about them. I'll let others be unpaid shills for these companies.
If you look closely at the often hundreds of poster presentations presented at the science conferences, you can still find some "gold" among the chaff. So once again, I went through the huge amount of data presented in poster form at another science conference highly related to exercise and nutrition, as well as sports medicine. This conference, the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is highly regarded and features the elite of the sports medicine research field. However, in perusing their poster presentations presented at the 2016 ACSM meeting, I was once again faced with the task of wading through a lot of junk to find studies that could prove both interesting and practical to readers of this publication. The following is what I came up with, and as I did last month, I will add my own knowledge and experience when appropriate.
Plate-loaded versus cable exercise machines: which is superior?
Most bodybuilders consider cable exercises to be "finishing" exercises in the sense that they aren't used to build massive muscle size, but rather to add a refining effect to muscles that . . .