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The Fine Print Part Two - What’s It All About?

The Fine Print Part Two - What’s It All About?

Due to popular demand, we are back with another version of the Fine Print, one of our signature episodes, in which we reduce a research study from the field of Human Movement Science to its fine print; you know, all the stuff you miss when you read something the first time around.  

This time Dr. J and GG tackle a first-of-its-kind study, underwritten by a prominent health club operator and managed by a distinguished medical center.  The intent of the study was, purportedly, to examine the difference in fitness outcomes between a group following an exclusive program, under the auspices of a high-caliber personal trainer, and another, which was entirely self-guided.

Take this rarefied opportunity to review a study with a real research scientist, Dr. Paul Juris, as he interprets and makes sense of some of the statistics that may reveal surprising conclusions upon deeper inspection.   Does the study ultimately live up to the hype?  Well, Dr J and GG  offer their take home messages, but, you’ll have to listen for yourself to decide what this study is really all about.  

In this episode we discuss:

  • Experimental Design
  • Periodization
  • Randomization
  • Statistical Significance
  • Variability
  • Effect Size
  • Pseudo Science


  • Randomization - The reduction of sources of bias, when testing subjects, by randomly assigning them to one or more groups
  • Significance - The probability that measured outcomes are not the results of random variations in a subject population.  The minimum level of acceptance is typically less than 5%, meaning, there’s less than a 5% probability that measured outcomes are the result of chance alone.
  • Effect size - A number representing the strength of the relationship between two variables in a statistical population, based on the mean differences between the variables and the population standard deviation.  Too small of an effect size suggests a less meaningful relationship, even if it is statistically significant.
  • Standard Deviation - A measure of the degree of dispersion of a set of values from the mean of the set.  Sets with smaller standard deviations include individual values that are more closely clustered around the mean, and therefore, have more homogeneity.
  • Variability - The lack of consistency of scores within a sample population


Storer, T.W., Dolezal, B.A., Berenc, M.N., et. al. (2014). Effect of supervised, periodized exercise training vs. self-directed training on lean body mass and other fitness variables in health club members. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 28(7): 1995-2006.

Related Episodes

Season 1, Episode 7: The Fine Print 1