Exercise doesn’t work redux

August 27th, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  5 Comments

John Berardi’s treatment of the now-infamous Time article on the purported uselessness of exercise can be found here. Contains the phrases “shit-ton” and “eat it”. You can see why we get along so well. JB’s take on it is interesting, because he’s actually done some of the foundational research behind the “exercise ain’t no good nohow” hysteria (as opposed to being some bitter dude who hates his exercise program and possibly, based on his description, his entire physical existence).

And stay tuned — check the PN blog tomorrow because Helen Kollias will be busting out the science that compares caloric restriction without exercise to caloric restriction with exercise. The results may surprise you. Well, probably not YOU as Stumptuous readers. But act surprised when you whip this one out to slap your smug non-exercising colleagues.

BTW confidential to body/exercise-hating dude: If you hate the gym so much, go find something fun, dumbass! This is like complaining because your head is constantly sore when you whack it with a hammer. Are salsa dancing classes, Ultimate Frisbee teams, or rock climbing that hard to come by in your neighbourhood?


  1. Burt says:

    August 27th, 2009at 11:30 am(#)

    Superb comments – I really do need this ammunition for lunch time discussions at work! Thanks Times, for this cheap attempt at attracting eyeballs at the expense of the public understanding of weight control.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    August 27th, 2009at 1:32 pm(#)

    I’m looking forward to Kollias’s article! My own totally anecdotal conclusions would suggest that exercise is necessary from a psychological standpoint:

    1) Calorie restriction really kind of sucks, long-term. I’m on month 7 or so and I am plenty sick of this, even with refeed days and all that.
    2) Exercise helps provide visible results for motivational purposes, like “whoa, I can lift a lot more than I could before,” or “I can run faster and farther,” or my new favorite, “dude, check out the gun show.”
    3) Exercise increases the caloric deficit so you don’t have to cold starve yourself to see weight loss — no, you can’t go out for fries after the gym every time, but you don’t have to do lettuce leaves and egg whites 24/7 either.

    John Cloud ought to do a follow-up on “Why Dieting Doesn’t Make You Thin.”

  3. Home Gym System says:

    August 27th, 2009at 8:01 pm(#)

    Your post made me laugh. You’re writing style sounds like mine and a couple of my online acquaintances. “dumbass” is our favorite word. LOL

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing your update tomorrow on the outcome of that scientific test. You’ve got a new reader.

  4. Sharon from Penn State says:

    August 28th, 2009at 9:04 am(#)

    Yeah, saw the cover of Time, and then I said aloud “Oh GREAT!”

    The last thing Americans need to be told is to not exercise.
    Thanks, Time.

  5. DaveN says:

    August 28th, 2009at 11:49 am(#)

    I am guessing that the author of the original Time magazine article never actually tracked his caloric intake before he began exercising and after he began exercising. I’d be willing to bet that he *thinks* he is eating no more now than he was when he began exercising, but my experience (personal and with others I have helped get started on exercise programs) is that there is a lot of what I call “calorie leakage” in his diet. That is, instances where slightly increased portions or other snacking ups the overall daily caloric intake by a surprising amount. And, as every one is saying, if you up your intake when you up your rate of consumption, then things stay the same.

    Of course, there are tons of non-weight-loss benefits to exercise as well. As Mark Rippetoe has said, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.”

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