What resources do you turn to for evidence-based research as it pertains to your profession?
Health care professionals have membership to organizations like the APTA, the AMA, AOA, AOCG where they can access the latest resources related to their respective professions.
For fitness professionals, we have international organizations such as the ACSM and NSCA that dispense timely research designed to keep us abreast of what is current in our industry. Do you think these organizations are relevant to you as a fitness professional? Do you think by utilizing the guidelines and position stands as outlined by these organizations facilitates your responsibilities as a fitness professional and if so do you utilize their resources to assist you in your profession to minimize the guesswork?
I am an ACSM certified professional and find that the resources that it provides has a broad range of depth as well as reach for the diverse fitness world we work in today. This being said I find that to pigeon-hole myself into a "select" organizations may narrow my ability as a professional to adequately adapt to the changes of fitness. I think that both the ACSM and the NSCA provide excellent sources of information that also serve as a spring board in many ways to lead fitness professionals into a broader search.
Just like the medical associations that serve as a platform for professionals to share ideas and research, ACSM and NSCA are a meta-search engine that give us the ability to get a broad range of knowledge in a central location. The best way to find evidence-based research is to begin in a place such as ACSM or NSCA with your broad topic or question, narrow the search and then go to sites like PubMed or scholarly journals to find even more "time-tested" as LaRue put it, research being done to give you the most well rounded amount of information.
To continue to learn and develop in the field we also have to be journalists, researchers, scientists, educators and students to continue the progression of knowledge. ACSM and NSCA are two sites that give us a portal where we can narrow our questions and ideas and take our profession to a new level.
Time-tested research findings, repeatable results, and a sample size, and subject demographic that I can relate to and trust are all things that I consider before relying on the findings of some of the research projects out there.
While research can certainly point us in the direction of current thinking and trends on certain subjects, in my practice and in my opinion, I need and rely upon more than one published research finding, but instead as I think you correctly point out, also rely on position statements and guidelines proffered by organizations respected in our field such as the ones that you cite.
If the research is of sufficient sample size, backed by solid research, comes from an organization or source that I've come to trust... then "yes," I use those findings in helping me with my practice and work with my clients.
Great question! Thanks.
ASCM is very scientific but we need that as our foundation, for this industry that has no regulations. It's great to have access to it.
It's been interesting to watch all of the changes that have occured over the past thirty years when Jane Fonda was teaching in her leg warmers, little did she know what would come of it!
I check ASCM's portal and webite on a regular basis along with keeping in close communication with a client who is a physician and wellness coach!
They have not only served as an aid for scientific based knowledge but also provided essential business strategies and training tools for success. During the start up phase of building my fitness facility I often referenced the IDEA data base for information on hiring staff, training class teachers, code of ethics protocol, and client retention. I referenced the NSCA for specific gym set up information as well as training strategies for various clientele ranging from Olympic athletes, high school foot ball teams and seniors.
I have watched IDEA grow from a four page newsletter (one of which I still have from 1991) to an incredible trusted resource tool offering six journals (definitely over four pages in length). I highly recommend theses resource databases as trusted and valuable tools to enhance any fitness career.
American College of Nurse Midwives
and use Cochrane reviews
I like to go to as many workshops and seminars as I can every year provided by NSCA. They have a large variety of subjects and they are always looking for ways to stay ahead of other organizations. They provide a large quantity of research and information and I'm always excited to be part of their organization. I love their TSAC information they put out there and I use it in my work. IDEA has great resources as well and I make sure to utilize as much as I can and I always look for new trends out there. The internet is great for searching and reading new material. I spend a lot of time every week looking for that information.
Just like you said, it's always good to have many different resources to cross examine so you can get the best reliable information as possible.