Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Do you train so often too? Where do you get the time?

They may not say it to your face, but they are thinking it. Someone who spends as much time training as you do must be an enormous egoist. If you're not, how can you spend so much time pumping iron in the gym? Or clocking up kilometres? You could only possibly do it at the expense of your social obligations. You cut corners at work, you neglect your poor lonely mother, and at home your children are crying out from hunger. That kind of thing. Narcissist!

Sports scientist Sjaan Gomersall, of the University of South Australia, wondered where serious amateur athletes get their time from. So she did an experiment with 129 inactive participants, aged 18-60, who she divided into three groups.

Gomersall got two of the groups to do 150 [Moderate] or 300 [Extensive] minutes of exercise under supervision, every week for six weeks. They did group sessions. "These group sessions consisted of a wide variety of group activities such as circuit classes, sports, boxing, dancing, bushwalking and kayaking," Gomersall described. [J Sci Med Sport. 2015 Jan;18(1):43-8.] One group did nothing at all and functioned as the control group.

Gomersall then looked at how this intervention changed the way the participants spent their time as a whole. What did they start to do more of? And what did they start to do less of?

In the figure below AT stands for Active Transport, PA for Physical Activity, PT for Passive Transport, SC for Socio-Cultural Actvitities and TV/VG for Television/Videogames.

Computer stands for working at the computer at home.

An asterisk * indicates that the shift was statistically significant.

Do you train so often too? Where do you get the time?

As you can see, the participants not only spent more time on sports, but also on transport. And the participants made that time available by watching less TV and spending less time on computer games.

The idea that many people who do sports are self-obsessed and less social than non-athletes is incorrect. Perhaps they're just less lazy.

J Sci Med Sport. 2015 Jan;18(1):43-8.

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