efficacy vs effectiveness

I read a lot of literature on the topic of health and fitness.  Most of it coming from journals and research reviews, with the purpose of seeing how I can help myself, and those whom I serve, learn more about the most effective strategies to use for training and health. 


But science has its limitations. 


Often times, studies are carried out with “ideal conditions”, or they only report results from participants who have completed a study,  and they fail to report those which may have dropped out of the study due to being unable to abide by the set of parameters put forth.  This poses a problem when we try to apply this information to real-world situations.  Because real-world circumstances are rarely, if ever, ideal. 


This is where coaching has to play a larger role, because a strategy can be really efficacious, but may have little to no utility in a practical setting.  Meaning there really is no practical application due to the complex nature of being human.


Coaching is a relationship developed over time.  And it’s the quality of that relationship that allows you to be a better coach.  Getting to know your client or athlete is more important than any meta-analysis will ever be.


So while protocols and strategies may prove to be efficacious in the literature they may not be all that effective in the real world.  All this to say...remember, if you are a coach or a trainer, you are working with real people.  People with a ton of shit to work through (especially now), so if you need to take a pause on your training program to make sure your client is taking care of themselves, then DO IT - your fitness goals aren’t going anywhere.