We get a lot of questions where people post their training plan and diet and want us to improve it. Examples are:

Basically all these questions have the same solution, yet they get asked and answered over and over again.

If, and if how, should we deal with those question, what do you think about them?

  • It'd be good if you could provide more examples, but my issue with the question you highlighted was that the problem is incredibly broad that I believe other questions already cover. It should be more specific in my opinion. – Matt Chan Jan 12 '13 at 13:08
  • I think it would be hard to be too localized - we're all built pretty similarly, and there are only so many variations in physical condition, training goals, etc. The point being that for every plan presented, there are plenty of other people out there who can be in a similar situation and a potential beneficiary of analysis. – G__ Jan 12 '13 at 21:34
  • I think the problem is that there's thousands of combinations of training and diet plans that can achieve the same goal. I agree that some questions can be on-topic and ask these questions, but I do think we need to be careful in how they're phrased. – Nathan Wheeler Jan 14 '13 at 16:30
  • I edited the question to include some more examples and removed my personal opinion from it. – Baarn Jan 20 '13 at 19:08

These are examples of questions and even a complete stackexchange built around "here's how I'm doing it; what's a better way?"

It seem's that since the user has already come up with a potential solution, that there was research done.

So I don't think these types of questions are off-topic for the stackexchange network just because of their form or because they are evidence of lack of research.

About this site specifically:

Here's an example of a good question. The user presented two programs they were considering, and asked for a recommendation about which one to choose, where the only difference between the two was scheduling of the exercises.

Here's another good question. The user presented a program, stated their goals, in the comments, the user said what they were unsatisfied about in their current program.

However, if they're asking for an overly broad evaluation, including nutrition, supplements, exercise selection, scheduling, you'll get answers that are essays, prescribing entire ways of living, and are very specific to the individual question.

Here's another poor program feedback question. This question drew poor answers because the stated goal was overly broad.

Program feedback questions are okay if they:

  • state a goal,
  • present the user's current program,
  • say why they believe their current program is inadequate, and
  • are narrowly tailored to receive feedback about a particular aspect of training (nutrition, exercise selection, scheduling, rep range, rest, etc.)

I think the problem is that the FAQ requires questions to specifically relate to problems that an individual faces. This significantly reduces the applicability of answers to other individuals in slightly different circumstances who wonder if the answers can be transferred to their situations or not. I think questions of the form "how can one lose weight" should be permitted, rather than enforce the asker to say "how can I lose weight".

Sure answers will often need to state "it depends on ...". This is fine. The answerer should state the main factors that the answer depends upon, and explain how it depends upon those factors.

Is this a problem? No. Any field of study that is not mathematics, will always require answers stating "it depends". Take for example the field of economics, if it weren't for Ceteris paribus constantly being applied, humans would have developed no knowledge of economics, since millions of factors influence any economic outcome.

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