No, I’m not talking about a 400 lb bench press. I’m talking about statistical power. Statistical power is a greatly important concept for anyone who wants to interpret scientific research, because statistical tests form the basis of all scientific results. If you have no knowledge of statistics, you can’t properly interpret research. According to many great scientists, statistical illiteracy is the 21st century’s equivalent of the inability to read and write.
Before I continue, here’s a little test for you: Suppose a brand new study was just published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The researchers compared two resistance training groups that were identical with the exception that one used dumbbells and the other used kettlebells. Unfortunately, the researchers had little funding, so each group had only 5 people in it. At the end of the study, the kettlebell training group had gained significantly more muscle mass than the dumbbell group. Does this support that kettlebells are more effective than dumbbells for bodybuilding purposes? I’ll give you the answer after explaining what statistical power is.