Whenever you hear about a tragic plane crash, you always hear about the mythical black box. What exactly does the black box do and what’s even inside it? What’s Inside took a look by cutting the black box (it’s not actually black) in half and ripping it open to see its guts.
In the past couple decades, sports science has made giant strides on every front — conditioning, nutrition, recovery, equipment, surgery, injury prevention. But all those gains come with a big asterisk: a reminder that individual results may vary. Some athletes respond seemingly overnight to high-intensity interval training; some see middling results. Some enjoy amazing recoveries from knee-ligament reconstructions; others never really heal. For athletes who feel like they’re doing everything right, this seeming arbitrariness can be discouraging and infuriating.