Fitness Bull!@#$ Part 2: Bro Science BRAH!
Fitness Bull!@#$ Part 2: Bro Science BRAH!
Bro Science is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked up dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.
Here is Bro Science in action:
“Bro, you gotta slam 40-60 grams of waxy maize plus 20 grams of BCAA within 7 seconds of finishing your last set of squat rack curls. Otherwise, you’ll go straight catabolic.”
We all know that dude or group of dudes at the gym. Usually they are in cut off shirts, roided out of their minds. These Bros are not experts and they are not trainers. The only thing they are is clueless (but don’t tell them that). These Bros have listened to one too many supplement ads or that one dude at that the gym that is totally ripped!! Then they relay their current theory to message boards, fellow bros, and friends of friends. This misinformation then spreads from bro to bro and eventually people start to think it is fact. This is how we end up with crazy statements like the one above. These are the top 5 Bro Science “Facts”:
1) Want to lose weight? Just do higher reps with lighter weight and plyometrics. Um, FALSE!
2) You need to buy the whole line of supps to see any gains. Again, FALSE!
3) Your body can only absorb 20g of protein at a time. FALSE!
4) Creatine needs to be cycled. FALSE!
5) To see big gains only workout 1 body part a week. FALSE!
As I discussed in Part 1, this industry is extremely unregulated. When you think about it Bro Science is nothing more than water cooler gossip for meat heads. There is no actual scientific testing performed and nothing is researched. Unsubstantiated theories are just repeated until people start to believe it because they have heard it so many times.
The best examples I can give you on Bro Science are the “studies” done on weight loss pills and creatine. Pick up any fitness magazine right now and you will find pages of “studies” that “demonstrate” this product really works. There are usually a lot of graphs, before and after pictures, scientific wording, sample groups, and of course, a mention of a “university” study without listing the actual university. Don’t believe me? Go and look at a current Muscle & Fitness magazine right now. Flip through at least 5 pages and BAM now you see it.
So how do we know what is actual science and what is Bro Science? Simple, look at the actual science! Here is a great set of rules when looking for science based facts in the fitness industry.
1) If there is no science listed or you can’t find an origin study, it’s Bro Science. For example, please find me the studies that prove taking more supplements than actual food will cause bigger gains.
2) If the study was paid for by any supplement company or only focused on one supplement in particular, it’s Bro Science. For instance, the “study” that proves VPX Redline works was paid for by VPX. It is also the only product studied. Clearly VPX has a financial gain that is based on the outcome.
3) If the person giving you the information can’t provide you with references, it’s Bro Science. Here is a typical conversation you hear at the gym: Bro: “You need to cycle creatine or it will kill your liver.” Non-Bro: “Where did you get that information?” Bro: “Um, the dude at gym who is ripped as FAUCK!”
It all comes down to actual science. Remember when we were all in high school and we learned about the Scientific Method? The steps of the Scientific Method are: 1) Observation/Research, 2) Hypothesis, 3) Prediction, 4) Experimentation and 5) Conclusion.
The next time you hear a “fact” at the gym or read an article on “new” training techniques, apply the scientific method. Look for the science, and if you can’t find the science, it’s not worth experimenting on your body. Remember it’s your body, your life, your health. Do not trust it to a bunch of bros at the gym.
www.feelfitastic.com (Of Course)
www.sportsnutritionsociety.org (ISSN-International Society of Sports Nutrition)
That concludes Part 2 of Fitness Bull!@#$. This weekend when Part 3 comes out we will dive more into the actual science behind health and fitness. I will provide an actual study and explain what to look for to determine Fact vs. Bro Science!
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