Beware Broscience

Youtube comedian mchenrycruiser has correctly identified the number one problem in bodybuilding today – broscience.

This isn’t just true for guys who want to get big. Unfortunately, there are as many myths in the realm of fat loss as there are for muscle gains.

Finally, I am starting to get lean with a weight-training and nutrition plan that I can actually follow. It took me more than a decade of following crappy advice from so-called experts who didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about.

By the way, this parallels the situation with mainstream relationship advice for men doesn’t it?

Expect more fitness related posts here in the near future.

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28 Responses to “Beware Broscience”

  1. Makes me think of my buddy from the college dorm days that originally got me into weightlifting. We’d work out and he’d head to the dorm cafeteria to chow down on pizza and all kinds of bullshit. Total broscience.

    • The fat loss myths are the worst.

      Intense cardio that actually makes you LESS muscular. Six tiny meals a day of fucking dry tuna and brown rice that just makes you want to vomit.

      But I shall overcome the broscience. I will get abs eventually.

      • You’re right about the cardio thing. I don’t even do cardo (minus commuting by bike) as it cuts down my muscle mass.

        I did the chicken/salad dinner and tuna/bread thing for about a month and got pretty damn defined. However, I lost a TON of muscle mass (like 10 lbs in 2 weeks) and decided the killer 6 pack isn’t worth being that skinny. Eating like that makes you hate mealtime. Weeks later, I can’t even look at a piece of chicken. One of the biggest and most successful things I’ve done for my diet lately is cut out refined sugars, especially energy drinks.

      • This is the problem with traditional methods of “cutting”.

        Getting ripped means weeks of torture and deprivation. You lose muscle in the process and peak condition can’t be maintained for long. Reading Martin Berkhan’s stuff shows me that it doesn’t have to be that way.

  2. what diet are you using? I am aiming for definition more than getting extra muscle (I got buffy already)

    Am I committing some broscience here? I have 25% fat and aiming to get it down to 18% or lower

    breakfast: syntha6 protein + xplode
    treadmill: 1 hour, or spinning 40 min
    regular weight lifting, bench, etc 50 min
    lunch: small portion of pasta, or soup, 380 cal aprox
    mid afternoon lunch: fish / chicken / meat with salad
    dinner: protein, or yogurt

    • Great question.

      I’d love to share the details of my rather contrarian program with readers, but I’ll resist that temptation until I have some photos of my midsection in peak condition.

      What I will do now is strongly endorse cyclic ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting.

      So much of the “conventional wisdom” for getting lean never worked for me.

      Cardio = FAIL
      Bulking & Cutting = FAIL
      Frequent small meals = FAIL
      Low fat diet = FAIL

      The key thing with the weight training is to focus on getting stronger. If you’re not getting stronger, its not working.

      • actually reading that site, seems like I have to get down to 9% of body fat or so. jeez

      • Yes, to see your abs you have to be very lean all over.

        Men typically store most of their fat around their midesection. As fat is lost from all over, everywhere else will lean out first – arms, legs, back, face, etc. The abs are usually the last place to get ripped.

      • the IF sounds right, and seems like I had it almost right. I will follow the guide and crunch my meals to 8 hours, maybe I´ll be able to reduce cardio – quite time consuming

      • Yohami, I’m pleased to hear that you’ll be following Martin Berkhan’s Leangains methodology.

        He was the guy who introduced me to the IF lifestyle and the importance of cycling my carbs & calories.

      • I´ll get to 9% BF !

      • Good for you!

        Visible abs are my objective as well.

      • its been really elusive since every time I get muscular I get a chubby, and when I try to lose the chubby by starving I kill the muscles. so this IF might be IT. thanks for pointing me to him

      • Same problem here.

        My weight fluctuated a great deal with many useless cycles of bulking and cutting.

        I started IFing as a way of controlling my appetite. It was a relief to get hunger under control, but it has taken me lots of experimentation to get the last three pieces of the puzzle into place: training, carb cycling, calorie cycling.

      • how long have you been IFing? does it work so far?

      • I first went on the “Fast 5” IF program to lose weight back in 2009. It worked and allowed me to maintain reasonable shape without changing the composition of my diet much. It just controlled hunger and calories.

        My goals now are more demanding. I don’t just want to look good in clothes, I want to look good naked. ha ha!

  3. Jimbob Says:

    Look up Alan Aragon (he has a blog on his official site and also posts on forum.bodybuilding.com). His book is based on actual science. He makes fun of broscience a lot on the forums.

  4. Douglos Says:

    Great post, W. Joe.

    At the risk of “broscience-ing” this discussion, I can tell you what has worked for me. Quick background – 6’6″, 260. Ex-athlete; at 230 I would be in good shape. Two months ago I was at 285. I’ve been up to 335. So from my heaviest to where I am now, I’ve shed 75 pounds. I realize my situation isn’t the same as everyone’s, but the simple truth, for me at least, has been this:

    Eat less carbs + lift hard + light cardio = success.

    I have some toast or a bagel in the morning. ON Natural Whey protein throughout the day (there are plenty of good wheys out there, I just like this one b/c of the low sugar content and lack of artificial sweeteners), along with a banana, an orange, berries, an apple. Lots of almonds. Lean meat and green veggies for dinner. In the two months that I’ve been seriously lifting (after a multi-year layoff), my arms have bulked and become more vascular, my flabby torso is slowly coming into a nice taper, and my legs look like they could kick down a bridge. I avoid processed food like it was the plague, including meats preserved with nitrates and/or nitrites.

    I have some friends who are bodybuilders, and they always have a new technique to achieve results, or a new supplement that will do x,y, or z. I take everything they say with a grain of salt because these are guys who are willing to inject cow hormones into their asses to get HUUUUGE. That’s not my goal, though I recognize that for other people, it might be. My focus is on health.

    I simply take a performance multi, vits C, D, and E, l-carnitine, fish oil (for a skin condition, it has worked miracles), glutamine w/ whey post-workout, and a GH-supp (that I only tried because it was supposed to improve sleep quality, which it did in a big way).

    Lots of people poo-poo cardio, but if I didn’t do it, I’d be essentially sedentary all day, with the exception of lifting. If this might apply to you, I believe you have to do some sort of cardio. And cardio doesn’t make you weak, per se – google the Lesnar/Velasquez fight for evidence. Also, my cardio consists of farmer-carrying 25-lb. dumbbells up and over a hill as many times as I can in 30 minutes, 6 days a week. Not exactly candy-ass aerobics. Try it.

    Take from this what you want, but from someone who has been shredded, obese, and is now somewhere in the middle (back on the road to shredsville), this is what has worked. For me. But the real key, I’ve found, is that you have to want it. Want to be healthy (or yoked or whatever your end goal is) MORE than you want that carne seca burrito. Incidentally, I’m not a Nazi about it, either – if I want a pizza or beer or wings or whatever, I don’t deny myself. But you can’t make a diet out of that kind of food. (This usually happens on weekends, so I’m inadvertently cyclic ketogenic-ing, it seems). I give a fuck about a six pack. I just want to be able to beat you in a bar fight, or be able to run away if you’re bigger, badder, or armed. And also, to not die young. That’s my 2 cents.

    • Non-intense cardio won’t interfere with muscle gain efforts. It is good for health. I walk the dogs. That’s my “cardio”.

      What doesn’t work so well for most guys is the High Intensity Interval Training that is usually recommended to guys who want to get ripped.

      Sounds like my objectives are very different from yours. Bar fights aren’t even on my radar. There will always be heavier guys who can punch harder and faster than me. My goal is the elusive six pack.

      • Douglos Says:

        Agreed that our goals are different. And the bar fight thing wasn’t literal, either – I’ve been hard on my body with sports and drugs and other stuff, and I am at an age where I recognize my mortality. I think you summed up my whole point in your brief reply, which is why you have a blog and I don’t. Brevity and all that. Just wanted to share with others what has worked for me w/r/t fitness. Cheers.

      • Douglos, are you a fan of Brooks D Kubik by any chance?

  5. […] Joe recently had a post “Beware of Broscience” and that is worth a read for any of you that have a current workout program or are […]

  6. Fuck man I just try to eat well, lift regularly, and run a few days a week. I don’t care about all of that “cardio is bad” mumbo jumbo… at least I know my heart is in good shape.

  7. Douglos Says:

    Re: Brooks Kubik – I’d never heard of him, but thanks for the tip! I’m not quite of the “Grey Hair and Black Iron” age (still on the good side of 35) but his site seems right up my alley – I will be investigating for sure.

    • Yeah, he seems to have overall toughness and brute strength as his objective too.

      I read his book “Dinosaur Training” and thought you would enjoy it.

  8. OffTheCuff Says:

    I like Dougolos’ comment. I’ve dropped 7″ from my waist (38->31) by doing nothing but cutting out refined carbs (no more breakfast cereal) and bodyweight circuit exercises. Replacing those refined carbs is fruit, vegetables, protein. Really freaking simple. Gut is gone, but I’m still a little soft in the middle a bit. No cardio, no gym, yet. I think I’ll be ready to hit the gym without looking like a total loser this fall. (Oh, and I upped my beer intake significantly.)

    What really motivated me was doubleyourgains.com’s bodyweight ladder.

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