Some of you will have heard of the term ‘broscience' before. Some of you won't have, but have likely come across it at some point without even realizing it.
That's the most dangerous type of broscience.
The type that passes for real science. The type that gets you to believe it, and even worse, spend your precious energy in the gym or in the kitchen following it's twisted lies. This is they type of bioscience we want to avoid at all costs. It's 2015 folks, it's time to kill the bro in broscience.
What is Broscience?
According to Alan Aragon, “Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.”
In a nutshell, broscience is following training and eating philosophies that are created without any well-researched scientific or medical studies to support them.
To a broscientist, what he hears in the gym is more important than what scientific inquiry and research says. He doesn't care what science has to say, he only relies on what he thinks and feels. If you question a broscientist on his methodology, you will often be met with fear in the form of anger. He will pounce in defence, lost in a rage of confusion and testosterone fuelled aggression. Directly confronting a broscientist is not recommended.
It's important to note that some things a broscientist says will actually be correct. This is, however, nothing more than a coincidence. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Do not be fooled by the compelling rhetoric and tight string tank tops of the broscientist; there is a better way.
What are Some Examples of Broscience?
“Dude, you can't have more than 25grams of protein at a time, your body can't absorb it all at once.”
“Bro, you gotta use this pre workout, the pump is gives you is insane – I worked out for like 4 and a half hours.”
“Broseph Stalin, you can't eat carbs right before bed, they'll turn right into fat!”
“BRB, gotta go home and get my pre-made meals made with only clean ingredients.”
What Are Some Closely Held Beliefs by Broscientists?
Some common myths in broscience circles are listed below. This list is by no means exhaustive:
- Fat can be directly turned into muscle
- You can spot reduce fat in a particular part of your body by exercising it
- Most carbs are bad, and should be avoided.
- You must eat every 2-4 hours or risk going catabolic (starvation mode) and losing your gainz
- If you don't use your anabolic window you'll lose all your gainz
- Cardio is bad for you and will make you lose all your gainz
- Believe that some foods are clean and some are unclean
- Believe you need to eat as much protein as humanly possible in order to put on muscle
- Bench Press, bro.
What is the Danger of Broscience?
Other than the obvious answers of risk of injury, wasting your hard earned money on useless supplements, and churning out new little brophessors left and right, broscience's most dangerous and heartbreaking effect is the loss of your precious time and energy.
A bodybuilder with a Ph.D. in brophessornomics may be a ripped beast of a monster, but he's been working out for 9 years. With that much time, he should be a ripped beast of a monster. He tried this and that for a year or two, then followed his bro's advice for another couple years, and finally stumbled upon something that worked for him and got results.
He got his results by using a brute force attack. He stumbled upon them by chance and by working hard day after day, year after year with little idea what he was doing. He got the results, but he got them slowly using a shotgun approach.
Don't be stupid like this. If you arm yourself with sound nutritional knowledge, an intelligently put together training plan that utilizes the principle of progression, and consistently apply this, you can achieve the results of the average broscientist in a fraction of the time.
Is Broscience Only Dangerous for Men?
No. Broscience has a closely related cousin named Bro-lette Science. Bro-lette science is just as dangerous as broscience, and often even more destructive. While bro-lette science isn't as prevalent in gyms, it's absolutely rampant on magazine racks and online. Pinterest is perhaps the most guilty culprit, exemplifying a breeding ground for too-good-to-be-true marketing gimmicks and fitness click-bait.
While some women may have slightly different goals to men in the gym (shoulders and chest work is less popular among women, for example), the ultimate method of training and principles behind it are the same for both men and women. Do not be fooled by the beautiful, happy models often used – nothing replaces sound nutrition and a progressive weight training regimen – not even Pumpkin Spiced Lattes.
Prominent Companies that Spread Bro and Bro-lette Science
Due to the aggravatingly high amount of bro and bro-lette science found in these sources, it's best to, at the very least, take what you read in them with a large grain of salt:
- Muscle & Fitness Magazine
- Flex Magazine
- Men's Health
- Women's Health
- Shape Magazine
- Popsugar Fitness
- Muscle Insider
- Fitness Magazine
- Oxygen Magazine
- Ask Men
- Health Magazine
- Self Magazine
- Vince Del Monte Fitness
- Mike Chang
- Any supplement company or any company affiliated with one. It's highly likely that these companies will be biassed and push often unnecessary products.
Unfortunately, this list is by no means exhaustive; it simply represents some of the biggest purveyors of bad fitness info in the industry. To the above publications, I present you with Goose's version of international relations:
How to Spot a Broscientist?
First, let's take look at a brophessor in his natural environment:
A broscientist has a number of defining features that help separate them from non-bros. Let's go over a number of them.
- Wears a tank top to the gym. And everywhere else.
- A bro thinks all pale dudes are nerds. Therefore, a bro will do everything it takes to stay tanned. If he looks like an Oompa Loompa, he's probably a broscientist.
- He has a decently built upper body, but his lower body closely resembles that of a chicken's. Bro's don't train legs.
- He spent 30+ minutes warming up before beginning his workout
- 60% of the time, a bro checks into the gym on Facebook, every time. Shout out to Ron Burgandy.
- His favourite sport is beer pong.
- He spends time talking on the phone in between sets on the bench press, which is, incidentally, the only exercise he did during his workout.
- He's in a fraternity.
- He gets into fights with bros from other fraternities.
- If he's wearing any sports clothing (Jerseys, shorts, hats) of his favourite team, he's probably a bro. Extra broscience points if his MLB hat is backwards.
In Closing, I present you with this image below. Feel free to print this article and cut it out to arm yourself when confronted with a brophessor. Alternatively, you could always take the Goose route.