The Problem with ‘Broscience’ (and Why You Should Avoid It)
We all need good advice and information to help us get the best results in the gym. But is your workout buddy the best source of knowledge? Find out how to avoid the problems broscience can cause.
You can find a great deal of valuable information on websites, in magazines and from personal trainers. Then there is ‘broscience,’ which is less reliable. Broscience is misinformation about different aspects of fitness which is disseminated by people with little or no expert information.
You know the kind of guy – he stands center stage in the gym and gives everyone around him the benefit of his opinion. This misinformation could center around lifting techniques, diet, or recovery techniques. This article will explain the problem with ‘broscience’ and give specific examples to fully illustrate why you should avoid it.
Worse Than Just Talk
In the worst case scenario, broscience can lead to injury. There are specific guidelines to follow when lifting weights and those include proper form, the amount of weight lifted and the number of repetitions. Misinformation can result in unwanted injuries that can keep you out of the gym for weeks or months. Broscience also revolves around diet.
This misinformation could instruct you to consume copious amounts of whey protein while neglecting proper meals that include lean protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This misinformation will halt your lean mass gains and decrease your energy levels. Listed below are some broscience examples and the problems inherent in each of them.
The Broscience of Pre-Exhausting Muscles
A popular broscience training technique is pre-exhausting the muscles. It is usually done in conjunction with training large muscle groups and it is a big mistake. One perfect example can be seen with the bench press. The bench press involves working the chest (a large muscle group), as well as smaller muscle groups like shoulders and triceps. A pre-exhaustion routine would require you to work out the triceps or shoulders before tackling the bench press.
This is counterintuitive. The bench press is a multi-joint exercise that can only be performed correctly if all your muscles have rested adequately. With a pre-exhaustion workout, you will have to decrease the weight in order to complete the exercise with proper form. Using less weight at times is great to help with recovery, but if you want to get the most out of multi-joint exercises you should perform them at the beginning of your workout and with fully rested muscles.
Some advocates of pre-exhaustive techniques say you use these techniques and lift heavy. This is wrong, too. Lifting heavy after these techniques will result in improper form or injury.
High Reps for Fat Loss
Another broscience training technique revolves around doing high repetitions for fat loss. This technique says you should perform 15 or more repetitions per set to further increase your fat loss efforts. This type of training will help you increase endurance, but it will not help you burn more fat. The best way to burn more fat is to keep the reps between eight and 12 per set and add in some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) after your training.
HIIT is short in duration and helps you burn fat more efficiently than performing lots of repetitions with lighter weight. If you combine a traditional weight training workout with HIIT, you will benefit from the EPOC effects that both exercises give you. Both these exercises will allow your body to continue burning calories long after the workout is done. This allows you to burn only body fat, without the chance that you will lose lean muscle along with body fat.
Fewer Meals for Weight Loss
Consuming fewer meals throughout the day is another example of broscience. You know that the way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories per day, but that doesn’t exactly mean consuming fewer meals. People who adhere to broscience theories about diet will tell you to skip meals in order to lose weight. This method will not only have the opposite effect (you’ll remain at the same weight or gain weight), but it will also increase insulin and cortisol levels.
When you skip a meal your body goes into starvation mode and begins to hoard fat. This is due to increases in cortisol (stress hormone). When this is done continually, your body becomes more efficient at keeping its fat stores, which is what you don’t want. The best way to combat this is by eating more meals with fewer calories per meal. This prevents your body from hoarding fat and helps you lose weight.
Say ‘No’ to Broscience
Broscience is not science at all. It’s just bad information that has been discussed so much that people believe it to be fact. You should avoid broscience at all costs because it can lead to injury, losses in lean mass and weight gain. If someone approaches you with broscience techniques, just say no.