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What Is Broscience?

By Edited Aug 18, 2016 2 10



Broscience is a term that we use when bodybuilders point to other successful bodybuilders as the be all end all of knowledge. Because they are huge everything they say must be true and people who aren't wise to the ways our bodies work will follow them like kittens following a mother cat. Broscience is that term that means people aren't using actual science and studies, but instead collective knowledge of bodybuilders that isn't based on tests and studies but instead of what they think is true. Let's find out more about this weird science that has come to pass as of late.

I lift things up and put them down

We know these guys because we see them in the gym all the time. These are the guys that pump heavy iron, grunt while they are doing it, and at always admiring them

selves in the mirror. Go over and ask them a question about bodybuilding and most of the time you will begin to hear massive amounts of broscience. This is because they aren't taking the time to do intensive research into how our bodies work and how best to efficiently build up their muscle and get in shape. These guys are instead listening to what this bodybuilder or that weight lifter said and because they are huge it must be true. This is completely ridiculous and the only reason society as a whole embraces this is because broscience usually ends up sounding better than what the truth is. It would be wonderful if we could pack on 20 lbs of muscle while at the exact same time burn off 85% of all the fat in our bodies. Why wouldn't anyone want to do that? The problem is if it's too good to be true, it usually is.

Examples of broscience

Here are two typical examples of broscience and why they have been proven false. I would wager a guess here that you have heard one of these two big offenders, and maybe even believed them (I sure hope not) to be true.

1. You can burn fat and build muscle at the same time - This concept draws upon the idea that you can do two things at once, thus halving the time it takes to get into shape. This is pure broscience because your body cannot be in a caloric surplus and a deficit at the same time. A caloric surplus means that you are consuming more calories than your maintenance level, which means that you will put on weight aka build muscle because the muscle has energy to feed on and grow. A caloric deficit means you are consuming less calories than your maintenance level, which mean that you will lose weight aka trim down fat. You can't eat more calories than your maintenance and less calories than your maintenance at the same time, it's just plain ridiculous. Lyle does a great job in explaining this idea in his article about fat loss and muscle building[1].

2. If you skip a meal your body will go into starvation mode and eat away all your muscle - Honestly where do these people come up with these crazy ideas? The idea of starvation mode is humorous in its own right because when a body goes into this catabolic state that won't happen until many days of zero calories. Think about this: fat has almost twice as much stored energy as muscle, so why would your body EVER go for the muscle first over fat? Let's put this into an example that will clearly show how our bodies work. Say you have a credit card with a zero balance (muscle), and you have a million dollars in the bank (fat). When a bill comes in, do you run to that high interest rate credit card (aka burn muscle) or do you tap into your vast source of money (aka burn fat) to pay that bill? If you answered with the money in the bank you are smart. Your body is smart too and will never burn muscle when it has stored fat intentionally for the reason of surviving when food comes short. Barbells & Beakers has a great write-up about this and how fasting can actually help you instead of hurt you[2].

No facts

Broscience is all based on what other people say and not based on facts. Where are the studies that back up what they are saying? Our bodies are created to be in shape and work efficiently and hard, not work in weird ways because our bodies are smart. So when you are working out and trying to get into shape you have to understand the basics of how the body works and reacts to nutrients and

different states of work and rest. There is a growing problem with broscience and supplements as well, because many broscience majors tout the idea that you have to take 10 different supplements to look like a bodybuilder. I wonder how people in the past got ripped and looked muscular without all of those supplements? supplements do have a place in assisting our bodies in growing and slimming down, but their effects are minimal compared to having a proper healthy diet and exercising smart and efficiently. We don't have to take a bunch of supplements like old people take drugs, just find something that fits into your workout and doesn't promise you the world and then some.

Controversial topic

Bodybuilding is a very debated and controversial topic because many people are on opposite sides of the fence. For all we know the facts here will be proven false in 10 years because we are still learning about the human body and how it works, but studies have shown that these broscience ideas are false and only cause people to buy unnecessary supplements and live crazy lifestyles that have no notable improvement in composition and strength. Taking a protein shake after your workout, for example, will prove beneficial because it's just protein to help rebuild muscles and halt any further breakdown of the muscle. Other supplements out there that promise you will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by just taking it are just money grabbers for people that aren't wise to their marketing ways. Do your research and find out what's true and what's "broscience" and you will be on the fast track to bodybuilding success and fitness perfection.



May 22, 2013 12:47pm
Bromance is just a homophobe's way of getting by with being attracted to the same sex.
I hate guys who'd rather "hang wit' my boys" than with women. Bodybuilding, however, is a legitimate sport for those who truly want to invest their time in such things. Interesting article, and a thumb's up (though I think bodybuilders are wankers--it's the steroid use and abuse I take issue with not the activity itself).
May 22, 2013 2:52pm
It would be nice to see a professional bodybuilder today with that small of a waist. The pregnent look seems to be preferred. Thanks for the awesome article.
May 22, 2013 4:36pm
Haha thanks guys. Glad you enjoyed the article
May 22, 2013 8:28pm
Aronnax, you enlightened me. I had never heard of Broscience. I find it interesting that it is a science based on opinions instead of tests and studies. I also like the way you point out the importance of being knowing the way their bodies should work. Well done, aronnax!
May 23, 2013 6:40am
What happens when a fat person is on maintenance? Let's say he trains vigorously, eats healthy foods but keeps his calories on maintenance level, are you saying he will stay the same?

Broscience also includes studies that have been thought to be true, but were proven wrong by newer studies.
May 23, 2013 8:26am
Thanks! Andre you make a good point that I should have touched upon. Someone who is fat or overweight are different in this category because their body isn't used to the stimulus that weight training and cardio provide. Therefore even if they ate at maintenance level the idea of their bodies getting rigorous exercise will still see small muscle gains and fat loss because of the state of their bodies. However once those initial "newbie gain" or "noob gains" disappear then they will maintain their weight. This article more applies to those who are in shape and looking to make progress beyond their initial gains and losses from their first days of lifting. If you want to gain weight (build muscle) you have to be in a surplus. If you want to lose weight (burn fat) you have to be in a deficit.
May 23, 2013 9:24pm
Aronnax I don't know why, but get the idea you're a magazine model or something :)
Also vicdillinger's comment cracked me up! I'm a woman btw!
May 24, 2013 8:54am
Haha thanks truffle! I'm working on it, not quite there yet. ;)
May 24, 2013 12:27pm
It's always good to read. I enjoyed your article. When people talk about broscience, I'll have something to say. Thanks
Jun 13, 2013 6:16pm
Good article but I will say that it IS possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time; it just is a much slower process. But I do it this way because of personal circumstances and it's very possible - just requires high protein intake.
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  1. "Adding Muscle While Losing Fat – Q&A." Body Recomposition. 23/04/2013 <Web >
  2. "Barbells & Beakers." If you don’t eat, does your body eat your muscle or fat first?. 23/04/2013 <Web >

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