Straight up, there’s a lot of bullshit out there in the fitness world.
We lovingly call this site Broscience, but the fact of the matter is that broscience in the bodybuilding world is very real. Basically it’s the equivalent of an “old wives tale” passed down from generation to gym rat generation and taken as the gospel truth right off the bat without any independent investigation. Sometimes it’s harmless, but other times it can be dangerous!
Fortunately for you we’ve heard it all. And we’re going to put our knowledge to us by busting some of the biggest myths in the fitness industry in order to save you time, money, and future headaches!
Let’s condense the nonsense.
This one is a biggie.
You’ve probably heard it at the gym or from your buddy at work. Some incredible new discovery about how often you should eat or how big your meals should be that will allegedly change the way your body burns fat virtually overnight.
Intermittent fasting is a big one right now. Eat whatever the hell you want, no matter how bad for you, as long as it’s just once a day and you’ll kick your metabolism into overdrive and get lean in no time. However, the research is clear. Intermittent fasting may sound great on paper but there’s not a lot of actual evidence to support some of the largest claims from its proponents. Not only that, we haven’t even talked about the fact that maintaining a diet of one meal per day is incredibly difficult. And it isn’t simply incredibly hard to maintain. Research from the US Department of Agriculture indicated that individuals sticking to an intermitting fasting meal plan were more likely to eat more in the future, likely to compensate for their low food intake during fasting.
So how about the other end of the spectrum? Does eating many smaller meals throughout the day help with weight loss? Researchers at the University of Colorado put that theory to the test. Their results demonstrated there were no differences in fat oxidation between a 3 meals a day plan and a 6 meals a day plan. Not only that, their study concluded that the “desire to eat” was actually higher among people who used a high meal frequency meal plan compared to an average 3 meals a week plan.
Listen, we’re not trying to be buzzkills by poo-pooing these two meal strategies. But we don’t want to send you down a futile path either. If you want to lose weight you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just keep focused on your caloric intake, food quality, and macro count. And of course remember to torch your body fat in the gym.
Alternatively if you a little extra help you can also enlist the help of a high quality fat burner. One of the big benefits of these babies is the appetite suppression factor. That doesn’t mean you should use them to jump on a low meal frequency meal plan (as we discussed above). But they can help crush those craving for low quality junk food and give you that extra boost of energy to get in the gym and push out those extra reps for maximum progress. Click here to check out our dedicated fat burners page to learn more.
Fasted cardio is exactly what it sounds like, jumping on a treadmill first thing in the morning on a completely empty stomach. The hope here is that somehow this will help you burn higher levels of body fat while staying anabolic.
Well a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition took a hammer to that theory:
“A meal replacement shake was provided either immediately prior to exercise for the FED group or immediately following exercise for the FASTED group, with this nutritional provision carried out under the supervision of a research assistant. Both groups showed a significant loss of weight and fat mass from baseline, but no significant between-group differences were noted in any outcome measure. These findings indicate that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypocaloric diet are similar regardless whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training.”
Sounds pretty conclusive to us. So stop skipping breakfast, you know it’s the most important meal of the day.
BIG BOD, BIG BRAIN?
This one is an understandable misconception.
It’s easy for us to assume that the biggest, strongest guy in the gym is the one who knows the most about fitness and nutrition. We think that because guy managed to turn himself into a mountain of a man he can help do the same for me if I just listen to what he has to say.
Unfortunately it’s not that easy.
Not all men are created equal as far as our genetic blessings go. Some guys are just born to be big and others aren’t. Not only that, a lot of guys choose to go down the chemical route to get big. How can you hope to duplicate their results if you plan on staying natty? Chances are you won’t.
We know a bunch of meatheads who look great, but wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about how to recreate their success.
It’s very possible that these guys do have some wisdom worth hearing to share. But don’t let someone’s exterior fool you into taking some faulty advice. You know what they say about judging a book by its cover.
Can you get strong without Cardio? Yes, but you would also be depriving yourself of all the benefits that cardio training can offer.
Cardiovascular work can also help to enhance brain plasticity, balance neurotransmitters, and improve the filtration of metabolites created during muscular stress. Sounds pretty good huh?
Anyways, if your body can’t stand a couple of sessions of low intensity cardio per week without completely shedding all your gains. You’ve got bigger problems!