Have you ever played Words With Friends, Scrabble, or any other type of word play where you become desperate for new vocabulary??
Well, here, my fitness friends, is our Word of the Day: Broscience.
Noun: Total BS that your gym buddies tell you about weight loss and muscle growth.
Used in a sentence: “Here in broscience, we are not concerned with statistical calculations of any sort. Scholarly papers are also banned here. The only thing that counts is that you heard it from a bro.”
I mean, let’s face it…the perfect summation of the entire fitness book/article experience for most people is this: Read exactly as much as you need to convince yourself you can do what you want, and then stop reading immediately! This is why people believe chocolate milk is the best post-workout drink ever and that they can put avocados on everything and not gain weight.
Here, in no particular order, are further examples of the Broscience of Fitness:
Myth: Exercising your abs will equal a six pack.
Truth: A decrease in body fat will reveal ab muscles. Exercising abs will give more definition.
Myth: Fast. Anything that helps you get in shape fast or lose weight fast.
Truth: Getting in shape is a slow and patient process, that’s all there is to it. There are some ways to lose weight fast…like liposuction or chopping off your leg, but those aren’t practical for most people.
Myth: You can eat whatever you want after you workout because your metabolism is going so fast it just burns it right up.
Truth: Your body wants to replace muscle glycogen post-workout, so it’s true that consuming some simple carbs can be beneficial. But it still counts toward your daily macros. These aren’t free calories.
Myth: Running destroys your knees.
Fact: Running strengthens your knees so long as you don’t overdo it (just like any exercise: don’t freaking overdo it!! No pain No gain is crap. Moderation is key in life).
(I’m sorry Bros, I can’t help being a research geek: Changes on magnetic resonance tomography in the knee joints of marathon runners: a 10-year longitudinal study.
Myth: You need to eat every X hours to “keep your metabolism up”.
Truth: You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight, and eat more than you burn to gain weight / muscle mass. This number is different for everyone. You need to learn to listen to your body and eat when you are hungry and then STOP eating prior to being so full you want to lay down and take a nap.
Personally, I think the biggest fitness myth is that it is complicated. If you want to feel good, then just go be active. Find some friends to throw a frisbee with. Make smart food choices the majority of the time and enjoy your freaking ice cream when you really want it. If you need to perform for a sport, start lifting lightly, then as you get into it increase the weight slowly. It should rarely be any harder than that first day.
As someone who has been in competitive sports that require all kinds of physiques (Figure competitions, triathlons, long distance running, Crossfit) my best advice is “Do what your coach says.”
Take it easy at first, respect your Rest Days, listen to your body, and for goodness sake HAVE FUN!!.