What is “bro” science and why you should be careful with it?
If you have been in the gym community long enough you will already know what “bro” science is, if not, and you have heard the term, lets us explain it to you. Bro’s are a bunch of guys that hang out and give each other advice without really knowing what they are talking about. Perhaps some do, but in general, it is all just repeated without true a backing of knowledge.
First and foremost, ignore it
Pretty much anything a non-professional will tell you should be ignored, or at least taken with a grain of salt. If someone gives you advice, that’s fine, but research it online with responsible sources, or ask a physical therapist that specializes in exercise. We know that those others in the gym that have great physiques should know their stuff, but more often than not, they do not and the advice they give you can put you in a world of hurt, literally.
Don’t work through the pain
If it hurts, stop. It’s pretty simple. When we say hurt, we don’t mean uncomfortable from pushing your muscles to exercise, we mean if there is a “twinge” or actual pain anywhere, then stop. Pain is your bodies’ way of telling you there is something wrong. Don’t keep going or you might find that you need a few months to recover from the damage, or even worse, a lifetime t recover. So when you hear “no pain no gain”, just think “if pain, no train” instead.
You will hear this one a lot; don’t go past 90 degrees on any joints. This one started as a rumor to protect your knees in a squat. The reality is, your body is made for a full range of motion. It will not hurt you to complete the full range, and if you are not doing the full range it can severely limit you and can cause problems later. I guarantee that if you go past 90 on a squat in the gym someone will tell you this bad for your knees, or they will say it doesn’t matter as you get no gains past 90 degrees. Both are wrong. Just make sure your form is good and there is no pain, you will be fine and you will grow faster than they will.
Light or heavy
People always ask if they should lift lighter weight for more reps or heavy weight for less reps. They all want to gain more muscle the best way. There are hundreds of opinions on this, but the reality is nit doesn’t matter, just do it. It’s about effort. The more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. Once you have trained for a while you will get a feeling one what works for you and you can adjust your lifting for your goals.
Don’t live at the gym
Bros will tell you the more time you spend at the gym the better you will look. This is more damaging than anything else. Unless you are going just to socialize, you need one days rest between lifting. A good rule of thumb is 48 hours for your nervous system to recover. Your muscles have no problems recovering but overtraining is caused by the nervous system. You can’t fight past that. The best way is to eat properly and rest. Any more than 2 hours in the gym will be probably be a waste of time as well. If you are going for intensity, 1 hour of lifts will be more than enough to take you where you want to go without damage.
Your way, not theirs
Know yourself. Everyone is different. Know your body type, how your skeleton works, what system works well for you when you work out, etc. Everyone is different, so if someone says you have to work out in the morning with no food and don’t do this and do that, don’t listen. Find what works for you, and just make sure you put enough effort in.
This gets very complex with so much different advice on it. Stand shoulder width, chin up, don’t go past 90, etc. Reality is most of them are wrong. Know your skeleton. Your shoulders and leg lengths aren’t the same as theirs. Your skeleton should be neutral, meaning natural, when you do anything. If you feel uncomfortable doing a lift, then you probably should not be doing it that way.
This is another one you hear a ton about. You will hear you need to eat x amount of protein 15 minutes after you lift, or you won’t gain muscles. That comes from a grain of truth that the maximum uptake in protein is about 15 minutes after lifting but falls flat in that you can eat protein more than an hour before and it will happily be there for that 15 minutes as well as hours later. How much protein? this is also hotly debated, and you will see numbers all over the net. Most of those numbers will tell you by percentage of body weight and will forget to mention that they mean lean body weight. This means the percentage should be based on how much muscle you have. You can eat the extra protein though; it won’t really hurt you, though its extra calories you probably don’t need. Find what works for you.
You gotta eat more to get big
Well, no, probably not. You are probably eating more than you should already. You need enough protein to synthesize muscle growth but after that pretty much all food advice is to eat healthy meals. Know how many calories you need and keep it to that level. Eating a lot more food will just make you fatter. You will get bigger, as the same muscles will grow and there will now be a lawyer of fat over them. Know yourself, and know how many calories you need. Working out isn’t an excuse to consume more. For weight loss, you can’t out exercise your mouth.
There are a whole lot more ridiculous things you will hear in the gym from Bro experts or Grrrl experts. You will hear things like don’t do cardio or don’t stretch or 100 other things. Just sit back and think about it a minute and use common sense. Health outside the gym is the same as health in it. Find what works for you, stay safe, and make the effort. There are no magic bullets, just time. Sleep, eat right, make the effort, and keep doing it. That’s the magic.