When you go visit an online fitness forum, or talk to some new gym converts, you see the conflict between “bro science” and “real science”.
“That’s just bro science bullshit! There’s no evidence for it at all!” some scrawny nerd with 2 months experience in the gym shouts out.
But truth is… it’s not really about bro science and real science.
People with skin in the game VS. Mr. Know It All
Mr. Know It All is a low-status guy who hasn’t accomplished much in life.
Yet, he has to make it abundantly clear he’s much smarter than you. The way he does this, isn’t to tell you about the experience and wisdom he’s collected throughout the years.
No — he hasn’t done anything, remember?
Mr. Know It All is above it. Why should he take the time to develop personal expertise?
Instead, he regurgitates the same information he’s been fed by the media, PubMed and discussion forums.
Because he wants to feel relevant. Because he knows you’re doing it wrong. You’d do so much better if you listened to him.
He’s so desperate for attention. He’ll do anything for you — a higher-status, more accomplished and masculine man — to listen…
But what he forgets is that you’re actually in the game.
You’ve been in the gym. You’ve paid your dues.
All those bleeding callusses.
All those days where you’d rather relax in the couch, but still dragged your ass to the gym and squatted to failure.
Science only exists to explain what we already know. And if you already know what works… why jerk off to PubMed every evening?
Wisdom is earned. Your knowledge is empirical and tuned into reality, unlike the isolated, unreplicable data gained from scientific studies.
Because you know that, right?
Most studies that make up today’s science… are not replicable.
Replication is the act of re-doing a study which was previously performed. This is crucial in science, as all experiments and studies should be replicable to be accepted.
Glenn Begley, a biotech consultant at Amgen, and Lee Ellis at the University of Texas, argued in 2012 that only 11% of pre-clinical cancer studies could be replicated.
11%! That’s a terrible success rate, especially when it comes to saving human lives.
Besides, medical researches claim that most studies are useless anyways. They just aren’t designed to translate into real-life gains in health and medical advances.
Okay. So medical studies are useless for the medical community.
But how useful are medical studies for bodybuilding and fitness?
- Most studies are sponsored by private companies with an interested in the research topic. The studies always rule in favor of the sponsor. Gee, wonder why?
- Most studies performed on nutrition and exercise aren’t designed to find the optimal methods for an IFBB Pro bodybuilder or athlete. Hear me out:
Studies on fat loss are performed to help a majority of the population — millions and millions of obese men and women — stop being obese.
They’re aren’t designed for a few thousand athletes who want to cut down below 10% body fat and maintain extreme muscle mass.
Studies on exercise are supposed to help a majority of the population — inactive office rats and elderly — combat muscle wasting and weak bones.
They’re aren’t designed for a few thousand athletes who want to break powerlifting world records or become 300 lbs muscle freaks.
If I write a blog post to help gamers get a better aim in their favorite game…
… do you think football players could read it to improve their 40-yard dash?
Because that’s what basing your entire bodybuilding philosophy on medical studies is.
What you mostly get… is a discrepancy between the purpose of the information, and the desired effect you wish to get out from it.
Bodybuilding and fitness is a fringe occupation.
You are in the minority — and researchers can’t spend millions giving you the specific information you need. Or they can, because a supplement company wants to trick you into buying their products.
What you’ll have to do… is to listen to the wisdom of people with skin in the game. Think critically about it. Draw your own conclusions.
Get your ass in the gym to earn experience and wisdom yourself. Build your own empirical library.
Logical thinking is overlooked in this day and age. Science has become a religion in itself. Scientism. Some trust it blindly even though they cannot understand it.
Sure, take a look on studies once in a while but don’t base you entire bodybuilding career on them.
It’s not all binary, my brother.
Until next time
— Mr. Contrarian