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BroScience: 4 Gym Myths Busted

By on April 15, 2011

Working at my university’s gym, I see this way too often.

Skinny bros wearing t-shirts with the sleeves cut off, drinking the latest muscle building supplement while telling their friends how lifting low weights for high reps will build huge muscles (it doesn’t). These tips are known as BroScience, an epidemic sweeping this nation’s gyms.

BroScience

BroScience can be found wherever wannabe bodybuilders are spouting out unfounded exercise and nutrition advice under the guise of scientific fact. Here are some popular myths you should avoid next time you encounter this fitness disease.

Hours of Cardio Will Get You Ripped

False. Whether you are a skinny ectomorph trying to gain muscle or an overweight person trying to drop the pounds, cardio alone will not get you ripped. Sure, it will drop the fat, but lifting weights is the only way to gain actual muscle. The fat you lose doing cardio won’t reveal any muscles underneath if they are left untrained.

If your goal is to gain muscle and get that shredded look, you have to lift weights. Building up the muscles through resistance and weight training is the key to getting that Abercrombie model look.

Fat Turns into Muscle

There is no scientific evidence to support this widely purported claim. Fat and muscle are two separate entities. Muscles are energy burning tissues that use up calories 24/7. Fat’s purpose is to hold onto the energy you don’t use, basically storing up all those empty, useless calories you get from junk food. When you lose weight, the body fat tissues don’t magically turn into huge muscles. If they did, then the first BroScience claim would be proven true. Conversely, you can still gain muscle while having large amounts of fat covering it up. Lifting weights and eating a proper diet are the only ways to lose fat and gain muscle mass.

Spot Reduction

All the time I hear people say, “I just want to lose the fat around my belly,” or “I’m working my triceps to get rid of my flabby arms.” Sorry dude, but you can’t get rid of the fat around specific areas. Doing loads of crunches won’t get rid of your beer belly. Fat loss is a total body process, so when you exercise your whole body, every part will lose fat.

You can, however, tone specific muscles. Those crunches won’t drop the fat, but they will build the abdominal muscles that will be revealed when your whole body loses the weight.

Supplements Will Do All the Work

Next time you pick up a bodybuilding magazine, ignore the supplement advertisements. All these pills and powders are unnatural and can do more harm than good. Ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin (ECA) stacks (common weight loss products), for example, have been proven to cause heart attacks. Ephedrine in supplements has actually been banned by the FDA. Who knows what other harmful chemicals are out in the market today?

Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. If you are an experienced weight lifter, make sure to research the supplements you use, or else all that hard work will go to waste.

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About Matt Juul

Matt Juul is loving college life as he pursues a career in journalism and cinema. A freelance writer, his interests and expertise range from personal development and dating to fitness and the martial arts. Currently based out of Boston, Matt spends his free time training in MMA, as he hopes to get in the cage soon!

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3 Comments

  1. Brandon Burke

    April 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    “lifting weights is the only way to gain actual muscle.”

    Have u ever herd of non-weight training it develops long lean fast twitch muscle. The US Army uses it day in and out all day long, also u might want to look up Universal Bodybuilding a book published in 1965. I used the 12wk non-weight system and diet. I went from 125 lbs to 160 of ripped muscle. Now i agree lifting builds muscle faster but it does not build muscular endurance like non weight.

    Just thought Ya’ll might not want to forget the non-weight / body weight training systems that work.

    • Matt Juul

      April 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Even if you are doing “non-weight” training, you are still using some form of weights, in this case, your body weight, as resistance. Dips, push-ups, etc. are used by bodybuilders and athletes as body weight exercises as a part of their routines. Lifting some form of weights, whether it is barbells or push-ups, is still the only way to gain muscles.

  2. Preston Blain

    April 17, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Another big mistake I hear is lifting heavy weights for low reps will build big muscles. This works the cns system and will make you stronger without causing hypertrophey.

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