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 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.
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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