Finding Truth in Bodybuilding

Since I started bodybuilding three years ago I have noticed an ongoing battle between science and anecdotal based bodybuilding, the later often referred to as broscience. Looking up the definition of broscience on urban dictionary demonstrates the two perspectives.

Perspective one:

Broscience as the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.

Perspective two:

Broscience is a sarcastic term implying that the time tested, muscle building wealth of knowledge developed and utilized by successful, experienced bodybuilders is inferior to the continually shifting hypotheses of articulate, textbook-savvy 155lb. chemists with little or no real world first-person experience to substantiate their conclusions. The term “Broscience” is often repeated on bodybuilding and fitness oriented internet forums in an attempt to demonstrate online dominance as a substitution for success in the arena of actual bodybuilding.

I think both are valid perspectives. Guys have been working out and getting jacked long before scientist came along so they must have gotten a few things right. Scientist on the other hand have helped us get a better understanding on how training and nutrition works so we can refine and improve our results.

Science however does not have all the answers, in fact often the scientist themselves can’t even agree on certain areas, high carb versus low carb as an example. Also just because something has been shown to increase x over y time does not mean it translates into real world effects. Testosterone levels within normal physiological ranges is a great example.

Alternatively I don’t think just because some guy is jacked means he has all the answers either, especially if he is using PED’s, which came from scientists btw. 🙂 Genetics also play a huge role in ones results so asking a guy who has always had big arms how to get big arms may not get you the results you’re after. It might be better to find someone who had smaller arms and was able to get them bigger. Even then what worked for him might not work for you as people respond differently to different types of training but it’s a good place to start.

I am a firm believer in getting advice from people who have actually applied it to their own lives and have the results to show for it. There are a growing number of natural powerlifters and bodybuilders who also happen to have their PhD’s. Research provides us a way to better understand the human body and how we respond to training and nutrition so that we can apply it and get better results. This is especially true for natural bodybuilding. Having scientist actually participating in the sport accelerates this process.

Ultimately keep an open mind, get your information from a variety of sources, question everything and most importantly think critically. If it seems valid try things for yourself and see how your body responds. If it works add it to your growing list of personal knowledge and if it doesn’t discard and move on. Be willing to re-evaluate that knowledge and admit when you are wrong. That is where you will find the truth in bodybuilding.

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