‘ALL ABOARD THE ‘BROSCIENCE’ BANDWAGON!’
You can just about hear it choo chooing in the distance, the ‘clitter clatter’ of the ‘Broscience’ bandwagon is approaching and there is nothing you can do about it. You have a choice to make, you either climb on board (mind the gap), or you let it pass by and make your own way. Ultimately what you decide is down to you, but let’s face it…even the best of us board the wrong train from time to time.
It’s an epidemic people, and one we aren’t going to be able to banish completely! Acknowledging it is your first step to avoiding it… ‘Broscience’ is rife and it’s infecting fitness and health enthusiasts everywhere.
I prefer to think of ‘Broscience’ as ‘No Science’, or at best ‘Very little Science’. It basically describes questionable fitness, training and nutritional tips, as well as paving the way for a variety of misconceptions to arise. Quite often the sources of a lot of information on the net are not all that reliable, they are not disseminated by validated sport, fitness and nutrition experts, nor are they usually deriving from a peer reviewed research study. In fact, I’d like to bet a large proportion of the ‘Broscience’ perpetrators won’t even know what a peer reviewed article is, never mind actually read one, or indeed be capable of understanding and disseminating the findings accurately!
A peer reviewed article is basically a piece of research that has bared the scrutiny of a reviewing panel whose role it is to validate research by looking at confounding variables, bias and subject numbers (to name a few) in order to validate the reliability, or impact factor of the research. With this in mind then, it’s amazing how many people will look at one study and take the findings as legitimate without considering all variables, other pieces of research in that field, or indeed who actually wrote that piece of information in the first place! This, it seems, is the root of a lot of the ‘Broscience’ available to us on the internet, but there remains even more people out there who profess certain things either for the shock factor or because it’s a bit controversial. Maybe they're convinced that because they understand one aspect of exercise and nutrition, they must know it all, without ever considering the holistic picture and how their assertions may impact somebody with a chronic illness/condition, someone new to training, with an allergy or intolerance, or even how their comments may lead an unsuspecting enthusiast astray!
The thing with ‘Broscience’ is that it’s kind of ironic, not to mention completely enveloped in hypocrisy and contradiction! A frighteningly large proportion of the people harping on about a piece of information being ‘Broscience’ and not factually correct, are quite often the perpetrators themselves! I can see that there are a few people adding to the ‘Broscience’ pool who are genuine enthusiasts that only set out to discuss the hobby/interest they care so much about, and are not at all trying to be prescriptive in what they say. This is (on the whole) harmless and actually a valuable learning tool for them, especially if these points are voiced in forums or social networks where people will not think twice about raising a counter argument, helping you out, or indeed telling you (in no uncertain terms) to pack ya things and move on out with your ‘Broscience’ crap!
It’s similar in nature to ‘Chinese whispers’ i.e. a science, fitness or sport expert will conduct a piece of research and publish the findings, the information will be disseminated to the public and maybe get some media attention. The next thing you hear is a misconstrued, twisted variation of this original research project making it relatively invalid, and potentially…dangerous!
So in order to banish the ‘Broscience’ ‘No Science’ nonsense, and help you as the lay public and consumer make informed decisions and choices before you commit to a training principle or nutrition protocol, we will compile a weekly ‘Banish the Broscience’ series to direct you to valid sources of information, keep you abreast of new research in the world of nutrition, fitness and supplements, and shelter you from the storm that is… ‘Broscience’ elephant s***!