"I started out as a birdbrained bro. I hadn't even learned the basics of bro-ing.
Slowly and impatiently i would climb the ladder of broledge and become a master of every aspect of the broniverse. Making sure to ALWAYS skip legday and train biceps and chest instead."
In this article i'm going to share my very own experience in the bro-community. Back in the days where size determined wheather your advice was legit. The days where i would drain the gym's juiced meatheads from their sacred wisdom.
I remember when i as a rookie was minding my own workout, doing my pull ups. Suddenly a juicehead came along with his words of god. "Bro, you need to take a wider grip to get those latz wide." These words appealed to me as the ten commandments "Thou shalt always take a grip broader than thy heaven in the sky". To me it made perfectly sense. So logic, and yet i didn't manage to figure it out myself. What a dissapointment i felt like
Let's take a step closer to a usual day in life of Jones in highscool, I think the year was around 2013.
(I apologize for the extreme ammount of irony that you're about to experience)
I would start the day with a solid breakfast, the most important meal of the day.(I once told a friend to go home and eat breakfast because he showed up in the gym on an empty stomach?! What T F was he thinking?!).
In school i would bring loads of food that i'd prepared the day before. I was well aware of the fact that you need to consume protein every 3-4. hours. Tom Venuto taught me that in his book "Burn the fat - Feed the muscle". He ensured me that 6 meals a day was the way to go. I remember reading it and thinking that i'd finally found the flaw that was killing my gains. I wasn't eating often enough. Once again my common sense assured me that i'd been in starvation mode most my life. No wonder i couldn't build muscle when i didn't forcefeed myself every third hour.
I started obsessing about never going more than 3 hours without a proteinrich meal. I would even put the timer on to make sure i didn't forget to eat. What did this lead me to? I gained a lot of weight, mostly fat which i didn't realize at the time. I did everything right so i assumed that it was muscle, just the fluffy kind disguised as fat. :)
I had to spend a half year getting rid of it. There wasn't a lot of joy to that, just a whole lot of disciplin that brought me nowhere. Obsessing about mealtiming and eating all the time = not fun.
Spending a half year getting rid of fat i gained from obsessing about eating all the time = not that fun either.
The theory behind eating several meals a day, was that the frequent intake of protein would ensure optimal muscle protein synthesis. Plus preventing my muscles from going in to the oh so terrible "starvation mode".(i had nightmares about this mode)
I hated the meal-prep. It was boring and time consuming, and usually the food i prepared wasn't that life affirming anyway(chicken, veggies, tuna etc.)
When i arrived home from school the 4 hours had almost passed and my whole family knew what was about to go down. I needed protein, protein & more protein. Did i say protein? I would race to the fridge and consume everything with.. protein.(That resulted in a milk consumption around 4 liters milk a day and a face covered in acne.
Before training i had an obligatory pre-workout shake, which was just as important as the workout itself. The shake was not allowed to contain more than 30 grams of protein because some smart dude told me that the body can't absorb more than that. The rest would simply just be flushed right out your system.
For this proteinshake shake i had a few requirments. It had to contain slow and fast digestive carbs and protein, always protein. I remember a day where i failed to find a good source of slow digestive carbs in the kitchen. I didn't hesitate to settle for the second best option - flour. Lets just say it tasted "interesting" but there was some pride to it. The uninviting taste just ment that i was doing it right, - I believe that it derrived from the famous analogy "No pain no gain".
The reason that the shake had to contain both slow and fast carbs was to ensure my bloodsugar from plomiting in the middle of my workout. It made totally sense. I'm sure we all witnessed people who fail to consume the right ratio of fast and slow digestive carbs, and therefore collapses halfway through their workout, ending up getting carried out by the receptionist.
In my prime of eating every 3. hour to ensure optimal muscle(fat) gain.
After my workout i would literally run out to my gym bag. Time was ticking and i only had 20 minutes to consume my post-workout proteinshake in order not to miss the "window of opportunity" aka. "Anabolic window". When i read somewhere that this window was 20 minutes, i believed that it was 20 minutes. I don't think i ever went longer than 20 minutes without. If i for some tragical reason would have found myself consuming my post-workout shake 1 minute later I'm sure i would have turned evil. I remember how i was hurrying at the people in traffic in front of me, and at the same time restlessly trying to convince myself that i still had a few minutes left.
Fast forward to dinner which had to be before 20 o' clock, cause i knew that everything consumed later would be stored as fat. Your laying still for 8 hours which means that your body doesn't really have an opportunity to burn all the calories - pure logic.
Obviously the dinner was meat in sufficient proportions.(Chicken and rice if i had to feel really swole). The meat was complimented by some sort of starch - rice, pasta or potatoes, but i went careful with the potatoes though cause i've heard they make you fat. After dinner, i allowed my self to eat skyr because it had the slow digestive "cassein protein", which was necessary to ensure that my body didn't run out of protein while i was sleeping. My bedtime was strategically planned to make sure that i got at least 8 hours of sleep.
I recall night where i couldn't sleep and instead spend the time useful by mentally beating my self up for not sleeping when i needed to sleep.
(Just writing this makes me stressed and sleep deprived. I have no idea how i managed to keep this sort of control for so many years.)
I followed this regimen for many years until i eventually ended up with a Ph.d. in Broscienceology. I startet as a rookie and finished as a king kong bro.
The king that every wise man resents. The one that would let everyone know how you should and certainly shouldn't do. I had it all figured out. Nobody had to even ask for advice to get it. I would tell them exactly how to obsess about every meal and deprive yourself of what is good in life.
I was the guy that would walk around in the gym before it closed just to make sure that everyone followed stupid advice that made no sense.
After many years i got fed up with all these stupid rules and guidelines that i "had" to follow. I randomly stumbled upon Martin Berkhan's website: Leangains.com
My mind was blown away. This man looked shredded as heck and he didn't follow any broledge?
Martin Berkhan was a living proof that bro advice wasn't science. He followed zero of the advice that i did and benched 10 times as much as me(and still does)
I decided to give his approach the green light. I really hadn't anything to loose.
Mr. Berkhan followed the intermittent fasting protocol which he'd "invented" himself. Fasting 16 hours with an 8 hours feeding window. The fasting window would usually be around 8 in the evening to 12 the next day(16 hours), and then the feeding window would be from 12 to 20.(8 hours)
I went cold turkey. From 6 meals a day to 2(lunch and dinner). It probably wasn't the best way to go about it since it meant that i wouldn't get to eat before i came home from school. I used to eat all the time so at my last class i would be hangrily stare at the clock and count the seconds to where i could finally jump out on my bike and hit for the fridge.
Picture of Martin Berkhan^
If this guy could achieve this physique debunking all the bro-science, i certainly didn't see ANY reason not to do the same
6 years later my body has reprogrammed itself. Now i'm only eating in the evening from 5-10'ish, and it fits me just perfect.
Honestly i can't think of a weightlifter who wouldn't benefit from the ammount of freedom that NOT stressing about meal-prepping, timing, protein pr. meal provides.
The approach is far from ideal from everyone. Some people like to eat often and to eat breakfast, but i'd rather have a huge meal in the evening.
I can easily consume my entire calories for the day within hours and without feeling miserably full. Intermittent fasting opened my mind for the idea that maybe my eating obsession wasn't the only thing that i did "wrong". Maybe there were other things that i did for no reason as well...
Recently science has proved me right on that one. The traditional perceptions of how you have to train and how often is reaching new times.
The narrow frames that we once thought that we had to stay within is now broadening. We're learning that there is many ways of doing things and one isn't necessarily superior to the other. That doens't mean that some things are a waste of time. Such as setting the alarm each 4. hour to make sure you get in your protein.
The problem with bro-science is that most of it comes across as being extremely logic if you're new to the fitness environment. Therefore it is so easy to fall in to the trap of believing everything that sounds reasonable. I guess the essence of my story is that if you want to give advice, make sure that you've done your homework and really digged down in the topic. Otherwise you might just be another bro keeping the nonsense alive.