Why Nutritional Dogma Dies Hard

2010 June 15
by Alan Aragon

Intro not really necessary

I’m fairly certain that most of you reading this are familiar with the veteran strength coach/author Mark Rippetoe, best known for Starting Strength and his collab with Lon Kilgore, Practical Programming for Strength Training. To say that these books are influential cult classics that get consistently glowing reviews would be an understatement. Given this, I had my expectations set pretty high regarding Mark’s general approach to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. But, it turns out I was wrong in my assumptions – at least about the nutritional aspect of his message board.

Pubmed, Schmubmed

Having recently registered at the Starting Strength Forums, I randomly engaged in discussion with a member who was worried about combining carbs and fat in the same meal. One of the members stepped in and attempted to justify the carb-fat separation tactic. In Socratic fashion, I helped him discover that there wasn’t anything about his claim that he could substantiate from a scientific standpoint. But that’s not the kicker. After some browsing, I ran into a rather unique forum rule. Here are some key sections from a stickied thread in the subforum of the resident nutrition coach John Sheaffer (who posts as “Johnny Pain” on Mark’s forums):

“…there are many other places (where many of you may already be members) for you guys to post studies and talk about medline, and Pubmed, and argue the validity of someone’s research…”

“I am largely not interested in that sort of thing. It takes too much time away from the important stuff, and the people who are doing the real science in the gym and at the table. I am not into arguing with people on the internet.”

“I will continue to answer questions that are relevant to the board. I have been legitimately enjoying this so far, and have met some great people. Do not however, bother posting threads or individual posts that include discussion of or links to studies. They will be deleted.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate simplistic/no-brainer/default-based approaches to helping out forum members. But in this particular realm, isn’t it kind of odd to literally forbid scientific research-related discussion? If John is not interested in getting into scientific debates, then that’s fine. But to prohibit this from occurring in his subforum even if he’s not involved is, well, an interesting way to run a community.

Prohibiting discussion that includes citing scientific research shifts the bias too far in the direction of anecdote/personal testimony. Heck, there are dozens of methods out there with a ton of testimony behind them and very little actual merit. Published research is not, cannot, and will never be the end-all judge. However, it’s an indispensable tool that helps separate the empty claims from the ones backed by objective evidence (however limited that evidence might be).

Nutritional mythology 101

And of course, you always have to laugh when scientific research is cited when it’s convenient, and dismissed when it doesn’t match up with someone’s personally held beliefs/anecdotes. Funny how that works. Now, let me give you a perfect example of why research should be discussed on training/nutrition forums. Have a look at this quote from John:

“Separate your carbs and fats. In each meal, you will have a portion of protein in addition to either carbs or fats, but not both. In the earlier half of the day, your meals should be Protein + Carb (P/C) in order to fill your muscle glycogen stores for your athletic activities. Later in the day (afternoon to evening, depending on your individual metabolism), when you are more sedentary, your meals should be Protein + Fat (P/F). Since carbs produce an insulin response, removing the carbs at this time will decrease the likelihood that you will store your excess calories as fat. Your final meal of the day should be *only* protein. Also, your PWO meal, regardless of what time of the day it is, must be a P/C meal.”

The above quote is so packed with broscience, it’s enough to provide a strong case for more research-based discussion on John’s subforum. Regarding the “don’t mix carbs with fat” myth, I wrote an article debunking it here. As for warning against carbs at night, there’s nothing inherently fattening about night-time carbs unless they contribute to a chronic surplus of calories that isn’t used for building lean tissue. The ONLY reason cutting carbs out of the evening works for controlling fat gain in some folks is because it restricts total caloric intake for the day.

“No carbs at night” is nothing more than a calorie-cutting-for-dummies tactic. Can it work? Yes, it can. In the case of people who tend to overeat carbo-liscious foods at night, this can serve as a default solution, but it’s not a guideline that should be universally recommended. What works just as well is cutting back on an equivalent amount of calories earlier in the day. There are no night-time insulin fairies ready & waiting to store carbs in the fat tissue — at least not at any greater rate than they would do so during the day.

Is there research to back up the claim that shifting the majority of your carbs to the later part of the day won’t magically chub you up or make it tougher to lose fat? Yes there is – and this occurred despite exercise being in the earlier part of the day for both groups compared [1]. For those who put a lot of stock in case studies, the lack of fattening effect of pre-bed carbs has plenty of examples – particularly in Martin Berkhan’s clientele [2].

Come at me, bro

If I had a chance to discuss these issues with John or Mark on the Starting Strength Forums, I would have gladly done so. However, it’s clear that Mark is not interested in discussing it with me, as seen in this thread. John hasn’t said a word about it yet, and I sincerely encourage him to do so. I’m easy to reach, and willing to field any challenges to any of the claims I’ve made. I won’t hold my breath, though. To relay John’s own words stuck at the top of his subforum:

“I am not into arguing with people on the internet. I think it’s gay to do so. I think it makes you a pussy. If people have a problem with the way I handle my board, please go to another forum and talk trash on me. It’s ok. People do it all the time. Better yet, catch up with me at an event that I am attending and voice your concern to me in person. That’s how it should be anyway, right?”

To the above quote, I would counter that there’s no way it can’t be productive to calmly & intelligently discuss any topic by presenting scientific evidence to support your case, while being open to research that perhaps you were not aware of. But hey, learning and staying informed about the scientific side of things takes considerable effort. And apparently, some people have no interest in delving into anything beyond their pre-existent beliefs. I personally think that there’s ALWAYS room for learning from scientific research, especially if you include science to justify your methods of practice. Disagree? Then come at me, bro.

_________________________________________________________________________

References

  1. Keim NL, et al. Weight loss is greater with consumption of large morning meals and fat-free mass is preserved with large evening meals in women on a controlled weight reduction regimen. J Nutr. 1997 Jan;127(1):75-82. [Medline]
  2. Berkhan M. Client Updates. (note that in many cases there’s even some fat with the carbs in those large evening meals – shocking, I know) [Leangains]

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Microsoft Word - AARR wide banner 1.doc

215 Responses leave one →
  1. Stefan permalink
    June 16, 2010

    …and people wonder why the fitness industry is full of so much rubbish. Banning the use of studies in discussion is stupid on a whole new level.

    I also had to laugh at this: “It takes too much time from the important stuff…”, in this case the important stuff for mr. sheaffer to do is read some research!

  2. June 16, 2010

    Love this comment you made:

    “Prohibiting discussion that includes citing scientific research shifts the bias too far in the direction of anecdote/personal testimony. Heck, there are dozens of methods out there with a ton of testimony behind them and very little actual merit. Published research is not, cannot, and will never be the end-all judge. However, it’s an indispensable tool that helps separate the empty claims from the ones backed by objective evidence (however limited that evidence might be).”

    I wish the Cobroxin Crazies who commented on my old blog and, one of which who commented on my new blog, would understand this.

    I also like this one:

    “And of course, you always have to laugh when scientific research is used when it’s convenient, and dismissed when it doesn’t match up with someone’s personally held beliefs/anecdotes. ”

    A guy with the initials FH comes to mind here

  3. darkseeker permalink
    June 16, 2010

    That exchange between you and Rip was embarrassing to watch, Rip is in such denial. John Sheaffer is a smart guy to turn a blind eye to the whole thing rather than getting his ass handed to him. This whole thing has made me question Rip’s judgment, and I’ve been a huge fan of his work since forever.

  4. Danny permalink
    June 16, 2010

    That was an awesome dose of nutrition epistemology.

  5. Sumner permalink
    June 16, 2010

    i have to respectfully disagree. i have no science background but i must go with what I know works best for me. As anyone would, i use to mix my proteins, carb and fats in one meal (meat, potato and veggies). But when I read an old bodybuilding book by Vince Gironda (yeah that old) I decided to give “proper” food combining a try. i’ve been eating the same foods (same cals) but not eating them randomly together for over six months and my waist has decreased by an inch and a half. I know there is no research or science behind “proper” food combining but hey it works for me. I even went back to “improper” food combining for another 3 months and waist gradually started to increase. Maybe it’s in my head but anytime i can eat 3,500-4,000 cals a day and not show it (proper food combining) i’m down with it. Give it a try…btw PRO with starchy CHO’S don’t mix. So i agree with you from that perspective.

  6. Frank permalink
    June 16, 2010

    Wow I can’t belive these kind of posers are even allowed to be giving nutrition advice.

    Nutrition is a science, how the hell can you take science out of it in the first place?

    That someone thinks he can understand nutrition without science and the scientific method is really, really a pathetic thing.

    And what’s even more incredible is that this guy actually thinks that what he does is good and he’ll always have followers also thinking he’s doing good shit.

    How sad :(

  7. June 16, 2010

    Also worth noting is that protein also leads to an insulin response, although not the same as refined carb-rich foods, but comparable to that of whole carb-rich foods:

    http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/04/insulin-responses-to-foods-rich-in.html

    Many people talk about carbs as if they were the only foods that lead to an insulin response. As noted above, protein also leads to an insulin response, but with a more complex hormonal mix accompanying it.

    Also, thank you for your much-discussed fructose post (the first, with the link to the Lustig video). I linked it in this post, where some research is reviewed that suggests that fructose+glucose may be better than glucose alone for glycogen replenishment:

    http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/06/fructose-in-fruits-is-good-for-you.html

  8. Ray Wilson permalink
    June 16, 2010

    Alan,

    Now seemed like the perfect time to ask you the following question……

    First I will preface this question by saying that there will always likely be a continuum ranging from those closed-minded folks who want no part of research, folks more toward the middle who have at least a passing interest but not necessarily a burning passion, and then groups who have a legitimate love-affair with staying current on topics both near and dear to them as well as in their professional wheelhouse. And within the subset of individuals who have (or at east claim to have) a hunger for staying au currant with research, you can likely divide the group into bench warmers, role players, all-styars, and hall-of-famers in terms of ability to accurately analyze the pertinent research out there and then distill the information with practical application and value to the population at large vs what may amount to either a temporary detour or a literal dead end. For every hall-of fame mind like yours there will inevitably be plenty of bench warmers muddying the waters, without even shading towards the middle and opposite end of the spectrum where research means little or nothing.

    So my question, after that verbose lead-in, is this……For those who don’t have the passion and/or the skill set to effectively scour the research on any given topic and then analyze it in a meaningful way (but who clearly don’t want to spread hearsay and perpetuate false memes), what process would you suggest following to have at least a decent working knowledge of any particular topic? (I apologize for this being somewhat of a loaded question, but I couldn’t think of any other way to articulate it)

    While trusting someone who supposedly has more experience may be one option, even that seems fraught with problems, since we’ve already established that for every legitimate expert like you in any given field, there are more than enough pretenders masquerading as the Real McCoy.

    Truth be told, I freely admit not having the desire to spend hours pouring over research, and oftentimes it seems that the more you think you know, the more questions it actually creates. But by the same token, I have an abiding respect for quality research produced by a lot of hard-working professionals out there and would never be one to dismiss it simply because endless hours of reading papers or debating on internet forums about said research is not something that lights my fire.

    I suppose part of the reason I never developed a deeper interest in staying abreast of all the research on any given area is that I saw so many instances of where one faction would cite research claiming one thing, and another camp would claim the exact opposite while citing certain studies. As someone who just wants to make good decisions for his family without having to spend hour upon hour just to be properly armed to make an educated decision on any one thing, I likely lack the patience needed to be skilled in analyzing research.

    Case in point, in the past I’ve seen many nutrition folks touting the laundry list of supposed benefits of cruciferous vegetables. But then I recall coming across an article by Chris Masterjohn in which he seemed to indicate that it wasn’ as cut and dried as no cruciferous vegetables = bad and lots of them = good. If anything, it seemed to indicate that preparation methods matter, the person in question matters, and many other factors matter when attempting to assess whether a given level of consumption of cruciferous vegetables is a positive, a negative, or neutral in overall effect. So as a guy who just wants to get down to brass tacks, i.e. what foods can be eaten without a second thought and which ones may require a bit more tracking in terms of overall amount consumed, how to prepare said foods in order to maximize nutrient availability as much as possible while minimizing any potential impact of the so-called anti-nutrients present (tannins, phytates, oxalates, etc.), etc., etc., this can be overwhelming. And sometimes the uphill battle seems even greter considering that some of the information I may have already absorbed over the years could be “tainted” info/B.S. that had been disseminated under the guise of legitimate information (at least to any but the most attuned minds current on every aspect of the topic in question).

    In any event, I apologize for clogging up your comments section with my rathe inane ramblings!

  9. SexyBookmarks permalink
    June 16, 2010

    @Alan – Too bad more people in this industry can’t be honest. I assume it’s because they get paid via the crap they promote and not the clients that pay them for results. The “buy my book” crowd and circle jerk.

    It’s good to read this blog if not for the insight but for the candid and blatent honest editorial.

    @Ray – No problem. Put all your comments in a Word document, and sell it for ONLY $47 but for a limited time. Because we all know ebooks are in limited supply. It’s crazy but so many people type crap up on a napkin and sell it to poor schmucks. But honestly, great comments, ignore my sarcasm. It isn’t meant to offend.

    Keep it up Alan. Maybe you should take a look at the whole ClickBank field with the Pump and Dump programs. These guys are making millions and probably sending hundreds of unsatisfied clients your way. Which is probably good for business.

    Rock on.

  10. Neal W. permalink
    June 16, 2010

    Wow, very disappointed in Mark. Don’t know who this other guy is.

    I wonder how Mark knows what insulin does if he doesn’t like scientific literature.

  11. Roy Baty permalink
    June 16, 2010

    The topic of the blog is pretty much a given at this point. Nobody cares about evidence. People care about what they believe and who they’re friends with. Those factors will shape 99% of the way the vast majority of people think and act. It’s not even surprising.

    What is funny however is dipshits like Sumner that can read a bold-face explanation of said cognitive-biasing phenomena and respond to the explanation as if he never read it at all. It’s like somebody brought Fred Hahn in here.

  12. RayCinLA permalink
    June 16, 2010

    @ Alan:

    Bravo, amigo! I just read that thread in the SS forums where you popped in and asked the guy why he’s avoiding fat with carbs. The thread in Rip’s Q&A forum was classic. It was interesting that there were a few sensible guys who smacked down the lame comments. The rest of the members seem about as dense as the iron they’re pushing. Nice job on telling it like it is, as always. I hope the SS Batallion shows up here all butt-hurt, talking about insulin surgez.

  13. Jason Steele permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Love this post, Alan. I was waiting for someone to say something about this. I think that sticky in John Shaeffer’s guest forum makes the place seem like it’s completely against critical thought. I guess the less you engage your brain, the more of a hardcore toughguy you are?

  14. Baub Naub permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Lylan 1 – Rip 1

  15. John permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Ray: I too had been frustrated for years about how research/people on the Internet can say two completely different things, that you can find some sort of Internet backing for roughly any topic that comes up.

    Eventually I decided to try to narrow my focus by looking out for B.S. – do the people have a supplement they’re pushing? That’s pretty much an automatic DQ. Do they keep pushing broscience myths even in the presence of scientific facts? That’s a DQ. How caught up are they on their knowledge of things? Are they still pushing 6-8 little meals a day when science has shown us that’s old thinking? That’s a DQ.

    Basically, find people who know what they’re talking about (Alan, Lyle McDonald, Martin Berkhan), see what they’re saying and see who they’re giving the “real deal” seal of approval to, and go from there.

    What really bothered me about Rippetoe first in the whole Lyle vs. Rip and then in the backing of this “nutrition” bro goof “Johnny Pain” thing is that Rip’s ego won’t allow him to just simply be the guy who wrote THE book on weightlifting mechanics. He can’t say “look, nutrition’s not my specialty, I know what I know,” instead, he has to claim to be the big expert on nutrition, too, when it’s plain he’s in over his head.

    So he gets called on it, and science goes out the window and he gets himself a “little dog” who’ll push his point of view no matter how wrong it is. He can’t simply say “I can show you how to deadlift correctly like no one else, but I really don’t know enough about nutrition to be able to talk about it like I should – there’s people much smarter than me on the subject.” Instead, his ego makes him know EVERYTHING better than EVERYONE else, and that’s just sad and unnecessary.

  16. Jordan permalink
    June 17, 2010

    “Come at me bro” f*cking LOL’d!

    I haven’t read the post yet, but judging by the title and that headline, I know it’ll be another great one. Alan you rock!

  17. June 17, 2010

    Whilte it is sad to see, it is a typical move for Rip. He does not have much training in nutrition and does not care about it much. He has no other interest than making people stronger, no matter the cost. His starting strength program works, and even better with his nutrition idea of GOMAD.

    The main problem I have seen is that clients DO care about the bodyfat they add when doing a program like Starting Strength. I rarely even use such a program with GOMAD nowadays, since only very few people (Young, naturally low bodyfat, naturally high metabolism and maybe lean mass) are actually indicated for something like this.

    That is something Rip doesnt give a crap about. Knowing him, unfortunately this whole discussion on his forums would distract him from what he wants to talk about and therefore is ignored or even forbidden. I would argue that having NO nutrition advisor then would be better than having one actually, since this would make the argument of “We dont really care, if you want nutrition, how about joining a nutrition board” would be not as far fetched as it seems now.

    On the other hand I am the guy that in his presentations rarely leaves a slide without reference… and am throughly disappointed in Rip.

    That is because I have used other formulas with clients who DID have the gains that Rip brags about, but without the excess bodyfat. It all comes down to observing the client’s progress and how his body responds and adjusting macronutrient content and calorie intake accordingly… What Alan might actually respond now might be : “Of course it is that easy.” Well tell that to the Lifting Community ;)

  18. Chris G permalink
    June 17, 2010

    It seems to me that you are trying to read a philosophy book to a horse here.

    Calling someone (Rip, et al.) out because they have stated, in writing, that they don’t want to have debates about scientific studies vs. anecdotal experiences is just looney. Saying that Rip’s approach to the matter is what contributes to the perpetuation of Broscience is fine, but in all honesty, you should leave it at that before it turns into the Monty Python “Argument sketch.”

    Is the argument you are fashioning here that Rippetoe should either engage in scientific debate on the internet or cease to offer any advice that can be challenged scientifically? It just seems like a complete waste of your time. Debunk Broscience by debunking Broscience, not taking issue with one of many bloggers who have decided to limit the scope of what they engage in on their blog.

  19. jimdrang permalink
    June 17, 2010

    I was pretty ticked about this too since I was drawn to Rip b/c of his science and then he makes a scientific claim and refused to back it up with science, but at least Rip was man enough to back down basically saying he wouldn’t discuss it cause he didn’t know what he was talking about.

    The other guy using his bro-advice to sell consults needs to be dealt with though and Rip is kind of attached by proxy since it’s on his site.

  20. June 17, 2010

    Great stuff Alan! Love the top graphic too–awesome!

    Banning the discussion of science is a horrible idea and proves they will never change their mind, much less grow, learn, and become better.

    Of course sicence does not have ALL of the answers, but provides data to use. Ignoring that is insane.

    People don’t like to have their belief systems threaten. My buddy Frankie has an awesome quote “destroy belief systems that get in the way and enjoy the ride”

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD (c )

  21. June 17, 2010

    Maybe Mr. Rippetoe is unconfident about his lack of expertise when it comes to nutrition. I think that you would be a great person for him to interview on his Starting Strength web video series.

  22. snorkelman permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Rippetoe freely states that he is not a nutrition expert and any opinion he states on the topic of nutrition is irrelevant. This is big of him to state. Admirable in fact. However, where he needs to grow is realizing that when he decides to go out on a limb and make statements about nutrition then someone may confront him when the statements are wrong, but the Gestapo-like feel oozing out of his website make such discussions awkward, if not impossible. Sad scenario, given the respect that many people in this industry give to Rippetoe.

  23. sbjones permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Alan,

    Can you talk a little more about night-time insulin fairies? I’ve searched PubMed and can’t find anything on them, but would love a scapegoat for my double-digit body fat. Thanks in advance.

  24. snorkelman permalink
    June 17, 2010

    Hopefully I get the codes correct to post this image.

  25. June 17, 2010

    Alan, one thing I forgot :

    Can I use your banner in posts or maybe even in my upcoming kettlebell book? :D

  26. June 17, 2010

    Sadly, myths like separating fats from carbs and eating more to burn more calories will never die.

  27. June 17, 2010

    All — thanks very much for your feedback.

    Now, to address the Q’s directly to me….

    Frank — Sure, no problem, go ahead.

    Snorkelman — I emailed you coding instructions for pics (it’s almost impossible to post them here without them becoming invisible).

    Sbjones — Here ya go, man: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12655863

    Ray — Regarding your question: “For those who don’t have the passion and/or the skill set to effectively scour the research on any given topic and then analyze it in a meaningful way (but who clearly don’t want to spread hearsay and perpetuate false memes), what process would you suggest following to have at least a decent working knowledge of any particular topic?” — I think this would kinda vary with the topic being investigated. In the case of which foods impact long-term health or disease prevention in one way or another, good luck on that because you’re looking at something multifactorial & difficult to measure with any sort of simple intervention. If you’re looking for something more measurable like which types of diets, compounds, or methods impact body composition and/or physical performance, then you’d get a more focused, concrete set of data. Regardless, I’d suggest running a Pubmed search on your chosen topic, and use the limits tab to limit your search to whatever you’re focused on. For an general perspective on a given topic, you can limit it to reviews (you can also choose to limit it to free full text), then move on to including randomized controlled trials. I typically limit my searches to humans as well. Here’s a screen shot of the all-important limits tab which can make your searches much more productive:

  28. snorkelman permalink
    June 18, 2010

  29. JPCallaghan permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Alan, this is getting a little old.

    You know your stuff, you are among the best at interpreting and disseminating research.

    So do that.

    Why you feel compelled to fly around the internet and blog about how wronged you are when someone doesn’t feel like debating you is beyond me. You’re just feeding your eager fanbase, but you don’t need to. They’re already your fans.

    Many, many people find arguing on the internet to be among the most annoying, time-consuming endeavours one can engage in. If someone doesn’t want to, respect their decision and move on. It takes two to tango, so if someone isn’t game to do so on the website they pay for, just move on. It’s not like show up here and call you out.

    I read your blog and your AARR for the science perspective that I don’t have the time to access myself. I could care less how someone named Johnny Pain doesn’t want to thumb-wrestle online with you.

    You’re supposed to be an authority. If I were you I’d start acting more like one.

  30. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    The intermittent fasting thing sounds hokey to me. A. Overly intricate (anti-Okham razor). B. No killer research to back it. C. Common sense, says the body will efficiently handle surges in food availability by storage and use of the stores.

  31. June 18, 2010

    JP — If you think I’m just going to confine my blog material to the more textbook-ish academic stuff in AARR & my book, then you’re in for more disappointment. Further, if you think I’m not gonna use my blog to post about whatever I feel is amusing, interesting, off-topic, etc, then again, prepare to be disappointed. As far as your suggestion that I start acting more like an authority, I pretty much don’t give enough of a fuck to seek out the proper authoritarian model of conduct that will please everyone. Honest, blunt, and willing to debate is how I’ve been since the beginning of my career, and it got me this far, so why in the blue balls would I change?

  32. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Sorry, that this is an actual comment on nutrition itself and not on philosophy:

    I have been noticing some large surges of weight (up or down 4 pounds in a couple days) based on just moving my diet from ~2000 to 3000 calories per day. (Actually probably closer limits than that, but being conservive…more likely 2100 to 2800.) the effect seems very reversible by the way. Have seen this cyle a few times now.

    I’m sort of wondering if this is “water woosh” from water associated with glycogen. And if so, does the reversibility make sense? Also, is this just an impact of “coming in and out of deficit” itself? Or is it carb related? If it is carb related, does the timing of carbs matter? This is a practial question, since I have a big sandwich at coffee shops in the AM, but then not much later at night. But when I feel like weight is plummeting, have been known to go for PB toast. Another potential confounder is exercise. I have seen that after heavy lifting days, I tend to be higher (water retention?) than rest days.

    The whole thing is kind of a practical question. Since I’m trying to keep bf% at 10-11% and build muscle (btw, I have gained 60% strength in 12 months and have an almost monotonic 5% per month increase…it has not really changed from being 1500 cals/day deficit to now when I maintain). I like to daily weigh and I set myself a +/- 2# band (around 165 now). But my water wooshing is moving it around too much. I think I will have to cut to an “honest” 165 (not deficit water woosh assisted) and then stabilize out there. Maybe come out at 2500 for a while. I would just set my limit up to 170 (11% bf) and leave it there for a couple months, but I made 165 +/- 2 my limit for the month of June nd I’m leading a diet adherance challenge with a scary flashing Hasselhof picture in signature as the penalty for losing.

  33. JPCallaghan permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Alan- Sure, do what the fuck you want. It’s your blog, your house, your rules.

    Just don’t get your tits in a twist when someone doesn’t want to jerk off with you online on their bandwidth. That’s what I’m saying.

    Same privileges that apply you apply to others.

    Clear?

  34. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    You’re the best I’ve found so far, Alan. (Lyle is not the same.)

    I should break down and buy and read SS, just to have it on the shelf. I really haven’t sampled his stuff. Just got some impressions that he is more shtick than science. I like Chris Sommers (national Junior Olympic boys gym coach) who said you can get stronger by anything that stresses the muscles as long as you persevere and wait a few weeks for visible resuylts to start: lifting free, lever machines, bodyweight gymnastics, “even rubber bands”. Rip sounds like the source of a lot of “gotta PL to get huge” stuff on the net…

  35. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Hmm…I was going to call them PL Nazis (they are mean to me for using machines). Used in the same sentence with SS…would be kind of punny! ;)

  36. June 18, 2010

    JP — If you DON’T find it amusing & blogworthy that someone’s subforum has an anti-Pubmed policy, I really can’t help you. What’s ironic is that you’d rather debate with me about a topic like authoritarian conduct rather than discussing something related to physiology. Again, why should I change a mode of conduct that has been working for me & my career since day 1?

  37. RayCinLA permalink
    June 18, 2010

    @ JPCallaghan:

    Are you a Crossfitter? Is that why you’re so high-strung? Too much kipping, I think. Calm down, kid. Alan’s got some of the best blog material anywhere, period, end of story. If I wanted to tense up my brain musklez I’d crack open AARR. When I want a some lighter beer, I come here. It’s not that fucking complicated. *shakes head*

  38. JPCallaghan permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Alan- I’m not debating you. That’s my damn point. If someone doesn’t want to have lengthy debates on their blog, why should they?

    You like to argue on the net. Cool. Not everyone else does, so if they don’t want pages and pages of back and forth arguing on their blog, that’s there call.

    Hopefully you understand. I just can’t make it any clearer.

    As for the no PubMed stance, I agree that’s retarded. I haven’t been to the site in question, nor will I, as I do not have any desire to spend my time wondering what Johnny Pain says I should eat.

  39. June 18, 2010

    JP — Here’s what you’re not getting. The fact that Johnny Pain won’t debate with me is not the point of my blog post. I did not expect him to, given what he said in the stickied thread in his subforum. The point of my blog post was to express dissent against the PROHIBITION of scientific discussion in general – Johnny Pain in & of himself is actually irrelevant to this principle. Clear enough?

  40. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    I didn’t mind it so much Alan. Like JP, I already get it that you have more knowledge and are more intellectually honest than the others. That said…at least you weren’t beating the liquifying T-Muscle equine again. ;) At least we got a new enemy.

    You should check out Volokh.com. Those are some brainy mofos there. And have heard one of them make the very good point that 90%+ of internet people just go to different sites to reinforce their opinions. They’ll bascially never yeild a point or an argument. They MAY be interested in learning and intricacies…but ONLY as it buttresses their earlier opinion. IOW, they are not critical thinkers.

    You see this with political sites all the time. People go to get talking points and even detailed analysis…but only as it helps their “side”. There also becomes a heavy social aspect involved where people don’t want to call out the members of their own tribe or agree (even on micropoints) with the opposing tribe. And then they run to the edge of the trees in their forest and shreik at the chimps on the others side and hurl poopoo across the clearing.

    :)

  41. Jason Steele permalink
    June 18, 2010

    JPCallaghan,

    I think you’re missing the fact that Alan is presenting his view of a philosophical principle (banning discussion beyond the anecdotal) rather than a desire to argue with someone (Johnny Pain) who he knew wants no part of that. If I was Mark Rippetoe’s personal advisor, I’d have him take serious note of what’s been said in Alan’s blog post.

  42. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Yeah…but it’s still a trivial point. Peele sees her forum as a marketing mechanism and a place for people to come to the guru for advice (Lyle is a lot like that too.) BB.com and Tmuscle are supplement fronts. Exrx.net is kinda small and has a clique.

    Best forum I’ve found for free debate is NS forums (and you can join without signing up for the program, but it;s not open viewing). I’ve NEVER seen someone squashed there for brining it intellectually or challenging the plan or the like. Personal insults or cursing bring the ban hammer…but not discussion. Place is very light moderated and doesn’t have Lyle/Rip touchiness.

  43. Preston permalink
    June 18, 2010

    For Poly and anyone else who keeps bringing up Occam’s (or Ockham’s) Razor to explain away any method or explanation that is not ‘simplest':

    “An incorrect use of Ockham’s razor only leads to a perpetuation and corroboration of existing prejudice, and this
    principle should not be used to easily get rid of unwelcome data or concepts.”
    Dieter Gernert, Ockham’s Razor and Its Improper Use, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 135-140, (2007).

    Please stop it.

    @Ray: you said
    “For those who don’t have the passion and/or the skill set to effectively scour the research on any given topic and then analyze it in a meaningful way (but who clearly don’t want to spread hearsay and perpetuate false memes), what process would you suggest following to have at least a decent working knowledge of any particular topic? ”

    What would you tell someone who had similar feelings about managing and growing their finances, their education, their career? I would tell them- you owe it to yourself to DEVELOP the passion and skill set in order to effectively read the research and analyze it in a meaningful way. Also to use your own best judgment of what different ‘authorities’ are saying and decide who is the least full of BS.

    On the Rip topic, people like him need and deserve to be CALLED OUT. If your mission is to bring more critical thinking and scientific basis to the nutrition and fitness worlds (and clean out the BS and mythology), this kind of behavior should be actively confronted and exposed so the rest of us can be aware of it.
    Good post Alan.

  44. June 18, 2010

    Preston,

    Excellent comment on Occam’s Razor. Fred Hahn tried to invoke Occam’s Razor on my blog post on muscle and metabolic rate:

    http://weightology.net/?p=192&cpage=1#comment-38

    I pointed out to him how Occam’s Razor was once used to deny the existence of continental drift and meteorites.

    Gary Taubes also misuses Occam’s Razor as it applies to the explanation of obesity in his GC/BC book.

    People need to remember that Occam’s Razor is not a scientific law. It is a heuristic technique; it is not an arbiter between scientific models.

    Thanks for the link to that paper.

  45. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 18, 2010

    I think you think (if you follow that) that I mean something different than what I DO MEAN, when I refer to OR. I don’t see it as anything like a determinative or even highly inferential factor. Just something that has a shade of usefullness when as humans we need to think about things and make judgments before (or without) having done more detailed thinking.

    :)

  46. Damaris permalink
    June 18, 2010

    Hi Alan,

    I’m a pretty research minded person, and I can appreciate research based data that clarifies so much of the fitness “talk” out there. Debate is important to growth, and as with any field out there, there is certainly room for growth in the field of nutrition and fitness. I read your book “Girth Control” and it was refreshing to read literature which incorporated legitimate research to support theories. Thank you for your commitment to provide sound nutritional advice. Keep up the good work.

  47. Andrew permalink
    June 19, 2010

    Hey Alan,

    Thanks as usual for a very entertaining post. I’d like to see you turn your attention to DC training at some point — I’m curious as to what you’d say about their take on things. I know they advocate carb cutoffs, but from what I can tell their training principles seem a bit more firmly grounded than their nutritional principles, although perhaps you’d have more insight than that.

  48. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 19, 2010

    I actually like Alan’s science a heck of a lot more than Rip. Heck I like Lyle;s more. (Although Lyle has some flaws.) But this whole thing seems sort of odd. I just had another link take me back to Lyle’s (literal) “fuck you” post on Rip’s forums form March. At that time, Lyle cut discussion off on his own blog when he was disproven on the squat claim (so much for free discussion). Now we see a recent post on “brospect” between Lyle and Alan. And then Alan initiates his own little pissing match (at Rip’s forum).

    Leaving ASIDE the question of science and of honest inquiry, but of which I’m in favor of…there is something junior high about how this is all going down.

    Let’s talk some nutrition…

  49. Cormac permalink
    June 20, 2010

    This is pathetic.

    Schaeffer’s sub forum is a Q&A forum.
    As was Lyles before it.

    If I want to get info on something I ask people in the know.
    Its not my job to start challenging people on what they know, I sure as hell don’t start waving studies around.

    You have a research review, which is a good place for studies.
    Its a big internet, there is loads of info, if someone wants to take Schaeffer’s advice at face, that’s their look out. startingstrength.com is not a forum for discussion of research review or of the general fitness industry. Rips job is to disseminate his knowledge and the knowledge of those he considers to know their stuff. If you don’t like it, don’t go on there.

    This whole thing is nothing but the usual stupid ass internet cock measuring.
    Frankly, just like the whole sorry ass Lyle saga, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when people I consider to be authorities let trash talking take a front seat.

    I know this however, Johnny Pain will not “come at” you. Rip will most likely, just as he did with lyle, ignore your pot shots and carry on as he has done. Which is why I will continue to respect his work. In my experience the ones who make all the noise are the ones who have the least value in what they say.

  50. John permalink
    June 20, 2010

    Cormac:

    You’re right, but the problem is there was a hyooge influx of Rip fanboys all over Lyle’s board spamming and trolling like mad after Lyle dared to question Rip. One dude was posting frequently under FOUR screen names.

    I happen to subscribe (literally in Alan’s case) to the Alan-Lyle more-scientific-based approach to nutrition, but I’m not fanboy enough to go stink up Rip’s board with a bunch of B.S. about how Johnny Pain’s nutrition advice can’t be taken seriously because he doesn’t deadlift more than XXX pounds – an actual argument that was thrown out at Lyle at one point and clearly one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen on the great big Internet.

  51. June 20, 2010

    Cormac — Why you’re so stuck on the Rip vs. Lyle thing that happened months ago is far beyond me. This isn’t about that, so have a tissue & get over it. How about actually reading the post before you comment. Another thing, calm your imagination & emotions down, this isn’t an emotional topic – it’s an academic one. Feel free to contribute something relevant (and remotely accurate). Thanks.

    Andrew — I don’t have any problems with DC’s training methods except the stretching stuff gets taken a bit far in terms of risk:reward. I’m not really familiar with his nutritional recommendations, but I have heard about the carb cutoffs thing – which again, is a kcal-cutting default tactic. And, I’m pretty sure he knows this.

    All — Thanks for the great feedback.

  52. RayCinLA permalink
    June 20, 2010

    @ Cormac:

    I think the problem is that guys like you don’t particularly like to read. Therefore, not much makes it into your noggin. I suggest you quit drinking the coolaid and get a little bit educated before spewing out your nonsense.

    Knowledge is your friend, not your foe. Spread the word.

  53. S. Harding permalink
    June 20, 2010

    Cormac,

    Thank you for demonstrating exactly what’s wrong with the fitness industry today. People would rather take information as the unquestionable truth, because they’d rather be spoon-fed and led like sheep. And the bullshit lives on for generations, thanks to you and your ilk.

    The difference between Alan and John Sheaffer is that not only does Alan base his recommendations on the full range of evidence (field work plus research), but he will specifically TELL you to question everything, including his material. And the great thing is, he will gladly discuss any challenges leveled at him or his methods.

    This is what separates guys like Alan and Lyle from the pack. This is why they are considered among the very tip-top in the arena of nutritional information. This is why guys like Sheaffer will only make it so far.

    Alan, keep up the good work. Your no-holds-barred opinions of the methods of other “practitioners” are very much appreciated. Sheaffer’s “no studies allowed” policy is patently egregious, to say the least.

  54. Mike L. permalink
    June 20, 2010

    ***Off topic***

    Happy Father’s Day, bro! Hope you get in some quality family time today.

    ***Return to regularly scheduled bro-bashing.***

    -Mike L.

  55. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 20, 2010

    Oh…and I’m a total dramaqueen and a troll. So I admit it. So anyone saying I am too…I admit it. :)

    *puts the 100cal popcorn in the microwave*

  56. Kyle permalink
    June 20, 2010

    S Harding writes, “Alan[…] will specifically TELL you to question everything, including his material. And the great thing is, he will gladly discuss any challenges leveled at him or his methods. This is what separates guys like Alan and Lyle from the pack.”

    Alan yes, absolutely. Lyle not so much. He’s prone to the “la la la I can’t hear you!” on certain topics, and anything less than glowing praise is taken by him as insulting criticism, and may lead to abusive emails from him.

    Alan’s much more mellow.

  57. Andrew Lin permalink
    June 20, 2010

    night-time insulin fairies

    ^ this made me lol
    keep it comin.

  58. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 20, 2010

    Kyle:

    Very much agreed. Alan is more mellow and confident and truly humble and interested in his field than Lyle. Lyle is brittle. Plus Lyle gets way in the weeds and misses the big picture. And writes in a meander. And…banned me for trolling and spamming (guess we can’t hold that against him ;)).

  59. Julian House permalink
    June 20, 2010

    Laughed so hard at the “Come at me, bro” remark.

  60. sifter permalink
    June 20, 2010

    I found Starting Strength to be one of, if not the, best instructional on lifting that works for me and keeps me injury-free. I find, however, the author’s nutritional advice to be nuts. For a learned man, an instructor, to shut down PubMed or any scientific support is…. Taliban-esque.

  61. June 21, 2010

    Mike — Thanks for the Father’s Day wishes. Lots of eating, a little bit of drinking, followed up by more eating. Good times.

    All — I’d bet that Mark realizes that the “links to studies will be deleted” policy is pretty lame. But, I’m also certain he doesn’t think it’s important enough to confront John about it, especially since it’s only in John’s guest forum that research discussion is prohibited. But yeah, I personally wouldn’t stand for that if it was on my forum. Again, thank you all for the feedback.

  62. Preston permalink
    June 22, 2010

    Thanks James- Yeah, I’ve noticed lots of people misguidedly trotting out Occam’s Razor to explain away stuff that is not ‘simplest’ and it’s annoying! On that note, I have no idea how you have the patience to endure the circular arguments and faulty logic of that guy (FH) commenting on your blog. Nice work though, I’ll be checking it out for future posts.

    Poly said: “Just something that has a shade of usefullness when as humans we need to think about things and make judgments before (or without) having done more detailed thinking.”

    My question would be- Why would you make a judgment about something before (or without) having done more detailed thinking? Why not suspend judgment until you have looked at all the evidence? A lot of our problems, including the one brought up by Alan here, would be solved if people did this more often instead of jumping to conclusions or clinging to old myths.

    @ Everyone whining about Lyle being more ‘harsh’ than Alan: get over it! The guy has multiple forums and fields tons of questions (for free!) everyday from lots of different people: some smart and on point, others trolling or being idiotic. I think in order for him to get back to everyone, which he is actually really good about, and weed out the riff-raff, he does away with pleasantries and gets to the point. If someone asks a lazy question without doing some footwork themselves, they get berated to discourage others from doing the same. I see nothing wrong with that. As always, if you don’t like it go somewhere else. But you will find few other sites with as much useful information, current research, and less BS. I guess it’s just a matter of thickening your skin and getting to the point. It’s funny that so many weight-lifting men get their little feelings hurt if Lyle doesn’t say please and thank you.

    Alan is right on about in his response to Cormac about this not being an emotional issue but an academic one. I work in the science world and we question each others’ findings and positions all the time. It’s nothing personal whatsoever, but a way to keep things rigorous and always held up to peer review. Nothing is taken at face value and bold statements and claims should expect to be put through the ringer before they are accepted. If we did that more often in nutrition and fitness, we’d be a lot better off.

  63. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 22, 2010

    Preston:

    Think about your daily life. People make judgements about things all the time in work, combat, play, social relations, etc. with imperfect information. What’s important is to have the critical thinking skils and intellectual honesty to change your views when you get more information.

  64. Fluxboy permalink
    June 22, 2010

    I rather think this distinction between broscience and science is overstated. What passes for science pretty much depends on whoever is doing the interpreting.

    Doesn’t that make it broscience?

    Anyone recall the whole Paleo movement? Study after study was cited in it’s superiority in weight loss compared with a similar carb diet. It was only recently that it was discovered there were no real differences, and those that existed previously probably were due more to water retention than anything else.

    The Bros, such as Martin Berkhan and Clarance Bass would have been right here. As would any trainee that failed to see a difference in their body composition from changing the macros.

    More Science?

    Well, how about the ABCDE diet of Troy Whatever-his-name-is that was presented before some sort of Swedish scientific convention (can’t be arsed to look into the details). That panel didn’t seem to cite anything wrong. Were you in Sweden at the time, or a gullible lifter, you would have been siding on the side of science were you to adopt the guidelines. So how come people can’t magically put on muscular weight, without lifting, from simply cycling their calories?

    Lyle Macdonald : “Most people that tried it got skinny and fat.”

    Hold on, here … was that our egghead extraordinaire dipping into a little brocience?

    Seems like.

    There’s other examples. Meal frequency comes to mind. Suffice to say, science is about probabilities, and those probabilities can pretty much be twisted by whatever is in fashion. When Alan writes about broscience … isn’t he really writing about ALL science?

    Speaking of science, what does it say about the maximum amount of muscle that can be gained by a novice?

    Seems a little broscience had the answer to that one. And it shouldn’t have been such a shock, twenty rep squats and a gallon of milk a day have been cited for decades for building size and strength. From Peary Rader to John McCallum. Pure broscience.

    Just lacking a study.

    A bit of research will uncover all sorts of curious positions held by the scientific community over the years. I just did a Google and found these:

    Top Ten Science Mistakes:

    No. 10 – Alchemy
    No. 9 – Heavier Objects Fall Faster
    No. 8 – Phlogiston
    No. 7 – The Rain Follows the Plow
    No. 6 – The Earth Is Only 6,000 Years Old
    No. 5 – The Atom Is the Smallest Particle in Existence
    No. 4 – DNA: Not So Important
    No. 3 – Germs in Surgery
    No. 2 – The Earth Is the Center of the Universe
    No. 1 – The Circulatory System

    http://science.discovery.com/top-ten/2009/science-mistakes/science-mistakes.html

    Is there really a difference between broscience and science?

    Well, both seem to be the victim of whatever is in fashion. Broscience tends not to have papers and credentials justifying whatever is in fashion. That’s about it.

    So I probably didn’t address your original post, which centered around disallowing papers and credentials. However, I’m not sure that’s such a loss. How has science contributed to this field in the last 50 years? I put on 40 lbs in two months drinking a gallon of milk a day. Has science improved on this technique? If so, let me know!

    So I sympathize with the SS community. All science has told them is they might put on one pound per month, and get fat. Sorry, that’s BS. I don’t need the papers to tell me I’m wrong, nor do I need to spend the time proving otherwise (you can find my pics somewhere in the forum). Now, I suspect that some of these views are held by the SS community or a variation of them. You can blame Lyle, if you want, for poisoning the crowd against scientific research. However, what you can’t do is entirely blame them for it. What passes for “real” science imploded before them. The studies are suspect, a 400 lb squat isn’t

    Just my thoughts, and I may be wrong.

    Best,
    Fluxboy

    (ps Much love for the Surge vs Chocolate Milk article. However, I didn’t need you for that. Real broscience would have seen through Surge and TNation’s snakeoil in a heartbeat)

  65. Gwynn permalink
    June 22, 2010

    Re: banning of discussion. In JP’s defense, the rest of the board is open to posting and discussion of studies. JP probably has to read everything that gets posted on his Q&A which he does for – free.
    Categorizing this choice as some sort of totalitarian lockdown is a bit disingenuous.

  66. Preston permalink
    June 22, 2010

    Poly you said “What’s important is to have the critical thinking skils and intellectual honesty to change your views when you get more information.”

    Exactly my point. I think there is enough information available to a critically thinking person to be able to determine that IF used wisely like in Martin’s program is definitely not ‘hokey’. If you don’t like IF for you, don’t do it, I couldn’t care less. It was mostly that whole wacky use of Occam’s Razor that got under my skin. Let’s move on :)

    I’m guessing Fluxboy’s comment above is going to get dismantled rather soundly by others so I will save my breath and not be a thread hijacker. Ha

  67. June 22, 2010

    Fluxboy,

    You made the assumption that broscience and science are both merely observational and/or haphazard in nature. This is completely false.

    Furthermore, you failed to make a distinction between science and research. They are two different things, and it’s a common mistake to interchange or superimpose the terms. Science is an underlying philosophy whose principles guide the steps of research (particularly, experimental research). Science is a relatively static set of principles. Research ranges from strong to weak, depending upon design & execution.

    Anyone can have a cozy campfire testimonial-sharing session of stories like, “I drank a gallon of milk a day & got jacked in 2 months.” But I have news for you – for every guy who got jacked doing this, at least 10 other guys got a couple more spare tires & chins than they bargained for. By presenting your uncontrolled/unsubstantiated anecdote, you’re actually doing a fine job of perpetuating broscience.

    Therefore, your assertion that there’s no real line between actual science and broscience (defined as claims based on anecdote, and in many cases claims that have been refuted by controlled research) is false on many different levels.

  68. June 22, 2010

    Gwynn — You said: “Categorizing this choice as some sort of totalitarian lockdown is a bit disingenuous.” Point me exactly to where I either stated or implied that Rip’s entire board was a totalitarian lockdown. You’re jumping to your own sensationalistic conclusions regarding what I actually said.

  69. Breaking Ben permalink
    June 23, 2010

    I’m totally with Alan on this one. I believe first and foremost that John doesn’t want to “debate” his theories is because he has no proof that they are superior to other methods. Of course it doesn’t mean that his methods don’t work, but that you can’t simply state something specific like “don’t mix carbs or fat together” or “you have to eat every 3 hours”, because the human body is much more complex than any opinion or mathematical equation.

    Human have been mixing carbs, fat and protein since we have been on this earth. and for the longest of time we have been for the most part lean. Its not until the 1980’s that obesity started becoming out of control. Its funny how the societies that aren’t obsessed about food tend to be healthier and leaner, while the ones that obsess about every little gram of this, or not mixing this with that, are the ones with weight problems.

    Case in point: Move your ass and don’t eat so much. And when you do eat, make sure its not garbage.

    My current points of view on nutrition has been inspired by this article:

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/advanced_nutrition.htm

  70. darkseeker permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Note to self: Think twice before coming at Alan, bro :)

  71. Roy Baty permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Holy shit, did Fluxboy really just reprint that top 10 list of bullshit as reasons not to trust science?

    Numbers 2, 6, and most of 10 you can thank the Catholic Church for, directly or indirectly.

    Numbers 1, 3,4,5, and 8 were limited by the lack of ability to accurately measure the systems in question. That’s not a failing, that’s just how things work. To call these failures of science is to blame cave men for not inventing laptops.

    Some of these incidentally predate the codification of the Scientific Method during the Renaissance. Anything done before, say, Leonardo Da Vinci won’t even qualify as science as we’d define it now, and most anything between him and the general relativity and quantum mechanics revolutions in the early 20th century will be largely limited by the tools of the time. It’s hard to draw accurate conclusions when your ability to observe the world is limited to what the eye and crappy microscopes/telescopes can see. Pre-electronic civilization was simply not equipped for most of what we’d now call science.

    Beyond the fact that most of that list is raw sensationalist garbage, there’s the simple fact that science “being wrong” is completely and totally irrelevant. All science requires is that the conclusions be as strong as possible given the data available. That those conclusions can be proven wrong is a benefit, otherwise you get the idiots that not only make mistakes like above, but still believe them in spite of evidence (see also: how many Americans believe the world is <6000 years old *right now*? Enough to make me OD on xanax.).

    And don't even get me started on this whole notion that science is an inferior philosophical tool-set for describing reality. It is the ONLY game in town; anything that is not-science is by definition inferior for observing/describing physical reality.

    This hasn't even touched on the fact that Fluxboy and idiots of his nature are the same retards that consider research to be equal to the conclusion of an abstract, critical thinking need not apply. Sure he'll trot out "research says" statements all day long, when in reality the paper doesn't say anything of the fucking sort. I guess it's easy to call science wrong when you not only don't know what science is, but can't read on top of that.

    To summarize my argument, Fluxboy is an idiot and is a perfect example of why most of the drooling assbags involved in this argument, and most arguments, aren't informed enough to have an opinion in the first place.

  72. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 23, 2010

    how many grams of protein do I need to eat if weight lifting?

  73. June 23, 2010

    PolyisTCOandbanned — I’m glad you toned your trolling down to a low roar.

  74. Fluxboy permalink
    June 23, 2010

    “Fluxboy,

    You made the assumption that broscience and science are both merely observational and/or haphazard in nature. This is completely false.”

    Actually, I would reiterate that science, by the time it reaches the masses, or gets conscripted for whatever special interest, amounts to nothing more than a fashion statement. To be clear, it’s not entirely haphazard … it’s influenced by pop culture and wherever the market is at. So fairly predictable, but haphazard in relation to objective ideals.

    “Furthermore, you failed to make a distinction between science and research. They are two different things, and it’s a common mistake to interchange or superimpose the terms. Science is an underlying philosophy whose principles guide the steps of research (particularly, experimental research). Science is a relatively static set of principles. Research ranges from strong to weak, depending upon design & execution.”

    Fair enough. And you are correct. I did not distinguish between science and research. Your argument, if I may be so bold, is to suggest or imply science is relatively pure (at least that’s the ideal), or free from bias, in it’s true form. It’s the research that can be dubious.

    And I agree. And that’s my point.

    The laymen cannot distinguish between strong and weak design and execution. And there are far too many marketers and snake oil salesmen that exploit this fact. Actually, forget the shady characters, I can point to a hundred paleo sites (or whatever) with well intentioned gurus pointing to one study after the next supporting faulty views.

    I don’t think science should escape the blame here. Bad research has been conducted in it’s name, and exploited. I’d argue it must accept some of the guilt. Or at least own up to it.

    “Anyone can have a cozy campfire testimonial-sharing session of stories like, “I drank a gallon of milk a day & got jacked in 2 months.” But I have news for you – for every guy who got jacked doing this, at least 10 other guys got a couple more spare tires & chins than they bargained for. By presenting your uncontrolled/unsubstantiated anecdote, you’re actually doing a fine job of perpetuating broscience.”

    Well, I took pictures every week, documenting each step. I’d say that’s a hell of a lot more substantiated than most of the studies I’ve seen referred to as science. Besides that, your broscience argument to the contrary would require some evidence. Documented pics would help your cause.

    Flux broscience: 1
    Alan broscinece: 0

    In any event, I got fair from jacked. Simply a skinny old man who got a little less skinny.

    “Therefore, your assertion that there’s no real line between actual science and broscience (defined as claims based on anecdote, and in many cases claims that have been refuted by controlled research) is false on many different levels.”

    Conclusion does not follow.

    What you accept as “controlled research” is again dependent on what you “think” adheres to how you define your scientific principles; they seem to be open to interpretation. Did the ABCDE diet adhere to those principles? Well, the scientific community in Sweden certainly thought they did. So they were wrong? I guess so, because everyone got “fat and weak”

    Lyle broscience: 1
    “Real” science: 0

    Look at my top ten list, science believed those adhered to the scientific principles as well. And passed the mustard of objectivity and research for hundreds (thousands?) of years. I don’t argue the value of science, but I would seriously question any breakthroughs within a given lifetime.

    Apparently, truth builds slower than muscle.

    :)

    Incidentally, you didn’t answer the question:

    “Is there a faster way of building muscle than squats and milk for the drug-free trainee?”

    Because that method has been around for a hundred years, and I’d expect science to be able to offer something better. Shucks, this time last century, we had barely even gotten off the ground.

    Respectively,
    Flux

  75. Roy Baty permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Fluxboy is one dishonest son of a bitch.

  76. Fluxboy permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Oops, I wrote the above a little hastily.

    I just double checked, and found a few typos that I hope won’t cause too much fodder for trolls. IE:

    ” … science believed those adhered to the scientific principles as well.”

    Should be stated:

    “Those associated with science in that given era undoubtedly believed their research adhered to scientific principles as well.”

    But I suspect Alan knows what I’m attempting to convey here.

  77. Roy Baty permalink
    June 23, 2010

    You’re still wrong even with the corrections, moron. You’re clearly as ignorant of the history of the scientific method as you are about everything else you’ve written about.

    Hint: knowing a few key buzzwords doesn’t mean anything when you don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about in the first place.

  78. Fluxboy permalink
    June 23, 2010

    Yikes, that’s cold Roy. And what buzzwords are you referring to?

    If you perceive me as speaking over your head, that is not my intent. I assure you, I strive to speak as clearly and plainly as possible. I’ve found that simply stating your truth, and without malice, earns the respect of those who’s insight you value. And I do value Alan’s.

    Here are the links to my results. This was a few years ago, and as I’ve stated before … at the time I thought I had accomplished something awesome. In hindsight, it’s just a skinny old man who got a little less skinny. But the strength increase was welcome, and that was really the point.

    To become a stronger man.

    I’ve deleted the blog which had pics each week, I could probably scrounge them up again if anyone really thinks they prove anything. Nonetheless, here is the before/after link:

    http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/showthread.php?t=8746

    As I state, nothing compared to the before/after pics of what you might see in some magazine. The results were real, however. Asked at the time, I think I said that I felt I put on about 1/3 muscle, 1/3 fat, and 1/3 … I have no idea what.

    You can see comparing the neck area how much I filled out. And as I said before, I am far from a genetic superman. I feel anything I accomplished, anyone else could have as well … in fact, I believe they should do even better. It’s why I hold some nostalgia for broscience.

    How much can you squat Roy?

    If it’s under 400 lbs, you have some work to do.

    Respectfully,
    Flux

  79. Fluxboy permalink
    June 23, 2010

    I have to go the gym now, but I’ll check tomorrow night for Alan’s response.

    Best,
    Flux

  80. RayCinLA permalink
    June 23, 2010

    @ Fluxboy:

    I don’t think you realize how much you don’t know what you’re talking about. But don’t let me stop you from digging that shovel as deep as you can. It makes for an entertaining discussion.

    *SMH*

  81. Roy Baty permalink
    June 23, 2010

    “If you perceive me as speaking over your head, that is not my intent. I assure you, I strive to speak as clearly and plainly as possible.”

    The idea of you speaking over my head is about as funny as the idea that you know what you’re talking about: a goddamn knee-slapper.

    You’re so far removed from knowing what you’re talking about that you keep propagating the myths of dark-age, superstitious people or pre-science thinkers as “science”. Science didn’t even exist until the Renaissance. Science is a Western institution that was developed in Western Europe in the 1500s. Anyone that is not a product of that rigorous, methodical process is not a “scientist” and it’s dishonest as holy fuck to attribute shit like Creationism (“Earth is only 6000 years old”) to science.

    Since you seem intent on spreading dishonest bullshit, I called you a dishonest bullshitter. And as you’re a dishonest bullshitter, it’s no surprise that you’re trying to spin your results as being “counter” to what science says. You’re not only unfamiliar with the body of scientific evidence, but critical thinking and analysis of that scientific evidence is beyond you as well.

    Note to the clueless: real quantified observations cannot be in conflict with science by definition.

    Further, if you’re expecting science to give you anything besides physiological mechanisms in broad scope or how Protocol X works in Sample Y, then you’re pissing up a rope. Most of you “science sucks lol” idiots seem to think that you should copy shit that came out of a study, because the word “context” isn’t in your pea brains. Science just establishes the back drop. What you actually do to generate results is so decoupled from that that, for the average gym-dipshit, the scientific literature really is irrelevant.

    That also doesn’t give you a license to ignore it or to attack it, especially not when you’re so clearly ignorant of both the realized research and the philosophy that underlies it.

    And I squat closer to 500. It’s hardly a surprise that I’m stronger than all you cunts too.

  82. RayCinLA permalink
    June 24, 2010

    @ Fluxboy:

    In that thread you reported a 35 lb gain in 57 days, and that’s great, except you’re estimating a third of it as muscle, making it closer to 12 lbs of fat free mass gain in about 2 months, which isn’t beyond the novice limits discussed by Alan et al. How much weight have you gained since that starting pic? Any estimation of your current bodyfat percent?

  83. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 24, 2010

    Alan: I’ll try to keep it at a nice simmer. Just enough to make you smile. :)

  84. Ben permalink
    June 24, 2010

    Testing. Don’t know why my previous comment didn’t come through.

  85. Ben permalink
    June 24, 2010

    Alright my comment went through, but my previous one didn’t. It was long too, but oh well.

    I wanted to say that I’m with Alan on this one. All this crap about science vs broscience is stupid. Both have their places. However, that John guy who doesn’t want any scientific literature or to even discuss his theories with Alan is stupid. If you really believe something to be true and someone wants to know why, I don’t see how hard it is to tell your opinion. No one is looking for a screaming match. Also, scientific studies are definitely not the final say in anything, but they do give us clues on what works and what doesn’t.

    As for the separating carbs and fat, and the “carbs in the evening will make you fat” argument, thats just hogwash. People have been mixing carbs and fat since we have been on this planet. We also never cared about the timing of our carbs. We only started caring to a large degree in the 1980’s. Its funny how the societies that care the least about their body image are the ones with the best looking bodies.

    Case in point: Don’t eat so much and move your ass more.

    Oh and Alan, btw, I was a member of T-Nation. And lets just say, I think you’re right about their supplement pushing and their dogma. It gets very irritating, hence why I left.

  86. June 24, 2010

    Ben — I dug your comment out of the spam box & moved it here. For some reason the system didn’t like your link, not sure why. I agree with you on the points you made. I like the Wendler article for the most part, but my one criticism is that it might promote binary/absolutist thought in some folks (ie, only eat the “good” foods, strictly avoid the “bad” foods). The fitness population tends to think in black & white extremes, and Wendler would’ve had a great article if he covered the concept of moderation.

    Fluxboy — Roy covered much of what I would have said, and then some. What I’d like to know is what RayC asked you: How much weight have you gained since that initial pic you posted in the thread you linked, and what’s your current estimated bodycomp.

  87. Preston permalink
    June 24, 2010

    Roy Baty 10,000
    Fluxboy 0

  88. Gwynn permalink
    June 24, 2010

    Alan –

    My comment that “Categorizing this choice as some sort of totalitarian lockdown is a bit disingenuous” was misdirected and I stand (or type) corrected. You did not at any time make references to the Gestapo or the Taliban, nor do I hold you responsible for others’ comments.

    And thank you for keeping discussion both rational and insult-free both here and on Rip’s board.

  89. Andreas Zourdos permalink
    June 25, 2010

    It ‘s always frustrating to argue with someone who is backing up his statements with solid scientific evidence. The classic getaway vehicle is the “theory VS practice” argument that implies those who are interested in the scientific evidence are a bunch of nerds who don’t apply whatever is debated contrary to the people “in the trenches” who think that disregarding scientific proof that does not agree with their beliefs is a hardcore act that leads to athletic greatness. This vehicle leads to a dead end having in mind that theory is built and confirmed by experimentation done in practice.

  90. Fluxboy permalink
    June 25, 2010

    “Fluxboy — Roy covered much of what I would have said, and then some. ”

    Much to your discredit, I assure you.

    I would love to respond to much of his ignorance, however I have a policy of not rewarding childish behavior. If he wishes to re-write some of his concerns in an adult manner, a response will be forthcoming. Or if there is an area you are unclear on how I would respond, I am more than happy to help out. As I said before, I do respect your views … even if I find some of your readers to be a little thick. I will say Roy’s all but evangelical faith in science is rather amusing. The irony does not escape, I assure you. He must still be in high school. Sadly, given his lack of emotional maturity, I can’t even acknowledge his claims regarding his squat.

    And I don’t believe I can be faulted for that.

    “What I’d like to know is what RayC asked you: How much weight have you gained since that initial pic you posted in the thread you linked, and what’s your current estimated bodycomp.”

    Some fair questions.

    Unfortunately, you still haven’t answered my question. This doesn’t bode well as it seems you may be trying to evade it. That is my impression, and I hope it is wrong. Perhaps we have been steered off track by the delightful little trolls. So you first, and then I will be happy to answer all your questions:

    Question:

    1) “Is there a faster way of building muscle than squats and milk for the drug-free trainee?”

    Follow up:

    2) “Given the questionable research that has been conducted under the umbrella of “science”, can you understand why there is suspicion regarding it’s value?”

    The fact a study can be found to support just about anything helped turn the entire supplement industry into a billion dollar business. And science (or what passed for it) was right there glittering in the background. Shucks, it’s still glittering in the background. I haven’t been by T-Nation in sometime, so someone tell me if I’m wrong here.

    Whether or not it’s good or bad research pretty much becomes irrelevant under the onslaught of advertisement, promotion, and profit. Now, in your world, this may have no bearing on science at all. Science remains a perfect, untouched, unique snowflake abused by special interests (or whatever). That’s fine, but we don’t inhabit your world. In our world, things are a little less abstract. We have a squat to perform, a deadlift to pull, and a choice to make:

    “Do we trust someone who repeatedly creates strong men, with nothing but his results to guide our trust?”

    Or

    “Do we place our faith in research done … somewhere … by … someone … which seems legit … but may not be. But certainly seems all the rage … currently.”

    Not a difficult choice.

    Let me spell it out even clearer for you Alan:

    You might be the quintessential man of science, but whatever passes your muster as legitimate scientific research, one which you base your training on, and that of your clients, has zero significance if there aren’t results.

    So, skip the science, however you like to define it (did you see what I did there?). We don’t care. We want results. Your results with your clients do the speaking. The studies you cited along the way are best left as an amusing little past-time. A dirty little secret, if you will that really … if you are honest … wouldn’t have effected your results one way or the other. Tell me with a straight face otherwise, I dare you. And if you must say that your training methods are the result of the finest research available, you’ll excuse us if we smile a little.

    It’s cute, but don’t expect us to put much stock in it. And if some of us don’t want it cluttering up the boards, there is little lost. Incidentally, here’s a great video by JP. If you aren’t moved by any of it, well … you really shouldn’t be lifting. Maybe check out the chess club or something.

    (okay, that was a cheap shot. All in good fun kids)

    http://vimeo.com/12431397

    And as always, I am looking forward to your response. I’ll be a little busy over the weekend, however, so you have a couple days to come up with something good.

    Best,
    Flux

  91. June 25, 2010

    “I am largely not interested in that sort of thing. It takes too much time away from the important stuff, and the people who are doing the real science in the gym and at the table. I am not into arguing with people on the Internet.”

    Which people in gym are doing real science? I wonder how he defines science?- maybe personal testimonials make a science. Or maybe he doesn’t understand what science is, or maybe he really thinks science is not important.

    Many people are intimidated when the word science pops up, so they become defensive and bash science. I bet if science were used in a manner that agreed with their claims they wouldn’t be so defensive.

    Apparently, some people that have posted in this thread don’t understand the philosophy of science, why it is important,its limitations, tentative nature,etc. Hint: Gym Experience does not count as science, however this doesn’t mean Gym Experience is not important.

    A few links that may be of interest, that is if you are interested in “Real Science”
    Scientific and Nonscientific Approaches To Knowledge
    http://maxcondition.com/page.php?126

    The Fitness Skeptic
    http://maxcondition.com/page.php?105

    Correlational Studies and Science
    http://jamiehalesblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/correlational-studies-science.html

    I didn’t realize some people were still pimping the unfounded food combining theory.

    coach hale

  92. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 25, 2010

    (Let this one through, Alan, it’s on topic):

    Lyle has a tendancy to pull the practice versus theory card, when it works in his favor. Other times, he will cite studies. he has this thing of saying “well that was done on Ethiopians” or whatever (essentially saying the insights do not transfer to other populations). But he will routinely cite studies, that go his way, that are not from representative populations.

  93. RayCinLA permalink
    June 25, 2010

    @ Fluxboy:

    It looks like YOU’RE the one avoiding the questions. How hard is it to admit that gaining 12 lbs of muscle in 2 months does not exceed the limits Alan has discussed? I’ll ask you again, how much more weight have you gained since the beginning of your program? You can avoid this question, but you can’t avoid the fact that you’ve been spouting off a lot of nothing.

  94. Thomas Neal permalink
    June 25, 2010

    Scheaffer only believes that arguing on the internet is “gay and makes you a pussy” because that’s what Jim Wendler says and Scheaffy’s too busy gingerly embracing Wendler’s balls to have any time to discuss anything online.

    Since Scheaffer ripped his entire image, persona, and approach to training off from Wendler, I just don’t know how he missed the minuscule “be big and strong” aspect. For someone who talks so much trash about “what the big bros do”, he is pretty mediocre. In terms of strength and development, on par with your average frat lifter at a university gym.

  95. Truet permalink
    June 25, 2010

    Hello. First, thank you for having a blog such as this. second, I admit to falling for the “separating carbs and fat” idea when I was following the Precision Nutrition guidelines.

  96. Roy Baty permalink
    June 25, 2010

    “I would love to respond to much of his ignorance, however I have a policy of not rewarding childish behavior. If he wishes to re-write some of his concerns in an adult manner, a response will be forthcoming. Or if there is an area you are unclear on how I would respond, I am more than happy to help out. As I said before, I do respect your views … even if I find some of your readers to be a little thick. I will say Roy’s all but evangelical faith in science is rather amusing. The irony does not escape, I assure you. He must still be in high school. Sadly, given his lack of emotional maturity, I can’t even acknowledge his claims regarding his squat.”

    Given that all dishonest shitheads pull this line, it’s no surprise you jumped on the bandwagon. You may have a policy of not rewarding childish behavior, but that is clearly superseded by your policy of not bothering with facts or critical thinking.

    You can’t back up your claims because you’re full of shit. Getting mad because I wasn’t nice about it while I tapdanced on your bullshit doesn’t mean I’m not right. It means you’re entirely unequipped to have this argument and have no other way to save face except to complain about how I went about it.

    See also: style over substance fallacy

    Say it with me: Dis. Honest. Bull. Shit. Ter.

    “Unfortunately, you still haven’t answered my question. This doesn’t bode well as it seems you may be trying to evade it.”

    Here’s another word for the day, which is brought to mind by you accusing others of evasion:

    Irony

    “Question:

    1) “Is there a faster way of building muscle than squats and milk for the drug-free trainee?”

    Follow up:

    2) “Given the questionable research that has been conducted under the umbrella of “science”, can you understand why there is suspicion regarding it’s value?””

    Fluxboy: still can’t read. Still doesn’t know what “critical thinking and analysis” means.

    Still can’t understand what science does and how research is applied to real-world scenarios.

    Can you do anything but whine and repeat yourself?

    “Do we trust someone who repeatedly creates strong men, with nothing but his results to guide our trust?”

    Or

    “Do we place our faith in research done … somewhere … by … someone … which seems legit … but may not be. But certainly seems all the rage … currently.”

    Not a difficult choice.

    Let’s go at this from two angles.

    Part I
    1. What strong men has Johnny Pain created?
    2. What proof is there that the axiomatic principles Johnny Pain espouses are proximate causes of said results?

    Part II
    Given the above, why do you feel the need to create a false dilemma between 1. what you think is science, but is actually a huge strawman that you keep building and repeating and 2. pure uncontrolled bro-dom?

    I mean, you keep repeating this “gets results” meme, but where are the results? And where is the proof that these vague results are superior to any other results? I can point you to guys that never follow any of those wisdoms and are bigger, stronger, and leaner than anyone Johnny Pain has ever trained.

    So why don’t you accept their wisdom, since you’re all about the bro?

    Oh that’s right, because you’re a tribalist nutswinger that’s here to defend something he nut-hugs, not to have a real discussion.

    It’s cute, but don’t expect us to put much stock in it. And if some of us don’t want it cluttering up the boards, there is little lost. Incidentally, here’s a great video by JP. If you aren’t moved by any of it, well … you really shouldn’t be lifting. Maybe check out the chess club or something.

    Yeah, those sub-300 lb squats and grilling out sure are motivating. Johnny Pain sure is hardcore!

    I don’t know what’s more irritating about this whole shit: the fact that you’re an idiot, or the faux-redneck hardcore tryhard vibe that these guys are using as their shtick.

    Fluxboy, you’ve had your ass handed to you three times in a row now, and three is the magic number. Go back to struggling to squat 300 lbs while pretending you’re a hardcore real-deal lifter. I lift more than you and 99% of people on Rip’s board and I think you’re a bunch of posers that have no idea how clueless you really are.

  97. jesse permalink
    June 26, 2010

    Damn I always feel like putting up enders. I don’t give a shit about what science you can tell me and what not. I’m on noone’s side and I don’t support anyone. Look, for the people who are bodybuilding, it’s all about looks and strength, and for some like me, optimal health. I don’t want to be one of the bodybuilders who dies early. Supposedly, he said 30-40% bodybuilders die before 50. taking it with a grain of salt. Anyway here’s my point: all most of us care about is putting on muscle and looking ripped. From a simplistic point of view, it’s as simple as training, diet, and recovery.

    Do you really think reading all those articles is going to help you put on muscle? no, it’s the training and the nutrition that does it, most importantly, rest, I think. Some people say what their opinions are and you idiots turn it into a fucking science debate. I don’t want to know who’s more right and who’s more wrong. I want somebody that knows what they’re talking about and can help me put on some muscle. I really don’t give a shit about the science behind it. I used to, but that’s the reason why I’m back down to 160 lb, WHEN I USED TO BE 175 LB, WITH BETTER ABS. I’m also not for the crowd that says, eat, lift, sleep, and repeat. STFU. Don’t u think everybody would reach their goals by now? If it worked for me and for other people, we wouldn’t even post in the forum in the first place. We would just be doing what we do in the gym, and eat. For most people, we really don’t care if it activates our type 1 and type 2 and whatever bullshit fibers, we just care if we get bigger, more muscular, or more ripped And for those who of you who bag on brown rice, meal frequency, and whateve the fuck else, can you reach a body that looks as good as another bodybuilder? That’s what I give a shit about. I really don’t care if the white rice is more easily absorbed. It needs to make a difference where it matters: MY PHYSIQUE. If brown rice works for them, it works for them. Don’t go trying to disprove it with science when the proof is in the pudding.

    And for any of you, I will definitely say I don’t have a good body at the moment and am kind of skinny, but for the rest of you that tout your superiority in science, do you have the body to prove it? For those of you who can squat 500 lb, are you ripped at your bodyweight? Cuz if you’re fat, I sure as hell don’t wanna listen to you. If you’re skinny, I sure as hell won’t listen to you either. I don’t want anyone to argue with me. And if you argue with me, argue with me with straight talk: science terms mean shit to me. Example fat oxidation and cns activation: WTF. How it should be done: lose fat. cns, I could care less. So here’s my final say: fuck the bs, can you help me reach my goals or not? I don’t wanna hear the science, can you help me or not? This is directed towards Alan and everybody. Not as an argument but a statement: can you help me or not? can you bring the results or is it just talk? can you bring me near the level of a natural bodybuilder or not?

  98. Roy Baty permalink
    June 26, 2010

    jesse what you fail to understand is that Alan and by extension myself are arguing for a simpler and more streamlined outlook than the hurf-hurf “fuck knowledge I get results” idiots.

    What’s easier to follow in a day:

    Protocol 1:

    * Eat at least 6 meals no matter what
    * Separate carbs and fat at each meal or else

    or

    Protocol 2:

    * Eat enough for your goal and activity level
    * Make sure you’re getting enough protein and other essential nutrients

    If you really think the second protocol is *harder* to follow, then you aren’t paying attention. The second protocol (which is “our” side) encompasses a whole fuck-ton of other protocols (including Protocol 1), and that’s it’s power – it tells you why shit works in the simplest possible terms. Once you understand why shit works, it’s easy to see that most of what is spouted off as “essential” is a smokescreen ‘o bullshit.

    Protocol 1 is convoluted bullshit that might work, but it’s also unnecessary complexity. Why does this matter if it works, you ask? What if you can’t eat 6 meals a day? What if you find it nearly impossible to separate carbs and fats? If you can’t stick to any of the arbitrary rules, then you’re just shit out of luck – and woops! You don’t give a shit how this stuff works, either, so when one piece falls out of place you can’t troubleshoot. Now what?

    Oh the bro-dawgs will tell you that you don’t care enough. They’ll tell you that suffering is part of it and you should just do it anyway. If you think there’s some virtue in pointless macho bullshit, go right ahead. Personally I’d rather streamline the process and make it efficient, instead of listening to dogmatic bullshit. I’d rather know why I’m doing things in the simplest possible terms, not hear a bunch of stupid rules that may or may not work.

    As far as results? Sure, I can promise that. I train women that lift more than Fluxboy and most of the “men” on Starting Strength. I can make the exact same claims JP or anybody else can: do what I say and you’ll get where you want to be. Except I can do it without a lot of pointless rules that came from pseudo-science.

    (Oh, you didn’t realize that? Yeah, the meal-frequency and splitting carbs/fats thing came from somebody’s piss-poor interpretations of research, too. So you’re not even arguing over research vs. experience. You’re arguing over one unqualified idiot’s interpretation of research vs. a more qualified idiot’s interpretation of research – only the unqualified tard has bigger muscles or better lifts. Welcome to your world.)

    I know Alan’s approach well enough to know he thinks like I do: even if the specific interpretations he brings to the table (the bro-knowledge, so to speak) vary from mine, when you boil it down to the simplest factors it will match in all the ways that matter.

    We can separate the specific details from the general principles. The Hardcore We Do What Works crowd is incapable of that. The specifics matter more than the general principles, and that’s mainly because, as they’re so fond of saying, they’re quite happy being ignorant of the general principles since they’ve found the One True Way That Works*.

    * For some. The rest are shit out of luck because they can’t adapt to the rigidity of the nonsense.

  99. June 26, 2010

    Roy — Thanks for the comments. Hopefully your most recent one will sink into the minds of some folks who’ve been in a fog about this topic.

  100. June 26, 2010

    Fluxboy,

    I’d advise you to read the responses to your comments more carefully because you are creating straw man arguments.

    1) “Is there a faster way of building muscle than squats and milk for the drug-free trainee?”

    Trick question, or serious one? Am I supposed to take this question literally, or am I supposed to read into it? If taken literally, the answer is OF COURSE THERE ARE FASTER WAYS, since you’re only listing 2 program variables (a single exercise & a single food). Now, let me direct a question at you — how is this relevant to the original topic of the unsubstantiated lore of separating carbs & fat, and avoiding carbs at night to foil the night-time insulin fairies?

    2) “Given the questionable research that has been conducted under the umbrella of “science”, can you understand why there is suspicion regarding it’s value?”

    Here’s what you’re missing: Both anecdotal and research evidence have to be viewed critically. It’s given that research exists on a continuum of high- to low-quality. However, it’s still stronger on the whole than anecdotal evidence, which is precluded from any scientific rigor, and is thus subject to more validity threats than research will ever be. Since your solution is to blanketly dismiss research and place anecdotal evidence above it, then I hope you’re enjoying your place among the legions of uncritical thinkers who are vulnerable to all sorts of meaningless hearsay, marketing, and hilarious practices like fretting over carb/fat combination.

  101. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    June 26, 2010

    I’m old and broken and wimpy and not some heman. And I gained strength consistently, while exercising and dieting (1500 kcal/day deficit for 6 months). hang out on hard core weight loss boards, not the meathead lifter community and you will find that story is very common. It never ceases to amaze me how the same people who will spend hours in the gym and carefully journal their workouts, don’t know how many calories they ACTUALLY consume. And don’t get calipered, but talk about “gaining 40 pounds, I think mostly muscle” or other remarks showing similar lack of effort to quantify.

  102. jesse permalink
    June 26, 2010

    Great reply. Like I said, I don’t want to argue, but I will if I have to. I’d love to follow Alan or you, if you can answer me one thing: can you or have you trained extremely successful. I mean can any of you get me close to this goal: the size, definition, striation, and everything else of doug miller: http://www.dougmillerpro.com/other.html the guy has an incredible overall body, including awesome back but with brian whitacre’s abs:
    http://www.aboutmag.com/images/2008/brianw/bw8.jpg. btw no homo, even though it came from a gay magazine from a search -___- it’s the best abs picture I could find of the kind of abs I strive for. That’s all that matters to me. Someone who can help me reach that goal. I’m not saying fuck knowledge, even though it seems like it even to my eye. I’m just saying, at the end of the day, all we care about is results you know?

  103. jesse permalink
    June 26, 2010

    I forgot to put this in too. Both of the guys follow some bro dogma: both eat at least six meals a day. I’m not saying their dogma is right. The truth: I would love to be able to eat only three meals a day and follow a simplistic approach. But know this: if Alan or you or someone credible tells me I have to follow the approach, I’ll do it if I have to.

  104. jesse permalink
    June 26, 2010

    To reach the goal I meant. I’ll do whatever it takes to reach the goals I meant. Sorry keep on missing those little sentences.

  105. MikeB permalink
    June 26, 2010

    If you don’t care about science, then don’t talk about fucking science. It irritates me enough when roided up fuckheads talk about how THEY KNOW that carbs should be eaten in the morning BECAUSE THEY SEE THE STRONG PEOPLE DOING IT, and also because correlation equals causation too. But it is far more fucking irritating when people start throwing out pseudo-scientific bullshit reasons why their theories work, but then try to avoid the scientific discussion.

    If you claim that carbs before bed makes you fat and then use your client’s results as some kind of “proof”… fine. You could always make the argument that you are in control of a population not accurately represented in the literature — that’s one thing. But do you realize that when you start throwing terms around like “insulin sensitivity” and “nutrient partitioning” and “Growth Hormone response” that you are entering into a realm that you’re just too fucking stupid for?

    I guess it boils down to that Schaeffer doesn’t want to lose his new spot, is starting to realize that broscience is real, and trying to use some laughable jedi mind tricks to save face. Rip’s attitude now is “John’s methods work, I don’t care if he’s having you do extra shit you don’t need because I don’t care about you having six pack abs to begin with, and I don’t know anything about nutrition so stop asking me, and if you want to really zero in on the minimum nutritional requirements to have six pack abs then you shouldn’t be at startingstrength.com.” I think that once Schaeffer starts telling Rip’s guys to do extra shit to grow that even Rip knows isn’t necessary, Rip might change things up.

  106. another Alan permalink
    June 26, 2010

    Fluxboy:

    Since you seem to wish to engage in polite discussion, I will put on my serious face. As evidence of such, I first offer congratulations on your success with SS and milk. Additionally, I have purchased three of Rippetoe’s books and use them regularly with great success.

    That said, I find your approach to science lacking. You said two things specifically that I have some issues with. One:
    “I rather think this distinction between broscience and science is overstated. What passes for science pretty much depends on whoever is doing the interpreting.”

    Do you apply this universally, or specifically to exercise? If it is specific to exercise, why? If you apply this theory universally, then how can we possibly tell anything useful about the world? To use an example from another field, what theory of the universe’s origin is most valid? Is it the Big Bang theory, which has a large volume of data backing it up from the scientific community you claim is lacking? Did the Christian God create it whole and intact 6,000 years ago? Did the Flying Spaghetti Monster extend his great noodly appendage and cook us up? Or perhaps our world merely rides through the stars atop the back of four giant elephants, who themselves balance on the back of the Great Turtle A’Tuin? If all science is mere subjective interpretation, all of these views are equally valid.

    You see how this could become troublesome to others.

    Second: “Actually, I would reiterate that science, by the time it reaches the masses, or gets conscripted for whatever special interest, amounts to nothing more than a fashion statement. To be clear, it’s not entirely haphazard … it’s influenced by pop culture and wherever the market is at. So fairly predictable, but haphazard in relation to objective ideals.”

    Quite a problem indeed! We rely on knowledgeable people to interpret research for us, but even those knowledgeable people are subjective in many ways. There is nothing necessarily wrong with research under this view, but rather the interpreters perform partially. I would suggest to you, therefore, that it might be more effective to criticize the incorrect interpreters of science, rather than science itself.

    The problem is, Mark and Alan are both interpreters, not researchers. So, if Mark is wrong, what you are saying is to distrust science because of people like Mark, and instead trust Mark. And if Alan is wrong- you win! Therefore your best route, I think, is to challenge Alan his interpretation of the research, rather than attack the scientific method generally. I look forward to your response!

  107. jesse permalink
    June 26, 2010

    Who are you talking to Mike?

  108. June 27, 2010

    @ Jesse, if you had read the last posts by Alan, you would see one name coming up : Kelechi Opara. While it is anecdotal… just google him. That should be brotastic anecdotal evidence for you what can be done with science.

    Ah wait, Ill give you some info :
    http://www.simplyshredded.com/kelechi-interview.html

  109. June 27, 2010

    A list of 10 things to watch out for when combating pseudoscience

    http://woofighters.org/2010/06/warning-signs-that-something-is-not-scientifi/

    coach hale

  110. June 27, 2010

    Jamie — Enjoyed the links, thanks.

    Frank — Thanks for linking that Kelechi interview. I didn’t know he mentioned those kind things about me until after the fact. Kelechi is not just a hard-working athlete, but also a very gracious guy. Here’s another example of unsolicited testimony he posted on a forum (2nd post from the top):

    http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/madtitan_is_sick?id=3875760&pageNo=2

  111. Fluxboy permalink
    June 27, 2010

    To Roy:

    You win three times. You win thirty times. You win three hundred times. It’s all you. And I wish you all the best in achieving not only your lifting goals, but those of your trainees.

    To Polly:

    “Lyle has a tendency to pull the practice versus theory card, when it works in his favor.”

    I have noticed this as well, however on further reflection, I won’t pursue it. There is only so much time in one’s day, and I suspect he probably speaks in a manner that he feels will answer a question as efficiently as possible to his given audience.

    To Ray:

    It’s actually a pretty big question. I fluctuate between 170lbs and 235lbs. Let me first respond to Alan’s and AA’s posts, they are the one’s that really interest me. Then, as promised, I am more than happy to talk about myself. But right now, I must sleep. Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know I appreciate the feedback. And thank you, AA, for the kind words.

    But a quickie to Alan:

    “I’d advise you to read the responses to your comments more carefully because you are creating straw man arguments.”

    Well, what else would you expect from a dishonest, mad, full of shit, shithead, who’s lacking facts, critical thinking, engaging in style over substance fallacy (see link), dishonest bullshitter, illiterate, whining, repetitive, strawman engaging, tribalist nutswinger, idiot(ic) faux-redneck, hardcore tryhard vibe schtick (abusing), 300 lbs squat struggling, hardcore real deal clueless pretender.

    I mean, let’s not set the bar too high here, Alan.

    :)

  112. An observer permalink
    June 27, 2010

    Sorry, fluxboy, but why do you behave like a little boy, when you need to be a man?
    You are using a cheap rhetorical trick to look better by sarcastically playing yourself down here.

    Cheap double standard you are applying to yourself and others. I thought being a better, more useful man would be one of the principles that are so highly regarded amongst the Strength Training Community you probably see yourself a part of.

    And please don’t read anything insulting into this.
    You can still behave like an adult and do the right thing here.

  113. Jason Steele permalink
    June 27, 2010

    Jesse and Fluxboy,

    As as far as Alan’s real-world experience goes, you might want to give this a look, it’s not your typical wannabe fitness guru testimonials page: http://alanaragon.com/testimonials.html

  114. Not Amused permalink
    June 27, 2010

    @Fluxboy

    I’m told that the best way to win a debate is to use concrete facts and a rational thought process to arrive at conclusions.

    Can you point to me where you’ve done this in any of your responses? All I’ve seen from you so far is incredulity, which has served you well as a means of distraction from the points that Roy Baty raised, but has not addressed them.

    If you want to debate, you should either address his criticisms with well-reasoned fact-based arguments, or perhaps even concede that you are in the wrong here.

    Regardless of Roy’s method of presenting his arguments, he did indeed point out numerous flaws in your facts and your thought processes. Are you too bound by ego to acknowledge this?

    If so, you’ve managed to persuade no one of your case, and you’ve come off as an ignorant fool.

  115. Fluxboy permalink
    June 27, 2010

    To observer:

    “You are using a cheap rhetorical trick to look better by sarcastically playing yourself down here.”

    Maybe, but it was kinda funny. I like to think even Alan may have chuckled a little there. In all seriousness, I actually really appreciate the effort Roy has put into his posts. As someone who used to engage in those sorts of responses from time to time, I know how much effort they take. They are well-laid out, with supporting links, flow well, and create a story that one can’t help but be drawn into.

    Top notch work.

    I’ve gone from a “skinny old man who became a little less skinny over a few months” (my own words) to a “hardcore real-deal pretender” (Roy’s words). You’ll note this doesn’t quite follow; a lot of work has gone into creating this image. And the first rule in writing fiction is never let the truth get in the way of a good story. I eagerly await his next installment. However, it’s probably best to view it as a side plot, and not let it overshadow the main conflict.

    Alas, I must fly. I should have some responses up for Alan and AA by tomorrow night.

    All the best,
    Flux

  116. Roy Baty permalink
    June 27, 2010

    Translation of fluxboy’s last posts:

    “I don’t have a meaningful response, so watch me tapdance around with this chicken on my head. I’m secretly hoping that if I put on a good show no one will notice that my posts have about as much content as a hot air balloon and that I haven’t bothered to respond to any points raised against my arrogant assertions.”

  117. Jason Steele permalink
    June 27, 2010

    Fluxboy,

    I really don’t understand why you’d put yourself through the stress of crafting the perfect responses. Just speak your mind, speak the truth, and be opening to learning. We’re all students here, as far as I’m concerned. Do you have too much ego to grasp that idea? It appears, at least to me, that you made the grave mistake of playing the role of teacher, when your qualifications pale in comparison to the people you’re trying to school.

  118. jesse permalink
    June 27, 2010

    Thank you Jason Steele. I definitely would love to have Alan Aragon in my corner now. No bs and simple to follow and for some reason everyone says he made them come in even better shape? no contest. Alan’s the man. When I get money, I’m definitely contacting Alan. But I have one last question: I remember someone saying that shredded abs are actually flat. Brian’s are just extremely carved in and chiseled but the rest of his body doesn’t look shredded. Is he shredded in that picture or he just happens to have very good ab definition regardless of how low his body fat is?

  119. Morpheus permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Rippetoe would never admit error in this case. After all, he’s put in the time, wrote the books, and is beyond all criticism. John Sheaffer would never step up and confront Aragon on any of this. Anyone defending John or Rip is Dunning-Kruger’d to a laughable degree. Don’t combine carbs and fat? Seriously? Did we hit the 2000’s yet? Hey John and Rip, if you’re reading this, you need to sit the fuck down and take some notes.

  120. Jim Stones permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Rip said he was not a nutritionist, said he was not qualified to give this or that on getting a ripped bod. He knows how to train people and get them big and strong. Thats it. SO arguing with him about it is retarded. It would be like arguing with a construction worker about how to repair an engine when your a mechanic. Seriously all of you need to grow some balls and stfu.

  121. June 28, 2010

    @Jim Stones :

    Nobody was arguing against Rip. We arguing that his mechanic wants to build an engine that uses up 30l on 100miles with lots of spillage, while the same speed would be possible on a car using up 5l. The mechanic argues that it is useful to split Butane and Isohexane when going to the gas station and use only one of them in the morning and the other in the evening to prevent the first one from leaving nasty traces in the tank. Unfortunately it has been proven that what fuel is burnt is burnt and that simply controlling how much gas you burn is quite the great idea.
    Quality of fuel is very much what defines the price, but in the end, it is all about how much the car burns in the 100 miles and how fast you actually go and what milage you cover.

    I think this example cuts it.

  122. deadpool permalink
    June 28, 2010

    jim stones more like faggot

  123. RayCinLA permalink
    June 28, 2010

    @ Jim Stones:

    Do you just read what you want to read so you can blurt out partial stories?

    Read the thread again: http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/showthread.php?t=17367

    Here’s what happened, in chronological order.

    1. Eanderson posts a question after Rip invites him to do so on his Q/A forum.
    2. Rip is ready for debate, and responds confidently with a cut-paste quote from Johnny Pain.
    3. Alan enters the thread, and suddenly, Rip backs out of the argument to avoid getting owned.

    Cliffs: Rip is willing to debate nutritional issues with people he thinks he can handle, but when heavier hitters show up, he suddenly waves the “I’m not a nutritionst, please leave me alone” flag.

    So to your point, it’s not a matter of anyone else growing balls except Rip and Company. Get your story straight next time before you shove your own foot in your ass.

  124. Kyle permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Preston writes, “I think in order for [Lyle] to get back to everyone, which he is actually really good about, and weed out the riff-raff, he does away with pleasantries and gets to the point.”

    I’d believe that he’s a busy, busy man, except that he always has time to write people he dislikes profanity-laden emails, or start profanity-laden threads on other forums simply to tell people “fuck you.” So maybe not such a busy lad, after all.

    I’m not worried if someone’s style doesn’t match their substance, only when the style becomes a thing in itself, and actually replaces substance.

    Polys writes, “Lyle has a tendancy to pull the practice versus theory card, when it works in his favor. Other times, he will cite studies. “

    That’s not unusual. It’s called confirmation bias – we remember the things which support what we already believe, and ignore, forget or discredit those which don’t. Genuine objectivity is a damned hard thing to manage. Of internet personalities, Alan here probably comes closest. Lyle’s way off, this Schaeffer character and Rippetoe are way off, too. They’ve got worthwhile things to say, they all know more than me or 99% of their readers – but it’s plain that objective they ain’t, they’ve got their own little carts to push along.

    Reading on these different sites is like having a subscription to International Socialist Weekly and Soldier of Fortune at the same time. Somewhere between those two bunches of fruit loops you’ll find the truth.

  125. Fluxboy permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Roy and Jason, this one’s for you guys:

    http://xkcd.com/386/

    Frank: Neat comment, please post more. I am indebted to Rip, but I have a rather promiscuous faith.

    Jim Stones: Perhaps, but I’ve developed what I believe is a superior approach to internet etiquette. Simply refrain from all hostility. Initially, I did this (I think) in a condescending way towards others. I realize now that was wrong. It was simply replacing one form of vanity with another, a more passive-aggressive type. But as I’ve watched this spectacle unfold, I’ve come to a different realization:

    The internet is an interesting little world. It gives you free reign to interpret, and respond, in any manner you want. And how to we respect this privilege? Often times, in the worst way. So now, I am doing my part to eliminate all hostility in any post I make. And if I cannot respond without being drawn into a personal attack, I simply won’t. I converse as if I’m having a cup of tea with my listener. And if I can’t do that, chances are I wouldn’t be having tea with them.

    I’m getting older, and the sorts of conduct that appear on the internet I’ve never, personally, experienced. And I’ve seen some potentially wonderful relationships (Rip and Lyle) all but destroyed by allowing the internet culture to take precedence over reality. Of course, we can play out our Walter Mitty fantasies online by not taking shit from anyone, but all it really amounts to is fighting with pixels. That means nothing. I recommend speaking your truth with restraint, and not expecting anything in return.

    If Alan, at any point, asks me to stop posting on his forum, I will. No hurt feelings. Fluxboy is not for everyone, and neither is anyone else in every environment. For instance, I once stumbled across a white-supremacist forum. Yes, they actually exist. I could never understand how skin pigment could be a determiner of anything. Of all the things to believe, that one was just weird. I was most unwelcome there. In hindsight, it was folly. I wouldn’t have had tea with any of them.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I could be wrong. I guess I can STFU now also.

    :)

  126. Fluxboy permalink
    June 28, 2010

    *****Note: This one rambled on for a bit. It’s really for AA, but you are all welcome to read it, of course *****

    Fluxboy:

    “Since you seem to wish to engage in polite discussion, I will put on my serious face. As evidence of such, I first offer congratulations on your success with SS and milk. Additionally, I have purchased three of Rippetoe’s books and use them regularly with great success.”

    Hey, thanks AA. The books are dynamite, and I should point out here that I hope my presence does not turn anyone off his great writings. I’m just a wildcard. I think Rip actually referred to me once as “not the most stable element in the Periodic Table.”

    Actually, that kinda hurt.

    On my skepticism:

    “Do you apply this universally, or specifically to exercise? If it is specific to exercise, why? If you apply this theory universally, then how can we possibly tell anything useful about the world? To use an example from another field, what theory of the universe’s origin is most valid? Is it the Big Bang theory, which has a large volume of data backing it up from the scientific community you claim is lacking? Did the Christian God create it whole and intact 6,000 years ago? Did the Flying Spaghetti Monster extend his great noodly appendage and cook us up? Or perhaps our world merely rides through the stars atop the back of four giant elephants, who themselves balance on the back of the Great Turtle A’Tuin? If all science is mere subjective interpretation, all of these views are equally valid.

    You see how this could become troublesome to others.

    Ah, the riff-raff are always on about something.

    I must warn you AA, in case you haven’t noticed … I am the villian. Posts that make me smile, particularly one’s that contain the Flying Spaghetti Monster, may not ingratiate you to others on this board. They do not seem the forgiving type. You, and your loved ones, may be at risk. Anyway, insofar as my relation to science is concerned I view it in a rather broad context. When I took my first philosophy of science course about a decade ago (how time flies!) I still remember the first words my professor said:

    “Science is not about truth. Science is about probabilities.”

    I think that’s a good place to begin. Problems arise when we start speaking in terms of absolutes. I actually have less of an issue with science, as I do the perceptions that the collective ascribe to it (in particular, bad science students). When I look at advances in our understanding of the world, I do so somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Anything taken for granted today, I expect to be superseded tomorrow, or next year, or in a thousand. Viewed from this perspective, science itself is ever changing. When Pythagoras theorized that the earth was neither flat nor round, but” somewhat spherical” … he was doing so with rather limited tools at his disposal. Was he wrong?

    I don’t think that was as important as recognizing he was making the best guess based on the science of the time.

    The Big Bang theory?

    Sounds great, very intelligent people believe it to be our best guess yet. I agree. I think it’s a smashing guess.

    The Christian God, and creation 6000 years ago?

    Religion begins with absolutes, science probabilities. They are not necessarily incompatible. Our best guess could be wrong, and/or our faith misplaced. There are fine scientists that acknowledge the Big Bang is probably correct, but hold to their religion. I think these people are really interesting, and likely have tortured lives.

    How about the Flying Spaghetti Monster today?

    Hm. Bad science. Worse research. Unlikely. I seem to recall an error in causation and coorelation popping up. That, however, has not deterred me from building my pirate ship. What can I say, I am human and prone to irrational acts.

    Insofar as turtles (and it’s all turtles) are concerned. It probably wouldn’t be a good guess now either, but give it a thousand years, and we’ll see. I guess I’m the perpetual skeptic … but what I do like to do is look at our beliefs, within the context of our time and culture, and compare them to other periods and places. This extends to science, as well; it has changed and adapted throughout the years. A quick wiki confirms this. Empirical research dates back to the scratchings of the first recorded human history, the scientific revolution to the mid ages, and “modern science” sometime in the 16th century. Are we to believe it is perfect and complete today? That’s a little arrogant, I think. Just as the science that predated it was improved upon, in time, ours will be as well.

    But I wrote: “Whatever is passing for science pretty much depends on who is doing the interpreting.”

    So I should probably add to that “how” and “when” the interpretation is taking place. So in summation, science allows our best guess to take place. And that changes as we understand and learn more about the life, the universe and everything (that can be observed!). So I guess I am a skeptic. And I wouldn’t be too surprised if Descartes Evil Demon made an appearance when it’s all said and done.

    I hope I’ve sort of answered your question. Actually, my own relation to the world is radically different, but it’s purely anacdotal so we’ll leave that for another time. Maybe yours is also? Possibly?

    On my views that science amounts to whatever is in fashion:

    “Quite a problem indeed! We rely on knowledgeable people to interpret research for us, but even those knowledgeable people are subjective in many ways. There is nothing necessarily wrong with research under this view, but rather the interpreters perform partially. I would suggest to you, therefore, that it might be more effective to criticize the incorrect interpreters of science, rather than science itself.”

    I should, at this point, explain that a large potion of my livelihood depends on science. Part of my day is spent running simulations to measure expectation and fluctuation, then using those number to determining risk and capital requirement. I would place my understanding at a fairly basic level of applied statistics. When not doing that, I’m a medic. My sister recently completed her masters in medical research, and I received a glimpse into the world of research funding. It’s pretty warped, and worthy of discussion. But suffice to say, I think I fail at being much of a “Science Hater” though I will say that at times our relationship is rocky. Nonetheless, when I find fault with science, I’m generally referring to it in relation to specific areas. And as Alan has pointed it, my issue is not with science, but the research. So I think you guys may be correct on this one. Actually, I’m pretty sure of it. Condemning science on behalf of poor research conducted by chained hands is somewhat akin to condemning religion for not living up to it’s ideals. The issue isn’t of bad science and bad religion, there are other influences at work.

    “The problem is, Mark and Alan are both interpreters, not researchers. So, if Mark is wrong, what you are saying is to distrust science because of people like Mark, and instead trust Mark. And if Alan is wrong- you win! Therefore your best route, I think, is to challenge Alan his interpretation of the research, rather than attack the scientific method generally. I look forward to your response!”

    Ah, how I yearn to attack Alan’s interpretations … the bloodlust rages from within.

    Well, sorta.

    Actually, science is cool. People may not be, but science is. I’m not sure how well the guiding principles behind it are respected, but I like ideals as much as the next dreamer. Simply place all items in a bin marked “it’s our best guess given what we’ve observed so far” and that should explain the missteps of the past, the research of the now, and the discoveries of tomorrow.

    Win-win.

    :)

    Thanks for letting me ramble, AA, it’s been fun.

  127. Fluxboy permalink
    June 28, 2010

    “Trick question, or serious one? Am I supposed to take this question literally, or am I supposed to read into it? If taken literally, the answer is OF COURSE THERE ARE FASTER WAYS, since you’re only listing 2 program variables (a single exercise & a single food). ”

    See? I make a quick post and look at the confusion. I attempt a clear post, and someone lambasts me for putting too much thought into them.

    It’s not easy being the villain.

    When I say milk and squats, I am assuming that one is following the Starting Strength protocol verbatim, drinking a gallon of milk, and eating three large meals a day. The latter was my own experience. I found that as an underweight trainee, snacking all day, I’d never actually get hungry. Waiting 4-6 hours between meals really helped spike the appetite. I was inspired by the sumos and … err … Martin Berkham, and I ignored everyone telling me to “maintain positive nitrogen balance” by eating six to eight meals a day.

    Actually, to help others out I created a pretty super-duper hyper-advanced flowchat:

    http://fluxboy3000.blogspot.com/

    I had pics of my progress each week on there initially, but I took them down after I realized that no one, not even Roy, should have to witness my half-naked body each week. Incidentally, the trainee is also to sleep, hydrate, and abstain from all sexual activity for the duration of the program (Just kidding … you don’t have to sleep).

    Rip wrote up a little pdf that itemizes exactly what the novice will experience as he follows the program:

    http://startingstrength.com/articles/clarification_rippetoe.pdf

    I think that should cover just about all the bases. If not, let me know. The wonderful thing I found about bulking up with this sort of routine was the simplicity. Drink your gallon of milk, eat your three meals, do your routine. No questions, no second guessing. If you fail, you did something wrong.

    (Hardlines like that, I believe, often have more value than not.)

    I will add, however, that if I heal up (more on that later) … I am thinking of trying a twenty rep breathing squat protocol. This, again, is inspired by all the broscience that I’ve listened to over the years. I will also, this time, attempt a proper bodyfat reading pre and post. The only problem I foresee is that I might be a freak. And even if I’m not, my bodyweight varies so much that I won’t be into new territory until I hit about 240 lbs. More on this later, as well.

    “Here’s what you’re missing: Both anecdotal and research evidence have to be viewed critically. It’s given that research exists on a continuum of high- to low-quality. However, it’s still stronger on the whole than anecdotal evidence, which is precluded from any scientific rigor, and is thus subjected to more validity threats than research will ever be.”

    Thank you for summarizing what I’ve been trying to convey, perhaps poorly, for the last week. And here’s where I’ve been hoping this conversation would get to:

    Granted, all things being equal, research evidence will trump anecdotal evidence everytime, but therein lies the rub- all things are not equal. And here is where I believe anecdotal evidence has the potential to have more merit than research. This sorta relates to the whole Zach/Lyle debate. I missed most of the fireworks, but from what I gathered it was the classic broscience vs science spectacle. Okay, make that anecdotal vs research evidence duel to the death. It finally boiled down to whether novice Zach could squat 330 lbs or not (or something like that)

    And he squatted the weight. And he chugged the milk. And that was that.

    All hail broscience.

    From the start, Lyle’s stance seemed so at odds with all the broscience that had spilled out over the years regarding hyper-caloric intakes, and heavy basic routines. This is a credit to him, as he appears to be the quintessential student of science. Lyle’s interpretation of the research simply did not allow the sort of gains that Zach experienced. And no fault to him, there probably was scant, to no research on the effect of heavy squats and milk. At best, he could only look at the research that did exist and offer some thoughts. This is not an effort to condemn Lyle. As I mentioned in my other post, science gives us the opportunity to make our best guess. However, if the research is so incomplete that it overlooks old school, basic bulking, can we really substitute other research to draw conclusions?

    I’d put my money on fifty years of anacdotal evidence concerning a specific routine over generalized observations applied to that specific routine based on research evidence gleaned from a variety of sources, any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.

    (Mind you, the flat-earthers probably made similar arguments … though probably not on Sundays)

    I suppose my stance here is that there simply isn’t enough research for us to be able to discount the need for some broscience guidance. I know of two specific routines, combined with 7-8000 calorie diets that I grow like a weed from in short stints. And a third I’m hoping to experiment with. I would love to point to research that justifies their use, but it simply doesn’t exist. Were I to restrict myself to what had been documented, could I have increased my squat 140 lbs in two months? Put on 40 lbs? And my recent experimentations looked to exceed even these results (an injury fucked up everything).

    And I’ve talked enough. Perhaps it would have simply been easier to say how disappointing the research has been in this field, such that I am left relying on broscience not so much by choice, but default.

    Thanks for your time, Alan. I look forward to your thoughts.

    Best,
    Flux

    (I also look forward to two full page flames fill with ad hominems and colorful adjectives from Roy by tomorrow evening. Let it out, big guy.)

  128. Fluxboy permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Anyway, you answered my questions, and as for yours Alan:

    My weight has fluctuated tremendously since that two month stint years back. I generally work as a medic, and flip-flop between emergency and industrial. It usually requires I spend about 3 weeks out of the month up north in a small camp, depending on the season. Sometimes there are some weights, most of the time there aren’t. I have yet to really work around this problem. As such, in the past few years my weight has varied from the baseline at 170 lbs, to a maximum of 235 lbs that I attained a few months ago. But it’s been at just about every weight in between, on any given month.

    My bodyfat at 235 *felt* about the same as it did in those pics at 210lbs. My ass was smaller though (no squats) My arm (don’t tell Rip, because doing arm curls is gay … and measuring even more so) exceeded 17 inches. Mind you, when you work out everyday, you are always mildly pumped. So that number may have been a little artificial. Regardless, I never thought I would have the genetics to literally build 3 1/2 inches over my original arm. And this was accomplished by very sporadic training, 3 months straight was the longest.

    The routine I used to get to 235 lbs was quite different than SS (John McCallum’s high set, high protein routine, circa ~1960) It was another broscience experiment. 6 days a week, two day split, 5×5 (heavy), followed by a light 10 x 8 (30 second break) for all the exercises. The original routine called for squatting 3x a week … however, there were no squatting racks. And I wasn’t up to cartwheeling the squat bar onto my back. I did the leg press instead (again, don’t tell Rip) and my thigh measurement swelled to over 27 inches. I actually got my biggest legs from leg pressing. This is a secret never to be revealed on the SS forums. However, that may have had something to do with the rep ranges. Anyway, walking was weird. There was no room between my legs. My balls were pushed in front of my body where they sort of flopped around in front of me. Strange sensation. Sorry for the details, just no one ever really mentions these sorts of things when you bulk up.

    Oh yes, as a supplement, I ate a full-fat fieldberry yogurt every hour, sometimes more. They were free in camp. Unlimited. I estimated I went through close to 500 one month.

    Then I really did a number on my elbow. I don’t know what happened, but after doing a few sets of presses, I couldn’t rest my elbow on anything. Any sort of compression was met with pain. Then, pain started appearing while doing presses. Finally, the pain would rush to my elbow after releasing the bar. Then it started flaring up whenever I flexed my arm. I took a sabbatical from lifting shortly thereafter. That was a few months ago. I’m better now. Still there is pain in the morning, though, and any sort of tricept press is met with some mild discomfort.

    I was surprised to discover my muscles could take anything I threw at them, but not my joints. At this point, I am re-evaluating my lifting. I know some people just live with the pain from years of abuse. I’d rather not be that person.

    Best,
    Flux

    (ps I apologize for the length of my posts. I will try to be more brief in the future.)

  129. Roy Baty permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Fluxboy: champion of typing a lot of shit and not saying a goddamn thing.

    If there were an award handed out for red herrings, Fluxboy would be right in line after the apologists for the Catholic priests that diddle kids.

    You want to address a point, or do you want to keep going on with a wall of text about how you’re still right even though you keep saying stupid shit?

  130. jesse permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Enough said didn’t need three essays. It worked for you, and it worked for the old-timers. You’d rather bet on them than research which updates every year. Everyone here except me will argue to they’re blue in the face on research. I wouldn’t mind if they argued on nutrition issues. But most of this long-ass comment thread is on people saying, “oh, you’re wrong, I’m right,” or “oh the way you’re saying it is stupid.” Notice how Alan doesn’t comment often. This is the way it should be. Though, I gotta say Alan, it’s a different story on bodybuilding.com. You posted almost twenty times on the insulin thread today hahah.

  131. Roy Baty permalink
    June 29, 2010

    @jesse

    Fluxboy is still making up bullshit, i.e., he’s an idiot that thinks Alan is saying that research tells you how to diet or how to get big.

    I even explained all this before, but Fluxboy being an idiot didn’t bother to learn anything.

  132. June 29, 2010

    Fluxboy — I really wasn’t expecting all that, but I’ll sift through it anyway for stuff I feel needs addressing. The Zach stuff I’ve commented on before, but might be worth a reiteration. Other than that, I hope your injury gets better & I hope you’ve learned something from this discussion.

    Jesse — LOL, yeah, that BB.com thread sucked me in & I OCD’d it out until it reached a point of closure, haha. The thing with this discussion here is that much of the responses echoed what I would have posted (in some cases more thoroughly and/or poignantly), so it exempted me from posting much. I was enjoying my seat as a spectator in much of the exchanges here, thanks to the colorful & educational input of many of the contributors.

  133. Gordon permalink
    June 29, 2010

    I’ve enjoyed the blog post and the comments equally, except for the ones which just involve people swearing at each other.

    Just to throw in my two cents: I’ve been reading a book recently called ‘Good calories, bad calories’. The basis of this book is that the lipid hypothesis is wrong, and the alternative carbohydrate hypothesis is right. Many, many, many scientific studies are quoted there and most of them so far have been picked apart, flaws uncovered. I’m not sure yet whether or not I agree with the book’s premise, but it makes it painfully obvious that research in this field is very often biased, fundamentally flawed or contradictory, and that for nutrition in specific we are still wildly flailing around ‘the truth’.

    To me, research is usually most effective when dealing with simple systems, with simple, controlled variables to isolate the one you are testing. Studies that combine food (complicated as hell) with the human body (even more complicated) definitely do not fit that description, and you get things like H. Pylori and stomach ulcers popping up.

    I’m a believer in science, but I also acknowledge its limitations in this area, and that research is often (usually?) biased or flawed in some major way. While I support the continuing pursuit of science as we need to get more information and spiral slowly closer to the truth, I have to make decisions with the understanding that what we know right now is most likely inaccurate.

    So really I am looking for two things:
    1. How to get the best results
    2. How to do so as easily as possible

    And there needs to be a combination of science and real-world results to make that decision, leaning more towards the latter.

  134. Justin permalink
    June 29, 2010

    I was almost turned off by the nut-nugging and relentless ad hominem attacks (Roy Bay, et al). Glad I stuck with the thread. Interesting discussion between Flux and Alan; I definitley have a fondness for Mr Aragon (no homo) after this little confrontation.

    While I agree with Alan and being open-minded, leaving your conclusions subject to change with new information yadda yadda…I think everybody took this all way too seriously.

    It really seems that “Johnny Pain” has a system that works with his clients. Sure, the rules are “Bro-ish” but they supposedly provide results, great. He then provides free assistance on a message board and chooses to not have pudmed links posted. Great, who cares? It’s not like he’s on a quest to burn at the stake all of us who use science.

    I dont get this whole heuristic vs science approach. Look, if the “science” is poorly executed, manipulated, inappropriatley applied, etc then it is no good. If a heuristic approach is yielding repeatable, measurable, and favorable results then which method am I going to choose? Which would you choose?

    That being said, if science can shed some light on a heuristic method, help us understand it, or show us ways to improve it (in a repeatable, mesasurable, favorable manner of course) would I shun the evil science? Of course not, we use it.

    For what it’s worth I’m an electrical engineer by trade and use science. I love the stuff mmkay? But I still see folks lose the forest from the trees because something doesnt fit into a little model or isnt described by an equation. If something works…sometimes its just more effective to roll with it.

    The whole Broscience witch hunt is amusing and entertaining but it just got a little outta hand this time…

    Yours in Training,
    Justin

  135. An observer permalink
    June 29, 2010

    @ Gordon: Regarding Taubes: That book helped many people and did a lot to start the low carb craze. Still, there is quite a bit of cherry picking in the data, but have a look by yourself: http://weightology.net/?p=251

    And maybe:
    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=249

    @Justin: Lol, just the same straw man everybody builds. ;) Science vs. Real World Results. Actually science is condensed experience performed in the real world. Of course there are more and there are less useful studies. But why not have real world results by methods, which have extensive scientific backing? (Which you get from Alan, Lyle, Martin, Bryan (HST) and Borge Fagerli to just name a few of the no-BS people in the Fitness Business, who besides providing all you need for free can also back it up scientifically…)
    Good luck with your goals, my friend! :D And enjoy South Park…

  136. June 29, 2010

    Yo Justin!

    Fact is, I agree with you. Without heuristics, where would we get our initial hypotheses from?

    In this case though, we have a different thing.
    We haven’t been hunting heuristics, but dishonesty.

    Johnny didnt say :
    “Hey, my clients and myself have had great success with splitting carbs and fats, never eating both. We had the greatest success when not eating any carbs or fats at night.”

    He said :
    “Since carbs produce an insulin response, removing the carbs at this time will decrease the likelihood that you will store your excess calories as fat. Your final meal of the day should be *only* protein. Also, your PWO meal, regardless of what time of the day it is, must be a P/C meal.””

    And THAT is a problem. Since what he says is simply wrong. It isnt about him giving advice on experience, it is that his claims are simply wrong. Nobody here argues against the results these people have or have not. If their methods works for them, nobody wants to attack that. But if someone states physiologic fact and is wrong, he is simply wrong. That is what this is about.

    This isnt about heuristics vs science, this is about a person being proven wrong not being man enough that on this day, he learnt something he was preaching is bullshit. It is an ego thing in many times.

  137. June 29, 2010

    ^^^You nailed it, Frank. I’ll add that Johnny’s erroneous quote is a fine example of why avoiding (or in his case banning) scientific discussion is a bad idea if educating people is any part of the purpose. Getting results is a good thing. Results without having to apply tedious misinformation = even better.

  138. Gordon permalink
    June 29, 2010

    An Observer: no question, I’m not following this book dogmatically. I’m not even sure I agree with its premise, and the bad research cuts both ways. Suffice it to say that I don’t have an issue with fairly high-fat diets and don’t eat carbs by the bucketload either, but I’m no low-carb fanatic.

    I was mostly just using it as an example of how research can often be used to demonstrate almost anything you want it to, and that especially when dealing with complex systems like food and the human body, science has trouble getting a handle on things. I think that leaning hard on studies for nutrition advice has pitfalls.

    Thanks for the links.

  139. Preston permalink
    June 29, 2010

    @Kyle- duly noted. Maybe it’s not being too busy, maybe it’s just being impatient and having fun berating people- dunno. I guess I don’t CARE if Lyle is mean to some people- I take it all with a grain of salt and humor and don’t get my underpants in a bunch over it or my feelings hurt like some others do. He doesn’t need me to defend him and most likely doesn’t give a shit either way. I will say I rarely, if ever, see him posting on other people’s sites these days, but then again I’m not combing through blogs hunting for Lyle comments so I could be wrong. I would also argue that there is still plenty of substance there, even if the style rubs people the wrong way. Hence, the meenie forum. Don’t like it, don’t go there. Simple.

  140. An observer permalink
    June 29, 2010

    @Gordon: Well, I understand what you want to say. If you however look at well designed and applicable studies (in humans with intelligent setups) the general picture becomes much clearer.
    For the layman this is just too much work to go through and process, so we rely on other people to interpret it for us. Alan (especially in his AARR) and Lyle etc. do a great job in breaking this down (with an as unbiased point of view as possible). I can only recommend you to try out AARR or at least have a look at the free sample. It’s a great resource and you’ll learn a lot on study design etc.

  141. jesse permalink
    June 29, 2010

    I do have one question for you Alan. I noticed in a post you said that you don’t need carbs. But my question is for optimal body composition, how many carbs do we need IF the goal is to gain muscle, being the end goal at 200 lb 7% bf?(or some other poundage but it needs to be 185lb lean mass). Sorry, but the stories of Jim Wendler and Dave Tates new body(yep courtesy of bs tmuscle.com) I already know the first thing going through people’s minds: there’s no way you can reach that genetically. Yeah, I know. But let’s say that is the end goal and I’ll train and eat as hard and as smart as possible to reach it. Sure, I know it’s not possible, I’m not discarding science but I damn sure we’ll try. So keeping in mind I’ll do whatever it takes(hard work and intelligence involved, no bs tolerated), how many carbs do you recommend for that goal?

  142. Kyle permalink
    June 29, 2010

    Preston writes, “I will say I rarely, if ever, see him posting on other people’s sites these days, but then again I’m not combing through blogs hunting for Lyle comments so I could be wrong.”

    That’s because there are three kinds of places of discussion on the internet,

    1. genuine discussion where marketing is frowned on (eg a number of smaller fitness forums)
    2. marketing sites where genuine discussion is frowned on (eg stronglifts.com)
    3. marketing sites where discussion is allowed because it’s mostly bullshit (eg bb.com)

    Sometimes #2 will masquerade as #1. Lyle’s site is one of those, as is startingstrength.com. Of course there are matters of degree, you can get genuine discussion on some topics at some time just about anywhere. You can get marketing sites where there’s a lot of genuine discussion, but the topics etc are chosen by the owner, eg alanaragon.com.

    But there are few pure discussion sites out there. Mostly because someone’s got to pay the site hosting fee, if nothing else.

  143. An observer permalink
    June 30, 2010

    @Jesse: It’s all the same. Depending on your activity level, age, size etc. you will burn a certain amount of kcal over the day. Setting protein @ 1,5g/lbs and Fat @ 0,4-0,5g/Lbs, this leaves the rest of the kcal for carbs. Slightly over kcal maintenance for muscle gain and below that for fat loss (This is achieved by reducing carb intake as this is the flexible variable; fat is only reduced if the deficit is supposed to be very large> see PSMF/Rapid Fat Loss Handbook by Lyle Mcdonald).
    Now you just have to chose a method depending on your preferences (Culking, EOD Refeeds, Straight bulk etc.)
    Not really rocketscience :)

  144. An observer permalink
    June 30, 2010

    @Kyle: This is ridiculous . As if Lyle were good @ marketing…
    Of course you can have great discussions on BR.com. But foremost it is a support Forum. Go to the mean forum, if you want to discuss freely absolutely everything that comes to mind.

  145. Fluxboy permalink
    June 30, 2010

    Thanks for the thoughts, Alan.

    Yes, I went a little overboard on those last few posts, please feel under no obligation to sift through it all, you probably have better things to do. FWIW, I have learned a few things while here:

    1) The distinction between science, research, and interpretation of that research. I have a greater appreciation for those who dedicate themselves to science, and how painful it must be for them when others condemn science purely on the basis of shady research and interpretation.

    2) The impotence of aggression online. You can walk through all of it, untouched, and speak your words. For the tough guys, let your actions, those you help, and the conflicts in the real-real world decide that. Online … you are having tea with friends.

    3) Alan’s a nice guy.

    I’d still like to know if your interpretation of the research in this field has uncovered any method superior than the SS + GOMAD protocol for building size and strength in the novice. However, I will not push this. Your focus does not appear to be in the short-term (say 3-6 months), whereas that has, unfortunately, been mine.

    Final note, I may move my debates more to the land of the living than the internet. I think I’ll start dropping by my local universities and temples to discuss matters of science, god(s) and faith. As Nietzsche might have said, I prefer monsters over ghosts.

    Anyway, good luck with the blog, Alan. I’ll drop by and add my two cents whenever I can. I would like for you and Rip to find some common ground, but that is none of my business. Animosity on the internet is childish, but that’s not always in our control. I would ask you to continue speaking your truths, but not at the expense of being silenced.

    That would be a dead loss to any community.

    Best,
    Flux

    ps I’m heading back into emergency work, but if anyone would like to drop me a line my email is:

    flux_boy@fastmail.fm

  146. A Guy permalink
    June 30, 2010

    @Flux-You sound like a stand-up guy, who is just in search of some useful information (just like the rest of us), and who has seen some fantastic results on a well-thought out program. Starting Strength is a tremendously successful program for lifters at all levels. I’ve done Starting Strength myself and love it, but would never prescribe to the nutrition fundamentals that they talk about.

    I try to keep up with as much of the science of nutrition as possible, and it would seem that Rippetoe and others that follow his program are still following some of the old dogma with nutrition. I think it would be so beneficial to coaches and followers of the program to use science to back such an outstanding program. I think the research out there has taught us all that when it comes down to it, the simplest approach is the best one. As posted by Alan worrying about the food combining is just nitpicking, and fruitless in the grand scheme of the program. I say combine the science of nutrition with Basic Barbell Training, and you would have one simple, raw, and acute lifting program for all levels. Pursue the equilibrium of science with the raw understanding of “lifting heavy shit,” and don’t post stuff that is just wrong, i.e. johnny pain. I will continue to educate myself on nutrition, and accept all research as an attempt at a comprehensive understanding of the body.

    ~Josh

  147. June 30, 2010

    Jesse — The answer to your question depends upon many things. The strongest thing it depends upon is your personal diet history and what has worked/not worked for you. Apart from that, carb requirements vary alongside total caloric intake requirements, which vary according to the volume of training you do. And of course it will also depend on where you’ve set your protein & fat intake. This response provides some solid guidelines for that: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/06/15/why-nutritional-dogma-dies-hard/#comment-3747

  148. Justin permalink
    June 30, 2010

    @Frank

    Touche sir, I really didn’t see Johnny’s quote and that subtle distinction is important. I’m trackin’ now…

  149. June 30, 2010

    Gordon said

    “research can often be used to demonstrate almost anything you want it to, and that especially when dealing with complex systems like food and the human body, science has trouble getting a handle on things.”

    This is the type of shit people that never read a full text study tend to say.

    Kinda reminds me of women bitching about how they’re gonna get too big if they lift heavy. In other words, you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about.

  150. jesse permalink
    June 30, 2010

    Thanks for the response Alan. I honestly can’t believe how easy it really is through your guidelines to determine caloric intake. With that said, for optimal body composition(I say that so much now), does this mean I can choose whatever food I want, as long as I hit my macros, and that sugar doesn’t matter? Of course, 100 g of sugar will make a difference, but say I have a sweet tooth and I try to keep it at 1/4 scoop sometimes going to 1/2 scoop. It shouldn’t make even the slightest difference on body composition right? I’ve gotten a worse sweet tooth ever since last month that I just drizzled honey in my steak, rice, and vegetables for the first time.

  151. Jim Stones permalink
    July 1, 2010

    Listen pussies. As to the tiny douchebags who are pretending to be smart , I’m not a fanboy of his but merely one who can see the forest for the trees and can out lift anyone of you so stfu again. What he was trying to say was; it works. Plain and simple. You want to split hairs and meal dose so that it consumes your life, fine, your prerogative. For the rest of the strong people in the world who don’t want to fuck around all day reading everyones “new” ideas on nutrition when some things work regardless, follow something simple. Lift heavy, eat big. Any of you who want to disagree can post a vid of you 500 pound squats, oh no…you don’t have any? Just pretty boy ab shots…yea, I thought so. Wankers.

  152. jesse permalink
    July 1, 2010

    This was going to be the first time I said troll to someone, but fuck it, I’ma just say it for what it is. I’ma admit firsthand I don’t have an impressive physique. But do you think eating and lifting big works for everybody? IT GETS SOME PEOPLE FAT. But here’s my question to you: are you a fat-ass muthafucka? I get it if powerlifters are fat since that’s the best way for them to put up heavier weight. But if you are just someone who lifts just because, why should I or anybody else listen to you? I’m not saying I will listen to you if you do have an impressive body but if you are fat, I DEFINITELY won’t listen to you, and I’m sure all the others won’t either. And one more thing, your advice to eat big and lift big SCREWED ME OVER. I didn’t get big, AND I increased my gut. And for the time being I worked out hard: I gave every rep my best and kept on pushing til I couldn’t anymore, to the point that the next day I could barely walk, and I couldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 lb.

  153. RayCinLA permalink
    July 1, 2010

    @ Jim Stones:

    It’s time to stop wondering why Rippetoe’s fanboys have the reputation of being brainless, with you being the example. Rip would not be proud. You’re doing a pretty embarrassing job as his representative.

    You’re lucky people even responded to you. If you can’t handle the truth, then quietly disappear and continue to swing from Rip’s moobies.

    *SMH*

  154. An observer permalink
    July 1, 2010

    @Jim Stone: :) Shut up and lift labcoat. But you know how fucking retarded this argument is. Look at Martin 2 posts above you, as you are so fond of anecdotal knowledge. Do you pull 270 kg from the floor? http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/MartinBerkhan/more.php?section=videos&type=you&i=44992#44992

    Well shut up and be weak and fat, big guy. :)

  155. July 1, 2010

    @Jim Stone(d)

    Serious question; are you retarded?

    Read this, and then read it again; http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/06/15/why-nutritional-dogma-dies-hard/#comment-3740

  156. Jim Stones permalink
    July 1, 2010

    #1 I am not fat in my eyes I currently sit @ 15% BF at 255. I sometimes will cut down for mountain hiking season. If you couldn’t move the next day from a workout, it means you were pretty out of shape to begin with. Lifting big doesn’t mean you debilitate yourself so you can’t lift anymore. It also means that you will be working out 3-4 times a week so if your really sore the next day wgaf? Take an extra rest day and man up for the next time. Its not pretty, it hurts and if you gained more fat than muscle as a novice, you were not eating right and not doing a correct program sorry. List your diet,workout plan and provide a picture. Vids of your lifts would be helpful as well. Its not rocket science thats the point. Gaining fat is something you just have to deal with when gaining mass naturally.

    #2 and #3

    Are you two retarded? I stated I was not a fanboy of Rip’s and when you two stop stroking each others vaginas to every word Alan writes , maybe you’ll understand that. I understand that you believe the science is wrong, fine. The plan still works for people. Thats the point. Assholes like you guys and Alan attacking a guy who is not a nutritionist, for stating what works and getting mad because he backed away from an argument that really has nothing to do with his site or the program itself is small. Like yourselves. Mostly the plans he makes are simple for beginners. Why try and complicate things for them? Personally from experience eating carbs before bedtime resulted in greater fat gain. I like cottage cheese and natty peanut butter myself as it keeps me feeling full till morning and I do not get excess fat gain.

    And to close; No one cares what you tiny little girls think about how to stay skinny but other femen who want to look like fruity underwear models. You are nitpicking little pussies who will never lift or look like a real man. Dry up little leaves and blow away.

  157. July 1, 2010

    Jim Stones — First off, calm down. You sound like a raving lunatic. Read Ray’s post again for an accurate summary of the proceedings: http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/06/15/why-nutritional-dogma-dies-hard/#comment-3725
    ^^^No one attacked Rip. It’s true that he said he’s not a nutrition guy, but he was just fine with attempting it with a forum member until I showed up. That’s when he backed off from the nutrition podium. Get it? Reading comprehension: it’s not for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

    Jesse — I think you’ll be just fine with your sugar intake as long as you stop drizzling honey over your main dishes, lol.

  158. jesse permalink
    July 1, 2010

    Ahahaha. I will try. Ever since I found out sugar doesn’t really do much to your body, I’ve been pigging out on sugar. I need to have my sweet everyday, whether it’s ice cream, go-gurt, or even sugary cereal like mini wheaties, omg I’m getting so hungry. I have one more question as I am now trying intermittent fasting, but my way: 4-8 is the eating window, one meal or six meals doesn’t matter. But my question is if you’re familiar with Martin Berkhan, another person who’s extremely popular when it comes to fasting, is Brad Pilon. The guy researched immensely on protein and concluded that 120 g of protein, is maximum anybody needs, if they’re bodybuilding naturally. I could give you a copy of the book to review. I think he’s pretty legit since he’s just like you and bases everything on research. But what are your thoughts on him?

    Jim: I didn’t eat a crappy diet. But it goes to show you eat excess calories, you will gain not a lil fat but a considerable amount. And I hate to tell you, 15% is fat, unless you can see your ab when flexed, at least four of them. And I can probably list my diet plan, and my workout plan, but of course it’s changed since then, and my body comp is improving. I cannot post videos because dumb-ass 24 hour fitness has a rule against that. But I get what you’re saying: if it work it works. As far as Rippetoe goes, check out the forum. The cliffnotes are true: the guy’s ready to debate but as soon as Alan steps in, guy backs down. Of course, it’s probably been deleted. We’re not crying over that shit anymore, though.. It’s done and over with. We’re back to learning more about bodybuilding with science, what we really care about.

  159. Jim Stones permalink
    July 1, 2010

    lol like I mentioned its not fat to me, since I am not into pretty boy bodybuilding. I can see four abs when flexed just not all of them. I really could care less about that. What I can do is squat 585x5x3 bench 405x5x3 and Deadlift 605x5x3, naturally.
    The only people who care about abs are femen and gay men who want to look pretty to other gay men.I guess young guys too since they think thats what women want..I was young too once…
    I am not sure what you think is cut but I would wager you don’t have the muscle to show it off even if you did, from your comments. Do you think bodybuilders stay at a low % year around either? I am pretty sure you think someone should look jacked all the time and it just doesn’t work that way if you want to be large.

    When I am in mountain climbing mode my % hovers around 9-11 %…although I’d say its functional to weigh less when your in that kind of environment. I would have you list what you did before, because I personally have trained people in the past besides myself in the hundreds who have done exactly the same thing. Your complaints just make you look undedicated and untrained to me in both nutrition and exercise. I don’t think you did SS or any other similar program. I also don’t think you really know how much fat you need to gain to get big naturally is all I am saying, since you have never been before. Its easy to cut and hard to gain LBM naturally.

    @Alan lol….I am calm. I understand what you all have been saying. Its pretty simple. What you all don’t seem to understand is his program is for the untrained individual, to get big and strong. Thats it. So you picking a fight with him on nutrition and the specifics of everything else is ludicrous. Its like Mike Tyson picking a fight with a women who took a class in self defense..You have a PHD….I don’t think he would know even half of what you would on the subject. His site has nothing to do with any of that, so you even going there (even if he is wrong) is just tiny of you. I haven’t been talking about you attacking rip or anyone in the thread…I was talking about the people posting above me to start with. Many people eat high calorie sweet foods and or refined snack food crap before bed. Whats a simple way to keep beginners from eating too many calories and thus gaining to much fat? Tell them they shouldn’t do it. He wants people to focus on the training and stfu about how much of this and how much of that to eat and when/supps to take etc….because they are rookies! Worry about your form, not skipping meals, not eating too far gone and keeping it all regular. The rest like he usually explains you can deal with when you have built a strong foundation of strength and size.
    I am not disagreeing with you or what was said in the thread about nutrition. I AM at a loss as to why you would even be on a forum like that unless it was to pick a fight with basically your local retard in comparison to your own knowledge and how people who are not in any way close to the strength/size of his pupils are dissecting one thing. Its petty.
    The truth is I like your articles, this one however is just you bored and flexing your nutrition mind against someone not up to the fight. Now challenge him to a squat off.

  160. Jim Stones permalink
    July 1, 2010

    Oh Jesse lol I look definition wise the same as Alan does in the pic with his kid on his homepage so…yea I guess he’s fat too lmao.

  161. An observer permalink
    July 2, 2010

    @Jim Stone:
    Please read Frank Taeger’s Post again. It’s not about whether carbs make you fat or not before bedtime or whether white rice makes you fat etc.
    It’s about the explanation behind it, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to follow the guidelines.
    In other words people are worrying (especially those for whom the carb cutoff method is not useful) about stuff, that has no relevancy at all for getting strong and muscular. Methods are different from principles. If that’s a way that work’s for you, that’s great but don’t go around and make up a “scientific” explanation like John. Just say: that is something that works, so do it!
    I personally think it is great that Alan is looking around the internet in his spare time and helps people to find simpler solutions and the real scientific explanation behind them.
    I mean I have seen M.D.s worrying about carbs before bedtime (or other Dogma), gorging on fatty stuff, so that their “metabolism can burn off the fat whilst sleeping”. Needless to say they are still fat or even obese, because they concentrate on irrelevancies and forego the adherence to basic principles for them.

  162. jesse permalink
    July 2, 2010

    Damn, didn’t need to type that much. Hmm, alright so you’re as big as Alan. I haven’t seen any of your abs and probably don’t want to so I can’t say shit. but come on man, he printed this on June 15. It’s now July 2, get over it. real shit.

  163. jesse permalink
    July 2, 2010

    Also, I don’t know why, but this has been on my mind so much lately, but I remember you posting a reply in the forum that you said the body doesn’t need carbs or something like that. If you did, I hope it’s not too much to ask if you pointed me to the post, because I cannot find it for the life of me. If I’m seeing things, tell me if I am.

  164. July 2, 2010

    @ Jim Stones :

    I did Starting Strength, lots of my clients did. And GOMADed too. Got different results with everyone one of them. I was 15% BF to start with and ended with somewhere at 22%. I DID the program and I DID increase my lifts as planned.

    I have seen skinny kids that gained muscle like crazy and almost no fat. What I have never seen is a fat boy NOT get fatter from starting strength. It is a fucking myth in my opinion. They always got stronger, they always looked better, but they always got fatter, too.

    If Rip said exactly what you said, aka stop eating sweats, have regular meals, eat real foods and lots of them. That would perfectly okay. Nobody argues against that.

    But if someone says : “Dont eat carbs at night since the insulin response makes the carbs get into your belly at night” it is and stays bullshit. No matter how mcuh we lift, how cool we look, if we got abs or not, it is simply bullshit.

    It is the SAME bullshit as saying “You are gonna be Ronnie Coleman after 1 year of nautilus machines, since it activates the muscles best.” That is exactly what YOU are arguing against. Against bullshit. Rip just wrote an article “The blind leading the willing” dude! And the same fucking thing happens with nutrition on the board and that shit is fucking comical!

    The blind leading the willing! And then it just happens RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS EYES.

    If you want a rookie to stop eating sweets, tell him to stop eating sweets, not about the insulin fairy. If you want your child to respect people, tell him to respect people, not that an imaginary being wants him to respect others. If you want people to lift big weights, tell them to lift big weights because it works, not because there is a magic barbell hormone that gets called up when you lift barbells. That is the level of bullshit. And that is the level of SINCERITY that should come up.

    Telling people to be sincere in the gym and honest about machine workouts and then sputing bullshit about nutrition, THAT is hypocrisy. Come on man, I know you know better because I should be preaching to the choir. Anyone lifting 600lbs knows the difference between lifting weights and machine training. So you could just the same see that there is no difference between the machine bullshit espoused and the nutrition bullshit espoused.

    If there is a way, to get big and strong, without getting fatter at all, that is easy to follow, why not follow it? GOMAD is an easy strategy and it works for getting stronger. Yeah. But if there is a better way for everyone, why not take this route? I mean, we DO take the barbell route instead of the nautilus machine, why not take the cooler route in nutrition? Because it hurts the “bigness” of our egos? Come on. Lifters are a great community, we dont have the need for this bullshit. We have a manly sport, why not leave our manly stupid egos in check and reserve it for punishing the barbell instead of fighting over dishonesty and bullshit?

  165. Jim Stones permalink
    July 2, 2010

    @ observer I agree that Johnny’s methods and science are bunk. Eating lots of clean food and lessening the carbs at night (tv/movie time for most americans) will help you to not gain too much fat in addition to what you would normally gain on that type of program. I mean its just dumbing it down…why he chooses to illustrate it with old dogma is beyond me. Its much simpler.
    Jesse I never said the body doesn’t need carbs in any of my posts must have been some other poster. I did say I don’t like them before bed and prefer to eat cottage cheese and anpb usually with some co mixed in. I’m sure we could all live on a carbless diet living on meat and fats as Eskimos/Inuit do, what the body does need is an source of energy to subsist.

    @Frank

    Well I have seen people with a higher bf% gain muscle and lose weight on the program , I believe there are even pics of members on that site who have done it. Also yes you could gain muscle without eating a crapload and gaining a ton of extra bf…but naturally.. it won’t be anywhere close. I personally have never in my life seen someone naturally do this.

    I agree about the bullshit, no idea why to take a round about route to get someone to follow a program that works for what it was meant for… I wouldn’t. I agree with attacking Johnny’s idea’s/motives as he actually is professing to have this kind of knowledge.

    I never said the science was correct I was just arguing from what I imagined rip’s point of view was.( Although I do know personally that when I take carbs pre bedtime as opposed to fats I tend to put on more bf. I also sleep worse than normal and will occasionally get acid reflux.)

    I agree with the rest you have posted for the most part….but I have yet to see anyone actually get big without gaining some bf. To me it is a million times easier to bulk up and cut down when needed/wanted. I have however seen a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who are well under 200 with abs very happy with what they have. I would not be but that comes down to prerogative. I mean, is your goal is to be like that then there really is no point doing any program like rips ever. If your goal is to get monkey strong and big (fat included) first. Build the clay before you mold it if you will, then thats what I would recommend. People must realize that pain,fat and sweat are what it takes…The fat can and will come off whenever you choose.

  166. An observer permalink
    July 2, 2010

    @Jim:

    “I agree with the rest you have posted for the most part….but I have yet to see anyone actually get big without gaining some bf. To me it is a million times easier to bulk up and cut down when needed/wanted. I have however seen a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who are well under 200 with abs very happy with what they have. I would not be but that comes down to prerogative. I mean, is your goal is to be like that then there really is no point doing any program like rips ever. If your goal is to get monkey strong and big (fat included) first. Build the clay before you mold it if you will, then thats what I would recommend. People must realize that pain,fat and sweat are what it takes…The fat can and will come off whenever you choose.”

    Well nobody here is or has ever argued that. This here is about the broscience John is spreading, which keeps people worried and not concentrating on the important stuff.
    Of course: a rising BF is a side effect of gaining strength and muscle as a natural at a decent and most definitely maximum rate.

    Frank illustrated this well:
    “Telling people to be sincere in the gym and honest about machine workouts and then sputing bullshit about nutrition, THAT is hypocrisy. Come on man, I know you know better because I should be preaching to the choir. Anyone lifting 600lbs knows the difference between lifting weights and machine training. So you could just the same see that there is no difference between the machine bullshit espoused and the nutrition bullshit espoused.

    That is the whole Problem. Hypocrisy. Understandable, but still stupid.

  167. jesse permalink
    July 2, 2010

    Please post something that will shut everybody up and shut this old issue down.

  168. deadpool permalink
    July 2, 2010

    lol @ Jim Stones internet lifts

    “What I can do is squat 585x5x3 bench 405x5x3 and Deadlift 605x5x3, naturally.”

    i’ve known a lot of guys that could do this legit, and not a damn one of them would list his lifts as his best for 3×5 because he wouldn’t care about that for one and for sure none of them would be using the goddamn starting strength program. that translates to a near 700 lb pull and 650 squat, so lets see the vids or the results from the meets you’ve done.

    also lmao @ 585 for three sets of 5 but only pulling 605? learn to squat to depth, or at least stop making up internet lifts to impress people when you can’t do half those numbers

    turns out skinny nuthuggers can’t even make up consistent fake lifts.

  169. jesse permalink
    July 2, 2010

    Currently I can squat 225 10 times, bench haven’t done it for awhile as I’ve been doing dips, and deadlifting 245 10 times, at a body weight of 162.

  170. July 3, 2010

    Jesse,

    Thanks for the information. Now we all can sleep well knowing your lifts.

  171. JC Carter permalink
    July 3, 2010

    Jim Stones fails at internet badassery

  172. jesse permalink
    July 4, 2010

    Hmm, either I never hit send or my comment never makes it to the board. Look, all I’m trying to say is that most people can hit those poundages given enough hard work and consistency. But sometimes it’s just one thing that really allows those poundages: time.

  173. Fluxboy permalink
    July 6, 2010

    Hi guys,

    How’s it going?

    Just swinging by to see where the debate is at. Could I try a summary?

    Sure, why not.

    1) “Lift heavy and eat big” to get bigger and stronger.*
    2) Not everyone wants to be bigger and stronger.
    3) Research, and the interpretations thereof, should be viewed with healthy skepticism.
    4) Not everyone wants to subject research to healthy skepticism, nor the interpreters.
    5) Don’t go to a Viking for diet advice.

    And as always, I wish everyone the best in achieving their goals. Just don’t eat your carbs before bedtime.

    Ha!

    Best wishes,
    Flux

    (* Of course, if you are a supermodel from Sweden, you can just ignore eating, and still pull 600lbs)

  174. An observer permalink
    July 6, 2010

    (* Of course, if you are a supermodel from Sweden, you can just ignore eating, and still pull 600lbs)

    Well I doubt it that Martin doesn’t eat: http://leangains.blogspot.com/2010/07/4-lbs-of-meat-and-heineken.html

  175. Matt permalink
    July 7, 2010

    Alan – Wondering if you have read this article about “Carb Back-loading”? http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/nutrition/carb-back-loading/

    Curious about your thoughts. BTW, the book is great.

    ~Matt

  176. Vic305 permalink
    July 19, 2010

    Alan,

    Judging by the amount of comments, I assume a ton of Rip fanboys came to battle to defend their Godfather. I can’t be bothered to wade through all this BS but I do have a criticism to make of your approach, which I deem to be overly obsessed with pubmed. I know you are well aware of these things, but you seem to selectively ignore these facts in the same fashion that rip selectively ignores research. The difference is that while rip ignores facts/research that contradicts his beliefs, you ignore logical facts that contradict your methodology of arriving at truth:

    1- Studies of sample sizes in the tens or dozens do not have statistical relevance and cannot be used to disprove anything.

    2- Hypothesis testing, when done on many of your most oft-quoted research, would yield astronomically small p values. You cannot discredit the superiority of dextrose over sucrose just because a study on 20 subjects (with one single blood test at 30mins pwo) said they were the same with a p value of 10^-3. When it comes to statistics on samples, there is a large grey area between “very likely” and “Very unlikely” (statistics doesn’t ever actually prove anything, mind you, unlike you seem to believe). This grey area grows exponentially as sample size decreases, and with anything less than a thousand subjects of varying demographics and nationalities you can simply not come to as certain conclusions as you seem to think.

    3- Even in the case that standard hypothesis testing yields acceptable p values, samples in medical studies are never random, as they are usually done within the confines of a single city. This is not representative of the whole universe of nutritional possibilities of man. The variance between cities even within the US is huge, as different states even have different fast food chains and meat/produce providers.

    4- Your own ego sometimes prevents you from giving even the “reasonable doubt” level of credence to an assumption that should merit it (read: any assumption, if you were as good a scientist as you think you are anyway). Your burning desire to put those people who you know are full of BS (such as tmuscle) in an intellectual checkmate often gets you to dismiss some valid points they make based on very questionable research done on laughably small sample sizes. Not EVERYTHING Thibadeau says is nonsense, you know? Even if he DOES spout an astronomical load of BS (broscience), he still has a TON more experience than you and likely has many clients that are very lean and strong.

  177. July 19, 2010

    Matt — I browsed the link, and it seems that the author is taking a generally good idea (postexercise carbs) and getting a little too Romantic with it. His specific enamorment with night-time carbs is a little wonky as well; I personally don’t see the big deal or difference. I’ll give the article another read; my patience just runs a little thin when people get over-obsessed with carb timing and ascribe near-magical qualities to it, while overblowing the negatives of preworkout carbs. PS – I’m glad you like the book!

    Vic305 — Thanks for the feedback, but you’ve just built yourself a nice straw man. You missed this important tidbit in my post: “Published research is not, cannot, and will never be the end-all judge. However, it’s an indispensable tool that helps separate the empty claims from the ones backed by objective evidence (however limited that evidence might be).” So, my suggestion for you is to lift the T-bag from your eyes & read more carefully :)

  178. Vic305 permalink
    July 19, 2010

    Alan,

    The problem is that your phrasing is a whole lot more precise and correct when you’re under fire than when you attack Rip or Tmuscle. I did read what you said about research:

    “However, it’s an indispensable tool that helps separate the empty claims from the ones backed by objective evidence (however limited that evidence might be).”

    Exactly. It HELPS. But this is not always how you treat it – your actions tell a different story than your self-provided descriptions of your behaviors. As I pointed out before, it is simply intellectually dishonest to assure your clients with absolute God-like certainty that dextrose has no advantages over sucrose because of some study on 20 (or however many it was) people with one single blood test done. That study simply does not offer enough statistical relevance to discredit the claim that dextrose is better than sucrose. (NOTE: I do not think that dextrose is better than sucrose, but if someone tells me that dextrose gave them noticeably better results than sucrose I will respect their opinion while I continue to eat my steaks. I won’t laugh at them from an intellectual high-stand like you appear to do).

    I also fail to see where I’ve concocted a strawman, I was merely pointed out facts about statistical relevance in studies that you seem to purposefully ignore. And in response you’ve seemingly attempted an ever-so-subtle ad hominem, pinning me in the Tmuscle wall to discredit what I say (since you know everyone in your blog shares your opinion that Tmuscle is a forum of snakeoil salesmen).

    The fact still stands, statistical sampling is indeed incapable of actually *proving* anything, especially when done improperly (with non-random samples of vastly inadequate size). As a mathematician it bothers me a little to see statistics used as a tool to “prove” an assertion, as this is certainly not possible by the very definition of statistics.

  179. July 19, 2010

    Vic305 — I think the problem here is that you’re being too assumptive/imaginative. Where have I told anyone with “absolute God-like certainty that dextrose has no advantages over sucrose”? What context are you speaking of? I didn’t make any mention of sucrose, dextrose, or Tmuscle in my post. You seem to be the one fixated on these things, along with your irrelevant Thibs blurb. Instead of being inquisitive about my stance on things, you’re being assumptive. Not only that, but you’re flatly dismissing/denying/ignoring this statement of mine in the original post, which I’ll state again so it sinks in: “Published research is not, cannot, and will never be the end-all judge. However, it’s an indispensable tool that helps separate the empty claims from the ones backed by objective evidence (however limited that evidence might be).”

  180. Vic305 permalink
    July 19, 2010

    The bit about dextrose was a thread over at either t nation or bb.com, I can’t remember and I couldn’t find it. Basically, it went down like this:

    -Tmuscle rep tells someone how awesome surge workout fuel is and how great dextrose is
    -Alan aragon enters the fray and asks tmuscle rep to prove that dextrose is better than sucrose
    -Tmuscle rep replies with anecdotal evidence, “everyone knows omg”, and childishly appeals to his own unproven eminence
    -Alan aragon wins argument
    -Lots of butthurt over at tmuscle and a prevalence of passive aggressive hostility between tmuscle and aragon blog, which is annoying to readers

    The whole dextrose thing was just an example. If you don’t like that example, then let’s talk about the discussion at hand, which is about the purported benefits of the separation of carbs and fats. Simply put, with studies that don’t involve actual random samples of adequate sizes, you cannot even begin to claim that a recommendation like this one has no validity. I would like for you to explain (read: logically prove) how a study done on a non random sample with poor measurement metrics is at all superior to what rip’s guy’s do: ad hoc observation. As I’m sure you know, even if all variables are meticulously controlled, no method exists that can measure body fat % with enough accuracy to track short term recomp and draw conclusions with the level of significance you attribute to these studies.

    Also, I’m not denying your statement in your previous post. I’ve already explained that my observations are not invalidated by that statement because one of my observations is that your actual behavior is not reflective of that statement. You can’t just slap a disclaimer in small lettering and expect to use it as a ticket out whenever you mislead your readers about the preciseness and rigor of your claims. Well, actually, you CAN do that, but then you’d be the same as Rip.

    In the end, chasing people and calling them out to “come at you bro” is only polarizing the communities and hampering the search for truth. Even a great mind such as yours can occasionally benefit from the contributions of others, and entrenching yourself in a faux diet dogma faction is no way to accomplish a collaborative effort. Plus, I think you can give it a rest already, everyone knows you’re the mac daddy of diet and nutrition, and to get any level of optimization above what you recommend requires a significant waste of money wading through bullshit muscletech, gaspari and biotest products.

    Either way, that was just my 2 cents, and by the way, whenever discussions about nutrition come up with friends, and I state “normal non specialized doctors and nutritionists don’t know anything”, I’m usually met with the question, “Then who does, you?”

    My reply: “No, Alan Aragon and Lyle McDonald”

  181. July 20, 2010

    “If you don’t like that example, then let’s talk about the discussion at hand, which is about the purported benefits of the separation of carbs and fats. Simply put, with studies that don’t involve actual random samples of adequate sizes, you cannot even begin to claim that a recommendation like this one has no validity. I would like for you to explain (read: logically prove) how a study done on a non random sample with poor measurement metrics is at all superior to what rip’s guy’s do: ad hoc observation.”

    1st off, the food combination vs separation study cited in the article I linked was indeed randomized. On to the next item, Rip’s guy recommends 6 meals per day. Anyone with a vague knowledge of the time course of nutrient digestion/absorption would realize that separating fat & carbs from each meal would still fail to prevent their overlap in systemic circulation. So even from the get-go, the tactic is idiotic. Add to this that the justification is based on some hilarious insulin-mediated mechanism that would likely be blunted by the presence of fat to begin with, and you have a compounding of idiocy. C’mon Vic, you’re a smart guy, why would you even begin to defend this crap?

  182. July 20, 2010

    “Simply put, with studies that don’t involve actual random samples of adequate sizes, you cannot even begin to claim that a recommendation like this one has no validity.”

    Isn’t the burden of proof on the people making the recommendation?

  183. Morpheus permalink
    July 20, 2010

    Vic305,

    Do all mathematicians put halfassed anecdotes above research, or just the ones in your inner circle?

  184. Vic305 permalink
    July 21, 2010

    @Alan: Yes I know it makes little sense to think about food separation with frequent meals. But if done properly (ie. with a 3 meals a day protocol or with eating something such as 90% of your daily fats 7 hours before or after your carby pwo shake) you could actually avoid a significant chunk of the bloodstream overlap. Plus, SOME bloodstream overlap of fats and glucose can be avoided by not consuming them together, even with frequent feedings. But I digress; the recommendation is not one I think holds any water anyway. I didn’t mean to sound like I was defending the recommendation, it’s just that claiming to have “proven” something via statistics (especially with a small non random sample) is not honest. As for the studies being random samples, if you’re talking about Golay and Noakes (the main references from your carbs and fat friends article) are 100% obese subjects. Last I checked, 100% of the population is not obese.

    @Jordan
    Yes and no. When it comes to a random Joe listening to a recommendation, then if he chooses to question such recommendation, then sure. But if the issue at hand is the unsolicited DISproving of a recommendation, then a method other than statistics needs to be used.

    @jordan
    I didn’t do any research here.

  185. July 22, 2010

    But why should that “random Joe” even listen to the recommendation to begin with?

    I’m not going to speak for Alan obviously, but personally, I don’t think the issue is “disproving” the recommendation, because the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. But rather to simply address whether there’s any substance to the claim or not. Wouldn’t you agree?

  186. August 1, 2010

    Wow, yes, it seems totally wrong to forbid links to scientific research. Isn’t the point for us all to go forward using all available information? I was on another nutrition blog where the rules included that it was grounds for being excluded as a group member to “disagree” with anything said in the information folders section of the forum….Unbelievable to me, not only from a freedom of speech perspective but also, I think the risk is that people get stuck in things that may not be healthy at all. The argument was that people would get confused by contradictory information. I think however that people might very well be able to handle contradictory information, and that the solution to complexity is not to simply shield people from all aspects of a problem. That doesn’t seem to lead to any good, well informed solutions. Double blinded studies by researchers are our friends, obviously taking the funding of the studies into consideration…ie if it’s founded by a pharmaceutical corporation etc. But I’d say; let’s not throw out the baby with the bath-water. We instead need to learn how to figure out what information is useful and what is not, and not let a forum moderator determine this for us.

    Personally I’m so fed up with anecdotal evidence by this point as that’s what I’ve been doomed to follow cause there is no real scientific evidence of anything helping or curing the health issues I’m dealing with. I welcome all science in my personal discussion on health and nutrition. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve followed some anecdotal evidence and ended up disappointed, disillusioned, and with less money in my pocket.

    And yes, I also hate that when there is some study that supports the argument whomever is currently making, then all of a sudden it’s allowed and it’s valued. When not, then it’s disregarded completely. It’s so frustrating…

    Also, what’s with the gay and women bashing at the top of that subforum? Who are these people?

  187. Josh permalink
    August 8, 2010

    Tell me you’re selling Broscience t-shirts! LOL

  188. August 9, 2010

    Hey Josh — I really like that graphic as well. It’s on my list to make shirts of it available to the public.

  189. August 19, 2010

    Great post Alan, completely agree with you here.

  190. September 13, 2010

    I second the T-shirt idea. You make it, I’ll buy it.

  191. September 14, 2010

    Nick, it’s totally on The List, bro. I’ll see if I can get this done by early next month, it will kinda depend on the availability of my graphic design-savvy friend.

  192. Sam permalink
    September 16, 2010

    Can anyone point me to a similar taubes-science icon?

    If it’s small enough & still readable, I might use it as an avatar on some forums.

  193. February 15, 2011

    Ernest Hemingway~ Theres nothing noble in being superior for your fellow men. Accurate nobility is becoming superior to your former self.

  194. Sarah permalink
    May 20, 2011

    I’m apparently out of the brosci loop. I had no idea about this carb-fat separation thing. Not even sure I understand the logic there.

  195. Ricky permalink
    May 24, 2011

    I recently had to leave an online group because one of the admin didn’t like me disagreeing with posts that were either inaccurate or misleading. I was polite and had references to back up my side of the discussion. The results were the admin causing a big argument on the thread, I sent her a private message stating that if she wants to talk to me then do so in private and keep the thread on topic. She was very rude and vulgar. I reported her to the owner and of course the owner sided with her. I learned that all the admin and mods were discussing me on a private thread. That means I did something right in my opinion. I left the group because is no point in staying where I am not wanted. The funny thing is it was a weight loss group yet the owners weren’t in the best of shape nor have had any formal training in fitness. Basically it was chocked full of Broscience and anything that went against it was attacked.

  196. January 18, 2012

    Thanks again Alan, this is such a poignant comment on all of this stuff. I find that a lot of Broscience starts to repeat itself as it catches on around the fitness world. This is real problem because it then distills into a set of widely accepted beliefs – all based on this Bro-Dogma.

    I dread to think how many times some naturally muscular Cro-Magnon (sorry, I meant mesomorph) who knows little about muscle building, has advised some poor ectomorph newbie by spouting his pet broscience theories.

    @Lisa E.
    Ya, with the banning of links to scientifically credentialized sites, it’s almost as if there’s an information war brewing… like the Creationists -vs- Darwinists.
    Next they’ll be building a “Broscience Museum of Natural History”. ;)

    Perhaps Alan could set up some type of grey-list, listing all these broscience websites?

  197. July 6, 2013

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  198. TravisRetriever permalink
    March 31, 2014

    To the bros who don’t understand why the plural of anecdote =/= data, I’d like to do me a favor and watch this video with an objective, honest mind:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16E-4avtddE

    Cheers. :)

  199. TravisRetriever permalink
    March 31, 2014

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuEO-K_-vgI
    Another one for the dudebros.

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  204. October 14, 2014

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