Like most bodybuilders and powerlifters, my first exercise and nutrition information came from magazines, crappy internet articles, and big people at the gym. For a while, fitness enthusiasts seemed perfectly content with using these resources to guide their muscle-building and fat loss endeavors, but it seems that the tide has turned in recent years. Anecdote has been replaced by research as the “gold standard” of bodybuilding information.

This is a good thing. When you abandon the vices of bodybuilding folklore in favor of a more research-based approach, you often find that you achieve similar (or better) progress, while eliminating many sources of “wasted effort.”

I don’t want this article to sound anti-research, because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As someone who spends most of my day working on research and serves as a reviewer for a couple journals, it goes without saying that I value research highly. Nonetheless, the current evidence-based trend in fitness is not without a few unintended consequences.

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