Calling Out Lyle McDonald

For the past couple of years, an influential fitness professional by the name of Lyle McDonald has been bashing me in public forums including Facebook.

It seems that whenever another individual praises me, Lyle shows up from out of nowhere and fabricates stories about my work and calls me names. Whenever I’ve stepped in and tried to clear up any confusion, Lyle vanishes and won’t respond.

Despite my attempts to reach Lyle, he continues to bash me and continues to attempt to discredit my work. In fact, I sent him an email the other day asking him for a reply, yet predictably he didn’t respond.

Lyle has rightfully earned his reputation as one of the most knowledgable guys in the industry, and I’m open-minded to hearing what he has to say. If he can teach me something, I’m all ears.

Therefore, I hereby challenge Lyle to a debate on any and all points of contention he’s had with my work.

We can arrange to have a neutral party moderate and record the debate. This can be done very easily, and I’m open to video or audio-only formats. The recording could be posted on my blog, Lyle’s blog if he wishes, and the third party’s blog so that everyone can benefit from the conversation. I eagerly await the opportunity.

PS – I’ve been advised by my some of my respected peers to rise above this and move past it. However, the problem is that Lyle’s bashing seems to be a perpetual thing. I feel that this can be resolved in a way that provides a worthwhile educational experience for all involved. I’m interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.

Lyle McDonald

Lyle McDonald

194 thoughts on “Calling Out Lyle McDonald

  1. Andrea

    Sounds like an immature, douchey move on his part. Disagreeing on a topic/subject is one thing. But to bash someone’s work and then run and hide is cowardly. Hopefully he will show face, you guys can intelligently hash it out, and respectfully agree to disagree.

  2. Claudia

    He sounds like an energy vampire, don’t let him suck your energy. He sounds like a douche to me also…insecure, plus I have never heard of him, so that means he is a not really that great or popular since I only associate with the most excellent people. LOL…Really though, you are to good for that crap.

  3. Lyle McDonald

    Oh noez, another butthurt guru? So Bret do you deny basing the entirety of your butt book on 4 individuals who you did poor EMG work on? C’mon be honest. Explain the full methodology of how you reached the conclusions in that book.

    Cuz we both know you jsut put the electrodes any old fucking place, had an insufficient data set and then made yourself into a guru on the butt. I mean, Jesus, squats don’t utilize the glutes? Are you retarded?

    BTW, if you were at all secure in yourself, you wouldn’t need to posture like this on your blog. So forgive me if I give the first flying shit in replying to your ‘calling me out’.

    1. Bret

      Lyle, quite the opposite. If I was insecure I wouldn’t post this on my blog – I’d run and hide.

      If you were secure with yourself, you’d oblige me on the podcast. Will you agree to debate me or keep hiding?

        1. Bret

          What is wrong with Lyle followers? I said that we’d debate on a neutral forum. I don’t care who records the podcast – what does that have to do with anything (assuming it isn’t doctored)? I should move on? It’s Lyle who keeps talking about me…over and over and over and over. That’s why I confronted him.

          1. Alex

            “It’s Lyle who keeps talking about me…over and over and over and over.”

            Maybe he just likes you.

        1. Antinatter

          ROFLMAO! I hadn’t heard of this guy before but he sure sounds to be about as likeable as a used rubber. His responses are astoundingly crude, quite devoid of anything that might be called information or insight. Good thing you put your foot in his ass, Bret!

      1. The Fitness Doc

        Lyle doesn’t lift yet he teaches people to squat.. fuckin hilarious! Another point to be noted here – very relevant to me to show who’s a bigger man! The kind of language Lyle and his followers use and the poise and calm that Bret displays…

    2. TheTruth

      Lyle please just leave. The fitness industry has moved on, it doesn’t need you anymore. You’re yesterdays news and the truth is you’re just a butthurt old man who hates the attention the young guys are getting these days. (remember Martin?).
      Marketing yourself by bashing other coaches is sad and pathetic.

      My advice; Get a brand new car. That will sort your mid-life crisis out.

    3. bix

      Yeah… There you go Lyle… Cause your elaborate way of reasoning stuns us all… You really seem to have that clear grasp of logic and sense of language that really breaths credibility. After reading your post here I am just longing to leave important advice to you expertise!

    4. Phil

      That is your response to Bret? That is all? Ha, very constructive indeed.
      If you feel you are qualified to criticize why not debate- critic like this is without substance- you have points to make against Bret (for whatever reason) bring them on…

    5. Sarah

      I think Bret wrote a very civil and respectful comment regarding you. Unfortunately, the rather “inarticulate” level of your reply speaks for itself, however “famous” you may be in the fitness or in any other industry.

      Derogatory language is totally uncalled for and makes you appear “weak” in this case.


    6. Razwell

      Hey Lyle:

      It’s too bad I completely discredited your misuse of the First Law of Thermodynamics to justify blaming obese people, huh?

      My sources include the numerous M.I.T. professors I spoke with, as well as Lawrence Krauss, Dr. Tyson, Dr. Susskind and Stephen Hawking himself ( briefly).

      And guess what they ALL UNANIMOUSLY AGREE with Gary Taubes’s assesment of the First Law and its reach. Namely, that the the First Law says NOTHING about WHY somebody is obese or the many causes. Yes, it is valid for life, HOWEVER, it is POINTLESS to invoke it. Let us never mention it again.


      The human body is an open, non-equilibrium dissipative thermodynamic system. As ALL laws, the First Law’s reach and scope is VERY limited. The human body produces a lot of DISSPATED heat- lost energy. Naturally thin people are especially good at this generally.

      The First Law does NOT address ANY of that and was never intended to. Nor does ANY of the above contradict it in any way, shape or form.

      Lastly, there is NO HIEARCHY whatsoever between hypotheses, theories and laws.They are ALL scientific explanations that DIFFER IN BREADTH, NOT level of support. And one can NEVER grow into another.

      Non-equilibrium thermodynamic expert Gavin Crooks told me: “The loss and gain of body fat/muscle are extremely complex BIOCHEMICAL PROCESSES best understood within that framework. It’s not a matter of basic physics.” He also said “I seriously DOUBT that there is any singular equation that can characterize it.”

      Lyle McDonald DEBUNKED PUBLICLY by Razwell in 3 seconds.

      1. John McIntosh

        Lyle McDonald is right on the money with first law of Thermodynamics.. I am 51 years old, and studied the human body from a bodybuilding perspective for 35 years.. I won a the heavyweight class of the Mr. Tampa Bay in 2000.. I’ve been to the Mr. Olympia 5 times, met all the best in the World, and studied this question for the last 35 years.. And I can tell You that it took me 35 years to finally come full circle on this question.. And for the sake of this argument-LYLE McDONALD is correct… Calories In < Calories Out carries the day for weight loss.. GET THIS RAZ- for 25 years I "Forgot" about this UNIVERSAL LAW.. The more I learned about advanced bodybuilding, the more I searched for the answer in other places.. (IE: Nutrient Partitioning, Estrogen Levels, Cortisol, Morning workouts VS Evening workouts, Cardio VS Lifting, Leptin, Gherelin, Growth Hormone Declination, Thyroid Hormone Down-regulation, and the daddy of all bullshit-GENETICS).. I knew so much about these advanced concepts-that I forgot the MOST BASIC RULE.. This Rule is ""ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED NOR DESTROYED"".. Lyle is saying the same thing that I learned after talking to THOUSANDS of people working at GNC for 9 years.. Most HEAVY people LIED about what they ate daily, and also exaggerated the amount of exercise that they do.. That's all Lyle is Really saying.. RAZ-RAZ-RAZ- All those other factors that You mentioned ARE TRUE.. And they all contribute to WEIGHT LOSS/GAIN… But the first rule of the universe gets overlooked– I was guilty of overlooking this rule for a couple DECADES… BOTH of you guys are right.. ALMOST everybody that came into my GNC, and I mean THOUSANDS, swore that they never ate past 7:00 pm- and it was almost never true.. I used to hate when I would hear a doctor say it boils down to CALORIES IN versus CALORIES OUT.. Because it triggered people to want to STARVE themselves to lose weight, and I KNEW that is not the best approach.. Consequently, I would argue all the other mitigating factors that I mentioned above… Now at the age of 51, after 35 years of studying and living the bodybuilding lifestyle- I now realize that I FORGOT about the 1st law of Thermo-dynamics… What Lyle said is Gospel- The most important points are:
        1) People under-estimate what they eat daily (they don't even know what a serving size is)
        2) People grossly over-estimate how much the exercise
        3) If You Quarantine people in a clinical setting , which almost NEVER happens, and they ate
        ONLY what You dictated, they would lose weight..
        4) LASTLY- When an obese/fat person tells You their 1,200 calorie/day Spartanlike diet, and
        they cannot lose weight, they are actually saying that the RULES OF EINSTIENS universe
        CEASE TO EXIST in their body… And its BULLSHIT, because they are LYING…

        Its just as silly as the Courtroom scene in the movie "MY COUSIN VINNIE" when they talk about the magic grits… ALL the other advanced bodybuilding factors CONTRIBUTE GREATLY to body composition, but the 1st RULE OF THERMODYNAMICS carries the day !!

    7. Razwell

      Further, Lyle, ALL the First Law says with regard to people is:

      IF a person gained mass ( fat and/or muscle) they had to have a consistent positive energy balance over a certain period of time
      *S-O-M-E-H-O-W*. That is IT. That is the EXTENT OF IT.

      People such as yourself EXTRAPOLATE this law. It does NOT say that “eat less move more” works or has to work. It is SILENT on that completely.

      This “somehow” has ENORMOUS amounts of INVOLUNTARY factors affecting it. Unfortunate Gut microbiota, the body’s numerous compensatory mechanisms , poor hormonal profiles ALL affect energy balance.

      This “S-O-M-E-H-O-W” has ENORMOUS reasons behind it.

      Energy balance is largely regulated by the body itself INVOLUNTARILY, not by us. The First Law is SILENT on this.

      Voluntary factors have extremely limited ability to affect body weight over the LONG TERM.

      Dr. Michael Rosenbaum has specifically said ” Our research has clearly shown that with regard to body weight, the body has a mind completely of its own.” This IS the case. And no money can be made by you admitting this.

      The First Law does NOT address how the body RESPONDS to even a 10 % of body weight weight loss by REDUCING total enerfgy expenditure by at least 25 % AND inducing a super CHEMO–MECHANIC EFFICIENCY in the muscles. The Blogpshere never talks about this.

      Dieting PHYSIOLOGICALLY DOOMS us to failure long term. Weight regain is NOT about willpower, it is about BIOLOGY. This is extremely well established by thorough research. Scientists see regain ( over the long term) EVEN when people dilligently stick to their diets and exercise regimes.

      The First Law does NOT assign OR imply ANY blame or bad behavior WHATSOEVER.

      There are PLENTY of obese people who eat nutrient dense and portion controlled sizes asnd exercise faithfully YET REMAIN OBESE.

      it is COMPLETELY SILENT on the above fact. It does NOT AT ALL address it- nor was it meant to.

      This fact does NOT AT ALL contradict the First Law WHATSOEVER in any way shape or form. It ONLY”contradicts” YOUR PHONY understanding of it.

      So, STOP EXTRAPOLATING this law to imply bad behavior, Lyle.

      But, there is NO MONEY to made by you ,Lyle, admitting this- is there?

      Down this road you do NOT want to go with me, McDonald. I have spoken to the BEST obesity researchers on the planet, as well as TOP physicists.

      These physicists ( and biologists and geneticists) are NOT saying what you are claiming.

      You LOSE Lyle. This was 4 years in the making talking tio 30 scientists from M.I.T.. Caltech and Oxford.

      1. Colin

        “My sources include the numerous M.I.T. professors I spoke with, as well as Lawrence Krauss, Dr. Tyson, Dr. Susskind and Stephen Hawking himself ( briefly).”

        Prove it.

  4. Dustin

    It is a shame that individuals who have differing views on training philosophies can’t seem to co-exist. We all have bias and preferences for different training techniques and modalities for various reasons. I would love to see two differing views come together, discuss why they hold those views, then take it or leave it. There doesn’t need to be any bashing in the mix, and it is certainly wrong to publicly bash and discredit a fellow professional without going through some diplomatic process. I hope this meeting happens and would love to read the conversation.

    1. TyWall

      Dustin, you are spot on. I couldn’t agree more. It surprises me that sometimes a fitness “professional” can act in such childish manner. I think a debate would be healthy and interesting!

  5. Jr

    I know a while back, Lyle got into it with Martin Berkhan (Leangains). I believe Martin tried to post facts, and Lyle turned it into Name Calling. There are always people that are going to try and tear you down. It means you are doing something right. I would let it go, and keep moving forward.

  6. Lyle McDonald

    ” I’ve been advised by my some of my respected peers to rise above this and move past it”

    So Bret why didn’t you? I mean other than this allowed you to
    a. generate some GREAT publicity for your site and e-book
    b. optimize some keywords for MY NAME
    c. post the typical picture of me as an ad hominem.

    Oh yeah, that’s why you didn’t listen. This means cold cash fucking money for you through the ‘controversy’ you generated. Go fuck yourself.

      1. suspicious

        honestly, to me this whole “calling out gurus” thing DOES seem to be about your EGO. Coach Poliquin and Lyle McDonald both have more than enough clients and work to keep them happy … why would they, or anyone like them, take time away from their business to debate someone with, no offense, much less experience than they have?
        “Oh no, someone else has a different opinion than mine about how to best train athletes … I better go argue with them and prove I’m right because I’m too insecure to just work with the clients I all ready have and let my results speak for themselves …” is what you sound like to me.

        1. Bret

          You don’t have a good understanding of the situation.

          I respond only when I’m getting bashed. I leave people alone and stick to the science. But when others are bashing me, that’s when I respond.

          Please understand that as it’s a huge distinction. If these folks did what you suggested and let results speak for themselves, they wouldn’t be bashing me and I’d leave them alone.

          I’m simply responding to things I hear and read with my own two eyes. Lyle is the one who keeps talking about me on the internet. Please add him as a friend on Facebook and see for yourself what he writes and how he carries himself.

          When someone is running their mouth, I think it’s appropriate to call them out. If they’re a man, they’ll accept the debate, but if they’re not, they’ll just keep running their mouths. That’s how I see things.

          But please do your homework before making assumptions – I’ve stated that Charles and Lyle are smart guys, you won’t hear them say the same about me. And to reiterate, they’re the ones saying things about me, so I responded – Not the other way around.

    1. Bret

      Lyle, man up and quit dancing around the issue.

      Let’s get on Skype right now and record a call.

      If you’re so damn smart, it’ll shine through and make me look like an idiot.

      I’ll play whatever we discuss on my blog, and I’ll answer every question you have.

      And by the way, I don’t do things just for publicity’s sake. I tried many times to reach you on Facebook when you bashed me but you didn’t respond.

      You keep bashing somebody and eventually it’ll back fire on you.

      Second, I don’t know enough about SEO to know that I’ll optimize key words for your name – that didn’t even occur to me.

      Third, I post a picture in every blog I write so something appears when I post it on Facebook. That wasn’t ad hominem.

      But you accusing me of ad hominem is a little bit hypocritical, right?

      I’d much prefer to jump on a call and hash these things out rather than keep going back and forth on my blog.

      However, if you don’t wish to engage in a discussion like grown men, simply list out all of your grievances with my work and I will respond to every single one of them.

      If you can teach me anything, I’m all ears. But if we end up seeing eye to eye on things, then I would like for you to quit bashing me. That seems fair to me.

      1. Heidi

        I appreciate that you are remaining sane and calm in this conversation Bret. You’ve always had my respect and you still do.


      2. Sarah

        Hi Bret,

        honestly, I think you wrote a very reasonable, intelligent and professional post. And what does this guy do in reply? He writes a pathetic post that any ill-mannered twelve year old boy could easily have come up with.

        People who can’t but resort to meaningless insults, instead of defending their opinions with intelligent reasoning, just make a fool of themselves with their own childish reactions.



    2. Razwell

      Learn what the “ad hominem” fallacy MEANS, Lyle McCockle….. It’s NOT simply an insult.Google “Plover ad hominem misuse”

      You’re a dimwitted arm chair Net surfer, McCockle. People like yourself are not advacning human knowledge at all. The public needs to learn to recognize charlatan salesmen like yourself and refuse to let you ( and others like you)interpret science for them.

      People such as Phil Plaitt, Neil deGrasse Tyson , and even Dr. Stephan Guyenet ARE advancing human knowledge and admit to MUCH uncertainty and vast unknowns. They are research scientists- PRIMARY sources of information.

      I am glad Bret called you out. My friend Urgelt is more scientifically literate than Lyle McCockle will ever be. He identified McDonald as a scammer almost immediately.

    3. dunhill225

      Lmao. Lyle seems to think highly of himself. As if this incredibly small group of people that make up forums is indicative of the general public. Lmao. Using your name does not magically generate lots of publicity. Thats hysterical. Lots of money? Even funnier. Lyle i have no clue why anyone would listen to you. Either you are to lazy to follow your own advice or your advice sucks. Nope ya dont have to be a big ripped guy or anything but if your gonna write about gaining muscle maybe you should have some. Ya basically look like a meth head.
      Oh and you also just suck as a human. 😉 but take care.

  7. Frederico Estermann

    Saying that “I am wholly unimpressed by anything Contreras or Schoenfeld have ever written” and just leaving at that is just not a very nice thing to do, to say the least. Really, what kind of statement is that?

    I’d love to see you two on a debate – Go Bret!

  8. Tom McDonald

    Bret, he has done the same to me and he is very rude about it, I can’t believe someone of his intelligence stoops so low over the Internet, and to someone as polite and knowledgeable as you. Ignore him, even block him, that’s what I and many others have done.

    1. Bret

      Once upon a time he was my friend on Facebook and he de-friended me. Then he started bashing me on his forum, in Facebook, etc. Whenever I reply to threads that he comments in, he doesn’t respond to them. And I’ve sent him FB emails. So it seems that he’s more interested in calling me names than getting to the bottom of things.

      How can anyone settle anything if one person just calls the other names and then doesn’t respond?

      Anyway, I don’t need to block him as he’s not my friend on FB, Sure I can ignore him, but I thought I’d try to confront him first to see if I could settle things.

      1. Melody Schoenfeld

        Bret, I really wouldn’t worry too much about this guy. He is not singling you out– he does this to EVERY respected fitness professional out there.
        I have watched him bash several people on FB on their pages over and over again, as well as in various forums around the interwebs.

        Here’s the thing: maybe he knows something we all don’t. Maybe he’s a genius. Maybe he is the smartest man on the planet when it comes to all things strength and health.


        But none of this matters when he just comes across as an angry, bitter douche who cannot give anyone else credit for good work, nor can he give anyone else useful, constructive criticism.

        Let him troll the internet with his obvious insecurities and “shock jock” mentality. In the end, people will realize who is worth listening to. And good riddance to anyone who prefers to listen to an angry man spewing poison.

        1. Bret

          Thanks Mel! He’s one of the brightest in nutrition and body comp, but nobody can possibly know everything about everything…Based on what I’ve seen I’m not impressed with his biomechanics knowledge. I’m mostly unimpressed with his personality though – I hope that as I age, I become more of a man, not less of a man.

  9. Three Pipe Problem

    Lyle, if you won’t debate him, you merely embarrass yourself… further. It’s a bit odd to see your last comment capped off with accusations of “ad hominem”. What is calling someone a “retarded” “butthurt guru”?

    My experience is that anyone with a sense of irony as impaired as Lyle’s is not going to be capable of a productive debate, but accurately describing his behavior (which is *not* ad homimem) and challenging him was the right thing to do. I’m sure he’s angry because after this post, there’s a good chance is will be among first thing anyone sees when they Google his name. Karma’s a bitch.

  10. Joe


    Brett has over 5,000 followers of his facebook page and he is constantly interacting with the public. You have under 2,000 and rarely answer any of the comments. When you do, it is always with a snarky jackass of an attitude. You may know your stuff, but you are clearly a social idiot. Why some much hate man? Use your knowledge for good, or go away. Or, maybe you just enjoy trolling the internet while drinking your diet coke’s. If that is case, troll on my friend, because you won today!

    1. Bret

      Exactly – he’s accusing me of doing this for publicity when this will give him way more publicity than it gives me. He bashes me ten times on FB but when I reply I’m trying to get publicity? Seems like Lyle thinks that rules don’t apply to him – that he can bash people but they’re not allowed to respond.

  11. Topo

    Why all the hate Lyle, did he rip you off or something?
    I mean, i get it, you dont like his methodologies, but why the insults?
    IF you think you can prove him so wrong about his research, why dont you argue with him in a respectful way?

  12. kedric

    Wow Lyle, I’ve read your books and information and I must say it’s really good stuff. However you doing this made me look at your from another point of view.

    Your brain is probably full of genius information but and the same time it’s filled with character shit.

    Bret I would love to see a debate go up and am more than willing to be the neutral party. Would be heck of an educational experience for all.

  13. Lyle McDick

    Bret, the whole truth is that my wife managed to get a copy of “Strong Curves – a woman’s guide to build better butt and body”, got some huge epic results, and now she left me. So I’m all butt-hurt (pun totally intended) and just feel like trolling you to the max over the net. Nothing but the whole truth!

  14. Brandon

    Lol. Lyle is a narcissistic, lonely little man with major depressive disorder and an antisocial personality. Also, he doesn’t lift.

  15. GFulton

    Years ago my thesis advisor taught me to never wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

    1. Bret

      That’s definitely not my style – I wouldn’t sue him. Just want to put this issue to rest and thought I could settle it through a debate.

  16. Eric

    Wow, for such a smart guy Lyle this is disappointing. If you are a true professional and looking to improve the industry enthusiasts and colleagues alike would benefit greatly….. if it could be done in a professional manor. Props Bret for confronting haters head on.

  17. Joshua Verduzco

    Hey guys do you think it might be a troll talking as Lyle Mcdonald? At least on some of his comments in different sites? I know he is an ass but you would think somebody would take advantage of that and pretend to go overboard by using his character

    1. Bret

      Josh, it’s definitely Lyle. He just posted on Facebook calling me a “pussy.” See the irony there – he backs down to a debate and I’m the pussy?

      1. Alex

        With someone like that there’s no educated discussion possible, u either ignore him, because it is definitely a waste of your time and energy, or u make him swallow a few teeth..

  18. Al Lyman

    I have no respect for a “professional” who uses language like that about a colleague, in a public space. Zero credibility IMO. Bret, thank you for your calm demeanor and professional tone – its the only way we move forward, and not backwards, as a society AND as a profession.

  19. phillybuster

    lol..Lyle is a troll.I love his work but I think if you knew his M.O,you’d just ignore it and answer his queries,however crudely they are put, so that everyone knows you have done your due diligence in the info you put out. You do very good work.

  20. David

    I’m tempted to agree with Joshua above. Lyle may be a douchebag, and he’s had his fair share of face-offs before, but to insult people on their own blogs and on FB doesn’t seem like his style. Over his lifetime, Lyle has accumulated quite a collection of people who have axes to grind, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them became hellbent on discrediting him into oblivion. Time will tell.

      1. Alex

        Damnnn.. i just had a look and theres definitely something very wrong about that poor guy :)
        Let it go Bret, u surely have much more important things to do than waste time with that idiot..
        He doesn’t need a debate, he needs a shrink !!

  21. sav

    Along as it sticks to the subject matter – sharing of ideas is great. I think at this time emotions are running to high and may not work out as we may think. Bret I respect and have bought some of your stuff and look at you in a positive light. There was only one time I was slightly disappointed with the situation. When you and carl valle was gong back and forth on I believe on vertical vs horizontal forces in sprinting and it’s importance(I can’t remember the topic exactly so please forgive me) In the end Bret you are to good for this especially on the idea you will be Ph.D. Results speak and winning is the most important things. Do you see track coaches legends like dan pfaff, tom tellez, dr.Bondarchuk just to mention a few going online with these types of debates. The are to busy coaching and winning.

  22. Don

    I think this Lyle guy thinks he’s some kind of shock-jock. Except good shock-jocks never hurl 4-letter words that make themselves sound stupid.

  23. Shane Bondy

    Lyle is clearly an unprofessional, jealous antagonist. His comments clearly display fatal conceit and the fact that he resorts to nasty comments, swearing and name calling would suggest an unintelligent argument.
    All power to you Bret

  24. Ze

    What’s amusing is how people can’t separate disdain of character vs. criticism of work. Lyle is by far at the forefront of his field wrt applied nutrition. But his personality is also, uh, hard to handle.

    Who cares? Are you trying to be his friend? Or learn proper nutrition?

    1. Bret

      Ze – that’s not the point. Put yourself in my position.

      He’s patrolling the internet saying things that aren’t true in attempts to discredit my work. When I confront him, he doesn’t reply. Then he keeps bashing me.

      Yet the evidence leans heavily in my direction, and I highly doubt he’s aware of this.

      Someone cannot claim to be “scientific” and ignore evidence. Moreover, being ignorant of the evidence and then speaking out makes him guilty of everything that he bashes others for doing.

      I’m aware of his knowledge in nutrition and physiology, but his biomechanics knowledge isn’t world-class.

      This would become apparent if we debated.

      1. Ze

        Hi Bret,

        I am referring to your readers in their dismissal of Lyle. Obviously you aren’t dismissing him and rightfully so, b/c he is respected in his profession.

        I personally agree with you wrt. Lyle and biomechanics. That is far from his skill set (I have a phd in biomech). Actually I’d be better to discuss with than him, lol.

        I don’t know what he’s ranting about specifically, although I did pull up some thread about some EMG activiy on either back or bicep activation. Here were my comments if you care to discuss / clarify:

        #1 sample of 1 is not significant. results are probably highly individual specific

        #2 EMG activity is affected by order of exercises. Also sets varied in # reps

        #3 what does he define as a “peak”? an instantaneous peak means nothing.

        #4 “mean” values are skewed by the duration of the exercise. an exercise where the triceps are fully activated during 1/2 the exercise might give a lower mean than one where the triceps are only partially activated, but for the whole duration. Which is “better”?

        1. Bret

          Ze – not sure what you’re referring to (an article I wrote)? 1. Agree. 2. Agree and I’ve found this myself but haven’t seen research on this. 3. Peak as in greatest level of activation, why does instantaneous peak mean nothing (as long as it doesn’t look like an artifact)? 4. Agree completely, which is why EMG doesn’t tell the whole story, why both mean and peak are important, but also torque estimates and other indicators of exercise effectiveness (movement pattern, etc.). Agree, I’d rather have this conversation with you!!! Cheers, BC

          1. Ze

            Yeah, the article was making conclusions on best back exercise based on peak & mean EMG activity. But the definition of “best” is vague – hypertrophy? I don’t even know of optimal hypertrophy has been quantified – would it be constant force (relative to length and velocity conditions) across the entire range of motion? Plus some time coefficient? Peak and mean EMG both miss this.

            EMG is generally more accurate in terms of stating what muscles are activating and when (wrt coordination), and starts getting a little fuzzy when trying to assess muscle force.

            Just thinking outloud, what needs to be done is do experimentation with EMG, mocap, force plates, etc.. for a subject then create and validate a neuromuscular model for specific movements. Then show not just muscle activation, but muscle force production over a whole suite of movements. Then let people “interact” with the model by varying anthropomorphic params and movement patterns.

            Now that would start providing a subject-specific tool for finding a set of exercises that produces robust muscle force production.

          2. Bret

            Ze – I’m replying to your post below since it won’t let me reply to your post.

            COMPLETELY AGREE! This is something I told Brad Schoenfeld that we need to shoot for in the next decade, but right now neither of us have access to labs that allow for the calculations of inverse dynamics. I see myself getting into this down the road as my primary area of interest.

            Are you an NSCA member? If so, next month I’ll have an article coming out that touches on some of this (Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal) in the SCJ. If you can access it, please do. If not, email me and I’ll send it over to you. This will be right down your alley.

  25. Todd Bettler

    Bret, don’t waste your time with this individual. Lyle, grow up. I’ve seen a fair amount of arrogance in this field, but rarely have I seen someone, that allegedly has your knowledge base, act like such a juvenile. If you have a problem with Bret calling you out, then perhaps you need to man up and take the challenge offered. Of course it’s typical – of the truly inept – to avoid stepping up to the plate.

  26. Adam

    Hi Bret, unfortunately there are always going to be people that actually have the time for destructive criticism and negativity.
    I’ve had great results from your workout after a very short time and your whole ethos of glute based training has really opened my eyes to an aspect of training I’d never considered that much before so i thank you for that and I’ve also read nothing but praise from everyone thats discussing your work so the proof is in the pudding as they say. If people are looking at hundreds of good reviews/testimonials vs lyle whatever his name is it’ll be disregarded anyway. On top of that you’ve dignified yourself on this thread with the responses you’ve given whereas he’s just embarrassing himself further.

  27. JT

    Sounds like debating with Lyle would be like pissing in the wind. I say just ignore him. Delete his comments. People who believe in your work will do the same.

  28. Cage-Brah

    Lyle’s actually hilarious. I’m on his side on this one. Sorry, butt guy. Or wait, what’s your name? Isn’t that how they called you in prison, “the butt guy”? lol.

    1. Bret

      Cage-Brah – I’m sure you’ve learned a ton from Lyle and like him, but how can you be on his side here? Essentially it’s like this:

      1. Lyle takes pot shots at me
      2. When I respond, he ignores me
      3. Lyle keeps taking pot shots at me
      4. When I confront him and challenge him to a debate, he backs down
      5. Lyle accuses me of all sorts of things that I’m not guilty of (but he is guilty of)

      There’s no winning with him?

      He claims to be “scientific” and “evidence-based,” but he’s not after the truth here. It appears that he’s just jealous of me and out to discredit me, and if that’s the case, there’s no winning.

      But this is probably lost on you as you don’t seem to be that bright.

  29. Ryan Mallett

    Are you seriously going to try and have an INTELLIGENT debate with a “professional” who uses the words ‘cuz’; ‘c’mon’ and curses like a sailor? Is he a fitness profeasional in the 5th grade? It’s easy for a bully to name call and bash people behind the comfort of the Internet, however, if he was even half a man (which he isn’t), he’d shut his pie hole and actually debate with you. But, alas, it’s easier to hide behind posts. You shouldn’t even try to put this to rest Bret, such an intelligent individual needs all of his energy to learn how to spell; use correct grammar and how to speak intelligently to people. You give respect; you get it. He gives none bc he’s a bully, so let him try to make a name for himself as the ‘anti-Bret’ and when he actually produces something of any meaning in this industry, we’ll maybe listen to what he has to say. Though probably not.

  30. Trivium1224

    Holy hell, Bret and his followers have thin skin. Why does any of this matter? It’s all for the lulz anyway.

    1. Bret

      I have thin skin? I’m actually trying to make scientific progress. If Lyle cared about science he’d engage in the debate. What Lyle does is halt scientific progress. Of course this doesn’t matter to you – it’s not your life’s work. But it matters to me, which is why I’m taking the accusations seriously. It has nothing to do with thin skin, it has to do with attempting to make progress. On the contrary, Lyle has thin skin. Somebody sent me his Facebook post last night and it’s embarrassing. How you can’t see this blows me away.

  31. Boris Bachmann

    Hmmm. I guess I just don’t understand the need to call him out. Controversy = publicity = marketing, but long term you come out looking like a total jerk.
    Specifically address the points that are relevant and let it go – you’ll make your point. If Lyle replies in a civil manner, great and maybe you’ll learn something, and if not, no harm done. JMO.

    1. Bret

      Boris – you seriously think I did this for marketing purposes? That’s not how I operate. If some bully is kicking and screaming, you either keep running your whole life, or you confront that person. I’m not the type to run and hide.

      If Lyle sent me a list of things he’d like for me to explain, I’d address them. But something tells me that he’d then fabricate other things, in which case it would keep going on and on and on. Hence the debate idea.

      Lyle won’t debate with me because he knows he’d look like an idiot if he did. And all of his followers are making excuses for him.

      He picks fights and can’t back it up.

      Last, Lyle is incapable of replying in a civil manner. I thought he might be, but clearly I was wrong.

      1. Boris Bachmann

        I don’t know why you posted it. Not that Lyle is innocent, but is writing a post about the man the mature, professional response?
        Here’s a serious question because I don’t know the answer – you’ve done at least a couple ‘grill the guru’ posts – how many actual debates have resulted from them?

        1. Phineas Gage

          If a bully constantly bullies you, at some point you’re going to do something about the bully. When scientists and disagree on something, it’s perfectly normal protocol to have an open discussion or debate – on print or in person – where the pressure is on both parties to perform and think at their fullest efforts. A civil debate would have been great to see between Lyle and Bret. But it’s now clear that Lyle doesn’t have any semblance of scientific agenda beneath his bullying. He’s just slinging mud because Bret’s popularity is rising fast while his reputation has been decaying into a joke for the past 2 years or so.

          Here Lyle has been given a chance to educate us on what exactly he knows that Bret does not. But guess what? He’s afraid to discuss anything, because deep down he’s smart enough to know Bret will OWN him. Now every time Lyle talks shit about Bret, we have a link to where Lyle tucked his tail between his legs when politely challenged to back up his disagreements.

        2. Bret

          Boris – keep this in mind. I don’t just call out these guys. I have many colleagues in the industry. They attend seminars, participate in forums, etc. When I hear things that they’ve been saying about me (keep in mind that I don’t say anything about them….it’s the other way around), then I respond. If someone challenged me to a debate I’d accept, so would my colleagues Alan Aragon, Brad Schoenfeld, Layne Norton, Stu Phillips, etc. I actually thought that Lyle would engage in a debate, but apparently he can talk all the trash he wants and there are no repercussions (and no way of settling things or coming to terms).

          By the way, do you see the things he writes about me on his Facebook page? It’s revolting.

        3. G

          +1 to Boris
          I don’t see the point of a blog post about this. Anybody who has read anything of Lyle’s knows what he’s like. Maybe they’ll agree, maybe they won’t. And I’d never have known this was even happening without this post. Now I’m wondering what he said and if he was right.

          1. Bret

            Grainne – Please understand the mind of a scientist. All we have is our research and our honor. To be discredited by those who don’t understand the science or fabricate things is one of the worst things imaginable to people like me. I will vigorously defend my honor for the rest of my life and will never regret it. And btw, what he said isn’t right. – BC

  32. Jeremy

    This is silly, in my opinion, Brett. If you want, I will do an open-book debate with you using Lyle’s books. The fact is, he has already published a great volume of work which cites hundreds of articles published in refereed journals, and designed programs that work based on the state-of-the-art in human physiological understanding. A lot of your disciples on here are asking “does Lyle even lift?” . The question should be “does lifting according to Lyle’s prescribed guidelines yield results?” In this respect, there is no debate to be had.

    Brett, you say a lot of things that make sense, and advocate a lot of things which work. Lyle’s work educates people, and equips people to be able to determine for themselves how to objectively judge the merits of a training or diet program. That is how I am able to read through things you say, or an article in Men’s Fitness, or a bro at Gold’s – and figure out who is full of shit, and whose advice is likely to help *me*. Just because Brett looks more developed than Lyle doesn’t mean following Brett’s advice will yield superior results. Anyone with half a brain ought to know this. If not, then might I point out the guy on the shake weight commercial is pretty ripped …

    I am sorry that Lyle’s bashing has upset you. But Lyle is an asshole. Nothing will be settled with a debate, just like nothing is ever settled after a rap battle. If you want to “win” a debate against Lyle, go get published in refereed journals or expound upon his applied research survey precedent and demonstrate superior understanding through published non-periodical material. Then educated people will have symmetric information with which to judge your opinions. If you want to show whose crew goes harder or whose cock is bigger or whatever, then I recommend you call up worldstarhiphop or pornhub or something and try and settle this there.

    1. Bret

      Jeremy, this has nothing to do with Lyle’s books. Lyle is calling me names and casting doubt upon my methods and research, and I’m attempting to discuss that in a debate. If Lyle was man enough (and a scientist like he claims to be), things would indeed be settled in a debate. Two intelligent and rational people can often come to terms. But Lyle isn’t rational.

      1. Derrick Blanton

        OK, that was funny.

        Oh my God, I’m having an asthma attack. I have tears in my eyes I’m laughing so hard.

        “Shake Weight Guy”…You, sir, get the Internet award for today.

  33. Megan

    WOW! I’ve read a lot of Lyle’s work, and as Bret and others have said, he is a smart man. But just because you are smart does not mean you deserve or have the right to tear people apart. Bret, I understand you wanting to have a debate with Lyle, but I suspect it would get ugly fast regardless of how calm and sane you remained; it would not turn out well. So, keep putting out great work and those who appreciate intelligence and kindness will continue to support you. I know I will.


      1. Dylan

        Oh, that’s a tough one. I think Lyle would play Zoolander because his white man fro is pretty legit. Bret would play Hansel because he’s so cultured and well rounded.

  34. Hugh Enis

    I have a hammer,I use it to hammer things, Id never use it as a screwdriver. why would I?
    Lyle is a tool, use him as such

    you guys are all retarded to keep bashing the guy, whats the point?

  35. Steph

    Bret you don’t need to call Lyle out for anything. You have nothing to prove to him. It is clear by your following and your credentials that you know what you’re talking about.
    If Lyle has an issue with you, it is HIS not yours. Please don’t waste your time trying to understand his motives. You’ve given him kudos on his knowledge base and you owe him nothing more.
    I think this is just a lesson for you on not taking things personally. I think you and the information that you share is fantastic. Let the positivity silence the negativity.

  36. Naomi

    The above discourse clearly shows who is an emotionally mature adult and who I will never bother with again. Thanks for shedding light on this, Bret.

    1. Bret

      Lyle – here you go again. You are acting like a 5 year old, not me. The things that you accuse me of are things that you’re guilty of. You’re clearly terrified of debating me, so rather than manning up and either going through with it or admitting fault, you’re dancing around the issue.

      1. Gates

        Bret. An ancient proverb says “where there is no wood, the fire goes out”

        You are keeping this going by responding and wasting valuable energy mental and emotional energy. Every blogger has their haters. This other dude seems mentally unstable and unbalanced to me. Pretend he doesn’t exist and stop reading and responding to any of his comments. How would actors fare if they read every lie and half truth written about them?

        You have better things to do than worry about this guy. Cant you block him from commenting on your page here?

  37. Bret

    Thanks everyone for the support. The point of this is not for marketing purposes. This was risky for me as if Lyle took me up on the offer and debated me, and was clearly much more intelligent/well-versed than me, he’d have made me look like an idiot. I stand behind my methods and am willing to take this risk, and would have loved the chance to get to teach Lyle a thing of two and also hear him out so that we could come to terms and reach an understanding.

    However, he doesn’t appear to operate this way. He just wants to call everyone names but when somebody calls him out he backs down and calls them more names.

    I don’t know why his followers don’t hold him accountable for his actions. He’s been running his mouth and now it’s time to step up or shut up. I know damn well that Lyle is brilliant. I respect his intelligence, but he doesn’t respect mine. If we had a debate, he would learn to respect me, but he won’t give me that.

    This was my attempt to make progress and settle something. I may film a video where I reply to certain things that Lyle has said.

    What I don’t respect, however, is Lyle’s integrity and honor. He acts like he has some code but then doesn’t follow it himself. He is not a man in my opinion.

    I hope that he changes his ways or he’s going to live an ugly life.

  38. Ted

    LOL at this whole thing. The Poliquin call out was awesome, in my opinion, and needed for various reasons. But this scanario is actually kinda bizarre.

    Bret, are you 100% sure this is him posting here in the comments section? I have no Facebook account so I have no idea.

    If I were him, Bret, I would call you out on your blog post in which you stated armwrestling strength was primarily determined by the strength levels of the subscapularis and supraspinatus. That was “odd”, to put it nicely. :-)

  39. Wazzup

    You can’t discuss anything with retards en religious zealots. Ya know Dunning–Kruger effect …. it’s just a useless waste of time

  40. paul turner

    lyle has always acted the asshole on his site when replying to posters when it suited him.He is VERY SMART on ex physiology and nutrition and body comp training and can debate research off the top of his head.Seems like an asshole on facebook also,like hes deliberately trying to be seen as one while talking down to others.some of whom are genuine readers.

  41. Shugart, ah, honey honey

    Can you guys quit with the mean words and have a glute flex-off competition?

    If possible, though, I’d like Lyle to shave first.

  42. ---

    At this point, Lyle probably isnt’ replying to these comments, even though it seems like he did above.

    The whole post and comment thread has now just become “entertainment” and any ‘ol internet troll such as myself can just use Lyle’s name and web address to keep the entertainment rolling.

    You might as well shut this thing down because you will be continually trolled and the debate is never going to happen.

  43. Phil

    This seems to be McDonald´s standard M.O. A couple of years ago he verbally attacked Mark Rippetoe on Rippetoe´s forum – same kind of name calling and crap that he´s doing here. The guy may be smart, but he has some serious psychological issues.

  44. Kellie

    Dearest Bret,

    You have an internationally published book releasing in 11 days. You have a Phd waiting to be worked on. You have multiple online ventures that need attention. You have a second internationally published book releasing later this year than needs attention.

    You have presentations to write, journal articles to research, and a life to live. Regardless what Lyle says, it has not affected your success. However, if you continue to spend precious hours waiting for a logical response rather than tending to the things that make you successful– well, then…

    Your very humble colleague,


  45. Yael "the tensor fasciae latae guy" Vargas

    Bret, if you’re not doing it for publicity just go to his forum. Either one. And LOL @ people mentioning “carb nite” dipshit or batshit crazy Rippetoe who actually did have a chance to have Lyle face to face for a podcast interview but cancled at the last minute.

  46. Carlos

    The debate is a great way to call the guy out! And you are right, it would be incredibly educational because a well run debate is usually the best way of determining the truth. I bet he runs from the challenge! Bullies always back down when challenged.

  47. Nick Christian

    I am really at a loss of words for lyles attitude and the way he presents himself. I used to follow some of his work years ago, after seeing his this, never again. Bret, I believe you have handled this very well, too bad he doesn’t want to debate like an adult.

  48. brandon

    Lyle McDonald is currently under investigation for child pornography. Nobody needs to hear a debate on anything with this guy involved.

    1. Bret

      Boris – I agree with this. I’ll have you know that I was actually eager to chat with Lyle as I would like his input on some things that are currently unknown in the research. In fact, I’ve emailed Stu McGill, Roger Enoka, Carlo Deluca, and plenty of other researchers over the past couple of months seeking answers to various questions I have.

      I’ll be the first guy to admit that I don’t have all the answers, and I’m actively seeking advice from people who are smarter than me in their respective fields. Just making sure that you know that about me.

  49. Risto Uuk

    But what is so special about Lyle McDonald’s knowledge or work? I have read many of his article, a few of his books, and watched a seminar. He is smart, he has produced good stuff, but is he irreplaceable? There are many other people as smart as him or even smarter. Turn to them for information. He behaves very arrogantly on a daily/weekly basis. Why does he still get the popularity and attention he doesn’t deserve?

    1. Phineas Gage

      It’s because Lyle had written a bunch of good books on dieting. That’s the key word: DIETING. His training knowledge is very basic. His knowledge of the advanced aspects of biomechanics is nonexistent.

      He’s popular because there are plenty of angry, trollish assholes who like to laugh both at him and with him when he’s on a psychotic rampage. He’s popular in the same sense that everyone slows down to see a car wreck on the freeway. People like Lyle in the same way people like to watch fights on the Jerry Springer show.

      Lyle ducking away from this debate shows that he’s a typical cowardly troll with a big mouth, not a scientist. He’s a smart coward though, since he knows his limits of knowledge in biomechanics don’t even reach the level of Bret’s ankles.

    2. Bret

      Hmmm, I’m not sure if “smarter” is a good word. Lyle is a genius. But like many gurus it seems he’s gone bonkers. I really think he needs medication or therapy – his attitude gets worse each year.

      As to who is “smarter” than him in his field? I don’t know if there are any. Alan Aragon maybe. But there’s plenty of room in this industry for lots of experts, and some folks are more creative while others are more scientific, so it’s good to have a good blend.

      I don’t turn to Lyle for information to be honest – never have. His behavior is so childish that I’d never approach him for info.

      As to why he’s still popular – he’s found a niche, and this irks me. Seems that he’s realized that he can gain a large following by trolling, and he has an army of trolls underneath him. They have their own language and antics, and they don’t seem to live by any code. They don’t care about science, just about putting people down and hating on others. I hope that one day these people wake up and realize that this is no way to live a life. Everybody needs a code.

  50. Poul Haacker

    Asked Lyle why he wouldn’t discuss it with you instead of posting negative stuff on his wall. I was blasted with profanities, an excuse about not having the time (even though he does have the time to troll), and was blocked immediately. Lyle said he would rather troll people than discuss with them. He is also a coward for blocking everyone that don’t bite on his trolling attempts, but call him out instead. I suspect your attempts at discussing with him are futile. He enjoys trolling and being a coward more than anything else. I think he will continue until someone sues him. Even then he will probably continue, it seems he is mentally ill.

  51. Kaz Adams

    I can hip thrust 220 for 8 reps. I would never have been able to do that had I not met the Glute guy or heard of the Glute guy. He has helped me to be better at life cause of my astonishing glutes. Lyle just shut up and smile. Bret you don’t need to debate with him. There will always be haters who have this idea that they know everything in the world its part of the balance of life with every positive there is a negative. Just “Monk it” (relax and forgive) and move on bro supporting you from New Zealand man. Also because I know you’re too cool to say it to him I’ll do it on your behalf. Lyle you are but a spec of dust under my butt when I hipthrust max weights and become better at life then you with every breath I take and everything I do. Like we say here in NZ stop being dick mate. Take care Bret!! :)

    1. Bret

      Thanks Kaz! Remember to specify 220kgs (485 pounds). Here in the states we’d assume that you meant 220 pounds. And I agree – astonishing glutes does make you better at life haha!

  52. Mike

    Just wanted to say, I’ve emailed Lyle a few times about my own fitness goals, and he was kind enough to take the time and answer my questions, and give me some professional perspective. I just think this needed to be said due to all the Lyle bashing on here. He’s not perfect, but has contributed a lot to the community (for free), and is capable of being selfless, kind, and an around gentleman.

  53. o

    And this isn’t “controversy” Lyle? Lyle’s constant trolling to fitness professionals is starting to look like a poorly executed publicity stunt to sell his own shit.

  54. Don

    It does not matter if he is nice, if he is out bashing someone else’s methods then he should be willing to say that to someone’s face at a debate. Only people who are not confident in what they are saying avoid confrontation. He is probably worried that he would look like an idiot.

    1. Adam

      I don’t think he has ever claimed to be anything but exactly what you just described. (minus the joke part)

  55. Peter

    As a neutral party who just found this website and has been reading this situation, something seems a bit odd in regards to this Lyle’s persons responses. I mean he seems abnormally angry with Bret. The name calling and language see a bit much just cause u disagree with Bret’s butt work.

  56. Ben Reynolds

    As an elite sprint athlete I can attest to the sheer awesome’ness of Barbell Hip Thrusts in increasing sprint speed. The proof is in the pudding. My best so far are 640lbs x 4 and 375lbs x 31 at 180lbs bodyweight and let me tell you it transfers to the track beautifully, my improvements in the last year has been huge. Thanks Bret! Expect a testimonial from me in the coming years.

  57. Augie

    I’ve followed Lyle for a while, read a couple of his books, joined his forums (even got banned once if I remember correctly). On one side I respect his intelligence and on the other his personality largely qualifies him as an asshole. But the guy has integrity. Very few people in this field don’t stay long without selling out to get their name out. They sacrifice their principles for profit and peddle bullshit, mediocre products that appeal to the ignorant masses. Hell, I just read and returned a POS book by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein that epitomizes everything that’s wrong in this industry. Lyle could have gone that route years ago, made a ton of money, and sold his soul in the process. IMO, I think it’s one of the reasons why he comes across as being so jaded and who wouldn’t if you sat by and watched hacks make it big by pushing shit products.

    Bret, I also acknowledge your work and intelligence. But I also lost a lot of respect for you when you started working for T-Nation. Everyone knows the long history of broscience bullshit that Biotest has pimped through their front end sales site and you choosing to collect their paychecks only makes it worse. Lyle is probably one of the very few people in the industry who TC Luoma wouldn’t go near to publish articles for T-Nation b/c there’s not enough money in the world that Lyle would take to sacrifice his principles. For that I respect the guy… even if he is a douchebag when it comes to being around people.

  58. Jojax

    I gotta agree with Lyle that you only gained great Google keywords for his name bringing traffic to your site by calling him out.

    I googled Lyle Macdonald and your website was close to the top of the google page, therefore I see it as you capitalizing on all of his life’s work, everything he worked hard for you are getting traffic to your website.

    It’s genius….. Bret I’ve never heard of you but now I’m going to research you and might actually follow some of your work. Great tactic, seriously.

    And you’ve created a great blueprint for marketing. If you want to be a guru, call out a guru with great internet exposure. I’m gonna try that in my industry.

  59. jojax

    Okay, you know your shit. I checked out the rest of your site.You have my endorsement. But I still only landed here from googling lyle macdonald. So, whether that was your intention or not, you are capitalizing on alot of physical fitness enthusiasts looking for lyle macdonald.

    Besides the drama, you are doing a good job promoting available information for guys like me. Keep up the good work.

    I’m a glute fanatic, I wear the tight Mili Vanili bike shorts in the gym.

  60. David

    Bret, you are giving Lyle way too much credit, I appreciate your civil and grown up tone, but calling him a ‘genius’ is an insult to all true geniuses within their field of work out there.

    Thank you for all your great work, I always learn something when I visit your blog.

  61. Sara Lake

    He’s not that great. His info is now very dated and he isn’t involved in research. His main hobby is verbally bashing people that are doing the things he wishes he could.


  62. Joe Musselwhite

    This sounds precisely what Randall Strossen of Iron Mind does! He’s supposed to be a man of science but when one confronts him with direct questions pertaining to facts he instantly begins name calling and jumping topic! Very frustrating indeed!

    Great article Bret!

    Hunt down the Gurus and expose them! (professionally that is) LOL!

  63. Dan


    I love the fact that you are willing to debate people on the issues and that you stay up on current research. You have a great writing style and obviously put a lot of time into your articles to ensure they are backed up with research. Very commendable as that is an often lacking quality in this field.

    I have to ask you though, did you actually give a testimonial to this book? Because there is one from you on the add at the link I provided.

    This has to be about the worst ebook I have ever seen. The spelling and grammar make it barely readable. If you can manage to get past that, the content is simply embarrassing to read. It’s really that horrible.

    Please tell me this guy jacked your name and image without your consent. I simply cannot imagine that someone who holds there self to such high standard as a peer reviewer would lend their name to this rubbish.

    If you want to grill a guru, grill the clown who wrote this ebook. He certainly seems like a fraud from this book and his website and multiple facebook pages.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.


  64. Matt


    I think a lot of people are torn on how to view Lyle. I’ve read many of the articles on his website and recommended it at times to people looking for sound basic nutrition info. I thought his marathon series on “Why the US sucks at olympic lifting” was fantastic. He was one of the first online nutrition writers I discovered who provided thorough research reviews and cited his sources in all his articles. I feel I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him. He had a number of touching blog posts related to his work at an animal shelter. If I met him in person, I’d like to thank him for the information he’s provided.

    But MAAAAN, he reacts to criticism/debate with extreme hostility and seems to mistrust anyone and everyone who promotes their own products. It feels like the Lyle who writes the blogs and articles is Mr. Hyde and his internet persona is Dr. Jekyll! It would certainly be nice if he would approach his critics a little more civilly and let the research he presents speak for itself. He doesn’t need or care for my opinion and no doubt he’ll have something awful to say to me too if he posts on here again.

  65. Jackson

    This guy seems extremely immature. Pathetic. And I find it very amusing how can’t find a picture of him anywhere without his shirt on, yet he’s posturing himself as an expert of “body recomposition”.

    1. Razwell

      I am glad you asking these questions and being skeptical. He is not an expert on anything, just a snake oil salesmen and arm chair nert surfer as my highly scientifically literate buddy, Urgelt, told me long ago.

      People like McDonald see that there is easy money to be made promoting nonsense to an easy-to-fool public who is ignorant of how science works or what it even is. The research scientists are the primary sources of information.

      Take care,

  66. Razwell


    I have your back. Send Lyle and his bullies my way. I would LOVE to publicly discredit them and show just how stupid they are compared to my sources – Lawrence Krauss, Dr. Tyson, Dr. Susskind etc.

    The human body derives its energy from the energy contained in the chemical bonds of the food we digest. It turns this into heat and kinetic energy.

    The human body is an open, non-equilibrium dissipative thermodynamics system. This situation itself makes applying the First Law very complicated- FAR more than for closed systems in thermodynamic equilibrium.

    In general ,we must consider FREE ENERGY ( which includes entropy) rather than energy. This is an area of thermodynamics which is very subtle.

    Wishing you well,

  67. Sansan

    Lyle is a bit screwed up social 5 (enneagram). It was his personality that made him a famous guy in the BB world, but now, his personality is doing him bad.

  68. Zeru

    Lyle do you even lift ? Seriously, lyle you’re like a 60 lbs skinnyfat who say behind his computer that he knows better than shwarzeneger how to gain muscle mass. You obviously don’t do what you preach. You can cite all the research that you want, the facts are the facts and you’re not an example of muscle building success at all.

  69. James

    I understand your frustration. Lyle can be harsh at times. However, if you did debate him, it might be the end of your career. I would just avoid it.

  70. Paul

    I found one of Lyle McDonald’s books in a google search on a topic of interest to me. I was planning to buy the book but now that I’ve read a number of his comments on this and other sites there is no way I could take his opinions seriously. His lowbrow behavior seems matched only by his over-inflated ego.

  71. J

    I am not really sure how I wound up here but I am glad that I have. I think I understand both sides of this. One side is very sad (just personally and in opinion) because of the amount of good information I took away from Lyle. I was pre warned about his attitude.
    This is just too much. I do respect Lyle’s work, it helps professionals apply correctly and help break some barriers… but there is more out there that Lyle.
    More and more I have realized (of course after going through my own arrogance which I feel is a healthy stage in the life of a lifetime pro and academically inclined individual) that attitude is far more important to the positive contribution of information flowing into the industry.
    Yeah, I have my opinions on T nation. If anyone asks, I’ll state them. Otherwise I’ll leave that be.

    On the other hand I had my own negative feelings based of no where, small samples, of Brets work. Once again, irrelevant. There is a lot I can learn from him and plan on giving him a shout.

    I believe that our differences in opinion on the same subjects with an atmosphere of respect (whether that be direct or passive) progress not only our understanding of science but our process to find proper application, variation, and “what works”… not necessarily what has yet to be concreted in the lab.
    I believe for where we are (not where we hope research takes us) this should be a place where we can all have respect as this is a small community.

    Poor class Lyle. But thats just my opinion. Matters most to the folks that benefit from my programs. I can proudly say that I have learned now from both Lyle and Bret, however Lyle’s latest lesson has been somewhat disappointing.

  72. Melody

    He is a Lyle is a real jerk. I had two really horrible interactions with him. The first was when I was unable to register for his forum – he emailed basically telling me I am an idiot. The second email he called me “A nutty bitch”. Really classy and customer focused. Did I mention that I was interested in his ideas and products?

  73. John

    Wow. Lyle. You sound like a little troll. So yes, I did think about buying some of his products because he has received some positive reviews from reputable strength athletes buy yikes.. first of all, it looks like he doesn’t even lift and I’m thinking ok.. maybe he’s just really smart.. but now, after reading this thread and seeing his responses he has lost all semblance of credibility in my mind. Thanks for exposing this ‘guru’ for what he really is @Bret.

  74. Max

    Have you seen what Lyle has just released on his BodyRecomposition website? Some book about bondage, S&M, etc. – I am seriously not kidding. Have a look.

    His fat loss books are truly excellent, but psychologically and socially he’s definitely one messed-up unit.

    1. psychiatrist

      “Self diagnosed bipolar”. Basically, he’s naturally just a piece of shit asshole, but now he’s trying to give himself a psych diagnosis to excuse it. Psych diagnoses are not straightforward. Diagnosing yourself through Web-MD or whatever the hell he used is hilarious. I’m all for people apologizing and changing their behavior, but what he has done here I find to be intellectually dishonest and downright offensive to people that actually have professionally diagnosed psychiatric conditions.

      1. dodo

        The bipolar diagnosis IS just a medical term for being an asshole.
        p.s. in regard to Lyle expertise.. working out is not a science. Anyone trying to make it out to be a science is just riding the easy money train. Nothing new in training for any sport in decades, and it is all empirically based.

        He is much less knowledgeable than most assume. Being an ass does not make you knowledgeable.


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