start with the bottom line: you don't NEED supplements
to burn fat or build muscle. The human body
can function and make excellent athletic progress
on nothing but quality food and proper training.
But you CAN use
supplements to help the process along faster.
The real key is knowing what works, what is
garbage, and when an advertiser is simply trying
to take your money.
Let me put it
this way...in a recent muscle magazine, I counted
120 pages of full-page (in some cases 3 to 6
page), high-powered supplement ads. If you were
to buy all these products, you'd be laughing
all the way to the bank...laughing maniacally,
because you'd have to rob it in order to pay
for all those supplements!
There ARE good
supplement manufacturers who make good products...they
put in what they say they're putting in and
don't try to fool you with advertising. But
this article is about the BAD ones and it's
more fun to talk about them...
So what sneaky
tricks do advertisers use to separate you from
1. Unprovable Testimonials
How many times
have you seen testimonials like "I lost
10 pounds in a week" or "I gained
20 pounds of muscle in a month." These
testimonials prey upon the desire in all of
us for fast and easy results. Who wouldn't want
results this quickly? After all, if this person
did it, I should get those same results too,
To me, this is
like a car commercial that uses special effects
to catch your attention then has an official
disclaimer like "car should not be driven
underwater" or "does not imply resistance
to meteor strikes." It looks and sounds
cool but you know it's just not real - you want
to believe but...
And believe me,
I would LOVE to think that results like this
are possible with just a supplement. But how
do you prove that those results even happened?
You can't. How do you prove it was due to that
supplement? You can't. How do you know the person
wasn't "on" something? You can't.
And how do you get your money back when it doesn't
work? You can't.
About 10 years
ago, I did an experiment on myself to see just
how much weight I could gain in a week (keep
in mind, I was just aiming for total bodyweight,
which includes muscle, water and fat). By going
on a very strict diet and training program for
2 weeks then completely reversing everything
and loading up, I was able to gain 25 pounds
of bodyweight in 7 days. And I owed it all to
the incredible new supplement I was taking called
Hydrogen Dioxide (a.k.a. H2O).
Here's the full
story on that:
I Gained 25 Pounds in One Week
2. Before and After Photos
Before and after
photos can be very inspiring and offer proof
that a product works. Or they can fool you like
the time Homer Simpson opened a can of beer
that had just been in a paint shaking machine.
Here's a before
and after picture technique you can try at home:
- slouch as much
as you can
- let your gut hang out and down, push it out
if you can
- bow your shoulders in, hunch your back over,
and bow your knees in
- stand directly square to the camera so you
look as wide as possible
- frown or look miserable
- have a messy, unflattering hairdo
- wear the most unflattering clothing you can
find - make sure the clothes highlight every
- don't flex or tighten up anything - make yourself
feel as flabby as possible
- stand up straight
- suck in your gut and flex your abdominals
- keep your shoulders back
- look happy and wear a big smile
- stand slightly sideways (tilting your body
at angle makes it look thinner)
- wear flattering clothing and have your hair
- flex all your muscles and keep everything
You can make quite
a change in yourself pretty quickly!
3. Pay An Athlete To Get Fat
Then Pay Them To Get Back In Shape
It is a little-known
fact that some supplement companies have been
known to actually pay well-trained athletes
to stop training and get fat. Why? To get a
really awful-looking "before" picture.
Then, when the
athlete starts training hard again, eating right
and, of course, taking their magic supplement,
they get into great shape very quickly. The
goal is to convince you that it was the supplement
that was the key to the transformation, not
the fact that it was a well-trained athlete
in the first place. But an average person is
NOT going to be able to make a transformation
like this, no matter how good the supplement
When you're already
a well-trained athlete, you can make dramatic
changes to your body extremely quickly (as evidenced
by my own 25 pounds in a week weight gain I
talked about above).
To me, it's
like telling a professional boxer that he can
only punch with his face for a few rounds.
When he starts up with the fists again, he's
going to make a pretty rapid improvement!
4. 6 Page Special Ad Reports
Have you ever
started reading an article in a magazine only
to realize partway through that you're being
sold a supplement? These styles of ads are VERY
common - informative enough to make you believe
it's the magazine itself writing the article
but, lo and behold, the best solution to the
topic in the "special report" is the
supplement they're trying to get you to buy.
Note to supplement
companies: even a good product can be wrecked
with too much slick advertising.
5. Misrepresenting Legitimate
Here's the set-up:
take an ingredient that showed some positive
results in an isolated scientific study that
has nothing to do with actual weight training,
e.g. malnourished toddlers in Lithuania showed
an increase in lean tissue when given nutrient
Now assume that
the same results will also happen in a 200 lb
healthy male athlete. Tell people that nutrient
"X" is backed by scientific studies.
They know that you're not going to actually
READ those studies!
Here's the kicker...
now include 10 mg of it in your product when
the effective dose in the toddlers was actually
And here's a fun
way to kill an afternoon: call up these companies
and ask them to send you copies of the studies
they've used to prove their supplements are
effective. I've done that...they don't stay
on the line very long. Oh, they've sent me "studies,"
but where I went to school, legitimate scientific
studies don't generally include price lists.
6. Name Your Product Similar
to a Drug and Claim It's "Almost Illegal"
Luckily for them,
it's not illegal to be useless. If the only
thing a product has going for it is a mashed-up
name similar to a drug, pack up your underwater
car and go driving through a meteor shower.
It's going to be a long day.
7. Proprietary Formulas
I have no problem
with people keeping the lid on the specifics
of an effective formula to keep others from
copying it. But when that is used an excuse
to include next to nothing of the active ingredients
that actually do anything...
You see, I don't
want to pay for a pill that is 95% methylbullcrapsomethingorother
and 5% active ingredient. When the phrase "proprietary
formula" is used, the manufacturer doesn't
legally have to say exactly how much of each
of the ingredients is in the formula.
The best part
is when the scientific study they used to prove
their product works shows a dose of 5 grams
is needed to be effective and their serving
size/pill size is only 1 gram...AND they have
10 other ingredients listed as being in the
8. Professional Bodybuilder
Because I'm quite
sure that a pro bodybuilder weighing 280lb at
4% bodyfat really gained all that muscle from
a couple of scoops of some fruity powder that
is supposed to give you a better pump.
9. The "Latest"
There was a time
when the AMC Pacer and the Gremlin were the
"latest" cars to come off the assembly
line. Just because something is the "latest"
doesn't mean that it actually works.
The current craze:
Nitric Oxide (a product that is supposed to
increase circulation to muscles, resulting in
a greater "pump"/blood flow to the
muscles for increasing muscle growth). Let me
put it this way...I've tried it, I've researched
it and don't waste your money on it.
The only way it'll
work is if you mix it with something else that
DOES work (like creatine, for instance). Then
you're just paying extra for the privelege of
combining the two supplements.
You want a better
pump? Drink more water - that's what blood primarily
is. The better hydrated you are, the greater
your blood volume will be. Need proof? One of
the primary dangers of diuretic use for reducing
water levels to show muscles better is thickening
of the blood, which basically is reduced blood
volume. The more water you have in your body,
the greater your blood volume will be and the
stronger your pumps will be.
Heck, if you REALLY
want to build muscle, half your day should be
spent sloshing around because you've drank so
10. "Eat What You Want And
Still Lose Weight"
Chances are, a
product like this contains something to speed
up your metabolism (most likely a herbal stimulant)
and/or something to block the absorption of
fat or carbs. You will probably lose weight
but you may be a nervous insomniac with debilitating
cramps and greasy diarrhea. What a great way
to promote good health!
Bottom line, I
have no problem with supplements or supplement
ads that are legitimate. What I do have a problem
with (and you probably gathered this from the
article) is the way people are manipulated through
clever advertising into spending their hard-earned
money on useless products. It gives weight training
a bad name makes even good products look suspicious.
You see, a supplement
can only do so much - it can only SUPPORT what
you're doing with your weight training and nutrition.
If your training program or nutrition don't
work without supplementation, no supplement
is going to fix that.
I use supplements
every single day. They can help tremendously
in your training, especially when you use supplements
that are effective and have proven to be so!
There are plenty of good supplements and good
manufacturers out there.
Case in point, one of THE best supplement companies
I've found is this one...Prograde
I actually personally
know not only the owners of company...I also
know the lead product formulator AND the guy
in charge of marketing, which is exactly why
I've partnered with them.
have three basic rules with their supplements...
1. They have to
be PROVEN to work based on scientific studies...if
the research doesn't back it up, it doesn't
go in the product.
2. The products
are all made from top-quality base ingredients,
contain what the label SAYS they contain and
contain ENOUGH of the active ingredients to
actually have an effect!
3. There is NO
hype in their marketing...NONE of the tricks
and gimmicks I described above.
This is what I
look for in a supplement company and I'm happy
to say, they follow these three rules to the
here to learn more about Prograde and check
out their selection of products now!