Once I started this journey, I was immediately trapped in the net of the industry like a complete tool. Eventually, I understood that the majority of the info out there is half-dirty. There are some good ideas, but about 50% of the stuff is crooked for various reasons. That’s how I came up with the following list of five questions to ask before following the advice of a fitness expert/muscle guru.
1.What are the real life results of their clients?
It is crucial to know whether the ideas of a guru work on real people. This is a difficult task because many sources rely on manipulated before and after photos. I have seen some ridiculous transformations over the years which can mislead even experienced lifters.
The most popular ways to fake a transformation are:
hiding obvious steroid use
combining extremely unflattering before pictures with sharp and crisp after photos
very short duration of the transformation
relying on professional athletes or bodybuilders to advertise a product designed for the average population (This creates an unreal amount of false hope and high expectations that can never be fulfilled.)
supporting the false idea that a “secret” product or a training program can create an otherworldly physique
The main incentive to manipulate the final results is to sell a product which is not nearly as effective as advertised.
Unfortunately, the trial and error period is long and unavoidable. In my case, I had to fall for almost everything to get to the point where I cannot be lied to anymore.
I remember when Mark Rippetoe first posted the popular after photo presenting Zack Evetts’ transformation which was supposed to showcase the effectiveness of squats and milk. The truth is that the boy got fat and that’s it. Many refused to call it as it was, and yet it was true. This was a huge hit on the squat and eat big to get big propaganda.
If the squat formula was working so well, why aren’t there more real world examples of people who have gained an amazing amount of muscular weight thanks to the system? Most of the time the end results show one thing – bulking victims who can’t distinguish fat from muscle.
2.Are they supporting the system? Are they afraid to criticize the real villains?
Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
If people are not criticizing the system, it could be because of hidden benefits. This happens all the time in the AFB (away from the barbell) life too.
Would you criticize fast food if you have a fast food chain?
Would you criticize brainwashing movies if you have a motion picture studio?
Would you criticize drugs if you are a drug dealer?
Have you ever noticed that the fake natty topic is often omitted during interviews of muscle celebrities? Nobody asks uncomfortable questions because the majority of people in the media are also getting paid thanks to the current profit mechanism which often steals from the unaware crowd. If a guru is not asking/answering worthy questions, chances are he’s taking a portion of the pie for his role in the muscle cartel.
3.Do they sell Photoshop photos, sex, illusions, macho nonsense or any other form of pipe dreams?
The bodybuilding media look like a soft porn movie thanks to the thousands of Photoshopped butts surrounding everything.
If the content you are reading contains tons of material hitting the pleasure centers of the brain through sexually suggestive images, your guard can easily go down. It’s like watching a movie with a really attractive cast but dangerous underlying messages. You stay for the actors and the sex appeal while your subconscious mind soaks us up the hidden memo. Be careful, Trojan horse attacks are deadly.
4.Do they have a mystic following consisting of dick riders?
The only thing more annoying than the self-proclaimed experts are their brainwashed followers who are essential to increasing the king’s power. If you are dealing with worshipers who cannot admit that their idols can sometimes be wrong, you cannot expect objective assessment from those people. They are not thinking clearly and cannot offer you “clean” information.
While many of the cult members are simply victims of misinformation, there is also a large group of people who support false science consciously. Do you really think that the fake natties cannot spot a fellow glute pinner? Of course, they can, but they will always support their brothers in needles.
Therefore, we often get to observe the formation of muscle cartels. It’s easier to sell a fake story when you have a large group of people supporting it. If one person is telling lies, it’s easy to expose him, but when a bunch of muscle warriors with superb physiques do it, crazy ideas start to look believable in the minds of the naive.
5.Are they changing their ground beliefs too frequently?
I get it. Nobody is perfect! I have been wrong many times in my life. We live and learn, as they say. Your beliefs and ideas could change multiple times over the course of your life. However, in this case, I am talking about 180 degrees turns with one single goal in mind – profit.
Ask a politician about his program before big elections. You are going to hear ideas that surprisingly make sense (e.g., reduced poverty, higher salaries, better education, more efficient health system…etc.) It all sounds nice, but once the elections are over, the policy changes quickly.
Con men are flexible and can switch their colors in the blink of an eye. We all have to be careful because the middle finger that’s behind the back of our idols may one day be in our faces.
I appreciate the way you cut through the bull using humor. I too had unrealistic expectations when trying to achieve the perfect body thanks to these fitness and ‘health’ magazines and ‘experts’, but your site has put those expectations in check and I now lift because it is what I now enjoy doing. I no longer expect a 3 month transformation while eating 8 meals a day.
Don’t ever stop writing, I’m bnow ecoming a ‘good hater’ too. 😀
I guess you are a little hard on Mark Rip. In the cult of bodybuilding I think he is an honest man. His stress on compound moves is something that this world needs. As a physicists I see he knows practical basic physics. And about the milk story. Yes that is not rational however I prefer it to guys who are trying supplements even with their books