While supplementation is not a mandatory aspect of your program, it can definitely improve the overall convenience and effectiveness of your fitness plan if you go about it correctly. There are an endless number of different products out there to choose from, the overwhelming majority of them being overhyped, over priced and downright ineffective.
The key is knowing which specific supplements to use, the highest quality brands, along with the proper dosing and timing. I don’t want to deter you from using supplements, they definitely have a place in your routine I just want you to understand how the industry works and how to recognize what to stay away from.
There are 7.7 billion people on this planet and one third of them are overweight or obese that equates to 256 billion potential customers the fitness industry can take advantage of. The supplement companies know that lean, muscular, impressive bodies are in extremely high demand and they’ll do just about anything to convince you that the answer lies in their new “breakthrough” product.
The Truth About The Supplement Industry
Before we go any further, I will go on the record to say that supplements do work, but most of the fitness supplements available on the market are marginally effective at best, and more than not, a complete waste of money.
The supplement companies know that lean, muscular, sexy bodies are in high demand, and they’ll do just about anything to convince you that the answer lies in their next breakthrough product.
After all who wouldn’t like to pop back a few pills and instantly develop a brand new body.
All they have to do is hype up a random combination of ingredients, slap it together into a fancy bottle, place an excessive price tag on it, stick it on the shelves, and people will fork over their cash everytime.
As long as there is a compelling advertisement and an uninformed consumer willing to take the bait, this unfortunate situation will continue to perpetuate itself over and over again.
See, the supplementation industry used to be highly regulated. You had to prove that your product was safe and effective before it was put on the market.
A few changes to the rules by a senator in Utah changed everything. Now, the supplement industry is no longer regulated by the FDA.
As a result of this deregulation, the supplement industry literally exploded. Anyone and everyone was free to create and sell supplements, and the marketplace began overflowing with every type of product imaginable.
Because of the intense competition. companies began employing all sorts of deceptive tactics as a means of getting ahead.
- Outrageously false product claims
- Low quality fillers
- Ultra low cost manufacturing methods
- Blatant label fraud
All of these bad habits gathered momentum and led to the current state of the industry. A state where most of the products in the marketplace are nothing more than overhyped, overpriced, ineffective fluff.
Supplement Companies are Great At Conning You
Some of the more easily influenced of you out there might be thinking…
“But I read a published article in a fitness magazine about product XYZ. How could they publish this information if it was blatantly untrue?”
It’s because fitness magazines are owned by supplement companies.
Did you ever wonder why over half of a fitness magazines content is nothing more than advertising for supplements and related products?
They don’y make their money from your monthly subscriptions, they make their money by selling supplements. And they do this by packing every single month’s publication with a gigantic mass of advertisements and bogus articles which are written purely for the purpose of promoting a particular supplement.
Don’t believe me? Do the research…
MuscleMag and Oxygen are owned by MuscleTech.
Ironman is owned by MuscleLink.
Muscular Development is owned by Twinlab.
Muscle and Fitness and Flex are owned by Weider.
Muscle Media is owned by EAS.
Muscle magazines are not reliable sources of information, because all of the strategies you read about are specifically manipulated to get you to buy more supplements.
You need reliable information that you can trust. Building an impressive body is hard enough, but when you combine it with all the lies and fraud in the supplement industry, you have a real problem on your hands.
You work extremely hard for every pound of muscle you build and every ounce of fat you burn, and you deserve a training, nutrition and supplementation plan that delivers the results it promises.
I’m going to get a bit more detailed now and reveal the 5 fundamental flaws that render the majority of fitness supplements out there nearly useless…
1. They use ineffective ingredients that are not backed by reliable research
Let me ask you, when was the last time you studied an actual research paper or reviewed a reliable study conducted on the latest supplement you used?
My guess is, that you never have.
Far more often than not, the research is either sorely lacking or non existent.
Although there are literally thousands of compounds being promoted as muscle building and fat burning aids, only a very small percentage of these are backed by reliable research to substantiate their effectiveness.
In the world of supplementation, marketing is everything. Take some obscure ingredient, hype it up as the next big thing, support it with some blatantly false yet convincing research, and watch the cash come pouring in.
Take NO2 (nitric oxide) supplements for example. They are promoted for their supposed ability to increase blood flow to the muscles, translating to greater pumps in the gym, improved nutrient delivery and increased performance.
Did you know that there is currently no research clearly demonstrating that arginine AKG (the active ingredient in NO2 products) increases nitric oxide levels in the body, and that this increase in Nitric Oxide leads to gains in muscle size, strength or endurance?
Yet, NO2 products are some of the hottest selling products on the market today.
This is just one of the countless examples that have come and gone over the years. It’s a serious testament to the effectiveness of proper marketing and the power of the placebo effect,
It’s downright pathetic that companies would charge you money for products without a single shred of real evidence to back them up, but this is simply the way the industry works.
2. They provide supplements with weak dosages that produce no measurable benefits
Of course, there are several compounds that are backed by solid research and that do show safe and positive effects on body composition and gym performance.
But simply including that compound in a particular supplement is not enough. It also needs to be present in an amount that produces measurable results.
This is another area where many products fail miserably.
The average consumer sees a a recognizable ingredient listed on the product label and assumes this is good enough. Little do they know that the actual amount of that ingredient that is included in the product is completely and utterly useless for building muscle or burning fat.
But because companies are not required to list the specific amount of each ingredient on their labels (they only have to list the total amount for all the ingredients combined), you have no way of knowing what’s exactly in the bottle.
Is it a potent muscle building blend or a pill full of rice flour? Believe it or not, the latter is often the case.
In the supplement industry, they call it “pixie dusting” the practice of including minimal amounts of each ingredient as a way to minimize production costs.
And at the end of the day, cutting costs is really what this is all about.
The supplement industry is ultra competitive, and for retail stores to even consider buying the product, it must be priced very low. For the company to make any real money their production costs must be minimal. In many cases, they can develop a product for literally just a few bucks, and then sell it tom you for $50 or more.
It’s not the supplement company or the retail store that gets screwed over, It’s you.
3. In some cases the supplement companies lie about the true ingredient amounts that are present
As if this wasn’t already enough, the sad truth is that some supplements don’t even contain what their label says.
If you’re going to get a supplement that doesn’t work, you should at least get 100% of what doesn’t work.
This is another way they cut down production costs to increase profits. If a company only includes 80% of what their label says they automatically increase their profits by 20%.
When you’re moving thousands of units per month you’re talking about a lot of profit being made.
Label fraud is common practice for small no name brands but it is more common than you’d expect even with the big name brand companies.
Unfortunately, there’s no way for you to know this unless you get the product tested by a third party which is completely impractical for the average consumer, so you have no choice but to take the supplement company’s word.
4. Supplements are produced using low quality manufacturing methods
Even if a particular supplement overcomes all 3 of the previous obstacles (and that is extremely rare), you still have to worry about the underlying product quality.
Most people are under the false impression that every supplement company owns its own manufacturing facility and personally develops all of its own products.
This vision of high tech machinery and scientists walking around in white lab coats is almost never the case.
Almost all companies outsource the production of their products to 3rd party supplement manufacturers. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it can become a huge problem when lower quality manufacturers are used as a way to further decrease production costs.
- Are you receiving pure micronized creatine from germany, or cheap alternatives from China?
- Are your supplements being made in a cGMP certified facilty, or one that uses cheap manufacturing methods?
- Are they 3rd party tested?
- Are they free of harmful contaminants?
When low quality manufacturers are used, it’s like playing russian roulette. You’ll never know if the product you’re getting is truly effective, or even worse is it safe for you to consume.
5. The true effects of their products are grossly exaggerated with outrageous marketing claims
I’m sure all of us would love to lie lazily on the couch, pop back a few pills and see serious results, but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
Achieving a truly impressive body requires time and dedication.
That’s not what many supplement companies would have you believe, though.
With misleading ads that portray the process as a walk in the park as long as you take their supplement, these companies are concocting a complete fantasy and are misleading the true effects of their products.
While this doesn’t say anything about the actual supplement itself, it speaks volumes about the integrity of the companies behind them.
Would you buy something from somebody you didn’t trust? Then why buy supplements from companies who are perfectly willing to lie straight to your face?
The right supplements can certainly assist you in building muscle and burning fat at a faster rate, but only when used in conjunction with proper training and nutrition. This is a simple fact, and supplement companies should be fully transparent about this.