For years, I have taught my clients that the fitness industry is predominantly built on a steaming pile of stinky lies. Why? Because the real answers on “how to get in shape” are very boring—keep your diet simple and healthy, workout hard and consistently, repeat ad nauseam. And that’s a hard sell. It’s not a sexy or flashy answer. It’s flat and boring. And flat and boring doesn’t pop as a sales pitch.
Look at the supplement industry as a good indicator. How many formulations of preworkout do we really need? How many different ways can you combine caffeine, beta alanine, and a few other basic ingredients, in order to “accelerate one’s gainz at warp speed to the next level!!!!!!” How many variations of stupid hash tags do we need in order to lift weights? Didn’t Nike pretty much corner the market when they came up with three words of elegant simplicity—“Just do it”?
But they persist, and ram it down our throats as if they have redesigned the wheel to somehow be more circular.
Last weekend at the Olympia Expo reconfirmed this bedrock belief of mine. And I want to focus on one very simple example to highlight the bullshitty nature of the fitness industry: the shaker cup.
Walking up and down the aisles of the crowded Olympia Expo, I took in the various products and vendors being pimped to attendees. I don’t know the exact pricing on booth space at the Expo, but I have spoken to some insiders, and know that it is not cheap. In part due to the Vegas unions, who have to do all of the unloading, set up, tear down, etc., of all booths. I’m pretty confident that booth space at the Olympia ranges from the $5K, up to $20K range, depending on location and size of booth.
And yet somehow, there were at least four different booths dedicated to selling different brands of shaker cups.
Of what do I speak with these “shaker cups”? You know, a plastic bottle with a colorful top that you put protein powder in, along with water (presumably)—then shake it up—so you can conveniently drink your protein shake wherever you may be at the time.
The question I pose to you, the reader—how many variations on a shaker cup do we really need? Is it such a complex piece of technology, so vital to one’s progress, that we require a minimum of four different companies willing to shell out multiple thousands of dollars, in order to show their new “innovative design”? Do you really believe there is that much difference from one shaker cup to the next?
One booth featured shakers with vibrant tops. Another had “different compartments”. Ooh, that’s technical. A third featured a different “mixing strategy”—the crappy metal ball in the bottom was shaped slightly different (and I’m sure that increases protein delivery to your thirsty muscles by at least 50%, making it so much more anabolic!).
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to waste your money on this crap, feel free. It’s your dime, not mine. My only point—know that you’re being scammed. Know that the fitness industry is built on selling crap product to uninformed consumers, selling lies and dreams of superstardom to wide-eyed fans. And I walked the aisles, watching the “sponsored athletes” looking miserable as they hawked their cheap wares.
And I smiled to myself, happy in my conviction that I have never sold my client base a load of crap.
Eat clean. Train hard. Repeat ad nauseam.
Hard work, consistency, time.
OR, thirty different shaker bottles.
I don’t think TEAM Warrior Within will have its own booth at the Olympia Expo anytime in the near future.
-David A. Johnston
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David Johnston is the founder and lead trainer of TEAM Warrior Within. You can also listen to him weekely on the GEARD Up podcast. ( GEARDUp.com ) David works with clients ranging from the everyday person just trying to lose weight and get healthy, local and national bodybuilding and physique competitors, to IFBB professional athletes.
David lives and breathes all things related to physique transformation, and has devoted nearly half of his life to passionately studying and educating himself to be the absolute best at what he does. His intensity in the gym is matched only by the passion he gives to his clients.