Of all the topics that get banded around at Monkey Nutrition HQ, fitness industry bullshit is perhaps the most popular and widely discussed. We’re not talking about changes and adaptions in knowledge. This happens as we evolve and improve our learning through experience and new information. We’re talking the kind of pure bullshit that is used to sell to someone, in the knowledge that said bullshit will have no effect whatsoever in helping them meet their long term goals.
There’s now so much bullshit flying around that we decided to make a little guide to fitness bullshit. You may well have heard some of these points before, but we needed to get them off our chests… bullshit therapy if you will. We’ve split it into three parts, supplements, nutrition and training to make it easily digestible… there’s a lot of bullshit to wade through:
Herbalife, Juice Plus, Forever Living etc. The problem with these organisations is twofold. From a nutrition perspective the products are not only devoid of nutrition and full of crap, the protocols they propose usually involve weight loss through starvation. This gets the desired result quickly whilst destroying the body’s metabolic processes. The result is rebound weight gain and the customer being left in a worse situation than when they started.
Secondly, their business model is abhorrent. Here you go, sell our product in your spare time, grow a network, make money, help people. Well, we’ve discussed why the products don’t help people, now to how the seller gets hurt. No-one likes being sold to all day long. You either want a product or you don’t. When a friend sells to you, it puts you in a difficult situation. You might buy just to shut them up but that just means they’re coming back to sell you more. You might not buy and then you look like you’re not supporting your friend in their new business venture. The tension rises and eventually you just avoid them at all costs.
What they call multilevel marketing is no doubt a pyramid scheme and sellers end up alienated from their friends with a load of stock that they can’t sell. Like any pyramid, it’s the people at the top that benefit and the people at the bottom that suffer. Personal trainers that sell these products… you should know better.
Crazy Protein flavours
Chocobananatoffeo, Cherry bakewell, jaffa cake etc etc. Flavouring systems are complex and account for a lot of the cost behind your bag of protein. Good flavouring systems mean minimal chemicals and don’t damage the integrity of the protein. Bad, over complicated flavouring systems turn a protein powder into a nutritional trapdoor. You don’t take protein just for the flavour, although we agree it needs to taste good, it’s not a bag of pick and mix. Why not put some protein in a mars bar and sell that, oh wait, we forgot about that too, the old mars bar pre workout trend… fucking why? Where does this bullshit come from?
A popular supplement and one you’ll see most wannabes necking from their blender ball bottle at your local chain gym. They don’t work. Sorry. For amino acids to take effect they need to be in the presence of all the others. On their own branch chain amino acids will be ineffective. That’s why we sell amino acid tablets with all the amino acids present. Take your BCAAs with a protein shake by all means, but chances are you’ll be wasting leucine and pissing it out. We’ll go into more detail on this in another article and leave you with this quote from Kleiner in the meantime:
“Leucine is like the hot button catalysing muscle protein synthesis. While this happens post exercise, how quickly it begins and ramps up to a high rate depends on having the right amount of leucine around. But you still need all the essential amino acids for complete synthesis.”
- Note - You will need 2.5g of leucine per serving of protein.
- Note - We use 2.6g of leucine in Monkey Primal26, much more than this is just a waste.
Customised all in one products
The biggest con of all, a scoop of this, a scoop of that, shake up the bag and voila!!
Nope, it takes processing to make a product with multiple ingredients as molecular weights differ vastly. How can you therefore say that each scoop will have the required ratios when the powders haven’t been processed and will sit at different levels in the pouch. You can’t. It’s bullshit, it’s a gimmick and it’s preying upon the uneducated masses. The processing that goes into Monkey M-Fusion is highly complex - for many other supplements such as Dynamite, we use tablets to ensure the right ratio of ingredients in each serving.
If it fits your macros IIFYM
The idea that you can solely look after macros and be healthy whilst not considering micronutrients is preposterous. Many advocates of this protocol to be fair, have altered to allow for micronutrients and adapted it to make sense. It’s those that think they only need to think in terms of protein, carbs and fats that we have the problem with. Especially those that thinks smashing doughnuts and oreos after training will give them an insulin spike that will stimulate muscle growth. Body chemistry is complex beyond our knowledge, this oversimplification is a one way track to metabolic dysfunction.
Steak and nuts for breakfast
A trend that’s hit big time, people having meat for breakfast. It’s fine once or twice a week but everyday? Yes, it might help you see your abs again, but long term this is a very bad option due to a build up of parasites from eating far too much meat. Many people won’t have the digestive systems required for the protocol and slow oxidisers in particular may find it causes a host of issues. In fact, eating anything routinely for breakfast is a bad idea no matter how good it is. Mix it up and vary your nutrient intake. Eat according to your activity. Although steak and nuts isn’t necessarily a bad breakfast, to suggest it’s a) For everyone b) For everyday
Is what we’ve got a problem with, which brings us onto our next topic…
These are great, fish or chicken with broccoli and sweet potato six times a day for six weeks. Not only will this bore your mouth into a gag reflex, it will also severely limit your nutrient quota and deteriorate your health. Fats anyone? You’re going to need fats.
The other main bit of bullshit is that steroid users are going to see muscle growth no matter what they eat. Therefore, diets based around steroid users success have little meaning for non steroid users. They might work to some degree depending on how poor the diet is initially, but any progress will quickly stagnate.
The Low Fat crowd
Heart foundations, sandwich shops (looking at you Subway), healthcare providers - anyone telling you to ditch glorious butters, coconut oils, avocados for plastic margarines and reduced fat sugar bombs. Well, you guys can just give yourselves a massive pat on the back for triggering the current obesity epidemic. Good job!!
We train all the time, but we don’t consider ourselves to be training experts. That’s why we’ve drafted in a few helpers for this one:
Personal Trainer Courses
For a long time it’s been possible to become a personal trainer in the space of a weekend. This qualifies you to work with members of the public as a physical educator. Do I really need to say why this is a bad thing?
Jake Hartley - Barbell Hart
We founded Strength and Performance in 2009, since then the independent gym scene has exploded. Sure, there were plenty of gyms before us but mostly of the bodybuilder type. The systems and knowledge we employ gets the results, not the tractor tyres and sandbags we built into the training programs. We’ve seen so many gyms spring up in basements, warehouses and garages over the past five years and it’s great to see more people interested in training, however, a tractor tyre does not an underground gym make.
You need to ply your trade - do your homework, learn through experience, chase the big numbers and put in time under the bar before you can call it an underground gym. Without the expertise, it’s just a tractor tyre in a garage.
Zoran Dubaic - Strength & Performance
I have no problem with people getting chemical help in the form of steroids or growth hormone injections, I’m not here to judge, but don’t say a training method works when it’s clearly the pharmaceuticals that have done all the jacking up. Even worse, don’t go around delivering educational seminars based on your physique, when that physique was developed with the help of pharmaceuticals. Lying to the public to make money, well, that makes you a con artist.
Sean Keefe - Strength & Performance