World's Stupidest Supplement Ads

Questions to ask when you see the advertisements.

Supplements...we all take them, looking for an edge or even a magic pill. Over the years, I must have taken hundreds of different supplements and spent 1000s of $ (sad).

The results are sobering, to say the least. There are some that are worth the money, 101 Fitness Myths has a chapter on the 5 best supplements.

But what always fascinates me is the incredible marketing and graphs the companies use to suck money out of our pockets. Waiting for clients at the gym, I began flipping through muscle magazines, and I couldn't help but notice the stupidity of some supplement ads.supps.jpg

So without further ado, my 10 favorites:

10. "Now with real fruit!" Ok, ...what was it before? Unreal fruit??
9. "Our new pre-workout supp will cause skin bursting pumps! "Wow, that would really hurt and definitely put you in the ER.
8. "Burn 400% more body fat. "Than who? Where is the comparison?
7. "Build 20 lbs of muscle!" That is a great one. Aside from the fact, that it would be a difficult feat to achieve even while on steroids, one has to wonder: what if I only weigh 120 lbs? Do I really gain 15% of my body weight?
6. "Breakthrough technology." Does it get any more vague than this?
5. "Lean muscle mass. "There isn't really any fatty muscle mass, since that would be called adipose tissue or body fat.
4. "Steroid-like results." Nothing, absolute noting will give you results like steroids. There is a reason those substances are classified as drugs in most countries...No further comment...
3. "Muscles exploding with new growth." That would probably kill you.
2. "Build x lbs of pure muscle." How in the world do you build impure muscle? If you have this much control over your body, you could definitely play in the NFL or be your own nuclear reactor a la Dr. Manhattan.
1. "Product x declares death to fat cells." Without getting into the whole leptin discussion, fat cell death (apoptosis) is extremely rare. If all your fat cells were to die, so would you. Fat is also needed to make testosterone so some of it would be helpful. On another note, fat doesn't melt either, it oxidizes and by doing so the body makes use out of the stored energy.

But my absolute favorite is a certain company who takes it to a whole new level. They basically, use the Matrix movie ( do you want the blue pill, Neo?) , the blue pill signaling endless muscle growth and 4% body fat. You (Neo) have to commit to buy a 3 month supply for a a whopping 500+$, which will be delivered to you in a case that looks like something straight out of Area 51. The supplement? A humble berry extract....

I understand they are trying to sell us things, but I can't help but wonder if the supplement industry takes all bodybuilders and strength athletes for illiterates who are unable to tie their own shoes.

Rant mode off...

Train hard!


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Maik Wiedenbach

Maik Wiedenbach is an Olympic athlete, personal trainer, and nutritionist. He shares his training wisdom in the 101 Fitness Myths and 30 Secrets for Bigger Arms! ebooks, and the Desk Athlete DVD. Superb.

When not in the gym, he may be found training clients over at Adler Training; and also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Swing on by.

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