Archive for Are you kidding me?
Lately I’ve been getting called by a company called US Marketing Advisors who promises to get my offline business website ranked for certain keywords (even though I’ve asked them repeatedly to not call me…ever but hey they didn’t listen so I don’t feel bad calling them on it). Anyways when they called I listened to their spiel and noticed it has a lot in common with some of the marketing tactics used by the marketers on some of these marketers that you see on late night tv and when you are a business owner, everyone is after your money, just like they are after your money as a consumer.
Now keep in mind what I am relating to you is my own experience as I remember it and may not be the most accurate reflection of what actually transpired but I’m remembering it to the best of my ability.
So I get a call “Good evening Eric how are you?” I’m doing well how are you “I am great Eric thank you for asking, I was on the website and found you on a generic landing page Eric blah blah blah”
note when I hear my name repeated multiple times like that with a girl who I’m not “friendly” with if you catch my drift…it immediately sets off red flags. But I try to be fair and listen to the spiel because opportunities come often and you never know if it’s going to be good yada yada yada.
So they go through their thing talking about how a generic landing page isn’t going to be as good as the service they provide and redirect me to some Top SEO’s website who’s name escapes me at the moment where they are listed as being one of the top SEO things in the country. They they show me the one who’s website they found me on where they are not listed as one of the top seo things in the country. And they proceed to tell me how they can solve all my hopes and dreams when it comes to business by getting me ranked well on google and that they are the ones to do it. They also tell me that I have no incoming links on my website which I know is bs because I put them there myself.
What they don’t know about me is that I know a fair amount about SEO (that’s search engine optimization if you aren’t aware of that). If you find me on the first page of google that’s why. At the same time I recognize sales process’ because that’s the nature of the business I am in and I can see similarity.
So first things’ first…they compare themselves to the competition and why they are superior.
Look in this Shake Weight commercial at around the 15 second point. “Ordinary weights isolate the muscle in just one direction while the shake weight blah blah blah” Comparing themselves to the competition.
Then it’s time to establish credibility with vapor research. In this video this happens at the 50 second point where they talk about it being science fact established at some university. In the case of this company that’s when they redirect me to that Top Seo’s website. The question is who really owns the website and are they being non partisan. For all I know whoever is selling me on that owns the website themselves. They call it vapor research because when you look for it…it mysteriously disappears.
Then comes the iron clad guarantee which happens at around 1 min and 30 seconds. US Marketing Advisors also offered a guarantee also…but only after I’ve fronted enough money to nearly make me bankrupt. How should I know they’d even honor it? Maybe they would but what am I supposed to do in the mean time? It wasn’t something I was willing to risk.
Now normally in commercials they’ll use something called the scarcity principle where they say it’s for limited time only. Similar principle was used on me when they tried to tell me it’s a limited time offer and if they go with another trainer that I will lose this “incredible opportunity”. After telling them 3 times I’m not interested and they keep trying I hang up because it’s wasting both of our time.
Now since then I’ve gotten multiple calls, even after telling them to put me on their do not call list. I guess the scarcity thing isn’t real after all. Just like in the infomercials you have to buy now or you’ll lose that special discount yada yada yada.
Now what does this have to do with you? Well you follow my blog which tells me you are both interested in topics of strength and fitness and that you trust the things I say…or at least are entertained by my writing style. Essentially watch out for some of the tricks that other use but keep in mind not all things are bad. There’s a handful of good stuff out there and part of the purpose of this blog is to separate this from that so you can either follow my recommendations or learn to have a lens of your own. Anyways that’s it for today.
Eric Moss over and out
About a week or so ago the New York Times had written an article about why women can’t do pull ups. As you can imagine this put the fitness community in a bit of an uproar and before I write up my response here is the article in quotes.
(This column appears in the Oct. 28 issue of The New York Times Magazine.)
While the pull-up has been used by everyone from middle-school gym teachers to Marine drill instructors to measure fitness, the fact is that many fit people, particularly women, can’t do even one. To perform a pull-up, you place your hands on a raised bar using an overhand grip, arms fully extended and feet off the floor. (The same exercise, performed with an underhand grip, is often called a chin-up.) Using the muscles in your arms and back, you pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Then the body is lowered until the arms are straight, and the exercise is repeated. The Marines say a male recruit should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups or chin-ups, but women are not required to do them. In school, 14-year-old boys can earn the highest award on the government’s physical fitness test by doing 10 pull-ups or chin-ups: for 14-year-old girls, it’s 2.
To find out just how meaningful a fitness measure the pull-up really is, exercise researchers from the University of Dayton found 17 normal-weight women who could not do a single overhand pull-up. Three days a week for three months, the women focused on exercises that would strengthen the biceps and the latissimus dorsi — the large back muscle that is activated during the exercise. They lifted weights and used an incline to practice a modified pull-up, raising themselves up to a bar, over and over, in hopes of strengthening the muscles they would use to perform the real thing. They also focused on aerobic training to lower body fat.
By the end of the training program, the women had increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent and lowered their body fat by 2 percent. But on test day, the researchers were stunned when only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in performing a single pull-up.
“We honestly thought we could get everyone to do one,” said Paul Vanderburgh, a professor of exercise physiology and associate provost and dean at the University of Dayton, and an author of the study. But Vanderburgh said the study and other research has shown that performing a pull-up requires more than simple upper-body strength. Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. During training, because women have lower levels of testosterone, they typically develop less muscle than men, Vanderburgh explained. In addition, they can’t lose as much fat. Men can conceivably get to 4 percent body fat; women typically bottom out at more than 10 percent.
So no matter how fit they are, women typically fare worse on pull-up tests. But Vanderburgh notes that some men struggle, too, particularly those who are taller or bigger generally or have long arms. This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight.
“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move,” Vanderburgh said. “Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up. I look at a volleyball player and wouldn’t expect her to be able to do a pull-up, but I know she’s fit.”
Ok now that you’ve read that, nothing taken out of context since I pretty much just copied and pasted the article and put it into that block quote thingie on wordpress allow me to show you the world I come from before speaking on theirs.
(the epicness of Melody made it here once again)
Now I’d like to point something out, yes I am aware that women do generally have a harder time then men and that some people are better built for certain things then others. Me being 5’7 am unlikely to be playing pro basketball anytime soon for example…but that is neither here nor there.
First I am aware that they are probably trying to generate a bit of controversy with their title (and hey I am no stranger to controversy after all if you’ve followed me for any reasonable amount of time), but I’d like to point out a couple flaws that I saw in the article…I’m not in the mood right now to go digging for the exact studies so I’ll just take her word for it.
Before I proceed any further the official stance of StrongFirst™ is that we aren’t saying that anyone else is wrong…it’s just that we’re right. So hopefully I won’t step on any toes of professionalism here because it is relatively early in the morning.
Now first and this goes with a lot of different studies not just the ones quoted here, the programs that they use to try to determine certain things are well…stupid is a word that comes to mind but I won’t use it because I am trying to be a good boy since so far I’ve been good enough to make it onto Santa’s nice list for a change. So let’s go with “flawed” instead since it’s a bit more diplomatic (double points since being diplomatic was one of my new years resolutions this year…and going strong)
In this article it says that they focused on exercises that focused on biceps and lattissimus dorsi and did cardio to lose body fat. Seriously? Seriously? Good grief Charlie Brown. You focused on strengthening up all the different parts and hoping that the whole will come together as a result of it? How about if you want them to do pull ups, have them practice pull ups?
Admittedly getting to that initial hump of the single pull up can be a tricky process but there are ways to do it, isometric holds in the various positions of the pull up, dynamic isometric style work and that sort of thing, but trying to strengthen individual muscles is where strength training and bodybuilding differ. For one thing Central Nervous System does more than just recognizes which muscles to fire off but it also patterns which muscles to fire when and that sort of thing. That’s why movements must be practiced and that’s why FMS checks movement to make sure it isn’t dysfunctional.
On top of that a common cause of people not being able to do pull ups is weakness in the core. Watch a person who has a hard time doing a pull up and they’ll flail around on the bar like a fish trying to free itself from a fisherman’s hook. In gymnastics there is something called the “hollow position”. The hollow position keeps your body stiff as a board so that you can move it around the bar safely, effectively and gracefully. Their programming didn’t appear to have anything that did anything for the abs…in fact from what I saw steps were taken to try to remove this from the equation even though it’s a variable that can’t afford to be overlooked. I’m not sure what their version of a modified pull up is but I get this hunch that it doesn’t transfer over to the pull up. I found that putting bands under the feet doesn’t really either unless steps are taken to modify it even further.
And cardio to lower fat to try to do more pull ups? Come on now…First of all cardio is a very inefficient way of losing body fat and if cardio isn’t programmed in properly can literally rob you of your strength, which is exactly the thing that should be avoided when doing a study on strength like this one. Get Strong First and yes that includes strength mobility/stability too From the Strongfirst site:
Until one becomes “entry level strong,” e.g., a strict bodyweight military press for men or strict pull-ups for women, no priority other than strength can be justified for a healthy athlete. Science and experience have taught us that any athlete, even in ultra-endurance sports, who has not built a foundation of strength will fail to reach his or her potential. Strength has been compared to a glass that can be filled with other qualities; the larger the glass, the more endurance, sport skill, fat loss, etc. it can hold.
Just get stronger…think of the body as a whole. Remember a pull up and all of strength training is more then just your biceps and lats and whatever excess weight is on top of that, It is the ability to make your body work as a single, coordinated unit that crushes its enemies, sees them driven before them and hears the lamentation of their women (in this case it’s women who wished they could do pull ups)
And one more thing, besides the physiology and all that mumbo jumbo strength training starts in the mind. Unfortunately do to societal mores and that sort of thing women are given easier physical tasks in gym class…girl pushup for instance. A lot of them will go through life feeling the inferior of the 2 sexes and that’s a shame really. A strongman’s way of looking at things, it starts with the belief that you can do something, the action step of doing it and the determination to say it’s going to happen, because I friggin said so. Don’t use being weak as an excuse, don’t use being female as an excuse. Get Stronger end of story.
Societal beliefs and institutionalized definitions create a “weaker” sex, not genetics. Break the belief, discard the definitions. Weakness is a myth perpetuated by those who profit from their illusory domination. Defy the tyranny of their definitions of your secondary status, and reclaim your power. – Scott Sonnon
Oh and I expect better from you next time NY Times
oh and that’s chins with 3 fingers per hand on the bar, from 3 women who CAN do pull ups…one of them being 51 years young. Sometimes the iron sisters make better men then men. Photo courtesy of LeanBerets.com
So I was visiting my parents the other day and my dad happened to be watching animal planet. As we are sitting there one show ends (I can’t remember which one) and another begins.
The show? Searching for big foot.
Now during this particular episode and I have a feeling that they are all pretty much the same this team goes searching for the elusive big foot and have several different techniques that they attempt for finding them. Here are a couple things in the episode that caught my attention.
They started making these howling noises to get the Sasquatch’s attention and lure him in.
They used pyrotechnics to try and attract the missing link (right the shy and elusive big foot is going to attracted by loud fiery noises)
They would bang a stick against a tree claiming that it was a good way of attracting big foot (really how many times has that worked?)
One person has spent the last 25 years of his life trying to find him (I would have a hard time justifying spending 25 years and having nothing to show for it)
Now what the heck does this have to do with anything fitness related? Well first off big foot is real. He used to train in a gym I used to work at and was a big fan of jump stretch bands in the squat rack and having a big bag of stuff in the middle of the gym floor. But no that isn’t where I am going with this.
This parallels fitness more then you might think. First let’s go on the example of the howling, banging a stick against a tree and using pyrotechnics to attract the elusive creature. When that lady said that it’s a good way to attract big foot…where in the hell did she come up with that idea? Would you find Jane Goodall trying to attract gorilla’s by howling at them and using fireworks? It’s like they are making it up as they go along….just like in fitness.
You want to get in shape…follow this gimmick and get these results. Unfortunately you can’t sell a decent program without having some kind of marketing hook. For whatever reason people won’t buy a program that they know works unless it has some kind of gimmick behind it. Do this it works apparently isn’t marketable unless it’s got some celebrity on the cover. Diet and exercise has to be rewrapped and repackaged and have a hook put on it called muscle confusion or reverse intervals or something to that effect. Many times the genetic blessed are the most sellable whether they know their $hit or not. The non genetically blessed will buy from them thinking that they will look that way too. Don’t believe me, check out your local target and see if Susan Summers has a video out.
Now one other way is about that guy chasing big foot for 25 years with nothing to show for it. Have you ever seen this happening in front of you at the gym? You can set a clock by people’s bench and curl day constantly chasing for something that probably isn’t going to happen. I’m not saying it can’t happen but if you aren’t making progress you ought to take a step back and look at your program and question what you are doing. Don’t necessarily give up but maybe instead of doing bench on Monday’s bro you should do it on Thursday. Maybe you should try big foot’s jump stretch bands or tie some chains on there. Do what you always do and you’ll continue to get what you always had. Are you chasing big foot? Have you caught him? Think about it.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and being awesome.
So awhile back I had hired a business coach to help me brand my business and one of the things that he asked me was “Why is it that people listen to you? What type of people do you attract online?” Well to be honest I didn’t really have an answer. I just kind of do what I do and say what’s on my mind, and some people follow me. So I asked some questions to find out.
Probably the most common response was that people were tired of the lies and gimmicks that run rampant in the fitness industry and that they saw me as an honest guy that happened to know what I’m talking about that genuinely wants to help people and had an entertaining writing style.
Awhile back I did an unfavorable write up on p90x plyometrics X and recently it’s caught a lot of people’s attention many of which I guess I hurt their feelings.
Personal attacks began which to me demonstrates the depth of their intelligence or lack thereof. I guess they didn’t read that I had said that p90x actually does get some pretty good and legit before and after pics. In a day and age where on a bag of peanuts you have to put the disclaimer of “Caution, may contain peanuts” I shouldn’t have been that surprised.
So let’s set the record straight in as basic terms as I can come up with…
p90x plyometrics x is not real plyometrics
neither is p90x yoga x
or kenpo x
The results from p90x aren’t from the muscle confusion marketing gimmick…they are from…wait for it…hard exercise + nutrition…the hallmark of any halfway decent fat loss program.
BUT despite all that, unlike many late night products, the results in the p90x before and after pictures as far as I can tell real….that’s the most important part
Now…why would I do unfavorable review about p90x plyometrics x?
Well first I am an honest guy and that was an honest review even though it wasn’t what a lot of people want to hear.
Second, p90x gets 2,240,000 monthly searches with low keyword competition and it made it low hanging fruit for me to piggy back traffic off of p90x’s notoriety and present some alternatives.
Third, it’s a bit of fun for me to ruffle your feathers and a lot of people played right into it (owned!).
Fourth was to sneak in a way to educate people that might be interested on what true plyos really are and explain it which just happened to be very different then what p90x plyometrics x is. Note…plyos are heavily abused and there are a lot worse offenders then air guitar squats and some other things on the plyometrics x dvd and in general there are a lot worse programs out there that people could make the mistake of following. Jillian Micheals and Bob Harper…yes that was a dig towards you.
oh and I think p90x is a better program then insanity for the record…because it balances the pushing movements with pulling ones.
A short time ago I was interviewed for Garage Gym online and was asked about my stance in p90x and if you had read it you might have recalled me saying “If the worst thing people did was p90x then the industry is still a lot better off then people trying to take acai berry extracts and doing Hip Hop Abs (another Beach Body product).”
So because p90x actually does help people, even if it’s not real plyos, or yoga, or kenpo, and because p90x does not have over 200 cases and counting of exercise induced rhabdomyalsis and because an unfavorable review might prevent someone from buying p90x and mislead them into buying some BS kettlebell program like KettleWorx, Kettlenetics or the Situation Workout (I’m saving a review for them later) they probably wouldn’t have the attention to detail to learn safe technique anyways, and because a girl I’ve become friendly with said “please” in a way that makes it hard to say “no”. I am going to plead to Tony Horton who probably won’t read either post to please forgive me anyways.
Tony, if you can hear me, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings even though I doubt you read my post. Please forgive me and keep “bringing it”.
And please cease the attacks on this “worthless nobody”, my narcissistic ego can’t possibly take it anymore. Sticks and stones may break my bones but comments on my blog from someone without a face will make me cry myself to sleep. Maybe I should go bend some spikes or roll up a frying pan or something to make me feel better.
Thanks for being awesome…or forgiving…which is divine and all that stuff.
First I want you to watch this video…whether you like pro wrestling or not.
Just think for a second about how I actually relate to this guy. Is it because we both have dark hair? Nope. Is it because we both like Living Colour (the ones who wrote “cult of personality…his theme song). Not really.
It’s because we both speak our minds and try to create change. Even though it’s just a work in pro wrestling and heck it may even work if WWE listens to the fans (though considering what many fans what…cough cough..John Cena cough cough). Much like CM Punk is trying to “change the status quo” by getting on a microphone…I try to change the status quo by typing up what I am thinking about on this here blog you are reading. If you have been reading my stuff for any significant time now, then you probably have a different status quo. You are probably aware that women won’t become bulky and that men don’t need steroids to get great results.
That’s the point of all this. You see I have a bit of an eye for catching bullshit. It wasn’t always that way. I’ve bought those weird ab gadgets that you find late at night including that piece of crap that electrocutes you. I learned from those mistakes and apply it to my writings and my teachings.
When you look at the fitness industry as a whole, you can see that there needs to be change. Marketers are always looking for a hook and throw around lies and misinformation like a monkey throws it’s crap. (They both throw around crap…there’s your connection.) Things only get promoted if they are “sell-able” whether they are legit or not and this is the sort of thing I have to contend with.
Last week sometime my dad was watching TV and he was telling me about an infomercial where they take “High Intensity Intervals and flip them on their head.” Whoa, holy crap! The secret of fat loss is flipping what exercise scientists did upside down?!?! This is monumental!!!! Why didn’t I think of that?
My dad’s response, “That sure is a dishonest industry you are trying to compete with.” (note….hard work is going to be decent at getting results…that’s what causes good before and afters…not some secret interval. also DO NOT where cross trainers with my methods)
But you see what I mean by status quo? That’s actually better then most of the others I have seen. Here are some other offenders.
Not all fitness people who use kettlebells are any good….buyer beware. Also, I will go in depth on this when I get a chance but I have been to mellow to be fair to this one.
But you get what I mean right? This is the status quo you have likely been fed and you deserve better then this nonsense. This is what I am here to do for you. I need you to help me change the status quo by spreading my message to anybody and everybody who will listen. That’s it for today.
Eric Moss over and out.