Ep. #1018: Tony Coffey on Dealing with Fitness Misinformation


Mike: Good day. Dear listener, I am Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today for another episode on dealing with fitness misinformation, spotting it and neutralizing it, I guess you could say. And I thought this would be, uh, a useful discussion, a useful topic because there is so much misinformation in the fitness space.

So many people make things so much more complicated than they need to be. And so many people are cashing in on the psychology of contrarian thinking. That is a great way to generate controversy and to get attention and to get followers. And if you can get followers, you can get money. And many credentialed people engage in the shenanigans as well.

There are many people with advanced degrees from prestigious universities who shamelessly lie about how to lose fat, how to build muscle, how to get healthy. For the purpose ultimately of making money. Unfortunately, life is is not much more complicated than that. Most people are mostly motivated by money.

And to get money you gotta get attention. To get attention, you gotta get views. And sometimes you don’t realize how, especially credentialed people are making money with their platform. Maybe they don’t have anything obvious to sell. They don’t have a book, they don’t have a supplement, they don’t have a podcast that they monetize through advertising.

But they may be on a speaking circuit and they may get paid a lot of money to give speeches at conferences, for example. Or they may be using their platform to advance their career. Maybe they are an academic, and the more attention they get, the more publications they can get into and the more publications they.

F under their belt. The more prestige they have in academia and the more prestige they have, the better the jobs they can get. And that often includes consulting jobs that they don’t openly talk about, but that can make them a lot of money in addition to maybe being a professor or a researcher or what have you.

Anyway, such things are going to be under discussion in today’s episode with my guest, Tony Coffey from Train Bloom. Tony is a coach, educator, public speaker, and prominent voice in the evidence-based fitness space on social media in particular. He is trying to fight the good fights. It’s a dirty fight and it’s, it’s a fight that I am not particularly interested in personally, simply because I don’t want to put a lot of time into social media.

I really don’t enjoy social media. I would rather write the next book or record the next podcast or write the next article. Uh, but I am glad that there are people like Tony out there helping shepherd people away from the wolves. And two simple science-based strategies for eating and exercising that work before we sink our teeth into it.

I’ve worked with tens of thousands of people over the years, and the biggest thing I see with the people I have helped the most. Is they’re often missing. Just one crucial piece of the puzzle. And if you are having trouble reaching your fitness goals as quickly as you’d like, I’m gonna guess it is the same thing with you.

You are probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing right, and that is what is giving you most of the grief. Maybe it’s your calories, maybe it’s your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s food choices. Maybe you are not progressively overloading your muscles and whatever it is.

Here’s what’s important. Once you identify that one thing, once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks. That’s when you start making serious progress. It’s kind of like typing in your password to log into your computer. You can have all the letters, numbers, and symbols write. Except just one.

And what happens? You can’t log in, right? But as soon as you get that last remaining character, right, voila, you’re in business. And I bet the same can be said about the body you really want. You are probably just one major shift, one important insight, one powerful new behavior away from EZ Street. And that’s why I offer v i p one-on-one coaching where my team and I can help you do exactly that.

This is high level coaching where we look at everything you’re doing and we help you figure out that one thing that is missing for you. And it can be a couple of things too, that’s fine. There’s no extra charge for that. But once we figure it out, that’s when you start making real progress. That’s when you start looking better.

Feeling better. So if you’re ready to make more progress in the next three months than maybe you did in the last three years, and yes, that has happened for many of our clients, head on over to Muscle for life.show/vip. That’s Muscle, f o r life.show/vip, and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call.

It’s just a friendly chat where we get to learn about you and your goals and your lifestyle, and then determine whether our program is right for you. Because sometimes we do speak with people who just aren’t a good fit for our service, but we almost always have other experts and other resources to refer those people to.

So if you are still listening to me and you are even slightly interested, go schedule your free consultation. Call [email protected] slash vip. Hey. Hey. I like your background. It’s fancier than mine. I have, uh, boxes that I need to take to storage in my 

Tony: You got a little something behind you. Is this like the little honeycomb? I like what’s going on? 

Mike: This is a rental house. I’m building a house, so I’m like, I started to kind of put together maybe what could’ve made sense, like something more like what you have there for pod. And I was like, actually I don’t care. 

Tony: So yeah, this is literally the corner of my bedroom. So it’s not that high production value.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So I stopped with, uh, a little bit of honeycombing and then, uh, boxes that need to go into storage that I let pile up, uh, for about three weeks at a time and then take them into storage.

Tony: Solid. A game plan. Still looks good. Still looks good. It’s audio though, right? This is audio. 

Mike: Yeah, exactly. My wife’s like, it’s so unprofessional.

Tony: I’m like, ah, well, whatever. , get the job done. Yeah, yeah, 

Mike: exactly. Um, but we are here to talk about something else, and that is, oh, how do we wanna say this? The idea for this discussion for people listening, what, what you’re gonna get out of this is, I guess, um, red flags, green flags, things that are, that you should watch out for in the fitness industry today.

And I wanted to make it topical. Like there are kind of perennial red flags that, you know, I’ve been in the fitness racket now for 10 years and there are like, the low carb controversy has been going on since I got into the fitness, uh, industry. And it still is almost the same argument still now 10 years later, which is kind of strange actually.

But then there are other things that. now are, are more of a thing than, than they were in the past or are like carnivore just eating meat that’s new. That, that was not a thing. I mean, five years ago we knew that as an elimination diet and it was something that was actually medically recommended if, uh, you were having a lot of odd reactions to food and body problems and you couldn’t get to the bottom of it, and you need to really start from just kind of like square one and eliminate everything from your diet that might be bothering you.

So, so that’s what I, I wanted to talk to you about Tony and, and get your thoughts on, I guess it’s, you could say it’s what’s wrong with the fitness industry, but, but also again, let’s talk to people who. Whatever reason, maybe are susceptible to some of this bullshit and maybe we can prevent people from wasting time and energy on things that are not going to produce the results that they want.

Tony: No, carnivore cracks me up cuz you’re right. It’s just, it’s a different mask coming back again. I feel like that’s how a lot of the fitness trends kind of come in and out, 

Mike: right? But if you wanted to sit down and just engineer trends and it’s hard to predict which things can really catch. But you can, you can make little predictions, make little bets, and you make enough of those little bets and you can find one that that really goes.

And what you could do is you could just go back, start it like 20 years ago and then, and just find old fads that you can revive maybe. Slight variations in in the 

Tony: pitch. Yeah. You look far back in history and it’s like, you’ll see whatever’s hot today. Used to be hot, you know, 10, 20 years ago. But I think it’s, I mean, it’s important to learn how to navigate this space.

I think even if you’re just starting out or even have been in it for a while, cuz I even catch myself getting caught up in something where it’s like, okay, I gotta bookmark this save a little bit for later. I’m like, why did I even think this was a good idea to start out with? But I don’t think a lot of people treat it like a game because I think from a lot of people care about their health and their fitness, right?

Maybe not as much as people who are in the industry like you and I, but it’s on the top of everyone’s mind cuz it affects them on like a day-to-day basis. and I feel like people don’t treat it like a game. If you think of like sports, like I know like football or like, do I say you golf on social media, right?

Like do you golf and get out there or do you just practice a swing in your cool backyard? 

Mike: Uh, I, I go in and out of golf. So there was a, there was a period when I was putting in, uh, maybe consistently about 10 hours per week, split between practice and, and playing. And then I, and then I fell out of it, and then I got back into it doing the same.

Now I’m not into it, it’s just, it’s just a matter of time. I have a hard time justifying the investment of time, uh, to myself, at least with my life the way it is right now. And, and golf in particular is a pain in the ass in that it takes a fair amount of time. To get good and to stay good. And unfortunately just playing golf is not fun.

I have to play well or I’m not having fun , so I’m in a bind like . 

Tony: Yeah. You spend so much money and time to have a bad time. , that’s what golf is, 

Mike: correct? Correct. I can’t just go out and like, uh, you know, some guys, they go out and they just drink a few beers and they shank a few drives and they make a few putts and that’s a great day.

I’m not, that’s not a great day. I, I like want to 

Tony: quit. Yeah. And it’s not like 15 minutes, 18 holes will take you four or five hours. But I mean, like, look at any other game like golf, I think it’s like if you know the rules of the game. You can easily save a few strokes per round, right? Like in golf, like just knowing the difference between like a red and a yellow hazard, which you probably just avoid altogether, but someone like me, right?

Playing ’em in there could easily save you a couple strokes, right? Where red, you could get a little lateral leaf where yellow you can’t. Whatever rules you want, you could easily save a few strokes. But people don’t see navigating the fitness industry like a game almost. It’s easy to point fingers and be like, this guy sucks, that guy’s full of it, whatever it is.

But they don’t really try and put it all together. But like in this game, if you have confidence in knowing how to tell when someone’s just full of crap or when something you’re learning about could be applied into your own routine, it’s like this game. You’re not just like talking about a few strokes.

You could potentially be talking about like years on the end of your life. Like it’s not an understatement. I think like I think this stuff kind of matters more than people really give the attention. You know, just learning how to navigate something like this. 

Mike: Yeah. And then there’s quality of life too. I mean, there’s not just the quantity.

Yeah, I sure get a few more years, but what about having the last 10 years of your life be, uh, pretty good? Let’s say you’re gonna live to be 85, let’s just say right now, if you’re like in your thirties or forties in your healthy, uh, and you, you go pull up a longevity calculator, that’s what it would probably tell you.

You’re gonna, there’s a fair chance you make it to like, you know, 85 to 90. And if those final 10 to 15 years though can be, you can be active, you can actually still work out. You might even be able to still do a lot of the same stuff you do now and still. Energy to go, you know, financial planners will talk about, what’s the phrasing?

The final years, for many people, the final 10 to 15 years, they call those the no-go years, because many people, they don’t have energy to go. And many people, they unfortunately don’t realize that when they’re younger and they’re thinking, oh, I’ll just save up my money and I’m gonna retire at 60 and then I’m gonna live my life and have experiences without understanding that many people, by the time they’re 70, they, they don’t want to do much of anything.

You know, it’s also about living, you know, a, a life that is enjoyable where you still can have. Pleasurable experiences and you can still have something to look forward to and have fun. Yeah. 2 

Tony: 85 year olds, one who has been able to surf up until like their 84th birthday, and someone who’s been in, you know, almost a, a mobile wheelchair for the last 10 years.

That’s two different lifetimes. And I think people joke around with that a little bit, but it’s like, this is serious, right? It’s, it’s easy to joke around when you’re younger, but when you’re older and you’re sitting there, you’re like, shit, you know, this. This really matters. So I think that’s where, I think it’s hard to see that long term cuz people don’t think that long term a lot of the time.

But that’s the stuff that I think really matters and where learning how to navigate this stuff can save you. How, I mean, when you first got started in the industry too, like how many years could you have saved if you just knew how to navigate a little bit better? I could have saved probably four or five years of time and effort justify new, a couple of the , the BS flags going off, you know, 

Mike: that’s why I wrote Bigger, leaner, stronger 10 years ago.

It really was. It was the simple little book. I’ve now iterated on it several times, so it’s, it’s now I’m, I’m releasing a fourth edition. But that first edition was a smaller, kind of minimum viable product. It was really just like, here’s the simple little book. I wish somebody would’ve just given me back when I was 17.

Just do these things and this is gonna get you basically 80% of the way y You don’t even need to know that much else actually to do what you want to do, which is gain a bit of muscle, get and stay lean, get pretty strong. . 

Tony: Yeah. All of those things to add on to the last 10, 20, 30 years of your life. That book was one of the first fitness books I read.

I’m, I’m not even joking about this. It’s a funny story that I probably should have even mentioned before. I think I read that book. That’s what ultimately, I think, I wasn’t even finished with the book yet. I submitted my two weeks in, I was managing a couple gyms out in Atlanta and I was like, you know, I’m, I’m just gonna go start my own thing.

Cause I just didn’t agree with the ethics of this . So I read the book and literally did that. I’m like, you just put it in a very good way and communicated it where I think a lot of more people needed something like that. But it was really cool. And I think even on this industry, like I have a lot of coaches reach out to me because I try and steer how I educate in that kind of manner in, in more basing it off of like communication versus like, you know, facts and, and metrics in the industry and a lot of coaches.

So I think even people coming in the industry, it’s helpful, but I think even a lot of coaches nowadays who are just into it are still selling and, and getting on some of the really. Kind of harmful like paths and what they believe, what they preach, what they teach. It’s not as clear as I think a lot of people see, because I know it’s, it’s easy when I get like too involved in only reading through research reviews like mass and things like that to be like, oh, this is how everyone else thinks.

But then you kind of step out and you’re like, oh wow. You know, most of this industry doesn’t even think like this. and know how to navigate themselves. So I don’t even think it’s just people getting into it, but even people who are in the industry coaching, others, I think need to continue sharpening this tool.

Uh, you know, something I continue to try and do all the time. So I think it’s an important conversation, you know. 

Mike: So let’s get right into it then. Let’s, um, let’s talk red flags. What are, what are some of the big red flags that you see? I mean, a lot of this is probably gonna be propagated on social media these days.

I mean, that’s primarily how information is being shared, I would guess, especially if you lump in YouTube. If, if you say that’s social media, like there’s a lot more information being shared in social media than I would guess in our space, than blogs. Even though there’s a lot of blog information out there, I would, I would suspect that more people are getting information from social media and including YouTube than reading blogs.


Tony: Which I dunno, is kinda like a good thing and a bad thing, right? Like making it more accessible to everybody. But then at the same time, the barrier to get in and educate people, it, it almost doesn’t exist. But I think, I think when you look at it and trying to understand the game, like red flags that kind of come up, they’re harder to notice than I think.

People realize you gotta look at it from kind of three different perspectives. I think like, you gotta look at it from our point of view, someone who’s in the industry, you gotta look at it from the industry’s point of view. It’s like the industry as a system. So like the regulations, what marketing companies can get away with and how they can market and the different ways they do market.

And then also looking at from the consumer’s point of view, because I think a, a lot of the time the, the person who’s looking at it from their perspective doesn’t blame the industry’s problems on themselves. Like from the consumer for example. It’s like, they’re like, why? Why is the industry so broken?

It’s like, well, because people, you know, constantly look for quick fixes. They don’t want to understand, they just want that fix and they want something quick that’s gonna grab ’em. And that’s what the market is obviously going to appeal to. But I think when it comes to social media, the biggest question is, you know, like just who do you trust?

Like, like how or who do you trust is the biggest question. Because now more than ever, I think like qualified people can be wrong and unqualified people can be right. And that’s something a lot of people have a hard time. Wrapping their head around. And I think the biggest thing, I love to, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Ben Carpenter, phenomenal educator, but I forget what he called it.

It’s like white coat credibility essentially. And I don’t know if you’ve spent time, especially since Covid hit and TikTok and short form media kind of took off, right? With everything is you see an absurd amount of people who start their video because now the climax essentially has to come at the beginning of the story.

  1. The freaking end, which is annoying. But the way they hook you or grab you, cuz that’s the most important part, is by putting on just like a white coat and stethoscope, maybe some scrubs, right? Like, like nothing of, is 

Mike: that actually like a trend? Because, you know, I’ve seen, not, not to rag on chiropractors, but I’ve seen some chiropractors do that over the, over the years.

I can think of one guy in particular who, yes, he wanted people to think he’s an md. That’s why he did it. Is that now actually like a thing that you’re seeing a lot? 

Tony: So it’s kind of crazy because I mean, they even, I mean if you look at, there’s even been, uh, research done on it where you take the same patients, the same doctors, and you just show ’em images on how they’re dressed.

And the patients would find the doctors wearing white coat and scrubs 50% more knowledgeable, over 25% more trustworthy without hearing a word out of their mouth. And like the most famous example was like Dr. Oz, I think like that most people can relate to. He was named like America’s doctor by Oprah Times Top 100 most influential.

until research was done. They found that less than half of his claims that he made on his TV show had any data to support anything. He was saying like less than half. And it’s just that appeal to authority where people say, oh, like he’s a doctor. He’s an So even the title, right? Like there’s great doctors and there’s not so great doctors.

You know? It’s like titles don’t really mean as much as they used to. And that’s something I think people have a hard time wrapping their head around. Like, I’ve sat down to discuss with a couple of dieticians and I’ve met some great dieticians who give phenomenal, nuanced advice like I think one you even had on your show, Zach Cohen, one of my good friends, the phenomenal guy, answers everything in nuanced as really good advice.

I’ve also met dieticians who believe in like the medical medium diets and things like that, right? They both have the schooling, they both have the education, they both have the RD at the end of the name, but the title doesn’t automatically qualify or disqualify somebody. I think that’s the hard part now is people don’t really know who to trust based on that.

I think the funny example I was thinking of is there’s this dude who has, he has like two or 3 million people who follow his advice and he gives nutrition and diet advice. And he wears same thing, white coat stethoscope and a little scrubs hat. And I was like, who the heck is this? You know, I didn’t really pay much attention to it, but I think one of his clips, he was saying something about how creatine increases growth hormone by like a couple hundred percent or something like that.

Look like it, like pumpkin breaks, . Like creatine’s cool, but it’s not that cool. And uh, I just did a little digging. I’m like, oh, this is a dentist who’s, everyone thinks it’s just like a, a medical doctor giving this advice. I’m like, he’s just a dentist who has some extra scrubs. So that’s the biggest issue I think now is people don’t really know who to trust and there’s that appeal to authority where people gotta get comfortable with like asking more questions, digging a little deeper to learn who they can trust and when they can trust somebody.

So that white coat credibility is kind of one thing I’ve been seeing. It’s a cool th name, white coat credibility, but that mean transfers over to. Anything. If a dude’s got a shirtless, you know, six pack people tend to listen to his advice a little bit longer than someone without, or a girl who’s got, you know, a thong, shoved up her, you know what?

Squatting over the camera telling how to get glutes, like they’re gonna listen to her because she has one. Right. It’s just kind of that appeals to authority. It’s like no matter what, it’s like that shouldn’t tell you if someone’s trustworthy. And then people kind of go down that path and they, they get frustrated cuz they’re like, then who do I trust?

If I can trust some doctors, but not all doctors, if I can trust some dieticians and not others, it becomes a little bit tricky. And I think that’s where you gotta look at what they’re saying and how they’re saying it for the most part. Because I think the formula I, I forget who I was I was talking to that was talking about this.

The formula for success on social media nowadays is like take a mechanistic finding and support it with like observational research. And you’ve got yourself like a viral person, like if it’s the Carnivore MD or if it’s the people who are shouting out at insulin. Because a lot of people that aren’t in the industry like are connecting big dots.

But people in the industry like you or I might be able to say like, oh, this dude’s jumping 30, 40 different points to get to a conclusion that most people aren’t seeing. But one of the biggest things I can see, like one common trait is. Someone who gives simple, sellable answers is rarely someone I find to trust long term someone to trust, I think does give a more nuanced answer.

Uh, I think a good example of that is some, someone your listeners might be familiar with is like if you ask Bill Campbell on, you know, just a simple question and people want simple answers. But if you ask a professional like Bill Campbell, how much protein should you eat in a day? He’s not gonna spit out one simple answer, right?

Like, oh one gram per pound of Bible. He’s gonna give you all the nuances and who should be aiming for what different ranges and what areas you know might expand in the next few years. And when in certain scenarios you might need this, it would be like a 20 minute answer for a simple question and you’d have to cut him off at the 20 minute mark

Cause he’s got so much nuance in there. And that’s one common trait and I’d love to see if you’ve. The same to be, but if, like in most people who I’ve end up finding trustworthy and especially like, have proven that over time, almost always give more nuanced answers instead of speaking in absolutes or giving something simple.

Do you see that a lot? Yeah, 

Mike: yeah. It’s certainly capable of it. And, and then, and then in other cases I would say it’s, it’s almost like the next level is then being able to take something that could be very nuanced and. Bring it back to let’s, let’s take protein, right? Where it’s like I could give you a 20 minute answer or I could just tell you that if, if you’re getting 30 to 40% of your daily calories from protein, you’re probably fine.

Or we could say if you’re getting one gram per centimeter of height, which can work better than relating it to body weight because then it works better for people who are overweight. You know, then you could have a a 250 pound woman who is only eating 160 grams of protein per day, which is appropriate as opposed to, you know, 250.

But being able to give a much more detailed answer and being able to clearly describe different circumstances that then would require different, uh, actions than, yes, I’d say that’s definitely a green flag, although, I guess particularly in the evidence-based space, evidence-based people make the mistake though of.

Only and always being in that mode. And they, they don’t understand that many people, they actually don’t want the 20 minute answer, and I understand that too. There, there are things like, you know, just in the course of living life, doing work, I just want a quick answer that, you know, I believe is factual.

For whatever reason, I, I don’t care to listen to someone. Write or talk for 20 minutes. Just get to the point. Why don’t you just start with the point, and if I have more questions, I’ll follow up. If that’s enough, then we’ll just move on. You know what I mean? 

Tony: Oh, yeah. Because just so that point, not every answer needs an essay response to it, but it’s even in, in how they even speak about it.

Like how you just spoke about it. Like this should probably cover your needs, something like that, versus this is what you need. Right? Like simple things like that. Even speaking nuance to where it’s like, Should be good for most people and most people can help. And then it’s, it’s leaving it open-ended towards like, this is not the only answer.

There’s no absolutes here. I think that’s the big red flag on the other side is, you know, if this is the green flag, the red flag is people who are constantly just speaking in absolutes, always and never drawing those conclusions. I mean, you in fitness, there’s so few absolutes. Everything else is never, or always as I speak in absolutes.

Never really, and always, or never, you know? So I think that’s the big piece. And what you kind of just touched on too, the evidence-based community, I don’t know if you’ve spent time on it because I’m, I’m a big fan of a lot of people on that kind of side, but I’ve even noticed now that evidence-based is kind of like not really so evidence-based anymore in a sense.

Not as far as the people who I would consider evidence-based, but. General population would be, I guess you could call ’em like the pub meaders is like my favorite term of it. Of the people on social media who will just 

Mike: the, uh, abstract surfers. 

Tony: Uhhuh . Yeah. Screenshot the title of a study and be like, see, this is my point.

Like, they, they, they don’t know how to interpret the data. They don’t take the time to do so. 

Mike: It’s like they’re playing poker. Like I’ll, I’ll see your one study and I’ll raise you two other abstracts. I mean, I didn’t actually read the papers, but still, 

Tony: yeah, well, I mean, cuz they, I think that’s what happens is you see people, I mean cuz I mean you did it in bigger lean or stronger, extremely well, right?

Where you came with supporting research where you needed it. It wasn’t shoved down your kind of throat, but you did it in such a well aware, I think people see that and like, oh, this is kind of working. I’ll go search the PubMed database. I’ll go search Google Scholar, whatever it is. And I mean, people know this now.

Like if you google questions in a certain way, it’s like you’re gonna find what is supporting your answer, right? Like you’ve got that kind of support going. So if you wanna find a study saying the artificial sweeteners will make you obese, it’s like you’ll find something there. 

Mike: Yeah, just go and search.

Artificial sweetener, obesity, you’ll find it. Boom. Yeah, 

Tony: you got one right there. And that’s the, the hard part is when people who haven’t had to ever interpret research or go through that with whatever schooling or background that they’ve had, someone flashes something like that and they’re like, oh, that’s research.

Like that is the law. That’s scripture almost. You know? So I see a lot of people, I mean, speaking of Carnivore MD is one of the, the , I don’t wanna call anybody out, I guess, as I do, but one of the worst that I’ve seen that will cherry pick the smallest little pieces. And people are like, no, he’s evidence-based.

He’s, you know, so that’s what I mean by evidence-based is losing, its, its terminology a little bit. Not that there aren’t people who do it in a phenomenal way. But I mean, I think people need to realize learning how to read and interpret research. I mean, it’s like a, it’s learning another language almost.

You know? I don’t think people realize that too, too much. It’s not like reading a Buzzfeed article that I think a lot of people 

Mike: attributed to and research is not conducted by ai. It’s conducted by humans who sometimes have their own agendas. And unfortunately, you sometimes have to read between lines and even question things that, uh, are shown in reor research or, uh, have come across so many papers over the years where what is either implied or just explicitly stated in the abstract is not really supported in the data.

When you read the full paper, you have these moments where you’re like, am I missing something? Like, what am I missing here? Because. I’m not seeing what they’re saying. Like this abstract is totally misleading that, that that’s not what the conclusion of this paper is. And so there’s, there’s even that extra layer of critical thinking that needs to go into reviewing 

Tony: research.

Yeah, the hard part is actually reading through, cause I was actually gonna bring that up a little bit. I don’t know if it’s getting worse lately or I’ve just been paying more attention to it lately. But I feel like I’ve noticed that more and more where the title or the abstract or even the conclusion, sometimes I’ll have to go reread the data like several times and be like, there’s gotta be something I’m missing because that conclusion is not the one I’m coming to.

And it’s a lot of time you gotta dedicate toward just reading that one piece to where, I mean, how many other things could you be productive doing? So you obviously take someone else’s word for it when they say, Hey, I read this, here’s what it means. How many people have the time to go read in and look after that?

So I think that’s the hard part there cuz people use studies almost now as ammunition. To try and change someone’s mind or to get someone to like, subscribe to a point. But I mean, even more like the people that I’m seeing this, it’s like the best way I I’ve heard it put is I, I don’t even know what the terminology is.

I’m probably gonna screw it up. It was a Shane Parish quote, but it’s, it’s essentially like if you can’t describe someone else’s perspective on a problem to the point where they say, oh yeah, that’s, that is what I’m thinking, right. To kinda get them oversight so you’re not just said it well as well as they have, but you see something they don’t from their perspective, because so many people will watch Carnivore md or someone else who’s doing the same thing.

and they’ll just use that research without reading anything. They’ll say, you know, I’m gonna take this and I’m gonna argue my point against someone else. It’s like, do you even understand what you’re arguing? And the answer is hardly ever. You know, like people in my comment section, half the time will be arguing my points for me completely wrong,

I’m like, Hey, like maybe like, don’t, you don’t need to jump on this. You don’t need to, to argue against this. It’s just not productive. So I think that’s a a another area where today it’s, it’s getting more challenging is people are just screenshotting PubMed left and right to support their claim, which I don’t know if you’re frustrated, but that’s one thing that I kind of have to bite my tongue on when I see that pop up.


Mike: know, honestly, I don’t spend much time on social media, so I don’t see a lot of what, uh, what you’re seeing, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to, to talk to you about this, because this is faster than me spending hours on social media saying, all right, what’s going, what is actually going on these days?

But, but that’s been going on again since I entered the fitness scene. evidence-based is bigger now for sure. It’s more mainstream. It was, it was more niche when I started, and so inevitably that just means also more liars and, and then more people who, they’re just wrong. They, they don’t know they’re wrong.

They don’t, they’re not trying to mislead people, but they are. And just to, just to pick up on something that. you said, and this is something that I find myself reminding myself of fairly often. If you’re gonna make a strong argument or if you’re gonna make an argument, if you’re gonna take a stance for or against something and you can’t give, let’s just say three strong counter-arguments, and ideally you’d be able, you’d be familiar enough with the other side that you could actually give maybe the three strongest counterpoints, counter-arguments, right?

Like steelman your opposition. If you can’t do that, and then explain why you don’t find those counter-arguments convincing. And you maintain your position, you don’t really know what you’re talking about. And that applies to me. It applies to you. It applies to everybody listening. And so that’s just something, again, that I remind myself of and it humbles me and it just, it just reminds me to.

Say, I don’t really know when. I don’t really know. And I can even preface, like even if I’m just in casual conversation and people ask me questions, it’s just become a habit. If I don’t really know, I’ll say, you know, it’s, I haven’t really looked that much into this, but here’s my opinion. You know, open to that being changed, but this is what I could see making sense for these reasons as opposed to doing more of what you’re talking about is just saying there is no connection between L D L C and heart disease period.

Right. And so now you’re encouraging people to, uh, unfortunately, uh, A friend of mine is caught up in, in this and I’ve, I’ve sent him I think four papers now, like extensive research reviews and meta-analysis concluding that saturated fat raises L D L levels and L D L levels and once they get over a certain number, raise your risk of, of heart disease.

And yes, you can find exceptions to that rule. There are people for genetic reasons who can eat a lot of saturated fat and have low L D L levels. And there are people who can have high L D L levels and for a long time and never have any heart issues. But exceptions don’t disprove rules. That’s another important thing that people re need to remember, that exceptions prove rules until there are so many exceptions that there are no longer rules, but the rule is what it is, right?

So you can have somebody saying, oh, this whole this, this, this huge body of evidence that has been accumulating over decades is actually. Controverted by this guy, carnivore MD and his 10 studies that he shared on his Instagram, and therefore, I’m going to eat all the saturated fat that I want and I’m gonna recommend a lot of people do the same.

That’s causing real harm. There are a certain percentage, percentage of people who are hearing that advice, who are going to have big problems. I mean, heart attack strokes, like it’s going to happen. And so before somebody recommends something like that, minimally, minimally, I think they should try to meet the quality of maybe investigation that you could say that I just mentioned.

Which is okay if, if, if that’s your position. Can you explain to me, Three, maybe even five strong counter-arguments against your position on L D L C being even healthy. That you should, you, you want high L D L C levels and if you can’t, then you, you really shouldn’t be recommending that to people. Come on.


Tony: Yeah. You shouldn’t really be entitled to an opinion, so you can argue the other side better than. The person themselves, 

Mike: uh, or at least preface it with, this is basically an opinion. I saw this guy, he was wearing a lab coat. He had a stethoscope. He threw, threw around a couple, uh, PubMed IDs and he said that I can eat all the steak and butter I want, and.

I wanted to hear that. And so that’s what I do 

Tony: now, a thousand percent. And it’s like e even when it does come, if, if people are even taking that step where they do wanna start looking into the research that people are providing common rule, and I know this has its exceptions to it, there’s always gonna be exceptions to it.

But I think a good basis to even start is like you, and you’re not gonna sound super sciencey or super smart, but it’s like if you just say, okay, I’m gonna almost exclusively rely on translational data, right? Like if it doesn’t translate to humans, I don’t think people can be speaking in like factual terms.

You know, this is what causes X, Y, Z. It’s like, have we seen in humans? No, it’s like that. Then you can’t really be saying the words you’re playing around, you know, like if the, the most recent five RCTs, four point in one direction, one’s inconclusive, it can’t be any other way. Right? There’s gotta be something missing from that argument.

So it’s, it’s funny that we bring up that point because it’s like you really realize how little. Solidly. No. When you’re forced to argue from the other point of view, my girlfriend and I, when we have like a disagreement, that’s a rule we made in place. When it’s a really, it gets a little more of a heated disagreement.

It’s like, okay, I’m gonna say my point to you and you’re not allowed to say your point until you can repeat my point back to me, to my satisfaction. Like I have to say, Hey, like that’s the hard rule. It’s not just, it’s really helpful actually, but it’s not just repeat my point back to me, but repeat it back to me to my satisfaction.

So if I’m like, yes, that’s what I’m trying, like that’s a, that makes you really dig deep and it’s hard. Especially if you get like emotions involved, but at the same time it’s so much more productive and it kind of forces you on your side, I mean, to dig deeper on things that you might think you know, but then when you really dig down, I mean, I’ve gotten caught up in that.

I can’t even tell you how many times where I’m pretty confident on something and I just ask myself those few questions. I’m like, dang, like maybe I’m not, like, why am I so confident on this? Like, I really don’t have the, the depth of this that I thought, and that’s always kind of funny catching you off guard, but it’s, I don’t know if it’s just because you, you see every like headline feeds into whatever narrative you have in your head that just over time gives you confidence.

But if you really can’t pause and ask yourself, I think that’s a really fascinating kind of way to approach things. 

Mike: Yeah. There are different factors that come into play, right? I mean, there are emotional factors, there are tribalistic factors people identify with, with groups of people and, and then often just take the same beliefs and say a lot of the same things without, again, really.

Understanding what they’re saying or really being able to argue for what they’re saying if, uh, if challenged even mildly. 

Tony: Yeah, it’s, it’s kind of funny. So, I mean, I guess to, to wrap that point of like red flags together. Cause I think the big piece too is on how people communicate and not even just how we communicate to educate people that we’re talking to, but even people.

Are try, you know, maybe they have a mom or dad that is diehard keto and they’ve been trying that for like four years and are still die hard on it and they’re like, they just won’t listen. You know, things like that. I think in how we learn how to communicate, it’s important. But I think to wrap up the red flags, I’m like, even just like a short list.

I’m trying to think of if you have any extras, like someone who’s always speaking in. Always or never, or someone who’s constantly speaking and always or never. I think the overuse of terms healthy versus unhealthy, good versus bad, especially like in a dietary sense from the people who are really well educated in the nutrition industry.

I’ve gathered that to be a very solid stance is if someone’s constantly saying, this is healthy, unhealthy, should never, always eat this, whatever, it’s usually not kind of back there. I think one off topic point would be to be aware of, I think like, what would you call, like a flawed protagonist storyline where people are leaving out very specific details.

You know, if a story seems too good to be true of like a, a comeback story, like, oh, you know, we, we thought this for 20 years and then this came out and completely changed everything. It’s like, okay, they’re leaving out some details there. You might not know what they are and it might sound like a good story, but be weary of that and kind of dig a little deeper.

And then I think the big one is like overuse of anecdotal evidence would be another last red flag. You know, people like can’t give you a solid reasoning of why or how something works it besides, you know, I did this and this was my result, or my client or my this, I mean, I’m sure we could list off like 50 red flags that you could go off of.

And even those aren’t, you know, I think people get afraid of red flags today where, especially in like my age groups, like dating pool, people think like one red flag means like, just band block Get outta my life. It’s like one red flag doesn’t mean someone’s trustworthy or not, you know, it’s, it’s just something to, to be a little bit more weary.

Mike: I’m 38 and married. I have no idea what is going on in the dating world, but I’ve seen memes that allude to that like joke that that’s actually a thing. Extremely high standards and like disqualifying people for just trivial imperfections. 

Tony: Yeah, it’s laughable. It’s, it’s laughable, it’s hilarious. , I’ve, thankfully, I’ve had my girlfriend for two years and we’re solid, but seeing it on the other side with our friends and stuff like that, it makes me laugh so much on the, especially the people who like enforce these red flags.

I’m like, who, who are, who’s the one enforcing this? Like, you’re worse than that red flag, which always makes me a little bit laugh, but I think in the communication part after that is really important because that’s what I really try and focus on how I speak and how I educate. And I think you do a really good job of this too.

But if you wanna change someone’s mind, I think arguing is, is almost the the silliest thing you could do. It 

Mike: never works. I mean, it can be fun, but it never actually like changes somebody’s mind, . Exactly. 

Tony: And like that’s the hard part is like the ego kind of gets in the way a little bit where your goal is to be productive.

Your goal is to like help this person understand from your point of view. So I think too oftentimes it’s like you each draw a circle and you’re trying to get someone to jump from one circle to the other instead of like, maybe we just need to draw a bigger circle somewhere in the middle where I think, you know, you don’t have to change this person’s mind a hundred percent because you can’t do that in a conversation.

You know, like, like that’s not how people change their minds, you know? I mean, we were talking about this a little bit, but like think of like a left wing person when they’re growing up slowly turns into a right wing belief or a right wing turns into a left. That doesn’t happen in a moment that happens over like 10,000 different moments over years that change their mind.

Like people don’t just change it in a matter of seconds. Like if you go to someone who lost a hundred pounds on keto, who’s preaching keto diet, And they lost a hundred pounds and you’re like, well look at this made analysis. That’s not gonna do anything . That’s not gonna help, that’s not gonna change someone’s mind.

You know? So I think it’s taken a different approach of like telling someone they’re wrong, doesn’t work. You know that that hardly works on me. Cause my ego will go up. I’m like, okay, well crap, maybe I’m wrong on some things, but. Telling someone they’re wrong, almost never works, at least in my instance. I don’t know if you’ve seen something different.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, that’s just human nature, right? I think I’m a bit different. It almost odd in that regard in that if somebody says I’m wrong about something, I, I genuinely am interested actually like, well, what do you mean wrong about what? Explain it to me. And, and then if, if it’s what they’re saying, it’s just dumb or obviously wrong, then of course I just move on.

But I tend to not get that kind of rearing up response that’s helped me, for example, improve my books over the years. Because from the beginning I’ve looked at. All one star and two star and three star. A lot of one star reviews are kind of useless. They’ll be like one line or just a few words, or they’ll be like, oh, the shipping was slow or something.

But there are a lot of two and three star reviews over the years that have been very helpful because people have brought up good points, valid criticisms, what’s in the books, how it’s presented, how the books are organized. I’ve gotten a lot of really good ideas and, and I’ve improved all of my books a lot.

I, I guess I haven’t done mult multiple additions of all of them, but I’ve done multiple additions of, of several of them, and at least half of the changes that I’ve made in subsequent additions just came from people kind of shitting on me and sometimes they were not nice about it, but I just ignored that and looked for what was valid and.

I could see as an opportunity to improve my books and so try and I’m not perfect about that, but I try to do that in my life as well. If people have criticism, how I behave, how I live, I’m looking for something I can take and use to get better. If I can’t use anything to get better that they’re saying, okay, then I’m not, uh, I’m not interested in actually in what they have to say, but if there’s something there that has some validity that I can understand, I can turn into even a small improvement.

I look at that as a win because 

Tony: you look at it from that same perspective we were just talking about, it’s like sometimes you’re confident in what you know, even the most ridiculous arguments against you. Sometimes they have a sliver that make you question like, oh, I. Follow this one all the way down the rabbit hole, right?

I didn’t go to like every single dead end that I thought I did, which is super important. But I think, you know, when, when having a lot of conversations, productive conversations on the internet don’t happen often, I think, and that’s where most people try to, but, uh, I think that’s the part that a lot of people take the wrong approach in, where it’s like, okay, if we’re being honest about the situation, right?

If we have, you know, someone like you or I, and then someone who’s again, diehard keto, lost a hundred pounds on keto preaching, that that’s the best diet for every single human being. You know, like maybe a win. Like what’s productive outta that conversation isn’t getting you to now. Get them to quit keto.

But maybe it’s even just like taking a step closer to the truth of like, Hey, maybe carbs won’t kill you. Right? You don’t have to say, oh, like here’s the potential benefit and here’s where you could really use these to really help you out in your performance, in your health, your longevity, but at least getting them from the step of carbs will kill you.

Carbs are the enemy should never do this to, oh, maybe carbs won’t kill. Like, I think that’s a huge win in getting someone to take a step in the right direction where a lot of people just don’t take that as they, they want to like just drive their point into the ground and be like, no, that’s still not right.

You need to get all the way into my circle. I think that’s the, the hard part for a lot of people to understand, especially even coaches in the industry. I notice really have a hard time with disagreements with other people and it’s like, it’s hard to, to kind of give up a little bit of your own, but you kind of gotta meet in the middle sometimes.

At least in, from my perspective, that’s what I’ve seen, that that’s the most productive way to do it. 

Mike: Hey there. If you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new?

Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show. So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. Well, let’s talk about fat loss. What about, cause that’s, that’s what, that’s what drives a, so much of the interest in our space, right? I mean, it’s probably 80% of the interest out there is body comp.

It’s, it’s losing fat and gaining muscle. Um, what are some of the, the red flags that, that you’re seeing for fat loss in particular, . 

Tony: This is where I’d love to get your perspective on it because I think a lot of. Where it comes from is just like really mis set expectations for individuals, right? Like I, I know people, you know, I’ve had clients over the years where they could be losing a smooth two pounds per week for six, seven weeks in a row and they’re like, I just feel frustrated cause I’m not making progress.

And I’m like, are we looking at the same ? Like, are we looking at the same measure here? I don’t think people realize how loose and how much certain supplement companies and weight loss companies can get away with in their claims, where people, I think set expectations where if I’m not losing five, 10 pounds a week, I’m not doing it right.

I’m failing. I think that’s what strikes a lot of people. And the red flags here are a little bit more difficult, but I think this is a. So cliche to say just because like everyone’s dad told ’em this when they’re like three years old. It’s like, if it’s too good to be true, it sounds too good to be true, especially when it comes to your health.

It really probably is like 99% of the time, at least when it comes to fat loss and physi and just physique change in general, if something seems better, if someone’s claiming that, you know, you’ve been building a pound of muscle every month for the last year and they could quadruple that, they, you know, you might not know why, but that should be a little red flag that goes off inside.

Or same thing with fat loss, right? Like every diet you’ve started, hass failed. You’ve only lost a pound or two a week, but this diet promises to triple that quadruple. It’s like, it’s, that’s a simple one, but it’s, it’s cliche, but it’s true. 

Mike: More informed people would know, yeah, you’re not gonna be able to lose three to four pounds a week unless you weigh like 400 pounds and you stop eating food then yeah, sure.

But it reverse dieting. I see. Sometimes I see, uh, on social media, I can think of one of these ads that actually a follower mine sent to me. So you have, uh, a good looking girl, good body. I don’t remember the exact pitch, but basically the pitch was before working with me, she was eating 1200 calories a day after working with me.

She’s eating 2,600 calories per day, and then it’s her looking really good. Right? So that, that’s an example of something that, it doesn’t sound impossible. It sounds a little bit too good to be true, but just believable enough that many people. All right, I’ll nibble. I’ll nibble just a little bit. Let’s say you have a girl, let say she’s a smaller person, she only weighs 110 pounds, so maybe she’s not very tall, and her maintenance calories are realistically 1600, 1700.

She’s pretty active, but she’s not exercising two hours a day every day. Not that she should be, um, let’s just say realistically, her maintenance calories are 1600, 1700, and then she sees. and she’s like, it would be nice 

Tony: if I , it would be nice to have that extra thousand calories here. 

Mike: Yeah. And, and this, this girl looks even a little bit better than I do.

Okay. I’m interested. Right. So that’s just an example of something that, it’s a little bit too good to be true, but there’s a part of us that wants to believe stuff like that. And at least is it’s the little devil saying maybe, I don’t know. It’s not, it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility.

Tony: Yeah. Like how, yeah. Where do you draw the line of what is too good to be true and what’s like in the realm of possibilities? Cause that’s a, that’s a hard line to draw, especially if you’re not, if you haven’t been here for a long time. And I think another, I mean, it could almost draw back to one in the first, but the one thing that, you know, I’ve had to talk with, with a lot of clients or people coming in telling me about past experiences.

Is when they don’t take into account the individual working with, right? If they say, Hey, I can make you eat 2,600 calories a day and look better. It’s like, but they’re saying that to a, you know, a hundred, couple hundred people. They’re, 

Mike: they are running ads on Instagram, , claiming that. 

Tony: Exactly. Like you might not be able to say, okay, that is a hundred percent false, but you can definitely say, that’s definitely not the whole truth.

That’s a hundred percent not the whole truth, because I just, the personal aspect of how different every body is their lifestyle, I mean things even outside that like, oh, people that just diagnose things or, or give recommendations based on like, oh, what’s your gender and your weight? You know, simple things like that.

It’s like we gotta take into account like, okay, like what does your lifestyle look like? Are you active a lot through the day? Are you seated? How’s your sleep? You know, people don’t even like dig that deep, but some of these big movers that people just disregard before they start giving general advice.

And that’s where I think it gets a little dangerous to where again, that advice might work for you. Like in the reverse dieting case here, there’s a, a sliver of a chance that like, hey, that might have some truth to it, but you know, you’re not getting sold the whole picture. You know? I think that’s the, the danger that you could look for in weight loss.

Yeah. It’s, 

Mike: uh, oh, I forgot to say that she works out. 10 hours a week instead of five hours a week. Okay, fine. I forgot to say that. . 

Tony: Yeah. For Anne has a walking treadmill desk that walks, you know, six hours a day on top of that 

Mike: and yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. On top of that, she’s walking 20,000 steps a day, but hey, look at her.

And she gets to eat 2,600 calories a day, or 2,800 calories a day. 

Tony: Seriously. So I would say that’s, I think those would be the most specific I could go with. Red flags to look out in weight loss is once you get down to that gray area of what’s defined as too good to be true and what’s not, I think that would be a good one.

I, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head right now that would be a more clear direction, but I think that at least gives some insight. Not to say if something’s true or false, but to at least know when you’re not getting told the whole truth and that you should probably. Try and find out a little bit more before you jump into something.

Mike: And we see a lot of absolutism. I mean, we’ve, we’ve kind of already touched on this, but this definitely applies to weight loss where if, if they only have one solution and if it’s like a fad type, faddish kind of solution, if it is keto or it is carnivore, or, uh, it is something other than a discussion of energy balance and macronutrient balance and helping you understand that there are reasons why you might want to, I wouldn’t really recommend carnivore, but there are, there are reasons you might want to try keto.

Most people don’t like it. But here are a few scenarios where that could make sense. But again, if it’s just kind of this magic bullet, Oh really simplified, simplistic schematic type of pitch. Yeah. Chances are you are being misled. 

Tony: Yeah. And it’s usually those people at least like display their bias in their username or in their company name , like the keto care, whatever.

You can usually tell if there’s a bias in the name. Maybe. Maybe there should be a little red flag to get outta there. But I think those are the best ways to kinda in like the fat loss realm in that question. I think that’s where it comes to. And especially, I mean, just to be wary in who you’re listening to, and this is a harder one to see, but is the person, cuz sometimes it’s not a company selling you, it’s a person trying to sell you on something.

It’s like, is that person trying to sell you something or are they actually just giving genuine advice I think is a big one. And just because someone’s selling you something doesn’t mean that what they’re saying is completely biased or untrue either. That’s the hard part is right. You know, there’s people who work with supplement companies because they truly believe in them and they actually use their products in certain ways and aren’t exclusive to ’em.

and then there’s people who are just getting paid, you know, an arm and a leg by a company just to push whatever this is in their face. They don’t have to believe in it, the quality, whatever, you know, you gotta be a little weary for like, okay, why is the person saying what they’re saying? I think that’s another good next level question that if you’re like, okay, this doesn’t feel right, ask yourself like, is this person benefiting from me?

Believing what they’re saying? I guess I is a good one, but it’s, again, it’s, it’s hard to tread on that line because not everyone’s doing it at a. Yeah, yeah. No, 

Mike: but it’s something that it, it’s something that should be taken into account. Are they making money off of this? And sometimes that’s in non-obvious ways.

Sometimes they’re not selling a product or service, but what you don’t know is they get paid a lot of money to talk at conferences and at different events. And I mean, that, that could be hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. And all of that is driven by what they’re doing on social media. And eventually they release the book.

That’s very common. Okay, now they have a book to sell. Maybe they’re gonna start selling supplements, or maybe it’s going to be some sort of like health testing service. Uh, other things can follow. But in many cases, where it starts is building the social media following and then immediately monetizing that with either like, consultations kind of one-on-one work or, or speaking, or a bit of both.

Tony: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Which again, these are like difficult things to do, but I think it’s at least worth it to know, okay, when a red flag goes off, that’s at least a sign to say, let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s try a couple of these things out. Let’s see if I’m being sold to, is this something simple and sellable?

Is it nuanced? Is this person benefiting from it? I think those are all good places to ask. And then I think it’s, it’s to the point, it’s gonna come down to the individual’s judgment. You know, cuz like there are people that might stack up a couple of these red flags that ultimately like you could benefit by listening to or trusting.

And same thing, vice versa. There could be someone who’s not really giving off red flags that might ultimately bite you. So it does come down to individual’s judgment at the end of the day, and this might be a terrible piece of advice, but at the end of the day too, even if all things and all signs point to the right direction, sometimes I just have this with people too, where something in me is just not connecting with this person.

I feel either if it’s, I don’t feel it’s genuine. Or in the way they’re messaging it, it, it doesn’t resonate with, you know what I’m saying? Like, it’s, it’s not good advice, but if it doesn’t sit well with who you are and like your values and ethics is just a person, not when it comes to your health, not when it comes to anything else, but in how they conduct themselves.

That’s, you know, I think a good enough reason to say, you know what, maybe I’ll, I’ll go elsewhere. Or 

Mike: just having a gut feeling. There’s just something that seems off. Those kinds of thoughts aren’t always correct, obviously, but sometimes they are, and I, I don’t think we should, especially in interpersonal relations, when we’re often picking up on a lot more than we realize.

And I, I think. People in general, they’re, they’re able to detect bullshit a little bit better than maybe they even give themselves credit for. And, and so I think that listening to that signal can be useful as well, because there are a lot of people in the fitness space giving information. No single individual has all of the answers or is doing everything in the absolute best way.

So if there’s something about someone that just doesn’t sit right with you, uh, chances are you can find someone else who does not cause that reaction in you and also seems to have good advice and can help you in exactly the same way as the other person, or maybe even better. 

Tony: I mean, it, it’s naive to think that you’re not going to be taken advantage of or tried to be taken advantage of in some way if you’re, if you’re looking to improve your health.

Like that’s just a, a sample of fact, a large part of it. And that’s what, again, you have a lot more background than I do, but the marketing and just the industry as a whole, there’s so much flexibility for them to take advantage and people, like whenever there’s that area to exploit, whenever there’s that sliver of room that you can exploit, especially if it’s like profit driven, some companies, someone will fill that void and exploit it.

I think it’s just naive to say, you know what, like I’ll just try and use my best judgment because a lot of the times, like people are gonna know that. 

Mike: Or just give everyone the benefit of the doubt, Hey, I’m an honest person. I couldn’t imagine going on the internet and just lying to people for money.

Many other people can’t imagine it and do it every day. 

Tony: So I mean, I had people, I mean, this was even one that I think you could speak to better, but we were doing a podcast that we were running and it was just, we were kind of going over on our opinions, the top five best and worst supplements. Not just based on quality, but like the amount of evidence supporting the effectiveness of the actual supplement.

And beforehand, we were even just going in through the industry, which I know has, I think people like to point to. Like, I think it’s what is the dietary, uh, What was it, 1994? I forget the, the name of it, but that was past where the F d a, you know, is now looking over and people are like, oh, what’s the f d A?

Like, they’ll, they’ll cover that up, but they also don’t realize how much wiggle room that gave companies to take advantage. And we were, I think we were even talking about a study where they just took the top 30 herbal supplements on Amazon and just tested. It’s like, okay, well, is what’s in the pill?

What’s on the label? And it’s not even just in the marketing of, you know, I mean, like you said, companies can say it’ll make you thinner, bigger, leaner, stronger, uh, make your sex life better, make anything you want to hear. They can s oh, they could find some way to say that without changing anything in your lifestyle.

But not only that, it’s like companies, I think in the, in the paper that we looked through out of the 30 supplements that they tested, and these were herbal supplements on Amazon, so they weren’t quite to the standard of others, but I think 17 out of 30 of them did not match the label, where I think 13 of them had certain ingredients that were found nowhere in the product that were on the label, or the others having added ingredients in there that were nowhere on the label.

And this shocked people’s minds. They’re like, like, like how is this legal? It’s like people really don’t realize how much people can get away with in certain scenarios to try and sell or make a profit or market. 

Mike: Yeah, it’s not, but it’s an enforcement problem. That’s, that’s the issue. So eventually if they get caught, yeah, they’ll get in trouble.

But a lot of them do not get caught because enforcement is limited. 

Tony: But I’m like, how many different supplement companies probably get started every single year and how easy that’s become to at least get like a little, like dip your toe in the water. 

Mike: It’s, it’s more difficult now. Amazon, to their credit, has made it more difficult to actually enter that space and even sell anything.

And I mean, they reach out to us, uh, every so often and demand different paperwork, which we have, here’s all of our testing, here’s exactly. And they can be kind of obnoxious and robotic about it, which is not so good. Like, for example, I remember they were saying they have a problem with, um, my multivitamin because they want to see.

At least one, if not multiple tests, showing that every ingredient is exact to the milligram. Now, that’s not possible, and that’s not even the legal, like does it have 500 milligrams of this, or 501? I believe, if I remember correctly, you can have, I almost certainly up to a 5% variance is considered perfectly acceptable, and that means, that doesn’t mean you’re working with a bad manufacturer.

It may even be up to 10%. I don’t remember off the top of my head, but everyone understands that you. Produce exactly 500 milligrams every pill, every bottle, forever. There is a slight variation. And so, so Amazon has gone through some funky phases where they would try to demand that and you’re like, no, no, no.

Uh, let me, let me show you like the law and then let me also show you from my manufacturers. Like nobody does that, that’s actually impossible. And nobody says that you have 

Tony: to do that. Yeah. Which I’m like, they’re probably doing their best to like jump on. I mean, cuz again, this is Amazon who also covers practically anything on them.

But you know, they see stuff like this and like, okay, we gotta tighten up. But then again, they don’t look at how the rules are played or the game. They’re like, let’s just jump on and say like, what rule could we put in place So this doesn’t. Yeah, 

Mike: I mean, it’s like that. It’s like, okay, well either you’re gonna shut down your entire section of, of your website and you’re just not gonna sell any supplements whatsoever anymore.

Or you’re gonna have to change your policy. It’s one or the other. Because this standard will never be able to be 

Tony: met, especially on like in a multivitamin with. Everything that’s packed in there, right? It’s not like it’s, it’s a one thing . It’s not just one ingredient that we’re trying to prove That gets ridiculous.

But again, it’s like people don’t really realize, I think they think in their head it’s like, oh, it’s a supplement. It’s a health supplement that must be so strictly controlled to where nothing could ever go wrong. And a lot of people don’t realize. There’s a lot that could go wrong. And like you said, like there is stuff that’s stopping people from doing this, but I think, isn’t it with the F D A, I don’t know if it’s changed.

It’s like they don’t have to get approved until after they even start to market or anything 

Mike: like that. I mean, you don’t, you don’t need to get explicit f d a approval to sell like sports attrition or to sell herbal supplements. You don’t need to get explicit approval ever if, if you don’t, like, if you don’t take your marketing claims on your website and add little disclaimers and stuff, you can open yourself up to lawsuits.

And there are attorneys that, that’s all they do is they just run around suing supplement companies for sometimes. Like arcane, esoteric requirements that you didn’t even know were a thing and actually don’t really even make any sense. And there’s a lot of, unfortunately, a lot of fraudulent lawsuits that go around.

However, there are legitimate, uh, lawsuits and, and I would say companies that deserve to be sued for what they do. And so you, you have to try to protect yourself to some degree by just following the little regulatory commandments, I guess you could say. But you do not have to submit your products to the F D A and ask for approval.

It’s not like drugs. 

Tony: If you ask most people on the street, you know, just, just pull the next 1,000 people you see on the street. I think most people would be shocked learn that they could be putting this in the body, especially with what some of these claims are being made. It’s like you can’t, I, I think people were like, oh, they can’t claim that they treat or prevent diseases, but it’s like you can get away with a lot of different wording.

I mean, you 

Mike: can if you don’t get caught. 

Tony: Sure. Yeah. And same thing there. It’s like you can still do it. Someone will see a, a supplement that’s claiming something like that, and they’re like, oh, well, isn’t that not allowed? This has to be true. It’s like, wait, ? 

Mike: Yeah. With Covid, a lot of people were doing that and um, they were just taking, taking a risk.

They were just, uh, betting on again, that enforcement. The government is not gonna be able to go after everyone making these claims. They’re just gonna have to pick and choose. And so some people were willing to take their chances basically, and make all kinds of claims about, um, supplements, treating Covid, preventing Covid, try to make some money and hope that the government doesn’t come after them.

Somebody, I forget which agency, uh, even reached out to us. They were nice about it. They did take their time to like look into the company a little bit. They just wanted us to add an explicit disclaimer on our immune supplement that it does not Now, we didn’t even imply that it would treat Covid or prevent Covid.

Um, but they just wanted us to explicitly add a little disclaimer saying, this does not treat, or this is not intended to treat or prevent covid, or, I forget the wording that they wanted. And so we were like, sure, yeah, we’ll do 

Tony: that. Just be probably cuz how much was going around where people. Claiming stuff like that.

Wow. To that level too, where they have to reach out to you, which it, it’s like, yeah, it’s like people just don’t wanna look in like the, the negative or the dark areas of the industry. And, and that’s just supplements. Not even talking about different companies, different people who are whatever they’re selling.

It’s like there are people that know the rules and know how to get away with breaking ’em. And I think it’s, it’s so naive to think it’s like, no, I should just be good going at it. Like, I think it’s worth investing time to like really seeing like what people and companies can get away with to know when they’re trying to do that to you.

I mean, supplement company that you could probably talk to about that for like an hour as far as some of the just gross stuff that happens. I mean, honestly, probably should be criminal for what some of these people are actually doing, which shocks me that it’s not, but it, it can get real dark and people don’t really realize 

Mike: how dark.

Yeah. Yeah. Again, it’s, it’s, it’s really a problem of, of enforcement. There just are so many people out there selling supplements and if you’re small enough, you can fly under the radar. Maybe indefinitely. Again, usually smaller, but sometimes bigger. I mean, certainly in the in sports nutrition, there are plenty of big supplement companies that are selling BCAs and claiming that they are going to help you gain muscle.

That one. Is tricky because if somebody in the government, they’re not gonna be a fitness person, they’re not going to even have scientific literacy per se. So they might reach out, let’s say they’re dubious about these claims, about BCAs, but then that supplement company can, going back to our studies as poker chips, uh, analogy, they can toss a couple of these chips into the pot.

They can go, well, here are three studies that that show, quote unquote, that, uh, BCAs enhance muscle growth. And so what does that person then, On the side of the government supposed to think it, it requires, again, scientific literacy and it requires maybe even a little bit of an understanding of sports nutrition to go look into the weight of the evidence and understand that, oh no, no, BCAs are bullshit.

And, uh, so that, that’s just a good example of a supplement that I get asked all the time. That’s the number one requested supplement dude is, is BCAs. That would be millions of dollars a year in sales. 

Tony: I didn’t know it would be the number one most recommended though. 

Mike: Oh, number one most requested. Number one most requested.

Wow. Testosterone booster is up there as well. You do 

Tony: see a lot of questions about BBC still, which I know even in that episode about the top five best and worst we’re like if I think his BCA has made our top five worst, we’re like, if a company is knowingly selling you this, it’s like, it’s probably a red flag that you shouldn’t buy Anything else they’re trying 

Mike: to sell you.

I do not buy anything from that company. Be, yeah, E even 

Tony: away or something else. Like, don’t . Don’t 

Mike: support them. Don’t support them because they’re either lying to you or they are ignorant. And I, if they’re so ignorant that. They think that BCAAs help you gain muscle. Who knows what else is wrong with their formulations, because it only takes a basic level of scientific literacy to look into the research on BCAs.

I mean, at this point, you can even just go look into what some other smart people in the evidence-based fitness space, like, they’ll do the research breakdown for you. You don’t even really have to take your own time. Like, go check out Alan Aragon. He’s, he’s written a lot about it, and, and he’ll explain to you the flaws in some of these studies that appear to support the claim of muscle growth.

And again, so if you’re buying supplements from a company, and these are things you’re ingesting too, like unfortunately the price of being wrong is, is probably not gonna be too high. It can be if you start putting really the wrong stuff into your body, because some testosterone boosters, for example, have steroids.

They have low doses of oral anabolic steroids in them, and oh, how could they do that? There are a lot of shady manufacturers who will gladly do that. Or what you do is you get your, let’s say they’re pills, right? So you get your powder though. You get that mixed and, and made overseas usually. So like in China where they don’t give a shit, they’ll do anything, they don’t care.

So really, honestly, they do not care. So, so you get, you get all the powder made in China and then you ship it over here and you get it encapsulated in the United States, and then you claim it’s made in the usa. But that manufacturer, a shady manufacturer, they won’t test what’s in it, not. They will just take your word for it.

You’ll show them the testing, quote unquote, that was done in China that shows that it’s free of all of these different things. And the manufacturer will say, oh, it’s good enough for me. They’ll make the pills. And so now you’re taking those pills and you’re feeling pretty good and you are noticing more energy, more sex drive.

You are taking, usually it’d be smaller doses, but you’re, you’re now taking anabolic steroids that can affect your health negatively. And fat loss Dude. Fat loss. You remember U S P labs. What was their fat loss? Uh, Oxy. Something. Oxylate. So people can look into this. This just came out in research and they’re, I think they’re, they got sued over this.

This came out in CORD as well that ended up containing a drug that was causing liver damage and liver failure. It, if I remember correctly, it contained Prozac as well. Small doses of Prozac and maybe one or two other things that you wouldn’t probably ever want to take. Now, some people might wanna take Prozac, but you’re not gonna wanna take something that, uh, causes liver failure.

That’s just a hard, hard no. So, if that’s another example. Uh, U S P labs also, they were in the DM a, a controversy, right? With Jack 3D or J And so what, what supplement companies can do. For example, if they’re a little bit more sophisticated, let’s say I were one of these types of people, I was gonna release a testosterone booster.

So what I would do is for the first run, I would, I would have it spiked with, uh, some sort of anabolic steroid. Just enough to make enough of a difference that people are gonna feel it. Word of mouth, right? And so I’ve released that and then let that word of mouth start to grow and then maybe do another production runner or two with the drugs still in it, right?

So now I’m getting more word of mouth. And once you have built up a certain amount of momentum and you’re seeing reorders, you then get rid of the drug. And now it’s, now it’s not doing anything. It just has a few natural supplements that do little or nothing that some people think they’ve heard that Tong Catal, for example, is, is gonna make a big difference in your testosterone.

They’ve heard that tris, terrestrials. So you have that stuff in there. So eventually the hype wears off and the momentum flags. But along the way, you’re making money. You’re making money. And then if. , anyone decides to look into what’s in your product and they send it off to a lap, you’re clean. And so you can do the same thing with pre-workout and band stimulants or can, you can take a band substance and you can chemists, well, they, they do this, they make analogs, so they take like a band substance and then they create something that is very similar to it and has the same effects in the body, but legally is not it.

So technically it doesn’t have that amphetamine, it has an altered form of it that is legally different, but has the same effects. So you put that stuff in your supplements and, and again, if you’re smart, you don’t do it forever. You do it for a period and anyway, so I could go on and on. But the, the reality is with supplements, you are to some degree taking your health into your, into your own hands.

And you in, in my opinion, you should not buy supplements from companies. Unless you trust them and unless you can make a convincing argument why you trust them, coming back to some of the stuff that we were talking about, right. It, it should not just be that you like their Instagram account or your favorite influencer is sponsored by them, or even that they seem to be evidence-based, like they have some citations on their sales pages or they, they talk about some research now and then.

And if you don’t want to take the extra steps to verify your, your trust, you might be better off just skipping supplements. And I’m saying that as somebody who sells supplements, and I would say that would apply to me if, if you don’t want to look into. Legion, you don’t wanna look into who I am and what my track record is and why you should trust me.

And you don’t want to look into some of our sponsored athletes. You don’t wanna look into some of the people who work on the scientific advisory board, who they are, their backgrounds. And I’m making my argument for obviously why I think Legion is trustworthy. But again, if somebody doesn’t care to look into any of those things, they probably should not buy anything from me and not buy anything from anyone and just 

Tony: stick to food.

Yeah. Well, and that’s where it’s like the good, like the red flags kind of come up, like the point we’re talking about. So, and that’s what bothers me the most is cuz like you said, like it’s either two instances. If a company’s selling you BCAs, for example, or a test booth, whatever, like there’s like a list of products we can say if they’re selling, if they’re knowingly selling you this.

Don’t spend money with them. Collagen, protein’s, garbage, co collagen. Protein’s a big one. Collagen 

Mike: supplement’s another discussion. But collagen protein is trashier protein. It’s 

Tony: garbage. Trust me. I made, I made a, a conversation talking about the differences and people automatically group collagen in with like the su collagen supplements with collagen.

I’m like, no, no, no. Like , like bump. You’re like, listen to the words coming outta my mouth. Yeah. And, and 

Mike: you know, I tell people, Hey, I sell supplements. I mean, if I were really just driven by self-interest, if I were a charlatan, I would just sell the products. There’s more money in just selling the shit than not selling the shit.

And then, Trying to use sophisticated marketing persuasion techniques of like saying, Hey, I, I don’t sell BCAAs, so that’s why you should really trust me and buy what I do sell. No, there’s more money than just selling BCAs. 

Tony: Oh, yeah. I mean, look at any other aspect of trust in your life. It’s like, do you want a husband or a wife or a partner?

Do you want someone that you can trust like 90% of the time? No, some things trust need to be on a like a hundred percent level . I think. I think supplements one of ’em, even if, if someone’s knowingly selling you a bca, a test boost or a college protein, they know that it’s not effective. They know this is a business and that’s what they’re doing it for.

What, what does that bleed into? And it’s auto, it’s not automatically saying that the rest of what they’re doing is trash is garbage is it’s not worth it. It’s a matter of 

Mike: probabilities though. The probability of them being completely full of shit has just gone way 

Tony: up. Yeah. It’s like, it’s one of those things.

It’s like, and if, especially when it comes to your health, that’s one of those things where it’s like standards of trust. I’m like, I don’t want to put my trust in something that I can’t count on a hundred percent of the time. You know? And same thing like what’s you’re building on cuz I mean we partnered with Legion for the show and like some of the times when we even talk about it, it’s more just based on like the ethics, the board, things like that.

Cuz that should almost matter just as much. . Anything else? Uh, as far as the products, because you can know, okay, 

Mike: especially in this game, because of the reasons that we’ve given, it has to, 

Tony: yeah. If they’re gonna come out with something, it’s like, at least if you know that you can trust someone a hundred percent and you have solid reasoning and backing behind, like ver like a huge depth of why you trust someone or something.

Even the things that come out that you’re not a hundred percent certain of, if they’re coming from this person that you’ve gathered and, and built up that trust with, it’s like, you know, you’ll figure out a way to make sure that this makes sense in your head if it doesn’t make sense right off the bat.

And I think that’s one of the most understated things in this industry is, is the trust work. Cause I mean, there’s so little, so little trust. 

Mike: And that applies to influencers too. I mean, if an influencer is promoting a BCA or promoting a supplement company that sells BCAAs, that’s a valid point to challenge them on.

Even if it’s just a, asking them in a friendly manner why they are promoting BCAAs or why they are working with a company that sells BCAs. And their response is gonna be telling 

Tony: if you ask someone, right? Like if, if they’re working with a company who let’s say, does sell BCAs, but maybe the, the influencer isn’t necessarily promoting the BCAs.

If you ask ’em again, like their answer will kind of tell you everything they need to know. They might just come up and say, Hey, I know BCAs like I would never really recommend these, but I think this company has very high quality products with X, Y, and Z. But they might not be hitting the mark. That, I think that’s a more telling answer than someone who covers it up or tries to make an ex, you know what I’m saying?

Or supports it blindly. Yeah. Or just 

Mike: attacks. And you. Ad hominem and whatever. 

Tony: Yeah, because I think it speaks way louder if, if they actually just own up to it and say, hey. Yeah. Like they do a couple things that I don’t really agree with, you know, just being transparent with it than, than trying to cover it up, which, that’s what I’m saying.

There’s almost no trust in the industry, which now, like the more this conversation’s going, I’m gaining 

Mike: like, dang. To me that wouldn’t be enough. I mean, I, I, what you’re saying is right. Most people, for me, that wouldn’t be enough. Cuz my, my question to them would be, I mean, dude, there are plenty of supplement companies out there that don’t sell BCAAs and why don’t you work with 


Tony: Yeah. The handful there. Well, yeah, I’m not saying I don’t trust it, but, 

Mike: and then, and then of course what it me, what it’s gonna come down to as well, they don’t pay as much money. Oh, okay. Good. Got it. 

Tony: Yeah, that’s what, yeah, you just gotta dig. You gotta ask a few more times and maybe you’ll get there, but it’s, yeah, they, they’re not, there’s more 

Mike: money if I, you know, do something that, uh, is morally questionable but not outright criminal and, you know, I sleep at night, whatever.

The checks don’t bounce. 

Tony: Exactly. Exactly. Like to the point too where I know, cuz we, I could take this to like an even further level, which people are kinda like scoff at a little bit, but I’m like, sometimes, especially like when you’re talking about things like test boosters or things that can actually change some stuff going on inside your body if done incorrectly.

Especially with younger kids now that are just finding ways to buy anything. That’s what really kind of pisses me off. I’m like this, they’ll get a slap on the wrist or the company will get a lawsuit, but it’s like this, this is cr like you’re really screwing up people’s health that they take with them on a day-to-day basis through their entire lives.

You can permanently tweak these things. They’re not, maybe not permanently, but. Really have a negative impact. I mean, 

Mike: what what’s certainly true is if you are aggressive with a steroid cycle, which this is different than a st, than just a testosterone booster, but if you do one cycle incorrectly, way too aggressively, wrong drugs, wrong amounts, you can permanently your body.

You can’t, 

Tony: unfortunately. Especially when you’re younger, like, and that’s where it’s kind of a, which I was gonna say, there’s a lot more transparency in the industry now, I think, than there was 10, 15 years ago about different cycle usages. And I think it’s a good and a bad thing, but at the same time, sometimes it does glamorize the use of anabolic steroids.

And these younger kids think that that’s what need, that’s what they want. And they don’t put any thought 

Mike: into it. I mean, the seduction is understandable. And if somebody is open about, let’s say a bef their own before and after transformation using steroids, yeah, it’s pretty impressive. Like if, if they know what, if they know what they’re doing, they can go from fit to superhero in.

Six months. And so I, I understand the appeal and, and like you said, the fact that that more people are open about it is probably, I mean, we like it in that we probably agree, uh, that I think generally lying is bad. Not, it’s not always the wrong thing to do, but I think it’s often the wrong thing to do.

And lying about steroid use is, especially when you’re using it to grow a following cell stuff, I think that’s just immoral. But then we, we now have this consequence. it maybe even having an opposite effect where it’s encouraging now people where they’re like, oh, shit. Like that’s, I, I, I didn’t, I didn’t know that.

What I was looking at before were actually like steroid transformations. Uh, steroids seem pretty awesome. They work really well, don’t they? Like, they 

Tony: seem pretty great. This guy’s got it going on . It’s got, it’s got, well, it’s not, it’s not insanely hard. I mean, I, even if there’s living in San Diego, I mean, Tijuana.

Is 15 minutes down the road, like I could just cross the border or jump into a pharmacy where they’re selling all this stuff. And that’s, that’s where the quality gets even more scary. You’re talking about people that could really screw it up. Cuz you’ll see, again, it’s, it’s nice that you’re seeing transparency and honesty with a lot of these people who are promoting it and selling products and at least they’re not just, you know, completely manipulating people anymore.

But at the same time, someone promoting that there’s a hu you know, you probably know this more than anybody else. Just because you do something with good intent and in the right way in your mind, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be received like that at all. You know? So you take a, 

Mike: and I also, I don’t think intentions matter.

I think results matter. 

Tony: Yeah. And that’s what, that’s what’s the scary part is like someone could be doing it, being transparent in a good way, but they don’t realize they just a hundred thousand, 18 to 21 year olds are like, I need to do that. And then now they’re on Reddit or Google trying to find a way to do it instead of doing it maybe in a, a correct way with professional help, like the person was doing it and why they’re not permanently damaged by it.

So that’s where, yeah, it’s like, is it net good, bad? It’s like, it’s kind of hard to tell, but it can be a little scary sometimes with that, you know? Yeah, I mean, I would 

Mike: say it’s, it’s, it’s not bad, I think because what are you personally getting out of using steroids? Unless you’re making millions of dollars because you’re a professional athlete or you’re not making millions of dollars as a bodybuilder.

But if you are, if, if you’re doing that and then that’s what you have to do, okay, fine. If you’re an actor and someone comes to you and says, Hey, you’re gonna be the next Superman, but you need to gain 30 pounds of muscle in the next three months, you know what you need to do. I understand that. Right. But aside from that, I think it’s, it’s, it’s mostly just personal harm, like your everyday, you know, I see some of these guys in my gym, you know, all over acne scars all over the place, and they look terrible.

Very, you know, they. They’re not doing well, and so you’re, they’re, they’re just harming themselves and then by them talking to others about how they are harming themselves. Unless they’re explicitly telling people, here’s why you should not do this. But if they’re not telling people maybe all of the negative side effects, or if they’re in the end saying, I would do it again, then yeah, you could say, oh, well good on them for being honest about it.

If they’re not discouraging people from doing it, then I would say it’s probably just a net negative and it’d be better if they just didn’t talk about it. Yeah, just don’t even talk about it at all. It’s probably would be better. 

Tony: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. Like a net gain on society. It’s like probably with, especially with the reach some of these people have, it probably would be better just to not mention it at all, because then at least you’re right.

It wouldn’t be impacting that many people, which is just an, it’s terrifying kinda world to kind of look into. Okay. There’s, there’s so much 

Mike: depth to it. A final comment, just something you, you had mentioned earlier. Then also though, individuals I think have have personal responsibility to use an unpopular phrase as well though, because you have people who are just looking for the quick fix and who don’t wanna bother themselves with looking into potential downsides and what the risks may be and they fuck around and find out.

Right. And so, you know, I think of. Uh, this was in one of Robert Green’s books, and I remember he was, he was talking about a very famous conman. I don’t remember. It might have been like the yellow kid or something. I may a very famous conman. I don’t remember exactly who, and kind of like his justification for what he did and some of the stories like he conned.

People out of huge amounts of money and would come up with these elaborate schemes. But his justification for what he did was that he was teaching greedy people a lesson. Basically, if people weren’t so greedy, he would’ve never been able to pull off any of his cons. And the only reason he was able to steal so much from so many people is, uh, essentially their own flaws.

And so, you know, I, I think that some people might see that as, quote unquote, victim blaming. I actually don’t entirely agree. However, I, I’ll say that even in that case, yes. Those people who were greedily chasing after something that was way too good to be true, do personal responsibility in what happened to them.

Tony: Yeah. Oh yeah. At some point you gotta hold yourself accountable. Like, just cuz someone’s doing something more wrong than you doesn’t mean you’re not doing something wrong. Yeah, 

Mike: agreed. Totally agreed. I’m sure we could, we could go on and on. I think though that, uh, we’ve, we’ve covered enough for one episode, I think is, is there anything else that you wanted to say or that’s kind of still bouncing around your head before we wrap up?

Tony: Not that wouldn’t lead to another rabbit hole, so I think so I think that would be a good point to wrap it up. I think people should take this more seriously than they do. Even people who are like, you know, I’m a, I’m a coach, I’ve been in this industry for, for years. I don’t need to take these things as seriously.

But I mean, I, I think the best coaches are continually learning, I mean, their entire life. They’re students. So that means that your entire life, you’re going to have to be aware of these things. So the more seriously you take it, the more time you’re gonna save 

Mike: and admitting that, that you’re wrong sometimes.

I think that’s also, that’s a green flag when, when you can ask somebody, Hey, what’s something. You thought was true, like whatever, a few years ago, it could just be one thing. But if you can gimme a few things, that’d be great that you now realize is not true or something that you were wrong about in the last few years.

I mean, I could probably record an episode on just those , those things, but if somebody has nothing, if they have no answer, that’s a big red 

Tony: flag. I was like, how about the last two years, not like 10. I’m like, we could make a freaking episode about it, but I’m like, even in this space, I mean something more.

I mean, I guess in the last couple years I’ve changed my mind on, has even been like intensity of training as far as how close you’re taking training to when I was first in the industry. You know, definitely thinking overestimating on that side. Now realizing especially the importance like working in and working with several strength dedicated coaches, how managing the intensity of your gym and not taking things as far as you need to sometimes.

Has a really important place. It could be even, maybe even the thought honestly until I got, I learned how to interpret research even on artificial sweeteners, thinking that there was something there now able to read through it knowing that that’s just not really the case at the time. Those are two that pop up in my head that I’ve talked about a lot.

Maybe even switching my use on like honestly the practical use of fasting is one that I think is probably the most recent. Where initially I was very anti because of the claims. Again, it was like the camp thing where I was like in one circle where I’m like, what you are preaching isn’t correct, but that also doesn’t mean there’s no practical application in that, you know, and there are certain scenarios and life, especially when you’re talking in working with people with different lifestyles, who work different schedules, who have different commitments than your own certain styles like that can, can be beneficial.

So I think those are some that pop up, but I’m sure I could make a list of like 20, 30 different things. But it’s, it’s honestly something that almost should be a red flag if you’re a coach right now that should go off on your head. It’s like if you haven’t changed your mind on something in the last few years, it’s like maybe you’re not looking hard enough.

Mike: Yeah, some, something is wrong. Like either you’re, you’re not actively continuing to learn or you’re just looking in the echo chamber that you exist in and, and you’re not looking outside of that, you’re not challenging any of your views. You’re not looking at counter-arguments. Cuz that’s often how I’ve changed my mind on things over the years is I’ve come across like good counter arguments where I have to admit and I think actually that counter argument is better than my argument for it.

And so I should really look into this. 

Tony: Yeah, I that’s what I’m saying, like even like you talked to a Bill Campbell and Allen Aragon, anybody in the field, like, they’ll tell you they could probably give you the longest list out of anybody constantly just improving. Change your mind. And I know, like, cuz I’m, I’m with you on the, the thought of like, That intent necessarily isn’t really what matters, but especially if, if, 

Mike: especially cuz you can never know.

Everyone claims they have great intentions. Yeah, okay, 

Tony: cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s a great line of like, okay, well what, like, who’s really like from what point of view? But I’m like, especially in that sense, if someone, like, again, when I was very like anti, I don’t know, fasting, right? Anti fasting, just cause I only saw it as people who were trying to look at it from like a, this will help you lose fat faster.

This will help you do X, Y, Z. You know, it came out a good intention where I was like, I truly didn’t think it was the right move. And I had reasoning for it, but I wasn’t like knowingly saying like, Hey, you know, I’m hiding like my thoughts, I’m hiding the potential benefits and now I’m gonna tell you it’s bull crap anyways.

But I think the intent a little bit behind it, especially if someone’s wrong and they could admit it, but they can explain to you why they were wrong and why they thought this way before. It’s usually a educational purpose. Like, oh, this is why I thought this way. And it helps someone else kind of maybe come to the own conclusion.

Mike: Totally. I think, um, dishonesty and hypocrisy, uh, o only sociopaths and psychopaths think those are good things. But remember that even the people who are lying, they, they will tell you that they have good intentions and they will explain to you how they have good intentions and maybe they don’t even feel great about lying, but it’s a matter of the ends justify the means, right?

And so that’s, that’s just something again to, to, to remember like people who have committed the worst atrocities throughout history, like Mao, if he were here now, he would explain. Yes, that he had the best, the best of intentions. You know, Stalin, he killed what? Tens of millions of his own people. He would say he had the absolute best intentions and that just had to be done, and it was for the greater good.

These people, I mean, these are extreme examples, but, but dishonest people, criminal minded people, at least in my experience, they rarely, if ever just. No, I, I just, just do these things because I’m, I’m an evil person. That’s it. And I want to, I want to see people suffer. That’s why I do it. That’s it. Yeah.

Tony: Well, Val, yeah, sometimes you have to take it to the extreme to like really, like, put a point under pressure, you know, see if it can hold up or break. So that’s a very good point. 

Mike: Anyway, let’s, uh, , let’s, let’s, let’s wrap up. Maybe we can, uh, maybe we can pick this up in the, in the next, uh, next, next episode.

We can, we can figure out, uh, something else we can talk about for a couple of hours. 

Tony: Well, I was like, I would love to have Anna do a supplement episode, like a, a supplement industry kind of deep dive, like let’s unveil the curtains a little bit. I think that’d be a fun one. Yeah. Yeah, 

Mike: sure. Well, let’s just coordinate that, but, um, why don’t we wrap up If other people can find you, find your work, uh, if there’s anything in particular, um, you want them to buy

No, I’m joking. If there’s anything in particular that 

Tony: you want them to know about ? Yeah. No, just honestly on, on socials and we have a, a podcast as well, but it’s at train Bloom on all social accounts like Instagram, TikTok don’t have a Twitter. But ever since Elon bought it, I’m probably gonna jump over that way soon.

Mike: Oh, so you’re, you’re a fascist, that’s what you’re saying, ? 

Tony: Yeah. I didn’t, I, I didn’t know it until people started telling me it, but yeah, apparently I am. And then, uh, yeah, we have our, our podcast, which we started six months ago, that’s actually done really well in growth and it’s called fitness stuff for normal people on all platforms, where we kind of break that down and dive deeper into just hopefully, honestly just better explain, like, we don’t, we’re not really selling anything, we’re just trying to help get people to understand the game work, get, understand how to use it, how to navigate and things like that.

So yeah, you can find me over there.

Mike: Awesome. Well, thanks again for taking the. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.


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