My name is Rick Alexander and I am the president of LuaVíve LLC, a San Diego based supplement company. I have gone back and forth about publishing this article for a while now as I know it probably won’t make me many friends within the industry. Ultimately, I decided to go ahead with it for two reasons. One, the companies that don’t get pissed will most likely be because they have a quality product and nothing to hide. Reason number two is because I spent years as the consumer constantly being swindled as I searched for better results. While I recognize that it’s not very ground breaking and many of you know it, I still feel like it is something more fitness companies need to be saying. So, there you have it. I’m giving you the truth and at the same time giving you a little glimpse into our playbook. Enjoy!
Does anyone else feel like it’s strange that the fitness industry is ruled by absurdly good looking people who consistently promise you a certain life/look if you buy what they are selling, yet when you do, your results are marginal at best? It’s not like this is a new concept. Marketing has long since realized that sex sells. Don’t get me wrong, I own a supplement company and we’re not exactly using ugly people to sling our products. The real problem, however, lies in the fact that companies love to play to the consumer’s desire for quick results instead of pushing them toward the work and dedication that those results will actually take. Couple that with the fact that people these days tend to get a lot of conflicting health advice and it’s no wonder there is room for the shredz/insert scammy-fitness company here, types to emerge. Consumers particularly eager for results that do not quite understand the label make’s for a con artist’s dream!
Of course IG models that have been on a crash diet and photo-shop’d ten times over, can post a picture of a candy covered chocolate donut filled with peanut butter and tell you how “pizza is life” and how you “just have to do it for you” in their comments. When I live my life like that, I typically don't look like that.
Of course the body builder juiced out of his mind can take an offseason picture, a prep picture, air brush a few flaws and tell you supplement “A” is what he relies on to go from pudgy semi overweight to abs of steal in 8 weeks. And you as the consumer are in a pretty good position. If you take it, you’ll look like that too!
When you take a step back, it all looks pretty ridiculous. Yet somehow, the industry powers forward growing by billions every year. That’s because the truth isn’t sexy. And don't get me wrong, I am all for motivating people to get moving, I just don't want the 18 year old kid (me at that age) to fall for all of the garbage that the industry is trying to sell them!
Work really hard in the gym, eat whole real food, don’t take supplements that have the nutritional value of cotton candy and don’t expect results in the next 45 minutes.
Your results will reflect the hard work you put in, in the gym and the kitchen. Supplements are supplements. They cannot and should NOT EVER replace a diet consisting of whole real food. They can be an awesome way to round out your diet and depending on your goals, over the counter dietary supplements will give you an edge toward those goals if paired correctly. They aren’t steroids and if you want huge percentage strength or physique gains in a shorter amount of time then you should go that route. (Note: I am not advocating for steroid use or telling you that it will be a substitute for hard work. Simply stating the truth.)
What’s more is that if you see ingredient amounts that are not disclosed, you can almost guarantee that it isn’t to keep it a secret from competitors like is usually claimed but to keep it a secret from you. Proprietary blend is code for “I don’t want to tell you how much is actually in here.” Chances are it’s more of the cheap ingredient and less of the better. In today’s society, we know well what products have conclusive evidence of effectiveness. Not to say that we aren’t discovering new products, but if you have an active life and want to enhance it, you should place your money on what has been proven to work and what you can say for sure you are putting in your body. When new products come on line, you should be skeptical. If they promise results in excess of 30% you should turn the other way and run. Think snake oil.
For these reasons we have decided to never ever use a proprietary blend. We want consumers to know what we are putting in our products, thus what you are putting in your body. We wont ever guard the secrets. If we don’t make what you are looking for then we will certainly tell you where to get it. There have been a number of brands that have popped up with clean and effective products and I have no qualms endorsing them. I will even tell you the thinking behind my decision, I have nothing but time when it comes to supporting your journey.
I also want to encourage you to do your research. When it comes to health and fitness you absolutely have to be in control and do your due diligence to research what you are putting in your body. You also have to look at the problem from all angles and remember that fillers wont help you achieve that sought after photo shopped look.