Scott, an old friend from way back, sent me a message through my blog.
“Hey man, long time no talk. Great to see you’re still following your passion.”
I got a laugh out of that. My passion?
I guess he’s right.
I started down this road in ’93 or ’94, checking memberships and mopping floors at a gym in my hometown. I started training myself years before that, somewhere in the late ‘80’s.
That’s a long time. So if this isn’t my passion then I really don’t know what is.
However, I haven’t always designed programs or trained clients full time. Far from it.
I’ve taken long breaks between hands-on training jobs, going back to school (multiple times) and working in the supplement industry, which is how I knew Scott, or Scotty the Body, as we used to call him.
You Should Write A Book
Someone suggests at least once a month that I write a book. However, it isn’t a training or diet book they want, it’s one about my time in the supplement game.
In my time I’ve worn a few hats. I started in the 90’s, working with EAS’s then-Canadian distributor during the first Physique Transformation Challenge, which eventually became the Body-for-LIFE challenge.
My job was “technical support representative,” or 40 hours a week of telling people how to load creatine. From there I worked my way up to quality assurance guy, ad writer, sales rep for different companies, and finally, fitness writer and editor.
I still “dabble” in the industry in various capacities, but now work on my own again writing programs and coaching (and of course, writing).
If nothing else, it’s been interesting — and at times frustrating and very peculiar — and always evolving.
Many, many moons ago, I worked for an American bodybuilding brand trying to make inroads in the Canadian market.
To that end, they decided to sponsor an up-and-coming Canadian bodybuilder for a homegrown ad campaign.
The guy they picked was an absolute beast. Although not terribly tall, he was 20 pounds heavier than everyone else his height, with unprecedented thickness and fullness. At least back then it was unprecedented.
He breezed through the show, earned his pro card, and was promptly signed to an endorsement contract.
The company wanted him to be the face (well, the arms and quads) of their new product line, and the first “advertorial” I was to write was to “report” his contest diet, complete with the brand’s new products of course.
Unfortunately, he’d prepared for his show before ever hearing of the brand, much less using their supplements. A minor technicality – I’d just find out what he was using and substitute in something similar from the brand’s product offering. Easy.
Or so I thought. His diet contest diet was exactly this: chicken and rice or steak and potato, every 2 hours. That’s it, save for breakfast — a dozen egg whites and oatmeal.
The only thing he used was whey protein, and even that was just on days he ran out of chicken, steak, or egg whites.
“No supplements at all?” I asked.
“No I used lots of them,” he said.
“I can’t remember,” he said, and left it at that.
That didn’t really make sense back then. It would later.
Regardless, my boss was less than thrilled with the end result of my work.
“Didn’t he even use a fat burner?”
“He says they gave him headaches,” I replied.
“Our product probably wouldn’t give him a headache. It’s new. Say he used that.”
And so it went.
The “revised” contest diet had whey protein, a fat burner, creatine, glutamine, joint support, a bedtime protein blend (can’t get all catabolic and shit while you’re sleeping yo), and even a weight gainer post workout. Hey, I got skills.
Insulin is Good
Months later, I met our bodybuilder for breakfast at a conference in Toronto. By then he was in full off-season mode and was the thickest human being I’d ever seen (keep in mind, this was a long time ago). Breakfast was spent watching him crush omelet after omelet while making at least three trips to the bread and pastry table. I didn’t even try to keep up.
Since you can’t eat 5000 calories with someone and not consider them a friend, I decided to ask again about his diet and whether he changed his supplement usage now that he was a “sponsored athlete.”
“I love the protein they’re sending me,” he said. “It doesn’t make me fart.”
That’s quite an endorsement. What about the other stuff?
He put his fork down and gave me a serious look – a 280-pound guy with 20-inch arms can look pretty serious.
“Supplements?” he asked.
“Testosterone is good. Winstrol, Deca, Masteron, Sustanon, and Primobolan are good. Growth hormone is okay, just expensive. IGF-1 isn’t that great.”
“But insulin,” he said as he sipped his orange juice. “Insulin is very good.”
I’m not sure what the point or take home message of this story is. I just know if Scotty the Body is reading he’s probably having a good laugh.