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Applied Bodybuilding

Vince Andrich

\Vince Andrich has been the driving force behind many of the most innovative and successful companies in performance nutrition and sports supplements. His success developing go-to-market product strategies, as well as authoring numerous books and articles, have one common theme: find the science, or concept that actually helps bodybuilders in the real world.

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Q. What’s the biggest supplement scam you’ve ever witnessed?

A. Well that’s a tough question, simply because I’ve been a serious sports nutrition consumer for over 34-years. My memory quickly called up bogus items like sarsaparilla root (for Testosterone boosting) and dibencozide, which is simply a coenzyme form of vitamin B-12. As my list of bogus stuff grew, I decided to bring only items to the top of the list that scored “extra credit” for the most deceptive marketing tactics that also happened to fool most bodybuilders at the time. In the end, I came up with two products that really stand out due to their overall impact. 

Vince’s Worst Supplement Scam 2nd Place Winner 

Grabbing the number 2-position is dibencozide, because when marketed to bodybuilders, it was positioned in a new category called; “steroid replacements”, which also included items like Hot Stuff. Brands also purposely punched out little pink dibencozide tabs that came in small glass bottles so they looked just like oral Winstrol©. This category went on to fool many would be bodybuilders who believed you could still look like Arnold going natural–-with products that looked and claimed drug-like effects.

Vince’s Worst Supplement Scam 1st Place Winner

Taking the top prize in the biggest scam posedown has to be the Cybergenics© Total Bodybuilding System. This product carried four extremely powerful, yet deceptive marketing tactics that some companies still use today. Here’s the Cybergenics playbook.

  1. It carried an outrageous street price of $139.00 (late 1980’s dollars!) making it seem “powerful and technologically advanced”.
  2. The system included seven formulas, a nutrition guide, and training video that featured top champion bodybuilder Franco Santoriello arguably making it the first bodybuilding product marketed as a “kit’ or “stack”.
  3. The print marketing pioneered and mastered the before and after advertising method, but many of the testimonials were from competitive bodybuilders like Franco who, just maybe used an exotic array of illegal drugs to get into peak “after photo” condition.
  4. The training system was BRUTAL, calling for super high intensity weight training, regular cardio and a very regimented diet plan, whereby you did not eat any carbs after your evening cardio session, or before your morning cardio session (it’s like 12-hours of fasting each day). 

To be fair, I don’t want to totally slam Cybergenics©, because although the products were ineffectual, the marketing and heavy promotion caused hundreds of thousands of would-be bodybuilders to finally focus on training intensity, and a structured nutrition program that could help those who followed the plan, actually transform their physique.

To read more by Vince Andrich, click HERE.