Good Fitness Advice?

How can you tell if a YouTube trainer is giving good, unbiased fitness advice or not? I get this question all the time and here is an easy way to tell, ask the following key question:

If you follow the trainers advice, do they get richer?

If the answer is yes, then they have a clear conflict of interest and their advice is not to be trusted! If their income depends on you doing what they recommend then their advice is clearly biased and they will be tempted to distort the truth to get more income. Lets take some examples:

  • Trainer 1 extolls the virtues of supplements in every video and tells you how great they are. He also gives you a discount code you can enter when you order to save money. The discount code gives the trainer a kickback on every item purchased. This trainer can’t make his Lamborghini payments unless you buy supplements with his discount code, he clearly has a conflict of interest because his need to make his payments is in conflict with his desire to give good fitness advice – guess which wins?
  • Trainer 2 makes free fitness videos and has a huge following, he also makes a killing selling his $100 eBook. Again, ask the question. If you follow the advice in his videos does he get richer? If so, then there is a clear conflict of interest because his need to make payments on his mansion is conflicting with his need to provide good fitness information – again, guess which will win. Its very easy to be liked, just tell people what they want to hear! Many folks just use videos as very well disguised advertisements for their products.
  • Scooby1961. I get advertising revenue from my YouTube videos, I have always been up front about my income sources. I am an engineer, that is my job and my income but fitness is my passion. Again though, ask the same question. If you follow my fitness advice, do I get richer? No. I get money from ads whether people take my advice or not, therefore, I have no conflict of interest. I am free to provide the best, unbiased, most helpful information I can. My income is dependent upon me providing consistently high quality information. Unlike many internet personal trainers, I didnt get into this for the money (why I started scoobysworkshop). In fact, before YouTube I spent a personal fortune hosting my own videos and paying huge bandwidth charges to help spread my “fitness for all gospel”. The only reason I put my vids on YouTube was because they saved me gobs of money on hosting fees. True story. Back in 2006 YouTube asked me to become a partner, I said OK even though I had no idea at all what it meant. A few months later I got a check which I didnt cash because I thought it was a mistake. The next month, same thing. After the third month, I figured I needed to contact Google and inform them of their mistake. Only then upon looking into what the partner program was did it hit me – they were actually paying me to do what I always had done, to preach that you can get into the best shape of your life without spending a single dime! Not on supplements, not on books, not on gym memberships, not on expensive equipment. Talk about win-win! My goal now is exactly the same as it was back then, to show that fitness, health, and a killer physique is available to ALL regardless of financial means – without buying a single thing other than a cheap used set of weights from craigslist. Nuff said.
The issue is not if the trainer makes money with their videos, the question is if there is a conflict of interest or not! See the difference???

23 thoughts on “Good Fitness Advice?”

  1. Well if you listen to scooby advice on who to trust

    trust – scooby1961, twinmuscle workout, hanhchampion, luimarco, ice1cube, leanbodylifestyle, james ellis, rob riches

    whom not to trust, barthelfitness, nick wright, sixpackshortcuts, athleanx, tuan tran, scott herman fitness, vince del monte, fatlosslifestyle, tyler sarry
    ok this is by scooby advice, but here is mine

    scooby1961 = good advice, dont agree with everything
    twinmuscleworkout = funny as hell, good advice, dont agree with everything
    hanhchampion = barely any advice, give smart ass comments, good physique but boring videos, is clearly a mesomorph dont know shit about other body types
    luimarco = good advice, way too much supplements, kind of boring videos, pose too much and seem to brag alot, but seem like a nice guy
    ice1cube = funny as shit, decent advice, the only reason hanhchampion got any views
    leanbodylifestyle = no workout advice, good recipes, although he is skinny as shit
    james ellis = good guy, good physique, dont really give advice though
    rob riches = good guy, good physique, good advice, but if you see his coking prozis nutrition video, alot of his “shakes” are way not necessary like i dont need no dam glutamine in my shake

    barthelftiness = good advice, dont agree with everything, seem to push too much of his products that i personally think are shit products
    nick wright = phagot
    sixpackshortcuts = kind of boring dont even watch most of their videos
    athleanx = good advice, actually very decent workouts, too bad you have to pay for it, athletes do train differently
    tuan tran = good guy, good advice, great physique, strong as shit, would smack the shit out of hanchampion, does not really push his online training which i like, although he is kind of boring
    scotthermanfitness = phagot, i personlly do not like this guy, does not take criticism well like phagot hanhchampion, push his stupid website, why do i need your stupid show me exercise and meal plan shit when i can get all that shit free? with phone apps and everything, personal workout are way too long even for him, and he post dumb videos of how to do certain exercises, most of it machine exercises, which if you are not an idiot and can read you will figure out how to do it, exrx.net is so much better to demonstrate then this phagot
    vincedelmonte= ugly phagot
    fatlosslifestyle = good guy, good advice nothing more to say
    tyler sarry = phagot not funny

    thats what i have to say

    1. This post if very amusing. Referring to many of the people you mention to as “phagots”… only makes me think: You = phagot. Nuff said. scooby4life

  2. Scooby, I think you’re a great writer and inspirer! Your statements are cut to the point and easy to understand! Thanks for all of your hard work and I wish there will be more good stuff coming your way!
    Cheers~

  3. scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby scooby

  4. @Jonutz:
    I see a difference. You never can exclude the possibility that information is biased or false. But with Scooby it doesn't cost you any money. The other two examples cost you money BEFORE you can judge if they are good or not. It could actually be a very good e-book or "good supplements". But foremost they rely on this income and try to sell it to you and so they are more likely to lie.

    With Scooby you get information for free and can judge about it without having spent any money. Also here you should prove the information because it could be wrong. You never know.

    All in all there you could get good and bad information on any kind of trainer (business or private), but it is more likely to get good information from somebody who has
    1. a good physique, so he knows his stuff
    2. gives good information for free and doesn't rely on selling something to get his bills paid

    If such a person gets voluntarily something from youtube or anybody else it is more than fair and even too less for such people because this should not be enough to pay his video equipment (e.g. camcorder), research costs, time for video preparing/filming and hosting a forum.

  5. Hi Scooby, great post. Just wondering, did you ever think of becoming a Beachbody coach? I do P90X and other programs from Beachbody and recently signed up to become a Beachbody Coach. What are your thoughts on becoming a Beachbody Coach. Thank you for your advice and the time you've taken to build your website.

    PS: I am also a full time Engineer in the telecom area and fitness is a hobby for me as well. :)

  6. @scooby
    yes, i've read paying attention your whole article. i just don't agree with your method of discovering who is giving bad advice because everyone is biased, if we take your definition. what fitness trainer would not want to make money out of his job? and if he wrote a book, why wouldn't he put a price on it? all the fitness books on your website were free?
    and yes, i'd be pretty pissed off if i were lied to. but, in my opinion, to know who is lying you need to educate yourself using reliable sources like this one. and i know this is a reliable because i've been using it for a year and i see the results.
    by using these types of sources you will later "smell" the crook who is just selling bs.

  7. The point is that "they" are reinventing the light bulb over and over again. They do this by telling you how it all comes down to supplements and/or branded equipment, e-books, etc. At the same time they're NOT disclosing that they're earning money off of you. The greater the following, the greater the chances are that some clueless kid will spend his hard earned money on some BS story! Scooby is trying to protect us all from being gullible suckers (that all beginners are) and straying away from the natural way (using steroids and unnecessary chemicals and other "proprietary blends"). So…you go figure!

  8. The PTs should get paid. That is a clear thing. But if he advices supplements and books of his own i could not trust this person. Just my two cents.

    I've already had some good PTs and their excercises etc. were all in the paid package. No extra fees. Had good results with this support.

    But i appreciate it very much that there is such a good information pool for free. Such engagement is rare (i speak of Sir Scooby's Infos ;-).

    Best regards,
    Thomas

  9. @Jonutz, please read the first sentence of my post again: "How can you tell if a YouTube trainer is giving good, unbiased fitness advice or not?". I am talking about how to tell if a trainer on YouTube is providing good advice IN THEIR VIDEOS. So you would be OK if they lied thru their teeth in order to get you to buy their eBook but then provided a good book??? Not me, I'd be pissed.

  10. That is a very good point omatsu123! Fitness IS a great hobby but not really a good job. Very few personal trainers can support a family – being a personal trainer is only "good money" for a student. Very few can make a comfortable living in the fitness field and still sleep well at night – unless they have no conscience that is :)

  11. no, i don't really see the difference.
    if i were a fitness trainer and being a fitness trainer was my job, i wouldn't give my advice for free. we are talking about hours and hours of study and hard work, so if anyone wants a piece of my experience, why should i give it for free? i didn't get it for free.
    is there a conflict of interest if you pay your accountant to do your taxes? no, that is what he is supposed to do. that is what a fitness trainer does too, he offers advice for money, it's his job.
    you are not doing it for free either. you don't ask for money but you get something in return: a nice feeling of giving back to people, you respect yourself more etc. this is an exchange too, and you are doing it for yourself, you just don't ask for money, like those trainers, in return.
    this being said, yes, there is a lot of bs out there regarding fitness. and the way to escape that is by providing a better alternative and you do that very well. but if people still go after that expensive bs after that, it's their business because, in the end, they have the right to do whatever they want with their money, body and health.

    yours truly (((:)
    Ionut

  12. I would venture to say it's okay for personal trainers to make money by promoting supplements or e-books as long as they disclose the fact. That's their job.

    But I would also have to advice youngsters not to choose personal trainer as their one & only income resource. Because they may end up becoming slaves to supplement company and will promote bogus diet with useless supplements.

    It's a harsh world. Fitness is a good hobby but not really a good job. Even med doctors have to write strange studies to please sponsors.

    It's only their job but it's our life they are handling. How awful…

  13. @Addi Perhaps for some that would create a conflict of interest but not for me, please read again the third bullet about why I ended up on YouTube in the first place. Yes, I occasionally intentionally rile people up in an attempt to get views but it is ALWAYS to make a very relevant and important fitness point.

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