Why won’t Scooby give a yes or no answer?

“Why won’t Scooby give a yes/no answer?”

Simple.  I refuse to give a yes or no answer either when it is not possible or when its clear from the question that they will be misled by the answer.  Often when people ask a yes/no questions, they are really making a statement and not asking a question, here is an example of this:

  • Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?”  This is a statement disguised as a question.  The statement being made is “Scooby is guilty of domestic abuse”.  If this question were asked of me I could not answer it with a yes/no because it contains two factual inaccuracies.  First, I do not have a wife and second, I never beat my non-existent wife.  In this current political climate people have forgotten this but libel is illegal – ie, making up damaging dirt on someone like calling them a wife-beater.

I also will not give a yes/no answer if its clear that the person will be mislead by the answer because of their lack of understanding.  Here is an example:

  • Scooby, you are huge.  You use TRT right?” This is a lot more subtle and a better example of something that cannot be answered with a yes/no without misleading the person asking the question.  First of all, their question shows that they have no idea what TRT is.  The first key is that they say “use TRT” like its something you pick up at GNC.  The second key is that they think TRT is something that makes your muscles huge.  If I did answer this “yes” to this question, the person would walk away thinking “oh wow, I want to buy some TRT too so I can get huge like Scooby”.

Here is a final example of when I will not give a yes or no answer, when it is simply not possible:

  • Is 8 reps per set optimal for muscle gain, yes or no?” This cannot be answered with yes/no without misleading the person asking the question.  Whether 8 reps is optimal for muscle gain depends on their lifting history.  If they have been doing 8 reps per set for the last year, then no, doing 8 reps is NOT optimal for them right now.  They should probably do some heavy, low rep work. On the other hand if they just completed a Wendler 5-3-1 program, perhaps yes, a month of 8 reps in a PPL split would be optimal for muscle gain.

Why not give the yes/no answer first, then explain?

Some reading this would suggest, “Give the Yes/No answer first, then go on to explain“. This technique works fine in the academic world with mature highly educated intellectuals but not in the fitness world where “science based” means cherry picking research you have never read to “prove” what you already do is right.  Those suggesting giving the “yes/no” answer first then going on to explain have never been a teacher of young adults.  When they hear the word yes/no, they immediately stop listening, screenshot it,  and run away screaming at the top of their lungs “SCOOBY SEZ …”

When a person asks a yes/no question that makes it clear they will be mislead by the answer by their lack of understanding, the only way to give this person the answer they need is to educate them first so that they will understand the answer.  If they do not have the patience to be educated, then they will not get an answer from me.

“Just one quick question” …

This is the phrase I always brace myself for in live broadcasts.  Its question that start with this phrase that caused me to stop answering all question via email and PM back in 2006.  90% of the time when someone starts a question with “Just one quick question …” what they mean is that they actually have a really complicated question that they don’t want to bother learning about so they want me to spoon feed them a really quick answer.  Examples:

  • How do I build big arms?
  • What’s a good snack?
  • Whats the best workout for gaining muscle fast?


None of these are quick questions but the impatient person asking them definitely wants a quick answer.  Don’t make them think.  Don’t make them read.  Just tell them what to do.  I see why so many fitness trainers have gone to the dark side and started selling stupid $97 workout programs that are no better than what is available for free to deal with people like these.  Here, you want the best workout program for huge arms?  You can buy it from my store for $97 today!  Want a list of the top 30 best bodybuilding snacks?  You can buy it from my store for $47 right now!