Posted On April 29, 2024

Cutting Edge Innovations in Fitness and Health: Buyer Beware!

There are a staggering number of products and programs offered for sale in the fitness and health universe. Many of these are marketed as significant innovations.

Most of us have developed a reasonable sense of skepticism about products making extravagant claims. What tends to trip us up is when the marketing or promotion of some new thing does not set off our BS Alarm.

In examining many current innovations I found that many sounded very appealing and even appeared to have some legitimacy.

However, I also found that it was extremely valuable to reexamine how a potential buyer evaluates these innovations to make a judgement about whether to spend money on them.

 

An Evaluation Strategy

In the old days most of us looked at a piece of equipment or a system and quickly decided whether something was mere marketing hype or might actually have some value.

This is still a useful first screen.

What becomes more complicated are a group of innovations where it is more difficult to determine whether they have any value.

 

A Great Idea IN THEORY: An Apocryphal Tale

A bit over a decade ago I was invited to attend a demonstration of a cutting edge innovation in sports training. It was held at a gym where many elite athletes trained. The coaches were among the best in their respective sports at a national level.

The audience was a group of elite level competitors in Cross-Fit, Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. In short, the presentation was to a highly knowledgeable and sophisticated audience.

The idea presented to us by some reps from the company as well as a few local doctors involved in sports medicine was that we could all potentially improve our already high levels of athletic performance by using data from monthly monitoring of our blood.

The monitoring program had been designed by some physicians in the Bay Area who worked with elite athletes. The people making the presentations were Portland area sports docs who endorsed the concept.

In short, this was not a group of scam artists with phony drivers licenses selling youth serum to a bunch of rubes at a county fair in Oklahoma.

After the presentation, many of us signed up for the monthly testing program. Each month we had our blood drawn by a nurse specializing in this procedure. We then received extensive printouts of the results along with recommendations for changes in our nutrition, supplementation, and recovery.

However, it was a complete failure.

Why?

As all of us discovered after about three months of blood testing.our blood test results never changed. When we began the program, everyone already had an elite athletes blood profile.

There was no way to improve on where we already were. But we paid a princely sum to find this out.

Had we been sick, halt and infirm the tests might have been useful data for improving our overall health and wellbeing.

 

Lessons from this example

Many of the cutting edge ideas in health and fitness sound incredible. The promoters most likely believe they are putting out a great product. They would be horrified to find that they are scamming their customers.

My personal evaluation is that this would apply to a lot of the longevity research being promoted to the affluent. Lots of smoke but no fire.

For those of us who are looking at options for our own use I have a modest set of questions that can be helpful in evaluating a potential purchase.

  • If this works for me, how will I know it?
  • What must I do to make this work?
  • If the product works as advertised.would I want it?
  • What is my personal cost/benefit calculation? (Is it worth the time, money and trouble?)

These are questions to ask after you decide whether the source and the claims are credible, and the product or program appears to be the real deal.

Lift Big!

Ricard

Written by Richard

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