I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.
I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.
That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.
This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.
Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.
That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.
Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.
So, here’s what I’m doing:
Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.
And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .
4:20 – Why I recommend 4-6 reps for most exercises in Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger
16:16 – Why I think watching porn is bad
32:38 – Whether or not I pay attention to my competitors more than I lead on
Mentioned on the show:
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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
So I have written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years. You know, books, articles, podcasts, videos on all kinds of topics. Just about everything you can imagine at this point related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy. And I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances, and.
I’ve helped them get into the best shape of their lives. That doesn’t mean though, that you should just blindly swallow everything I say, because let’s face it, nobody is always right about everything, and especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders, and this is why I’m always looking to not.
Just acquire brand new pieces of information or knowledge, but also to revise existing knowledge to make it more right. I’m always looking to find out where I can be more accurate, and one way to do that, of course, is to just continue to read and research and be willing to accept new ideas that run contrary to existing ideas I might have about how things work.
And another fruitful source of help has been other people, people who disagree with me, especially those who have good arguments and good evidence to back up their assertions. Now, sometimes I don’t end up getting on board with their positions, but sometimes I do end up learning something new, and either way, I always appreciate.
The discussion and that gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes. It’s pretty simple. I’m going to publicly address things that people disagree with me on, and I’m gonna share my perspective. It’s gonna be like a, a spicier version of the q and a episodes that I do. So specifically, here’s what I’m doing every couple of weeks over on.
Instagram at Muscle Life Fitness. If you wanna follow me. I’m asking my followers what they disagree with me on, and then I’m picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast. And in this episode, I will be tackling the following. The first challenge comes from X Cali X zero, and it is regarding my bigger, leaner, stronger program, which has you do four to six reps work in the four to six rep range for most exercises.
The second one comes from, well, he may not want me to. I actually say because it’s watching porn, I guess he disagrees. I think it’s a, a bad idea to look at porn and he thinks it’s a good idea, so I won’t share his username. And the third one comes from Mike Gallagher and he said, you pay attention more to your competitors than you lead on.
Now, before we get to the show. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you wanna help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100% natural evidence-based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and protein bars, pre-workout and post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more.
Every ingredient and dose in every product of mine is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent, no proprietary blends, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. To check it out, just head over to legion athletics.com and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps.
Use the coupon code MFL at checkout and you will save 20% on your entire order if it is your first purchase with us. And if it is not your first purchase, then you will get double. Reward points on your entire order, which is essentially getting 10% cash back in rewards points. So again, that u r L is legion athletics.com.
And if you appreciate my work and if you’ll wanna see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this. All right, so let’s start with the first doing four to six reps for most exercises. And again, that is how my bigger, leaner, stronger program works.
You’re working with 80 to 85% of your one rep max. You’re ending most of your sets, one or two reps shy of technical failure, so they’re pretty hard. Sets. But yes, you are doing four to six reps on most exercises and six to eight, or even eight to 10 on a few exercises that really don’t lend themselves well to the four to six rep range, like side raises and rear raises, for example.
And the thing to know about this is, I’m not saying there’s anything. Magical about the four to six rep range. You can gain muscle and strength working in a number of rep ranges. You can gain muscle working upward of probably 30 reps per set. Now that would be terrible and you would hate your workouts and you would never make it through even a training block like that.
I mean, can you imagine doing a 30 rep set of squats where you have to take it close to. Failure. Yeah, no thanks. And as for gaining strength, anything, probably up to 10 reps per set or so is gonna be pretty effective for gaining strength. Now we know lower rep ranges are more effective, like four to six, for example.
But you certainly can gain strength. If you only work, let’s say in the eight to 10 rep range, you can get pretty strong just doing that. Now, if you want to get even stronger, if you want to get impressively strong, you’re gonna have to do some heavier lifting now. Doing more reps than, let’s say 10%. Once you get beyond that threshold, you start to really move toward muscle endurance, increasing muscle endurance.
You can imagine strength and muscle endurance being on two opposite ends of a spectrum, and the reps that you’re doing per set corresponding with that. So the lower reps, and again, this is assuming that you are taking. Your sets close to failure. So they’re hard sets, but the lower reps are more conducive to strength and not muscle endurance.
And the higher reps are more conducive to muscle endurance and less so to strength. And as far as muscle building goes, you can gain plenty of muscle anywhere in that spectrum. And that’s not just me saying that, for example, in a systematic review. That was conducted by scientists at Auckland University of Technology.
The researchers found that any weightlifting set that was taken close to failure in the range of six to 20 reps will produce about the same amount of muscle gain. So then why do I recommend in my bigger, lean, stronger program, which is geared primarily toward people who are new to proper weightlifting, not necessarily newbies to the gym or to resistance training, or even.
Weightlifting, but to proper weightlifting and proper strength training. Why do I recommend mostly working in the four to six rep range? Well, one reason is that is generally more enjoyable than working in higher rep ranges. The lower. Rep ranges make for more enjoyable workouts for most people because they allow you to increase your weight more often and in larger increments.
And that’s motivating and as progressive overload is the primary mechanical driver I. Of muscle growth and of course adding weight to the bar is the best way to progress with the overload your muscles. You also get great results in the mirror, so again, that makes for a good time. You come in the gym every week and you’re a little bit stronger than the last week and you’re taking your progress pictures and every several weeks when you’re looking through your pictures, you’re noticing more muscle, more definition, more progress.
The lower rep workouts are also more time efficient. You’re spending less time in the gym if you are doing fewer reps per set. They also make for less grueling workouts, especially again, when you’re taking your sets close to technical failure. A 10 rep set of squats is much more. Uncomfortable is much more difficult to get through than a four or five rep set of squats, and I would say that’s even more true in the case of the deadlift.
If you’ve ever done a proper hard set of 10 reps or more on the deadlift, you know what I’m talking about. It is exhausting and the point with working out is not to avoid things that are exhausting. Of course, but it is also not to push beyond the point of diminishing returns. It’s to work hard in the gym and hard enough to continue making progress, but not way harder than we need to be working to make more or less the same progress.
Right. And so coming back to the four to six rep range, it’s hard. Especially on the big compound lifts, it’s hard, but it’s not so hard that you hate or you dread your workouts and that matters. That affects compliance greatly, how much you actually enjoy your workouts and look forward to your workouts and how you feel after a workout matters.
Now, that is not to say that there are no benefits to doing. Higher reps, like let’s say eight to 10 sets of eight to 10 or or even 10 to 12. Those higher rep ranges generally are a better fit for accessory exercises, for example, I wouldn’t say all accessory exercises, but some like the side rays and the rear rays and some triceps exercises are more comfortable to do in higher rep ranges, and it’s easier to maintain proper form in higher rep ranges, and so it’s generally more productive.
To do those exercises in, I would say at least the six to eight, let’s say that’s your, your heavy accessory set would be like six to eight reps instead of four to six or even heavier. And your lighter weight, uh, accessory set might be 10 to 12 reps, whereas your. Lighter weight set on a compound exercise might be eight to 10 or even six to eight depending on how you are programming your workouts.
There’s also evidence that higher rep sets can help stimulate muscle growth in a slightly different way than lower rep sets and that they can work synergistically to maximize muscle growth, I think is a, an accurate way of stating it. And there’s also something to be said for the break that you are.
Joints and really just, just your body in general gets from using lighter weights for a period of training, and that’s mostly relevant, I think, to intermediate and advanced weightlifters whose bodies are no longer hyper responsive to resistance training and who are truly lifting some heavy weights. In the beginning, the weights might feel heavy, but in the scheme of things like relative to body weight, for example, they’re not that heavy.
But after you’ve been training effectively for. A year, two years, if you’ve been doing things well, the weights truly are starting to get heavy. You’re starting to pull upward of, you know, twice your body weight for reps or more. You’re squatting probably something similar, maybe a little bit less, you’re, you’re bench pressing something around.
Your body weight for, I mean, that would probably be a, a, you know, an eight to 10 rep set and then you’re pressing maybe 130 or even 140% of your body weight for lower reps. Like that’s heavy weight and it does take its toll on your joints, and it does produce just more overall fatigue, and it just beats you up more.
Then the lighter weights and higher reps, and that’s why, for example, in my Beyond bigger lean or stronger program, at least the new second edition of it, the 2.0 that I’m working on, that’ll be out this summer. The training is more deliberately periodized. It’s more, it uses a linear periodization model where you are working in higher rep ranges for training blocks, and then you’re moving into.
Lower up ranges and heavier weights for successive training blocks, and you are then ending 16 week macrocycles with some very heavy weights, just trying to lift a lot of weight and even doing a bit of amrap work to test your true strength and see if you have progressed in the macrocycle. And then there’s a, a nice deload at the end of the macrocycle.
You also deload throughout the meso cycles. Each four week mesocycle ends with a deload. It’s just a volume deload, though the weights stay heavy, whereas then at the end of the macrocycle, you’re gonna deload both volume and intensity. Really just give your body a break and then restart. And so the nice thing about that is you still get the stimulus of the heavy weightlifting.
And it’s fun. It’s fun to lift heavy weights, but you’re not doing it weak in. Week out, which for most people is just too much. Their joints are going to eventually scream for mercy, and they are going to run into just general fatigue. It’s just gonna be very hard to continue making progress. Alright, so to summarize with, uh, the four to six rep, Point of why does bigger lean stronger really emphasize the four to six wrap range.
It is a bit of a sweet spot, I think, for people who are new to proper weightlifting. It is enough weight to make serious strength gains, but not so much that you are being asked to do things that are potentially dangerous. Like take somebody new to proper weightlifting and tell them to do singles and doubles and triples with.
90, 95% plus of their one rep max. Yeah. Not a good idea. And even if they can get away with it without getting hurt, again, you only can do so much of that, uh, before you have to dial it back. And so with four to six, it’s not as demanding as the even heavier stuff, and it is not as, I’d say, metabolically and just systemically demanding.
And it’s just not as grueling and as unenjoyable, as only working in the higher rep ranges. Which again, particularly sucks with squatting and deadlifting in particular. I’d say overhead pressing and bench pressing are a bit of a pain in the ass too in higher up ranges. But squatting and deadlifting really anything with your lower body.
So I’d say that also includes leg press or lunges. It is nice to be able to focus on lower rep ranges and just moving heavy weights.
Hey, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100% natural evidence-based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and bars, pre-workout and post-workout supplements.
Fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more. Every ingredient and every dose in every product is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored to check. Everything out. Just head over to legion athletics.com and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps.
Use the coupon code FL at checkout and you will save 20% on your entire order if it is your first purchase with us. If it is not your first purchase with us, you will get double reward points on your entire order. That’s essentially 10% cash back in rewards points. So again, the u R L is legion athletics.com, and if you appreciate my work and want to see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this.
Okay, let’s move on to the next challenge. Watching porn from he who will remain nameless. Why do I think watching porn is a bad idea? And this one came about because a couple months ago I wrote an article and I think I turned it into a social media post as well regarding it was like the 20 something things I would tell my younger self.
Basically, it’s some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years and some of the things that. If I could go back to former me and give me some advice, here’s what I would say. And one of them was along the lines of, just stop watching porn. It’s just bad. It’s not worth it. Uh, why? Well, let’s start with the practical downside, which is it’s a huge time suck.
Anybody who has gotten into watching porn, even if they haven’t become quote unquote addicted or dependent on it, just into it enough. Standard, let’s say teenager behavior. They know it can eat up hours of your week and in some cases it might even eat up hours or an hour plus, uh, in a day where you are going through different videos and trying to find exactly what you wanna see.
And it’s the ultimate dopamine trap. Another big problem with porn is it serves as an artificial substitute for actual human connection, and that messes your life up. Research has clearly shown that the quality of our relationships is in the end. The one thing that we can count on the most to deliver happiness and satisfaction, check out the grant study, for example.
If you want to learn more about that, and by looking at porn, it is going to reduce our motivation to actually go out and find a partner. Why bother going through the work of finding someone real to have sex with when you can just simulate it with your computer screen? Or even worse, now they have VR porn.
And I wanna emphasize the work part of that because for most people, and I can say for most guys at least, and I’ve seen this firsthand, Time and time again. I can’t say I’ve experienced it myself because I haven’t been single in a very long time. I started dating my now wife when I was 17 years old, so, you know, take my thoughts with that in mind.
But there aren’t many guys out there who can waltz into a room and have all the female eyes turned to them, and then they can just have their pick of anyone there. Only celebrities get to do that. For most guys, they are going to have to work to prove that they are a valuable mate. They are going to have to take care of their body.
They’re gonna have to care about how they dress. They’re gonna have to cultivate something of a personality, and they’re going to have to often be on the road to some level of financial and professional success, or at least. Stability. They can’t just sit around and watch porn and eat fast food and play video games and then get the idea, maybe I should get a girlfriend and just go find one.
And we’re lucky that women have. Biological programming that tells them to marry up, and there’s research on that. If you find that even remotely controversial, just look into the science, and of course it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Hyper gamy is hardwired into women, and we should be thankful that it is because from a purely genetic, Standpoint.
We want the best genetic material, the best d n a among us and I, I’d say that globally as a species, wherever there are humans, we want the people with the highest quality, d n A to find each other and have a lot of unprotected sex and have a lot of kids. That’s how our species is going to continue to evolve in an upward trajectory.
Now, by the same token, We want the lower quality genetic material among us to not propagate. We want those people to not pass their genes on because if too much of that happens, then we devolve, we evolve in a downward trajectory That is a discogenic. Effect. Whereas the previous scenario where we are evolving to a higher and better state produces a eugenic effect.
I know that word is a loaded term and you have a lot of bad people over the last a hundred, 150 years who have. Been obsessed with eugenics, and that goes beyond the Nazis, by the way. It predates the Nazis by decades, and really the idea itself goes all the way back to even the times of Plato when he was denouncing his fellow Athenians as basically just incorrigible that most of these people are irredeemable and good for nothing.
And you can trace that line of thought all the way up to Darwin, for example. Many people don’t know, but in the origin of the species, he doesn’t just talk about evolution. He also ranks the races. He puts the Irish at the bottom. I’m Irish Wmp. Wmp wmp. Apparently my tribe contains the most useless genetic material in existence, so that’s fun.
What at the top are the Scandinavian peoples, and the basic argument is that if we as a species are going to evolve into higher states, then we need to promote reproduction among the genetic elite, and we need to suppress reproduction among. Everyone else, and a lot of powerful people bought into that and still buy into that.
If you want to go down that rabbit hole, check out Carol Quigley’s work. Start with the Anglo-American establishment, learn about Cecil Rhodes and the round tables that he set up, and if you find that book intriguing, then go all in and read. Quigley’s Magnum, Opus, tragedy and Hope. A book that Bill Clinton said is the most influential book he ever read.
Quigley was a mentor to Bill Clinton. He was a professor at Georgetown University. I mean, impeccable, bonafide, a true authoritative source on what is actually going on behind the scenes in the world. And for anyone who thinks that there isn’t really anything going on behind the scenes and oh, you’re talking about conspiracy theories, you’re an actual moron.
A, a cursory review of history tells you that it is a never ending string of conspiracies of people in power conspiring to stay in power and to destroy their enemies, and they lie. They cheat, they steal, they do whatever it takes to win. And to think that that’s not happening today because somehow human nature has magically transformed and there’s no longer this dark side to humanity.
This shadow looming over us and now people in power are just generally. Honest and trustworthy and altruistic. They’re not very self-interested. They’re just really driven by their love for everyone and their desire to see everyone live their best possible life. Yeah. Anyone who thinks like that is pathetic and just whistling past the graveyard, and I think at bottom just can’t face.
Evil. They don’t want to consider that the most powerful people in the world are explicitly working against their interests because it makes them very uncomfortable to even consider that. They would rather just eat their cheap calories, consume their cheap trinkets and their cheap entertainment, and think what they’re told to think, say what they’re told to say, and do what they’re told to do.
Conform. Above all conform, do not rock the boat. And so to bring this all the way back to porn, one of the things we’re all supposed to do is look at porn. It’s constantly pushed in the mainstream media, and I don’t just mean. The news, I’m talking also about mainstream entertainment, whether it is movies, TV shows, music.
We are constantly being sold on the idea of not just porn, but sexual degeneracy. You know, that we should all just become perverts and sex addicts and just give into our urges. And if it feels good, it must be right. And this is dangerous behavior, particularly among people. Who are prone to shiny object syndrome, people who crave constant stimulation and have trouble focusing.
For example, research conducted at Alliant International University found that pornography trains your brain to devalue larger, longer term rewards, and instead to focus on smaller, less valuable, more immediate, you know, short term. So, in other words, what this research shows is that porn can increase your time preference, meaning that it can increase the value that you place on immediately receiving something, a good, a reward, something pleasurable.
Whatever, over receiving it later. So to look at it another way, in terms you’ve probably heard of it, undermines your ability to delay gratification. And that’s dangerous because time preference and gratification delaying are intimately connected with. Not just success, but achievement in any realm, in any aspect of life.
If you are going to have a goal that requires looking into the future first thing. So again, if someone’s time preference is so high that they don’t even really look into the future at all, which is pretty common, actually, that might sound ridiculous to you if you’re a very goal oriented person, but a lot of people have no.
Real thoughts as to their future. They really just take life one day at a time, and part of them just deals with what’s in front of them. And the other part of them is stuck on things that happened to them in the past. And that’s it. So, but if, if you’re, if you are gonna have a goal, it requires a. Looking into the future.
And then it requires building a system that’s gonna get you there. And that’s going to require a lot of work. It’s gonna require doing things you don’t really want to do. And so when you’re in the moment getting ready to maybe do the thing you don’t want to do, and you’re thinking about how you really don’t want to do it, you don’t feel like doing it, why should you do it?
That’s a crucial moment. Where if your time preference is low enough, you do it because you have a purpose to do it because it’s gonna help bring you toward this goal. And along the way, you probably learn to enjoy some aspect of it, but if the goal is big enough, it’s always gonna require doing a fair amount of stuff that you just don’t really want to do, but you do it anyway.
However, if your time preference is too high, you’re simply not gonna do it. Instead, you’re just gonna go find some immediate reward. Like porn or cheap calories or cheap entertainment, and that includes video games and porn seems to be uniquely detrimental among those vices. For example, according to a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Sciences, porn Usage, Often turns into a set of behaviors that closely mirrors addiction.
So to quote from the paper, the review leads to the conclusion that internet pornography addiction fits into the addiction framework and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. That’s scary because true addiction. Is physiological. It has real ramifications. Some people will say, oh, I’m addicted to sugar.
Or maybe they think they’re addicted to sugar, but there’s a difference when you’re like, wow, I really want that blueberry muffin right now, and maybe your mouth waters a little bit versus, fuck, I need a hit of heroin right now, or I think I’m gonna die. Moving on. Yet. Another problem with watching porn is research shows that the more porn you watch, The higher your chances of breaking up with your partner.
So for example, in a study that was conducted by scientists at the University of Oklahoma, they found that the more porn people watched in the year 2006, the higher their chances of having broken up with their significant other were in 2012. And that was true for women and men. So to quote from the paper analyses, Demonstrated that Americans who viewed pornography at all in 2006 were nearly twice as likely as those who never viewed pornography to report experiencing a romantic breakup by 2012.
Even after controlling for relevant factors such as 2006, relationship status and other sociodemographic. Correlates, other researchers found the same thing, and part of the reason why this has been observed is probably because porn gives people unrealistic expectations and it reduces intimacy, and oftentimes it is withheld from the other person because the other person wouldn’t be happy about it.
And that’s a very effective way to destroy a relationship, to undermine the connection. That you have with somebody else, just do things that you know you shouldn’t do behind their back because it’s either harmful to them or maybe you’ve agreed not to do it. And then don’t tell them about it. Keep it to yourself.
Withhold it. Do that enough and that relationship. Ends every time without fail. And this is not a new idea. This is why confession has been around as long as it has been around. It’s been around for thousands of years because people found relief in unburdening themselves of their sins. And actually opening up and telling somebody else what they’ve done and then asking for forgiveness from maybe the person they transgressed against or maybe their God or whatever.
And then feeling relieved and feeling good and feeling naturally. Disinclined to continue repeating the same behavior because now they’ve experienced how bad it feels to transgress again and again and again, and hold it in and not talk about it, versus opening up, admitting they’ve made a mistake and making it right and moving on.
So those are my main reasons for being anti-porn. And I would say one other thing to add is kind of a bigger picture view is because it is very destructive individually, it’s also very destructive socially. And by looking at porn, you are directly supporting that by going to whatever website you go to, you are casting a vote, so to speak, for.
The porn industry to continue. And you are not only harming yourself, you are contributing a little bit to the harming of society on the whole. And so for me, uh, there was a point where I just couldn’t reconcile that with Madic. I just couldn’t. Pretend any longer, like I didn’t understand and believe in everything I’ve just explained and I couldn’t buy into the bullshit justifications and rationalizations about why it’s actually okay.
It’s not a big deal. It’s not that much, and so on. And I also despise hypocrisy. I despise hypocrite. It’s like most people actually, I think the hypocrite probably is the generally most despised person if we’re talking about just, uh, patterns of behavior. And so if I was gonna take an anti-porn stand, then I’d better not be looking at it myself.
And so for all those reasons, I just gave it up one day and never looked at it again. And I am. Much better for it and I invite everyone listening to do the same. Alright, the final point to address in this episode comes from Mike Gallagher and he says, you pay attention more to your competitors than you lead on.
Uh, now I’m assuming he is referring to Legion High Sports Nutrition Company, but maybe not. Maybe he’s referring to my books as well. I mean, my two main endeavors are my books and then, Legion and I actually don’t pay much attention to my competitors at all, and maybe less than I should. Really, because while there’s not that much value to paying attention to what your competitors are doing, they’re, I.
Is value in just staying abreast of where they’re at and looking for clever ideas that you can implement in your own business and seeing maybe what’s working well for them, what’s not working well for them. But at the same time, my counter argument to that is, man, there are maybe a couple sports nutrition companies whose marketing.
Is even remotely up to my standards. And to be fair, quite a bit of what we do at Legion is not up to my standards yet. I have very high standards, but the general caliber of business person and marketer in the sports nutrition space is low. Most of these people are just bad. Like if you wanna see high caliber, go look up some of these big disruptive B two C companies that are launched by the best marketing and branding firms in the world.
Companies usually based out of New York City. Like go check out something like Glossier, for example, which is uh, I think it’s mostly skincare. My wife is kind of into it. I think maybe she doesn’t use their stuff. I know that she liked the woman behind Glossier before she had Glossier, she had like a blog or something and my wife was following her at that time.
And then now, not so much because my wife said it’s become very commercialized and the woman. Doesn’t really give it much of a personal touch anymore because she doesn’t, she doesn’t fucking care. Like Glossier, I think recently got a billion dollar valuation, yet she’s too busy shredding to give a shit about the peasants who care about, uh, her fashion ideas or whatever.
Anyway, that’s an example of one of these companies. Another might be something like ritual. I know that was one of these types of plays. Another HIMSS I think is another good example. I’m trying to think of HIMSS as pharmaceuticals, but stuff kind of similar to what I’m doing. I don’t know. You can find these lists on the internet again of they’re, they’re just considered like these disruptive, direct to consumer brands that are very strong on the marketing and branding and very strong on their e-commerce.
And really every touch point is just, Impressively polished and impressively persuasive. You do not see much of that at all in the supplement space. So I don’t pay very much attention to what my competitors are doing because most of the time when I go and look at what they’re doing, I’m just like, uh, yeah, that’s dumb.
That’s bad. Wouldn’t do it that way. I would do it a different way. And a lot of what’s working for my competitors is just the obvious shit, like, yeah, they have. 10 influencers who collectively have 15 million followers, and those people promote the products a lot. And there you go. And they’re in retail stores and they do some silly YouTube content or something like.
And then those are the, those are the bigger and better competitors. The lower tier competitors of mine aren’t even doing that stuff well, so, I really don’t pay too much, uh, attention to my competition. And it as a business tip, and this is something you can read about, uh, nothing immediately is coming to mind, but I’ve come across some articles over the years making this argument that you shouldn’t care too much about what your competition’s doing because you can spend too much time trying to look for good ideas that aren’t.
There, it’s better to really study the principles of marketing, the fundamentals, and then come up with your own ideas or look for swipe, look for ideas in other industries. It doesn’t have to be your competitor. You can find great ideas, uh, that are created by. Very talented, very creative marketers and advertisers in completely different niches and completely different industries.
But you can see if you have enough of an understanding of how marketing works, how salesmanship works, how persuasion. Works. You can see that and immediately see, oh, that’s how I could apply that to my business. That’s good. And so I have a, a swipe file I keep of those types of companies, companies who do e-commerce very well, whose websites I check every month or so, looking for just good ideas.
Just looking for what they’re doing, what’s new, what is not new. ’cause I can tell you something, if they’ve been doing something consistently, like if something is new, And then it’s still there six months later. Again, if it’s a company really on their shit, they’re doing a lot of testing and there’s a reason why it’s there six months later, it’s probably because it’s working.
I’ve also seen it argued, and I would tend to agree that the time that you would spend scrutinizing your competition would be better spent. Scrutinizing your customers, really diving into the entire customer experience of your business and speaking to customers and looking for ways to improve things.
Looking for ways to reduce friction, to make it more convenient to buy from you, to reduce fears and doubts, and really just focus on serving your customer as well as you possibly can. And if you do that, Pay no attention to your competition whatsoever. You can do well and you could do so well that it never really even occurs to you to look at what your competition is doing.
And that is, uh, part of why Legion has done as well as it has done as it continues to do, is from the beginning my focus was on just serving my readers and my followers. And then when I launched Legion, it was my. Customers, I guess you could say book readers or customers as well. But, uh, as far as legion goes, once Legion was in the picture, I was thinking more with like, okay, there’s a, there’s a customer lifetime value that can be tracked.
Here I’m actually collecting identities, whereas if I sell a book on Amazon, Amazon doesn’t give me any information. I have no idea who that person is unless they reach out to me. But my focus has been very customer-centric, always looking for ways to make my customers. Happier, uh, to make it easier to buy from me, more enjoyable to buy from me, and to then make it easier to use the products and to enjoy the products and to return the products if they wanna return them or get.
You know, exchange products if they want to exchange them. And that’s also one of the reasons why I focus so much on content production, because that makes for a better customer experience. When people now buy stuff from Legion, they’re not just getting supplements, they’re also getting access to over a thousand long form articles Now.
That are up at the blog, hundreds and hundreds of podcasts. I don’t know how many videos, maybe hundreds of videos on my YouTube, my books as well. Obviously they, they cost money, but they’re, they’re not expensive. The eBooks are like seven or $8. The paperbacks and the hardcovers are on Amazon. They’re always, prices move up and down, but you’re probably gonna pay 13 or $14 for a book Also.
That’s why from the beginning, I’ve always encouraged people to reach out to me personally. Email me, ask questions, give me suggestions. And I’ve personally gotten back to people, every single person since the beginning, and I still do that today. Every day I put time into answering emails and to some people, that sounds absurd.
Like why would you? Take your time away from all the other things that you could be doing inside your business. Not to mention outside your business to just answer emails. It doesn’t scale. That’s the point. It’s, it’s, uh, fantastic because it doesn’t scale, because it’s something that pretty much all of my competitors are not willing to do.
Find the c e o of any other, not just a sports nutrition company, but company that is doing over $20 million in sales. Who you can personally reach out to literally every day of the week if you wanted to and get a reply. You might have to wait in my, you know, have to wait a week or two to get a reply.
’cause I get a lot of communication. But you will get a reply always. And one of the reasons I did that, Is because I just know it makes for an outstanding customer experience and it’s also personally gratifying because that’s how I get to hear from a lot of people who are using my work to get into better shape and improve not just their body, but but their life.
And so I’ve come to really enjoy that. Element of it that gives me a, a, a gratification and a satisfaction that is much more heartwarming and much more, um, meaningful, I guess is the word, than just getting money. Because money is fine, money’s good. It’s nice not to have financial problems, but there is a point of diminishing returns and every dollar beyond that point almost becomes just.
Abstract, it becomes another dollar that goes off to investments or something. And yes, it’s nice to have and it’s good and it’s putting a future there. And I’m grateful to be in a position where I make enough money to do that, but there’s no life in that. That’s not the real pay for work. Uh, just getting.
Shekels. The real pay is the, the experience you get with other people and the connection and the working together toward goals and the comradery. That’s the real pay. And so it’s nice to go into the inbox every day and get that, because that’s the only way I really can get it. If I just sat in my cave like a hermit and just wrote books and wrote copy.
And did businessy things. Yeah, I would continue to make money, but I wouldn’t get that deep, more personal. You might even say spiritual satisfaction out of my work. Alright, well that’s it for this inaugural episode of the says You series. If you’re still listening, I’m assuming you liked it, but maybe not.
Email me, lemme know. You will get a reply, [email protected]. It’s just muscle f o r life. Dot com. Tell me what you thought. Is this something I should keep doing? Uh, I thought it would be a good idea because I know people like the q and a episodes, and this is just a spin on the q and a. All right.
Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever I. You are listening from because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show, they also increase the search visibility and help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever.
As well. And of course, if you wanna be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast in whatever app you’re using to listen and you will not miss out on any of the new stuff that I have coming. And last, if you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at [email protected] and share your thoughts.
Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself, and I’m always. Looking for constructive feedback. All right, thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.