The picture that you see above is of a certain Vince Sant, the face of one of the most hated and reviled – yet wildly successful – fitness and supplement companies in the world. That’s right, the male model second from right is the public face of VSHRED.
Now, if you have any familiarity whatsoever with the world of online fitness, you have some idea of who this “Vince Sant” guy is. If you have gone anywhere near a fitness-related video on YouTube, and you are unfortunate enough to be stuck using the YouTube app without ad-blocking capabilities, then you have almost surely come across those “body type workout and diet plan” ads that this guy’s company puts out.
The idea behind those videos is that people’s body structures can be subdivided into three categories – endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. This is the somatotype theory. The core concept tries to explain why some people gain muscle very easily, while others struggle greatly to put on any kind of muscle mass. Here’s a basic picture to break it all down for you:
The problem is that the science behind it is COMPLETE BUNK.
In the first place, the idea did not originate with an actual fitness expert – it came from a psychologist. I’m not saying that ALL psychologists are liars, frauds, and lunatics – that is a classic example of painting with an overly broad brush. There are valuable insights to be gained from a scientifically sound approach to psychology as a branch of philosophy. But the moment that you hear a psychologist talking about the human body, rather than the human mind – RUN.
In the second place, the somatotype theory does not work particularly well over long periods of time, simply because people’s bodies change.
Out of Betatude
Let’s say that you are the typical Indian blue-pill Beta male. This means that you entered this world with bad genetics, a lousy diet, hopelessly out-of-date fitness knowledge, and no good examples of how to lift and get strong.
So you start out “skinny-fat”, or essentially, an “ectomorph” or “endomorph”. But you muddle through somehow and find someone who actually knows WTF he’s talking about when it comes to lifting heavy shit. (Hey, that’s me!)
You begin to put on some serious muscle and make real GAINZ!!! in the gym. And you get strong and tough in a big hurry. Your body now looks much more like a mesomorph.
Does that mean that you can stop and no longer lift, simply because you’ve reached a particular point? Of course not – don’t be stupid. Once you become an iron addict, you need to stay an iron addict.
There are plenty of other reasons why fitness “advice” of that sort is so bad for you. But that alone is not the reason why Vince Sant and his crew get so much hate on YouTube.
Here is the real reason:
As you will see from that video, VSHRED is essentially a triumph of highly effective, if possibly somewhat sleazy, marketing and hype over substance and knowledge.
This example serves to illustrate perfectly exactly why Most People Are Idiots, and why you should not content yourself with mere Basic Bitch advice.
All Apple, No Core
This is a harsh and frankly depressing for many men. Most of us are idealistic (and stupid) enough to think that people will not be taken in merely by a pretty face. But the reality is that most people do NOT think deeply when someone tries to sell them a bill of goods.
Here is the sad reality:
Most people are stupid sheep who will believe whatever you tell them. They think with their eyes and ears, not their hearts and minds.
Don’t believe me? Look around you. How many people do you see in your immediate vicinity who believe, as an article of faith, that the Commiepox is a genuinely terrifying threat? Or that masks actually work to contain it? Or that lockdowns are effective at stopping its spread?
The reality is that most people will see a pretty face like Vince Sant’s, posing in a heavily airbrushed photo with an absolutely ripped torso and a highly pneumatic woman in a tiny bikini, and will want to look exactly like him. Who wouldn’t, after all? The guy seems to have it all. He has a tremendous body, a stunning woman, a great lifestyle, and loads of money.
The problem with him is that he took the ticket. On the surface, his life is great. Deep down, though, I suspect that it really isn’t.
Never Fall for the Hype
Let me be as fair as possible to Vince Sant himself. I’m not really bagging on the guy. It’s obvious to me that he is basically a ventriloquist’s dummy. If you watch some of his videos, you will quickly realise that he is reading from someone’s script. I’m not even remotely convinced that the guy believes half of the bullshit that he spouts.
Unfortunately, not everyone who comes across his material will know or realise this. Far too many people will watch those videos, and go to that site, and think that the product is legitimate. It is not.
Here are some basic fitness facts for you:
- You don’t need lots of fancy supplements with proprietary blends. Supplements do play a role in nutrition and fitness. But you don’t need many of them, and most are quite cheap. Get yourself some high quality fish oil, a daily multivitamin capsule, turmeric for inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin for joints, and melatonin for sleep. The total cost of all of that will come to less than $1 a day if you buy right.
- Protein powder should be simple, cheap, and effective. Buy protein powder blends that have low-carb counts. You can buy a 5lb tub of GNC whey protein powder for $50 or less – that’s $0.65/oz. And that’s ALL you need. It will last for a long time and be quite delicious.
- Compound lifts, NOT CARDIO, make you strong and fit. That is just the simple truth. Lift heavy shit three times a week. Do High Intensity Interval Training or heavy-bag workouts at least one day a week. Go for long walks to help your muscles recover. Chronic cardio will wear you out, break you down, and leave you weak.
- Processed carbs are horrible for you. Avoid them as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with one or two cheat meals a week – maybe even a cheat day. But try to avoid eating processed foods. Stick to simple, tasty, natural foods cooked in natural fats like butter or coconut oil. Your body and digestive system will thank you for it.
The Hardgainer’s Righteous Path
The reality of fitness is that “innovation” is, or should be, a curse in that industry, as a general rule. (There are exceptions.)
If you want to get lean, strong, and ripped, you cannot go wrong by following the basics. All you have to do is to pick a single training program that involves progressive overloading. That is to say, you need to pick a fitness program that tells you to lift weights. And it will tell you to increase either the number of reps, or the amount of weight, with every workout. That program will emphasise good form and will teach you how to perform lifts correctly.
And if you want to look good, you need to eat right. The human body runs exceedingly well on lean protein, healthy natural fats, and natural fruits and vegetables. It has a very hard time with processed foods and artificial oils.
There is no secret to losing weight. Simply eat fewer calories than you burn. And there is no secret to gaining muscle. Simply eat more calories than you burn – and exercise hard. Assuming that you take a sufficient amount of time to rest, you WILL see results.
If you need actual beginner’s advice, avoid the nonsense peddled by VSHRED and stick to the tried-and-true basics. I have written extensively about how to lift as a beginner right here. Look for A Beginner’s Guide to Lifting down at the bottom of that page.
Conclusion – Do Your Homework
That bit of wisdom is ironic given the source. Abraham Lincoln fooled a LOT of people, both in his time and subsequently, into thinking that the deadliest war in American history was all about freeing slaves. It categorically was not. Nonetheless, even false prophets sometimes speak the truth. And President Lincoln definitely did when he said that.
We can, and should, appreciate the marketing genius behind VSHRED. Having studied the subject myself (briefly), I think that what VSHRED does is a superb example of effective, if misleading, marketing. The people behind the company have plainly made boatloads of money using their strategy. I do not begrudge them their wealth or success. Nor do I wish them ill, personally. I have never bought their products, and almost surely never will. So I care not whether they succeed or fail.
I do care, however, about the kinds of fitness advice that so-called “gurus” put out there. And the reality is that most of it is utter GARBAGE. Don’t listen to it. Stick to the tried-and-true wisdom of ages.
And that wisdom is simple, as all great wisdom always is:
Lift heavy. Eat proper natural food. Rest. Do short high-intensity bursts of highly dynamic cardio. Get plenty of sunshine. Live a happy and healthy life. Stand up. Move around. Walk. Spend time in nature. Avoid injury – and if you do get injured, get proper and professional treatment.
Anything and everything else is merely commentary.