Posted on 31 Dec 2009 01:51
I wanted to share some of these testimonials I've received. It's great to have your hard work appreciated.
I love Ground Up Strength. If you ever have any stubborn people like me, have them call me. Ground Up Strength is the real deal!
I wish you would have started it sooner. I love Ground Up Strength. I can't say enough about it.
— Mary Brown
If you ever have any stubborn people like me, have them call me. I love your strength training articles. Ground Up Strength is the real deal!
Thank you so much for your help. Ground Up Strength is great. I don't know what else to say. I could probably go into marketing for you.
It's weird that those two guys said the same thing about stubborn people. Man, I guess coincidences do happen. I mean, it's not like they're fake.
Oh, wait, it is like they're fake. Because I faked them, see? Actually, I didn't have to fake them, I just used a generator to fake them for me. I modified them a tiny bit to make them fit better. Look at the names. Some of the most common names in the English language.
Time invested: about one minute.
Would you have believed those if I hadn't let one repeat and been so obvious about it? Did you notice how nothing was mentioned about what we actually do except in just one which mentioned strength training articles? I had to add that in. Otherwise it would have been completely generic.
So that was about a minute of work. I think in about five minutes I could have come up with some really specific and convincing ones. It's not like I'm new to writing.
So, you get the picture. Testimonials are easy to fake and most of them are faked.
But what about all the bros on the bodybuilding forum singing the praises of some fancy creatine or NO product? You know that those are not fake testimonials. They're real people responding to forum threads. That's the rub. Testimonials don't have to be fake to be almost completely worthless. There is hardly a product out there that someone does not wholeheartedly believe in. We are pretty quick to blame the "placebo" and that is strong. There may not be any real definition to it but there is an affect there for sure.
These kind of testimonials, when used to advertise products or as evidence of the effectiveness of a product are one example of anecdotal evidence.
image by Dave Fayram via flickr
The affect of belief, though, is just as strong. Here I mean a type of belief that is separate from a placebo effect in that it doesn't really have much to do with your faith in the virtue of a supplement or drug. You've heard the saying "a fool and his money are soon parted." Well if you don't want to feel like a fool then you must rationalize how well your money is spent.
Hang around those forums enough and you will notice something interesting. As the supplement crowd gains experience and confidence in their training and nutrition plans they become less and less confident in all the fancy designer supplements.
Of course there is no hard and fast rules with forums, especially since so many of them exist solely as a means for a supplement company to sell more supplements. Shy away from those and you will see the effect I am talking about, though. It has to do with a sense of control and a narrowing down of options.
At first, training or nutrition does not offer any clear cut and direct answers. But supplements seem to do just that.
For any one class of bodybuilding supplement there are thousands of products on the market. Although most of those products make very specific claims and promise tremendous and easy results, ironically, it is the very number of products on the market that helps build loyalty to specific ones. And this goes back to not wanting to feel like a fool.
With training and nutrition, at first, you feel like there is so much to know and so many directions you can turn. Who do you listen to? What goals should you set? How should you prioritize? You can't make a choice because you are not even sure how to define your options.
Supplement marketers solve that problem for you with very clear-cut and emotionally loaded promises. But there are still thousands of options. So, once you make a choice and spend your money on it there is a need to feel like you've make the RIGHT choice. That you've exercised sound judgement and established control over your results. And so you testify. And testify. Until you become a more mature trainee. You can think of certain things, such as supplements, like a pacifier or comfort blanket. What happens to those objects as a child grows older?
Of course these observations do not cover every one. There exists those rare birds who have been at it for years and continue to recommend even the most ridiculous and transparent of snake oils on the market. But there also exists those rare birds who get results despite their lack of knowledge and insight. Nothing I say here cannot be countered by an opposite observation. But I think, if you pay attention, that my observations hold true a great deal of the time on this issue. But remember, great things come to he who waits. And the early bird gets the worm.
Jamie Hale mentions talks about testimonials and bold statements in The Fitness Skeptic among many ways in which people fail to apply critical thought to fitness claims.
This page created 31 Dec 2009 01:51
Last updated 17 Jul 2016 23:12