So a new health food and supplement store opened up last week in my local shopping precinct and yesterday I finally got around to checking it out. I was impressed at the range of bodybuilding supplements; there were many brands that I’ve never seen on the shelves here in Australia.
So the salesman walks up and asks me if I want any help with the supplements I was looking at. Sure, I said and he kicked off his sales pitch about the new creatine supplement range. After about 2 minutes I had to stop him. The absolute garbage that was coming from his mouth was an insult to my intelligence! He had quite obviously read the promotion package sent out by the supplement company and padded it out a bit to try and make the sale. When I asked him where he trained he said he didn’t and when I went on to ask him some more in-depth questions about creatine (which I knew the answer to – I was just testing him) he had no idea what I was talking about. I ended up walking out.
As I walked out I was thinking about how someone who was new to bodybuilding and supplements could easily be sucked in by the salesman’s pitch. So I decided I’m going to give some newbies some advice about buying supplements and how NOT to get ripped off. Let’s face it, supplements aren’t cheap and I’ve got a million things I’d rather spend my hard earned cash on than supplements I don’t need. So here goes, here are some points you should consider before making a supplement purchase.
Knowledge Is Power.
Knowledge is your first line of defense from being scammed. You should never walk into a supplement store having no idea what you’re looking for. There are plenty of places you can get information on this site. Like our supplements section, supplement articles section, or magazine.
I advise you to really do your research on supplements before you buy anything. Get independent advice from other lifters, read reviews, compare products and prices. There is so much information made available to you you’d be stupid not to read up, especially considering supplements are expensive and the right supplements can make a huge difference in muscle gains.
Never Take The Salesman's Word For It.
Never take the advice of someone who is going to profit from your purchase. Salesmen are trained to make the biggest sale. When supplements are concerned, this usually means over-hyping products and advising you to buy things you don’t need. Always seek independent advice from a trusted source.
Previously, if you didn’t know anyone who was into bodybuilding or worked at a supplement store it was hard to get good quality independent advice. Now we have the internet. You can ask people for advice on forums, read thousands of articles etc. so there’s so excuse to do your research.
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True It Probably Is.
This is another age old saying! But it really does apply to supplements. Supplement companies really love to over-hype their products and often bend the truth on their packaging. Here are some classic examples:
- “Studies have shown…” Studies have shown what? Who conducted these studies? Can we have a copy of that study? The companies conduct their own in-house studies that we’re not allowed to look at.
- “New and improved formula” How can you improve something that’s already the best money can buy? Well, that’s what I was told on the last package.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good supplements out there. Just watch out for miracle supplements that promise to be the key to weight gain.
Only Buy Supplements Based On Your Goals/Training.
Just because Ronnie Coleman takes it doesn’t mean you need to. Supplement companies shell out big money to have top bodybuilders endorse their products. Don’t get caught up in thinking these guys got that big by taking these products. Quite often a bodybuilder won’t even start using and endorsing a product until they’re well known on the IFBB circuit. So how did they get so big? They ate like a bear and trained like an Olympic athlete.
What supplements you buy should be a reflection on your goals and training program. There’s no need to spend $300+ a month on 6 different types of supplement if you’re only training casually 3 times per week just to tone up a bit.
Trust Old Brands.
I have seen many supplement companies come and go over the years. The reason they fail is because their supplements are either over priced or poor quality. While these companies might make money for a while, it’s not long before their products are exposed as being poor quality or over priced and they go out of business.
Old supplement companies have been in the business so long for a reason, they have quality trusted products. These companies have stood the test of time and survived. These trusted companies have everything to lose and nothing to gain from over-hyping and misleading buyers about their products. These products can usually be trusted.
Arm yourself with knowledge before buying any supplements. Do your research. Also, all the supplement information we publish on this site is completely unbiased. Hopefully this article will help save you some hard earned cash, happy supplement buying!
More information on supplements in our Supplements Information Section!