Assessing Credibility in the Internet Age

I wrote this over a year ago and have been a little hesitant to post it. A recent post got me to sit down and finish this article. Tim Edgerton, a UK strength and conditioning coach, named me the most influential man is strength and conditioning the other day which was cool. However the rest of the list was at least half non-coaches. There were a bunch of academic NSCA types, a few internet marketers and a few coaches. As I said in my previous post, this made me think.

The “how to get rich on the internet” business is thriving in fitness and strength and conditioning. New products are launched every month. I’m sure many of you reading this are saying “ you have a paid website, you just did FSC 3.0, who are you to talk”? Legitimate questions. However, the fact is my website sells content. Good content, updated every week. I’m not simply picking up affiliate commissions for using my list to sell another program.

I’m actually a bit tired of internet marketing. It always seems to be similar guys selling similar products. The same resumes.

“__________ is one of the worlds most sought after experts in the field of strength and conditioning and ….”.

Next time you consider buying a product, ask yourself a few simple questions.

1-    Is the seller actually one of the world’s most sought after experts in any area?

2-    Does the seller make his or her living in the area in which they are selling a product or do they make their living selling the product? In Alwyn Cosgrove’s words “have they been there, done that and, are they still doing it?”

3-    Has the seller ever made a consistent living actually coaching, training or helping people lose weight?

4-    What does the seller do every day? Do they sit at a computer and write effective sales copy or do they work in the field?

5-    Are they making money by telling you how to make money?

6-    Did they ever make a substantial amount of money doing what they are selling?

7-    Is their resume legitimate or have they inflated their qualifications and client list?


If you don’t know the answer, do a little searching and find out. You might be surprised at what you learn. I think there are a lot of Bernie Madoff’s in fitness. Look at the last name, Madoff. Like “made off” with your money?  I may sound cynical but, I don’t want to bankroll some twenty five year old who just read Four Hour Workweek. Buying products is great. I have bought many and sold many. Just be sure when you buy that you are buying a product from a person who has done the work and succeeded.


20 Responses to “Assessing Credibility in the Internet Age”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Joe- what was the title of your post? Can you send me the link?

  2. Funny how you wrote this blog entry and three days later I wrote mine. The bitter taste must be in the air. I hadn’t even known you wrote it. Keep going Mike.


    Joe Cal

  3. […]  Assessing Credibility in the Internet Age – Michael […]

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    Thanks Jim. You guys have developed a great reputation the old fashioned way, with results.

  5. Jim Reeves Says:

    Athlete testimonials are a grey area. We have had countless athletes with us who walked into a competitor’s facility, did one workout with a buddy and the next week find them selves splashed all over the front page of that competitors website as an athlete they train. One competitor went so far as to photograph and reference the Carolina Hurricanes as their new best friend! Sharp contrast to Pete Friesen’s account of the situation.

    About 6 years ago (when I actually cared about it), I counted the number of professional hockey players I trained and compared that to the internet claims of training these same athletes at different facilities in the Greater Toronto Area. What was really interesting was that about 2/3 of these players, who I saw every single day were listed on other people’s websites as players they trained. I didn’t publish a single thing to say they were training with me, yet others counted these athlete’s among the elite they trained. I have never been one for the accolades of the business, but it sure bugs me that the internet allows for the false representation of so many people in this business.

    What is really funny is while I was reading Coach Boyle’s original posting on his blog, I looked out onto our training floor and saw three national team soccer players, three professional baseball players, a national team rugby player, an NCAA baseball player and five elite level minor hockey players, all training as athlete’s in our facility. No false claims of success, just results.

    At a facility where we see 100 elite athlete’s every day, the observation of Coach Boyle rings very true. I’ll be honest, we do what other’s hope to do. We see 25-40 teams a week, every week, 32 weeks a year. We see 200 hockey players every day, all summer long. We are an on-going experiment, every single day.

    I can’t even begin to trust the claims of many of these internet guru’s. They haven’t walked the walk. That is exactly what I tell our staff. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the B.S. Anyone can do that.


  6. This post relates to not only creating hype about one’s own product, but also doing a buddy a favor and creating hype about his product, even if you’ve never seen him train in person.

    Athlete testimonials is another one. In the same week, I once saw two different testimonials ( neither involved Coach Boyle ) for two different trainers by one pro hockey player. The first one said something like “training program second to none” and the second one said something like “best training techniques in the world.”

  7. mboyle1959 Says:

    Athletic Workouts- just read your blog, nice work.

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