When iSatori was founded in 2001, the man who led the charge, Stephen Adelé, had a vision of "truth, science, and providing solutions," as opposed to selling supplements only. He wanted to start the 21st century by not only making a profit, but first and foremost to change lives for the better.
A decade later, iSatori sticks to the same vision it had from its first launch. It still makes an impact on the sports nutrition industry and touches thousands of lives across the world. This isn't a statement the company makes. It is made by the same customers whom iSatori helps. Their testimonials are proof that Adelé's initial vision has come to fruition today.
Stephen sat down with Bodybuilding.com for this interview. We honor the efforts of iSatori as the newest Bodybuilding.com Supplement Company of the Month!
I originally started in sports nutrition with (then) industry giant, EAS, where I was friends with and worked side-by-side with Bill and Shawn Phillips. I knew them from our younger, competitive bodybuilding days.
After the release of Body-for-Life, Bill decided it was time to sell. And for good reason, he built one of the largest sports nutrition companies in the world. I am proud to say I was involved in everything there, from product development meetings (where Myoplex® was engineered) to traveling the world and setting up distributors in 55 countries.
After this, always an entrepreneur at heart, I decided it was time to make my move and start my own company, iSatori. I took several key people with me … borrowed some money from a good friend, and maxed out my credit cards. With our pure drive, passion and love for the industry, we beat the odds, built a great company, and have enjoyed incredible success for the last seven years.
And even though the economy and our competitors have changed over the years, our values at iSatori remain unchanged: tell the truth in everything we do; validate our products with legitimate science, and provide our customers more than just a supplement, but a total integrated solution. We teach them how to train, eat and use supplements to build a better body!
"Satori" is a Japanese word, which means to have an epiphany or an awakening … when you have the answers, suddenly anything seems possible. In our world, that means building a better body, and we provide the answers to help you get from where you are, to where you want to be.
For most people, that means building more muscle, or losing body fat, and completely changing the way you look and feel about yourself, while overcoming the daily challenges we encounter in life. We added the "I" to make it more personal, so it's your Satori. Hence the name was born, iSatori.
There were several influences in my earlier years, most definitely Bill Phillips. I didn't just work at EAS, I learned from the best. Working with Bill, I learned that it's, "all about the customer," and all else in your business is a far second.
Next, I learned from his brother Shawn Phillips. Shawn and I, in many ways, were like brothers. He taught the value of building personal relationships with our business partners. I enjoy this part of the business. Because of this early lesson, I have many, many "friends," all around the world, and in every corner of the industry (even some of our arch-rival competitors).
I worked for a short period of time with Anthony Almada (original founder of EAS). His knowledge of science and nutritional research is unbelievable. The guy is like a walking pub-med. Anthony taught me how to take complex scientific data and interprete it in a way so everyday individuals like you and I could comprehend and understand its application. This was valuable in my writing. I've now authored nine books on training, nutrition and my amazon.com bestseller, Sports Supplement Buyer's Guide.
And let me not forget my Mother, she is a strong woman, raising me alone from the age of 16. She taught me different ways to look at complex problems. In business, you encounter complex issues that need to be resolved in order to keep moving forward, and my Mom has this uncanny ability to look at things from a unique point of view and help resolve virtually any issue.
I love what I do. Every day I wake at 5:15 a.m. … charged and excited to do what I do. I love this industry. I love my company. And I love helping people look better and feel better about themselves, after they've built a better body using our information and supplements. I train every morning at 6 a.m, and head the office by 8:30 after I drop off my three girls at their school.
Being a parent has taught me many valuable lessons, but most of all, I enjoy being an influence in their lives and teaching them the value of exercise, eating smart and even using supplements (yes, my kids use supplements, our incredibly delicious Eat-Smart® protein shakes and whey crisp bars!).
I pride myself on being a student of our industry and a student of business. Humbly I admit to winning several awards which have solidifed my awareness of business and our industry. Such awards as the prestigious Entreprenuer of The Year from Ernst & Young; Best Boss in America, from Fortune magazine; the Gold Award from Nutrition Business Journal; and the one I am most proud of: Outstanding Young American finalist. I was awarded it for the charity work I do and the contributions our company makes to civil servants and military personnel.
Most people don't know this, but I also actually "wrote the book" on beta-alanine, called the Carnosine Breakthrough, and six years later, you can find beta-alanine in nearly every sports supplement on the market.
I'm proud to say, our top-selling products are the legacy products - MX-LS7® fat-burner and Isa-Test® testosterone stimulator, we developed years ago that have stood the test of time against an onslaught of competitors. But why do these products continue to perform so incredibly well after all these years? Well, because they flat-out work.
See, we don't make "me too" products. We develop products that either create a new category, or advance and mature their category. We build the BMW of supplements. We scour every shred of scientific evidence we can find, and spend a lot of money supporting our products with clinical studies (on the full formulas, not borrowed or pieced-together studies on individual ingredients).
These products have undergone randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled independent studies. We are one of only a handful of companies within our industry which invests in legitimate clinical studies on our supplements.
Of our newer product releases, we have two supplements building up a broad customer base pretty quickly ... PWR™ our super intense, ultra-concentrated pre-workout, and Eat-Smart® protein nutrition shakes and bars. PWR has amassed a massive underground user base of customers. That's because it doesn't just stimulate you from the neck up, like all of the other pre-workouts. It does that, but we added some ingredients to provide users with support for pump, something you don't get from other high-stimulant supplements that just jack you up and that's all.*
With Eat-Smart we've literally set the standard in taste, and used only the premiers sources of protein, powering it with whey protein hydrolysates. Plus, they're both gluten free, so they won't slow down your performance.* And, they have added enzymes and probiotics to help reduce the chance of gastric distress.*
But honestly, after people try Eat-Smart, they confess they never knew a protein supplement could taste so darn good. It's incredibly delicious, and there's simply no need to settle with protein that tastes horrible! Not with Eat-Smart.
Personally, I won't train a day without stacking PWR with our MORPH® pills (stimulant free) to help support my best workouts!* And, after I train, it's an Eat-Smart protein shake with our 3-XL creatine supplement.
We are always developing new, exciting supplements. We have yet to build our defining product. But we will. We have three clinical studies we are funding this year, and we are reviewing two recent patented ingredients that we have high prospect for. I don't want to disclose anything too specific, but let's just say we have some new "dessert-flavored" supplements we've engineered.
We are already getting ready to release RestorAid™ … a delicious amino-acid based supplement (powdered drink mix) that includes a superior 8:1:1 ratio of BCAAs to promote greater mTOR response and protein synthesis …
We've added protease enzymes to help support recovery …and, we've also included di-electrolytes, an overlooked ingredient for promoting hydration of the muscle cells and supporting the rate of protein synthesis in the muscle.* When we can recover faster; get back the gym sooner, with reduced soreness, it helps increased strength and even new muscle mass.*
If there is only one product, it would definitely be Eat-Smart protein shake. As you know, protein is the foundation of any program, whether you're gaining or dieting. Without sufficient protein, you'll find it difficult to reach your goals. That's what makes Eat-Smart so convenient.
But the great thing is, Eat-Smart is so much more than just a protein supplement … not only does it contain one of the purest sources of protein, powered by whey hydrolysates (which absorb faster and easier than regular whey for better results), it also contains Nutrim™, a patented source of oats, for carbohydrates to help you feel fuller, longer.*
Eat-Smart also contains flaxseed, fiber and probiotics and enzymes … and it's gluten-free and 97% lactose-free. The supplement profile of Eat-Smart is incredible, and the taste … well, let's just say it tastes awesome.
I'd add one of my training and nutrition plans to his or her program … like Maximum Growth or The Lean System. Both books are comprehensive and extremely effective, basically like a paint-by-numbers, so anyone can follow them, step-by-step and follow the plan to achieve results, in as little as eight weeks.
If they use Eat-Smart, and follow one of my plans, they should be more than pleased with how their physique looks when they're done.
The best thing, for sure, is seeing the changes you can make in someone's life. When someone gains 25 pounds of muscle, or loses 100 pounds of weight - you change their life forever. This is where I gain my inspiration from: our customers. I remember being an 18-year-old kid, trying to gain muscle mass, and the way I felt when I put on enough weight to compete in my first teenage competition (which I won, by the way, Mr. Teenage Colorado, in the AAU - remember that organization?).
I know the role we play in helping people, whether it's gaining muscle, and entering their first bodybuilding or physique competition, or losing body fat and seeing their abs for the first time. The pictures and stories and meeting these people is by far the best part of the industry.
As for the worst, it's surely the few bad apples that spoil it for the rest of us. By this I mean those few companies (if you can call them a company), which, usually in their garage (and I'm not kidding), pull out their high school chemistry kit, create some new chemical that skirts the FDA's list of banned substances, then proclaim themselves as an "industry guru," and release a concoction to the marketplace for unsuspecting consumers to use.
There is no legitimate scientific evidence to prove it's safe, no clearance from the FDA as a new dietary ingredient, nothing but anecdotal evidence that it works and provides a long-term benefit. Then, the FDA steps in - after some athlete uses it, or some kid finds himself in the hospital with a failed liver … and shuts it down. The media picks up on this and blasts the airways and Internet with negative editorial about how supplements - all of them - are unhealthy and should be banished forever.
As you can tell, I'm passionate about being a responsible company at iSatori. I care about more than my ego or profits to get in the way of doing what's right and will ultimately benefit people who seek to use our supplements.
Yes, I'd like to use this opportunity to say "thank you" to all of the customers and fans of iSatori. Without you, I wouldn't get enjoy doing what I do every day. Without you, I wouldn't enjoy spending late nights working with our product developers and researchers to uncover the next big thing in supplementation.
I know you've trusted us with your hard-earned money, and because of that, I thank you. I take it seriously and will always work hard to provide you with the very best in premium, evidence-based supplements that work.
Last, if you are an up-and-coming athlete, competitive bodybuilder, physique or fitness or bikini competitor … and consider yourself to possess "stand-up" character as an athlete, with high ethics, and are influential in your city … then give us a shout. We don't sponsor professional athletes who are paid to "say" they use our supplements.
Instead, we prefer to sponsor athletes who work their butts off, and have regular lives (outside of the gym), yet have built an incredible physique and are passionate about helping people in their communities to do the same. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see if we can find a way to work together here at iSatori.
iSatori Athlete Interview: Shari Fitness
It is one thing to have an athlete join your company and represent your brand. It is another when a person uses your products and transforms herself and becomes a testimony to your products and your representative in the fitness industry.
Shari Fitness is such a person. She committed to a solid program and used iSatori's products to help transform into a model of fitness. She is a model, with her own company, ShariFitness, where she helps others get in shape.
She also does her own radio show on BlogTalk Radio called FitTalk with Shari Fitness. She stands solidly with iSatori which is why she joined us to speak about the iSatori line, team and how she benefitted so much.
I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Professional, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Natural Health Advocate, Winner of the 2009 Chozen Award for Health Practitioner of the Year, Host of FitTalk with ShariFitness, Fitness Blogger, Social Media Consultant and Manager specializing in the health and fitness niche, Internet/affiliate marketer and will soon be launching my first e-book, titled Transformation Over 40, in Spring 2012.
I am a real-life transformation success story who has been featured in several fitness magazines. I was frustrated, frumpy and a perpetual "before" picture. No longer a perpetual "before" picture, I discovered my passion for health and fitness and set out on a mission to help others become more fit and healthy.
I walk the walk and talk the talk. I keep a positive attitude, which has helped motivate and inspire countless others who were frustrated with their efforts to lose weight and help coach them toward better health and fitness.
I had read Shawn Phillips' ABSolution book and there was a section where he encouraged the reader to send in a "before" and "after" photo along with a transformation success story. I sent my "before" photo along with my new "after" photo and my transformation success story to the address in the book. When I did that, I had no idea what it would lead to.
I don't remember how long it was after I sent those photos, but I received a phone call a few weeks prior to my first fitness competition from Sue Mosebar, the editor of a magazine called Real Solutions telling me they received my "before" and "after" photo and wanted to interview me about my Transformation Success Story for their publication, which was exciting to me.
Two days after my interview, I got another call from another person from Real Solutions asking me if I'd be interested in moderating their message board. I didn't know what a message board was and what it meant to moderate one, but I quickly agreed. At the time, I had no idea where any of this would lead, but my gut kept telling me these were all positives and to go with the flow.
Soon after, my transformation success story was published in their E-zine, (you can find it here) and their printed Real Solutions magazine, I began moderating their message board, and I've been part of the iSatori team since March 2004. Real Solutions has transitioned to Facebook as the iSatori Fan Page which I help monitor and respond to questions and comments posted by the iSatori Fans.
I am proud to be an iSatori athlete. I have known Stephen Adele, the CEO since 2004 and I know Stephen stands behind all of his company's products and will be happy to share research and data behind all of his products.
iSatori products are not made with cheap ingredients and I trust the quality of their products. I am picky about what I put in my body and I am proud to support and recommend their product line. I love their pre-workout supplements MORPH Mega Drive, MORPH Tablets, H+Blocker and 3XL and PWR. These products helped me work out with more intensity and helped me build strength and shapely muscle.
I also love their Eat Smart Products for pre- and post-workout nutrition. Hands down, their Eat Smart Whey Protein Powder is the best whey protein powder and I have tried hundreds of whey protein powders. I also love their Eat Smart Meal Replacement Bar for those times when I'm on the go and need to grab something quick.
My favorite workout program is the one I created for my upcoming e-book Transformation Over 40 which will be out later this year. The book is for men and women over the age of 40, regardless if you're new to fitness or you've been a fitness enthusiast over the years.
Transformation Over 40 includes 36 individual challenging and fun workouts that progress over a 12-week period.
I am very active on social media and you can connect with me on Twitter @ShariFitness, Facebook and on Google+. I also have a website called Fit Talk News where I am always adding new content all the time.