"… unless people become educated consumers, they will never know the difference and will be among the ignorant masses who get suckered into throwing their money at useless supplements."
Will Brink has been a well known fixture in a wide range of publications and the media, ranging from his columns in MuscleMag International to his articles in The Townsend Letter For Doctors and many in between.
He has done many interviews in news papers, radio, and TV, and is often invited to speak at conventions and various health and fitness related symposiums around the country and abroad. He also runs the highly popular web site, BrinkZone.com.
We briefly caught up with him to ask him few pertinent questions about diet, nutrition, fitness, his book "Diet Supplements Revealed". If there is one thing Will Brink is well known for, is he does not pull punches or beat around the bush. He tells it like it is, which is much as anything, is his trademark to those who know him. Let's get to it!
DC: How long have you been involved in the bodybuilding, health, and fitness industry?
WB: For over a decade. I'm getting old!
DC: How did you break into this industry?
WB: People kept telling me I should write for the magazines. I was a private trainer in the Boston area and had a good reputation for getting bodybuilders into shape. I used to do some local seminars and people kept telling me I should send in some articles to the bodybuilding magazines.
They felt I had a lot of knowledge I should share with people, so on a whim I sent in an article. After that, companies started contacting me to do consulting work and so on. One thing just seemed to build on the other. The rest as they say, is history.
WB: In my view, extremely important, if not essential. It's a topic I have been writing about and talking about for a long time. I wrote the first article on flax oil and other lipids for fat loss in the bodybuilding mags way back when. I don't think a person can optimize fat loss or health without the proper use of EFAs, in particular, Omega-3 EFAs.
and most of it is wrong."
DC: In your experience what has been the most effective nutritional method to losing bodyfat?
WB: Higher protein, moderate fat of the right types in the right ratios, and moderate-low carbs based on the amount of lean body mass the person carries combined with smart weight training and aerobics.
The use of certain supplements can also greatly enhance the fat loss process in may ways, such as increasing metabolism or blunting hunger, but most of the products sold for that purpose are over hyped or just plain worthless.
It's about making smart choices as an educated consumer not jumping on the bandwagon for every new supplement that wants people to believe it will change their life over night.
DC: You have an e-book on the topic of fat loss supplements and diet. What is it about and who is it for and who is it not for?
WB: The book is designed to explain once and for the facts (i.e., what is it, what does it do, what does the research say, what does the real world say, dose, warnings, etc) about the weight loss nutrients already available, not necessarily to uncover new and novel compounds never seen before.
It does not cover sub-Q yohimbine injections of forskolin enemas for example. My feeling is that the vast majority of people out there, say better than 90%, buying supplements still don't have a clue as to what works and what does not work regarding the diet supplements that already exist.
If they did, there would not be so many bottles of junk sold now would there? Compared to the general public, bodybuilding types are a particularly well informed group, but the rest of the world is not. The news groups and my email box, are still filled with questions about pyruvate, chitosan, DHEA, and other products, so I know confusion is still rampant.
I felt those people could really benefit from an easy to read concise look at what is on the shelves already from someone they can trust to get the straight scoop.
There is a ton of information about weight loss on the internet, and most of it is wrong. I do feel even most well informed people will still learn a few tricks they didn't know, but the fact is, it's not a book written for the "hard core" bodybuilding crowd per se. I am not looking for people to buy it and be unhappy, though I think most people will be pleased with the information.
It's also not a diet book per se but it does contain a diet and exercise plans. It's a look at weight loss nutrients combined with an easy to follow "Ten Tip Guide to Fat Loss" and people should realize that also.
So, for well informed bodybuilder types who really know their stuff, this may not be the book for them. For the other 95% plus people in the world who are constantly bombarded with BS about these nutrients, this book will clear it all up for them. Spam off.
DC: You recently updated the book. Do you cover things like andro products and creatine?
WB: No, there would be no reason to cover such supplements in a diet related book as they are not diet or weight loss supplements. If I was going to write a book on bodybuilding supplements for gaining muscle and strength, I would cover things like andro and creatine, but this book is on supplements intended to lose fat.
What I updated the book with was new chapters, new research on other nutrients where there was any to be had, and new information and charts on topics such as the GI (glycemic index) and its role of losing weight and staying healthy, as well as other new sections.
DC: Some people might say they can find the same type of information on the internet for free. Is that true?
WB: The answer would have to be yes and no. Let's be honest, you can find an opinion on virtually any topic on the net. If people are buying my book, it's because they want to know my opinion and experience with these supplements and diet techniques, which can't be found any other place on the net.
The vast, and I do mean vast, majority of information and opinions on these things on the net is either wrong, or directly intended to sell you a product. If they want an unbiased source of easy to read information on weight loss supplements written by someone who knows the industry from the inside and has a decade or so of real world experience with these products, my book will deliver that.
If they just want a basic opinion from God knows who with God knows what motive, a simple Google search will accomplish that.
DC: Are carbs really as evil as the media makes them out to be?
WB: The main stream media is very pro carb really, so I don't see them making that claim. In my personal view, in addition to dealing with total calories, understanding carbs is essential to losing fat and keeping muscle, which should always be the goal of a person trying to lose weight, whether they be a bodybuilder or regular person trying to get into shape.
DC: I know you have worked with some of the worlds top athletes and military groups as well as the general population. Which do you find most satisfying?
WB: Although working with athletes is interesting, I find it most rewarding when an average person has turned their life around with information I gave them via my articles or my books. I find it far more personally inspirational to get a letter or an email from some one who has lost 100lbs or more following my diet advice or what have you then helping an athlete break some personal goal or record.
I recently got an email from someone who lost a brother in the 9/11/01 attacks as a fire fighter. He went and became a fire fighter to follow in his brother's foot steps, and told me the information in the e-book really helped him with getting in shape to be a fire fighter. That really inspired me in a far greater way than say some athlete breaking a record.
DC: I loved your e-book Diet Supplements Revealed, so don't take this question the wrong way. A few people told me they felt the book was on the short side. Can you comment on that?
WB: Honestly I think a person might feel that way as an after effect of the marketing of the more popular diet books. My intent was to write a concise easy to read guide to weight loss supplements on the market, not to do War and Piece.
The e-book is around 200 pages. The assumption-that volume is what dictates quality is sheer folly. My goal with this e-book was not to pad this product and make it as long as possible. In fact, my goal was the reverse. I wanted to put the maximum amount of information possible in the least amount of words.
If people take a good look at some of the most popular weight loss books on the market, they will find the vast majority of them contain very little actual information and literally hundreds of pages of recipes, pictures, and other information you could figure out yourself.
I took a close look at one of the most popular weight loss books that was all the rage a few years ago, and by my count it had exactly 81 pages of actual text relating to its promise of "new" information on helping people lose weight. The rest of the book-another 168 pages-was dedicated to recipes, worthless charts, pictures, and trying to sell the reader on buying the authors line of supplements.
Another issue people have to consider is that they get the updated version of the book no matter when they purchased it. "Free updates for life", in other words. Unlike a hard copy book, every time I have updated the e-book, everyone who purchased the earlier version gets the new version, so they never have to say "I wish I had waited until the new version to buy the book" as they often do with a hard copy book.
So it does not matter of they purchased it last year, last week, or buy it tomorrow, they will have the most recent addition. In my view, that makes the e-book a bargain.
DC: OK, last question Will. If false or misleading advertising is so common in the magazines, how do they get away with it? Why do the mags print this when they know it's nonsense?
WB: The answer that is always there, money. Most of the information you will find on the 'net or magazines is 'generated' by the actual supplement companies themselves, that is, by the people who sell the stuff.
They then have this information issued via certain magazines, web sites and other publications, PR firms, etc., yet most of it is, to be blunt, pure bullshit. False or misleading information designed only to sell the supplements. There are some websites that have straight forward information for your needs though.
For the magazines, supplement companies are a major source of advertising revenue. How do I know this? Because I have been both an editor and writer for most of the top publications in the health/fitness/bodybuilding arena, have done consulting work for many of the top supplement companies.
DC: Are all supplement companies full of BS?
WB: No, but unless people become educated consumers, they will never know the difference and will be among the ignorant masses who get suckered into throwing their money at useless supplements. I can tell you the few supplement companies and supplement company owners that are honest and want to sell a good product are as frustrated as you are over the BS that is so common.
WB: Because they get lost in the shuffle and lose out to marketing based companies who spend all their money on ads versus science and well thought out formulas.
DC: Wow, quite an honest answer Will! Thanks for the great interview.
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by: Will Brink