What They Say


At the recent Perform Better summit in Chicago I attended a great presentation by Martin Rooney. This was my first time seeing Martin live, although I had read a lot of his work over the years. Man does he have a lot of energy and enthusiasm! If you ever get a chance to see Martin, make sure that you do, you won’t regret it.

What he began his lecture with really got me thinking. He told us about the two most powerful words in the English language. They Say. These two little words have a massive influence on many of our decisions. Now I know that may sound a bit silly, but when you think about it, he is true. Take for example how much our opinion on consuming eggs has changed over the years based on what They Say:

Eat eggs; they are a great source of complete protein!

Don’t eat eggs; they are high in fat and fats bad!

Hold on, eat only the egg whites because the yolks are high in cholesterol and cholesterol causes heart disease!

Oh wait, never mind cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, so you can eat the yolk!

Actually, scrap that. Everyone’s allergic to eggs. Stop eating them again!

But, what did we base our decisions on whether or not we ate eggs? Was it all the research we read (c’mon Mark Young, where were you when we needed you?)? Or was it based on what They Say? If you asked most people how they knew that cholesterol was bad for them the most common answer was “Oh well they say cholesterol causes heart disease.”

What I want to know is who the hell are “They” and why are some many of us blindly following “their” advice? Now, just stop and think about this for a moment. We all know the age old parental advice “Well if all your friends went and jumped off a bridge, would you?” (hopefully that just wasn’t my parents who said that). But, even if you were to jump off a bridge, at least it was a friend you were following. We don’t even know who they heck “They” are, and we are making decisions based on what “They Say”.

So who are “They”? For all we know, it could be him:

In today’s world Google is our #1 source of information, but as we all know there is a lot of misinformation out there. Take the shakeweight……need I say anymore? If we are going to be influenced, at least make sure that the influencer is someone you would actually want to be like. Or at least trust. Do you really think that Big_Gunz_32 from the bodybuilding forum is a trusted source?

Here is a list of some of my trusted sources of information (you may not have heard of them all, but check them out and be your own judge):

Todd Durkin and Martin Rooney – they are super high energy and extremely motivational, as well as having more integrity than anyone I know in the training world. (David Jack is another high energy guy too)

Alwyn Cosgrove, Thomas Plummer & Rick Mayo – this is where I look when I want to know more about the semi private/group training model.

Josh Henkin. Mark Verstegan and Coach Dos – they provide great metabolic training info and have both been innovative in their approaches. I’ve been reading a bit of Ben Bruno’s stuff lately and he definitely thinks outside the traditional box.

Eric Cressey, Nick Tumminello and Bret Contreras – these two know the body inside and out, then back in again. If you want in-depth info, this is where I turn. Bret is a great source for the scientific literature too.

Sean Croxton is a no BS guy when it comes to health and nutrition. He’s not afraid to speak out against conventional wisdom.

Craig Ballantyne – time management and getting stuff done. If you want to be more productive he’s your man!

Feel free to share who you turn to, just promise me you will stop blindly following “They”