Skip Hill's Unemployment Rant

November 10, 2011

By Skip Hill We could take care of a good chunk of the unemployment rate in this country and get the economy back on track pretty quickly if everyone that doesn’t have a job becomes a contest-prep guru / online nutritionist. This may seem like an odd idea, but hear me out on this one because it seems that it may already be happening. I was going to call CNN or Fox News for an interview, but figured I could just write about it here. CNN and Fox News wouldn’t let me swear and belittle anyone but the editors at MuscleMag encourage me to swear and belittle people, and they pay me for it, so I figured this was the most logical option.  

It seems no matter which bodybuilding website you go to these days, you’ll always find at least one resident “expert” giving away advice on how to get ripped and/or huge. Most of these guys either have a booming business or they just make a little money on the side, but most all of them are making money of some kind. I know, I know, you’re thinking this can’t work because to make money you’d have to have knowledge and experience above and beyond the average layperson, right? Wrongo dongo. Don’t be foolish. Hell, this is the Internet where you can pretend to be anything you want to be. Look at me, I’m pretending I know how to write and getting paid for it. Case in point.

Clearly, there are a lot of very good contest prep guys / nutritionists throughout the online bodybuilding communities, and I would think that it’s obvious that I’m not talking about them. I couldn’t belittle someone with knowledge or a strong reputation even if I wanted to. I tend to go after the weak — I’m a pussy like that. I won’t tell certain bodybuilders to their face that they show up to guest posings fat and with ass hair hanging out of their trunks because they might get pissed at me and hit me. I don’t like to get hit — it hurts.  Instead, I would say something like, “You could market yourself so much better if you were in better condition for your guest posings, and I bet if you asked your girlfriend she would shave your butt for you, too.” I’m going after the weak because I am the tyranny of evil men (yeah, I stole the line).

About the only thing you need these days in the way of knowledge and experience is to have done one show and placed relatively well. I use the term “relatively” because clearly you don’t even have to win a state or local show. I’ve seen many people who haven’t even placed top five in a state show decide to create a website and announce that they’re taking on new clients. I always picture these tools launching their site, leaning back in their chairs, and laughing maniacally. But I think the reality here is that these people truly fancy themselves as experts, and getting paid is just the next logical step.

It’s hard to comprehend how these dipshits with little to no experience think that anyone will listen to them, let alone pay them for their advice. But amazingly, it happens. People actually pay. So I have to move from beating up the wanna-be prep guys to focusing a little closer on the morons who are willing to part with their money for this second-rate (at best) information.

Consider this: I’m a pretty good poker player. I’m not going to win any big tournaments tomorrow, and you aren’t going to see me threatening the final table at the WSOP next year, but I want to get better at the game and I’m considering paying someone to teach me. Would I pay someone who has a proven track record at the table, or would I go with a guy who’s played a few tournaments and almost made the final table but has only been playing for about a year? Before you answer the question, keep in mind that the guy with real success under his belt — the guy I’ll actually learn something from — is going to be expensive, while the guy with limited success — who isn’t going to teach me anything I don’t already know — is going to be dirt cheap. You’d think that would still be a no-brainer, but apparently it isn’t.

I think the last straw for me was when I noticed the other day that a nice kid (a quality worth noting because he is nice and he doesn’t know any better) I know from a bodybuilding board was announcing his website on Facebook. I checked his site, and believe it or not, the kid is sixteen years old and has competed in one bodybuilding competition where he placed something like fifth place. Does it matter? The site seemed well done for a sixteen-year-old until I noticed the spelling error “excercise consultant” in his header. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding.

Can anyone start up a business if they want to?  Yes. I won’t knock anyone for having an entrepreneurial spirit. Owning your own business is about as good as it gets. I tell my friends all the time that I fear waking up one day and realizing that I have a real job and actually have to be to work on time. Then I realize I didn’t wake up’ it was only a dream – a really bad dream. In a way, my hat is off to the kid for being business minded and taking a stab at something so young. What I don’t get and don’t respect is when people pretend to be experts in a field that’s already saturated with experts — real experts with years of experience and years of knowledge. It isn’t fair to the people who have to sift through all of the bullshit to find someone who’s legit.

The bottom line is that it’s incredibly easy to pretend to be something or someone on the Internet whether it’s a contest prep guy / nutritionist or anything or anyone in any other business. It happens all the time. So I suppose this rant wasn’t really about how to fix the unemployment rate, but rather to point out how people go online every day pretending to be something or someone they aren’t. Sure, natural selection weeds out the weak, at least from what I hear. I am just here to help when nature misses her target.

— The Skipper

Ken "Skip" Hill has spent 30 years in the trenches of bodybuilding. He owns TEAM SKIP Nutritional Consulting, where he specializes in conditioning for bodybuilders and high-level athletes. You can reach Skip through his website, and follow him on Twitter (@IntenseMuscle).