This industry, despite the fact that some think otherwise, is really no different than any other industry or field. Even I have caught myself complaining about how shitty people can be in this sport as if this is somehow exclusive to the bodybuilding world. The other day my wife came home saying very similar things about people she works with and I have heard the same from accountants, police officers, medical professionals, and wait staff.

There are shitty people in every field so let’s get that out of the way early and understand that there are people in the world that will never have good ideas, and will find it much easier to take existing ideas and claim them as their own. However, in our industry it isn’t very cut-and-dry as to what is acceptable and what is not because a lot of the information that is used by trainers is not exactly copyrighted or trademarked — it really can’t be. Dieting or training methodology has been around forever and contrary to what your genius trainer might think, he almost certainly hasn’t reinvented the wheel; he has simply come up with a variation of something that has existed for a very long time and put his name on it.

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There is not going to be a completely revolutionary way of dieting or training that is going to come out tomorrow. In our arrogance we sometimes come up with a new exercise in the gym, post it to Instagram, and then find out from a few different people that so-and-so did that exercise three years ago. The reality is that pretty much everything there is to be done in dieting and training has been done by someone already. The only thing left to do is to put an individual spin on it and kind of tweak it in very subtle ways and this is exactly when people start trying to lay claim to a “new” idea. I get it — I have done something similar with Skiploading. It isn’t that there wasn’t a method of high-carb feeding prior to Skiploading. In fact, there were many ideas along the same lines whether it was Dan Duchaine’s plan, Shitloading, or any other method that was similar that to this day I simply have not heard of.

I took years to research and perfect Skiploading and it is still evolving even fifteen years later and as much time and effort as I have put into it, high-carb refeeding isn’t something I single-handedly “invented.” Yes, an awful lot of people (and trainers) are using Skiploading (or a version of it) after learning it either directly or indirectly through me. I have at times in the past thought that this isn’t a very fair situation and why should someone get to use something that they didn’t work for? Not only use it, but benefit from it financially? Herein lies the problem and it is a simple fix.

Businessman trying to steal someone else's idea

To fix the problem, we need to first understand the difference between using someone’s ideas or concepts and flat out stealing them and both are very simple to figure out.

If you have established yourself in the industry as someone who has an idea or concept specific to you and your brand, and it is commonly known or understood that this intellectual property is yours — if someone learns it from you and uses it in  any variation, you should be given public credit. I absolutely believe that this single action would help to resolve the large majority of irritation and frustration that we are currently dealing with in the industry.

Obviously, there are exceptions (as there are always are). If someone flat out steals your ideas, copies them, or uses the same verbiage to explain your ideas, and puts their name or brand on your ideas, this is unacceptable no matter how much credit they give you. There needs to be some obvious variance between your original idea and their new version of your idea AND they still should openly give credit for learning the original concept from you. This is called honesty, integrity and anyone with character and a conscience would do this. Yet, it is a rarity in our field.

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Social media has already shown progress in the area of giving people credit and moving this process forward. Just a few days ago I saw a post from a well-known prep guy that went out of his way to give me credit for learning dieting methods from me about ten years ago.  Though it shouldn’t have stood out and surprised me (because that person clearly has integrity, character and is ethical), it did.  Why?  Because this is not the norm and it should be.

Hopefully, we get to the point very soon that those who teach and continue to provide knowledge and wisdom are credited. I also would like to see people understand that even though they may have come up with a variation of an existing method of dieting or training, it is only a variation and that they have not invented something proprietary that they need to be all butthurt about when other people or trainers use it. Yes, other fields have similar problems but in our field, a large part of the problem is arrogance and ego. Seriously, get over yourself. Just Sayin’.