Why Are So Many Fitness Industry Experts Fat, Sick & Unhealthy?

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

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Gary Collins, pictured right, is a former FDA special agent. 

He was was born in Southern California, raised in the High Desert at the basin of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and has been involved in organized sports, nutrition and fitness for over 30 years.

After a career in military intelligence, Gary worked for the U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Special Agent. His career took him around the world and gave him a unique perspective on not only how the United States, but the world is affected by our food, drug and healthcare policies.

This took him from protecting some of the most powerful people in the world to investigations involving the biggest tainted pet food death case in the U.S. to the intricate dealings of one of the largest counterfeit prescription drug rings in the world. He has often said, “If American’s really knew what was going on in the area of healthcare and nutrition in this country, they would be appalled.”

So basically, Gary is a hybrid of a seasoned health expert and an investigator rolled into one.

In addition to his published articles and Primal Power Method Series, (his total lifestyle reboot), Gary is also a contributor to the Brink of Freedom online magazine, Paleo Magazine and The Primal Show. You can check out all Gray's products and his Primal Power Method on Amazon by clicking here.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What it's like to be a special agent with access to the inner workings of the FDA…

-Why Gary says “If American’s really knew what was going on in the area of healthcare and nutrition in this country, they would be appalled”…

Why the supplements you're buying may be counterfeit and may not even be made by the manufacturer you think it's made by…

-Why so many so-called “experts” in the fitness industry are fat, sick or unhealthy or not practicing what they preach…

-Why Gary doesn't track blood, biomarkers, saliva, etc…

-And much more…

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Gary Collins, or your thoughts about why so many fitness industry experts are fat, sick or unhealthy? Leave your comments below and either Gary or I will reply. You can check out all Gray's products and his Primal Power Method on Amazon by clicking here.


Also published on Medium.

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33 thoughts on “Why Are So Many Fitness Industry Experts Fat, Sick & Unhealthy?

  1. Dan says:

    Beyond the fact that paleo is goofy, and it’s hard to take seriously what a paleo proponent has to say, it’s simply unrealistic to say that we should all be responsible for the products in our lives. Sure. Makes sense. Let’s let dozens or hundreds or thousands be maimed or die from faulty products (including foods and supplements), so that the free market can make it clear to us which products are harmful and which aren’t. And then we can decide for ourselves which products to use. Assuming we haven’t been maimed or killed ourselves first. Faulty airplane? Heck, a few crashes and those of us lucky enough to not have flown for awhile will know not to fly on that brand of plane. Don’t need no guvment making regulations and protecting us! The examples of the ridiculousness of such an argument are endless. There’s responsible prepping or survivalism or whatever you want to call it (all the same thing, although the nuts who think they need a bunker or who think they’ll survive the apocalypse by living in the woods for a few years or who seriously are concerned about fighting off marauding hordes give prepping a bad name), and then there’s the dangerous anti-government paranoia. Sure, individuals do need to take responsibility for themselves. Although, realistically, that can only go so far. We need certain government regulations, monitoring and inspections. To think otherwise is ludicrous and irresponsible.

  2. lehnerto93 says:

    Honestly, this is spot on. The personal trainers for our high school were very chunky. And the nutritionist at the hospital I worked at (off-topic a tad) was fat. Sorry, not sorry. This is inexcusable. If you claim to be a nutrition or fitness expert, how bout you walk your talk? Otherwise, sorry. Not going to listen to you. I allow understanding for if someone has a disease process, but if you're just weak-willed or lazy, you're not in the right profession.

  3. corryfitz1 says:

    Ben,

    This was a tough podcast to listen to, possibly because this guy probably had some real expertise behind his comments, but he seemed so jaded. Overall he would be an example for me at least to do the opposite of everything he does, so In that sense I learned something from the podcast. Perhaps it was just because the podcast got a little sidetracked into the construction industry, but man I go to this podcast to learn about health, not how to survive in a world where everyone is against me, but anger and valiance will get me through. I don't perceive anger as a no nonsense approach, just anger.

  4. Paul McGregor says:

    Brilliant podcast I love this Gary’s no BS approach, enough said. Thanks Gary

  5. tpbakner says:

    I'd prefer that Gary Collins spend more time on what he has to contribute to the world instead of putting tin foil hats on all of our heads. We need to keep things in check, but I am always wary of people that aim to be whistle blowers.

    There are bad people in every industry, not just health and fitness. So why focus on the bad eggs and not do something productive and push the good stuff? Gary, I don't need you to be my life preserver.

    What's up with attacking Ferriss? Ferriss is one of the more honest guys out there and frequently reminds people that "he isn't a doctor and doesn't play one on the internet".

    1. PrimalGary says:

      I was actually there on the inside. Were you? Enough said. I'm sharing my unique experience with you to help you, if you want to bury your head in the sand and sing songs about rainbows made out of honey that is your choice.

      Trust me if I was a whistle blower I would be telling a much different story. I actually don't share a lot of the things I have experienced, well because I would get in a lot of trouble.

      I didn't attack Tim Ferriss if you actually listen, I said people took the 4 Hour Work Week as something you can really do. Anyone who has their own business knows this is complete BS, and just fluff. So how this makes him one of the most honest guys out there is a little puzzling, but everyone has their opinion.

  6. Scott Lloyd says:

    Thanks Ben. As with anything, take what you want, throw the rest out and enjoy.

  7. Well, well, well here we see Gary Collins re-inventing himself yet one more time and still wielding that FDA badge like a club ready to strike at any moment. Gary might tell you that I have been dogging him for a long time and he can say it if he wants but what has really happened is he has stepped in front of me all by himself. I do not know the first time I became aware of Gary Collins but I do know it was well over two years ago when he did an interview with Heath Squier of Julian Bakery fame regarding the defense of the (supposed) low carb Julian Bakery breads. The breads were never low carb, Julian Bakery had been poisoning diabetic for years, had been questioned by doctors and many others and Gary knowing all this, continued defending his serial liar friend Heath Squier. The shit hit the fan when I actually had 5 of those breads test through a laboratory in 2012. Guess what Gary? With the help of your beloved FDA? I got all 21 breads out of production.

    Gary is quite good at shooting his mouth off, being wrong, stepping away while brushing his hands together and dismissing his transgression de jour.

    Still tied to the hip, Gary does a joint interview with Heath Squier and Paleo Magazine. He has done YouTube recipes for the Julian Bakery (paid?) and every time the chance comes up it’s a you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours scenario. He wrote reviews on Amazon and speaking of Amazon either Gary or maybe his buddy Heath has Purchased Fake Reviews for Gary’s books.

    Also speaking of Fake reminds me that Gary and Heath did quite a number of YouTube videos together that have nearly zero comments but/and well over 1 million Views. Sometimes they went up by 10 & 20 thousand Views a day. How do I know? I kept a log every day for months as the new videos went up. Their View numbers would be the envy of Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. Gary even joked about the fact that everyone buys YouTube Views and Amazon Reviews. Really Gary? Lots of crooks maybe, but certainly not everyone.

    And maybe Gary’s final disgusting blow was an(other) interview he did with Heath Squier in the Fat-Shaming Daddy Of Them All when they went after Diane Sanfilippo and Jimmy Moore. This brought out Tom Naughton of Fat Head fame along with plenty of others and a flurry of some pretty visceral attacks.

    It appears Gary and Heath’s last joint The Primal Show YouTube video was on May, 28th, of this year.

    Meanwhile, Gary and Heath’s next big Julian Bakery adventure was to bring out a line of Paleo Protein Bars (Gary freely admits to eating lots of them) which were an utter and absolute failure. Again I had them tested through a laboratory and not only were they high carby-they were moldy too. The 1 Star Reviews on Amazon racked up like billiard balls and even as Julian Bakery was purchasing 100’s of Fake Reviews they could not outpace the bad ones.

    Gary Collins was associated with a well known low carb internet scam artist for years and if you don’t believe me, do your own research.

    Gary’s internal moral compass has been broken for so long he believes the lies he has told just as Heath Squier does.

    Is Gary now on any right path? Is he ready to be a better person? I do not know the answer to those two questions but I do know this, a leopard cannot change its spots and my best guess is that neither can Gary.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. You can not heal the inside nor reduce stress when lying your way through life.

    On Gary’s Facebook it says: “I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient. I will get to you shortly”. That Facebook statement pretty much sums up Gary Collins.

    Do I thank Gary for his service? Yup, and that is the extent of my thanks.

    Deborah Krueger

    1. PrimalGary says:

      Deborah I just don't understand you. I have had to ban you from all social media, because you are merciless troll. Go outside and get some fresh air, instead of hunkering behind your computer sniping at everyone who offends you.

      I will address your false comment stating I was associated with a well known low carb internet scam artist for years. That is a completely untrue statement. Everything I do you instantly partner me up with Heath Squier, which I have no association with. Have I done things with him in the past yes. I fully admit that was a mistake, but not all the things I did with him were bad. You are a well know associate of Jimmy Moore who is definitely a low carb internet scammer. I guess when it comes to your moral compass that does not matter, just others I suppose.

      I have accomplished many things are you just jealous? I have no idea, but you come across as a sour whiny pathetic person. The fact you readily admit you still troll my Facebook page tells the whole story.

      You are not welcome for my service to my country and that is the extent of what I have to say.

  8. paleoFit says:

    very interesting debate going on here. Thanks for providing this platform for discussion.

  9. koraysaritas says:

    Gary Collins sounded like Danny Devito's character in Matilda:

    "Listen, you little wise acre! I'm smart, you're dumb, I'm big, you're little, I'm right, you're wrong! And there's nothing you can do about it!"
    http://media.giphy.com/media/As0vAIXYkDmCI/giphy….

  10. spdykyla says:

    This was my favorite podcast on this site so far. Thanks to both for this great conversation. I agree- it comes down to using this one short life to do the right thing and help people, not to hang out in seminars/making money/ going the easy route. I also believe there are many people who will sell anything to make a buck, its just human nature. Gary has certainly risen above that survival mindset and has a ton of wisdom and life experience to share with us. I trust Gary's message and think we can all learn from his no-nonsense approach to life.Thanks again for the empowering discussion :)

  11. Andrew says:

    Ben, I could have sworn you said in this podcast that you didn’t censor comments?! I guess that doesn’t mean comments that aren’t favoutable to naturopathy, acupuncture and other nonsense! Shame

    1. Whoa. Settle down, dude. ;) We don't censor comments. But we do READ them prior to approving them. My apologies that our quality control process annoys you. ;)

  12. Andrew says:

    Good podcast. I got the impression that Gary is type A like many of the people I know and work with. I am a physician specializing in anesthesiology and acute pain management that works 60-90 hours a week. Many of my surgeon friends that work longer hours than myself could probably also be perceived as cocky. I am also a very slow ultrarunner that trains a bunch in whatever spare time I have. I could see someone with expertise as being perceived as slightly cocky but it seems Gary comes with a unique background and an interesting perspective.

    I must take issue with one comment in the podcast regarding MDs being in the pocket of big pharma. I will not deny that here and there some physicians may have unethical relationships with pharmaceutical companies. The vast majority do not. One area that may see more overlap is surgeons and anesthesiologists having some relationship with industry. But this makes absolute sense as proceduralists and surgeons must provide in depth input into the tools they use to save and improve lives. I can tell you that in the last 15 years the unethical relationships bw physicians and industry are scrutinized highly and are on the decline. I myself interact with a few companies because I need special needles and equipment to perform nerve blocks. I receive zero compensation for my collaboration.

    The big difference with MDs and DOs and PTs is that they follow science based medicine. Eventually the bullshit gets weaned out and the truly valuable and effective therapies will remain. One example is knee scopes for knee pain with no ligament tears. They have been shown to be no better than sham surgery. Who discovered this? Orthopedic sureons themselves! The majority of the orthopedists I work with have stopped doing knee scopes for the wrong indications. The ones that continue will eventually retire and the next generation will no longer do what has no benefit. This is not true for pseudoscientific quackery like chiropractic or acupuncture. Studies continue to be published that demonstrate no benefit yet these natural practitioners continue. This is where the true issue is. If these nonsense therapies had any evidence of efficacy it would be medicine, not alternative. Anyway enough for my long comment. For the most part I enjoyed the podcast. Thank you Gary for an interesting perspective.

    1. lehnerto93 says:

      Just to say, I studied physical therapy, and I can definitely say there's a lot of bullshit going on there. Treatments are done that just don't have scientific evidence to justify the time, the money, and the abuse of integrity that exists. For example, ultrasound. I presented a thesis with good supporting articles that ultrasound is perhaps a "not-so-useful" therapeutic intervention. The dean of the college went on a rant, saying I was "close-minded" and a "horrible student" (I was a 4.0 GPA scholarship student for context). Needless to say, I left. If investigating evidence that challenges the status quo counts as "close-minded", I want nothing to do with it.

  13. Lafo says:

    This podcast was not the usual very high standard I am accustomed to when I invest my time in listening to you Ben. Not a lot of actionable information, rather a lot of highly charged opinion. Statements like "I can be make a million in 3 months", "I have seen every scheme known to man" and "don't be an #€hole" come through the wires I scratch my head and wonder where the content is. And when I hear not to be a hole of that type, my thought was "Physician, heal thyself."

    I chalk it up to Ben being jet lagged (from experience I know Finland is a beast of a trip) and I'll give Gary teh benefit of the doubt as he took a shot at the sacred cow Tim Ferriss with an absolute statement of truth that the 4 hour workweek was marketing hooey.

    I remain a fan of the podcast even when it stumbles. Tomorrow is another day and let's get back in there.

    Cheers

  14. Jamie Koonce says:

    Early in my career as a functional medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, I too felt frustrated when I saw others who appeared to have thriving wellness businesses even though they had no credentials at all and were not the picture of health. But over the years I have come to understand that looking like a fitness model is not what gets you a huge social media following, beautifully designed website, and book deal with a major publisher (to write a book on health and nutrition). Many of these “overweight” fitness & nutrition experts out there are so friendly and likable, they attract people to them. They are the type of people who can work a room at any social event and become best friends with everyone there. People are going to want to buy their book, listen to their podcasts, and support them anyway they can simply because they LIKE these fitness experts who don’t really look very fit. They may bust their @ss producing great content, but fail to implement a lot of their own advice. While obviously it would be great if all the “experts” could be like Ben and have the willpower to implement all the health strategies they recommend, they are human and all humans have shortcomings. I would much rather “follow” and support someone who produces great content and is likable than someone with six pack abs who is a real jerk.

  15. Jamie Koonce says:

    Early in my career as a functional medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, I too felt frustrated when I saw others who appeared to have thriving wellness businesses even though they only had no credentials at all and we’re not the picture of health. But over the years I have come to understand that looking like a fitness model is not what gets you a huge social media following, beautifully designed website, and book deal with a major publisher (to write a book on health and nutrition). Many of these “overweight” fitness & nutrition experts out there are so friendly and likable, they attract people to them. They are the type of people who can work a room at any social event and become best friends with everyone there. People are going to want to buy their book, listen to their podcasts, and support them anyway they can simply because they LIKE these fitness experts who don’t really look very fit. They may bust their @ss producing great content, but fail to implement a lot of their own advice. While obviously it would be great if all the “experts” could be like Ben and have the willpower to implement all the health strategies they recommend, they are human and all humans have shortcomings. I would much rather “follow” and support someone who produces great content and is likable than someone with six pack abs who is a real jerk.

  16. Palma says:

    Great podcast! I heard Gary Collins on other podcasts, but this one is the best so far, thanks to Ben’s questions!

    Once again it’s proven that Ben is an absolute master of art of podcasting!

  17. Wow. Just listened to the podcast and I'm kind of surprised by how offended everyone was.
    I do appreciate Natcha_Maithai's comment. When I started working in the fitness industry 10 years ago, I was busting my ass to stay in shape and was still over-weight due to an un-diagnosed food allergy (which went on to expand my understand of ALL the factors that go into fitness and health!) so I get it that what you know and how you look aren't necessarily synonymous.
    AND, I also recognize that fitness is like any other service. Clients are interested in how good YOUR fitness is, in order to buy in to your expertise.
    We don't want moneyless financial advisors, hair stylists with bad hair, or dentists with bad teeth. Sure, these traits don't measure the professional's competency, but they sure come into play for consumers.
    Gary is a forward guy, but again- I'm surprised everyone got so buttsore about it. He wouldn't share what he's learned if he hadn't had the experiences he's had. That's all he's saying.
    Chill out!

    1. PrimalGary says:

      Kathryn,

      First thanks for seeing things for what they are, and taking the interview for what it is.

      There are people in the industry, especially on the Paleo, Low Carb/Keto, and Ancestral Health world (mainly closet affiliate bloggers) who really don't like me because I have called out some of their supposed experts. I have found they are more interested in network marketing schemes and MLM get rich products, than actually going out and doing the dirty work to get real experience.

      It is pretty straight forward as you said. It would be like me forcing myself into the female runway modeling business, calling myself a female runway model expert, and then getting pissed when people call me out and make fun of me, because I'm a hairy guy, and not a female runway model or anything close. Just because I can create a blog about runway models and interview them does not necessarily make me an expert. It makes me a blogger about runway models and nothing else.

      Honestly that is why I mainly stay in the Survivalist and Self Sufficiency side of the house. Well, because I actually do a lot of that, and they get what I'm all about, and appreciate my experience and what I have to say.

  18. PrimalGary says:

    Natcha,

    You know the saying you can't make everyone happy, and that is just life. Ben had me on to talk about a specific topic, and bring to light some of the negative issues in the health industry. So, the podcast was not meant to be about puppy dog stories and rainbows. People who follow me, do so because I don't play the BS game, and I'm very straight forward.

    Also you might want to look at my experience before you make unfounded generalizations. I'm a Master Level Certified trainer and also have an A.S. Degree in Sports Science, not to mention being certified in numerous specialties related to working one on one with clients. I have been training people for decades, so I'm pretty well versed in what works and what doesn't. If you were to dig a little deeper you will also find I preach very loudly that everyone is different, and what works for me will not necessarily work for you.

  19. Natcha_Maithai says:

    Perhaps Gary is qualified to talk about the supplement industry as he is with the background and all that. But with bashing personal trainers and wellness practitioners based on our body composition, I take offence. I literally almost died from the belief that I had to be shredded to have any credibility at all as a personal trainer. Most women do a little better with some body fat. Everyone has our own unique story and genetics, so the value of our worth shouldn't be based solely on our appearance. Try this story: http://www.theptdc.com/2013/02/do-you-have-to-be-…. Nobody is 100% disease proof or death-proof.

    I listen to a lot of podcasts that interview ex-military and people who had served the country in other ways, nobody sound nearly as arrogant. You don't have to keep spending the precious airtime repeating over and over that you have the unique background and that so many things out there are terrible. How about some positive campaigning? What's the solution? What should Ben's audience do to fix this problem? Instead of talking about bad personal trainers, doctors, wellness practitioners etc, what do you think they would have to do to be great in your standards? I could hear that Ben disagreed a few times but he was polite about that.

  20. Waborita says:

    Gary first thanks for your service to our country. I appreciate the facts you have shared about the shady side of the supplement industry, and the health & fitness world. It really has become a big business of multi level marketing scams and schemes. It seems Podcasts are the new MLM infomercials with pseudo science and PHD “Doctors” and experts.

    I have heard Gary on other podcasts and he came across a little different then he did here with Ben. He seems to have an A type personality which I’m sure served him well under cover with the FDA and in his military intelligence career. Anyone that is an athlete, been in the military, law enforcement, aviation, or the health industry should be used to this personality type. I personally appreciate his forward no BS approach and am going to listen to his podcasts. Now if he would just expose all the names of the scammers in the supple the world that would be great. PS how does Exos products rate? Just kidding Ben I love the podcasts and all the bio hacking tips keep up the great work.

    1. PrimalGary says:

      You are welcome, it was a privilege and honor to serve my country for nearly half my life. The health world is filled with scams that people have no idea about, and I was just shedding some light on the issue, so I'm glad that you understood where I was coming from.

      I knew coming on, Ben's followers were not necessarily my cup of tea, but I was hoping to give them a little different perspective of the health industry. The fact that some found me to be arrogant is a little surprising. Being that my main following comes from the Survivalist and Self Sufficiency community, I think most people on this side just have not been exposed to someone like me. I have been called the "Ted Nugent" of health by some people after all haha. I'm a little older, so my patience for political correctness, and trying to not offend anyone is not at the top of my list.

      I appreciate Ben giving me the chance to expose his followers to something different. My no BS approach is something you either like or not. People who know me personally know I'm a pretty easy going guy in person, I just don't play any games, which seems to be the way to go today. Just flat out different strokes for different folks, and I completely understand that.

  21. megslovingthoughts says:

    Meh. Not as impressed with Gary as he is.

  22. GAW44 says:

    Wow. I just listen to your most recent podcast with Mr. Collins. Can this guy he any higher on himself and his abilities. For a minute I thought you were interviewing Superman.
    Just cause I'm not a professional doesn't mean that I shouldn't be aware of my blood work. We common folk would still like to obtain optimal health.

    1. PrimalGary says:

      Superman I'm not, and never give that impression to anyone. When you have done and experienced the things I have, it gives you a different perspective, and if that comes across as being high on myself you missed the entire point. I have busted my ass to get where I am, and am I proud of what I have accomplished?Yes.

      I never said you shouldn't be aware of your blood work, I said it is not something that I feel for the average person without any serious health conditions should focus on it soley. Getting it done periodically is great, but I find doing it constantly for the everyday Joe and Jane, to not be really necessary. What I was trying to clarify is there is a difference between a competitive athlete/professional, and someone who is trying to reach their own health goals outside of that world. Maybe it didn't come out correctly, but that was the point I was trying to make.

  23. joshfinlay says:

    Understand why you had him on your show but I really dislike this guy. I saw him do the podcasts with the owner of Julian's Bakery and they both come across as such whiny douchebags.

    "nobody can pull the wool over my eyes", "I am an expert in this field", "I am an expert damn it, listen to me!" (ok, made up the last one) – does his modesty know no end?

    1. PrimalGary says:

      Hey Josh,

      Sorry you don't care for me, but that is part of doing what I do, so I understand and respect your opinion. I do want to clarify something you mentioned – I no longer have any affiliation with Julian Bakery, but do believe I did some good as a co-host on show I was a part of. Sometimes the people you associate with doesn't work out, but you move on and do the best you can.

      As far as being an expert: being a veteran, and someone who risked their life for your freedom, and considering no one in the business has my background, I would expect you to see it as coming from a good place to help people, to include you. If that comes across as cockiness, that is too bad that is not the intent, and people who follow me know that.

      1. Turk777 says:

        Hey Gary,

        I don't really go making comments on any online stuff but i had to just say you deserve all the recognition in the world for not only making it to where you are today but for exposing the truth about the corruption we are exposed to almost on a daily basis. If only there were others like you this world would be a much better place……keep up the good work:)
        PS….just an idea with your background and experience i'll bet if you wrote a memoir it would be a bestseller!

    2. lehnerto93 says:

      Okay dude, chill pill. While Gary certainly is lacking in modesty, his information is good. If you can't separate facts from feelings and objectively analyze his experiences and findings, I suggest you at least keep your opinions to yourself. You're hardly flattering your own intelligence spewing crap on the web.

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