The “Get Ripped in 4 Weeks” Supplement Scam

November 16, 2009 by  
Filed under The Healthy Skeptic

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The latest supplement nonsense comes to us in the form of blog posts that reveal the latest Hollywood secret for detox, fat-burning and muscle building.  Of course it’s all bogus, so don’t fall for it.

The concept of “getting ripped/shredded” is a classic example of a body building myth, and this latest Internet-based supplement scam is built upon it.  You’ll see advertisements for these blogs on a variety of web sites with the headers, “I Got Ripped in Four Weeks,” and “#1 Rule to Build Muscle.”

Visit these sites and you’ll be given the standard pitch that is built around the “4 weeks to ripped-ness” story with pictures that detail this amazing transformation, including pictures of ripped/shredded guys.   Nobody would ever Photoshop these pictures, would they?

Also, are tattoos necessary for guys to get ripped?  But that’s a different issue for a different time.  Back to these phony blogs.


The key to the Hollywood secrets and program to get ripped – apparently – are an acai-based product and another standard body building fraud supplement called, “Big Time.”  For as much hype as we’re given, we get the exact opposite amount in the way of details regarding these products.  Acai has some anti-oxidant properties, but legitimate research indicates that acai offers little, if any, real fat burning benefits. The acai supplement won’t kill you, but it’s not going to do much for you, either.

Big Time is the mystery supplement, the formulation for which we’re told next to nothing.  There are no scientific details about Big Time – there’s not even a list of ingredients – but we are told that using Big Time will improve athletic performance and strength, increase muscle mass, give muscles definition and size, and has positive sexual side effects, hinting that it makes your “favorite muscle bigger, too.” Oh brother.

Guys, are you that naïve, some might say, stupid? In this day of Photoshopping, do pictures really serve as proof for you?

Big Time is modern day snake oil that is being sold via the modern marketing techniques of the Internet.  There isn’t any data telling us what this product can do and there isn’t even a mention of the ingredients of these pills.  The scandal, where nutritional supplements containing banned substances and steroids may have been sold to unsuspecting customers, illustrates the dangers of ingesting supplements with sketchy pedigrees.  Why would anyone buy a supplement without knowing all of the ingredients?

Some of the supplements recalled as a part of the scandal use this same method of marketing.  Products with names like Ripped Tabs, Purus Labs Nasty Mass, Rage, Finaflex Ripped, Monster Caps and ON Cycle 2 Hardcore have been pulled from the market because of concerns about the ingredients of these products.

If you want a supplement that will deliver results and not bankrupt you in the process, and want to be safe in knowing that you won’t be poisoning yourself or being dosed with an illegal substance, try creatine monohydrate powder.  Creatine costs a fraction of what these scam-supplements cost, has been studied more than any other nutritional supplement and has shown to deliver genuine muscle-building results.  You may also be interested in my article on Quercetin.

So stay away from Big Time and avoid being taken to the cleaners, Big Time.


27 Responses to “The “Get Ripped in 4 Weeks” Supplement Scam”
  1. bottom line is……….train consistently (make it part of your life style), eat a balance diet and the results will be there! As personal trainer, I have very rarely seen anyone achieving lasting results with these quick fixes.

  2. As a long time personal trainer, I can assure the public that ANY product or program that “guarantees” extreme results in a month is not reputable. There is no easy way out and no quick fix when it comes to changing your body or losing weight.
    Consistent physical activity that constantly challenges the body, combined with a balanced nutrition program is the only thing that will enable you to make lifelong changes.

  3. Badtux says:

    According to the UCSD Muscle Physiology page on creatine, its only beneficial effect is allowing you to make a few more maximum effort reps when working out. Which of course helps you get more muscle faster (since the more work you do, the more your muscles respond), but no panacea, you still have to do the work.

  4. Chemaqua says:

    You DO realize that the owners of this site allowed the people behind “Get Ripped” to buy advertising space here. THEIR AD IS RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR ARTICLE. ^_^

  5. Sal Marinello says:

    For the logically impaired I’ll go over this, again. It could be considered a conflict of interest if a site took advertising money directly from a company and gave a positive review.

    Also, with contextual ads it’s a different ballgame.

    I am saying this product is garbage – because it is garbage – and if this company wants to pay for ads that may show up on a site that gives their product a negative review, that’s their prerogative. On the other hand, if someone is dumb enough to click on the ad to buy this junk from this site, they deserve to get scammed. It’s like telling someone not to touch a hot flame because they’ll get burned, and them having them touch it and then get burned.

    As a matter of fact, I’m going to put a DO NOT BUY notice right next to the ad. Why don’t you complain to the company that they are paying for an ad on a site that’s telling people not to buy their product?

  6. Sal Marinello says:

    There’s reams of data that indicates creatine is an effective muscle building supplement and the most reliable shows that it does much more than allow individuals to get just a few more reps. Nobody responsible has ever claimed that creatine is a panacea and that benefits can be derived without exercise.

    I suggest picking up the book, “Essentials of Creatine in Sports and Health,” which provides an complete look at the state of research on creatine.

  7. GymAddix says:

    i do agree w. sal. the product is garbage. as a fellow trainer i’ve tried and help train people get to 3 to 4 % body fat from 15 ~ 20%. (for fitness comps.). My personal best is 12% to 4% in 6 hard, intense, painful, very strict weeks. it was a great experience but i wouldn’t do it again.

    but like the ad said, “with out hard work or diet”? impossible, unless thyroid hormones.

  8. Marc says:

    So your telling us not to buy these products, and then trying to sell us one right at the end. Hmmm, sounds legit.

  9. Sal Marinello says:

    Actually if your reading comprehension was up to par you would be able to tell the difference between a product that doesn’t give you any details as to its pedigree and a recommendation on my behalf, to those who want to buy a supplement, to purchase one that actually provides benefits/results.

    And yes, as shocking as it may seem, commerce makes the world go around. If you think it’s illegitimate for someone to make a recommendation to purchase something than you must have a problem with just about everything in our capitalistic society. As an expert in the field I get paid to offer my opinion. And yes I recommended here that if you’re interested in buying a supplement, then buy creatine. I may even make 60 cents from the sale if you buy someone else’s product!

    Meanwhile, there’s a 240 page research book titled Essentials of Creatine in Sports and Health that’s dedicated to detailing the success of creatine, a book that wasn’t written by hacks from the body building world or one of the fitness rags that are just supplement catalogs, but by the leading sports nutrition experts in the field.

  10. Sumudu says:

    hey, great article. I was just wondering, you say there may be many side effects in these bogus supplements, but are there any side effects that could occur when taking creatine? also is there any suppliments for actual weight loss? thanks

  11. Sal Marinello says:

    there have been some reported side effects with creatine – most commonly some gastric issues – however, these issues have not been verified by researchers. certainly, with any substance there are always going to be people who experience adverse effects – just listen to the disclaimers that accompany every drug ad on tv – but from the legit research i’ve seen there aren’t any such problems with creatine. there is a believe that the gastric issues reported with creatine use could be caused by using too much creatine.

    with regard to over-the-counter weight loss supplements there are none that demonstrate true effectiveness.

  12. Welly says:

    So what works well in conjuction with working out regularly?

  13. Sal Marinello says:

    It depends what your goals and expectations are. That sounds like a BS answer, but the bottom line is if you expect that there is some panacea over-the-counter supplement that can deliver on outrageous claims, then you will be disappointed. If you are looking for ways to improve your energy level and nutrition there are myriad strategies that you can use, using regular foods, to get the most out of your workouts and as a result look, feel and be your best.

  14. Darren says:

    These supplements are real, made to be taken along side the routine and diet. Way I see it, and any other perceptive individual see’s it.. You talk down on one product, then try to sell another….? Creatine??
    Of course creatine works, definitely has its advantages in football. It definitely makes you fat if you don’t use it right too.
    Beta Alanine, it contains some very useful ingredients, look it up.
    It even provides such ingredients that heighten the rates of nutrients in foods like chicken, pork, and fish, my favorite foods.
    Point is, they try to help sometimes, and the right times are rare. This time it’s real, work hard and take them with your daily routine. If it doesn’t satisfy you, then okay drop them in a trash can and go back to whining about how you suck at life while you SIT there in a sedentary state staring at words that “highschool” maddies like to get off their chest because they have an irresistable urge to be depressing and opinionated.

  15. Spence says:

    Do NOT go for this, yeah i got the supplements and yeah i belive they’re working (placebo or not) but they jus hack your account and take loads of money, its just a pain! causes more hassle then its worth, just goes to show theres no easy way to get anything.. If you want it bad enough you just have to persevere. Made a fool out of me..

  16. Sal Marinello says:

    Completely incorrect with regards to creatine – good for football, makes you fat? please – and you obviously have not read about the ingredients contained in these get ripped, garbage supplements, which represent all that is wrong with the nutritional supplement business. Of course I am going to tear down a supplement that doesn’t work and make reference to, and recommend, a supplement that does work, especially when the effective supplement is the most legitimately studied supplement on the market.

  17. arno says:

    come on guys

    bodybuilders have the worst physique ever

    very muscular and still they look like a balloon

    maybe science found a way to be very muscular without looking like a balloon

    everything has side effect

  18. Graham says:

    Spence you say it cos you alot of money with these pills, I was stupid enough to order them aswell. after i ordered them i seen that it charged you £80 membership after the trial so i foned up an canceled straight away however i just got 1 of the bogus bottles of pills through the post so how did you end up canceling the whole thing?

  19. WOW says:

    Wow. Don’t buy this bogus drug, Follow my affiliate link to another drug that is ‘100% guaranteed to work’. By advertising like that you have just made me go “yep another bullshitter.” If you are going to “Warn” against a product, don’t advertise a different one else no one is going to trust you… At All.

  20. Sal Marinello says:

    Really thanks for that advice. Super logic. One product doesn’t have any science to back it up, I point this out and don’t recommend it. Another product is backed by more science than any other product on the market, and I recommend it to those who are interested in buying a proven product. Somehow this is bad? Creatine doesn’t 100% work. Nothing does. What creatine delivers is more than just about any other supplement available.

    Also over the counter supplements aren’t drugs. Are you aware of that?

  21. Tom says:

    There is a good article on these scams here –

    these scam operators just want your money. the products they send are probably no more than crappy vitamin pills. hardly worth the $80 monthly charge.

  22. N says:

    Most of you fail, almost any type of supplement especialy creatine, is a bad idea in my regard. Do it the old fashioned way and stop being the typical lazy American. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, time to change if your job does’nt allow it, thats BS. I know so many office workers that manage to keep in shape. Hard work, determination and a good diet is all you need to loose weight and look leaner.

    Supplements like Creatine does have science to back it up, however wat backs up the research? How could one prove the research is valid in anyway? THose studies are catered to provide POSITIVE results to sell a product , most negative results are either left out or the study was not carried out in a proper way to determine valid results.

    I went from 265lbs to 185 lbs, thats 80 lbs!

    What do doctors, REAL DOCTORS /Physicians, say? They ALWAYS say the samething that is PROVEN to work by science and history.


    How did I do it. Exercise, better diet.

    No fads, no suplements, no BS

    It may take months , it may take years but pretty much NOTHING in this world comes easy, except FAILURE.


  23. Sal Marinello says:

    Ignorance must be bliss. The book, “Essentials of Creatine in Sport and Health,” was compiled and edited by three of the most respected figures in the field of nutritional supplementation. Drs Jeffrey Stout, Jose Antonio and Douglas Kalman. They present the information regarding how creatine works and provide a review on the scientifically valid studies that have been done on creatine. They do not have ties to nutritional companies that market and sell information, nor do they present a picture of creatine as being a supplement that is a magic bullet. Science, not marketing hype, has revealed creatine to be extraordinarily safe and effective. But then again you would have to actually read and comprehend the information in this book to understand the facts. Who’s the lazy one?

  24. james says:

    Hi, i was once thinking about buying into the so called “get ripped in 4 weeks” scam. I was very unfit with little muscle, and around 22% body fat, it was starting to make me feel depressed. But instead i took the advise of a friend, i changed my diet, joined a gym and attended the gym 5 times a week for between 1 to 1 and a half hours per day.
    Within 4 weeks i was amazed with the results, firstly i cut out fatty foods and sugary carbs and probly for the first time in my life increased the protein in my diet.. My daily diet was as follows: breakfast… weetabix low fat milk, and protein shake(pure whey protein), dinner… chicken and broccoli, midday(1 hour b4 gym) brown rice and protein shake(whey protein), my next meal was always within half hour of finishing gym, this is when breakfast is no longer the most important meal of the day.. you must eat protein shortly after gym (boiled Fish not fried) high in protein, and another protein shake(whey protein).. my last meal was again either fish or chicken with veg and never after 9 pm. remember your body needs sleep and eating at a late time wont help you sleep..
    I did this for 4 weeks and my body changed a hell of a lot, i reduced my body fat to 9% and my body felt amazing, i had muscles popping out all over even in places i didnt no i had them.
    Hope this helps u guys that are in the same situation i was in. TIP.. never over do your body dont get me wrong you want to try an push yourself to the limits but only using 1 muscle group a day and giving that muscle 3 days to repair b4 working that muscle group again.
    And that it lol.
    P.S sorry for any bad spellings etc etc and dont buy in2 the scams u see all over the internet.. theres only 1 way 1 change your body, and thats changing your life style

  25. Dan says:


    Awesome post. Most sensible thing anyone other than Sal has managed to come up with on here. I am a very skinny person and have no intention to be muscular but it only takes the slightest hint of intelligence to ascertain that you know what you’re talking about and are giving very good advice.

    It also only takes a minute piece of intelligence to recognise that this Sal is trying to give helpful advice and couldn’t care less whether you buy creatine or not. He would just rather desperate people try something with a chance of working from people who are not -let’s face it – thieves.

  26. Sal Marinello says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily call all people who want to find and use a product that can help improve their performance and fitness “desperate.” Although I think you make a good point in that so many people do seem to be desperate, and too many in the supplement industry prey on these types.

  27. Charlie T says:

    The ‘Get ripped in 4 weeks’ scam is still around.

    This dude even gives a step-by-step guide on how to scam people! Complete with instructions to use Google images to find some before and after pictures to steal! –>

    Website belongs to a dude called Bryan Shearer, up in Pennsylvania:,+Pennsylvania

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