T Nation

GNC Bashing at Its Finest!

Before I write anything…let the fact be known…I manage a GNC…

As the boos and gasps die down and the wave of middle fingers descend from the sky…please let me share with you my confusion to make this love-hate relationship a little sweeter…

The cool thing these days is to hate GNC…THEY ARE THE MAN HOLDING US DOWN!..Everyone loves to complain about how the employees are stupid and the prices are high…Everytime the General Nutrition Center is mentioned on a site…it reveals how the person was “ripped” off and “talked” into by a supplement from the “fat kid behind the counter”…

This confuses the hell out of me…I guess I consider that anyone who is on this site is relatively passionate about supplements and nutrition…They are a person who wants to learn how to improve their health and well being…NOT a person who would walk into a chain store and be influenced by a pudgy, out of shape kid who is PAID TO SELL…

Next time…Look at the employee…does he look like he uses anything?..Did you ask him what he uses?..Ask him/her how many meals they eats a day?..Find out if he/she works there because the GAP wouldn’t hire them…if they are there to get the discount…or those special few…the person is there to pass on what he’s learned to you…IF you find the last…GOLD…doesn’t mean that you should buy your stuff from there…but at least you met someone who shares your desire…

The high prices complaints crack me up…Christ…they are a chain!..they are everyhwere!..They are in malls…strip malls…and in the damn CVS…of course you are going to pay…it’s AMERICA and they are greedy…Just be smart…Don’t go there to buy your supplements on a regular basis…it’s an emergency stop…a convenience…you pay for the convenience…that’s it…It’s unfortunate…but it’s reality.

GNC has it’s purpose…it’s for rich people who don’t care to blow money because it’s convenient… Unfortunately… they prey upon the weak and ignorant…

SO…educate…spread to friends and family the tricks your have learned to save a buck and what supplements work and which ones don’t…

Stop by…I promise I won’t try to sell you Cell-Tech or NO2…

I use GNC for vitamins, fish oil capsules etc. Unless, I am wrong there is nothing wrong with their vitamins and are better when compared to the mass-produced stuff (Centrum et.al.). I buy my supplements from the internet (mostly here). Please educate me if I am wrong.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? What kind/brand of daily vitamin etc. do you use?

Y go to GNC when Vitamin Shoppe is around. V.S. pisses all over GNC. However, I agree both are a convenience in an emergency when using the internet to buy your supps is not an option. BTW here in Jersey it’s pretty common place to see at least 1 or 2 gym rats working in a GNC.

I used to work at GNC myself. I didnt find anything wrong with their multi-vitamins. That is what their specialty is. I found their problem to be in the sport supplement section. It sucked. The few good products they had that I would actually sell to someone, they took away the commission on them so I would push GNC products. Well I continued to sell the 3rd party product because I wasnt about to sell somebody some overpriced crap. I quit soon after that. As far as where to shop there are far better and more affordable places than GNC if you look. As far as the fat kid or ripped bodybuilder behind the counter they can be found at alot of other supplement stores and it may surprise you which one of them knows their shit. The best thing to do is to educate yourself and you can see right through any bullshit they try to tell you.

I use Mega Men vitamins from GNC. They are very expensive in my opinion but I figure they are better than a Centrum or something like that. Plus I have never heard bad about them(also never had any other vitamin brands recommended to me). Also during the times I take creatine, I use GNC brand. I had always used GNC’s protein until I started coming to this site. I now use Low-Carb Grow!, Surge and also ON 100% Whey. It makes me sick when I think how much money I spent at GNC on their 5lb. buckets of Mega Whey(I think it was like $60). I was also leary about ordering on-line, which is another reason I went to GNC.

I do buy my fish oil. 360caps for 15$
Im using their multi too but i also use AnimalPak. I get Uni-Liver online. They have some good discounts. I get some RED KAT, Grow! bars from here. I havent had a bad experience with GNC but i know they are expensive and dont know their shit. I go in and out, i dont look for advice there is plenty of that on the net.

With anything, you have to shop around. Sure, if you go there looking for the latest and greatest product, or something specific, you will find it overpriced.

However, many times I have walked into the store with an open mind, found stuff on sale, found the specials and clearence products, and got a good deal, even compared to internet prices. I might want to add that I live on base, so here the gold card is honored every day and there is no sales tax.

i went in to buy some BCAA’s since i was at the mall and i picked the ones i wanted(Optimum i think)360 cpas for 30 bucks,id seen it for $5 cheaper but hey i was there,sales dude saw me and pick up a bottle with 120 caps said it was on sale for $75 and said he didnt have to take protein if you took this particualr brand of BCAA’s…i jus looked at him and kept walking,im still a “child” but i hate it when they think you dont know didly-squat

Well, ok. So, in your personal experience as an educated T-Nation reader and GNC employee, what supplements at GNC are worthwhile? Keep in mind all possible alternative that are as good or better and can be gotten cheaper.

[quote]splkast wrote:
I use Mega Men vitamins from GNC. They are very expensive in my opinion but I figure they are better than a Centrum or something like that. Plus I have never heard bad about them(also never had any other vitamin brands recommended to me). [/quote]

Yeah, I also use Mega Man in fact. I’m sure there are vitamins that are just as good or better that cost less. But I really haven’t bothered to investigate as of yet.

i go to vitamin shoppe. prices are cheaper

[quote]JMac10 wrote:
i go to vitamin shoppe. prices are cheaper[/quote]

Vitamin shoppe has been mentioned a few times as being not as bad as GNC. For those of you that think that, why is that? I only go into these stores when I’m starving or out of town and need protein or fish oil or something. Does Vitamin shoppe just have better prices, or better products too? ANy help would be great as I feel pretty uneducated about supp stores.

Also what other brands of multiV and why. I’ve kinda looked around but I still use centrum.

As far as vitamins go I used to take Mega Men for years until I found out through some research that vitamin PACKS are much better. When you use a pack you get much more effective dosages of B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals and you can split up what you take and when. For example, you shouldn’t take calcium with minerals because it has superior absorbtion to just about everything else, and the minerals get wasted.

By shopping around I found that Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens all have VERY potent multivitamin/multimineral packs that’ll run you about $14 a month. Can’t beat that shit with a stick. Mega Men is good compared to Centrum, but that’s like comparing a Ford Festiva to a Yugo when what you really want is a fully loaded Firebird.

You can try and cut it any way you like, but facts are facts. As far as the big picture is concerned, GNC sucks. Screw the “it’s convenient” angle, too. You can go to Walmart now and find half the “name brand” shit that GNC carries for half the price. That’s what I call convenient.

[quote]Jeff_with_a_G wrote:
Screw the “it’s convenient” angle, too. You can go to Walmart now and find half the “name brand” shit that GNC carries for half the price. That’s what I call convenient. [/quote]

Not only that but the “its convenient” arguement is just dumb! Exactly what supplement are you relying so heavily on that you can’t wait 2 or 3 days to have it delivered express?

GNC is so pro-soy! Have you ever read all the labels there, tons and tons of soy in everything! BEWARE!

I have autoimmune thyroid disease and was shopping for certain supplements and vitamins…when along came yet another helpful salesperson who spouted all kinds of recommendations, then recommended for me a SOY supplement for HEALTH!! I then explained to her the studies that link soy-formula-fed babies, thyroid disease and other autoimmune diseases in terms of the cause and effect relationship, and hence I use no soy products as based upon the multitude of studies it is contraindicated. I also informed her that once I stopped using soy products, my symptoms, which I had battled for YEARS, diminished and have never returned.

She then gave me a blank stare, paused, and then pulled up yet another great Soy Supplement and highly recommended it.

First the GNC joker who called me a stripper, then the other GNC joker who recommeded supps that would make me sick. GNC sucks!

P.S. Knowledge truly is power!

I work at a GNC in Canada. I agree with a couple of the things mentioned on here, but you know what really pisses me off. Half-brained dip-shits that don’t know a damn thing about the products they’re coming in to buy.
(Not directed at anyone here)

Sure, I think I’m well educated on the topic of General Nutrition. I literally grew up in a gym and in the field of health and nutrition. I’ve seen the supplement industry grow from Weider Vanilla, to what it is today. An abundance of amazing, (and useless) products.

But to put 100% of your trust in my knowledge of an herb, or new supplement is stupid. Esspecially if you know that you have specific needs, or are taking any medication. People treat me like a doctor sometimes. Almost asking for a perscription to cure them. I’am not qualified to give that kind of advice, so please don’t ask me.

Take GNC for what it is. A place to buy things that you already use, or are interested in using after you’ve researched it.

Next time you come in to buy a brand new product that promises to give you everything that the last 10 supplements you didn’t know anything about promised, make sure you already know some of the details.

P.S. I don’t know if GAKIC will help you lift 250lbs, or jump higher, if you want something to help you lose weight then try a gym membership, and no creatine isn’t a steroid…and don’t drink pop, or eat chips in my store fatty!

P.P.S. I think GNC’s multis are great. I bought them before I started working there a few years ago.

With the sales and membership discounts it doesn’t seem too espensive to me…

And aren’t their production facilities FDA certified?

Use tons of their products…but they are the only game in town here in Mexico City.

Anyone own or run a Vitamin Shoppe? I want to open one down here.

With the Gold Card discount (which my GNC honors almost every day) and the frequent “buy 2 get half off 2nd” sales I don’t see GNC as that over-priced. Once I add the shipping to the internet orders there isn’t really any savings. I suppose if you want to lay out hundreds of dollars at a pop and buy several months supply at once to get the free shipping you might save a little.

Protein powders and creatine were my primary GNC supplied products, but I now use mostly Grow!. Sometimes I make the $150 order for free shipping and sometimes I don’t. Regardless of where I buy I look for quality, flavor, and/or performance.

I don’t care how stupid the sales clerk at GNC or any other store is. I don’t go in there for advice. I know what I want before I go. He just needs to be able to give me correct change.