T Nation

T.C. quoted in The Washington Post

From todays (12/4/03)addition of the Post -

T.C. Luoma, a Biotest partner who edits the magazine, said ZMA’s success was “pretty much a question of good marketing. It’s just Zinc and Magnesium.” The supplement industry, he said, caters “to the average mentality of a 14-year-old. If you just use a lot of hyperbole, and if you don’t have any shame you can make a lot of money in this business. It’s kind of tragic, really.”

The article’s focus is on BALCO labs and THG, but they actually mention ZMA quite a bit. For most of the article the author makes ZMA sound like some mysterious substance. Kudos to T.C. for saying what ZMA really is and for exposing the industry in general.

Anyone who’s interested, just go to Washingtonpost.com, to the sports section, and look for A Search, for Truth in Substance.

Kudos to TC??? Why? Talk about rose colored glasses!

dcb, I haven’t seen the article. Did they quote me in saying that the supplement works well in those people who are deficient (about 20% of the population)?

Just curious. I didn’t want it to sound like I discounted the supplement totally.

AR - No rose colored glasses here. I?ve been reading Testosterone for over 3 years now, so there have been plenty of occasions when I disagreed with TC and others associated with this magazine. What I liked about what TC said was that ZMA is ?just zinc and magnesium.? Because, if a layperson were reading the article, they would be led to think that it?s some type of pro-hormone or something else along the lines of THG. At least that was my thought after reading the article. Also, his comments about the supplement industry made me laugh. That’s all.

It’s important to note here that Biotest has never made outrageous claims about ZMA, but BALCO Labs has.

ZMA is helpful, like all vitamin and mineral supps, if your diet is inadequate. It also helps you get restful sleep. That’s about all we’ve ever written about it.

It’s BALCO that pays professional sprinters to wear ZMA clothing and imply it’s something more than just a good zinc and magnesium supplement.

(We did interview Conte though. Can’t remember what kind of claims he made in that article.)

Here’s the quote, TC. Not all that flattering to your customers, really. I’d like to think I don’t have a 14-year-old mentality. Other than the fart joke stuff, ok?

"One of those, Biotest, sells nutritional supplements that convert into steroids and publishes Testosterone Magazine, which advises readers on proper steroid use. T.C. Luoma, a Biotest partner who edits the magazine, said ZMA’s success was “pretty much a question of good marketing. It’s just zinc and magnesium.” The supplement industry, he said, caters “to the average mentality of a 14-year-old. If you just use a lot of hyperbole, and if you don’t have any shame you can make a lot of money in this business. It’s kind of tragic, really.”

On the one hand, it sounds like TC was trying to minimize the hype (and therefore the public concern) around products from Conte and Balco.

OTOH, it makes the supplement industry sound like a group that needs regulation because they are scamming people.

Would it have made a difference if ZMA were described as a ratio of Zinc and Magnesium–without the calcium filler that inhibits absorption–designed to optimize use of the supplement?

Just my $.02.

Shugart makes a good point about Biotest regarding ZMA. You almost never hear them talk about it, yet they continue to sell it. No hype.

Unfortunately, this makes it look like those are TC’s thoughts on Biotest’s marketing as well. Quotes out of context blow.

Where is the slam on Biotest customers? In any number of articles the staff has pointed out that the supplement industry aims at adolescent minds with the ads and studies. “Drop 30 lbs in 2 weeks! Or gain 30 lbs.!! Whichever you want! Look, we’re endorsed by pro bodybuilders!” How many times have they been sued by that company north of the border? Chris told me a pretty good story about that at the Dallas seminar.

Anyone who had read even one issue knows that TC and the rest of the game consider Biotest and T-mag to be seperate from the other supplement companies and magazines. The “14 year old” quote is right on for the rest of the market. He wasn’t including Biotest in that statement. Read some ads for other brands and you’ll agree with TC. “Boost HGH by 60,000,000,000,000 %! just by drinking our flavored water! That’s all Ronnie Coleman does to win, win, win!!”


Let me use logic to diffuse the perceived insult. Why would I, talking to a reporter for the Washington Post, shoot myself in the foot by allegedly insulting our guys?

Of course I meant the majority of the rest of the industry. To see what I mean, try looking at most of the ads in any one of the newsstand mags. Tell me that they don’t try to appeal to kids who don’t know any better.

TC, I never meant to imply that you did, the point was that that’s how it seemed to come across in that quote. I should have been more specific in my post.

I’m sure there was alot more to what you said than what made it into print, and the full context would sound much different. Sorry if I wasn’t clear on that.

who gives a shit? if you dont want to buy biotest’s zma go buy some zinc and magnesium on its own.

If you look at the article quote closely, you see that the author closely connected TC’s description of Biotest ZMA with the stupidity of the supplement industry as a whole. First the one idea (what ZMA is), then immediately the other (how stupid supp consumers are). You can also see that TC’s original statements probably DID NOT connect those 2 ideas; the quotes are separated by un-quoted, author-inserted words. If you take 2 ideas with separate contexts, and put them close together in the same context, you can create a very different impression. It is very easy to develop the impression “Hey, those Biotest ZMA customers are morons, spending big money on just some ZINC and MAGNESIUM!” without the author ever expressly saying so.

(The above paragraph wasn’t very articulate, given I took some Power Drive an hour ago. Hope it makes sense.)

I get it, TC.

And actually, the article originally published in T-mag about ZMA was a good one, and did lead one to believe (if you gave merit to what Victor Conti had to say) that ZMA was quite possibly a booster of testosterone.

Here’s the link, if anyone cares to check it out:

Simple supplement or not, I personally like what the shit does.

I think when I was 14, I thought Hulk Hogan and Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff got huge by working out and taking their vitamins. At least, thats what Hogan wanted the Hulkamaniacs to believe. Little did I know at age 14, that Orndorffs turtle belly was from too many drugs.

Anyway, news media tends to omit pieces of information to make an interview slant in the direction they want. Im to the point now that I dont even watch the local evening news. If I did, I probably would never leave the house for fear a solar flare would strike me down or some mysterious illness would suddenly end my life.