“Just a bunch of low budget assclowns who try to fool consumers with flash in the pan, bullshit supplements”
— Marc Lobliner, founder MTS Nutrition
As if the sports nutrition segment of the supplement industry wasn’t amateur enough as it was, now we’ve got to deal with this bullzhit too. Like a bad virus out of containment, it’s reaching epidemic levels, and is only getting worse by the month.
In an industry niche filled with copycat clones and bathtub brands, it’s often just the marketing that separates one product line from the next. And somehow, it’s gotten to the point where misspelling the word “labs” has practically become commonplace… and for whatever reason, some consumers are eating it up – literally.
Feel the cringe
If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re talking about the ever-increasing number of supplement companies popping up with a “z” added to the end of their names – often in the cringeworthy abomination “Labz”.
Just a quick glance through the PricePlow database and you’ll be saddened by the number of brands who’ve attached themselves to this “z” fad. Below is a list of Labz brands out there, but this is by no means a complete list:
- Black Scorpion Labz
- Centurion Labz
- Chaotic Labz
- Chiseled Labz
- Condemned Labz
- Explicit Labz
- Famed Labz
- Forbidden Labz
- Generic Labz
- Insane Labz
At least the now-defunct “Generic Labz” weren’t deluding themselves – they knew exactly what they were!
- Merica Labz
- Modern Body Labz
- Moving Matter Labz
- Psychotic Labz
- SG Labz
- Warrior Labz
Seriously? What’s Up with the “Z”?
It’s times like these when we truly fear for the future. For whatever reason, there are apparently so many consumers into this kind of nonsense that the problem is fully-fueled and growing by the day. Is society really this far gone?
How does this even get started, and why are we still here?
Truth be told, we have no idea what gave birth to this “z” epidemic spreading throughout the industry, but it’s reaching levels of imbecility that shouldn’t even be possible.
Our guess is that with the few ironic exceptions, it’s an attempt for an otherwise-uncreative brand to be “hardcore”, edgy, or catchy for the young crowd. But we have to ask, does the young crowd even want the z? Do they? And if they do, then what in the hell is wrong with them, and can we fix the problem before it’s too late?
Here’s the way we see it. Some forty-something wantrepreneur types sit around the bathroom drawing up their ideal consumer: a hapless kid addicted to his phone, scrolling through hundreds of supplement brands, who would then come across their “XXX LABZ” and think:
“No way, these guys are SOOOOOO cool, they’ve replaced the ‘s’ on labs with a ‘z’. That’s how I text on POF! These guyz mean business – I want some of that!”
The budding business owner, with his bathtub cleaned and ready for his untested Chinese raw material ingredients, hits up GoDaddy, sets up Shopify, fires up the hand mixer, and is ready to start sellin’!
While that may scenario may be a bit of a stretch (it’s really probably not), is it possible to come off any less serious?
Are we forgetting that these products are ingested?
As in, you put this shit into your body!
Obviously these people are attempting to appear more “balls to the wall” than all the other brands in the increasingly crowded and bubbled market. And if you can’t design that into your brand’s labels and logo, what easier way than to just spell it out like a damned moron?
The problem is, it’s no longer cute.
So many companies now employ the “z” that it’s becoming less eye-catching and more of a bad joke – and the joke is on the entire industry.
So let’s see what these companies are really all about:
Quality, Purity, Potency, etc.
“My thoughts are I automatically assume they suck”
— SNS Representative De__eB
The most overused words in the industry today are “high quality”. Your brand’s “high quality”, you say? You sure about that? Got third party lab tests to prove it?
Every brand out there has these two words splattered across their website as proof positive that their supplements are of the utmost quality, tested thoroughly, and surpass the most stringent requirements. They probably even have a cGMP logo on their site! Ooh!
But as we’ve seen with recent stimulant testing, it’s not an unreasonable bet that many smaller “hardcore” supplement brands don’t have a damn clue what’s really in their product from batch to batch.
Sure, some of them might be third-party tested… once in a while… but if they don’t actually have their own labs (labz?), there’s a good chance they’re leaving it to their contract manufacturers, who may or may not be less than savory in following the laws. See the link above for proof of that.
So what’s really in that pre workout, Mr. Z? Odds are, you don’t fuckin know. It’s no wonder why so few brands will tell you where their garbage is manufactured.
Do they even have actual labs?
Meanwhile, where are these labs we keep hearing about? Are there lab coats and scientists? Any actual research?
Or, is there some rule we missed where using “Labz” instead of “Labs” allows everyone to assume that you’re so hardcore you don’t need a lab? — “Our lab is the curl rack bro! Now shut up and drink this and don’t tell your oncologist!”
Take a quick look at any of these “Labz” brands’ “About” or “About Us” page and you’ll quickly realize they’re all variations on the same theme. Here’s a few examples:
“All of our products are made using the highest quality of ingredients that are incessantly tested for purity.”
Cool, let’s see some of those lab testz then!
“creates premium sports & nutritional supplements…we strive to provide the best products possible through science based supplementation.”
“experience-based, quality supplement line. We embody a lifestyle, which together with our clients is committed to an aggressive approach to obtain superior results. We are defiant against the current market; we empower the physiques of tomorrow, today.”
OK truth be told, we like Condemned Labz’ stuff and that is some pretty damn good writing.
“dedicated to bring Premium Quality Supplements back to Serious Consumers with the highest level of fitness goals. We set the standard and playtime is over! THIS IS THE REBIRTH OF HARDCORE!!!”
We weren’t aware that hardcore had died and needed to be “rebirthed”? Does this have something to do with Rich Piana?
Yeahhhhhhhhhh…. we’ve already seen what Insane Labz is capable of. But let’s humor them anyway:
“committed to bringing you cutting edge products that are not only effective, but taste amazing as well… tested for purity and potency with every batch.”
Batch tested?! You mean like, following the actual law?
Do you also brag about not stabbing people?
Speaking of stabbing people:
“We at Killer Labz want to KILL every workout to it’s fullest potential, so we developed an exclusive product line of the most advanced and aggressive supplements you can legally get your hands on.”
“brand built around quality cGMP Certified nutrition supplements for online sales. We specialize in manufacture supplement for you!”
What? That doesn’t even make sense. Nutritional supplements aren’t cGMP certified. The manufacturing process is. Good Lord.
Last but definitely not least. This is clearly the “ironic” one, and their Mission Statement is too damn good to miss.
“What is Freedom in a bottle anyway, you might be asking yourself. Well, it’s serving sizes double, triple and sometimes more what the “industry standard” is. It’s combining those ingredients in an FDA-approved, cGMP (certified good manufacturing practices) facility that adheres to pharmaceutical-level standards of manufacturing.”
Well at least they know how to use the acronym “cGMP”. Even though this brand’s pretty kick ass in all its irony, we still would have preferred if it was named “Murica Labs”!
Those are just a few of the example “About” pages you’ll see in the brigade of Labz brands on the market, but you get the idea. They’re “hardcore” and want you to “kill” your workout, but don’t you forget they’re “high quality” too. Even though not a single one is sharing those legally-required lab tests. Hmm.
We just hope users can “kill their workout” before the product kills them. Yes, we’re talking about you, arecoline.
Over the Top and Underwhelming
Looking at the vast majority of products from these brands, you’re hit with a full frontal assault of aggressive descriptions of the products, and even more demonic names. And not to mention a greater-than-average number of proprietary blends.
Once you get past the window dressing and take a look at what the products actually contain on the inside, you can prepare yourself to be very underwhelmed. For the most part, the products made in these “Labz” are nothing more than “crack n’ stim” powders with a conglomeration of miscellaneous stimulants all hidden in those shifty prop blends.
These products will undoubtedly pack strong kick, usually due to a mix of 300mg or greater dose of caffeine, along with some synephrine, higenamine, and yohimbine with maybe some “DMHA” (which may or may not be DMHA, of course, because who in the hell has time to test random imported powders from China?! They’d never lie to us!). And sometimes, the formula will sadly contain far worse.
But aside from the energy, there’s often little else these products do for actually increasing your performance. More than anything, they make you feel like you want to run through a wall, and that’s about it… but that sounds about right for someone who’s shopping for a product with the name “Labz” on it.
They can’t all suck, can they?
Our biggest exceptions? Condemned Labz, the prison-themed brand that’s been developing some great stuff… and the hilarious ‘Merica Labz has been firing on all cylinders too, cereal chunks in your protein included.
Unfortunately, the success of these brands only stands to exacerbate this issue, like a carrier for our virus who only gets stronger when infected, yet ultimately leaves pathogenic destruction in its long-term wake.
It’s time someone said something: the “z” craze needs to stop already. “Z” is played out, unoriginal, and amateur. It’s over.
Rather than try to gussy up an ugly label, how about these “hardcore” brands actually try to piece together a solid formula, provide some useful information to the consumer, and not just slap their label on some contract manufacturer’s pre-made bathtub formula?
Kill the virus. Vote with your wallet.
Just a bunch of low budget assclowns who try to fool consumers with flash in the pan, bullshit supplements
— Marc Lobliner
As much as we’d like to see the labz trend die, it ultimately comes down to you, the consumer. Every day you vote with your wallet, but when you vote for Labz, you are voting for tragedy.
And because too many of you (as in the ones who would never make it this far down an article) are hapless morons, it seems like them Labz are here to stay, because your wallets are open and these clowns are here for the taking. That is, at least until the next catchy branding fad comes along and gets copied a thousand times, and we’re subjected to another wave of peak idiocy.
Hopefully, when that happens, we can just hope that those brands will at least avoid using known carcinogens in their products. Fair enough?
Until then, it’s open season on young and dumb consumers, and we’re clearly in quite a target-rich environment.