Fitness coach questions Mindvalley CEO over allegedly dubious health program | MARKETING Magazine Asia

Fitness coach questions Mindvalley CEO over allegedly dubious health program


An open letter posted on social media by the founder of Joompa and RTS Malaysia Educator, Benny Price, expressed his concerns over claims made in adverts for 10x Fitness, a health program marketed by Vishen Lakhiani, as a product of Mindvalley.

Founded in 2003, Mindvalley is a “learning experience” company that publishes ideas and teachings by different authors in personal growth, wellbeing, spirituality, productivity, mindfulness and more. According to a description posted on the company’s LinkedIn, Mindvalley also combines these ideas and teachings “with cutting-edge sophisticated learning technology within engaged and supportive communities.”

In the open letter posted earlier this week, Benny expressed his concerns over various claims that have been advertised as results that can be achieved with the 10x Fitness program. The 10x Fitness is available exclusively through Mindvalley and is marketed as a program that will help customers “gain (their) dream body in just two 15-minute weekly workouts by harnessing the latest science in muscle stimulation.”

According to Benny, his concerns with the program and the copy used in the product adverts stems from several allegedly unsubstantiated claims such as the 10x Fitness program’s ability to help customers “achieve physique goals with less than 15 minutes” using “leading edge science” and “hyper optimised results” at 10x per minute and claims that doing more than 30 minutes (of exercise) could be “destroying muscle growth”.

“I’ve watched these adverts several times and have tried to give your sales pitch the benefit of the doubt because yes, I believe in improving the accessibility of exercise to those who are intimated by the daunting prospect of hours of weekly exercise,” Benny states in the letter directed to Vishen. “I’ve watched all 90-minutes of the 10x “Masterclass”, read your website and done my background research on the two “experts running the 10x course (but) I can’t find a single reference of the series of scientific discovering, all stacked together.”

A screenshot obtained from Mindvalley’s official product page detailing the 10x Fitness program

Benny then continues to explain his concerns over the program by pointing out that the “bold statements” used in marketing the program are not cited with relevant or credible studies.

“For example, your program involves 4 sets per muscle group per week, all of which are taken to failure and with no rest (or warmup, which is a separate course for concern),” Benny stated. “There are multiple studies (e.g., Raedelli & co. 2015, Schoenfeld et al 2018) showing significant improvements in muscle growth as dosage is increased from twice to even three times your recommended volume using significantly longer rest periods – where is your evidence to prove this wrong?”

According to the nonprofit medical research center and hospital, Mayo Clinic, which was also ranked number 1 in the United States for 2019-20 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll, the recommended time for aerobic activity is “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.”

Aside from his concerns over allegedly unsubstantiated claims, Benny also stated that the messaging used to market and advertise the program is harmful as it sells a “quick fix, short cut, a dream body come true” promise without considering how the messaging harms the fitness industry’s efforts to convince individuals to lead more active lifestyles for the betterment of their health.

“You don’t take into any account the sedentary lifestyles, various routines, preferences or otherwise personal considerations that would indicate significant benefits of 3 – 4 hours of exercise per week,” Benny stated. “You simply make a bold statement that 30 minutes a week is all it takes, no matter who you are . . . which, in my professional opinion, is a highly damaging proposition to promote so very publicly.”

Benny ended his letter by urging Vishen to either share verified proof of the program’s ability to deliver its promises or otherwise amend 10x Fitness’s marketing message and acknowledge the fallacies in his claims.

Since the open letter was posted on Benny’s social media account, Vishen has responded via the comment section by inviting Benny to join him on Zoom to discuss his concerns.

“Most of the science is in the book “Body by Science” by Doug McGuff, the system is heavily inspired by the book and also 3 years of our own study on 100+ participants, we will share our data too on our call,” Vishen explained in a separate comment on Benny’s post.

“When I first published the open letter, I just wanted Vishen and Mindvalley to address an email I’d sent them regarding their claims of the 10X program, I wasn’t expecting it to get so much attention,” Benny told MARKETING Magazine. “Vishen has been great in reaching out to provide their justification for their claims and has confirmed we’ll be getting on a live public call on the 31st May to discuss them, so stay tuned.”

According to a review of Mindvalley’s 10x Fitness program published by Nomadrs, a digital media website focused on helping people live a more nomadic life, the Digital Access for a single Mindvalley course such as 10x Fitness is currently priced at USD349 (RM 1,440) and the annual Mindvalley All-Access Pass is priced at USD499 (RM 2,059).

MARKETING Magazine has reached out to Vishen and Mindvalley for a comment and are still awaiting a response.

To read Benny’s full open letter, click on his Instagram below: