Nicole Arbour and POG Beef between Chris Jones and Vince G

Posted on 09 Sep 2015 21:49


This has been an explosive week featuring Nicole Arbour's "Dear Fat People" video and the beef between YouTube channel Physiques of Greatness founders Chris Jones and Vince G.

There are two topics I want to cover in this blog post and both these events have occurred over the last week or maybe a week and a half.

There are two reasons why I am discussing Nicole Arbour. First, let's face it: she's very pleasant on the eyes (ha!). Second, and more sincerely, Nicole has talked about the issue of obesity which is growing in not only North America but where I live too - in India. So I think this video is pertinent to a disease that is growing - and yes, obesity is a disease (voted so by the American Medical Association on June 24th, 2013).

Nicole Arbour's video titled "Dear Fat People"

Nicole has described herself as a "YouTuber, Periscoper, Comedian, TV person! Nick-named "The World's Sexiest Comedian," choreograph awesomeness, and captain of #GOTEAM positivity movement!" and she recently published a video on her YouTube channel titled Dear Fat People. It was meant to be a joke (she is a comedian) and meant to entertain people but it has turned into a crusade for many. I know a lot of you may be wondering, and before you say it out loud let me assure you that I accept that by writing about this: I am also making it my crusade.

An overwhelming amount of people have spoken out against this video classifying it as highly insulting, offensive, disrespectful, judgmental, etc. Others have taken it to the next level of dissatisfaction saying that Nicole is not a comedian and she's annoying, etc. I think a lot of these people should remember that nobody has forced them to watch the video if she is that annoying.

Here's what I think: this isn't a video about some guy beating a dog to death or some cruel injustice occurring in front of the camera. This video is an entertainer talking about fat people who harm their health by being fat. I am going to put the fact that Nicole is a YouTube celebrity / entertainer aside and act as if this video is really all about her speaking from the heart. Taking that into account, it is imperative to understand that Nicole is not talking about people who are fat because of health issues. She is specifically addressing people who have health issues because they are fat. A lot of fitness trainers have suddenly popped out of the woodwork screaming that shaming fat people is not going to pay off and it is very unethical to do so and it doesn't actually help the fat people to lose weight by yelling at them, etc.

Now, I don't believe in "shaming" or "bullying" anyone but at the same time you have to call a spade a spade. If you are fat you are fat. If you make poor eating choices that have lead you to being fat then call it as it is. Here's the thing though that a lot of fitness trainers should be coming out and saying but are reluctant to admit out loud: there are fat people who sometimes need a non-empathetic swift kick in the ass to motivate them to lose weight or drop bad habits and there are those fat people that need nurturing and cajoling to get them to make a difference to their health.

It is obvious that Nicole is speaking to the former. If you are fat or you are someone who is headed in the direction of being fat and facing health issues because of your weight, and if you are someone who responds well to humor and hard truths, then watch the video. If you don't like being laughed at or laughed about or you feel offended easily then don't watch Nicole's video. It is really that simple. I don't like watching slow romantic movies. Does that mean they shouldn't be made or that I should even get to dictate what people can or cannot make? Hell no! People can go make whatever movie they like! I have the freedom to choose what I want to watch and when I want to watch it.

To be perfectly honest, I had not even heard about Nicole Arbour till this hype (or hatred) around her video exploded all over my Facebook newsfeed last week. But, I think that as far as this video goes it is just one person speaking her mind and the context here is specific to the health of overweight (or obese) people who have made certain choices to get them to this point (of being overweight / obese). As far as Nicole's credibility goes as an entertainer: that is a personal choice. All I know is that she's very funny and definitely entertaining:

Beef between Chris Jones and Vince G: the Founders of Physiques of Greatness

Before I begin I want to state that I have had to remove all the links to the videos because the channel has taken them all down. Therefore, you will have to go by my descriptions of the videos to get an idea of what went down.

I am going to swing back to the weightlifting and fitness world. One of the youtube channels I really enjoy watching is Chris Jones' and Vince G's Physiques of Greatness. Over the last year or thereabouts anybody in the audience will see more and more involvement of Chris Jones in the videos and lesser and lesser screen time devoted to Vince G. Before I get into my views of this public squabble between partners, I want to post the video that triggered it all:

In the first video Chris explains how he is going to be tied up with other projects and his other channel for a month or so and he will be back to POG after that. Ofcourse, his presence on YouTube will not diminish because he is promoting and will regularly be posting on the BeastMode Training Camp channel. However, he points out that he's been holding down the fort for a long time all alone on a channel that was meant to be a partnership. It seems an innocent enough video but then Vince snaps back with this his take on the matter:

If you had any doubts about the two of them having a falling out then this video should seal the deal. Chris' response video is like bitter icing (video has been removed).

Alright so after breaking down these 3 videos you should be more or less up to date with the matter. On Chris' other channel called BeastMode Training Camp he has posted a follow up video putting the fate of POG in the hands of time. I think this outburst is somewhat warranted. I don't think any partnership should break down in public - it just isn't my style. I think all the points Chris Jones has brought up are very legitimate:

  1. He has been the face of POG for a long long time
  2. He has been carrying the torch with the workings of the brand, supplements, etc alone - in the public eye
  3. He really is grinding away trying to make things work

He should have voiced these points to Vince in private and perhaps the split (if it is actually a split) would have been more amicable but this boils down to personal chemistry and ethics and there's no way someone on the outside like me will be privy to. Vince also uploaded an apology video to his channel that he later took down.

I do want to say that the fitness industry - whether it is in the US or in India, is full of back-biting, underhanded maneuvers and a huge circle jerk. Have you ever wondered why none of the big boys in the world of powerlifting or strength training never have confrontations? What happened recently when Eric Lilliebridge and Kirill Sarychev butted heads? They both deleted their posts from Instagram. How come someone like Mark Rippetoe who is a staunch believer in limited linear progression can stand on the same stage addressing the same audience with Louie Simmons, the Western master of conjugate periodization, without any disagreement? You know why this happens? Because these guys have realized that the strength training market is small - not so small that they cannot make money but small enough not to want to fragment it any further.

This is why the big boys never disagree in the open. They do so only behind closed doors. It is not profitable to fragment a market and have your sales be divided when everybody can benefit from everybody buying their products. The 5x5 Jedis will buy Mark's books and they will also buy Brandon Lily's Cube Method. If Brandon and Mark were to fight they would definitely gain publicity (the same publicity they could get by doing a joint seminar), but the downfall is that each one's fan boys would only buy the respective coach's book. So now their sales are split. But good positive publicity will push both of them forward in terms of reputation, popularity and sales.

In this same vein of thought, a part of me believes that the whole debacle between Chris and Vince may also just be a hoax. Why would you grind for a YEAR (admittedly more) doing 100% of the work for 50% of the results instead of sitting down and re-negotiating your terms of agreement? Does Chris come across as a foolish businessman or one who is not prudent? I highly doubt that. To me, this could all just be one huge stab at pretending to be divided (and then subsequently making up) to double the sales / profits. Make the fan boys think they are rooting for a cause so even people who would normally have been on the sidelines will step up and choose sides and buy your material and then later you make up. I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist but think about what I have said from a dispassionate and critical perspective.

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