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The Eshittification of The Pump

Last year, I joined Arnold’s Pump Club newsletter, and it helped jump start my journey into getting healthier. Each morning, I looked forward to analysis of the latest scientific studies along with some personal stories from Arnold’s team. It felt like a small community, being bankrolled by one of the world’s largest movie stars as a way to give back in the twilight of his career.

At first, the newsletter kept me focused and ready to make healthier choices, but slowly my passion for the newsletter dwindled until now, almost a year to the day later, I’ve unsubscribed.

So, what happened? Well, I guess there are two reasons I’ve unsubscribed:

1. The studies analyzed have become redundant and at times contradictory.
2. The eshittification has kicked.

A few months back, Arnold announced that sponsored posts would join the newsletter. He was transparent and claimed they would thoroughly vet any potential advertisers to ensure their values lined up with the positive message that newsletter provided and while I haven’t personally had any issues with the advertisers, I’ve slowly watched the advertisers take over the newsletter. I’ve seen posts written specifically just to advertise a product and some days the newsletter is pretty much devoid of content outside of whatever sponsored post is written.

In December, there was a Christmas Wish List post that I was excited to see and was disappointed to find it was essentially just a .pdf of all of the advertisers and their associated subscription fees.

And that’s not even discussing how much the newsletter has been used to advertise various books, TV shows, and the app. I mean, it really is the definition of eshittification. They hooked us in with free quality information, then slowly added stuff to buy while the quality of the articles has gone down. Heck, if you want any quality articles these days, you’ll definitely have to join The Pump Club app, but even then, they aren’t as consistent as they once were.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, it was unreasonable for me to think a movie star worth $450 million dollars would do something for free. I still fall into this naivety at times and it’s frustrating, because you’d think after forty years I would have learned. Then again, when Arnold wrote a book called Be Useful and entire chapter was dedicated to sales, it really put everything into perspective.

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