WAG Fail

I worked against gravity . . . and I lost.

The last time I posted (which now was weeks ago), I discussed that I was going to try a paid, macro-based, “coached” program called Working Against Gravity (WAG for short). A couple of friends of mine, and “Facebook friends” related to them, were trying it with success. I thought “well, I have tried everything else, why not this?” It was pricey – and you have to sign up for 3 months at the front end – but I was pretty enthusiastic about it.

It started with the intake form . . .

WAG makes you fill out an intake form. Great! (I love forms. So Virgo lawyer of me.) However, they make you choose from the following as to “what you are” – “competitive athlete…weekend warrior…non-athlete.” Now, I work out 5 days per week – and I work out hard. But according to WAG, I’m a “non-athlete.” I resented this…A LOT. I went back and forth actually with my coach (and then the founder of WAG, “to whom” she punted me) about this languaging. The founder stated that it was “just to get me the right coach,” and I “shouldn’t be offended.”

I think that is the sort of thing that a competitive athlete/Alpha says. The founder is a competitive athlete – and likely wants to attract them. My gut instinct is that she’s an Alpha,too. So, in her view, the fact that I had to check “non-athlete” was no big deal. Now, perhaps she believes that the phrase “non-athlete” applies equally to someone working their guts out five days a week and someone eating bon-bons on a couch. There was no follow-on intake question that split this hair. Working out hard 5 days a week – yup, non-athlete, check. Not happy.

500_F_72011703_NCU3o3wznpK6kX9xgAMHvl5GK9xyEK8R…& paying, to me, equates to “high touch” excellence.

WAG, brass tacks, is about weighing yourself every day, keeping track of your macros every day, and checking in with your coach, with photos and feelings, once a week. Once you send in your intake form, you get an email back that says at the top:

**It is beyond our current capabilities to remind you to check in with your coach. This means that it is your responsibility to remember your check-in day to check-in with your coach in order to get feedback.**

Sure, that makes sense. However, I expected my “investment” in this program to net me more than just me filling out an Excel sheet, me checking in, me making Notes daily.

I made daily Notes – even edited their Excel spreadsheet that way – instead of checking in weekly. This is for the same reason that I coach clients to keep a “running tally” of their accomplishments for their annual reviews – you never remember anything but your most recent accomplishments or travails when the time comes to detail them.

What would “high touch” look like, to me?

Well, here’s a thought. When I had heard the Founder interviewed, she’d talked about the fact that they had a “21-day challenge” on their website that people could subscribe to for free, getting 21 days’ worth of insights, etc.

So (silly me) I surmised that if I was paying for the service, I would get something – even just a little “Atta Girl” or an insight – daily from “WAG HQ.”

Nope. Not a thing. Hands off.

I pay nothing for daily emails from Yuri Elkaim, Abel James, Jonathan Bailor, etc. They give me great information – oh sure, they usually try to sell me something, too, or introduce me to some Affiliate Program. I somehow thought that by paying for WAG, its program would be like that, but without the upsell (like buying an app instead of getting the one with the adverts at the bottom). Instead – Crickets.

(Sorry, I just couldn’t help embedding that.)

Yes, Yes, I need “pets.”

If I am paying like this, I expect someone to give me some information, every day, without being asked to do so. Even if it’s just generic stuff from “HQ.” Especially if I am paying. Sure, we complain about our “busting full inboxes,” but in my opinion, if you’re paying that sort of money, you should be getting something that you can then choose to delete or unsubscribe from, if you so desire.

They tout that your coach is “there for you, 24/7” (with a 24 hour turnaround). I did ask my coach three things in one day, and she told me to hold them and just ask one “big” thing a day.

You know what? When I think of something, I want to get it off to you, or I will forget. In going back through my emails, I only did this once, then I didn’t contact my coach at all except for my weekly “check in,” because I had been “chastized.”

And that was the beginning of the end – more on that in a bit.

Oh, and to be . . . “fair?”. . . you are actually warned not to do this – because . . . um . . . your coach has a lot of folks who are paying that $125/month for three months minimum so s/he can’t be inundated? Hm.

Hey, just glug down some protein!

As I mentioned, I actually changed the Excel spreadsheet that they send you, adding a “Notes” section at the end. This allowed me to write down what was going on, how my workoutSlippery surface warning signs went, PRs, etc. without “bothering” my coach.

I had some issues with meeting the macros that I was assigned (145g protein, 190g carbs, 60g fat, every day), even though I have a lot of experience with logging and with macros. When I did pose questions about this (getting enough protein, for example), my coach  said “well, just drink protein shakes,” and such other comments.

I’m probably her worst client ever. She seemed very nice – and very young. To be fair, when I was in my 20s, I probably would just tell someone to eat candy to make up their carbs or glug a protein drink, too.

Maybe I’m just an over 50, thin-skinned, real-food-loving, locavore, chef, “non-athlete.” But this rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted WAG to work for me – I didn’t want to work for WAG. And the Slippery Slope began…

WAG is a DRAG.

Sure, WAG has a Facebook group that’s very active. But that’s a bunch of folks that are just like yourself – who are paying to then compare notes with other folks who are paying. WTH? I mean, seriously. WAG is all “pull” or “take.” You need to log your weight. Log your macros. Ask questions of your coach (or this Facebook group – again – where everyone is paying to be there). Take photos weekly. There’s no “push” out to you unless you request it – and no “give,” except for the encouragement you get if you ask for it.

So, six weeks in, I wanted to see what would happen. So I didn’t check in with my coach.

Now you can go back up, and click on the “Crickets” .WAV again.

Not a peep (chirp?). Nothing. I actually kept logging, but off the Excel spreadsheet, to see what would happen.

Have you clicked on that .WAV yet? Not a chirp.

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ An “Omega.”240_F_99638053_lrhmqq64ZgRpqtbAPiXk7mYnDcEniveJ

Here’s the deal: I believe that folks who have been successful with this program don’t need a lot of pets/encouragement/daily mantras/etc. They just want to get it down – give me my macros – just the facts, Ma’am. I’ve discussed this before, but this is very much an “Alpha” mentality.  I am a “non-Alpha” – which I tend, for whatever reason, to refer to as an “Omega.”

As an Omega, I’m less likely to ask for help. In fact, if I have to ask for help, I’ve probably waited so long that I’m sort of desperate – so I come off as a bitch. I want people to “just notice” that something is going off the rails . . . yeah, yeah, I know, I know, what a foolish way to be, says every Alpha everywhere.

If I am writing things in Notes, and you’re being paid to coach me, then I want you to have some thoughts, without me pointing the Notes out to you and asking. I log a PR in my Notes? I want you to take note! And I definitely want to feel special. Even if it’s just generic stuff from “HQ.” And in fact, if I pay for a service, then I really want to feel special. Even if it’s the same red carpet for everyone, I want to feel like it was rolled out for me.

There ain’t no Special here.

My experience with WAG is that you don’t really matter. I had some concerns about phraseology with the intake form – I heard back that “hey, that’s not what we meant, you’re taking this the wrong way.” I put things in Notes (without pointing them out) – I heard nothing. I stopped logging – I heard nothing. I stopped checking in with my coach – I heard nothing. Alpha, Alpha, Alpha.

My guess with regard to why they make you pay three non-refundable months in advance is that folks like me drop out like flies. Smart tactic, on their part. I imagine (I didn’t go back to read the PDF that you’re sent to check this though) that they tell you that the reason for this is that you need to “stick with it for three months” to “really see results.” But I have to believe that the drop out rate of folks like me is very high. (If they get past that “non-athlete” question to begin with ;-) )

I’m sure that this post will elicit some responses.

This is just one Omega’s view of the situation. My friend – who has had great success with WAG – told me when I hit rocky times that I should ask for a new coach.

But I just don’t believe that would have made any difference. I think it’s a fundamental flaw in how WAG is set up.

WAG is not set up for someone like me to be anything but lonely. A Facebook group of a bunch of other folks who are paying too does not a support system make. WAG is all about inputting and asking. Sometimes, a girl just wants to feel taken care of and special without having to ask. Even if she has to pay for it. But especially if she does.

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “WAG Fail

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with WAG. I had such a hard time finding reviews for them, so when I came across your blog…well I got excited. Like you, if I am paying for a service (a not so cheap service at that) then I am expecting some-kind of real hands on coaching. Heck, if I have 10 questions in a day, I should be able to submit them when I want and get a response. Isn’t that what the coach is there for. There are so many online coaches services out there that you truly don’t know if its worth the money or not. All services sound awesome and accessible until you actually sign up and then suddenly you are on your own. I for one like to read about other people’s experiences (not their website testimonial) before I commit to anything, especially online services. I’ll have to pass on WAG. Have you used anyone else online that has been successful?

  2. Hi Wanda! I have to give BIG kudos to Coach Pam at Fitera. It’s still not “cheap” (I want to say $40/mo. with the 24/7 coaching?), but she is REALLY what you want in coaching. I haven’t blogged in a while, because “life got in the way” but I did talk a bit about Fitera in the blog posts after this one. She works WITH you – and is actually THERE 24/7 – however YOU want her – call, text, email! I’m quite amazed, I have to say. Fitera also has a VERY robust website, with LOTS of tips. No, I don’t get paid by them ;-) Good luck on your journey – and remember to smell the roses on the way (something I forget a lot ;-) ) – and be kind to yourself ;-) xoxox S

  3. Thank you so much Sandy. Good to know. I’ll check out your blog on Fitera and also look into Coach Pam. And yes, I also have to remind myself to be faithful to the process and not be so hard on myself. I was reading some of your other blogs and I was especially encouraged when I read the one where you talked about losing 10 pounds of muscle even after doing everything right. I’m glad I’m not alone in being confused with my body. My struggle now is that I am doing everything “right” (exercising my butt off and eating right) and I am going in circles, One week I’m up and the other I’m down. I seem to circle back to square one despite all that I do. I have no idea what my body is doing, but hopefully I or someone else will figure it out. LOL. Again, thank you for your feedback. By the way, I really like your website and writing style. I appreciate people who keep it simple and real. .

  4. Hi Wanda! I’m not sure how old you are, but after a LOT of research, I found that a lot of the issues I am dealing with have to do with being older and “exercising my butt off.” Turns out that we’re not supposed to do that ;-) That was SUCH a big a-ha for me. I am now wearing a heart rate monitor, and have it set to “go red” if I get higher than 180 minus my age. And that’s not very high!!! That means I’m out of the “aerobic” zone – and once you get out of it, your body stops burning fat (it thinks you’re being chased by a tiger) for the next 24 hours. So much of what we’ve been “told” in the last oh say 30 years turns out to be a bunch of bupkiss. The really frustrating thing is how badly it can harm your body, then you have to do something dramatic to “heal” it. You might even be inspiring me to blog again ;-) Hang in there, my friend!!! -Sandy

  5. I had tremendous success with the WAG program. I would have considered myself a non athlete that was a little overweight and on all kinds of medicine. After 3 months I was down 21 lbs and Blist almost 14 inches cumulatively. Not to mention, I am off all my medication. This isn’t a sales pitch; this program just worked very well for me. We had over a dozen people in my gym with similar results. It was incredible to see.

  6. Hi Joe: Glad that you did. I’m finding that guys often have a great response to it, also perhaps younger women. It really didn’t work for me, as you can obviously see, and it hasn’t worked for over a dozen folks “just like me” that I have been contacted by. I’m so glad that it worked for you though! Keep up the good work!

  7. I am so happy to find this and see I’m not alone! I’ve been trying like crazy to cancel my last two months. They’re being absolutely awful but I explained that for $230 a month there’s no way in hell I should only be receiving one pre scripted email a week with unexplained macros and a silly emotional homework that he obviously sends to everyone. This has been the worst company and worst diet program I have ever been on. I have nothing but negative things to say about them. I am so deeply disappointed especially since I invested a huge amount of money into them that I really didn’t have to throw around the start with. I hope more people see this blog and stay away from the start. Thank you for writing one of the only accurate and honest reviews out there! For the record I am considered an athlete in their eyes and I’ve found WAG to be a complete scam.

  8. Hey there! I am sooooo sorry you had the same experience!! For the price, this should have been sooo much more. I was so disappointed:( Good luck as you continue to be all you can be as an Athlete!! -Sandy

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