ASR Philosophy

Why Spend Valuable ‘Real Estate’ on this website talking about philosophy?

Great question…

Frankly, it matters.

I’ve found that if you can understand my philosophy, it gives you a better understanding of what to expect from me and why I intentionally structure things with the goal of providing you the maximum benefit possible.

So as far as philosophy/purpose/goals go, let’s start by looking at it from a business perspective.

Stated very basically, my purpose is to help you achieve your strength and physique goals by delivering superior information, motivation where appropriate, and offering world class supplements.

As I’ve worked with people over the years, I’ve found that lack of (legitimate) information, motivation and proper supplementation prove to be the biggest stumbling blocks most people face.

Looking specifically at the supplementation side of things, the current landscape of products, companies and marketing methods makes it very difficult to really know what you should be taking, how much, and whether it will work.

And the reality with natural, legal supplementation is that people react to supplements in very different ways. This unfortunately means you are often left holding the bottle (literally) and some extra credit card debt without anything to show for it if something doesn’t work for you.

Further complicating this issue is the fact that many supplement providers are more motivated by profit than delivering the best value to their customers, and this can lead to supplements that either don’t have the ingredients listed on the label or don’t have the ingredients listed in the amounts advertised.

Knowing that, the logical question is…

“How Am I Supposed To Know What Works For Me When I Can’t Even Be Certain About What’s In The Product!!!???”

As you can imagine, this can give everyone a bad rap because their products have a similar name and similar labels, but they don’t work!

Overall, there are three primary things I do to combat this unfortunate reality and stand in contrast to the normal way of doing business for must supplement companies:

1.  I offer a no-questions-asked-60-day guarantee on all our products.  I firmly believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for something that doesn’t do for you what I say it will. And frankly, I make the staff at ASR very accessible by pasting our phone number all over the website and products…it is NOT hard to correspond with a live person.

Do I get people that abuse the policy? Absolutely, but taking care of the decent people looking for solutions is worth the price.

2.  Our labs are cGMP (current “Good Manufacturing Practices”) certified to ensure the highest quality ingredients are used at the levels we advertise. Furthermore, our products are tested at the raw-material and final-mixture stages as required by law, but we also go the extra mile and add in an additional post-production quality control check on a statistically significant sample size to make sure every bottle has in it exactly what’s on the label.

3. Transparency. Many companies hide behind their “proprietary blend” so they don’t have to put sufficient amounts of the ingredient that really delivers the impact because it also happens to be the most expensive ingredient. To the maximum extent possible, I give you insight into the ingredients, their benefit, and how much is in each serving.

Are there times when extensive testing is required to develop the ideal amounts of each ingredient? Yes, and in those cases I need to protect the investment by not advertising to the world what the exact blend looks like. But those cases need to be (and are) the exception.

So the bottom line is I want your experience with ASR to be different than what you may have come to expect out of other companies.

Why?

It’s a good question, and if you will indulge me I’d like to tell you a little about how this operation started…

I was born in the Midwest US in the late ‘60s and had a “normal” upbringing for that time.  My dad was a bigger guy and I always remember wanting to grow up and be strong like him.

Problem was as time passed and I was supposed to be getting bigger and stronger – that didn’t happen.  I kinda got “stuck” in the 6th grade and while my peers were starting to gain muscle and weight, I was still the runt with scrawny arms and legs and no chest to speak of.

I did everything I could think of to gain muscle – endless pushps, tons of pull-ups, ate pasta until I felt like puking…but nothing seemed to work.

I resigned to the fact that I was going to be the skinny kid – and that was that.

A few years went by and I started to get taller, which only made matters worse.  I looked more like a string-bean than ever before.

But little did I know a turning point was right around the corner in the form of a movie called “Conan the Barbarian” and a little-known Austrian actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When I saw that movie I was in complete awe.

“How could a man get so big?!” I kept asking myself.

You see, before this I hadn’t had any exposure to bodybuilding or knowledge of men like Schwarzenegger, but once I had it, I was hooked.

I started spending all my free time and money (from mowing grass in the summer, shoveling snow in the winter, and odd jobs around the neighborhood) on learning all I could about Arnold and the other greats like Frank Zane, Larry Scott, Franc Columbu, and others.

I started lifting real weights, eating right, and training with intensity – my extreme desire to NOT be the runt fueled every workout and training session.

I actually bought my own weight set to use in the basement (I was too embarrassed to lift at my high school…I wanted to build up a bit first.)  My parents kind of chuckled at me in the beginning, but after they saw I was serious and didn’t quit, they were happy to see me doing something I loved – and that I was getting results at.

By the time I graduated high school, I wasn’t the runt anymore.  I was bigger and more cut than every football player in school, and the only guys that looked as good or better than me with their shirts off were a few of the wrestlers when they were in season – starving themselves and wearing plastic bags under their sweats in order to cut as much weight as possible.

(little did they know I ate all the time and had the pleasurable goal of ADDING weight while still looking like I did.)

Another added benefit was the girls in school started to pay attention to me – which was a nice change.  Problem was between girls and lifting, I didn’t care much for school…so when high school was over it didn’t seem like going to college was the best move.

I bounced around a couple of jobs in the years following high school, but I kept lifting, learning, growing, changing, and getting bigger and leaner.

At my best I was 5’11”, 215lbs and 6% body fat.  Arguably not that hard to do when you’re in your early 20s with all the testosterone in your system, but hey – it still took work and disciplined consistency.

I never competed – that wasn’t what it was about for me.  It was about my self-esteem and continually pushing myself to DO better and BE better…KNOWING that I was in control of how I looked, felt, and performed.

As you can imagine, my confidence had grown from my early days of being stuck in my 6th-grader body, and after getting tired of doing the same old things all the time I took a job doing what amounted to door-to-door, cold-call sales.

Not my idea of a good time…initially.

But after a while I got the hang of it and as it turns out, I was a heck of a salesman!

I eventually rose up to the #2 spot in the small company I worked for and learned A LOT about business, people, sales, and myself.

(and in case you’re wondering, we sold copiers and credit card processing machines to small businesses)

Fast forward a couple years…

It’s the mid to late ‘90s and the beginning of what my friend Shawn Phillips (of Bill and Shawn Phillips, owners of EAS in its heyday) calls the “Supplement Boom”.

Bodybuilding and fitness became more mainstream and more and more people were trying to lose weight, get in shape, and more or less get rid of the “cubicle bodies” they had developed over the previous 5-15 years.

The market was flooded with supplements from dozens of companies all touting their miracle formulas for adding lean mass, burning fat, and boosting libido.  Because what guy doesn’t to be huge, ripped, and be able to go all night long, right?

Problem was, most of the stuff was complete crap.

Total waste of money, and you usually got a nice dose of cramping, bloating, or any number of other unpleasant side effects with most of the stuff.  And it tasted horrible to boot!

(EAS was an exception – when the Phillips’ owned it they made quality stuff.)

But you’d be surprised how much money you can make when you plaster your magazine ads and store displays with ‘roided out dudes, and chicks that forgot their clothes at the photo shoot!  That was the primary marketing method for most companies back then, and still is today for some.

(guess I can’t blame them – sex sells, but the product should at least WORK when you take it!)

Anyway, I continually found myself saying, “If I made this, I would – fill in the blank – so that it would actually do what it’s supposed to!”

After a while I decided I’d do something about it and dug in to learning how to build and run a supplement company.  I figured with my new-found business and sales experience and my knowledge of and love for bodybuilding it couldn’t be that hard…right?

Not so much.

Turns out running a business is harder than it looks from the outside, and I still had many lessons to learn and things to understand about the ins and outs of the supplement industry.

(some of which were quite shocking – and why we do things the way do them vs how some others do)

After a few false starts the breakthrough for ASR came in 2003 with an advanced lean-mass-gaining product called Hyper Gain.

I had been trying various ways to market Hyper Gain with only minor success – not because the product didn’t work, but because I still wasn’t that good at marketing!

In a last-ditch desperation move, I sent out a letter to a handful of previous customers of some of my earlier supplements – and lo-and-behold it worked.  Hyper Gain took off, and gained enough momentum to really get ASR off the ground.

It’s been a wild ride since then, with many changes in the economy and supplement world, but through it all I’ve stayed true to my core philosophy when it comes to supplements and business:

  • ASR supplements have in the bottle what’s on the label – period.
  • They do what I say they do or you get your money back. You shouldn’t pay for things that don’t work – even if it’s how your system processes the product, not the product itself.
  • Treat customers how I want to be treated – like a real person and not a number.  That’s why you can call our office or email our support department and actually get an answer! Try that with any of the “big boys”.
  • There are no magic pills. Supplements are only the last few percentage points of your overall progress.  Proper diet, intensity with proper form, and disciplined consistency are the keys to success in building the body you want. But if you’re willing to cover that part, ASR will provide the last few percent in the form of the best supplement money can buy.

Thanks for reading a bit about our story, and I hope it’s given you a little insight into who I am and who we are as a company.  If you’re not already a customer of ours, I encourage you to give us a try – I promise it won’t be like any other “supplement company” experience you’ve had in the past.

I recommend checking out our original and to-this-day best seller: Hyper Gain – it’s backed by tens of thousands of bottles sold and hundreds of customer testimonials about how it’s helped them pack on lean mass when all else failed.  And of course, it’s backed by our 60-day money back guarantee, so you’ve got no risk.

Thanks for reading.

Now get after it!

Train Hard,

Rick Gray