Coming To a CP Near You: The Nightingale Excrement Facial

About the Author: Eric Cressey

The other day, while doing some online reading, I accidentally happened upon an article with the following introduction:

“Forget avocado, evening primrose oil or other exotic ingredients, the latest facial to hit New York is a mask made with bird excrement. The Geisha Facial, available at Shizuka New York for $180, about $100 more than the shop’s other facials, contains nightingale excrement.”

The message is that you can sell people on any kind of crap (pun intended) that you want.

Research on the repeated exposures effect in marketing shows that the more people see something (to a point of limited returns), the more they accept it as not only as fact, but as convenience – or even gospel – as well. It’s the reason so many people “Xerox” rather than photocopy – or grab a Kleenex rather than a tissue. While making some photocopies, blowing your nose, or even rubbing bird crap on your face is a far cry from lifting heavy stuff, you’d be surprised at the messages you can glean from this introduction.

If I told you in a Monday T-Nation article that my nightingale excrement protocol would add 50 pounds to your squat in two weeks, would you buy it? Probably not. But, if Christian Thibaudeau chimed in on Tuesday and said that he’d added one inch to his biceps over the course of a month by simply massaging bird poo onto his upper arms, you’d probably raise an eyebrow and read on.

Then, Mike Robertson chimes in on Wednesday to tell you that, “as demonstrated by an independent laboratory study” (which, incidentally, was funded by the American Society for the Advancement of Bird S**t), nightingale dung reduces knee pain in arthritis patients. Thursday, Chad Waterbury tells you that ten sets of three minutes of bird s**t on your face works better than three sets of ten minutes. Friday, TC admits he sniffs nightingale doo-doo to gain inspiration for each Atomic Dog column.

You’re sold.

There are no peer-reviewed studies displaying quantifiable results, or even a good amount of anecdotal, subjective evidence to support the aforementioned notions.

The point is that no matter how informed a consumer you think you are, you’re also (likely) outside your realm of expertise when it comes to exercise physiology if you haven’t made a career out of it. It’s why I go to an accountant to get my taxes done or a lawyer to have a contract drawn-up – and it’s why there are a lot of people out there obliviously getting suckered into false information that often separates them from their money.

A few years ago, I wrote a series called “Debunking Exercise Myths.” In hindsight, I probably should have called it “Stupid Stuff You Shouldn’t Believe” – especially since I’m a few years older and a bit more cynical now. These were two of my more popular articles to-date, so I thought I’d throw it out there to get some reader input: would you like to see more?

And, if so, feel free to drop us an email with your suggestions on topics to cover. You can send an email to with the subject line “Debunking Exercise Myths Suggestion.” I’ll either cover it in future newsletters and/or blogs, or make a new article out of it altogether.

Speaking of T-Nation

I had a new article published there yesterday; check out First Person: Cressey .

New Blog Content

And, speaking of blogs, check out some of our latest content – including two recent audio interviews with me:

EC on Superhuman Radio

Random Friday Thoughts

Maximum Strength Feedback from the Medical Community

EC on The Fitness Buff Show

All the Best,