Coke had always outsold Pepsi, and Pepsi was newly determined to break out of its perpetual #2 ranking. Enter the Pepsi Challenge.
Pepsi started up a huge marketing campaign which revolved around what's called a "sip test." At every mall and grocery store in the country, Pepsi would ask you to try a sip of Coke and a sip of Pepsi from unmarked cups. Sure enough, most people, even dedicated Coke drinkers, chose Pepsi. The commercials rolled and Pepsi proclaimed itself the undisputed best-tasting cola.
Long story short, Coke shit the bed, changed its #1 selling formula, and called it New Coke.
It was an unmitigated disaster.
Coke drinkers rebelled and Coca-Cola quickly came out with Classic Coke, sweeping the whole goof-up under the rug. Coke remained the #1 selling soft drink.
But wait, if most people prefer Pepsi in blind taste tests, why is Coke unshakable? Massive advertising? Maybe. But it really comes down to this simple fact:
In a sip tests, humans prefer sweeter flavors. But those get cloying after a few swallows and they then prefer less sweet. In other words, people may prefer a sip of Pepsi, but they prefer a can of Coke.
When it comes to choosing training programs, the avid gym-goer has to avoid the pitfalls of the sip test.
He may prefer one workout from Program X, but it's Program Y that will give him the best results over several weeks or months.
For example, I think CrossFit may have a sip test problem. Are the workouts fun and challenging? Sure. Are those workouts the smartest long-term route for certain goals like building muscle? Probably not.
When you're choosing your next training plan, enjoy your sip, but go ahead and drink the whole can to truly evaluate what works best for your body. After a six-pack or two, you'll know what really works and what just tastes good at the moment. -- Chris