About a month ago, I received a package from Biotest founder Tim Patterson. It contained something very new, something that’s never been seen before in the supplement world. It was Micro-PA, and Tim explained to me how it worked and how to use it.
I was naturally excited, but I also had a secret: I’d been hit with an avalanche of health issues, including a condition that I thought would keep me from optimally utilizing Micro-PA. I didn’t want to tell him, but I also didn’t want to waste six bottles of this new supplement. In the end, I had to come clean with Tim. Now I’m going to come clean with you.
Starting in 2006 (the last time I competed in bodybuilding) I started to lose blood in my stools. It would happen intermittently for a few days, up to a week or two, then it would stop. My father and brother were prone to it too, so I didn’t make much of it. Then in 2008 I was stung by an exotic bug while on my honeymoon in Aruba. Upon getting back to Canada I started to have pneumonia-like symptoms. I kept training despite all of that.
I eventually started to have a hard time breathing properly and was retaining a lot of water. After a few days I got admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure. It was due to two things (1) I had an pre-existing heart birth defect, which I knew about already, and (2) I suffered a viral cardiomyopathy: a virus transmitted by the bug that spread to the heart. I got put on blood pressure medication at that point.
Not knowing any better, I did what many normal people did. When I started to feel better I stopped taking the meds. I’m an athlete, I’m in good shape, so I don’t need it.
Fast forward to 2013.
After spending a summer doing a lot of CrossFit training with my wife, I fell in love again with Olympic lifting and decided to train for a comeback. I would do a form of squat, snatch and clean & jerk every day, often twice a day. That’s when I started to have severe bloody stools. I also started to lose weight.
In fact (and this is no joke) I was eating twelve hamburgers on average and a full box of cereal every single day (and that was just my “base”). Despite eating roughly 5000 calories a day I was losing weight at a fairly fast rate. The bloody stools lasted for three months, until one day I started to have chest pain when I trained. Then the chest pain lasted throughout the day. I got admitted to the hospital for a heart attack.
The cause of the heart attack wasn’t the heart itself or anything I did, but the fact that I lost so much blood over a three month period that I didn’t have enough red blood cells to send oxygen to the heart. My red blood cell count was 25% of the normal level.
They ran several tests to find out what the cause of the bleeding was. They probably ran every test possible, short of a gynecologic exam! Colonoscopy, rectoscopy, nuclear imaging, MRI, echography, etc. All turned out negative for anything major. They concluded that it was due to the bleeding hemorrhoids, but because of all the squatting and Olympic lifting I was doing the veins could never get repaired. That was the good news, an easy fix.
The bad news is, while running the various blood and urinary tests they found some potential signs of kidney problems. Because of that they asked for a kidney biopsy. The diagnosis? I was suffering from a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, an irreversible condition that would change a lot of things for me.
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis has many causes. One of the contributing factors is the use of anabolic steroids. I won’t lie, I did use steroids in the past. I do believe it possibly contributed to some extent. I used them for a brief period when I was a 19 years old football player and also when I did bodybuilding competitions in 2005. So there is a possibility that these things caused some damage at that point. I’m glad my usage was brief and that I’d stopped long ago or things could’ve been worse.
So the first thing I had to change was my diet. I have to eat “kidney friendly diet”, which is something that can be devastating to muscle growth. Heck, just having a kidney disease is normally one of the most catabolic medical conditions you can have. It also meant that I couldn’t train as much as I normally did for fear or aggravating my condition.
I honestly saw myself as probably ending up at 175 pounds or so within 6 months. It didn’t help that the cardiologist told me that I “could still train, but that it might be easier to shoot for the marathon runner look” and that my nephrologist told me to expect a drastic change in how my body looked. Needless to say I was less than enthusiast about my prospects! Well, one week after I got the news about my condition I received the package from Tim, and I couldn’t even eat properly to maximize growth. Tim advised me to take Micro-PA anyway and report my findings.
Well, after 4 weeks my physique showed significant improvements. In fact, I’m getting more comments from people at the gym telling me how good I look than at any point in my life. I’m absolutely gaining muscle and my strength is steadily improving despite a condition and diet that I believed would destroy my muscle.
Currently, I’m training four basic strength lifts three times per week (bench, deadlift, chins, military press). I’ve improved in EVERY lift at EVERY workout. Not bad considering that, from a medical perspective, I should be slowly losing everything I’d worked to achieve.
My goals are different now. Because of my condition I have to maintain a lighter bodyweight and keep my blood pressure as low as possible. So I’m shooting for a super-lean body with the muscle shape and hardness of the old-school strongmen. With Micro-PA, it’s working!
Despite all that, despite being unable to do everything ideally to build muscle and strength, I’m able to improve my physique and my performance levels. I changed the way I train and Micro-PA allows me to get the maximal anabolic response I can hope to achieve, and I’m loving the way my body is starting to look. I also feel a lot better, healthier.
I know Micro-PA is helping me build the muscle and strength I’d never be able to achieve without it. I can’t wait to see what it does for everyone else!