I felt compelled to write this today even though the majority of you will think, "well no duh!"
This is also NOT meant to be an advertisement for Biotest products.
I haven’t posted on any of T-Nation’s forums for awhile. This is due to finding myself “jumping the gun” too much over the past several months with regards to providing immediate feedback from the intake of supplements, most notably Micro-PA recently.
For me, and for many others I know who try to approach evaluation of physique and performance enhancing/changing products scientifically, the proven and true disciplined methodology of simply WAITING and observing for a period of time before making any conclusions is paramount. The acute gains or losses experienced in short periods of usage often simply do not sustain themselves and what was perceived as “awesome” ends ups being “meh” given enough time.
By acute, I’m meaning days, weeks, and even only a month after intake. Really, at least for me, a real true evaluation to a product’s efficacy is after 3 months…minimum.
In addition to exercising patience and strictly observing, the other important factor are control of variables. To evaluate how a particular supplement/drug works for you, you can’t have different changes going on at the same time. You can’t start a new training philosophy, add in other supplements you don’t normally take, get more/less sleep, start a new work assignment, travel more, etc. Your results and observations will be skewed.
I have been guilty of this in 2014 unfortunately, as there have been certain changes in life that I believe skewed some of my personal observations with certain products (and yet I’ve posted my immediate “findings”). These changes have been: change in my business travel (I travel a lot more than normal); change in training philosophy (due to traveling a lot more); change in diet (not doing the pulse feast as consistently as I have been doing for a long time now…again, due to business travel responsibilities); and finally…most importantly…simply NOT using the products correctly.
I want to emphasize that last point as ultimately it is the reason for this post. In particular, I want to focus solely on the peri-workout nutrition protocols highly suggested by Biotest and the 3rd Law of Muscle. Here we go:
I use Plazma. I use MAG-10. I also use I-3G, Micro-PA, and creatine. HOWEVER, with respect to Plazma, I have NOT been using it correctly.
Though I am relatively well to do, I do find myself trying to use LESS than suggested in order to eek out extra servings of the more expensive items. Did I need to do this? No. But many find that they need to ration things out due to their individual circumstance. I skimped on how I used Plazma. I only used one or two servings during training, ignoring the pre-workout intake suggestion. This shouldn’t matter THAT much…right?
Well it does. At least for me. I’m pretty darn sure it matters for everyone else who uses Plazma as well.
A few years ago, Biotest introduced Surge Workout Fuel, and within that article, there was discussion on the 3rd Law of Muscle. I’ll be up front: when I read that I laughed out loud and thought Biotest really was pouring on the salesmanship really strongly these days…reminded me of the Hot Stuff, Met-Rx, and current MtechBSN/etc advertisements. So overblown. So sensationalistic.
Today, as I write this, and after 3 months of trying to get right again in my evaluation of products and how they effect me by DOING things right and not skewing the analysis, I am a true believer in the 3rd Law. The results I am achieving (body composition changes, muscle size/fullness) regularly now (not spotty like before) in my 3 months time has really gotten my attention.
Conclusion: I guess Biotest sort of knows what they are talking about when they say “follow the instructions…really…we’ve tested it out”. Remember, I was a massive skeptic before. I’m also one who simply refuses to believe ANYONE really knows how to use or do things “just right”. I guess I’m finding out that…maybe some people really do!
The protocol I use is “close” to what Biotest suggests…not exact as it has been very difficult for me this past 3 months to time things correctly. So, in a nutshell, I-3G (6 caps) + Micro-PA (6 caps) are taken one hour before training, give or take 15 minutes or so. 500 ml of Plazma is taken 15 minutes before training (which means roughly 45 minutes after I-3G and m-PA intake). 500 ml to 1 liter of Plazma (1 or 2 servings) are taken DURING the workout, the amount determined by the allowable time I have in the gym and what I do that day. 500 ml of MAG-10 is taken within 1.5 hours AFTER training.
Amazing how that simple change…taking 500 ml of Plazma properly BEFORE the training session…changes my perspective on everything. Getting this right (essentially getting my peri-workout nutrition right) allowed me to be much much looser on my diet and other variables during travel while STILL making positive or keeping the positive gains in body comp and performance. I was never able to do this before (when on business travel).
Yes, this protocol does not specifically help with determining if it is the Micro-PA or the Plazma that changed my mind about the 3rd Law, and to do it really right, I needed to perhaps JUST use Plazma without Micro-PA to evaluate Micro-PA’s or even Plazma’s true effectiveness to me. That may happen in the near future, when I consider my next 3 month assessment. But for now, I have them, and I will use them.
I am on record indicating MAG-10 is the best product Biotest makes. I hereby change my thinking…MAG-10 is the second best product they make. Plazma is the true king. The peri-workout period is the true king when it comes to making the gains.
Sometimes it takes awhile for old dogs to learn new tricks.