M3 Muscle Bound by Higher Power Nutrition is a very unique supplement and one which I can say exists in a category which I have never tried before. The proprietary blend is unique and consists of the ingredients below:
As you can see, there is no creatine in the blend to speak of and it is classified as an L-Arginine product. I have tried creatine on a number of occasions in my life, but I have never been on a mass building stack which has at its core, L-Arginine as the primary component.
Below I will describe numerous details cited on the product information page as well as my thoughts on the blend and finally go on to detail an extensive 45 day log of the product with as much detail as possible and finish this all up with an overall review of M3 Muscle Bound.
I will begin by address some of the product claims and providing my thoughts on each of them:
"M1T versus M3 muscle builder formula. M1T the King of Pro-Steroids which has been compared by many to be equivalent to Anadrol the King of Steroids, and who now must make way for what seems like an even more powerful adversary: M3 muscle builder formula...a new age in bodybuilding!"
This is an interesting claim. Note the wording here. What is said is "what seems like an even more powerful adversary". Seems like? That is not a high level of confidence for a product claim, and I will acknowledge that it is possible Higher Power Nutrition is just being realistic, but by and large, most companies will hype up their products to the max in claims.
The product information page then goes on to state "Let Me Explain Why M1T & Anabolic Steroids Are Not As Effective As M3" and includes the following information:
"The problem is what is going on in your body while you are on anabolic steroids. When using pro-steroids and steroids it doesn't take long for your body to shut down its own production of testosterone. Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone; for that reason your male hormone loop reacts by trying to distinguish between the steroid and your own testosterone. The hypothalamus in the brain becomes confused and triggers a malfunction which directs the testes to stop producing and shut down your own natural production."
This describes some of the physiological properties of steroid use quite effectively since it is a case that once introduced to exogenous testosterone in the body, mechanisms within will shut down natural production in order to maintain homeostasis of these mechanisms. The reason is simple and also described effectively above; that being that your body tries to distinguish between the injected (or ingested) steroid and your own testosterone. With this confusion (and the presence of exogenous hormones), your natural supply of testosterone is shut down.
"The next problem comes from your catabolic hormones being blocked by the anabolic steroids or pro-steroids, and since the catabolic hormones can't get into your muscles, the brain thinks there is another malfunction. It tells your body to make more catabolic hormones and more places from where to get in, this causes a chain reaction and your body starts increasing the production of estrogen (female hormone) mostly through a process called aromatization in which the body converts testosterone into estrogen."
This is another accurate description of what occurs within the human body once steroids are used. I believe it is intentionally being made out to be worse than it is since estrogen based side effects aren't necessarily the end of the world, and there are other drugs which can be used to stave off such side effects. That said, anyone wishing to use anabolic steroids such be cognizant of these potential side effects.
"This is why you have got to continue to use more anabolic steroids to get an increased effect to dominate the increase presence of catabolic hormones and estrogens. At this point your body is unable to increase protein synthesis by its own natural means (a complete detriment when you get off the steroids), and by its own natural means it is reacting to the malfunction by increasing protein catabolism, but is currently losing the battle to the powerful anabolic steroids."
Again, this is a true and accurate statement of the possible effects of steroids, but looked at another way, there are thousands of people currently using steroids (perhaps even millions worldwide), and not all of them suffer from horrible or irreversible side effects. So far in reading the product information page, I am compelled to believe that Higher Power wants to introduce anabolic steroids and then introduce L-Arginine based products and explain why L-Arginine is a better choice. I would not call it a better choice, merely a different choice for those who are looking for something different or who do not wish to risk the side effects detailed above. For those who do not mind those risks, steroids are still a viable option. Personally I think the side effects of steroids are overhyped and seldom indicative of the truth.
"When you get off anabolic steroids or pro-steroids, and it does not matter weather you stop cold turkey or you cycle off, your own production of testosterone will not return to normal for some time, and if you have abused these drugs you might end up at the low end of your equilibrium point a year or two later. Drugs like HCG just kick start your testicles and that is only one third of the HPTA, and therefore will only temporarily prevent the massive crash."
I'm going to try to discuss anabolic steroids objectively here and take a moderate point of view rather than a liberal or conservative one. The reality of the matter is that steroids are indeed relatively benign in relation to other drugs out there, whether they be legitimate free market drugs or black market recreational drugs. I have simply not seen enough evidence (or any) to prove that steroids are the dangerous death drugs that the media makes them out to be. On the other side of the coin, being shut down hormonally is a very real possibility and one must expect that side effect if they wish to take anabolic steroids. Steroids are not without their side effects, I am merely saying that such side effects are normally overhyped and products like M3 Muscle Bound take advantage of that fact.
"During this recovery period you really don't have any of your natural testosterone production, and you have no testosterone from the steroids. You will certainly know when this is happening, as you will start getting depressed, your joints will hurt, considerable less weight will feel much heavier, your sex drive will go down the tubes, suppressed catabolic hormones will take over, estrogen will dominate, your enhanced metabolism will go down to a snail pace, your protein DNA will be completely disheveled as your muscles are getting smaller and your new genetic blue print is in bed with ever expanding fat cells."
What's sad is that this picture painted above is the reality for many former users of steroids. Again, these side effects are overhyped, but don't say it couldn't happen to you, because it is a very real possibility which you need to consider may full well occur.
"The only way to stop this is to dish out another $1,000 to $2,000 dollars and start another cycle, and then evaluate through many cycles to come the peaks and valleys and the destruction of relationships because of roid rages. At the end of 5 to 15 years, you will have come to the conclusion that it was definitely not worth it."
I'm not so sure that such a blanket statement can truly be made, but I will again emphasize the importance for steroid users to be aware of such possibilities and seriously evaluate them before using them.
"M3 is the only product to naturally mimic the internal function of anabolic steroids without causing your body to malfunction and produce steroid-like gains that are far more permanent and acceptable without consequences to your genetic blue print. It can easily be determine by the fundamental paths that M3 takes in the protein reconstruction cycle as well as taking space in the catabolic receptors so as to prevent them from creating a negative influence to your genetic structure that prevents massive strength and growth."
Claims like this are VERY bold. Also note the spelling error above where "determined" was spelled "determine". I generally look at minor spelling errors as being broader reflections on product quality, or at the very least I do not rule it out. But ignoring the spelling error, the information above is very bold and requires a heavy burden of proof on my behalf. To expect steroid like gains without the related side effects and for a low cost seems all but impossible to me. One should be very wary of such claims, as a general rule.
M3 Muscle Bound goes further and does something that I greatly appreciate, which is to show results from a study, although the study is not cited. Here is the information about the study:
"The following is an 18-day study that was conducted by Dr. Frank Russo - an adjunct professor with a PhD from Kent State in Strength Training - on twelve subjects: six of the individuals where on M3 and the other six where on placebo. The following are authentic and accurate results.
The six-week observation of bodybuilders using M1T or M3 for which we have produced graph and charts, cannot be verified and is for information purposes only, regardless of how valid we may feel it is.
Research Study Results"
The two participants (Ken & Jake), who lost the most body fat also had the smallest increase in 1 RM Bench Press (7.41 and 8.06 respectively) Notice these gains are still significantly higher than the control group.
The average change in strength in the M3 group was more than DOUBLE that of the control group.
"The only side effect that was consistent with every participant was increased thirst. Three participants complained of increased urination, which I think is a good thing. Other than those side effects, there was very little in the way of feed back [sic] other than every person commenting about the increase in strength and mass."
Although these are positive results, I don't understand why the link to the study was not on the product information page. A quick google cursory revealed the following PDF document:
To summarize the product claims, I would have to say they are quite bold, regardless of the positive outcome of the study. M3 Muscle Bound essentially claims to be as effective as anabolic steroids with none of the side effects except for increased urination. As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't! I will definitely have to see for myself, and I definitely look forward to using M3 Muscle Bound.
The Results Of 15 Years Of Nutritional Research And Testing:
Allows all anabolic hormones to fully activate and produce their mass building effects.
Puts body into new genetic blue print which completely modifies nitrogen retention.
Covers all catabolic receptors, making them useless and unable to do their damage.
Depletes fat pods at accelerated rates from a highly enhanced anabolic metabolism.
If the claim of 15 years of research and testing is indeed accurate, I have to say that I am quite pleased knowing such a thing. I always prefer using supplements which have been around for a long time as opposed to a little. Although 15 years is not an extremely long amount of time, it is better than a supplement which has only been around for a few years from my vantage point. This is the same reasoning I apply to food items as well and it is why I would prefer to drink beverages or food items sweetened by sugar rather than aspartame because aspartame has not been studied for as long and we cannot be as confident in its safety compared to sugar which has been used by people for far longer.
Below I will go into more detail about my Higher Power M3 Muscle Bound cycle including the ancillary supplements which I will be taking which I am proud to say are all produced by bodybuilding.com's house brand, "Higher Power Nutrition". I will be using the supplements below during my M3 Muscle Bound cycle:
Below, I will discuss each of these products in a little more detail and what I expect from them.
Higher Power Presents:
Beta Alanine Plus
Beta Alanine Plus: By taking at least 2 servings of Beta Alanine Plus a day, any athlete will benefit from the explosive power, increased carnosine levels, and nitric oxide potentiating properties that it produces. [ CLICK HERE to learn more.]
I have already tried two other products for pump enducing purposes whose active ingredient have been beta-alanine:
I have tried numerous nitric oxide supplements, but speaking for averages, I prefer beta-alanine based supplements. I have found NO products to be somewhat hit and miss, whereas both products I have tried with beta-alanine as the primary ingredient have delivered exactly what they promised not just limited to superior pumps.
I can say without a doubt that both of the beta-alanine based products listed above are in my top five among pump enducing supplements without question. Both products not only impacted my physical performance in the gym, but also affected my mental performance since I could feel the products working very well. As of this exact moment writing, I am just starting to experience the effects of Beta Alanine Plus and I can tell already that this will be a good supplement. I expect increased energy, power, and superior pumps from this product and I am going into my use with high expectations and full of energy and enthusiasm.
Higher Power Presents:
ZMA: Higher Power's ZMA is a unique patent-pending anabolic formula produced by a proprietary manufacturing process, containing highly bioavailable forms of zinc and magnesium. [ CLICK HERE to learn more.]
The purpose of ZMA in an anabolic sense is to provide a natural method to increase free testosterone, total testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) as well as enhance muscle strength. ZMA is an anabolic mineral formula which contains Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6. It is an all natural product which has been proven in clinical trials to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.
My intention in using ZMA is actually not one of an anabolic nature. I have used ZMA in the past, and what I like about it the most is that it promotes deep and dark sleeps and efficient sleeps as well, where I wake up very refreshed and energized. Any anabolic benefits above and beyond ZMA as a sleep aid are beneficial, but not my original intention. I also expect ZMA to promote positive mood effects and promote a general feeling of relaxation.
Higher Power Presents:
Among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program are branched chain amino acids. These are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. [ CLICK HERE to learn more.]
Although I have read a lot about branched chain amino acids, I have never formally consumed a BCAA product, and this will be an interesting experience for me. BCAAs generally have a good reputation. These are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids perform various functions within the body ranging from building and repairing tissues to producing chemicals that enable our brains to function optimally. I had not had a specific intention when including Higher Power's BCAA 1000 in my supplement stack, but I was well aware of the good reputation of BCAAs in the supplement market. I felt it would be a nice addition to the Higher Power stack.
The combination of these six supplements as well as M3 Muscle Bound is to achieve several goals on my end. First of all, my goal is to make very good gains in the gym both in muscle mass development and in strength. Additionally, I would like to review a variety of supplements which I have never tried before and so I have no idea how they will effect my mind and mood and I only expect positive results from them. This may full well end up becoming one of the best periods in weight training since I will be using a wider variety of supplements than I ever have before and all of them look very promising.
Higher Power Presents:
Coenzymes are substances that facilitate the activities of enzymes. Evidence shows that Coenzyme Q-10 plays a very important role in the production of energy throughout the body. [CLICK HERE to learn more.]
I have never tried CoQ10, but in the spirit of sampling all of Higher Power Nutrition's wares, I felt that it would be a good idea to include it. I have not read much about CoQ10, but Coenzyme Q-10 plays a very important role in the production of energy throughout the body. It has also been found to have antioxidant effects and as you likely know, antioxidants work to destroy free radicals in the body. The last claimed effect of CoQ10 which interests me, is that it supposedly converts food into energy in the form of ATP. I expect CoQ10 to give me another boost and I don't imagine it could possibly hurt to use it, and can only help. The combination of Higher Power products will definitely give me a general understanding of the overall quality of the company.
Higher Power Presents:
Bodybuilders can work out harder, longer, and better when they're not sick! Native American herb, Echinacea is widely used as an immune system stimulator to aid a sluggish immune system. [CLICK HERE to learn more.]
Echinacea/Goldenseal is similar to CoQ10 in that I have not heard much about it or done much research on it, but I felt that it would be nice to include as part of my Higher Power supplement regiment. Such a product will be slightly difficult to determine the quality of in that it is a Native American herb which is widely used as an immune system stimulator to aid a sluggish immune system. As a Native American herb, Goldenseal has a long history of helping with digestive tract problems and other associated health problems. I rarely get sick in my life, and I have have never had any issues with my digestive system health, but I am optimistic about using any immune system boosting supplement and learning more about supplements like it.
Before I start my product review and training log I will explain roughly where my strength is at the current time. I am currently able to bench press 135 pounds about 45-50 times. I can bench press 225 for 10-12 reps. Although I have not tested it specifically, I would imagine my one rep max at the moment is around 300-315 pounds and the maximum I have ever lifted on the bench press is 315 for three reps about a year and a half ago (1.5 years ago).
My deadlift strength right now is roughly at 410 pounds for four reps and I would imagine my one rep max is around 440+ right now, although it is hard to say exactly in that I have not tested this either. 135 and 225 pound sets for deadlift is easy for me right now and even 315 goes up relatively easily so I would imagine I have at least 12 reps in me at 315, and possibly closer to 15.
The strength of my legs is the worst for me compared to chest and back. I definitely have to bring my strength up a little and it is almost embarrassing for me to discuss the strength of my legs since it is not in line with the strength of the rest of my body. Rather than making guesses as to what my strength is here, I will post more information in the log below.
My goals for one rep maxes are as follows:
350 Bench Press
I think these goals are quite realistic and I will post all of my maximum lift achievements here. As it is, I may full well surpass these goals. On the other hand, it is also possible I fall short of them, but I would say objectively they are realistic.
Now I will discuss the taste of the supplement and begin my day-to-day log:
When I ordered the grape flavour, the first thing that I thought was that it would be a delicious drink, along the lines of Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn. You can read about my feelings of grape SIZEON in that review, but in short, I considered it to be delicious. As a result, I suppose my expectation of a grape flavoured mass builder was a little high, and when I tried grape M3 Muscle Bound, I have to say that it does not come close to the taste of the grape SIZEON. I would say it tasted like diluted grape juice, regardless of how much water you used to mix with it. Essentially, it tasted DULL. Not really bad, simply dull. I didn't mind drinking it and I didn't have a problem with it, but I didn't look forward to it either. Simply put, it is a dull grape drink. M3 Muscle Bound lists the following under "other ingredients":
Other Ingredients Fructose, Grape Flavor, Citric Acid, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose, Purple Color
It would seem that M3 Muscle Bound would have no reason not to be rich in flavour given that it contains fructose, grape flavour, and sucralose. As it is, I still maintain that it is a dull drink. I will give an example which I think the average reader should be able to relate to: I would compare the taste of M3 Muscle Bound to the taste of stale gum found in an old package of sports cards. You can still taste the original taste, but it is dulled to the point where it is just not as strong. Originally I had mixed M3 with too much water, but upon mixing it with the appropriate amount of water per heaping scoop (eight ounces of water), I still maintain my original assertion that M3 is a dull/bland tasting grape drink.
I also drank M3 in both Pepsi and Ginger ale. I found the taste to be tolerable although my preference is still to mix the contents with juice. I also have to do some research to determine whether or not it is alright to mix the M3 powder with carbonated beverages since I'm uncertain if the phosphoric acid or citric acid would have affect the supplement in an adverse manner. For those considering this mix, I would also research whether or not it is acceptable.
Mixing M3 with fruit juice was a great improvement in my opinion and more enjoyable than mixing it in water. Although I don't mind drinking it with water, I would advise fruit juice over water to add flavour.
Before using any supplement you should seriously look into it and rationally consider the risks and benefits of doing so. I don't imagine there are any perfect decisions, but aiming for education will likely yield harm reduction. As it is, I don't consider this supplement stack to be dangerous and I highly doubt it is unhealthy either. That said, I am cognizant of the high doses of BCAAs I am intaking and how achieving those levels in diet is not realistic, putting my body in a somewhat unnatural state. I am not compelled to believe this is dangerous, but whenever I put my body in an unnatural state, I do not look beyond it recklessly. Although it should be noted that any weight training at all is putting your body in an unnatural state.
I will be training on a five day training split, much like some of the splits found here:
CLICK HERE to check out the entire training splits database.
Below is my training log, beginning on Monday, May 12th, 2007:
Day 1: Chest, Biceps
I began with chest and biceps. I am working out with a workout partner right now and our schedules could not correspond this week, but I am striving to make them correspond by next week and onwards. Today I trained chest and biceps. I began with chest, performing the following workout:
Standing Cambered (EZ) Bar Curls: 75X12 (four sets)
I was using AllMax Nutrition ZMA temporarily this week but decided to switch it up to Higher Power ZMA to use a complete Higher Power stack for the purposes of this review. I was also on my last day of Pinnacle NoX2, but decided to start taking Higher Power Beta Alanine Plus due to it also being a Higher Power product and once again, to be on a complete Higher Power stack. At the end of this cycle I expect to have a full idea of the quality of Higher Power's product line.
All in all, I had a productive workout today although it is far too early to determine whether or not the supplements are working. I took one scoop of M3, partially because I had skimmed over the directions too quickly and did not realize I needed three scoops. I knew there were 45 servings per container so I assumed it was a 45 day supply. As it is, the requirement is three heaping scoops per day which is a 15 day supply and I must point out right now that it is a little silly that Higher Power produces a 15 day supply of a supplement which states on its label: "Take for 8 weeks with a 2-week break, and then resume use of this product based on an 8-weeks on / 2-weeks off cycle."
I can tell you a few things that are wrong with this in my opinion. If Higher Power advises a 56 day cycle, why can you only purchase M3 (at the current time of May, 2008) in a 15 day supply? That means, you would need to purchase four tubs of M3 in order to do a proper cycle. Although one tub costs only $29.99, you would need to spend $120 in total in order to purchase the required four tubs for your eight week cycle. This is surprising to me because Higher Power is a great value in my opinion and it is odd that they would not simply come out with an eight week M3 supply in one tub for $99 or something along those lines. I don't see the purpose of such a small supply.
Seconly, I have to point out that Higher Power is recommending using this product eight weeks out of every 10 week period in "8-weeks on / 2-weeks off" cycles as per the product label. This would work out to around $600 a year spent on M3 if you follow this plan, and clearly this is a marketing strategy on behalf of Higher Power. I will say that to Higher Power's credit they are extremely affordable and generally do not not go overboard on product hype or promotion and that is why their products are so inexpensive on average. I just feel the need to point out certain things like this where appropriate.
Back on topic, today's workout was enjoyable and my strength level was satisfactory. If I can bench press 135 for 60 reps by the end of my use of the Higher Power stack, I will have complete confidence in its effectiveness. If I hit 55, I will be pleased, and if I only remain at around 50, I will not think much of it. I am happy that I have tested my current strength so that I know what to expect later and so that I can determine whether or not M3 is an effective supplement or not.
Day 2: Back, Triceps
Today I performed back and biceps, beginning my workout with heavy deadlifts and moving on to triceps later that day during a second workout. I rarely perform two gym sessions per day and this was a very rare exception, although I am not necessarily opposed to double split training sessions either.
Deadlifts: 135X12, 225X12, 315X5, 410X3
Icarian Rows: 150X15 for three sets
Dumbbell Rows: 65X12, 80X12, 80X12
Chinups: Three sets to failure
My strength during this workout was also satisfactory although after looking at my deadlift clip of 410 for three reps, I believe I had 4-5 reps in me, although it felt as if three was the end of my strength. It felt a lot harder and heavier than it looked in the video. I was pleased with the rest of my workout and this is the start of something which I think will yield great results so I look forward to the rest of my Higher Power stack and M3 cycle greatly.
Day 3: Shoulders
Seated Dumbbell Presses: 60X15, 80X9, 80X8, 60X12
Nautilus Machine Press: two plates per side (12, 10, 8 reps), one plate for 12 reps
Reverse Pec Deck: 135X12 (two sets), 135X8
Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 25sX8
Overall I felt my strength was pretty good during this workout, although I have been stronger. I have performed seated dumbbell presses for 12 reps before using the 80s, and up to the 95s for five reps, and if I'm not mistaken, I did the 100s before also for about five. I will think that M3 is absolutely a great product if I get back to that strength level or surpass it. I have so much data from my experiences weight training that I can now be fully aware of when a supplement is working and when it isn't. I will be able to determine at the end of week one if the Higher Power stack has begun to do its job. I look forward with enthusiasm and optimism.
Standing One Arm Triceps Extensions: 30X10 (three sets)
Standing Overhead EZ Bar Extensions: 80X12 (three sets)
Today's workout was productive and I would say I definitely felt a superior pump in the gym which began very quickly and lasted a long time. This may have been a result of the beta-alanine and I felt the pins and needles sensation throughout the day so I can be certain that the Higher Power Beta Alanine Plus has been effective. Upon the advice of a friend of mine and training partner who is an avid user of beta-alanine, I will be taking three servings per day (each serving is three pills). The combined beta-alanine content of the nine pills is 5,250 mg of beta-alanine and 1,500 mg of l-histidine. I have read that the pins and needles sensation of beta-alanine does not go away with continued use of the supplement and it is also something which makes me mentally aware of the effectiveness of the supplement.
At my current age of 26, I find that my sex drive is a fraction of what it was when I was 16. As a result, I have considered including the following product in my arsenal of Higher Power supplements to see if this has any impact on my mental attitude when it comes to sexual desire:
Higher Power Presents:
Higher Power's new Sexual Surge is quickly becoming one of the most sought after products on the market. A precise blend of herbs and other natural ingredients has made Sexual Surge an effective product. [CLICK HERE to learn more.]
As it is now, I am contemplating whether or not to use this supplement to see if it does what it says it does. Although it is not a physical malfunction causing my sex drive to be so low right now, rather a mental attitude, so I'm not sure what this supplement would do for me but I suppose it is worth a try.
Right now, this is how I feel in terms of my current supplement program:
Although that seems a little extreme, that is pretty well how I feel taking so many supplements at once. If I ever go on a fat loss cycle, I will likely use Higher Power CLA and Higher Power GABA
I write these reviews with the primary goal in mind of HONESTY. Although I like to follow a specific format which becomes familiar to my website visitors, the primary thought I have in mind is honesty. With that said, I think that Higher Power Nutrition has consistently proven to be a high quality supplement company which produces great products for very low prices. As part of my mass cycle, I also intend to use Higher Power Ultimate Mass, since I will be ordering in 10 pounds in the chocolate flavour which I think is a pretty good deal for $34.89. I also have my eye on Higher Power Kre-Alkalyn which is a hot new product which claims to be a very efficient form of creatine. Since a 60 day supply costs only $21.99, I think it would be a phenomenal deal if the claims prove to be accurate.
Once again keep in mind that if the Higher Power line of supplements proves to be ineffective, I will report exactly that on here. Whether the products are good or bad, I will report it on here. My suspicions remain that the entire line will be high quality, but I will see as time goes on.
Today I was most definitely feeling the effects of the Higher Power stack and I have to say that I was quite appreciative of it. The stack has elicited a number of changes in my mood and overall feelings. I am definitely more alert than I normally am and pretty excited and enthusiastic, beyond the normal level (generally speaking, I am very calm and steady emotionally). I tend to prefer a calm demeanor so to be honest, I will have to find a way to manifest this excitability into something productive rather than something distracting. I will more accurately be able to summarize my mood as this review goes on, but as it is now, how I feel appears to be dependent on the proximity to which supplements I take. For example, the beta-alanine certainly kicks in perhaps an hour after initial consumption and I can tell it has through the pins and needles sensations which it causes. The effects of the supplements are causing me to be both more alert as well as more calm both simultaneously it seems (as contradictory as that may sound). I am on my game and ready to attack, yet strangely (and comfortably) calm. At other times I am too full of energy and it is a little uncomfortable. It's difficult to say what effect each supplement is having since my overall changes in mood are the net result of the interaction of all the supplements.
Aside from changes in mood, I should point out the redundancy of this stack. The purpose of my review is to get a general idea of the quality of the Higher Power lineup, but I should also point out that a very basic stack can be utilized and one does not need to go overboard as I have here. Here is an example of a nice and simple Higher Power stack should you wish to use it (and I likely will at a later date):
This is pretty simple and offers an efficient creatine product, an effective beta-alanine product, and the test boosting and positive mood enhancing benefits of ZMA. I like this, and it certainly is not overkill. What I am doing may very well be so, but in the spirit of making this review, I don't mind doing it this once.
My strength was excellent today and I hit a personal best of 185 for 23 on the flat bench, and I may have been able to edge out 25-30 (perhaps 26-27 to be more specific) had I not been worn down after my flat bench warmup. After going up to 265 for reps on the flat bench, I did a final cool down set for that exercise using 185 once again and managed 21 reps which was almost as many as I got on my first set. The decline sets went very well, and by the time I got to the incline sets, I was a little surprised with how heavy 135 was. I continued to work out until I no longer felt my pump was being maintained, and so I quit at that point, and all in all I thought it was a great workout. My mood is definitely changing at this point and although I can attribute that somewhat to other variables in my life right now at least in part, I do think the supplement stack has played a role. I am definitely full of energy and feeling more alert, but it is a little much at times and sometimes that can be a distraction as I mentioned earlier. In two weeks from now, I look forward to adding Higher Power Ultimate Mass to this stack (I have a penchant for chocolate as opposed to vanilla flavours for most gainers and protein products).
To try something new today, I decided to break up my workout in two parts to see if the Higher Power Beta Alanine Plus would be effective in such a capacity. Essentially I performed about 2/3 of the workout above consecutively and went for a brief walk around the track at the gym (about 1.5 laps around) and went back to the weight room for more sets. As it was, I found the pump had dimished fairly quickly and came back just as fast which speaks for the fast acting (but also brief) benefits of beta-alanine. That is not necessarily a bad thing though and nitric oxide (NO) products and not any better. I still prefer beta-alanine over nitric oxide any day of the week, and will actually have a hard time going back to NO, but I will do so for the purposes of more reviews for this website.
During the first portion of my workout, my pump built up very quickly, and was easily apparent after my third set of dumbbell presses. When I took my break, it dimished about as fast as it came in the first place then when I got back into it downstairs in the weight room again, I found it to come back once again fast although perhaps not quite as prominently as it did the first time around. Overall my strength was good today, although nothing special in terms of my normal strength on a shoulders day. At the same time, I should point out that I did not go as heavy as I could have and was trying to perpetuate the pump and I can not accurately assess my strength today since I didn't opt for maximum poundages.
In terms of overall mood today, I have to say that once again I experienced the same net effect of the supplement stack I am on, and have a very good idea of how I will feel for the remainder of the cycle. When I am driving in my car or in someone else's car, I feel extremely calm and comfortable. It is an overall positive aura and I am almost totally at ease. I drank a large double-double tea from Tim Horton's at around 9PM today and I think that worked well in combination to the other supplements I am currently using. I also divide the dosing of the supplements to try to make the frequency consistent throughout the day. For example, I will consume one Echinacea/Goldenseal in the morning upon waking, and another one much later in the day, normally when I get home, but several hours before bed. Around the same time, I will consume my daily dose of one CoQ10 pill. I have found that the best way to consume the beta-alanine would be three pills first thing in the morning, and another three pills about one hour before working out. An additional three may then be taken later on in the day or towards your bedtime. As of this writing, I took beta-alanine 10 minutes ago, and already feel my core temperature raised a little. It is a good feeling, and generally comes with the pins and needles sensation, one which a person apparently does not ever get used to no matter how long beta-alanine is used for.
As each and every day passes, I learn more and more about each supplement in terms of both my own use of them in combination and through talking about them to others or researching them. So far, I can honestly say that I am VERY pleased with the stack and I am definitely on the way to giving the stack an A on the whole, but the stack is not complete yet, so I will have to wait out before awarding it that grade, so stay tuned.
Day 10: Back/Biceps
Deadlifts: 135X12, 225X10, 315X5, 405X6
Standing Two Arm Dumbbell Curls: 27.5X12, 40X8, 35X10X10
Barbell Rows: 135X12X12X15X25
Today was an another AMAZING workout. Despite the claims in the M3 product information page which I initially felt were bordering on fraud much like the ads from MuscleTech. The statement which struck me as the most ridiculous was "Let Me Explain Why M1T & Anabolic Steroids Are Not As Effective As M3". To suggest that any over-the-counter supplement would be as effective as steroids is pretty silly in my opinion. They are steroids for a reason and if supplements could do just as good a job as steroids, I would certainly never even give steroids consideration whatsoever. As it is, I think it is ridiculous to suggest any supplement could perform as well as steroids, although the gains in strength that I've made so far using M3 do lead me to believe that it is extremely good, and perhaps as effective at increasing strength as some steroids. As well, the Beta Alanine Higher Power Plus is likely as good as inducing a pump as some steroids. I can't say that for certain, but I could simply not imagine getting a better pump than I've been getting lately, although I might be wrong about that.
My next obvious consideration during this cycle would be SIZE, and so it will be interesting to see how much muscle I gain by the end of my cycle, and hopefully it will not simply be gains in strength and well being in the gym which take place, although they are definitely welcome. My ultimate goal as a bodybuilding enthusiast should be to put on muscle, and so I am definitely hoping for that.
Here is a video clip which demonstrates the 405X6 I performed for the deadlifts:
As you can see, my form may not be perfect, but I still managed to get the weight up even if it did require significant bouncing. This still reflects a net positive increase in strength on my behalf and is noteworthy to me. Please keep in mind that some say the deadlift is the most variable lift and that one can experience the changes I did and not have that mean anything in particular, as it is possibly due to variance that has nothing to do with the supplements I am using. However, I think the best way to know for sure is to continue to use the supplements and see if my strength continues to go up in time before making a final conclusion on the matter.
If you click to check out my YouTube account, be sure to check out the video from my deadlift of last week posted under the title: "BodybuildingPro .com - 410 deadlift for three reps." For reference sake, my YouTube account can be found at the link below:
I greatly look forward to ordering this supplements and because I still have plenty of supplements on hand now, you will see many more reviews coming to this website in the days to come. In fact, my goal is to review them all as quickly and effectively as possible and my hope is to review at least one new one each day so that I have a wide variety of content on the website and it helps the review database on here grow quickly. I have received some comments on the getbig.com message forum that the reviews on here are biased since I get them for free from bodybuilding.com and because I sell them on here for commission. I think that both of these claims have no merit because the reviews are not just written by me, but by my team of reviewers also, who are only instructed to review supplements with detail and honesty. No other criteria is given. Also, it is known that you can buy the supplements on this website with the links provided so I expose the conflict of interest. I also have no problem posting a disclaimer on each supplement explaining these things. As it is, if people wish to believe that the supplement reviews are biased, they can continue to believe that, but as you read more and more of them, you will see just how honest I am.
Notes on the Mental Effects of the Stack:
There are numerous factors which can elevate a person's mood, and although I am cognizant of these factors, I simply cannot deny that the Higher Power stack has definitely contributed. But in the spirit of fairness, I should point out other factors which have also done so:
Here are some pictures that I have taken of the beautiful facility that I train in. I think it is fantastic and offers far more than just the weight room:
It is the best facility in town in my opinion and I have nothing but good words to say about it. The facility that a person trains in no doubt plays a role in their motivation and enthusiasm in the gym, and I can't deny that it is helping me here. It is nice to train a facility such as this one, as it is the best one in the city I live in as far as I am concerned. As it is, I don't care for training in a dungeon. Although I don't really mind, but given the opportunity, I would rather train in a gym such as this one.
In addition to training at an excellent facility, I can't deny that I am still very excited about using the Higher Power stack and so as a result, it does enhance the overall effects of the supplement as far as I'm concerned. Although, if the supplements didn't work at all, it is hard to add an extra 10% in effectiveness since 10% of 0 is still 0!
Day 11-13: Rest
I was supposed to take days 12-13 off as rest, since I always rest on the weekends with a few exceptions. However, on day 11 I was supposed to train legs and I did not. Shame on me for skipping leg day - the day I despise the MOST and the area that I likely need the most improvement, if not for size, DEFINITELY for strength where the strength of my legs is not even likely as high as my chest as sad as that is.
During these rest days, I was busy with numerous things in my personal life and I admit that my mind simply was not geared towards training and it is not surprising that I skipped my Friday leg workout since I was not there mentally. In addition to skipping my leg workout, I also ate a completely horrid diet - not so much in terms of the quality of the food that I ate, but definitely in terms of the quantity. Both are obviously important and especially so for those seeking to gain muscle mass as I am seeking to do. Not only did I not eat properly, but I did not consume my Higher Power supplements as I was supposed to.
In combination of all three factors of my poor diet, lack of proper consumption of the requisite supplements in the stack I am reviewing and my conflicting personal interests which kept me out of the gym, I can definitely say I noticed a marked change in mood and definitely not one for the better. It's difficult to say exactly how much any given factor contributed, but I would guess that each contributed about evenly. I'm sure that if I just took my supplements, I would have felt a little better and likewise, I would have also felt better if I had managed other things in my life better and certainly if I ate properly.
Incline Flyes: 35sX12 (three sets, superset with incline press using the same weight)
Today was another important day for me to assess the overall quality of the M3 product and the Higher Power Nutrition stack. I had bench pressed 185X23 last week and I was hoping for 25-30 reps this week which would have definitely confirmed my beliefs that the Higher Power stack was working to elevate my strength levels. As it was I bench pressed only 21 reps, which is still a fair amount of reps for me, but not the net increase I expected. Therefore, as of right now, it is a little more difficult than it was last week to determine the efficacy of the Higher Power stack.
I should point out that not using the supplements may have contributed and my horrid diet over the weekend clearly did not help either. I was only starting to get motivated and enthusiastic again, so a lot of things were off. That said, the data still should be considered and I can't deny that my thoughts about the stack has gone down awaiting further data.
All in all I was just not feeling it today. However, I should point out that my pump was still very good and my right pec felt very hard in particular. I should point out that I took the Beta Alanine Plus just prior to my workout and only one dose for the day. I find it better to take one dose first thing in the morning (or sometime much before the workout), and another dose one hour before the workout. I find it generally takes about one hour to kick in. Click below to check out my review of Higher Power Beta Alanine Plus:
I must say, I definitely enjoy the capsule format of the Beta Alanine Plus. The large horse pill format of so many other similar products (nitric oxide ones), can get very annoying, and I would not be surprised at all if pure beta-alanine powder tastes horrid (although I have not tried it yet, so thusly cannot comment).
Without question, I have to get my diet on point and take the supplements more consistently in order to obtain the best result possible. So far, I would still deem SIZEON by Gaspari Nutrition taken standalone as being superior than the entire Higher Power stack in terms of gaining mass. Still, insofar as I can tell, the Higher Power stack is better at increasing my strength and enhancing my mood. As I get more and more data, I can make more accurate reviews of the supplements in this stack as well as other ones.
Day 15: Back
Deadlifts: 135X12, 225X12, 315X5
Front Machine Pulldowns (plate loaded): 180X12, 180X12, 230X10, 180X12
V-Bar Lat Pulldowns: 105X12, 120X12, 135X12, 135X12
I started off with deadlifts today and decided that I will no longer do working sets with over 400 pounds for reps. I have no reason to believe that this is conducive to gaining muscle mass and since this is a bodybuilding website, I think it is best to orient my reviews accordingly and to promote bodybuilding as best as possible. I need to continually emphasize that my workouts are not necessarily the best ones to utilize, although in general I think they are reasonable guidelines providing that you continue to research on other website and through other sources of information.
As I was deadlifting 315 today, I decided to do slow and controlled reps. 315 is no problem at all for me these days and feels the same as 225 felt as little back as a year ago. I think doing my working sets for deadlift between 275-355 is in my best interest while utilizing perfect form after warming up with two sets of 12 reps using 135 and 225. I think this will be far better to help me gain muscle mass than doing sets between 400-500 pounds for reps. Regardless of how poor my form is in those sets (and even dangerous at times), I can't deny those heavy sets have made me get much stronger, and to be fair, I have never even been close to a back injury. But in the spirit of trying to gain muscle, I will cut the weight not only on deadlifts, but on everything, and do slow reps with perfect form.
About a month ago, while performing long bar lat pulldowns, I felt a pulling sensation on my left biceps. This was towards the end of my back workout and since then I have felt this pull on other back exercises. I'm not sure if this is caused by poor form, using weight that is too heavy, or simply natural aging, but I believe that I will only push matters by continuing to lift as heavy as I do with imperfect form, so therefore I will cut the weight from here on in as I mentioned above. Lifting heavy weight is very important to me, but if the strongest lifters were also the most muscular, then we would see powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters winning bodybuilding competitions, and that simply is not the case.
Today, I consumed four BCAA 1000 capsules before my workout and four immediately after with my protein shake which was a mixture of Six Star Muscle Professional Strength Whey Protein and 4Ever Fit 4Ever Whey - Isolate Gainer. I will be doing a complete review for the BCAA 1000 caps soon, but I will point out that they have positively increased my mood in combination with the Higher Power stack I am currently employing. I also have no problem consuming all four capsules at one time, and they are by far less annoying and easier to consume than the horse pills we frequently see in the supplement industry.
Before my workout today, I tried a sample pack I had around of Controlled Labs Purple Wraath. Go to the product information page I just linked to and you will see that you can order a free sample of the product which I think is not a bad idea for those wishing to sample it. I will review the entire product in depth very soon, but I can briefly point out that the reason why I used it was due to its ingredient matrix, the 7000mg PurplEAA Complex:
I felt that an amino acid blend would go well with M3, so I took one serving of Purple Wraath pre-workout, and a serving of M3 earlier in the day and later on in the day. Essentially I replaced one of my servings of M3 with Purple Wraath. I will briefly point out that I felt a very sharp pain in my digestive system, and I rarely get pain of any kind at all, so it is noteworthy to me. Whether that pain was the result of the Purple Wraath or the result of wearing my weight belt very tightly (or both) is not something I can know for certain, but I would imagine it was due to the Purple Wraath. I will do additional research to determine whether or not other users have experienced this same side effect.
Nautilus Machine Press: one plate per side (15 reps), 70 pounds per side (two sets of 15 reps), one plate per side (15 reps)
Seated Dumbbell Presses: 30X15, 30X25
I had a great workout today with a great pump. I did not feel the pins and needles sensation from the beta-alanine which I normally do. I consumed my M3 immediately prior to the gym as well as three capsules of the BCAA 1000. I took the Echinacea/Goldenseal and CoQ10 earlier in the day. I like to split up my intake of the various supplements throughout the day rather than take them all at once and I normally take two BCAA capsules but took four yesterday both before and after my workout and three today. I may go back to two tomorrow since I find that two have a good effect and more is not necessarily better. I will always advocate less consumption over more unless more is both safer and more effective.
I didn't feel particularly strong today, nor particularly weak for that matter, but I have decided that I am going to use lower weight and perhaps go up to the 12-15 range for my average sets and see where that takes me. I don't think it does me any good to train with the heaviest weight possible all the time, and as I said earlier, if the strongest people were also the most muscular, we would see powerlifters and Olympic lifters winning bodybuilding competitions and this is obviously not the case.
I should point out again that the M3 grape drink is pretty bland tasting. It is tolerable though and in some strange way I actually kind of look forward to it. I think that is due to the Pavlovian response of knowing that once the M3 drink is consumed, a good workout and feelings of well being will soon follow. In terms of taste, it is dull though and I don't imagine most people will think it tastes very good. At this point I have tried it in a number of flavours of juice and I find it tastes much better in juice, especially grape juice of course.
So far, I have put on only one pound during my course of using M3 and the Higher Power stack and the most noteworthy improvements have been in terms of mood and well being. My strength is up a little bit although it is difficult to definitely determine what the cause for that strength gain has been, but I can't rule out that the M3 and Higher Power products have contributed (I believe they have). My mood is what I think is most affected and I have felt great lately and definitely look forward to going to the gym.
Day 17-19: Rest
I skipped legs this week and I feel horrible for doing so. There really is no excuse for this and I don't plan on doing this again, hopefully not during the course of this review or ever for that matter.
Today was shoulder day and I kept it relatively light. I found that I achieved a pretty good pump although the day was nothing special overall.
Day 23: Rest
Today I was supposed to train legs, but once again was busy with other things and had to put it off. I have to admit that lately I have not been as consistent as I should have been in terms of my supplement consumption and I can definitely feel the difference. This leads me to believe that the supplements I am on are certainly working, and perhaps with the primary benefit of positive mental effects.
Day 24: Rest
Leg Extensions: 180X12, 250X12, 280X12, 295X12
Seated Hamstrings Curls - three sets
Once again, I felt very unmotivated to train legs and just did the least amount of work possible to get some blood in the muscle and then left. Admittedly, I had forgot to wear proper pants to the gym which made squats or leg extensions impossible so I opted for the above exercises instead. My one training partner who is extremely strong has left town for two months and so I have a hard time motivating myself to lift heavy weights on basic compound lifts without him sometimes, although things could be worse I suppose. I never really feel the pump in my legs and I hate training legs, but my legs are probably weaker than my chest and that is just pathetic, so I really need to bring this area up.
Day 25: Chest
Bench Press: 185X23, 225X14, 225X12
Incline Dumbbell Press: 60sX12X3
Machine Dips: 8X12, 10X12, 8X20
Incline Barbell Press: 135X20, 185X5, 185X6
Today I started off with a 185 bench press to see how many reps I would be able to get and managed 23 reps. This is not really an improvement in that I got the same number of reps two weeks earlier and did so after bench pressing 135 for 20 for a warmup. I would have been pleased with 25 reps, and my ultimate goal was 25-30 to be absolutely certain that the Higher Power supplement stack that I am using was A+ material. As it is, I think I will be able to squeeze out 25 reps next week which is pretty good, but nothing to knock my socks off. SIZEON by Gaspari Nutrition, knocked my socks off in terms of gaining mass and achieving great pumps, but did virtually nothing for my strength. The Higher Power stack is doing very little for mass gains, but I am getting great pumps and vastly improving my strength. In the future, I think I would try to take the best of both worlds if possible so that I can achieve great pumps and gain mass while also gaining strength. As it is now, gaining mass is more important to me than getting stronger so I will next go on a supplement which I know is effective for that (possibly SIZEON) in order to achieve that goal. Of course I want to get as strong as possible, but I am quite pleased with my current level of strength and feel that I should weigh more than 180 if I am performing the lifts that I do.
I have only put on one pound since starting this stack, so I disagree completely about it being as effective as steroids which they claim in the product purchase page.
Day 26: Back/Biceps
Deadlift: 135X12, 225X12, 350X5, 385X3
Icarian rows: 14X15, 14X12, 14X10, 14X10
Dumbbell Rows: 65sX12X3 sets
Biceps curls (dumbbells): 27.5, 35, 22.5
Hammer curls: 60X12 (3 sets)
21s: 55s, 65s
Today my strength was pretty good as I tested it at the beginning of my workout with the deadlift as I normally do. I think it is best for me to do my working sets between 250-350 for deadlifts during my working sets and focus more on perfect form and slow controlled lifts, rather than poor form and fast bounced reps. The sets today, up to and including the 385X3, were all slow and performed with great form with very little bounce to show my strength in a different way. I also feel I could have perhaps lifted a couple of more reps during each set, but I stopped a little early because I didn't want my excellent form to go bad. All in all, today was a good day.
Day 27: Shoulders
Seated Dumbbell Press: 40X12, 65sX18X15X15
Machine Lateral: 3X15, 4X15, 4X15
Push Press: 115X12, 135X15, 135X15, 135X10
Today was a decent day at the gym. I didn't go particularly heavy on the dumbbell presses, but increased the weight slightly when I hit the barbells and felt that I handled 135 for push presses very easily and I think I am more inclined to perform that exercise using 185 pounds. My pressing strength is pretty good as seen in the weights I use for the flat bench press and traditionally I found that the reason for that was strong deltoids, but lately my delts have been about on par with my chest strength and hopefully that will result in some actual chest development (I currently have a very poor chest). Hopefully I will be able to continue to improve my physique and bring up my weak areas.
I will briefly summarize the factors I consider most important in a supplement review and discuss them:
Gains in Muscle Mass:
I started off using M3 weighing 179 pounds and ended off being 178.5 pounds with no changes in my diet or water intake. Overall, it's difficulty for me to say M3's claim of being better than steroids has any truth to it. I didn't really notice much at all in this area. In fact, I will point out that as a general rule, if a product claims to be better than steroids, it is not going to be effective in all probability, or at the very least, it will be far less effective than it claims. I admit, I naively had my hopes up when I read the extravagant claims about M3, but I should have known better. Perhaps if I had changed my diet in any serious way by eating more or drinking more water, I would have made better gains.
I experienced vastly superior pumps on M3 and the Higher Power stack. The only confounding variable was that I was on a complete stack and therefore it is difficult to gauge exactly how effective one particular aspect of the stack is. For example, it was quite possible that the Beta Alanine Plus was the cause of the superior pumps, and in fact, I am inclined to think that that is the case.
Gains in Strength:
I gained strength on the Higher Power stack and improved on every lift. This was by far the greatest benefit of using the stack. Once again, while it is difficult to determine exactly what suppplement in the stack caused what effect, I would attribute my gains in strength to the M3, because I have never gained any considerable amount of strength from using a beta alanine product. Although I have to point out again that this confounding variable makes it impossible to predict the effectiveness of the product perfectly if used by itself.
The taste of M3 was dull and not particularly pleasant to drink, but I've had worst. It was tolerable. A sum of nitric oxide supplements that I have taken have proven to taste far worst, although I do think that Higher Power can improve the taste of M3. The active ingredients in nitric oxide products are difficult to hide, but I'm not sure if the same can be said for the active ingredients in M3. In any case, I would not rate the taste of M3 to be very high, at best perhaps a D or 5/10 because it was acceptable, but by no means great.
The Other Higher Power Supplements:
For reviews of the two other products that I used in my Higher Power supplement stack, please check out the URLs below:
In addition, I used several other products which I have not reviewed yet, but will review at a later date. Overall, I felt that the products were all at a level of high quality.
You can buy a two week supply of M3 for $29.99. That price is pretty competitive among anabolic supplements, but the problem is that you need an eight week supply according to the instructions. Therefore, I think Higher Power should simply come out with an eight week supply tub of 4.32 pounds for $99.99 for example. I think that would be a nice option to have available. The other Higher Power products I thought were VERY affordable and extremely competitive on the supplement market.
Overall, I would not use M3 again, but I did enjoy far superior workouts on the Higher Power stack, which I attribute primarily to the BCAA 1000 and the Beta Alanine Plus, both of which I would definitely use again. Although it's hard to say exactly how much each supplement contributed to the overall quality of the stack since they were working synergistically, M3 did not live up to its claim of being as good as steroids, so I have to award it an F. However, I would award both BCAA 1000 and Beta Alanine Plus an A+.
I felt that the other Higher Power products were excellent.
So to summarize, I would recommend the following Higher Power stack:
So I will end by giving my sincere recommendation to the majority of Higher Power products based on the ones that I have currently reviewed, and recommend them, but also point out that M3 did not work for me and that I will not use it again. I do look forward to reviewing future Higher Power products and to do a stack in the time to come.
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