I'm going to tread on a fine line here. Obviously, any talk of "drugs" raises eyebrows, so l want to make really sure you understand my position. I have always believed and supported the idea that performance enhancing drugs have their place in both sports and physique development, as well as to aid in combatting aging. That’s not to say, however, that everyone should use them. Indeed, within that very large group of athletes who opt to NOT use drugs, there is a faction of them that still want to find alternative means to realizing "drug-like" enhancement of their training and/or their chosen sport.
And that right there is the fertile ground in which the sport supplement rip-offs take root. With an interesting set of regulatory factors and legal loopholes available, the thousands and thousands of various sports supplements on the market today can skirt their way into making some ludicrous claims. From skin splitting pumps, to increased sexual performance, to eliciting a host of various "steroid-like" effects, nutritional supplements in general have garnered a nefarious reputation.
When a company promotes the idea that their products elicits effects comparable to steroids two things happen. First, every pimply 17 year-old football player will surf cyberspace looking for all the testimonials he can in order to justify spending his chunk of monthly allowance so he can hopefully get jacked, and, secondly, the DEA/FDA start looking into your company.
But, that’s not to say that some supplements out there don’t truly deliver on what they claim and do it legally. The only problem is that there is a lot of worthless crap, based on zero science, through which you must weed in order to find them. Then, once you do, it is only going to be by your own "seat of the pants"
assessment that you will discover the value of such substances.
I began blogging here with my assessment of creatine in general. Then I discussed the concept of acceptance of the term "on steroids;" that it is far better and more acceptable to appear like you are on steroids, than to actually be on them - and that perhaps NO Shotgun could be that item that made the claim true. This time, I’m going to talk about VPX NO Shotgun, again, however with my own empirical assessment of its efficacy.
If any of you know me from the last 25 years of writing about stuff like this, you know two thing: first, I only talk about what works, and secondly, more than one thing works. I feel like I have to say that to silence the critics who would accuse me of pandering to the entity that signs my checks. But, as many of you already know, the way I roll is the other way around; I find what works then make the deal to promote it. I spent 25 years building my name and reputation and I don’t ever waste it. I'm sure I could have made a lot more money over the years promoting a bunch of stuff just for the money. But I spent that part of my celebrity very frugally; I didn’t want to get to this point in my career promotionally bankrupt. I can count on one hand the number of companies who’s products I've promoted over the years and still have enough fingers left over to text my fiancee.
It's also no secret that I will typically opt for the real drug and not the compound that promises a "drug-like" effect. Put all that together and what do you have? What you have is the consummate sceptic when it comes to performance enhancing supplements that claim to deliver.
Now, in the case of NO Shotgun, I'm not sure a drug - or combination of drugs - even exists that made me feel what I've been feeling since I opened my first tub of the stuff. As with many, if not all products containing creatine, the affect is indeed cumulative. however, as with the case of Shotgun, there are other actives it contains that are immediately felt. Having said that, it wasn’t until this morning that I really became acutely aware of what was happening.
One of the trickiest things to do when you’re assessing the efficacy of a new supplement - on yourself - is to narrow down the effect you may be realizing to the actual substance you're assessing. Most of us take a boat load of supplements. So, how are we to know what is having an effect and what is not? Well, the smartest thing to do is continue with the program you are on and follow it consistently for several weeks. Then - keeping all other factors equal (including training frequency/intensity, diet, rest, etc.) - add the new item and see what happens over time. That's just what I did with Shotgun and its synergistic post training accompaniment Synthesize.
This morning - almost all of the way through my first tub of Shotgun - while out on my bike - I definitely noticed something was different.
It is no secret that I advocate outdoor activities in my training such as biking, rollerblading, running, kayaking, etc., in place of indoor, stationary, cardio. Especially now, living at the beach in south Florida when the rest of the country is battling snow storms and bitter cold. When it's 75 degrees outside at 6:00 in the morning, with just enough breeze to rustle the palm fronds there is just no excuse to not be outside enjoying the sunrise while you get your cardio on.
So, there I was, heading down A1A along the beach pedaling away like I usually do when I realized that for the gear I was in it was sure easy to pedal. So, I ratcheted up a gear... and then another one. I was pushing the pedals down like I was going downhill! I was two gears higher than normal for that stretch of road and I was barely feeling it.
A mile later I was really blown away. I was still banging away and no fatigue in sight. Every time a pedal came up I smashed it down with incredible, effortless, force - and I was flying down the road like never before. Now, I realize some of you may be thinking that creatine/NO supplements are for weight training and not cardio vascular events. To some degree this is true, but cycling is as much a strength sport as it is endurance. I had noticed a strength increase in the gym, but I figured that was just the effect of incremental increases in resistance as I progressed due to the consistency of my training, diet and rest intervals. Biking is pretty much a constant.
The label claims for Shotgun also state: "University proven to alter muscle at the genetic level. NO Shotgun MHF-1 activates satellite cell proliferation to promote muscle hyperplasia - the 'birth' of new muscle." The label goes on to quantify those claims through further University research that proved Shotgun " increased lean muscle by 181%, bench press by 1108% and leg press by 54%." While you're reading that thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah, drug-like claims, heard them all before...
You have to realize two important things. First, those claims are based on real science, peer reviewed and published, not conjecture form rat studies. Secondly, and most importantly, those pedals on my bike were practically leaving potholes in the pavement every time I pushed them down. It was real force I could feel myself generate. It was new force from new muscle working - in about four weeks - just like the label claimed.
Am I astonished? Certainly I have realized ergogenic effects of certain substances before, but this was definitely surprising. Am I glad that I can attest to a supplement that engenders effects that can only be bested by drugs? Definitely. How about the fact that the effects could be considered better than drugs because the only side effect is more muscle!
Try VPX NO-SHOTGUN and let me know what you think!