I developed a fascination with supplements soon after I began weight training when I was 17. The notion that you could take something and accelerate strength and muscle gains was captivating. I was obsessed with getting bigger and stronger and wanted to believe there were effective natural things I could take to acquire results faster. Of course, I was in for a rude awakening as this was the early 90s! If you think the supplement industry is a joke now, it’s nothing compared to the 90s.
The supplement industry back then could be summarized succinctly as overpromising and underdelivering (I know, I know not much has changed!). Currently, there are several supplements that can be effective for a variety of goals, but that certainly wasn’t the case back then. Anyone that grew up during this time and was into training will remember Cybergenics, Hot Stuff, and the atrocious category of weight gainers. You certainly gained weight! The problem is it was nearly 100% fat gains as these weight gainers were loaded with 100 grams of sugar, low-quality protein, and low-quality fat.
Cybergenics was a kit that contained several bottles of worthless supplements and a very intense training program. It may be the first supplement company that utilized before and after transformation pics in conjunction with hyperbolic claims delivered in a precise manner to prompt insecure men to part with $150.00 in the hopes that they will add 20 lbs of muscle or more in six weeks. They ran several TV commercials that spewed lies that every young man desperate to get bigger and stronger wanted to believe. Cybergenics of course did not work for anyone and only made customers’ wallets much lighter. $150.00 was a lot of money to spend back then for those of us making less than $5.00 an hour! Fortunately, I couldn’t afford it back then and avoided being hoodwinked.
Hot stuff was a “kitchen sink” product meaning it had every ingredient you could think of that was hyped up at the time. Nonsensical ingredients such as Smilax which was marketed at the time as an effective testosterone booster, Dibencozide a form of B-12 that was marketed as a steroid alternative, glandulars, Yohimbe, and a long list of other worthless ingredients that do nothing to increase size or build muscle. There is a rumor that Hot Stuff had methyl testosterone in the first several batches which were of course taken out later as the product gained popularity. This may be true as I remember the first time I used Hot Stuff, I definitely got noticeably stronger and so did everyone I know who was using it. Of course, with successive batches, the benefits vanished faster than the average bankroll at the roulette tables in Vegas. MetRx was another supplement that many believe had Clenbuterol (Clenbuterol was a drug that many bodybuilders used back then to control appetite and lose body fat) in it when it first hit the market. It was essentially a protein powder combined with a multivitamin and may be the first protein powder type product that didn’t taste like sand. Early adopters definitely lost body fat using it but once again those miraculous results vanished once MetRx garnered mainstream adoption.
This bait-and-switch strategy is still utilized today. One example is the pro-erection supplement Aspire36 which came up around 2007. Anyone who used it when it came out knows that it worked exceptionally well. Turns out the reason why is it had an unregulated drug in it similar to Cialis. The company eventually got pinched by the FDA and had to pay a fine and remove the ingredient. The reformulated product of course didn’t do jack to provoke erections.
The supplement industry took a positive turn when creatine monohydrate hit the market. Now there are thousands of studies on the merits of creatine and new benefits are discovered often. No one really knew about the variety of benefits back then, but because it was marketed as an effective supplement to increase strength and build muscle, there were many who wanted it. I started taking Creatine in 1994 and the effects were undeniable. Especially for me as I transitioned to a vegan diet that year after being vegetarian for five years. Creatine is not found in plant foods and meat contains a few grams per pound. Back then the recommended methodology for utilizing creatine was to do a loading phase for seven days followed by a maintenance phase. The loading phase consisted of 25 grams total of creatine per day and the maintenance phase was five grams per day. We know better now that the loading phase is unnecessary. Regardless, I remember getting stronger at each workout for months after I started taking creatine! It is the only supplement that I used back then that I still use today.
Some of the other supplements that were popular were HMB (a chemical the body makes when the muscle-building amino acid Leucine is consumed) and the fatty acid CLA. Both were marketed aggressively by the supplement company EAS. Bill Phillips, author of Body For Life and editor of Muscle Media Magazine, was the President of EAS. Bill was notorious for saying HMB is like taking the anabolic Deca. Well fortunately HMB didn’t cause erectile dysfunction like Deca often does, but it also didn’t build muscle or increase strength. It was very expensive and failed to deliver. The fatty acid CLA also marketed as a muscle builder and physique composition enhancer failed to deliver results. This is around the time that Bill Phiipps went from being regarded as a trusted source in the industry to a snake oil salesman. He sold EAS before his reputation completely tanked and rode off into the sunset with millions of dollars. He utilized a different kind of bait-and-switch approach. Start with delivering high-quality info delivered honestly to build trust then become a scam artist once the trust has been established. A strategy we often see on an episode of American Greed.
The first supplement that we all had high hopes for improving the natural production of testosterone was the Bulgarian herb Tribulus Terrestris. Of course, it was marketed in a hyperbolic manner like everything else at the time. One company said It was the secret of the high-performing Bulgarian Weightlifting Team. Anytime a supplement is marketed as a secret of any group or team, or something that was used in ancient times to increase vitality and virility, avoid it like the roulette tables on the Vegas strip. Tribulus came in a packet that looked like actual medicine including each tablet being in blister packs. This made it look like a serious product with potent effects. Of course, Tribulus didn’t work. It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now, and won’t work a hundred years from now either. I don’t care what level of saponins it has or what the protodioscin level is. It flat-out does not work. It may have benefits in other areas such as reducing high blood pressure and supporting kidney health but it definitely doesn’t work for increasing testosterone. Some take it and experience an increased libido and assume that it must be working to increase testosterone as a result. The increase in libido is either a placebo effect or some other mechanism, as it’s definitely not from an increase in testosterone. There are a few herbs that increase libido such as Maca and Yohimbe but neither has an impact on improving testosterone levels. Most people don’t get before and after blood work to determine the effectiveness and just go by how they feel. Fortunately, many of my customers are just as enthusiastic about hormone optimization as I am and get blood work done regularly which is why, unlike other companies that sell testosterone boosters, I have numerous testimonials from ASTB customers revealing clearly the big increases in total and free testosterone they experienced.
The first herb I ever tried that resulted in a large increase in testosterone was the cornerstone ingredient in ASTB the one and only Bulbine Natalensis. I learned about Bulbine from my friend Anthony Roberts (Not to be confused with Anthony Robbins!). Anthony has written books about anabolics and is very well-researched in ergogenic aids natural and unnatural. Anthony learned about Bulbine from our mutual friend Carl Lanore the host of the best fitness podcast, Super Human Radio. Carl had a doctor on his show that revealed that Bulbine increases testosterone in rats by 347%. Personally I don’t care about what works in animal studies. I am against animal studies morally and they have little carryover in what works for people or what is safe for people to take. However, Anthony had used Bulbine himself and had lab work to show it definitely increases his own production of testosterone and there was no negative impact on health parameters such as lipids, liver enzymes, and kidney markers. The rat studies showed Bulbine at the highest dosage of 100mg/kg had a negative impact on liver and kidney health. Of course 100mg/kg is a very high dosage and no one is taking anywhere near that amount. Rather 400 mg to 800 mg is the range that works well for most men. I personally take around 650 mg and I have been using ASTB for ten years and my liver and kidney markers are always in the normal range. It definitely hasn’t had a negative impact on my cholesterol either as my total cholesterol on my most recent blood test was 133mg/dl with an HDL of 55 mg/dl and LDL of 66 mg/dl. Total testosterone was 733 ng/dl and the more important free testosterone was 105.7 pg/ml.
As effective as Bulbine Natalensis is on its own, in my opinion, there is synergy with using it with Mucuna Pruriens and Stinging nettle root. Mucuna is an incredible herb that ramps up dopamine which is just as important as testosterone for improving sex drive as well as motivation in general. Mucuna is why many ASTB users feel the effects on the very first dosage. Not everyone of course, but many experience the increase in dopamine before the increase in testosterone from Bulbine which generally takes a few weeks. Mucuna is also a pro-testosterone herb and like Bulbine increases luteinizing hormone which the brain sends to the testes to ramp up testosterone production. Mucuna also supports insulin sensitivity and growth hormone. Stinging nettle root doesn’t increase total testosterone like Bulbine and Mucuna, but helps unshackle the more important free testosterone from the sex hormone binding globulin. Remember, free testosterone is the number that matters as it is what you have access to. This doesn’t mean total testosterone is worthless as my friend and hormone optimization expert, Dr. Mark Gordon professes. Generally, only 2% of your total testosterone is going to end up as free testosterone so the higher your total testosterone the high the 2% number can be for free testosterone. 2% of a total testosterone of 300 ng/dl obviously is not as high as 2% of a total testosterone of 800ng/dl. Many men only have access to 1% of total testosterone for a variety of reasons and will need an ever higher level of total testosterone to in turn increase free testosterone unless they use Stinging nettle root which again helps unbind free testosterone and makes it more bioavailable.
One thing you will not see what how I market ASTB is any hyperbolic over the top marketing. I am not going to promise that you will experience rock-hard erections like when you were a teenager or that you will put on 20 lbs of muscle in a month. No ASTB is not going to make you feel like an ancient warrior ready to conquer the world and take charge of your life. No supplement works that well and the people that get the best results with ASTB are the ones who are already practicing a lifestyle dedicated to health and fitness. Effective supplements are meant to do just that supplement, not make up for an unhealthy lifestyle. If you like to drink alcohol every day which increases estrogen and lowers testosterone, sleep four hours a night, sit on the sofa all night watching Netflix, and eat a garbage diet don’t expect any supplement including ASTB to be beneficial.
The bottom line, is I don’t need to hype up ASTB or insult your intelligence or attempt to feed on your insecurities to get you to buy it. I know it works and so do most of my customers as it only has a 2% non responder rate based on the amount of refund requests I get. The actual account of refund requests I get is actually lower than 2% but I present it higher to take into account people that don’t bother asking for a refund and simply never purchase it again.
I only recommend and certainly only sell things that have worked well for me. Whether it is training advice, nutrition advice, business advice, or effective supplements advice if it has not worked for me I move on. Unlike owners of many supplement companies, I actually am dedicated to a health and fitness lifestyle and have the results to back that up. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I still train like a savage and I am in better shape now at nearly 50 than I was when I was in my 30s and began learning about hormone optimization Unlike the “Liver King”, I am not claiming to be natural while simultaneously taking TRT and Growth Hormone. I am open about whatever I am using or have used such as SARMs, Peptides, and Clomid.
I don’t believe for a second that I need to lie to you to sell you anything. Sure I enjoy making a great income just like anyone else would, but I sleep with a clear conscious every night knowing that I am not selling overhyped ineffectual products that don’t deliver. In addition, I provide a ton of free very effective information for free on hormone optimization, training, nutrition, and restoration to ensure you have access to the best info to help you get the most out of ASTB and the other supplement I have designed and marketed. Also, when you buy ASTB you have access to me the guy who designed the product and is extremely well-versed in all things hormone optimization to answer your questions by email. If you don’t get the results you desire with ASTB the refund process is easy. You don’t have to call a customer service line and explain to someone over the phone why you want a refund. You don’t have to wait 90 days for the refund to be processed like I did when I canceled my DirectTV account many years ago.