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Bodybuilding.com Supplement Company Of The Month: PHARMAFREAK

There are genetic freaks who were just built damn lucky. The rest of us may have to supplement to become the specimens of our dreams.

Trust is hard. Consumer trust is even harder. We trust the tough sorts who use their own supplements. You want to be safe and savvy and that will help guide your purchases at the Bodybuilding.com store. Just do the research before an impulse buy.

PHARMAFREAK sounds aggressive, but this company is patient, deliberate and honest when it comes to its product line. Focus groups and scientific tests ensure potency and effect. Learn about this tough Canadian company and perhaps you can make that longed-for switch from a fat fellow to formidable freak.

Q
Please tell our readers how your company started.

Alex Savva: Don and I have always been obsessed with bodybuilding, fitness and sport. We both competed and our training and studies were centered on the human body and performance, so it was a natural progression when we started PHARMAFREAK. Our goal was simple: to create the strongest fat burner available with cutting-edge ingredients that we would use ourselves. After testing the product formula personally and on other athletes, we knew it was ready to market. In 2009, we launched our hybrid fat burner, Ripped Freak, in the Canadian market.

Word about the potency of Ripped Freakspread quickly and the product developed a cult-like following, becoming a top-selling fat burner within its first year. In the meantime, we were developing a testosterone booster that would deliver the formula and strength we always wanted. In 2010 we launched our second product, Test Freak, a hybrid pro-testosterone stimulator that quickly became the talk of the industry. As demand grew, so did our company and product line; PHARMAFREAK is now an award-winning brand with 14 products available in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Name: PHARMAFREAK
Website: www.pharmafreak.com
Locations: Toronto & Vancouver, Canada
Founder/CEO: Don Gauvreau & Alex Savva
In operation since: 2008
Prizes / Awards:

  • Bodybuilding.com Supplement Company of the Month, March 2013
  • Inside Fitness Magazine's Best of 2012, Ripped Freak
  • Bodybuilding.com 2012 Award of Excellence Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Muscle Insider 2011 Canadian Supplement Award Winner for Best Fat Burner, Ripped Freak
  • Bodybuilding.com 2011 Award of Excellence Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Muscle Insider 2011 Best Tasting Pre-Workout Canadian Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Muscle Insider 2011 Brand of the Year Canadian Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Muscle Insider 2011 Creatine Canadian Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Muscle Insider 2011 Amino Acid of the Year Canadian Supplement Awards Nominee
  • Bodybuilding.com 2010 Award of Excellence Supplement Awards Nominee

Product List: Ripped Freak, Ripped Freak Pre-Workout, Ripped Freak Diuretic, Test Freak, Anabolic Freak, Vita Freak, Flex Freak, Amino Freak

What made you decide to start your own supplement company?

We always used supplements as part of our training but weren't happy with the strength and quality of the products available. Most were based on hype and marketing rather than cutting-edge formulas, so we decided to create our own supplement company and formulate products that we wanted but couldn't find. We'll only release a product if we believe it's stronger and significantly better than anything else on the market.

Tell us a little more about yourself and your background in the industry?

Don and I each have more than 10 years of extensive dietary supplement industry experience and are both published authors for a variety of bodybuilding and fitness magazines and websites. Don played varsity football and I competed in the martial arts as a teenager. We both started lifting in high school to add size and improve our athletic performance. We were the guys reading all the muscle mags, blending protein shakes, taking supplements, and competing in bodybuilding shows.

I entered my first bodybuilding show as a junior and won. From that point on, I was hooked. I began competing in several shows and training clients while attending the University of Toronto. I have a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree and own an exclusive training studio in Toronto called CircuitFIT.

Don is recognized as a leading researcher and product formulator in the dietary supplement industry. He has earned the moniker "The Supplement Godfather" because of his depth of knowledge and ability to continually discover and develop new and exciting dietary ingredients. Don has a Masters of Science degree, a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, and he's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist recognized by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

I'm proud to say that we still live and breathe the fitness and bodybuilding lifestyle today!

What are some of your top products right now?

Our top sellers are Ripped Freak and Test Freak. Together they form our ultimate fat-burning and muscle-building stack.

Are you coming out with any new and exciting products in the near future?

We are always researching cutting-edge ingredients but will only release a new product if we feel it's worthy of our tagline: Nothing is stronger! With that said, we've got some exciting stuff in the pipeline. Like us on Facebook and follow us @pharmafreak, @rippedfreak, and @mrRippedFreak for the latest news.

How much do merchandising and clothing lines help you stand out among the other companies vying for customers?

We originally created our Ripped Freak T-shirts and tanks for ourselves (just like our products). We thought they were cool and edgy and loved wearing them to the gym. They earned a lot of attention and people started asking us for them, so we started to give them out at shows. Now you can order our T-shirts, tanks, shakers, and hats at PHARMAFREAK.com. Also, lookout for PHARMAFREAK gear coming to bodybuilding.com on our product page.

Do you have any sponsored athletes? If so, how do they impact your company? The industry?

We sponsor a variety of amazing athletes who are true ambassadors of our brand. We prefer to work with athletes who actually used and raved about our products before we signed them. Many companies in every industry pay athletes or celebrities to say they use their products, even though they could care less if they actually do. That's not how we roll.

You can check out our impressive roster of athletes on our YouTube channel.

Let's say a customer is just starting a fitness regimen, can only afford one product, and he or she comes to you. Which one supplement do you recommend? Why?

If they are looking for energy and fat loss, I'd recommend our hybrid fat-burner Ripped Freak. If their goal is muscle growth and recovery, they need to try our hybrid pro-testosterone stimulator Test Freak.

Some consumers are interested in taking their performance to the next level. Our hybrid amino acid formula, Amino Freak, is designed to support recovery and can be taken pre/during/post training. About 30-45 minutes before a training session, I recommend Ripped Freak Pre-Workout to those who want an extremely potent product to jack them up with power and focus.

Some consumers are just looking for a high-quality and complete multivitamin. Vita Freak packs are the perfect support system; they deliver 10 complexes that are designed to optimize every aspect of health.

What do you believe are the best and worst things about the supplement industry?

We'll keep this one positive! The best things about this industry are the amazing people you meet and the incredible feedback you get from consumers. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing someone tell us how PHARMAFREAK helped them achieve their goals.

What separates your company from all the others in the industry?

We don't follow trends. We don't rely on heavy marketing campaigns and hype to sell our brand. We rely on cutting-edge ingredients, potent dosages and formulas that are as strong as possible. That's what originally made PHARMAFREAK popular and that's what we are sticking to. We are the target market and we use our products every day.

As the industry spread to global markets, how do you adjust your business model? Can you be local and global?

We started our business in Canada and within the first year, we had requests from New Zealand, Europe and South Korea. Now PHARMAFREAK supplements are available in more than 40 countries and growing. From the beginning, we always wanted our brand to be global so it can be available to our fellow bodybuilders and athletes abroad!

Ethics are important to supplements buyers. What does your company do to ensure ethical standards?

First, we don't put products on the market that we don't use personally and recommend to our friends and family. The raw ingredients we use go through a battery of tests for toxicity, potency, and purity before they are even considered for use in our products. We test each prototype product on specific athlete-composed focus groups, which we are both part of, and we tweak the formulas until they are perfect. Each product has to be approved by all individuals in the focus group before going into final production. This process can take up to a year in some cases, but we never rush it and we have no problem canceling a product if it doesn't meet our standards for market release.

Does PHARMAFREAK perform its own research? How much will science guide your future?

What separates us from other companies is our dedication to constantly researching novel, cutting-edge ingredients that are clinically-backed and shown to be effective in humans. While other companies are content with building their products on ingredients that are only tested on rats or in Petri dishes, we are not. We also collaborate with a key group of academic and professional scientists throughout the entire product development process to ensure we're creating the most effective products possible.

Sponsored Athlete Q&A /// Anth Bailes

Q
How long have you been sponsored / involved with PHARMAFREAK? What made you join the team?

Anth: I signed with PHARMAFREAK in early 2012. I had already been using the Ripped Freak Fat Burner and Ripped Freak Pre-Workout during my contest prep. A friend of mine who works in the supplement industry happened to see the products in my gym bag and said he knew the main UK distributors of PHARMAFREAK were looking for an athlete to represent the brand. He put my name forward and I joined the team! I decided on this because they have a line of products that I actually use. I also think the brand represents my outlook on bodybuilding. I want to be a freak on stage!

Do you think it's important for athletes to earn sponsorships? Why?

Of course! Supplement companies are not going to come knocking on your door to offer you sponsorships, especially if you are an up-and-coming guy. Get your name out there, let people know who you are, what you have to offer, and promote yourself. Social media is great for this. One of the companies might like your look and think you suit their brand.

Athletes also have to be prepared to give something back. I update my Anth "The Freak" Bailes Facebook page frequently. This lets people know what I am up to in terms of training. I post pictures, training videos, and motivational quotes. In addition, I always promote PHARMAFREAK at the contests and events I attend, and I wear my PHARMAFREAK clothing in all my training videos. People love the clothing.

When training, what is your favorite PHARMAFREAK supplement? How do you use it?

Without doubt it is Ripped Freak Pre-Workout powder. I take it along with my Amino Freak 30 minutes before training. I get a great energy boost from this product, along with improved mental focus! My favorite part, however, is that I don't experience a "crash" feeling and am still able to fall asleep at night.

Does PHARMAFREAK treats its customers well? If you weren't its sponsored athlete, would you still buy its products?

The guys at PHARMAFREAK do a great job. They have a solid line of products backed by scientific research. They don't just throw products into the market for the sake of profits, like many brands today. I sell the line in my gym, and they offer detailed literature for customers for each product. If you check out their YouTube page, they also have some very informative videos of the products. Oh! And Yes, I would buy the products if I weren't a sponsored athlete. It was because I loved the products so much when I tried them that I eventually got to represent them.

The supplement industry is rife with ineffective products. How do you know PHARMAFREAK products work?

Not just from my own experience, but also from my gym members who use PHARMAFREAK products. People are constantly saying that they feel like they have more energy since they started using Vita Freak, and not picking up colds at the same time. Others talk about much less muscle soreness from supplementing with Amino Freak both pre- and post-training.

Take one scoop of Ripped Freak Pre-Workout and then come back and tell me you don't feel it working! You will come back in 30 minutes wanting to hit the gym harder than ever, but still focused.

Every person that I know who has tried PHARMAFREAK products loves them.

Has your performance in the gym improved using PHARMAFREAK supplements?

I have more energy, especially in the mornings, and especially since starting to use Vita Freak. With Amino Freak, I notice better recovery because my muscle soreness from training is quicker to ease. Now, I use Amino Freak before, during and after training. Flex Freak is also important to me because it makes my elbows feel much better. It took about 4-6 weeks until I started feeling total relief, but now I have absolutely no pain and I feel stronger and healthier than ever.

What's a typical leg workout for you?

Leg day would be my favorite day, and PHARMAFREAK helps me on this most challenging day of the week. I like to keep reps higher on leg press, especially if I do 6-8 reps on squats. I feel hamstrings respond better to higher reps, so I go 12-15 reps per set.

Legs


I add dropsets, forced-reps, and rest-pauses, to increase the intensity. I train my legs once per week and am an advocate of low volume, infrequent, high-intensity workouts.

How has being sponsored by PHARMAFREAK helped your career in the industry?

Since being featured in the PHARMAFREAK adverts in the major magazines, this has helped raise my profile and popularity a great deal. In addition, having the team at PHARMAFREAK take care of my supplement needs has been a great help. Their support is much appreciated.

Is there anything else you care to share about PHARMAFREAK? Any good inside stories you'd like to tell us?

One question I get asked quite a lot, is, "Do you mind being called, Anth 'The Freak' Bailes?" In short, not at all! This is just a bit of fun, and in the bodybuilding world, being called a "freak" is actually a compliment!


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Jlift425

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Jlift425

Good article! I have yet to try any PHARMAFREAK products out yet, but after seeing this, I will definitely give them a shot.

Mar 30, 2013 12:28am | report
 
jdalsim

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jdalsim

It wouldn't sound so aggressive if it wasn't in all caps

Mar 30, 2013 1:19am | report
 
BrotherJacob

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BrotherJacob

Does this company sell products with stimulants in it? Or sell anything unsafe?

Mar 30, 2013 7:39am | report
 
rudedebo

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rudedebo

I've tried test freak and used ripped freak. It

Mar 30, 2013 9:16am | report
 
rudedebo

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rudedebo

Pharmafreak products works for me. And its not just in the mind I actually feel the results and see it. But its just a little to pricing to keep up with.

Mar 30, 2013 9:31am | report
 
DaWill2do

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DaWill2do

Great article Nice learning about some new brands, and I like that is from here in canada haha! Looking forward to trying the pre-workout with my next order for sure.

Mar 30, 2013 11:45am | report
 
enrico88

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enrico88

Great company,and the products are amazing.

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Mar 31, 2013 4:04am | report
 
enrico88

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enrico88

Great company,and the products are amazing.

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Mar 31, 2013 4:04am | report
 
AesopSteve

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AesopSteve

I've used TestFreak and I can say that, without a doubt, it works.

Apr 1, 2013 4:31pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

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