Name: iForce Nutrition
Founder/CEO: Dave Nelson
In Operation Since: December 2005
Facility Location: 1330 Specialty Drive, Vista, CA 92081
Why do you lift? Do you want to increase your athletic performance or your aesthetic appeal?
That's the question a trainer will ask you, with good reason; we've been taught that those two goals are separate. But Dave Nelson, founder of iForce Nutrition, doesn't believe it. His company was founded on the idea that everyone, everywhere can enjoy athletic competition, and look and feel better as a result.
You can see this commitment in the name of their flagship product: Compete! The exclamation point is part of the name, because for nearly 10 years, this strident company has been broadcasting that command to anyone who'll listen. Two people who heard the call were IFBB pro Jose Raymond and rising NPC star Dusty Hanshaw. Raymond, Hanshaw, and Nelson gave us the inside perspective on iForce.
What is the driving force behind your company? What are your goals in the industry?
Athletes! We create products and specific formulations to assist athletes to perform at their best. IFN products start with a concept to create performance. Each athlete requires proper nutrients at the appropriate times. It is our primary purpose to develop, and get to market, products which produce results.
IFN has its roots in the hardcore athlete. "Health enthusiasts" aren't our primary target audience. We create new and innovative products to give our athletes an edge in their sport. IFN is creating a community of athletes to share training, nutrition, and life experiences. All top-level athletes know that all aspects of your life determine your performance.
What do you think is more important to your customers: strength or aesthetics?
Athletes begin their workout regimens to get stronger! They develop technique and learn how to lift more weight. We eat and rest to make sure that at every workout the intensity level is increased. Once strength is accomplished, most athletes look to be more aesthetic. As the athlete matures over time, aesthetics finally kick into high gear.
Supplement customers tend to stick with companies they love and trust. How do you sway new and dedicated customers to your brand?
Testimonials are our biggest driving force to introduce consumers to IFN. Our current customers know the focus of our company, and let everyone they meet know. We develop products for athletes, and all athletes like to learn what works for athletes they respect. Our main athletes at IFN, Dusty Hanshaw and Jose Raymond, demonstrate how far you can take a physique in bodybuilding. These aren't just great athletes; they are also excellent mentors for athletes entering the bodybuilding sport.
Tell us about Hemavol, your well-known pump-enhancing product.
I'll let Vaughn DuBow discuss Hemavol. He's the designer of the supplement.
Vaughn: Just like Arnold said in "Pumping Iron," "[The pump is] the greatest feeling you can get in a gym." That still holds true today. Customers today expect massive pumps that kick in fast and hard, along with amazing flavoring. Hemavol is designed to give users the biggest possible pump they can imagine, along with tangible performance benefits. When you look good—from having a big, swollen pump—you feel good, which helps you perform at your best.
Let's say a customer is just starting a fitness regimen, but can only afford one product. Which of your supplements do you recommend?
Compete! It's designed to assist the athlete in their performance during exercise and sporting events. There are many key points to the product: It maintains positive nitrogen balance, moves lactic acid out of the muscle, increases ATP production, and helps increase both focus and hydration. Most athletes don't realize that just a 2-percent drop in hydration can cause a 20-percent decrease in performance. That is huge when the game, race, fight, or competition is on the line.
What do you think is the biggest and most important recent development in the supplement industry?
GMP! Good Manufacturing Practices add value to our industry. The FDA has guidelines in place of how products are to be manufactured. By enforcing these guidelines, we take out of the industry the people who are not supposed to be in it. These processes and the enforcement are the key to our industry's continued growth and recognition.
Do you perceive yours as a niche company, or can these products work in any household?
If "athletes" is a niche, then maybe we are a niche company, because we are focused on athletes of all levels. We aim to support the high school football player, the pro athlete, and the mom or dad deciding to get out there and compete in something—anything. They're all athletes, and they could all use the help of iForce. The only personality type which is not in our vision and our target market is the lazy and inactive type.
What are some new products we can look out for?
Keep an eye out for our newest offerings in 2015:
- Thermoxyn: True fat burning
- Max Out: Ultimate pre-workout
- HEMAVO2: Next-level cell volumization
- Mass Gainz: True lean mass
- Compete!: World's greatest sport drink
What led you to become a bodybuilder? How does iForce help you at this stage in your career?
My older brother Tito started training me when I was very young. I did it for stress management and to get stronger for football and wrestling. My body responded very well immediately! By the age of 18, Tito convinced me to enter my first bodybuilding competition, the New England Championships. I won the overall teen division in 1993. I've been hooked ever since!
Along the way, iForce has been an incredible help to me in many ways. Having the most effective supplements at my disposal allowed me to continue to improve in size and strength, and also gave me longevity. I'm always fully charged and hydrated, and my joints are healing, regenerating, and it all gets me ready for my next brutal workout! I also have iForce to thank for my ever-expanding fan base. They help me reach fans through our extensive presence on social media and my busy schedule traveling the world, meeting fans face to face!
What's more important to you: having a good-looking body, or one you can use in athletic environments? Is it possible to excel at both?
It is important for me to not only look good but to be functional as well. I wouldn't have the physique I do if I wasn't able to perform proper exercises and maintain a certain amount of flexibility. I always considered myself an athlete first. I may be big and muscular, but I'm a lot more nimble than one might think.
Do you feel like iForce supplements help you more with specific body-part workouts? Do you take something special for leg day? For chest?
I don't take any specific supplements for any one body part. It's more like the system of supplements I take as a whole allow me to train at optimum levels on a consistent basis. I use the joint relief religiously for joint health and integrity. I take Compete! for recovery and hydration. I stack Max Out, Hemavol, and potassium nitrate for my pre-workout to help drive blood and nutrients into my muscles. I take Isotean immediately after I train to help recover, repair, and grow muscle tissue.
What is your favorite iForce supplement, and how does it help your performance in the weight room?
My favorite iForce supplement is without question Compete! It's the only one I wouldn't ever train without, off-season or pre-contest. Having the amino acids and electrolytes throughout my workout keeps my body both hydrated and anabolic from warm-up to cool-down. Compete! is stimulant-free, but you can feel your body using its ingredients to perform at the highest level possible throughout your entire workout.
I tell fans to drink only water while they're training, up until the point where fatigue starts to set in. At that point switch to Compete! and notice how quickly your performance increases and how fresh you feel. After just one day of that little experiment, you will never want to train without Compete! again.
Where will bodybuilding take you? How far can you go up the ranks?
My career is just getting started, and it will be a story of nonstop improvement through hard work and discipline. My dream is to prove to other athletes, whether they are bodybuilders or not, that they can do anything they set their mind to.
How high I can climb in the ranks? I never put limits on myself. Instead I focus on one goal at a time. My first goal will be to win an IFBB title. I will focus on that until it is completed. Once that goal is obtained, I will continue to raise the bar for myself until my career is over and I am on to new challenges within the industry. [Only] then will I know exactly how far I was able to get. One thing I know now is that anything is possible, and I won't be outworked.
How has iForce helped you on your rise?
The different ways that iForce has helped me during my career are too many to list! They saw a future in me before any other company even knew my name. iForce had a vision for me and they supported the vision I had for myself. They stood by my side at the highest points of my young career, and never left at the lowest points.
The loyalty that iForce has shown me, coupled with their willingness to use me as the face of the company over the years, has allowed me to make my climb to the pro ranks. I am a lot more publicly visible than other athletes. They supply me with the best products on the market to help me succeed. All this helps me constantly improve my physique.