TOPIC: What Are The Best Prohormone Alternatives?
The Question: Now that prohormone muscle builders are banned, what supplements should people use now to get similar results? What new products have come out that are effective for building muscle? What older products have stood the test of time and continue to give great results? Create a full muscle building supplement plan (with dosages and schedules if possible) that will help somebody gain muscle in the fastest time possible!
The best response will get $50 in credit to use in our online store!
1st Place - Audioslave
Now that prohormones are banned it isn't going to be as easy to gain muscle mass, but it can still be easy working out hard, dieting right, and using the right supplements. One cannot look for a supplement to give results like prohormones, you must make the results yourself through the right supplements.
Basically, you must focus on supplementing your diet. I don't care what prohormones or steroids your taking, a diet is still key. One of the greatest things about supplements is that they can help build up the diet perfectly.
Here are a few things that you must have in your supplement diet right off the bat to gain muscle:
This is very important. Although you may not gain automatic mass with a multi-vitamin it is still essential. This supplies many nutrients and makes a difference if you are deficient in anything. Take one serving in the morning with breakfast.
I have recently became a firm believer in these. To build muscle you need to eat 5-6 meals per day, and that is not always easy to do. A meal replacement is a nice and easy way of getting in that meal at work or school. A good meal replacement has many benefits such as protein, carbohydrates, EFA's, fiber, vitamins, minerals etc. A good meal replacement has everything you need for a good healthy meal to gain muscle. A good MRP I am taking right now is Prolab Lean Mass Matrix. It's great quality and tastes awesome. Take one serving whenever you cannot fit that meal in. If you cannot get 2 meals in, then use 2 MRP's per day. I use 1 everyday.
Recommended Products: Prolab Lean Mass Matrix, VPX Micellean
If protein is the building block of muscle than there is nothing more important for putting on lean mass. Whey is the highest quality protein and gets absorbed the fastest which makes it ideal post workout. Consume 1-2 scoops of whey protein post workout mixed with water.
Flax Seed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Take 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 before bed.
Combine all of these to help supplement your diet and you are already there to making great gains in mass and size.
Now that our diet is in check with the use of the right supplements, let's move onto what "other supplements" we can use to help us duplicate the effects of prohormones. I won't lie, now that prohormones are gone there is really no one legal supplement that can give the same results, but with the right combination of supplements, a good diet, and hard work you can achieve results very close and similar.
Here is an overview of a few supplements:
The Supplements For Mass
This is one of the most (if no the most) famous supplements out there. While it doesn't work for everyone it is definitely worth trying. Creatine increases muscle mass, recovery, and strength. Creatine gives energy by restoring phophates when they are lost from exercise. This is why only quick high intense sport athletes would benefit from creatine such as sprinters and weight lifters.
- Different Types of Creatine: Creatine Monohydrate, Dicreatine Malate, and Creatine Ethyl Ester.
- Recommended Products: AST Micronized Creatine, Swole V.2, VPX CEX
If using creatine monohydrate I would recommend loading creatine at 20-30 grams for the first 5 days, and then maintain at 5 grams per day for 5 more weeks. I would also recommend mixing your creatine with something high in sugar. I use grape juice and it works well. This helps with absorption.
Here's a controversial supplement. Many studies have came out showing glutamine does not have an effects on muscle mass. Some people hat glutamine, some people love it. I personally like it. The one thing I noticed while taking glutamine in high doses is less or no soreness the days following my workouts. This would help me push harder and train the same muscle group more frequently without any pain. Although I don't believe in glutamine's ability to raise growth-hormone levels 400%, I do believe it serves a purpose for faster recovery.
- Different Types Of Glutamine: L-glutamine, N-Acetyl-L-Glutamine, and Glutamine Peptides. All are good choices in my opinion.
- Recommended Products: Prolab Glutamine, Optimum Nutrition Glutamine
If using regular L-glutamine I would recommend using a minimum of 5 grams pre workout, 5 grams post workout, and 5 grams before bed. I like to use high dosages of glutamine. I would use anywhere from 15-25 grams excluding what is in your protein powder.
NO2 helps increase blood flow which will carry more nutrients to your muscles, hence making them bigger after being worked. This supplement will work if you stick with it and use the right dosages. I would recommend using 6-8 grams per day depending on your weight.
- Recommended Products: MRI NO2, BSN NO-Xplode
Methoxyisoflavone & Ecdysterone:
These non-hormonal flavones are supposed to increase muscle mass, protein synthesis, and improve recovery. Unfortunately this product seems to come off as a scam. Very few people make any good gains with these products. I wouldn't rely on either of these to help you give good results, especially prohormone results.
Alpha Lipoic Acid:
This antioxidant helps bring nutrients to the muscle cells. It can also increase insulin sensitivity and absorb more creatine into your muscles. This supplement works great with creatine. With the 2 working together they deliver great results. Also look for chromium picolinate- another similar supplement with good benefits. I would recommend using 400mgs-600mgs spread throughout the day.
- Recommended Products: Syntrax R, PrimaForce Insopro-R, Legal Gear Slin (discocontinued)
This supplement is supposed to build muscle and burn fat. The effects if HMB aren't half as good as the claims, and they are only somewhat good if taken in really high doses. If you have the money and don't mind spending it then you may want to try it out. Otherwise it is not a must use product. I recommend if you are going to use this try to take a minimum of 5 grams per day and stack it with creatine. Do not expect much from HMB.
- Recommended Products: EAS HMB, SciFit HMB
Ribose is a 5-carbon sugar that will help with recovery and build muscle. Ribose makes a big difference in muscle recovery from a workout, and helps with energy similar to creatine. The only downside to ribose it the price. It is best used in higher doses, but can be pretty pricey. I recommend stacking ribose with creatine and loading it with creatine and use it during the maintience phase with creatine. I would load at 20 grams and maintain at 5-10 grams.
Recommended Products: Muscle-Link Ribose Size
These are bigger scams then methoxyisoflavone and ecdysterone. These are supposed to block the protein myostain which regulates muscle mass. Unfortunately these products do not block myostatin otherwise they would be huge and used by everyone. Stay away it's a scam.
Amino Acids/ Branched Chain Amino Acids:
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and BCAA's are not made by the body. Obviously one will be able to benefit from using amino acids and BCAA's. They will both help in building muscle. I would suggest using a liquid amino acid formula and using powdered BCAA's to add to your protein shake. Follow the directions on the bottles.
- Recommended Products: Optimum Amino 2222 Liquid, Twinlab Amino Fuel Liquid
- Load creatine at 20-30 grams into 4-6 seperate servings
- Load ribose at 20 grams in 2-3 separate servings
1 tablespoon of flax oil
3-4 grams NO2
5 grams creatine
5 grams ribose
5 grams glutamine
5-10 grams glutamine
5 grams creatine
5 grams ribose
5 grams glutamine
* Also be sure to include 3-4 grams of NO2 before lunch and a meal replacement to replace a small meal that you may not be able to fit in.
Alright, we've gone through the necessities, and other mass building supplements. I felt it would be a good idea to separate this section from them. Prohormones were used to raise testosterone levels above and beyond our limits. The only way to get remotely close to the effects of this is to naturally raise testosterone levels. Here are a few natural testosterone boosters.
Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b-6 makes up ZMA. Studies have shown ZMA can increase testosterone levels to 30%. Many athletes can be deficient in zinc. A lot of people also find ZMA helps put them in a deeper sleep. I recommend taking ZMA about 30 minutes before bed because of its effects on sleeping. Follow the recommended dose on the bottle.
- Recommended Products: SNAC, Optimum Nutrition ZMA
Unlike prohormones, this plant increases luteinizing hormone levels, which means increased testosterone levels. This is a popular natural testosterone booster. I would recommend using around 1.5-2 grams of tribulus for best results. I would use 1.5 grams pre workout and 1.5 about 8-12 hours before of after your workout.
- Recommended Products: Biotest Tribex, S.A.N. Tribuvar
Not only does this supplement increase testosterone levels, but it also reduces estrogen levels, which makes a favorite for post cycle therapy after a prohormone cycle. This is the first supplement that came to my head after the prohormone ban. It' legal, and it works. I think taking 3 capsules in the morning and 3 in the evening may deliver best results.
- Recommended Products: ErgoPharm 6-OXO
This natural testosterone booster is basically a combination of 6-OXO and tribulus, so it is a good product. You may want to look into buying 6-OXO and tribulus separately to save some money. I recommend using 3 capsules in the morning and 3 in the evening.
- Recommended Products: Instone Forza-T
The 6-Week Natural Testosterone Stack
- Morning: 300mgs of 6-OXO and 1.5 grams Tribulus
- Pre Workout: 1.5 grams Tribulus
- Before Bed: 1 serving of ZMA
That's all of it. Now that prohormones are banned you must find out what supplements work right for you and then use them correctly. With a good diet, supplement plan, and training routine you can make crazy results.
2nd Place - antihero
A few months ago prohormones were the obvious choice for those who did not wish to use steroids. But, due to the prohormone ban, those are no longer available. Not only did this ban affect the users, it has also affected the companies that sold these products, because now they lost that income. Now that there are no more pH's for sale, everyone is searching for the "magic potion" of legal supplements. To get those results, here are the things that you can take.
Food is the most anabolic substance there is. If you want to get big, it's as simple as this: YOU NEED TO EAT BIG, TO GET BIG. That's all there is to it. You can track the number of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats you take in on a daily basis, on sites such as:
Every bodybuilder knows the important of a high protein diet. And because bodybuilder take in 1.5-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight, that means that some people need 400 or more grams of protein in one day. Because of these high amounts, it can be very difficult to get protein from foods alone, so whey protein is the best way to supplement your diet.
- For more information about whey protein, click here.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in
meats and fish. It is also produced in our bodies by organs such as the liver and kidneys. Creatine allows bigger muscle gains, more energy, and bigger pumps. The best part about creatine is that it has been around for well over 10 years, and there are still no side-effects to taking this supplement. This is one of the best choices for beginners.
- For more information on how creatine monohydrate works, click here.
Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL (CEE):
CEE is a more potent form of monohydrate, simply because its absorption is about 30 times better than that of regular creatine. Those who have had good results in the past with creatine monohydrate should definitely use this product, because it has shown great gains.
- For a more in depth description of what this does, click here.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles. It is naturally produced by the body, but while the body is under intense stress, the production is not increased even though the demand for it is. Increased amounts of glutamine in the body lead to faster muscle recuperation.
- For more information about this product, click here.
Natural Testosterone Boosters are simply what the name implies. They are all natural supplements, which increase your body's testosterone production. During person's teenage years, this supplement is not needed, because testosterone production is at a general high point.
Nitric Oxide is a gas that can travel freely through cell membranes. This allows it to increase blood flow, which means that nutrients can be carried to the muscles quicker, and makes it easier to have larger pumps. Nitric Oxide also increases the production of adrenaline.
- For more information about this product, click here.
Legal Gear: Product X Dermasize:
This product is a non-hormonal anabolic that is often overlooked, because it is transdermal. The transdermal slowly seeps through the skin and is eventually absorbed over the next 10-12 hours. And since this is absorbed through the skin, it's directly enters the bloodstream, and is absorbed similar to the way an injection depot slowly absorbs into the body. This product is very under-rated, but is actually very amazing. I have had exceptional results with this and will continue to use it.
- For more information about this product, click here.
My Recommendations For Each Product
Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE):
Some Possible Cycles/Stacks
Low Budget Stack:
- Optimums Nutrition's 100% Whey Protein - 3 shakes per day (1 scoop per shake)
- Higher Power Creatine Monohydrate 100% Pure -
Week 1: 20g per day
Week 2: 20g per day
Week 3: 10g per day
Week 4: 10g per day
Week 5: 10g per day
Week 6: 10g per day
Week 7: 10g per day
Week 8: 10g per day
Week 9: off
Week 10: off
- Higher Power L-Glutamine - 1 scoop in each protein shake
High Budget Stack:
- Optimums Nutrition's 100% Whey Protein 3 shakes per day (1 scoop per shake)
- VPX CEX - 3-6g twice per day
- Higher Power L-Glutamine - 1 scoop in each protein shake
- Optimum Tribulus 625 - 1 pill twice per day
- BSN NO-Xplode - 1 scoop on non-workout days, 2-3 scoops on workout days
- Legal Gear: Product X Dermasize - Use 6 squirts (~4mL) twice per day for 8 weeks, then cycle off for 2 weeks
3rd Place - sword chucks
Before we go into prohormone alternatives, we must first take a close look at what it is that prohormones do. Prohormones are substances that cause the creation of anabolic hormones in the body. The resulting neurotransmitters are sometimes the same ones that have been made illegal years ago. However, since these anabolic hormones have been banned, for a long time prohormones were a loop hole in bodybuilding contests.
Allowing the user to get results similar to those caused by steroids, prohormones gave huge benefits in the means of strength, size, and conditioning.
Now that prohormones are no longer allowed for competitors in bodybuilding contests, we must look down to other compounds and substances that will match the results that prohormones elicit.
Overall Mass Gain
Nothing beats plain old food when it comes to bulking up or retaining muscle during a cutting phase. Diet is at least 90% of the bodybuilding journey. So it makes sense to fill the body with protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals.
Whey protein is a popular protein supplement. While it is not necessary, whey protein is biologically very efficient and can help bodybuilders to reach their daily quota of protein. This type of protein powder is generally not too expensive and can be bought in bulk anywhere and everywhere.
How Much Protein Do You Consume?
1 Gram x Bodyweight / Day
1.5 Grams x Bodyweight / Day
2 Grams x Bodyweight / Day
Over 2.5 x Bodyweight / Day
Egg protein is also a viable food supplement. Egg protein is extremely efficient in the body and there are many cheap egg protein powders for sale.
Dextrose is an extremely efficient carbohydrate as well and should be a staple for any diet. Why? Because it is the most useful energy source in the body. This corn sugar is useful because it refills muscle glycogen stores and boosts energy.
For essential fatty acids, nothing can beat the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Having a good amount of fats in the diet boosts testosterone levels and stimulates many functions in the body, such as leptin release, diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream, and hemoglobin release, to name a few. Flax oil is another example of a good EFA.
Lately, while eating and building muscle cells has been done and done again, cell volumizing has become something worth looking into. By making the muscle cells themselves larger by puffing them up with nutrients; a big difference can be seen.
Creatine is one key player in cell volumization. The muscles become stuffed with creatine, water, and other nutrients, and appear bigger than usual while taking creatine. Recent studies have inspired the creation of new types of creatine, each one more potent and biologically efficient than the last.
Creatine Ethyl Ester Hydrochloride is, so far, the most efficient form of creatine. It is esterified so that it is forced into the cells to cause massive volumization. Many mixtures with CEE include other cell volumizers that will be discussed later and can cause a real explosion of mass. Creatine's benefits also include an increased ATP production, causing more power to be generated.
Amino acids like L-glutamine are extremely abundant in the muscle cells and add even more mass. Recently, a new form of Glutamine, N-Acetyl L-Glutamine, has come into play and has been known to better increase muscle glycogen storage and growth hormone production.
L-Taurine is an amino acid that has been shown to rival L-glutamine in its abundance in muscle cells. It also works well with creatine because it enforces water uptake into the muscle cell and aids in nerve firing, which can add to muscle strength.
Another helper in pushing nutrients into the muscle cells is Nitric Oxide, sometimes called NO2. It is a free-flowing gas that can increase the nutrient partitioning effect, making it a useful supplement.
One Step Below Prohormones Are...
Finally, there are some substances that alter the body's hormones in ways similar to the banned steroid hormones. These products boost the body's hormone levels naturally, but if there is anything else soon to be banned, these are likely them.
- Vitamin B6: 11mg
- Magnesium: 450mg
- Zinc: 30mg
- Protein Powder - ON's 100% whey and egg proteins
- Dextrose - NOW dextrose
- EFA's - Nature's Science EFA's
- Creatine Monohydrate - Higher Power or micronized creatine
- CEE - VPX CEX or Jacked
- Glutamine - Higher Power L-Glutamine
- Taurine - NOW taurine
- Nitric Oxide - Pinnacle NOX2
- ZMA - Optimum ZMA
- Tribulus - Optimum tribulus 625
- Product X - Product X dermasize
Let's first look at natural hormone producers. ZMA is one that comes to mind. This product is a combination of Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6, and is an all natural product. This product has been proven through various studies to increase anabolic hormone levels greatly.
The ratio of ingredients in this product is crucial - generally, the following set up can be used:
There are also a few natural test boosters out there. Tribulus is one such product. It is a plant that enhances test levels. It enhances them by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion.
And there are some products that are so new and so useful that one wonders why they have not been banned since their creation. Product X is one such product. It is an all natural product containing natural ingredients that reduce catabolism and promote an anabolic state in the body. It can be applied transdermally, and takes around 12 hours to reach its destination. It is extremely effective and easy to use, making it a real loop hole in the prohormone ban.
Examples Of Each Product:
Taking These Supplements
Now that you know how these supplements work, you can decide when to take them. Some example schedules for each product are:
Food supplementation will vary with diet.
CEE - 2g in the morning, 4g pre/post workout. With CEE a very little amount is necessary when compared to regular creatine. Always try to take this when the stomach is nearly empty. On rest days have 2x 3-gram servings throughout the day.
Taurine - 2g in the morning, 4g pre/post workout. Use in conjunction with CEE. Always try to take this when the stomach is nearly empty. On rest days have 2x 3-gram servings throughout the day.
Glutamine - Take this 1 to 2 times daily, having 3 to 5 grams each serving.
Product X Dermasize - Apply 6 squirts twice per day to thin skinned areas, each time about 6-10 hours apart. Use for up to 8 weeks then cycle off for 2-4 weeks.
Tribulus - 750 to 1250 mg per day should be taken and divided up among meals.
ZMA - 2 to 3 capsules each day, in between meals and on an empty stomach. Be careful of taking this with dairy products.
We established what prohormones are and what they do, and we provided other supplements that can mimic their effects. Always consult a doctor before beginning a supplementation program. Make sure to have a complete understanding of your needs and the product's effects before making a selection as well. I hope that these products prove to be useful alternatives to prohormones.