Product Reviews, June 2007: The Spotlight Is On Nitric Oxide!
The following reviews cover Nitrous Oxide products and how they worked, tasted. Product reviewed here include the very popular BSN NO-Xplode, Dymatize Xpand and ISS Research Satur8. Learn more right here.
Review Of BSN NO-Xplode
Recommended Use On Training Days:
Once your tolerance has been established, mix 1-3 scoops with 5-18 oz of cold water and consume 30-45 minutes before training. Use approximately 5-6 oz of water per 1 scoop of powder. Again, vary the amount of water to achieve your desired flavor and sweetness level.
Recommended Use On Non-Training Days:
Mix 1 scoop with 5-6 oz cold water and consume on an empty stomach.
Before using product, seek advice from a health care practitioner if you are unaware of your current health condition or have any pre-existing medical condition including but not limited to: high or low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, heart, liver or thyroid disease, anxiety, depression, seizure disorder, psychiatric disease, diabetes, pernicious anemia, difficulty urinating due to prostate enlargement or if you are taking an MAO inhibitor or any other medication. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing, prone to dehydration or exposed to excessive heat. Reduce or discontinue use if sleeplessness, tremors, dizziness, nervousness, headaches, or heart palpitations occur. This product is only intended to be consumed by healthy adults 18-50 years of age.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
NO-Xplode Review - By Adrian Lesey
BSN's N.O-XPLODE is a recent advancement in supplement technology. It claims to assist in muscle endurance, pump, strength and size, while supporting mental focus and energy. With the exception of endurance I strongly agree to all of these factors.
I used BSN's NO-XPLODE for five weeks to test the effectiveness of the product. I found that a training regimen involving shorter reps and heavier weight resulted in the best and most apparent outcomes. I experienced great pumps and found that vascularity came much quicker during my workouts than usual when using NO-XPLODE.
I increased my strength by about 4% during the first week of using NO-XPLODE and was able to increase the number of reps per set. The most noticeable effect was the change in my 6-8 set range, which I increased to 10-12 reps per set. Before the five week training regimen I was lifting 315 pounds on incline bench press for 6-8 reps, I was now, in a shocking three days, able to lift the same amount of weight for 10 reps.
I was aiming to increase muscle definition and cut down on overall mass, so in regards to NO-XPLODE's effectiveness to build muscle mass, I can't report on that effect accurately. However during other cutting phases of my training losing quality mass has been a sore point for me.
I was 238 when I started using N.O-XPLODE and trying to cut to about 220. Making this cut will in most cases and in my experience cost a bodybuilder about 3 pounds of quality muscle mass.
While cutting is hard on one's body and increases catabolism (breakdown in muscle fibers) I found for the first time no loss in my muscle mass. My arms were 19 inches when I began and when I was finished my five week trial at 20 inches. This is the first time while cutting I have had the same or better measurements.
My only real problem with this product was the intensity of the pump during certain exercises. During longer strenuous cardio sessions I found my calves and feet would get extremely pumped and eventually seize up on me. I therefore, recommend not doing cardio or playing high impact sports like basketball while using on this supplement.
That being said, the increase in muscle pumps, even those that are unwanted, benefits NO-XPLODE is a worthwhile product for the avid bodybuilder, powerlifter and anyone looking for a supplement that assists in gaining strength and achieving a great pump.
NO-Xplode Review - By Matt Canning
- Standing alternate dumbbell curls. I did six sets for 5-12 reps depending on the weight used.
- Standing barbell curls with the Olympic bar. I did three sets.
- Four sets of Overhead dumbbell extensions for triceps.
BSN NO-XPLODE is a very popular nitric oxide supplement if not the most popular nitrix oxide supplement on the market today. It won the Muscle Builder of the Year and Nitrix Oxide of the Year award for 2005 and 2006.
I had never really knew it was meant for building size before reading about it online and I had always looked at it as being a top product for achieving excellent pumps in the gym and to me the motivation from getting a great pump at the gym increases my motivation outside of the gym in areas such as nutrition and rest. A pump is almost addictive in a sense, and I'm reminded of the Arnold quote which was simply translated to "a pump is like c***ing", and expanded below by bodybuilding journalist Rick Wayne:
"Bodybuilders have gotten a shellacking by a bunch of skinny little pencil pushers who call themselves psychologists. They don't know. Most of them are unfit skinny little runts. They are getting their rocks off - these little skinnies - by picking on the big guys.
The big guys have no brains and the big guys are just bloated up insecure people. We considered that kind of criticism the criticism of cretins - you know, the guys who didn't know what they were doing. Or, that guys were using those lines to justify their own physical inferiorities.
Let me tell you this - there is an orgasmic feel, and a long lasting orgasmic feel about working out. Your endorphins, and the muscles pumped up with blood. And that is why I suppose that once you become a serious bodybuilder you never really give it up. So only we can really explain what it feels like to go into a gym and pump up. So let the others laugh - they will never know."
I LOVE a fantastic pump. In order to maximize a pump without using supplements, I find that being sure to do my workout after consuming at least two full meals before my workout and staying properly hydrated will do the job. I also find that an excess of carbohydrates will add to the pump, with less when eating higher protein sources.
I try to carb up thoroughly if I am to expect a great pump at the gym - but that is the natural route. With pump inducing products such as NO-XPLODE, I find myself getting a great pump even if my nutrition has been less than stellar the day of or the day before my workout and absolutely fantastic when my nutrition is stellar and on point!
From Adrian Lesey's Review Of BSN NO XPLODE:
BSN's NO-XPLODE is a recent advancement in supplement technology. It claims to assist in muscle endurance, pump, strength and size, while supporting mental focus and energy.
Adrian agreed that NO XPLODE did what it said it would and so do I! For more info, read on...
Let me start by saying that I used BSN for just one day - yep, just one single day! And I will tell you right now that it acts THAT fast and you will absolutely be able to tell the effects immediately.
It was kind of a busy day for me but after reading the product description I realized that I had to wait 30-45 minutes for NO XPLODE to kick in and so I burned some time and hit the weight room. Before starting my workout I was already very worked up and active. I'm not sure if that was due to my running around in the time before my workout began or if it was due to the actual effects of the NO XPLODE or due to a placebo effect.
As I mentioned above, it is important to eat a proper bodybuilding diet in order to get the best pumps possible - in my opinion this really all comes down to eating lots of carbs and drinking lots of water! Simple as that. I will admit that my diet on the day I used NO XPLODE was not that great at all! It consisted of two huge hamburgers about four hours pre-workout and a protein shake that I was drinking during my workout. Lots of protein, but very little carbs! I was somewhat hydrated, but could have stood to be even more hydrated. I started my arms workout which looked a little something like this:
Looking at my workout above, I can't even say I approve of it! It was performed with intensity, but more of an on the fly type of workout, rather than something specifically structured and planned beforehand.
Naturally, everyone reading this should be aware that I only sampled this product on one day for one arms workout and I could make a more detailed evaluation after longer use of the product. But I can also say that I felt the results immediately and feel that I am in a position to review BSN NO XPLODE with accuracy.
I can say this for absolute certain about NO XPLODE: it works. Simply put, it made my pump a lot better than it would have been had I not taken it. I had a pump which was above average even though my nutrition was not. I also felt more pumped (no pun intended) to have a hard workout and lift heavy weights.
Now I think that may have just been a placebo effect, but I won't rule out that it was the actual effect of the product working. As far as gains in mass while using NO XPLODE, I really couldn't make a proper assessment of that after only using it for one day, but I can say with great certainty that it helped me sustain a better and longer lasting pump than not using any supplement at all.
To me, a great pump is the best reason to go to the gym as per the Rick Wayne quote above! I can say that I would definitely use this product because it would make my pumps that much better and as a result, make my motivation to workout hard and frequently that much stronger. If you are looking for a product for these purposes, BSN NO XPLODE comes highly recommend. A+
NO-Xplode Review - By Dave
- Increased energy
- Increased pumps
- Increased vascularity
- Increased training intensity
I am reviewing the Blue Raspberry flavour. A would call the taste a sour/tangy mix. However, I don't mean this in a bad way, the taste is great. It's amazing what can be done for taste, even when 0 sugar is incorporated into the blend.
It's much like a sugary fruit drink. However, this sour/tangy taste hits you hard! It's not a light taste at all, so be prepared. However, I suppose you could dilute it more in water, but I wouldn't. Either way, I award it a score of 7.5/10 for taste.
Simply just put 1-3 scoops (whatever you asses as the best amount for you) in a cup with the recommended amount of water and stir. To my pleasure, I found that the drink mixed in quite well with no shaking or blending necessary.
Keep in mind that the label tells you "DO NOT SHAKE" why this is, I do not know. Either way, I will follow the directions. However, there is a little bit that will settle at the bottom. However, just throw in a bit more water at the end and finish it off because you don't want to waste one bit of the explosiveness! Therefore, I award it a score of 7/10 for mixability/texture.
Well, the claim of NO-Xplode is that it will produce immediate results. Your energy, size, strength, pumps, performance, and training intensity will all increase - immediately - with NO-Xplode. Here is what I found to be true:
...as far as strength goes, it's hard to comment on that for sure because although I was able to do more reps, I did not see my strength increase significant enough to notice. That being said, this is a over the counter supplement, not steroids! Therefore, I found NO-Xplode to be extremely effective, and for that reason I award it a score of 9.5/10 for effectiveness.
In my opinion, NO-Xplode tastes good. NO-Xplode mixes fairly well by simply stirring (note: do no shake!). More importantly, taste and mixability/texture are just small parts of this product, what is truly important is the products effectiveness. Furthermore, in effectiveness NO-Xplode excels! Therefore, for my overall review I award NO-Xplode 9/10! No-Xplode is a very effective supplement and I will use it again.
Of interest lately to me has been a variety of protein supplements and weight gainers which I've sampled for mixability and test as well as nutritional content and how all of these factors relate to overall value. But even more recently, I have had an interest in nitric oxide products.
The reason for this is because the pump is quite possibly the most satisfying part of working out to most people - it definitely is to me. So isn't it a great supplement which promises incredible pumps which are virtually guaranteed to add to the caliber of your workout?
It is definitely something that interests me and so I have been excited to try a variety of nitric oxide pump products. When I was at the 2007 Arnold Classic I got a whole slew of supplements to take home for review, and one which I got was Dymatize Xpand.
It promises to be a hardcore muscle volumizer for massive nitric oxide pumps. It also went on to list other details and bits of information, but I was sold when I read that and figured it would be worth a shot.
I should point out that I left my Xyience NOX-CG3 at a friend's house so I decided to forego it for today's workout and use the Dymatize Xpand for today's workout and see how that went down. I used the routine below for shoulders:
- Seated Dumbbell Press
- Seated Machine Press (non Smith Machine variety)
- Rear Butterflies
- Standing Arnold Press
- Standing Dumbbell Press
- Side Lateral Raises
This was a fairly long workout for shoulders given that I did multiple sets of each exercise (at least four), and went from moderate weight to heavy weight for as many reps as possible for each exercise. If any workout was going to get me a pump this was going to be it.
If you are seeking a pump, I would recommend a day filled with carbohydrates and use of the flushing training intensity principle. To be honest, while I trained for a great pump and had the assistance of Xpand, the truth is, I could have eaten more carbs during the day to achieve a greater pump.
I love basic pressing movements to develop the deltoids and to be honest, I think that basic hard and heavy exercises are the key to developing any muscle. I've always found basic presses with dumbbells and barbells to be great to help me achieve optimal results for my shoulders to grow!
NOTE: The picture above is not recent but I plan to include recent pictures in this log as I continue updating it so please stay tuned!
As you can see from the picture above, my shoulders are a genetic strong point and above and beyond a lot of my other muscle groups, so from a sheer aesthetic vantage point, it is important that I curtail my development in that area so that other areas catch up.
However, I would prefer to just go with it and let my shoulders grow as much as my genetics will allow. I figure, if other parts are lagging I may as well just make all the progress with the one area which has no problem with growth.
I started my workout with seated dumbbell presses and moved on to performing seated presses on the nautilus machine. Using dumbbells, I started with 45s, then moved to 65s and 85s which I did for reps, being under six reps with the 85s.
I can tell you that I have next to no interest this summer in gaining strength and my goals are virtually 100% related to gaining muscle mass. Next week I think I will give the 95s a try and see if I can crank out six reps, but if I don't get that, I don't particularly care.
Bodybuilding is not about strength and while I always wanted to get as strong as possible, I would say that it quite possibly hindered my bodybuilding goals more than anything because I focused so much on gaining strength and lifting with my ego rather than squeezing and flexing and performing exercises with stellar form which directly relate to hypertrophy.
I performed rear butterflies for my rear delts and briefly moved on to perform Arnold presses from a standing position until I found the movement to be uncomfortable and opted for standing dumbbell presses instead. I briefly superset the two exercises, but ultimately decided on the standing presses in the traditional form rather than the twisting motion which comprises the Arnold press. My last exercise for deltoids was rear lateral raises and I performed them exactly as shown in the video clip below:
NOTE: The video clip above is not recent but I plan to include recent video clips in this log just as I plan to include recent pictures as I continue updating it so please stay tuned!
The truth is, some say that my form on that exercise as shown above is garbage, but I have tried that exercise using perfect form and I can tell you right now that I feel it much better and get a far better pump doing it as shown above than doing it "properly" with arms being raised in a perfect lateral motion starting from a position parallel to the body and raised straight up until dumbbells reach shoulder level. It is not that I dislike that exercise, but as I said, I feel it far better as shown above.
Overall Review For Dymatize Xpand:
What can I say about Dymatize Xpand? I can say that it definitely works. I would put it roughly in the same league as NO XPLODE, although it is difficult to know that for certain since I have had one week of good eating and rest since the time I used NO XPLODE so it puts an extraneous variable in the picture.
But from what I can tell, they are both roughly on the same level. I did get a great pump and it was also long lasting and really made me motivated to train. From my one day of using this product, I can tell you that it did work well, especially given that I did not have a particularly good day on the carb front.
When I used NO XPLODE I had basically carb loaded that day and so the great pump I achieved would have been helped along by all those carbs. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was into my workout that I realized that my carbs were lagging behind today and at that point couldn't do much to fix it. To get the most out of a nitric oxide product, I highly recommend having moderate to high carbs to help in achieving great and full pumps.
ISS Research Satur8
Today was legs day. This was the second legs workout I had after a somewhat substantial but unintentional layoff from legs training that lasted four weeks. I was busy doing different things, a lot of which had to do with BodybuildingPro.com, and it was just so easy to conveniently ignore training legs.
I've never really liked training legs, although last year I was hitting them consistently and very hard and for that time period I always considered it to be very gratifying to do four sets of heavy squats combined with heavy leg presses and finishing it off with some hamstrings work.
Today I decided to hit legs again for the second time after starting up again and my goal is to be as consistent as possible for as long as possible.
Training legs is hard, but it is that challenge which makes the end result of all that hard training so much more satisfying. I feel very fulfilled after completing a hard legs workout and it is that feeling that I enjoy enough to help me get through hard legs workouts.
On today's legs day I did my usual standard of working both quads and hamstrings. I performed the following exercises:
- Leg Press
- Leg Extensions
- Seated Hamstrings Curls
- Lying Hamstrings Curls
Today I decided to try a new supplement which Kevin Coulas of ISS Research was kind enough to give me for free to review. I want to send out a big thank you to Kevin for giving me a huge supply of samples of Satur8. Satur8 claims to be a breakthrough supplement which helps bodybuilders increase strength, muscle size, and vascularity.
Those are pretty big claims for a supplement, but not unusual in an industry full of flashy advertising. Satur8 has a number of ingredients, of importance to note would be Di-Creatine Malate and L-Taurine.
ISS claims that the most exciting compound introduced in Satur8 is Glycocyamine which is classified by FLEX magazine as the "biggest breakthrough since creatine". Again, more with the dramatic claims. Like I said, I've come to expect them from supplement ads and descriptions by this point in my bodybuilding life.
I used Satur8 expecting good results and to see how it would compare to other pre-workout drinks. I took my drink 20 minutes pre-workout as recommended and tried the Smarteaz Fruit Punch flavour. I will say right off the bat that I didn't care for the taste at all.
I had previously tried NO-EXPLODE and enjoyed the taste of it and didn't really know that on the average, pre-workout formulas usually do not taste that great! It's much like high protein bars - it should be expected that you forego some taste for the sake of effective products.
Just like protein bars have a specific taste which you get used to after a while, pre-workout drinks also have a specific taste which you get used to eventually. I definitely have a penchant for NO-XPLODE, both in taste and in quality. It is a high quality product as it claims to be and if you're interested in a workout boost, be sure to check it out:
Here is an example of the seated hamstrings curls I did for hamstrings:
NOTE: The video above is not recent but I plan to include recent videos in this log as I continue updating it so please stay tuned!
Overall Review of Satur8:
For my final thoughts on Satur8, I will say that I enjoyed using it but feel I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if I actually ate properly and stayed properly hydrated during the day! Unfortunately for me, I had not eaten enough food and was very thirsty at the time I used Satur8 and feel I experienced only the side effects and not as much of the actual positive effects!
I felt somewhat of a high off it, so I know that it had a definite effect on my body chemistry which would no doubt have manifested physically in my training had I just been on a proper nutrition schedule for the day.
I always find that it is best to eat one or two meals before a workout and ideally those meals should be medium or high in carbohydrates so that I can get a great pump during my workout. With pre-workout and pump inducing products I find that the carbohydrates are even put to better use than they normally are.
Since I feel that my nutrition could have been better today, it is difficult for me to accurately assess the effectiveness of Satur8, but I can say that I definitely felt it coursing through my system and my workout was better than a normal workout for me would be in light of improper nutrition from earlier in the day.
However, I definitely plan to review Satur8 again to let you know how it goes. I felt it working, but next time I want to ensure that everything is together before I use it - that means proper rest and nutrition pre-workout in addition to drinking my Satur8 shake.
I can say that I was not a fan of the taste of Satur8 and will probably try the "Grape Smash" or "LemonHedz Lemonade" flavours next time. The "Smarteaz Fruit Punch" flavor was a fruit punch blend and in general I prefer grape and lemon flavored pre-workout drinks.