Have you ever wondered how effective those ‘over the counter’ bulking pills and muscle building supplements really are?
A recent trial published by the International Society of Sports Nutrition studied sixty male participants over a twelve-week period to determine if the highly acclaimed muscle building supplement ProSTACK can live up to its claim.
The findings of the study were very surprising…
The trial used sixty male participants who were split into two groups (A) and (B). Each group consisting of thirty candidates, with the average age and initial bodyweight of the participants closely matched to eliminate outside factors from influencing the study.
Group (A) were administered ProSTACK, a bulking supplement designed to promote lean muscle gains and strength increases while fully complying with Article 4.2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code for prohibited substances and methods of action.
Group (B) followed the exact same workout routine, but were administered a placebo in place of the ProSTACK supplement.
All of the participants in the trial were unaware of their allocated group, creating a double-blind trial scenario.
**Both groups used protein powder as part of their dietary requirements.
Products Used By Group (A)
Products Used By Group (B)
- Inert Placebo Capsules
- Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein
Each group of participants were subject to a controlled amount of protein, carbohydrate and calorie intake based on their weight, both groups also followed a strict workout routine consisting of the following:
- Fifteen minutes of warm-up
- One hour of weight training
- Fifteen minutes of cool-down
The training sessions focused on legs, chest, arms and back targeting separate muscle groups on each occasion, this was done using a combination of free weights and standard gym equipment as instructed by the supervising personal trainers.
Average Muscle Mass Increase
To accurately test the percentage of muscle gained/fat lost Dual-energy X-ray scanning equipment was used weekly to verify the muscle and body fat composition of each participant in the trial.
Chart 1 Shows substantial muscle gain in both groups over the first four weeks of the study; followed by Group (A) increasing in muscle mass at a consistent rate from week five to twelve of the study, while Group (B) slows in progress from week five onwards, making small incremental gains.
Week 1 to 6: The group combined average weight increase was: 2.27 Kg (5.0 lb).
Week 6 to 12: The group combined average weight increase was: 1.36 Kg (2.9 lb).
Total Increase: The group combined total average weight increase was: 3.63 Kg (7.9 lb).
Week 1 to 6: The group combined average weight increased was: 1.4 Kg (3.0 lb).
Week 6 to 12: The group combined average weight increased was: 0.55 Kg (1.21 lb).
Total Increase: The group combined total average weight increase was: 1.9 Kg (4.21 lb).
Body Fat % Decrease
In Chart 2 we noticed a body fat reduction in both groups, this is due to a rise in the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) from the intense exercise regime.
It is to be noted that Group (A) taking the muscle building supplement ProSTACK showed no major advantage in fat reduction capability vs the placebo group.
It would appear that the muscle building supplement ProSTACK substantially increased the fat-free muscle mass in Group (A) at an accelerated rate compared to Group (B), even at week twelve subjects in Group (A) were increasing their fat free muscle mass at an above average rate.
Physically subjects from Group (A) responded much better to the intense exercise than the participants from Group (B), because of this, Group (A) showed a substantial strength increase throughout the study allowing them to lift heavier weights and in-turn, progress much faster than Group (B).
Body Fat Decrease
While a body fat decrease was seen in both groups, there was no discernible advantage in Group (A) over Group (B) during the twelve-week trial period. Any marketing claims for ProSTACK used as a fat loss/burner or weight loss product should be disregarded.
ProSTACK Method of Action
From information attained during the study, it appears that ProSTACK uses the delayed release capsule technology known as DRS (Delayed Release System) for the controlled delivery and metabolization of a select group of amino-acids; these key amino-acids activate three mechanisms of action (detailed below) inducing an increased rate of muscle growth.
1. Increased Free Testosterone Levels
An increase of naturally produced free testosterone in the blood stream was noted in Group (A) compared to Group (B). Although both groups were comprised of a mixed age range from 21 to 45, the group average free testosterone level for Group A was at the peak end of what would be considered normal ‘free testosterone’ for a young adult male: (between 5 and 20 ng/dL ).
Week 1 Group combined average bio-available testosterone: 10.8 ng/dL
Week 12 Group combined average bio-available testosterone: 19.4 ng/dL
Total Increase: The group combined total average free testosterone increase was: 8.6 ng/dL
Week 1 Group combined average bio-available testosterone: 9.2 ng/dL
Week 12 Group combined average bio-available testosterone: 11.7 ng/dL
Total Increase: The group combined total average free testosterone increase was: 2.5 ng/dL
** The above figures are from blood tests taken on the first and final week of the study.
2. Increased HGH Levels
A notable increase of HGH released from the pituitary gland was detected in IGF-1 blood tests taken from Group (A) while using the ProSTACK supplement (adults will typically be between 200 and 500 ng/dL ).
Week 1 Group combined average HGH level: 141 ng/dL
Week 12 Group combined average HGH level: 478 ng/dL
Total Increase: The group combined total average HGH level increase was: 337 ng/dL
Week 1 Group combined average HGH level: 146 ng/dL
Week 12 Group combined average HGH level: 242 ng/dL
Total Increase: The group combined total average HGH level increase was: 96 ng/dL
** The above figures are from IGF-1 blood tests taken on the first and final week of the study.
3. Increased Protein Synthesis
ProSTACK contains Leucine, a known activator of protein synthesis via P70-S6 Kinase 1 (S6K), this is responsible for the improved recovery times and increased muscle size seen in Group (A), Leucine also prevents muscle wastage.
**For further information about the muscle building supplement used in this study, please refer to the manufacturers website: World A.B.S – ProSTACK
365 Fitness – Editors Thoughts
I was impressed with ProSTCK’s ability to push me to the peak of my game, with a substantial increase in strength and muscle size noticed over the eight week cycle that I was using it for.
As a qualified PT, I would highly recommend adding ProSTACK to your existing supplement stack if you are looking to pack on muscle and increase strength.