Crossfit and Maximum Human Performance (MHP) had been locked in a mutual lawsuit over the latter’s X-Fit product, which Crossfit claims infringed on their trademark. Crossfit sued and MHP countersued. Both lawsuits have been dismissed at mutual request, due to a (confidential) settlement reached between the two parties. However, as MHP is still selling their X-Fit product and pushing their MHPX-Fit.com website, it appears that while both sides dropped their case (which frequently happens when one side sees that they’re not going to win), MHP seems to have been the clear winner.
Isagenix and Herbalife are typical multilevel marketing companies, whose products are sold in gyms and Crossfit boxes around the country. Their products supposedly help detox your body, burn fat, build muscle, improve energy, make you healthier, etc, etc…basically they do or claim to do what every other supplement company in the world claims that their products do. But they sell their products on a multilevel basis, which means they’re constantly selling more than just products, they’re selling positions within the company, and recruiting sales people. They’re selling a lifestyle; a lifestyle filled with annoying cunts who keep asking you to work for their retarded company. This makes them some of the most obnoxious motherfuckers in the world (along with Advocare, who are potentially even more annoying because they’re pimping Christianity along with their terrible supplements).
There is no universal law that says that MLM companies need to suck – but they do. A hundred percent of the time, they’re just awful, terrible companies, staffed by the most annoying people in the world, who know nothing about anything having to do with supplements.
However, Herbalife’s primary business is not supplements… it’s recruiting salespeople. In fact, that’s likely where most of their money comes from, not actual retail or wholesale sales. Hedgefund Billionaire Bill Ackerman has accused them of being a pyramid scheme and the FTC is currently looking into his claims. His company produced a devestating PDF that was released last year, and outlines exactly why the company is a pyramid scheme and destined to fail.
Isagenix isn’t as bad, with regards to being a pyramid scheme, but their schlock science is equally embarrassing.
Consider this study: “Improvement in coronary heart disease risk
factors during an intermittent fasting/calorie restriction regimen: Relationship to adipokine modulations”.
Here, the researchers chose to study only obese women of age 35- 65, and put them on on a one-day-a-week intermittent fasting (IF) program, with their liquid meal replacement (Isalean) for 2 meals a day (using only one component of the Isagenix system, Isalean shakes), or a real food diet with the same number of calories (breakfast and lunch to 240 calories each and dinner to 400-600 calories, with <35% calories/FAT, 50-60% calories/CHO, and the remainder as PRO).
Intermittent Fasting, if we’re keeping score, has literally nothing to do with Isagenix, nor do they reccomend it as part of their program.
Over 8 weeks, the real food group lost 3kg and the Isalean group lost 4kg. The Isalean group also consumed less calories* – which…and I’m no rocket scientist…could explain why they lost more weight. Maybe…the greater weight loss has to do with the lower caloric intake over those eight weeks, and not the two daily shakes? Maybe this kind of thing is why Isagenix is forced to pay journals to publish their studies, instead of being accepted on merit?
Then again, maybe the caloric intake of the Isagenix-shake group wasn’t lower than the other group..
Here’s where things get weird: the total calorie intake for the Isalean group at week 10 was 1255, but adding up their protein + fat + carb intake, nets you1655 Kcal/day. While the food only group self reported an intake of 1444 calories each day (average), their macronutrient levels amount to 1279 Kcal/day. So while the Isalean group ingested more fat, protein, and carbs than the food group, they also ingested less calories. Huh?
What I assume has happened here is that simple math is beyond the ability of obese women, aged 35-65, and/or it’s beyond the ability of the entire research team at Isagenix PLUS the “peer review” team at Nutrition and Metabolism, who got paid about $2,000 to publish this piece of shit study.
Isagenix and Herbalife are companies staffed by retards, who sell supplements to bigger retards.
You may recall that my first impression of Nutriforce was that of a company who saw teh Crossfitz was getting popular and decided to cash in on the action. When I first reviewed them, I saw nothing unique or compelling in their product line. Unfortunately, as much as their products amounted to a loosly coiled hill of dog shit, they’ve managed to go down that hill rather quickly.
Let’s start with their claims of NSF certification: false. The NSF Certified for Sport designation is a third-party guarantee that the product(s) in question have been screened and found to be free of banned substances. Taking a page from the MusclePharm playbook, although they claim to be NSF certified, the current NSF records do not list them, nor does a search on the NSF website:
Next, we’ll take a look at one of their athletes – they actually signed an athlete (i.e. they pay him to endorse their products), and instead of sitting down with him and doing a proper interview, they rewrote the profile found on Crossfit.com, using the same quotes, verbatim (and mentioning his coach, who founded a competing supplement company):
Lazy. There’s nothing wrong with signing an athlete to endorse your brand, but given the fact that this guy was endorsing a different brand last month, and given the fact that they also signed Kelly Starrett, who was endorsing MusclePharm last year, I somehow doubt the sincerity of these guys amounts to more than sincerely wanting to cash the highest check possible.
With regards to their affiliation with variou Crossfit boxes in the Florida area, if you’re actually involved with the community, ask around about those boxes, and see what you hear…because when I’ve asked about them, I’ve never heard anything good.
Their formulas and products are lame – they’re a bunch of repackaged bodybuilding stuff that they sell under another brand, complete with proprietary blends that make no sense, since there isn’t a single unique ingredient in anything they make, and therefore, no “proprietary” secrets to hide from the competition. Oh, except maybe in their awesome Brazillian Diet pills, which they produce and sell under a different name:
A population of gorgeous people known for their flawless figures? For some reason, I’m not thrilled about buying a product from a company that jumps on every lame-ass trend, without compunction or shame. I can only hope executive-level seppuku becomes trendy in the near future.
Whoever is running the show at Nutriforce is obviously more concerned with Brazillian diets (or whatever) and not so much with Crossfit, other than cutting a $200 check to their athletes every month. I say this because they’ve not only signed Iceland Annie to their company, but they actually brag (multiple times) that she’s such a dominant force because she’s never found her “breaking point” and she’s never been healthier since using their products, and how awesomely injury-free she has managed to stay…
Maybe if you’re going to brag about how your athlete is so durable as to never get injured, it would help if she actually wasn’t injured, and perhaps didn’t need to pull out of the last Crossfit Games. There’s nothing wrong with a hundred million dollar company jumping into the Crossfit world (yes, that’s how big Nutriforce is), but it makes me feel like I’m getting a battery acid enema when they play the “we’re one of you” game, because they have “WOD” in their product names, or because they spew #beastmode and #burpees all over their lame Twitter account, while selling their products on Bodybuilding.com, at GNC, and a bunch of other places “we” don’t actually shop.
There are few things more fetishized in the Crossfit community than Navy SEALs…so it’s no surprise that several have marketed products to us, and cashed in on the popularity we afford to them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, and we’ve certainly seen our share of it. Unfortunately, while their prowess as warriors is deservedly legendary, SEALgrinderpt.com sucks pretty bad, the Perfect Pushup is useless, Fit Deck is obvious, and TRX Training is lame as Hell. Obviously this is just a small sampling of training stuff we’ve seen out of them…
But Kill Cliff is the one of the only SEAL-derived dietary supplements I’m aware of. And like like a SEAL sniper, the ingredients are almost impossible to find; there isn’t a single link on the Kill Cliff website that says “ingredients” or “nutritional facts” or anything like that. Their FAQ is all about the nuts and bolts of ordering and shipping, and the closest I could come to an ingredients panel is this description:
Kill Cliff is what happened when a Navy SEAL grew tired of popping pills to recover from his daily workouts. His idea was to replace them with a natural recovery drink – tastier than pills and hopefully better for you too. The result is a blend designed to be just that including Ginger Root, Green Tea Extract, Milk Thistle, Ginseng Root Powder and an enzyme mix of Amylase, Beta Gluconase, Bromelain, Invertase, Lipase, Protease 4.5, and Serrapeptase as well as B, C and E Vitamins. You can look up and decide for yourself the benefits of all these ingredients. The bottom line is they make up a drink that is flat out AWESOME. Only 25 mg of caffeine, 15 calories, 3 grams of carbs and no sugar.
After searching all over the KillCliff.com site for the elusive nutritional facts panel, I received word that it had slipped over the border into Pakistan, where locals were suspected to be hiding it.
BreakingMuscle.com posted a fawning review of the product based on how “tasty” it is, combined with the fact that the author thinks that the company is really, really cool, and he’d like to hang out with them. I already knew the stuff was tasty, because that’s the actual flavor:
Why, I was forced to read this, instead of the usual and unabasheddly workman-like effort of Doug Dupont, is a question that only BreakingMuscle.com’s editors can answer.
Infuriatingly, the review failed to address whether or not the product actually did anything for the reviewer, and also failed to provide any insight into the facts panel. The only thing that could have made the review more useless, would have been if the author relied on memes and other supposedly-funny tropes and sight gags, that he recycled from the Internet, ostensibly to avoid coming up with something original.
Here’s a tip I’ve found useful: When I review a product, I write things that “review” the product. When I say “review” I’m usually talking about whether the product “works” in the way that nutritional products are supposed to work. Sometimes I even talk about the science behind the product, so my readers have an idea “how” the product “works”. Under no circumstances would I spend the bulk of my review talking about how I’d like to hang out with the guys who run the company, or how hilarious their Twitter is.
Kill Cliff was designed by Navy SEALs, but can it get us through our uber-intense Crossfit WODs?
To find out, eventually, I cornered the ingredients by locating an image of the back of the can:
At only 25 milligrams of caffeine in their product, plus the total milligram amount of their vitamin and enzyme blend (aka, a proprietary blend), we can be assured that this product lacks an appropriate dose of everything. We know that from caffeine until the end of the ingredient list, nothing can be above 25mgs (per FDA labeling standards). Hence, above the caffeine is where we’ll find majority of our milligrams, and we know that an effective dose of ginger is going to be measured in grams, minimally. So we can say that every ingredient is underdosed. Or any ingredient…Either way it’s underdosed when we compare it to the literature on what doses have been studied and found to provide an effect.
I drank a can and didn’t notice anything (that day or the next), and no, I didn’t try it for a month, which would have involved me buying a case of product, which is quite the committment in terms of ‘fridge space in my world.
Could there be synergy betwixt the underdosed ingredients, and the sum be more than the individual parts? Perhaps it required a steady diet of product to realize worthwhile results…? Could this stuff actually work for recovering from a workout? I guess. But I don’t see that as being probable, even if the stuff is, indeed, tasty.
This latest study comes to us from the United States Military and their department of pathology. Six cases of cholestatic liver injury were observed at the Naval Medical Center at San Diego. Dietary supplements were considered probable as the root cause for three, probable for one, and possible for another. The attending physicians had seen cases associeted with four of the dietary supplements involved. However, they also noted that two supplements, C4 Extreme and Animal Stak, although implicated in the current work, had not been previously linked to hepatoxicity.
Mil Med. 2013 Oct;178(10):e1168-e1171.
Cholestatic Liver Injury Associated With Dietary Supplements: A Report of Five Cases in Active Duty Service Members.
Peterson BR, Deroche TC, Huber AR, Shields WW.
Department of Anatomic Pathology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134-5000.
The use of dietary supplements (DS) is common in the active duty population, often without physician knowledge or approval. DS have been associated with drug-induced liver injury, with rare cases resulting in liver failure or death. We report five cases of transient drug-induced liver injury temporally associated with the use of a total of six DS in active duty service members. All patients presented with elevated serum bilirubin and liver-associated enzymes: three patients had a cholestatic liver enzyme pattern, one had a hepatocellular pattern, and one had a mixed pattern. In all cases, percutaneous needle core biopsies of the liver were obtained and demonstrated a cholestatic pattern of injury with variable periportal fibrosis. Causality was considered highly probable for three cases, probable for one case, and possible for one case. Hepatotoxicity has been previously associated with four of the supplements in our cases. For the two remaining supplements, C4 Extreme and Animal Stak, we are unaware of any previous reports of hepatotoxicity. Health care professionals, in particular military physicians, should be aware of the potential risk of these supplements and be prepared to discuss these risks with their patients.
Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Take a look at Competitor Magazine over this past year – or likely any of the smaller, CrossFit-oriented mags (RxWOD, or whatever it’s called…Box Stuff, Burpee Aficionado Quarterly, etc…). What you’ll see are a bunch of bodybuilding companies embarrassing themselves with desperate attempts to get into the CrossFit world. You can see them flocking like Catholic Priests to an unchaperoned playground, taking their dietary supplements and trying to pitch them to us under the guise of increasing athletic performance, while on the other hand selling them to bodybuilders and talking about how they’ll get you jacked…or whatever else it is that bodybuilders care about (presumably securing a stash of legit hGH before the Summer at the ‘Jerzey Shore).
The writing was on the wall when BSN signed the world’s #1 Crossfitter* for more than they were paying former Mr.Olympia Ronnie Coleman. Omnipresent are ham-fisted attempts by the likes of Gaspari Nutrition, who slot in Crossfit Games athletes like Libby DiBiase to their usual stable of oiled up meatheads and balloon titted “fitness models”, only to write up her athlete’s bio on their corporate website and asking her such non sequitur question as “Favorite Body Part” and “Favorite Body Part to Train” (when was the last “back and bi” day you saw at a CF Box?!?). Rich Gaspari’s original, and (almost) laughable foray into the Crossfit world was when he blogged:
Hey gang. This week I wanted to write about a fitness trend that most of you have probably heard of, but know little or nothing about.
So, I’m doing what I do and giving you the nuts & bolts on the CrossFit Craze, plus some ideas to take CrossFit training to the next level.
Rich isn’t a CrossFitter nor a CrossFit Coach or Instructor. He’s never coached a Crossfitter, and it’s unlikely that he could do a single snatch with half his bodyweight, despite being a champion bodybuilder. If his ideas to take Crossfitting to the next level don’t involve a minimum of thrice-weekly injections, then I’m not sure he has anything to add. Naturally, he thought that he could give us some insight into something he had never done and wasn’t qualified to speak about. In order for his company to grow, he has (like every other supplement company) targeted CrossFit. There’s nothing wrong with this.
But bodybuilding is an individual sport*** with no comraderie or legitimacy. Competitors are “judged” by their muscle size, symmetry, and definition, and it’s 100% subjective (some would say: rigged). It has nothing to do with CrossFit, and favoring form over function is antithetical to the ten areas of fitness that CrossFit seeks to improve. We should be wary of these companies trying to rectally force their round pegs into our collective square holes.
While some goofball bodybuilding companies have paid lipservice to getting involved with Crossfit, others have been less than forthcoming about their attempts at market penetration, starting up smaller botique brands with their own marketing platforms, rife with Crossfit Cliche’ and “edgy” marketing for their repackaged bodybuilding products. They’re so edgy that while they’re talking about all of their partners and affiliates and all of the second-rate/never-heard-of athletes that endorse W-Fit, they somehow fail to mention under “Who we are“, that who they are is actually Weider…as in “Joe Weider’s Mr. Olympia Contest” aka “Weider, the company who pretty much runs the entire bodybuilding world“.
- W-Fit = Weider, probably the biggest bodybuilding company in the world
- PursuitRX = Dymatize (also a huge bodybuilding company)
- Nutriforce = Betancourt Nutrition (yes, a bodybuilding company)
While Gaspari’s semi-literate attempt to engage the CrossFit community was embarrassing, Dymatize might be even more embarrassed, having pumped a sizable chunk of money into advertising themselves to us, then having one of their sponsored athletes make this video.
Clearly, bodybuilders are noticing that CrossFit is cutting into their sponsorship dollars, as nutritional companies are increasingly moving away from the fringe-sport of bodybuilding to the ESPN**-covered sport of Crossfit – and they don’t like it. They see us as a fad, not unlike Step Aerobics (Reebok sponsored that too, as you might recall), but nevertheless, we are a fad comprised of people who can afford to pay $150/month for our gym memberships, and $60 for a Reebok T-shirt – the latter may as well have a bullseye on the back with a $$ sign in the middle, because that’s what these bodybuilding-supplement companies see when they look at us.
(*Rich Froening who won the previous year’s title while using another company’s product, claims to not eat any specific diet, and who didn’t sign with BSN in time to actually claim that his second Crossfit Games victory had much to do with their products).
(**2 – alright, it’s ESPN2, but still….)
(***arguably not a “real sport”)
Scivation is another run-of-the-mill supplement company that caters to bodybuilders. I think they even had a bodybuilder as the president/figurehead for awhile, but he left to do something else. The owner of the company made his name selling really cheap bulk nutritional supplements in big tubs that you had to put in capsules yourself. He’s still in the supplement industry, and probably realizes that selling to the $10/month crowd at Retro Fitness is going to be less profitable than selling to us (Crossfitters) who pay $150/month.
However, it’s obvious while they know a good amount about working search engines to make their company show up on Google for “Crossfit + Supplements”, it’s obvious that nobody at Scivation knows anything about Crossfit. So they wrote a little article on their website about how Beta-alanine is good for Crossfit, because it’s good for football players and wrestlers:
Take a look at a football game, a wrestling match, and a Crossfit competition and let me know how similar they are. They’re not at all. The practices and training aren’t similar at all, and the energy system demands are completely dissimilar. From the warmup to the cooldown, a session at your local box isn’t going to take more than an hour, while football and wrestling practices routinely take 2-3 hours. The last time I checked, the Superbowl takes about three hours, while the Crossfit Games take three days. The idea that a product designed for bodybuilders can be retooled into a Crossfit supplement with a random blog post that cites an irrelevant study is idiotic.
Newsday.com, a New York City regional newspaper (*they focus on Long Island), has reported that “a top FDA official” estimates:
“About 70 percent of the nation’s supplement companies have run afoul of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s manufacturing regulations over the past five years, according to a top agency official.
Consumers are put at risk by poorly measured ingredients, uncleaned manufacturing equipment, pesticides in herbal products, supplements contaminated with illegal prescription medications — even bacteria in pediatric vitamins, recall notices and agency inspection records have shown.
“We’re seeing some real problems out there,” said Dr. Daniel Fabricant, who heads the FDA’s division of Dietary Supplement Programs, referring to manufacturing issues affecting a large number of dietary supplement companies.”
Although they decline to credit the information with a source, they immediately begin quoting Dr. Daniel Fabricant, who is, in fact, a top FDA official. He is the only FDA official they quote, and if I may be so bold as to speculate, I would say that he conducted the interview without actually knowing what the correct percentage was, and gave them the 70% figure “anonymously”.
A bit further down in the article, they get into the infamous case of the Long Island vitamin manufacturer whose b-vitamin products tested out to contain multiple anabolic steroids – of which we’re given the following information:
“Teresa Cantwell, 55, of Rockville Centre, said she and her 27-year-old daughter are still recovering after taking vitamins by Purity for nearly a year. Both lost hair and developed deeper voices, a direct consequence of anabolic steroid exposure, they were told by their doctors. Cantwell said her daughter’s liver enzymes rose and her menstrual periods stopped.
“We were essentially poisoned,” Cantwell said, adding that a four-month vitamin supply for just herself cost her more than $500.”
A four month supply of vitamins that costs >$500?
This woman and her daughter took these vitamins for a year. She spent over fifteen hundred dollars (over $3,000 collectively) on vitamins, and kept taking them for an entire year without stopping. So according to her, both she and her daughter continued to use these vitamins, at an absurd cost, .even when their voices started getting deeper, they started losing hair, and her daughter’s menstrual cycle stopped….
Something seems…not quite right here. Why would you keep taking superexpensive vitamins when they are making your hair fall out?
“Hey mom, this vitamin b-6 made my period stop, is that normal?”
–”Sure, as long as your hair is falling out too, and your voice gtets deeper…”
Honestly, the sheer fact that these vitamins contained anabolic steroids is the only way I can justify such an outlandish price. At least we know that four months worth of Superdrol represents a good return for that kind of money. On the other hand, four months of non-super-charged vitamins should cost about the same as a weekly trip over the Throgs Neck.
I figured I’d need to write this review quickly, as I don’t believe Progenex’s fish shake will be on the market for a second batch (nor do I believe they will sell out of the first, thereby necessitating a second). My presumption is that a product like this would cater to the strict Paleo crowd, who are simply too busy to hunt and/or gather anything at the local supermarket.
The problem, ergogenically speaking, is that they’re selling hydrolyzed salmon protein. Hydrolyzed salmon protein has been shown to decrease performance in trained athletes:
“An interesting consequence… was that the beverage resulted in lowered performance in the better athletes…”
Although another study says it doesn’t hurt your performance, it just doesn’t help it:
“…did not provide an ergogenic benefit as assessed by 5 km TT [time trial] performance.”
Yes, I actually tried it. Yes, it actually tastes like fish. I realize that the flavor on the bag says “Island Punch” but unless O’ahu is the Hawaiian word for “tastes like rancid fish“, I can’t imagine what Island this punch is from. I’d rather be stuck on that island from Lost than ever drink this stuff again. Besides the taste, it foams when you shake it (*see picture). Almost half the shake is fish foam.
A recent article in PT365 section of “The Military Times” revealed that over half of all testosterone boosters are spiked. The proof? We’ll just have to take their word for it (at least until we read the truth on WikiLeaks). The only products named in the article are Man Primal Male, John Scott’s Nitro: Test 2 and All American EFX Test Charge. The article stops short of saying those products are spiked, and simply says that they can imagine why soldiers are drawn to them.
“But there’s a down side of testosterone-boosting supplements, according to Dr. Patricia Deuster, a supplements expert with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and as many as half of those on the market may actually contain steroids, which are illegal, Deuster said.
Half. Might. Be. Spiked. No word on where this statistic comes from and no word on what some of these products might be. You may recall that the Army told us that numerous thyroid supplements were spiked, went so far as to provide test results, but tripped at the finish line and never actually revealed which products were spiked.
I’m not saying this Army doctor is lying, I’d just like some kind of reference to back her claim, since it’s a pretty sizable amount of products we’d be talking about here, in one of the major supplement categories.