How Adaptogens were Really Used in Sport


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Rhaponticum Carthamoides Extract first appeared in Soviet pharmacopia in 1961. It was initially used as a natural organic remedy for overcoming fatigue, improving physical/mental performance and for shortening recovery time after illness. Notice that its use as a medicine was positioned subsequent to a specific, environmental stress challenge. It didn’t take long for enlightened trainers and athletes to put two and two together.

The Soviet sports program did not “guess” when using adaptogens. They tested, re-tested and refined to arrive at an optimal use paradigm for athletes. During their testing, a discovery and subsequent distinction was made. Different than drugs, valid adaptogens were found to exert their effects only when activated by coupling two very distinct physiological states. Significant change in weight training/diet is perceived by the body as an “alarm“. Adaptogens were used to extend the resistance/growth phase subsequent to this stress, allowing the body to reach ever higher and higher performance. Alternately, steroids were identified as best at extending performance when entering the “exhaustion” phase. It turns out the roids were added only when certain metabolic measures dropped (the end of phase two). Chief among these was resting heart rate. Other than actual blood tests, this was the most accurate measuring tool they used. More importantly, it was specific to each athlete. Here’s precisely how they did it:

1.) Immediately upon wakening (before getting out of bed), the athlete recorded their heart rate (beats per minute). That gave them a baseline value given where they were in their current training/dietary cycle. As few as 3 days is adequate to arrive at a representative average.
2.) They then initiated their “Alarm phase” course of action. During this time, they continued to measure waking heart rate, focusing on getting to a point where it was elevated at least 8 beats per minute over baseline.
3.) Upon achieving this, they immediately switched their training/dieting to enter the growth state. Adaptogen supplements were then introduced to magnify and extend gains realized in this state.

We’ll get into the specifics a bit later, but I present it here as an accurate, inexpensive tool to use while monitoring each state you’re passing through. Now, here is where The Blueprint diverges from what the Soviet sports machine was doing: Once the adaptation/growth state had run its course, the athletes were taken off of adaptogens and steroid drugs were introduced to maintain that progress. The athlete could now over-ride his physiology and keep pace with the prescribed loading pattern, thus bypassing exhaustion. Please note however, that this artificially places the body into an extended state of exhaustion. Under normal circumstance, your body will tell you to stop either through overtraining burnout, injury or illness. The drugs mask this. It’s like running your car without oil. The deeper you get into this state (i.e. the longer you stay on the drugs), the more damage that is done. Eventually, those sins come home to roost as mother nature isn’t fooled forever.

The optimal conditions for adaptogen use then, had been identified: They were optimally employed during a distinct biological state (in our model, Feast) . This state was carefully monitored and athletes were taken off of adaptogens when it was observed that they were exiting this state. Adaptogens were never intended to be used indiscriminately for months on end in the haphazard fashion they are usually espoused in the U.S. They were deemed a waste to use in the exhausted state or in the absence of an alarm phase that “set the table” for use. Accordingly, Mass Pro Synthagen is best used starting day 1 of Feast and running for its duration. You should come off Synthagen when Feast ends.

Alternatively, I formulated a product for Feast called Progenadrex. It contains the Ecdy analogue Laxogenin, which functions like Ecdy/RCE. It’s formula though is better suited to gaining LEAN muscle, so ideal for hardgainers that find it difficult to eat that much (it drastically increases your appetite). Whatever food you DO eat (especially carbs) is favorably partitioned toward muscle and AWAY from fat. Users are often pleasantly  surprised to see a pound a week or more coming on, with NONE of it in the waist!