Patrick Arnold, pro-hormone innovator and chemist, continues his discussion with’and chastisement of’The Sandwich.
TS: Every bodybuilder wants to get lean at some point during the year. Will spray 4AD help?
PA: Products of this sort, whether they’re pharmaceutical products or supplements, are useful for retaining lean body mass while dieting. They may not only make you look better, but they may also increase the rate at which you burn fat because muscle tissue burns calories even at rest. Muscle has high metabolic needs, and you can retain muscle during your reduced-calorie phase.
TS: Is Androspray cost effective, as opposed to other shiznit?
PA: Androspray is cheaper per gram of androdiol than most other androdiol products.
TS: Should it be stacked with other pro-hormones or supplements that may give a synergistic effect?
PA: I don’t think that’s completely necessary. I think everyone should take whatever supplements are gonna help them toward their goal. Creatine is certainly helpful, though my product will work with or without it. I won’t mislead people by saying that you gotta stack it with this or with that. Most times when people say that, it’s just because they want to sell you some of their other products. What I will say is, take in ample protein and other necessary nutrients.
TS: That statement will surprise a lot of folks who don’t know you, man. Do you feel your honesty is holding you back financially?
PA: I think it’s holding me back in the short term; however, in the long term I think it’s gonna be a great advantage for me. As more and more people, companies and experts come and go, you know, I’m gonna be more and more of a stable, trusted source of information and products. I’m banking on that. I hope my honesty will pay off one day.
TS: What do you like best about bodybuilding? You know, stripped down, without all the money and this, that and the other thing? PA: [Pauses] What I like best about it is that it enables everyone to challenge themselves and to improve themselves without necessarily having to worry about how they stack up against others. You don’t have to be the best one on your block to participate. The weakest guy and the strongest guy can go to the gym and just improve and challenge themselves. It’s not only physique building, but it’s character building.
I also like the people who are seriously into lifting. They’re dedicated and disciplined, and you feel camaraderie with them. You’re all going through the same sacrifices and whatnot’the same ups and downs.
The funny thing about this industry is that many of the big players and advertisers look like they don’t give a f’ about their bodies or the discipline of bodybuilding. Oh, but they care about the bucks to be made by the hard iron pumpers and athletes. I naturally have a disdain for those folks, as they represent the anti-P.A.
TS: [Chuckles] That comment will never make it to print, dude. What got you into lifting?
PA: My grandfather had a bunch of York weights, and he gave them to us and just set them up in our room. Eventually, we started to fool around with them. Then we bought a book’I think it was by Bruce Randall. I started on a simple program, and I remember I got a little stronger and I felt better. People said I was getting some muscle. I liked the feeling of the pump, just being in the basement and weights clanging.
Later I bought Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Education of a Bodybuilder, and I remember fighting over it with my brothers because we all wanted to read it first. [Chuckles] Arnold and his book were really inspiring.
Bodybuilding made me more disciplined, and it gave me better self-esteem. I wasn’t afraid of people picking on me anymore. I knew if anyone started anything, I’d be able to handle myself.
TS: I think we can all relate to that. I know I can, although I’m too lazy to lift weights. What about the temptation of steroids? How has that been for you?
PA: I never thought of [it as] temptation. I approach such things from a point of risks vs. benefits for the individual and leave silly self-righteous morality arguments out of it.
TS: Did you ever give into the temptation?
PA: I wouldn’t be able to talk about the subject with any legitimate authority if I hadn’t.
TS: Some companies are selling injectable pro-hormones as sublingual products that you put under your tongue, but they’re packaged in a so-called sterile multidose vial. What are your thoughts on that?
PA: Well, it’s illegal to sell them as such, and that’s why they don’t promote them as injectables. I’m not familiar with how well those products are made, whether they’re irritating or what ingredients they contain.
It’s not very easy to make an injectable formulation’a sterile one’let alone one that behaves correctly in the body and is not irritating. I’ve heard of a couple of formulas giving people abscesses and causing a lot of pain at the injection site. No one is buying any of them, so it’s really a question of little interest, in my opinion.
TS: In an interview I just did with Dr. Eric Serrano, he mentioned that some androgens do something in the liver with enzymes that causes an increase in fat loss. He said that’s why some people think Primobolan or Winstrol increases fat loss during a diet. How would spray 4-AD relate to that?
PA: The only research I know on androgens or androgen metabolites that perform that function in the liver suggests the reaction is due to up-regulating some enzymes that cause some sort of futile energy cycle. I know DHEA does that, and there might be a couple of other similar androgen metabolites. I’m just not aware that Winstrol or Primobolan does it. I don’t know whether Dr. Serrano is citing published research, or if he’s just theorizing off the cuff.
TS: How about libido changes with pro-hormones? I know about that because I’m almost impotent, with very little waxing drive.
PA: I’m very sorry to hear that. If your low libido is hormone-related, then there’s a very good chance testosterone-raising products will help; however, if low libido is due to other factors, those have to be addressed. Generally speaking, some people are more responsive to the libido-increasing effects of androgens than others.
TS: What are your current stats?
PA: I’m a bit over 200 pounds and lean, and I’m 5’10’. I’m a pretty strong bench presser.
TS: Tactics for getting lean always interest me because I’m now hovering around the 400-pound mark. What supplements do you take and what’s your daily diet like despite those 10- and 12-hour workdays?
PA: My protein intake is high. I drink a lot of protein, usually MET-Rx Protein Plus. I like the taste of it. I think it’s a quality product, and it stays with you a lot longer than whey. I do drink whey right after I work out, though, and sometimes before because I think it’s important to have a fast-acting protein at that time. I put great emphasis on having a postworkout high-carb, high-protein drink along with creatine. It’s very important. When I’m dieting, I cut my carbs quite low, and I shoot for as much protein as I can ingest’about 300 to 400 grams a day. That keeps me from getting hungry and seems to keep me hard and lean looking. I eat more carbs if I want to grow because, basically, it’s really hard to grow without carbs. I’m not that afraid of fat, except when it’s combined with an excessive amount of carbs.
I try to eat every three hours. Sometimes I can’t and I panic, like when I’m on the road. That’s one thing about traveling’it makes your diet go to hell and you start feeling like crap. I guess that’s just something that bodybuilding-type people have to deal with.
TS: What type of training routine are you on? Can you give an example of what you do for arms?
PA: Sure. For arms I do biceps and triceps on the same day because I believe in the principle of working opposing muscle groups and activating each through neurological priming. I also think it’s important for a good triceps workout to have a biceps pump as sort of a shock absorber when you’re doing tricep movements.
I don’t do a whole lot of sets. I’ll do preacher curls, and then I’ll go on to a triceps exercise like lying extensions, pack down a lot of weight. Then maybe I’ll do some dumbbell curls and triceps pushdowns’only two or three heavy sets. Today, though, I’m experimenting, and I did a lot of sets because of an arm article I read by Lee Priest. My arms are dead right now.
TS: Do you subscribe to the Heavy Duty philosophy?
PA: I did for a little while, but then I started adding more sets and I felt like I grew more. I believe in Heavy Duty in one respect: You don’t need more than one or two sets to failure of a particular exercise. For instance, preacher curls. There’s no point in doing more than one or two sets really hard to failure, but then you want to go on and do a different biceps movement that hits it from a totally different angle, and so on. If you just did one exercise, one set to failure for biceps, you’d be cheating yourself out of hitting every part of the muscle.
TS: Let’s talk about federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey, who just stepped down from his job, and the question of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) vs. pro-hormones in general. Mr. McCaffrey believes that pro-hormones, androstenedione and all of its derivatives’androdiol in particular’are extremely dangerous, and it was his personal mission to get them off of the market. What was really going on there? Was he doing it because the products would interfere with the profits of drug companies from their testosterone gels?
PA: Just to clarify: Barry McCaffrey was the head of an organization, the Office for Drug Policy, I think, and it’s an agency that sets the policy for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). He’s not related to the FDA.
Basically, the FDA has no opinion on androstenedione. Its administrators haven’t received enough data to show that there are any safety concerns and therefore express no opinion, pro or con, about it.
Now, what happened when Barry McCaffrey took up the ball is that he was probably under pressure from many sides. One you didn’t mention that may be the biggest source of pressure is the sports community. I believe that the NCAA, the IOC, which is the Olympics, and AAU’all those amateur athletic organizations’and even pro sports such as baseball have played a role. In addition to that, maybe the American Medical Association, which just has an antisupplement attitude in general, has something going on, but I’m not too sure about that.
TS: Wasn’t there some legislation in which someone was trying to ban all andro products?
PA: What happened is, after McCaffrey sort of got the ball rolling by’
TS: [Interrupts] Crying in public?
PA: He cried in public because it was politically demanded of him. I really don’t think he knows androstenedione from a hole in the wall, but, yeah, he basically got the DEA’s effort going to get it scheduled as an anabolic steroid. The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 is somewhat poorly written and doesn’t allow compounds that are not specifically listed to be included easily. These new pro-hormones were not even conceived of when the bill was written, so there’s no provision for classifying them as steroids.
The DEA hopes to use the three conditions that are used in that act to prove three things: 1) that it’s pharmacologically related to testosterone, 2) that, chemically speaking, it’s a steroid and 3) that it promotes muscle growth.
Now, the first two are a given with androstenedione, androdiol and DHEA. They’re all pharmacologically related to testosterone and are steroids by the chemical definition. So the DEA only needs to prove that they build muscle to reclassify them as controlled substances.
TS: What do you foresee happening to the status of pro-hormones, and how is the publicity pro-hormones are getting going to affect the supplement market in general?
PA: Well, certainly the way people are marketing pro-hormones is very selfish and nearsighted, and that’s blatantly marketing them as equivalents to anabolic steroids. That makes it very hard for us to try to legitimize these products and maintain their legality. One area in which pro-hormones have a very big potential use is the longevity and male menopause market.
We’re trying to market them there, and we’re trying to lend the support of those consumers as a base in which to form some sort of consumer demand to keep them legal. Certainly, restoring your own body’s hormone system and the health effects associated with it would be considered a positive thing.
A lot of people in the medical community frown upon the idea of a normal healthy young male taking a boatload of these to build more muscle. Certainly, when those usages are blown out of proportion and sensationalized, it just hastens the demise.
TS: Have you had any contact with the government?
TS: Is anyone putting any pressure on you because you’re the number-one guy in the pro-hormone field?
PA: No. Believe it or not, the government doesn’t seem to have any pressing concerns on the subject, although there’s probably pressure from the organizations I told you about before. The DEA is not moving fast on this one bit. My guess is that some of the officials at the DEA realize that there are much more important issues to handle, such as genuine illicit drug distribution and smuggling. Pro-hormones pale in comparison.
We have it from sources that it will probably be at least a year or so before androstenedione is addressed seriously by the DEA. People should know that’not just consumers, but people who sell the products’that we’ve been quite in touch with what’s going on and that the fears the media portrays really don’t hold up once you look behind the scenes of what’s going on.
The people at the government agencies are actually quite cooperative. They’re sort of up front, and they tell you what’s going on. They don’t seem to have any antagonistic attitude about the subject.
TS: What about pro-hormones and professional drug testing at the Olympic level. In 2000 we had a lot of positive drug tests, especially for nandrolone. People are getting crucified for that, and, in fact, one lady’s nandrolone levels were so ridiculously high, it was like, what the hell is going on here? What are your thoughts on that?
PA: That’s very interesting. You’re talking about two things, though: drug testing and pro-hormones. The real issue here is the 19-nor pro-hormones. The andro pro-hormones can potentially make you test positive; however, they clear the system very quickly.
There’s a big problem with the 19-nor pro-hormones, and there’s a big problem with testing for nandrolone in general. Basically, the testing for nandrolone is flawed, as science has begun to realize that it can actually be found in people under different circumstances.
Trace amounts of nandrolone can somehow occur in people’s bodies, and they can test positive. As far as pro-hormones go, any Olympic athlete who’s uninformed enough to take a 19-nor pro-hormone is going to be screwed for quite a while afterward because the metabolites will stick around. I’ve heard of several athletes who never touched the 19-nor pro-hormones yet still got these very odd positives for nandrolones’and they’d never taken nandrolone or had taken it so long ago, it was inconceivable that it could have been the cause. It’s been confirmed that several athletes tested positive for nandrolone over the past six months, and contaminated nutritional supplements were the cause.
How could a trace of nor pro-hormone cause someone to test positive at high levels? The sad truth is that it does. For example, 19-norandrostenedione yields high amounts of nandrolone metabolites in the urine for a few hours after it’s taken. In fact, you could take a supplement that has only one microgram of 19-nor, which is a thousandth of a milligram, and come up highly positive.
Maybe it got there through shoddy manufacturing processes’or because someone didn’t clean out a mixer. Those athletes may have taken a normal, natural supplement that had as little as a microgram in it, and a couple of hours later they show two nanograms per milliliter and test positive.
TS: Do people try to take advantage of your honesty?
PA: Yeah. A lot of people call me up and act like they’re real interested in my stuff and want to work with me and whatnot. They open me up and discuss things about the products, and maybe I tell them a little bit too much information, and then they run off and do it themselves. That’s happened a lot to me. I still get people trying to pick my brain all the time.
TS: Well, the best of luck to you there. I’ve known you for a good while now, and I think you’re going to continue to be eaten alive unless you start stepping on people the way they step on you. Get the dog-eat-dog attitude.
PA: Being honest does not mean being naive or being a pussy. I will be just fine, thank you.
TS: [After a long pause] What can we expect in the future from LPJ Research and ErgoPharm?
PA: I’ve been trying to perfect the manufacturing method for what’s goning to be our ultimate pro-hormone. It’s actually a pro-hormone stack of two completely new pro-hormones that are very close in structure. I came up with the idea nine months ago. I did the research and compiled all the literature on it, and what’s taken so long is trying to figure out how to make it. I’m not going to have some third party manufacture it so that everyone can grab it and market it. This product should be out in perhaps February.
TS: Could you give us a hint about the results we can expect from it?
PA: Well, I’ll tell you what properties make the stuff unique. Number one, this is a natural pro-hormone. It’s found in the body; it’s been identified as a urinary androgen metabolite. It’s orally active, which means it resists the first-pass C17 hydroxyl oxidation.
You take the supplement and a good percentage of it will get into your system in its active form. The pro-hormone will not aromatize, and neither will the active hormone that it converts to.
TS: Sounds pretty cool!
PA: Now, it doesn’t convert to testosterone. It doesn’t convert to DHT, either. It converts to something that’s kind of obscure, but you’ll know soon enough exactly what it does.
The compound that it converts to doesn’t aromatize, either. The active hormone it converts to is, according to the literature, maybe five to eight times as anabolic as testosterone. That’s according to assays done on animals. I don’t know quite yet how that relates to humans, but you know, even if it’s half as good, that still leaves a lot of leeway there for this to be a very beneficial product.
TS: I’ll look forward to that. To wrap up, I’m going to list a few well-known names in bodybuilding, and I want to get your immediate, uncensored response. Bill Phillips.
PA: Bill’s someone you’ve got to give a lot credit to. He may have had a few goals that were a little larger than a lot of people can handle, but he certainly worked his ass off and did a good job in making a quality magazine, at least insofar as its appearance and how it was put together. So, if I’m gonna say positive things, that’s what I’ll say positive about Bill.
TS: Would you get to the negative?
PA: I don’t want to dwell on the negative. Bill is basically retired from the bodybuilding industry, and I don’t want to dredge up any old harps. There’s enough people in this industry right now to despise.
TS: Britney Spears?
PA: As far as I know she’s not a bodybuilder. What gives with this question? Is this where I’m supposed to say she has a nice ass or something?
TS: [Dead silence] You’re one step ahead, my friend. I am getting the feeling you do not like me one bit! How about our friend the late Dan Duchaine?
PA: Dan was a unique individual. He was sort of a dichotomy’something that’s one thing and the opposite. Dan could be a really great guy to you, and he could also be a dickhead to you. He had his own personal demons, but he was a very creative person. I’m forever grateful to him because he kind of took me on and got me into this industry. I’m glad he did.
TS: Pat Arnold?
PA: [Long pause] Patrick’s just someone with very high ideals who’s trying really hard to do this the right way. He hopes to be successful, and successful is not necessarily being superrich. Successful, to me, would be making a positive impact on the industry in setting a new moral standard. I’m maybe turning things around a little in that respect.
Editor’s note: For more on Androspray and other products mentioned in this interview, see page 204. You can contact Patrick Arnold by visiting his Web sites at www.LPJresearch.com and www.ergopharm.com. To have your own personal, one-on-one phone consultation with him, please visit www.Qfac.com. The Sandwich can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]. IM