In case you haven’t noticed, T-Muscle released their highly anticipated Anaconda™ Protocol (do not fear, I repented to the internet gods for linking to them) at the end of November. If you’re familiar with this whole project, you know it’s been in the works for quite some time now. If you know nothing of what I’m writing about today, take a look at my I, Bodybuilder rebuttal from August to better understand today’s composition. Matt Perryman already shared his thoughts – check it out.
To give you a brief synopsis of what we’re pondering today, allow me to outline exactly what this protocol is. First of all, this whole marketing scheme claims to be aimed at advanced bodybuilders but if you take a quick stroll through the T-Nation forums, you will notice the majority of their customer base is the naïve, young(er) population who are beginners at best. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a beginner, but when you market a one-shot cure for their skinny asses and it costs $345 for a month’s worth of product, I’ve got a problem.
Accidental Experiment – Yea, Right
As you read the article, it’s almost like reading a comic book. You’re led to believe that Christian Thibaudeau had been overtraining and feeling a like a sack of shit. It goes on to state that he got his first shipment of the Anaconda™ and immediately put it to good use. Then you read this:
So, how quickly was Christian pulled out of his overreaching, overtrained, zombie-like funk?
Forget that… How many times did he need to use the ANACONDA™ protocol before he felt recharged?
How about one time !?!
Christian literally used the new ANACONDA™ protocol just one time, and the very next morning he woke up completely pain free. Not only that, he was antsy to go hit the weights. That day, he trained three times, again, pain-free and full of energy each time.
The second day he trained 4 times. And over the following week, he, as well as everyone in the gym, saw huge gains in his physique. His physique was substantially fuller with rounder muscle bellies and even though his body weight had gone up, he was significantly leaner.
Since then, he’s been training 3 and even 4 times per day, 5 and 6 days a week, and loving every minute.
He was then “interviewed” and explains how he was in so much pain from all the overtraining, but once he took Anaconda, the cure was magical. As you further investigate the article, you will notice his review of the product and his humble commentary.
“I’ve gone off the ANACONDA™ preparation several times and failed miserably when training like this. Without the ANACONDA™ mixture, I feel totally vulnerable to the effects of overreaching and inflammation. And my gains, although good, aren’t anything near what I get when using ANACONDA™ Anabolic Load and MAG-10® Anabolic Pulse.
“There’s something else you should know… I make nothing — not one cent — off ANACONDA™ sales. I can’t be bought, anyway. Supplement sales are not my business. I’ll leave that to the formulation geeks like Tim Patterson. I make a great living building muscle — big muscle — on elite-level athletes.
How about that for an endorsement?
The Working Out Part
In short, if you read the first part of the article, they roughly suggest training 3 times per day, 5-6 days per week. You will also notice there has been no training routine laid out as of writing this.
But all of that aside, let’s be real here; who has time for this much training? If you do, you need to find some other hobbies, get a job, and move out of your parents’ basement.
No one and I mean no one will be able to train intensely 3 times per day, 5-6 days per week for any substantial period of time. I don’t care if you are juiced to the gills; you’ll eventually burn out and have to recover at some point. But how does one recover if they are training all the time? It’s simple; they don’t. The Anaconda Protocol is a far cry from using anabolic steroids, so I can assure you that anyone who tests out the protocol as laid out will run themselves so far into the ground within a matter of weeks. Let’s take a quick look at what’s included in this wondrous concoction.
What’s In The ANACONDA Protocol?
Click the image for a full view.
Before I go into the ingredient list, I must say Alan Aragon did a hell of a job breaking down each individual ingredient used in Anaconda and Mag-10, so if you want all the nerdy details, I highly suggest subscribing to his research review*.
Casein hydrolysate – The idea behind this type of protein is a faster rate of digestion in hopes flooding the bloodstream with amino acids rather quickly. The main premise is to kick start the anabolic process as soon as possible. Too bad the recent studies prove otherwise. According to Lyle McDonald’s research review on this particular protein, it digests too quickly and heads straight to the gut as opposed to skeletal muscle. Excerpt from Lyle’s review:
Here’s what the study found. Over the time course studied (8 hours after ingestion), the hydrolyzed casein product showed greater losses from digestion (that is, less was absorbed). As well, a greater amount of the hydrolysate was oxidized for energy through deamination (a process by which the amino group is stripped off the carbon backbone). Finally, a larger amount of the casein hydrolysate was used by the splanchnic bed (gut and intestines) with significantly less of the total protein reaching the bloodstream or peripheral tissues (muscles)
Citrulline malate – There isn’t too much to say about this one but Alan made a funny point in the AARR. There’s been only one study conducted to test its effect on human muscular performance. The conclusive point was that it gives you super, duper finger flexing powers. If you’ve read the research review, you feel me on this one, haha.
Creatine pyruvate – This is simply another form of creatine with far fewer studies than its brother from another mother, creatine monohydrate. In fact, there’ve been hundreds of studies on monohydrate and according to Alan, only 2 done on pyruvate. So why didn’t they save some money and just put the plain monohydrate in there? Silly T-Men!
Beta-alanine –While there are studies exhibiting positive performance benefits from this supplement, there are a few negative ones as well. It’s still too early to know whether or not this will be another staple supplement such as creatine. On a side note, if you’ve never tried this supplement, be careful with your first dose. I got some free in the mail after I ordered a ginornmous box of recession whey from TrueProtein, so naturally, I tossed a few back before my training session. If it’s free, I’ll TAKE IT! I took too many, probably 2-3x the recommended dose – this was an accident, mind you. Halfway through my workout, my skin got red and I got the itch like a cracked out homeless person. So, if you decide to try this stuff out, slow yo’ roll.
‘Superhydrating Catalyst’ – What a fancy way of saying electrolytes! Too bad you don’t lose a ton of water/electrolytes during a 40-50 minute bodybuilding workout. I don’t really see a reason to include this supplement in the mix.
Alpha-GPC – The idea behind this supplement is to increase acetylcholine levels inside the muscle for an improvement in force production during resistance training. According to the AARR, there’s only one unpublished study resulting in positive effects.
Intensified Liquid Flavoring – Don’t worry, it comes free with your purchase. This is my favorite part of the entire concoction. Because they decided to use the worst tasting protein ever, they claim you MUST use this flavoring system. I’m sure it’s because they knew there would be no way a person could stomach it otherwise.
What Exactly Is the Protocol?
First, let’s look at the peri-workout consumption to get an idea of just how much food and liquid volume you’re consuming pre and peri-workout. Exact guidelines are located here.
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So, we’re choking down 3 protein bars for about 850 calories and 1 liter of the Anaconda cocktail. Then, we’re expected to finish the remaining liter of said protein concoction during the rest of the training session. The last time I drank a 2 liter of soda in an hour’s time, I can assure you that working out wasn’t even an option; that is unless I wanted to revisit my obsession with Mountain Dew.
What Are The Followers Saying?
I don’t frequent the T-Muscle boards much, if ever. The only time I ever find myself over there is when I know of someone who’s participating in some mad trolling or if I catch some links from their threads on a forum I’m hanging around on.
However, a few days ago, I caught wind that a few of the folks on the protocol hitched a ride on the vomit comet. Many of them reported their not-so-hot experience with drinking near 2 liters of liquid during their training sessions. I managed to save some screen shots that Alan posted on Lyle’s support forum. Let’s just say T-Muscle may be able to moderate their forums and delete posts at will, but they won’t be getting their hands on these (if they so decide to delete the originals). CLICK HERE for a collection of forum posts from random Anaconda users.
You will see from these examples, stomach discomfort, queasiness, and vomiting seems to be common side effects of Anaconda. One fellow even said he shat like a banshee afterward.
The Cost of Greatness
Finally, what does it cost to be this awesome? How would you like to shell out $345 bucks a month for a silly stack of supplements and a fluid recommendation that’s sure to make you hurl and soil yourself in the process of getting jacked?
What if I told you that your money would be better spent on inexpensive protein, creatine monhoydrate and foods that actually taste good? For what it’s worth, I can get a 25lb bag of protein for about $130, some creatine for $9 per pound (which will last you 3 months at 5g/day) and a sack full of potatoes for about $5. In the above example, we’ve spent less than $150 and the supplements will last you for many months depending on how much whole food protein you are consuming.
In short, I feel the whole thing is rubbish. People are actually buying this snake oil and the T-Men are laughing all the way to the bank. It’s fine to make money, really it is, but please, at least make the product valuable and affordable.
*While I make money from affiliate links on my website and my articles, I am in no way compensated if you sign up for AARR. I just love Alan and his work so much. If you aren’t subscribed yet, you’re truly missing out on a ton of valuable information. Heck, all you would have to do is drop 2 lattes a month.