Alpha Drive XL and Restore Review by BiO
- 08-12-2006, 09:25 AM
- 08-16-2006, 08:35 PM
08-16-2006, 09:43 PM
Bio, I see you are suffering from a lower back injury, I too am suffering from one as well. What is the nature of your injury? Mine was diagnosed as a bulging disc, but that is only from a physical examination and no actual MRI, x-rays etc. at this point. I injured mine in March on a messed up deadlift rep, where I lost my balance and fell forward. Instead of just dropping the bar, I stupidly caught all of my momentum in my lower back. I took a few weeks off, and things felt good again, so I resumed lifting again. A few weeks later I reinjured my lower back in a squat repetition, something went pop and that has led me to now.
I did a full course of physiotherapy which did essentially nothing for me. I've been working on loosening my hips and groin areas with a pile of stretching and some foam rolling, which tends to provide some relief. I perform various lower back stretching exercises several times a day, and work my lower abdominals every other day as well.
What type of leg press do you use during your leg workouts? Does a trap deadlift bar tend to aggravate your lower back? From what I've read, it is supposed to alleviate most of the stress on the lower back. I just ordered one, and hope that I didn't waste my money, as shipping to where I live is very expensive.
I workout at home, so I've been limited to leg curls, extensions, lunges, and recently I've implemented a modified dumbbell deadlift/squat, where I hold the dumbbells in a hammer style grip held between my knees, and perform squats in this sort of fashion. It's kind of awkward, but it's worked very well in the few times I've lifted in this fashion at hitting my legs effectively.
Have you tried any sort of tissue healing supplements for treating your lower back? I've utilized high dose cissus, celadrin, glucosamine/chondritin and msm, but honestly don't think they've done much if anything in helping to fully heal the injury. I just got my hands on hyuralonic acid on recommendation from Big Vrunga for healing up a nagging shoulder injury, but from digging around I've seen a small amount of positive feedback for it for lower back injuries as well.
Sorry for the highjack of your thread, good luck with the log.
08-17-2006, 01:39 PM
Anybody with serious lower-back probs needs to forget about squats and deads. I'm 44 and about 20 years ago I herniated a disc doing (of all things) one-arm concentration curls. It took about a year to recover fully. And ever since then, I've stopped doing squats and deads. They're great exercises, but there's just too much potential for re-injury -- you're begging for trouble. I've experimented with all kinds of different exercises, but the only one that really hits your legs hard AND totally protects your lower back is the good ol' leg press. Now, my leg day consists of just 4 basic exercises: 6 sets of leg presses alternating with 6 sets of toe raises; and then 3 sets of leg curls alternating with 3 sets of leg extensions. It works.
I also do 3-5 sets of roman chair back extensions alternating with 3-5 sets of decline crunches to keep my core strong and support/protect my lower back. And in 20 years, I've never re-injured my back. Knock on wood.
08-20-2006, 01:56 AM
08-20-2006, 03:15 AM
08-20-2006, 02:59 PM
My back injury occurred last fall during a deadlift, however the root cause of the injury is that my sacrum is tilted up to the left and this caused some instability in the lower lumbar region. X-rays have shown the disk spacing to be good and the pain is mostly the result of L4/L5 being out of alignment. This area seems to be quite unstable so it goes in and out of adjustment rather easily. Deads and squats are pretty much on the back burner for now. If I am feeling good, I may throw in some lighter sets but all in all I will now stick to the leg press from now on.
I see a chiropractor regularly, use foam rollers, stretch and do ab core work to try to stabilize the lumbar and core as much as possible.
Ok, My trip ended last Friday and I have had a few days to recover. I will hit shoulders, back, and bi's tonight hopefully and report back.
Nothing to report on training for last week as I did not have an opportunity to lift.
I decided to lower the dose of Restore to 2 pills per day as I felt it was the culprit in keeping my libido down. After a few days of the lower dose, I can honestly say that libido has improved showing that this product is plenty strong in terms of estrogen suppression. I can really feel the Alpha Drive XL working now and my poor pregnant wife probably wishes I would leave her alone.
Despite an absolutely atrocious diet..ie being fed by grandparents..I managed to not lose any muscle but I did add about 2 pounds of what surely must be fat.
Acne is still horrible despite all sorts of preventative measures. Have initiated a 1% Retin A gel to get things under control on my back.
Will check in later.
08-21-2006, 01:39 AM
Back from workout. Overall, it went well but no real progress was made..just catching up from a week off, revolumizing and re-conditioning.
Mood: good, but a little tired from running errands part of the day. Focus was good despite this.
Hammer Strength Wide Rows
180 x 8
200 x 8
220 x 4
220 x 4
Painful, lots of burn.
140 x 8
150 x 7
160 x 6
wide grip, TUT style
140 x 8
160 x 7
Dillet Style Lat Pulldowns
170 x 8
180 x 5
Lats were wiped out after these sets. Sweating way more than normal..don't know if it was related to Alpha Drive or Restore. No strength increases, endurance kind of lagging.
Shoulder and bicept work was uneventful, no increase in poundages here.
I attribute this mediocre workout to being off for a week during which time I was unable to meet my caloric or macronutrient goals...nor was I able to train. The stack may have helped to lessen the damage though.
08-23-2006, 01:51 AM
After crawling around on my hands and knees all day laying paverstones, I thought what better way to further damage myself than going heavy on legs? I would really like to not be able to walk tomorrow..yippee!!!
Libido: Getting better day by day. At the current dose of 2 Restore per day and 3 Alpha Drive XL per day, I think I have achieved a more optimal hormonal balance that allows for the increase in test and free test without suppressing estrogen so badly that I have no libido.
Mood: Still very good. Been sleeping well. Focus both in the gym and while I do manual labor is excellent. A smooth steady focus with no overexcitation..I'm liking it a lot.
Did two light sets TUT style and just was not feeling the love. Swithced to regular 1 sec positives, 2 sec negatives. Too worn out from work today for TUT or anything special...or so I thought.
405 x 6
495 x 3
Just plain icky, switched to regular style.
585 x 8
675 x 7
765 x 6
855 x 5
855 x 2
855 being a new PR. I have no idea where that came from, so let's chalk it up to the Restore and Alpha Drive XL Well, that and there were hot chicks all over the free weight section and, you know....
Strength was good and I really do feel like I could have done another 90 easily, if not more. I chose to use restraint as this is the first week my lower back has been trouble free in quite a while.
Leg Press Calf Raises
315 x 10
405 x 8
405 x 6
Though not a PR, this is as high as I have been on this excercise in many many months. Strength and form were smooth and steady.
160 x 10
200 x 8
260 x 4
260 is higher than I have been in a while. All sets felt good, but energy fading fast.
140 x 10
200 x 8
240 x 6
aaaannd my legs are cooked at this point. On to core work that ended up being cut short due to fatigue.
All in all a fantastic workout despite my feeling quite drained beforehand. Having to cut down on sets was an OK trade off. The PR and increases in poundages for almost all sets was a nice surprise indeed.
08-23-2006, 12:59 PM
I bet you'd benefit from reverse hyper extensions, they actually rotate the sacrum and are supposed to work wonders for rehabing back injuries.
08-23-2006, 01:59 PM
I'll have to look into that..how are they performed?. I have been doing regular hyper extensions for the last 3 weeks or so and I can really tell the difference in terms of it stabilizing the sacrum.
I can't help laughing at how such a simple little excercise can make such a big difference..especially since I used to be of the mindset that squats, deads and other leg/back work took care of everything. That's definitely one of those muscle mag hype deals..ie "squats; the king of all excercises!" lol.
08-23-2006, 10:57 PM
08-24-2006, 02:23 AM
Oh good..actually it looks like that is what I am doing. I just called them hyperextensions. I use an angled back extension wrack instead of the ball. It's been working pretty well and my chiro today said the sacrum wasn't as far out of wack as it normally has been..so that would point to stabilization.
08-26-2006, 03:05 AM
AM weight 185.6
Mood: Still good, focus good.
Energy: Good and consistent
Strength: not so hot today.
Libido: Almost totally back to normal. I think getting off the Restore will probably allow it to resume full speed.
Had to take a couple days off training as my shoulder has been getting tweaked from being on hands and knees and laying pavers..lots of pavers. Left shoulder and neck got really inflammed on Wed night and this extended in Thursday day.
Everything "felt" good enough to hit chest and tris today, but I think I still have some pretty good nerve impingment in that left shoulder so this workout was pretty lackluster. I did not even bother to attempt any TUT sets today.
Hammer Strength Wide Iso Lateral Press
180 x 8
270 x 4
270 x 3
290 x 3
and just for the hell of it
320 x 2
Strength was just not there nor was endurance. Shoulder did not feel bad per se, but it was not confidence inspiring.
DB Flat Press
65 x 10
70 x 4
70 x 2
I pretty much called it quits with the presses after this. My left arm/shoulder was significantly weaker than the right..probably due to a pinched nerve.
bodyweight x 12
BW + 35 x 7
Dips felt better but kept dips short and sweet worrying about shoulder issue.
145 x 10
165 x 8
180 x 7
180 x 5
managed to do TUT style on these
25 x 12..burn!
30 x 10
40 x 8
Core work went well.
Despite this very lackluster WO, it did produce a pretty nice pump that is still mostly with me.
BF% has definitely gone up on this stack but that is likely mostly due to being force fed carbs by my grandparents. You can't say no to grandma's cookies..she'll be upset. lol
08-28-2006, 02:10 PM
Mini Update 8-28-06
I have taken the last two days off as my body was pretty much demanding that I do so. I tend to be low recovery and though the Alpha Drive/Restore stack helps a lot in this regard, my shoulders and back were just not getting a break with the whole brick laying thing everyday.
Mood: still good and consistent..pleasant really which indicates to me that test levels must be nice and high.
Libido: as stated earlier..back to normal. Once in a while I will get a surge of horniness from the Alpha Drive, but on the whole libido is back up to baseline which is good.
Recovery from last week's leg WO was great despite going heavy. Legs were a tight but not sore. The last chest WO has been a different story though. Pecs and shoulders are STILL sore. That soreness coupled with the aches and pains from brick laying has me adding another off day into the mix.
Another interesting note...I am up another 2 pounds on what is essentially a maintenance diet though I do up calories on WO days.
Current weight: 187
Starting weight: 183
I feel a pound or two of that must certainly be VAT, but there has been some LBM gain in there as well. This is notable since I NEVER gain off cycle anymore on the current diet I am on.
So far, I am willing to call this a good stack for PCT and possibly bridging. I will run some basic bloodwork probably next week for lipids, liver and kidney values so we can see if this combo is safe. I have a feeling it messes with lipid values but we shall see.
08-28-2006, 03:46 PM
09-07-2006, 01:07 AM
09-08-2006, 03:58 PM
Just got the blood draw this morning so we should see th results hopefully by next week. Test/free test and estro were not performed as it would cost me out of pocket somewhere in the neighborhood of $400. The test will include lipids, liver and kidney panel, basic metabolic parameters and TSH.
Been busy as H-E-double hockey sticks so I will give a very brief overview of the last few workouts.
Leg workout on 8/31 went OK. Numbers were essentially the same as last week but the number of reps on the max leg press went down to 3. Given how much manual labor I was doing, this is not surprising.
Shoulder,back and bi WO on 9/2 went so-so. Weights were actually down a little on most lifts. Suspect overtraining might be coming into play. Had to concentrate on my renovation work and do some field work for several days and I used that time as a 6 day off period to try and let the ole CNS recover a little. It was a crazy busy 6 days so we shall see.
Did 45 minute cardio session yesterday which felt very good coupled with some much needed deep stretching.
I'll do chest and tris tonight or tomorrow and report back.
09-08-2006, 10:22 PM
09-09-2006, 03:47 AM
Ran out of Alpha Drive yesterday so this workout is based on dosing 2 Restore capsules per day.
Chest and Tris
Mood: vunderful as oosual. Happy as ah leetle gurrrrl!
Focus: Still good
Has actually gone up a little since ending Alpha Drive. I think my hormones are tired of being messed with at this point and I am 100% recovered and then some.
Strength: appears to be down a little.
Hammer Strength IsoLateral Press
180 x 10
200 x 8
220 x 4
210 x 6
Strength kinda fizzled hence the pyramid like sets. Needed to go up in wieght more gradually rather than 20 pounds at a time.
Hammer Strength Iso Lateral Wide Press
180 x 10
230 x 8
250 x 7
270 x 5
Strength definitely dropped.
Bodyweight x 12
+35 x 8
Nothing new here.
160 x 10
170 x 10
175 x 8
Core and other cable chest work went as usual.
This concludes the performance aspect of this log as I am out of Alpha Drive XL and will be out of Restore in few days. Blood test results will hopefully be back within a week to 10 days and I will report these in full.
I think this stack is a very worthy contender for ancillary PCT use. It is virtually neck and neck with the legendary NHA stack with the exception that the high grade trib and long jack really do improve libido for me which is not the case with the NHA. I don't think it controls fat gain quite as well as the NHA stack and this is likely because of it's lower dose of anti-cortisol ingredients like Mbaet. This could easily be dealt with by adding one or two doses of Retain or Lean Extreme to the mix if one is concerned about cort rebound/damage control.
Elevation of test seems on par with the NHA if not better due to the increase in libido. Retention of gains made on cycle were excellent. Estrogen suppression also appears to be excellent as no changes in nipple diameter or appearance were noted...stayed very dry the entire time.
I give both of these product a thumbs up and would use them again in the future.
Special thanks go out to BioScience Technologies, ALRI and Nutrplanet for their support in making this log possible.
Very curious to see what blood test numbers look like. My guess would be that lipid numbers will be slightly eskew but all other numbers should be fine..but we shall see.
09-09-2006, 02:29 PM
09-09-2006, 03:29 PM
09-09-2006, 03:29 PM
09-10-2006, 04:13 AM
Lower back is actaully doing OK. I've been doing lots of hypers along with ab work, stretching and hanging in gravity boots. It's been a lot more stable but i am going to take another month or so off of deads and squats then slowly get back into them if I can.
Starting Cissus back up since this log is basically over.
09-10-2006, 08:43 AM
Oh yes the gravity boots those are always fun. So as of now would you buy these products? And what do you think they are best suited for?
09-11-2006, 03:08 AM
I would buy either again. Both are good additions to a PCT using nolva or torm. As a bridge or standalone it rates pretty close to the NHA stack IMO.
The Alpha Drive could be used alone, particularly if you want a libido boost.
09-11-2006, 09:30 PM
Big cheers to you for such an excellent log!
Stay tuned because I will annouce the contest winner this Friday, September 15th.
09-11-2006, 10:53 PM
09-12-2006, 02:16 AM
09-12-2006, 02:01 PM
BLOOD TEST RESULTS
TEST TAKEN WHILE ON ALPHA DRIVE XL AT 3 CAPS PER DAY AND RESTORE AT 2 CAPS PER DAY.
CHOLESTEROL 211 H, <200 MG/DL
TRIGLYCERIDES 99, <150 MG/DL
HDL 27 L, >39
LDL 168 H, <130
VLDL 17, 0-29
CHOL/HDL RATIO 7.8 H, <5.0
GLUCOSE 84, 65-99
UREA/BUN 18, 10-28
CREATININE 1.1, 0.6-1.5
GFR ESTIMATED >60, >60
BUN/CREAT RATIO 16.4, 10-28
URIC ACID 5.2, 3.5-8.0
NA 141, 135-145
POTASSIUM 4.5, 3.5-5.2
CHLORIDE 104, 96-110
CO2 20, 19-31
ANION GAP 17, 4-18
OSMOLALITY 289, 279-295
PROTEIN TOTAL 7.7, 6.0-8.2
ALBUMIN 4.6, 3.3-4.9
GLOBULIN 3.1, 2.1-3.9
ALB/GLOB RATIO 1.5, 1.0-2.0
CALCIUM 10.1, 8.4-10.4
PHOSPHORUS 3.2, 2.5-4.5
ALK PHOSPHATASE 105, 39-160
GGT 30, 5-80
ALT 54, 2-60
AST 43, 10-50
BILIRUBIN (TOTAL) 0.7, 0.2-1.3
TSH HIGH SENSITIVITY 2.43, 0.45-4.50
Sorry that's hard to read, the board software keeps compressing the lines no matter how far I space them apart.
So, pretty much what we were expecting here. No impact to liver and kidney function which is an added plus for oral anabolic steroids users. Cholesterol is out of wack in part due to the cycle before using these products, the elevation of total test brought on by the products themselves, a familial history of hyperlipidemia, and having to live with a pregnant woman who only stocks the larder with carbs and fat.
Thyroid looks happy. CO2 levels are way low..go B12 and folic acid!
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