Growth Factor-9 is all the rage with the folks in the muscle building world. My friends at the Vitamin Shoppe and GNC tell me they can’t keep the stuff on the shelf (which is a little surprising since at $100.00 a bottle it aint cheap). If you go online you will find that you have people who are swearing by the stuff and others that say it’s nothing but snake oil. Both sides rally behind their research and dispute how well the studies sited were controlled and how sound the other guy’s science is. But if you’re like me all this talk is just a fart in the wind; what I want to know is will this stuff work for me or will buying it just be a big waste of money. So I decided to find out.
What I’m about to publish is just bad science. It was not a double blind study, the experiment was poorly controlled, the control group was miniscule (me) and the results could simply be part of the placebo effect. Having said that let’s move on to the results of my little science project.
Let’s start with the product. This is what the makers of Growth Factor-9 say about their product.
Growth Factor-9 is causing quite the stir among bodybuilders and fitness experts alike. This formula is a “game-changer” for many due to its ability to increase HGH levels naturally without the need for injections.
“The real miracle,” explain experts at Sierra Research Group, “is that the many touted benefits of healthy HGH levels – increased energy, reduced wrinkles, increased sex drive, weight loss, muscle gain, improved mood – may no longer be restricted to the rich and famous
CLINICALLY TESTED HORMONE SECRETAGOGUE MAXIMUM STRENGTH FORMULA*
682% MEAN INCREASE IN SERUM LEVELS*
In a recent, randomized, cross-over, double-blind clinical trial, men and women between 18 and 70 years of age were recruited. Subjects were scheduled for two testing sessions a week apart where, after an overnight fast, blood samples were drawn over a period of 120 minutes after consumption of either the proprietary Growth Factor-9 blend or placebo capsules. Neither the subjects nor the investigators knew at which session the subjects received the GF-9 blend and at which session they received the placebo. At the end of the study, the samples were tested for serum hormone levels, and the results were independently analyzed. The results: the GF-9 blend led to a 682% increase in serum hormone levels at 120 minutes, which was significant above and beyond placebo.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
I started taking Growth Factor-9 on June 1st, 2013. I followed the directions on the label exactly taking 4 tablets 2 hours after dinner. I had started a new strength training program about 3 months earlier which I felt was perfect, since after three months is just about the time my body starts to plateau from just about any workout program. Before I started taking Growth Factor-9 I did 3 simple upper body strength exercises as a baseline test just to see what I could do before starting the experiment. The three tests were push-ups, pull-ups and dips. I chose these three exercises because they had been my test exercises since I was in junior high school. I knew exactly how many of each of these exercises I could do and what were my personal best for these exercises throughout my life.
On May 31st, 2013 I did 56 push-ups, 4 pull-ups (I hate pull-ups!) and 26 dips. These were pretty typical numbers for me and were just about what they had been for the last year. My all-time high for these exercises had been 68 push-ups, 8 pull-ups and 33 dips done when I was 19 years old while I was playing college football. Now at age 52 my numbers weren’t bad but certainly nothing to crow about. My plan was to change absolutely nothing about what I was doing, continue to do my current workout and re-test myself at the end of three months. The only thing that would be different would be the supplement I was taking (just to be totally transparent I normally test myself with these exercises every month so waiting three months would also be different).
After two weeks of taking the supplement I began to notice an upswing in energy; nothing huge, just a little extra pep in my step. My strength training program seemed a little easier and I didn’t have the mid-afternoon letdown I would sometimes get. My wife said she noticed a change in the way my body looked. She said she thought I looked thicker and broader through the shoulders and chest, but honestly I didn’t notice much of a difference. I also noticed an uptick in my libido; again nothing profound I just felt a little more amorous a little more often than usual.
After a month I started to see changes in my body. I thought I looked leaner and more muscular. I also noticed that I recovered from intense exercise sessions faster than before and with shorter durations of muscle soreness. My wife said it would be hard to deny that she saw a change in our sex life. The only downside I noticed was I started having some pretty freaky dreams that ranged from scary to über sexual.
Finally September 1st rolled around and I was excited to see what my numbers would be. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I did 83 push-ups, 9 pull-ups and 41 dips– all personal bests! Was this because of Growth Factor-9? I don’t know. My workout hadn’t changed. My diet hadn’t changed and there was nothing unusual going on in my life. Maybe I had fallen under the spell of using a highly touted supplement and wanted it to work activating the placebo effect (The brain is a powerful thing). I will say this: I do feel younger, stronger and more virile, which makes this 52 year old man feel pretty good.
Will I continue to take Growth Factor-9 at $100.00 a month? Probably. Would you?
Kent Burden is the creator of the “Workout at Work” e-book series. The first two books in the series are “Workout at Work: 25 Upper Body Strength Exercises with Resistance Bands to do at Your Desk,” and “Workout at Work: 25 Lower Body Strength Exercises to do at Your Desk.” Other recent books include “Exercise Sucks! The Secret to Losing Weight Without Really Trying” and “Is Your Chair Killing You?” All of Kent’s books are available at www.amazon.com. You can reach Kent at firstname.lastname@example.org.