^
Muscle for life

The Definitive Guide to the “Fat Burner” Supplement: What Works and What Doesn’t and Why

By
The Definitive Guide to the “Fat Burner” Supplement: What Works and What Doesn’t and Why

The “fat burner” is one of the most popular–and profitable–supplements on the market today, with an almost endless supply of options. How can we know which are good and which aren’t?

 

With the weight loss market valued at a staggering $60.5 billion and more than one-third of U.S. adults obese, it’s no surprise that there’s a glut of “fat burners” for sale these days.

And for the same reasons it’s also no surprise that fat burners are some of the most expensive supplements on the shelves and feature some of the loudest marketing claims, often making big promises of “scientifically proven” rapid fat loss.

How well do these products actually work, though? Enough to warrant the significant expense?

Let’s find out.

Why the “Fat Burner” is Fundamentally Misleading

One of the reason fat burners sell so well is the moniker itself: when you’re trying to lose fat as efficiently as possible, then a “fat burner” just sounds like a perfect addition to your regimen. Anything that “burns fat” is worth a go, no?

It’s not that simple, though. No natural substance can just “burn fat” outright, regardless of how complex or pseudo-scientific the explanations are.

You see, in order to sell you on their fat burners, supplement companies will often talk about increasing fat oxidation rates, preserving lean mass, supporting the thyroid, inducing thermogenesis, inhibiting enzymes related to fat storage, inducing enzymes that cause fat loss, manipulating hormone and neurotransmitter levels, reducing water retention, improving nutrient partitioning, and more.

Well, the truth is, these are all aspects of fat loss, but this type of marketing is little more than an attempt to dazzle you with terminology and scientific half-truths in hopes that you just accept the claimed benefits at face value.

When you take a cold, hard look at the science of fat loss, there are really only three ways to appreciably speed it up:

 You can speed up your basal metabolic rate.

Your metabolic rate is a “count” of how much energy your body burns throughout the day, and the higher it goes, the faster you can lose weight.

This is because when you boil fat loss down to its utmost simplicity, it’s determined by something known as your body’s energy balance, which is the difference between the energy your body burns and the energy you feed it with food. Expend more energy than you consume over time, and you’ll lose fat.

While there are many, many ways to increase metabolic rate, they ultimately rely on one or both of the following mechanisms:

1. Encourage a cell to produce more energy from carbohydrates and fatty acids.

2. Reduce efficiency of the process through which cellular energy is produced, thus increasing the “energy cost” of meeting the body’s needs.

There are ways to manipulate those mechanisms through supplementation, and we’ll get to them in a minute, but they’re not as numerous or powerful as some supplement companies would have you believe.

 You can prevent hunger or cravings from ruining your plans.

A major reason even good diets fail is people just aren’t able to stick to them long enough. Wishes turn into cravings and ultimately binges, which can undo days or even weeks of hard work if it really gets out of hand.

While some people have an easier time than others, almost everyone has to deal with hunger and cravings to one degree or another. It’s just human nature to want to indulge in food after accidental or intentional deprivation, and regardless of whether it’s normal, it’s still interfering with your goals.

Some natural compounds are known to reduce hunger and others are known to increase the sensation of fullness you get from a meal, and a combination of proven molecules can be used to successfully reduce hunger and cravings and derive the maximum benefits from your diet.

 You can make the overall experience of dieting more enjoyable.

Make no mistake: while changing your body with diet, exercise, and supplementation can dramatically change your life for the better, it’s not easy.

No amount of pills or powders is going to get you there. It takes hard work, and it takes time. And this is another major reason why diets fail: people don’t want to go through the discomfort of it all.

Well, like reducing hunger and cravings, making the process of dieting more enjoyable, primarily by increasing the overall feeling of well-being, makes it easy to stick to the plan and see it through.

This can be achieved in various ways, but the three most effective are:

1. Utilizing a modest calorie deficit. 

If you eat too little every day, you’ll lose weight but your body is not going to feel good. Furthermore, you can also lose quite a bit of muscle

2. Eating foods you like.

Ignore the members of the cult of “clean eating“–fat loss doesn’t require abstaining from 57 different types of carbohydrate, including sugar, or anything other type of food, really.

Yes, you should get the majority of your daily calories from nutritious foods, but that gives you a lot to choose from. Unless you’re a junk food addict, pretty much anything you’d actually want to eat every day can and should be worked into your meal plan.

3. Supplementing smartly.

As you’ll soon see, supplementation can help with overall satiety and well-being, which makes it even easier to stick to your diet.

What Makes a Good “Fat Burner”?

Although the physiological machinery involved in fat loss is vast and complex, the practical application remains simple.

Contrary to what many supplement companies would lead you to believe, directly stimulating any of the thousands of proteins and enzymes involved in fat loss either doesn’t work or is uninvestigated.

Fat loss is a whole-body process, and for a fat burner to be truly based on good science and noticeably affect fat loss results, it should focus on simple, key, and proven targets because then everything else activates and functions accordingly.

Thus, a good “fat burner” would increase our basal metabolic rate, would reduce hunger and cravings, and would increase satiety and feelings of overall well-being.

Let’s look at some natural molecules often found in fat burners that can and can’t get the job done.

Caffeine

Caffeine helps you lose fat by simply increasing your body’s daily energy expenditure.

As weight loss boils down to energy consumed vs. energy expended, caffeine helps you maintain a calorie deficit.

Caffeine has other benefits for us fitness folk, though. It improves strengthmuscle endurance, and anaerobic performance, and also reverses the “morning weakness” experienced by many weightlifters.

The Bottom Line

Caffeine is a well-tolerated and effective fat loss aid and should be included in or with a good fat burner supplement.

Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketones are the primary aroma compound of the red raspberry (it gives the raspberry its smell), and it’s also found in other fruits like the blackberry and cranberry.

How did such a seemingly random compound find its way into weight loss products?

Well, it started with a couple animal studies. One demonstrated that raspberry ketone supplementation prevented weight gain by increasing lipolysis and fat oxidation, and the other backed up this mechanism.

That might be promising if it weren’t for a few little details:

  • Animal research can not be used as proof of human effectiveness. The human and rat body just isn’t similar enough, and this is especially true when talking about metabolic functions.
  • One of the rat studies was in vitro research. This means parts of living rats were removed to be studied in isolation, as opposed to research done with living, intact organisms (in vivoresearch).

In vitro research is less definitive than in vivo because living organisms are incredibly complex, and sometimes in vitro findings just don’t pan out in vivo.

  • The in vivo rat study that demonstrated weight gain prevention used an absolutely massive oral dose: up to 20 g/kg of body weight, or 4761 times greater than the average human intake.

There is one human trial I know of that is commonly cited as evidence of raspberry ketone’s effectiveness for weight loss.

The problem with this study, however, is the compound was paired with caffeine, capsaicin, garlic, ginger, and citrus aurantium as a source of synephrine. It’s impossible to know if the raspberry ketone did anything or not.

The Bottom Line

There is insufficient evidence to support the use of low oral doses of raspberry ketone for fat loss purposes. It has no place in a fat burner supplement.

Synephrine

Synephrine is a chemical compound found in certain types of citrus fruits (particularly the bitter variety).

It’s chemically similar to ephedrine and catecholamines (the chemicals adrenaline and noradrenaline, which cause the breakdown of fat cells), and although less potent than those two, it induces similar effects.

Research shows that supplementation with synephrine:

Furthermore, research shows that synephrine works synergistically with caffeine to enhance both caffeine’s and its own fat loss properties. The synergism noted in a standard “ECA” (ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin) stack also applies to synephrine.

Additionally, anything that has the ability to increase catecholamine activity can also suppress hunger between meals (a component of the fight or flight response), and thus synephrine is generally considered to be an appetite suppressant.

The Bottom Line

Syneprhine is also a safe, proven fat loss aid that should be included in a fat burner supplement.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a small fruit often used in Indian and Asian cuisine to impart a sour flavor.

It’s a good natural source of hydroxycitric acidand has received a lot of media attention recently as a weight loss aid.

These claims are unfounded, however.

Like many fad supplements, garcinia cambogia has some animal research on its side, but human research is contradictory and hard to interpret.

A couple rat studies, such as this one, have demonstrated that garcinia cambogia can reduce weight gain during a period of overfeeding. The mechanism by which it accomplished this is the suppression of fatty acid synthesis in the liver (it reduced the amount of fat the body could make from the excess calories).

The human research bursts that bubble, though.

meta analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials of garcinia cambogia found the following:

  • Three studies with small sample sizes reported statistically significant, albeit small, decreases in fat mass over the placebo groups. 

(In case you were wondering, the best result was 1.3 kg more weight lost than placebo group over a 3-month period.)

  • Two studies found no difference in weight loss between the garcinia cambogia and placebo groups, including the largest and most rigorous study reviewed.
  • The results of the remaining studies reviewed were marred by serious design and/or execution flaws.

The Bottom Line

The research currently available says that, despite its current popularity, garcinia cambogia probably won’t help you lose weight and thus isn’t worth including in a fat burner supplement.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is an herbal product derived from green tea leaves. It contains a large amount of a substance known as a “catechin,” which is responsible for many of tea’s health benefits.

One of these benefits relates to weight loss: Research has shown that supplementation with green tea extract reduces total fat massaccelerates exercise-induced fat loss, and can help reduce abdominal fat, in particular. 

The primary mechanism by which it accomplishes this is inhibiting an enzyme that degrades catecholamines, which are chemicals that mobilize fat stores to be burned for energy.

This also makes green tea extract work synergystically with caffeine–caffeine increases catecholamine levels, and green tea extract extends the amount of time they spend in the blood.

The Bottom Line

Green tea extract is an effective fat loss agent as well as an effective weight management agent and can be used in a fat burner supplement to directly help with fat loss and amplify the effectiveness of caffeine and synephrine.

Green Coffee Extract

Green coffee extract is a supplement derived from green coffee beans. It’s similar to regular coffee beans, but has high amounts of a substance known as chlorogenic acid.

This substance is particularly hot at the moment, thanks to people like Dr. Oz and other mainstream “health gurus.” It may not be everything they claim, though.

recent meta analysis of the 5 human trials available found that high dosages of chlorogenic acid via green coffee extract (400-800 mg chlorogenic acid per day) may induce fat loss, but researchers noted that the studies demonstrating this had high risks of bias due to funding sources (for-profit companies producing green coffee extract).

The Bottom Line

Green coffee extract may help you lose weight if taken in high enough dosages.

However, until more research is done on it, and particularly unbiased research, green coffee extract’s value as a fat loss supplement is uncertain. Thus, I don’t believe it’s worth including in a fat burner over other proven ingredients.

Naringenin & Hesperidin

Naringenin and hesperidin are a type of molecule known as a flavonoid and are found in grapefruits, oranges, and the skin of tomatoes.

Research shows that these two molecules stimulate the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of fat cells, and that it activates a type of receptor in fat cells that regulates fat mobilization (the PPARα receptor). Hesperidin is also know for its ability to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in blood vessels.

Research also shows that through these mechanisms, naringenin works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

The Bottom Line

Research shows that a proper dose of synephrine, naringenin, and hesperidin can increase your basal metabolic rate by as much as 183 calories, which is about the same amount of energy burned in 20 minutes of cardio.

You can further increase the effectiveness of this “stack” by adding caffeine, which I why I believe all four form a powerful “base” for a fat burner supplement.

Carnitine

Carnitine is a compound that your body produces from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and it plays a vital role in the generation of cellular energy.

While there is scientific evidence that carnitine supplementation can help with muscle recovery after exercise, does it have anything to offer in the way of weight loss?

Well, it does have a mechanism that is of interest: it increases fat oxidation in the muscles

What this means is it appears to increase the rate at which muscle tissue burns fat for fuel instead of glycogen. Theoretically, this might result in additional fat loss while exercising.

Actual research is less than promising, however.

There’s evidence that carnitine can reduce fat mass and increase muscle mass in the elderly, but these effects were not seen when it was tested with overweight pre-menopausal womenAnimal research has also failed to demonstrate any weight loss benefits when simply combined with a calorie-restricted diet.

Thus, scientists don’t know yet if carnitine’s metabolic effect are profound enough to actually accelerate weight loss when combined with exercise. Animal research says no, as well as a human trial (which isn’t definitive due to flaws in design, but is worth noting).

The Bottom Line

Unless your body’s ability to oxidize fat is impaired by disease or dysfunction, the research currently available says that carnitine supplementation isn’t likely to help with weight loss. There’s no reason to include carnitine in a fat burner supplement.

5-HTP

5-HTP is a compound involved in the metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in foods like milk, meat, potatoes, pumpkin, and various greens. It’s converted into serotonin in the brain, which is one of the principal neurotransmitters involved in feelings of happiness.

5-HTP is used over L-tryptophan as it can cross the blood-brain barrier (whereas L-tryptophan can’t), and used preferentially over serotonin itself due to a greater safety profile with oral administration.

Research shows that, when taken with food, 5-HTP increases feelings of fullness and thus helps you control your food intakeFurthermore, studies have demonstrated that 5-HTP’s satiety mechanism can reduce cravings for carbohydrates in particular.

The Bottom Line

For most people, the toughest part of dieting is just sticking to it. Anything that naturally and safely helps reduce the desire to overeat is worthwhile, and that’s why I like to see 5-HTP in a fat burner supplement.

Forskolin

Forskolin is found in the Indian herb Coleus forskohlii and has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat heart and respiratory disorders.

Supplementation with forskolin increases blood plasma and intracellular levels of a molecule known as cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), which functions as an intracellular “message relayer” vital to various biochemical processes including the regulation of glycogen, sugar, and lipid metabolism.

cAMP and ATP–adenosine triphosphate, the most basic form of cellular energy in the body–interact in a very simple yet powerful way in the cell. When ATP is high it indicates a plentiful energy state and the body will aim to store and build tissue, but when cAMP is high it signifies a lack of ATP and thus initiates a process to make more ATP by burning through energy reserves.

Forskolin activates an enzyme known as adenyl cyclase, which converts ATP to cAMP, thereby greatly increasing the ratio in favor of cAMP and initiating the energy-burning process. Furthermore, forskolin’s effects are amplified by the effects of synephrine.

This isn’t just abstract theory, either: research shows that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

The Bottom Line

Forskolin can accelerate fat loss through proven, well-understood mechanisms and is a worthwhile inclusion in a fat burner supplement.

Yohimbine

Yohimbine is a substance found in the Pausinystalia yohimbe plant, and helps block a mechanism in fat cells that prevents weight loss, which in turn speeds up fat loss.

There’s a catch, though: you must be in a fasted state for it to work (check out this article on fasted training for more information on this). The insulin spike that occurs after eating a meal completely negates the beneficial effects of yohimbine.

As with anything, excess doses of yohimbine can have negative side effects. Don’t go crazy with this. Furthermore, yohimbine has been shown to raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.

The Bottom Line

Yohimbine is an effective fat loss accelerator, but I generally don’t like its inclusion in fat burner supplements because some people experience the “jitters” from it.

Thus, I think it’s better sold and taken separately so it can be dropped out if necessary without having to lose the benefits of the rest of the fat burner.

I Couldn’t Find the Fat Burners I Really Wanted…So I Made Them

While the above list of molecules doesn’t cover everything you’ll find in popular fat burners, it covers the most common ones. And if you start looking at the ingredients lists of various products on the market, you’ll quickly notice a couple things:

  1. Many fat burners contain ingredients like raspberry ketones and garcinia cambogia that have been scientifically proven to be ineffective.
  2. Most fat burners don’t contain many of the ingredients listed above scientifically proven to be effective, and those that do almost always use tiny dosages that simply won’t deliver the same results seen in clinical studies.
  3. Almost all fat burners contain a long list of ingredients that have no research whatsoever related to fat loss.

The sad truth is the majority of fat burners on the market contain little more than a handful of cheap stimulants to make you feel like you’re burning fat and a smattering of underdosed, unproven, or ineffective (and often all three!) ingredients thrown in to pad the ingredients list and make you think you’re getting a lot for your money.

While there have been a couple decent fat burners over the years and I’ve used and recommended them, they always fell short of what I really wanted to see in terms of ingredients and dosages.

Thanks to your support of my writing and supplement line, LEGION, I’m finally able to just make the fat burners I always wished someone else would make: PHOENIX and FORGE.

PHOENIX Fat Burner

 

The reality is most “fat burners” are junk but there are a handful of natural, safe substances that have been scientifically proven to accelerate fat loss. And that’s why I created PHOENIX.

PHOENIX’s caffeine-free formulation helps you burn fat faster in three different ways:

  • It dramatically increases metabolic speed.
  • It amplifies the power of fat-burning chemicals produced by your body.
  • It increases the feeling of fullness from food.

It accomplishes this through clinically effective dosages of several ingredients, including…

Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

Research has show that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

  • And more…

The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without pumping yourself full of stimulants or other potentially harmful chemicals…then you want to try PHOENIX.

phoenix-bottle

FORGE Fat Burner

FORGE is a fat burner made specifically for use with fasted training. It helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.

FORGE was created with three very specific goals in mind:

  1. To maximize the amount of fat you lose while training on an empty stomach
  2. To minimize the amount of muscle you lose while training in this state
  3. To help you maintain intensity and focus in your workouts, which can wane when “training on empty”

The proof of FORGE’s superiority is in the formulation. Every serving contains the following…

  • HMB. β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (also known as HMB) is a substance formed when your body metabolizes the amino acid leucine.

Research shows that HMB is an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent,  which means it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown. And this means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.

  • Yohimbine. Research shows that yohimbine enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.

Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

The bottom line is FORGE helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.

forge-bottle1 

The Bottom Line with Fat Burners

Well, as you’ll see, the general rules of supplements holds true with fat burners as well:

  1. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  2. If you don’t eat and train correctly, no supplement can save you.

That said, if you take the time to inform yourself about what molecules have been scientifically proven to aid in fat loss, and then either find those in a fat burner or make your own using them, you can noticeably speed up fat loss without any great cost or negative side effects.

 

What did you think of this guide on fat burners? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE USED MY BOOKS TO BUILD THEIR BEST BODIES EVER. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
Comment!
  • Good guide. I’m personally using forskolin as cAMP booster.

    That Garcinia gambogia shit was shown in one study to be destructive to testicular tissue and leydig cells.

    Makes me think why that doctor OZ tool recommends it 😀 hate that fucking pseudo doc…

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Forskolin is definitely an interesting molecule.

      Yeah garcinia is shit and Oz is a troll.

  • Anonymous Atom

    Is it Forskolin 95 in your Phoenix supp?

    • Michael Matthews

      No, I’m not using the patented forskolin because it offers no benefits over unpatented forms.

  • Joe

    Does synephrin have the same vasoconstrictive properties as ephedrine? If so, does hesperidin counteract the vasoconstriction? How do the vasoconstrictive properties of your product compare to EC?

    • Michael Matthews

      It does have the vasoconstrictive properties (it is inherent to the mechanism shared between ephedrine and synephrine) although it is much weaker, only overdoses of ephedrine (75mg or more) would be a concern IMO. Hesperidin would definitely help, but since its venotropic effects are usually active at a higher oral dose I would only think there is mild protective effects here.

      That being said, overall I would think the vasoconstrictive effects of Phoenix overall are comparable to ECA. We do have some protective stuff in there, but some other things that aren’t. It would roughly even out IMO, still safe but not something we want those with cardiovascular issues to take.

  • Another great one Mike. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m definitely going to pick up some Phoenix for my next cut, which isn’t until next year.

    Question for you though. I’m trying to Bulk on your one year plan; however, I want to gain as much lean mass with as little fat as I can. Do you think taking a fat burner while on a calorie surplus will accomplish max muscle gains with minimal fat gain? Or will it impede my muscle gains? (I’ve been wondering the same thing about intermittent faster, but you kinda already spoke on that — you prefer to not i-fast when bulking.)

    Thanks again! Sean

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man! I hope you like it when the time comes.

      I wouldn’t bother with a fat burner while bulking as it won’t matter much. Just do 2-3 cardio sessions per week to burn a little extra energy and keep yourself in a mild surplus.

      Watch the cheat meals too. Many guys MURDER cheat meals when bulking and it really adds to the fat storage…

      • Oh definitely. I’ve read enough of your stuff to know that, lol.

        Actually, I’m at 3,400 calories, which seems hard to get everyday. Everyday is a cheat meal, and I NEVER murder them. Ever. No interest in doing so, thanks in large part to you and thanks also to oils, yams, and quinoa pasta to get those calories up without wasting them.

  • MsJadensDad .

    Hi Mike,

    I was wondering how you suggest taking Phoenix (empty stomach immediately before working out, fasted first thing in the morning, etc.), and whether or not you suggest using it every day during a cut or only on days you work out. Also, can you sell me on why I should take Phoenix instead of VPX when I’ve had good results from VPX in the past and it is backed by a couple of university studies on those amounts of that combination of ingredients? Give us your pitch…

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question! It will actually do best with food so the 5-HTP can increase satiety. Fats will help absorption of other molecules as well.

      VPX MD is a decent formulation but many of the ingredients aren’t backed by anything. Ultimately you’ll just have to try mine vs theirs and see which you do best with…

      • Byron Narine

        Since there is no caffeine in it, I was planning on taking this fasted, will there be any side affects to efficiency?

        • Michael Matthews

          No that will be fine but you won’t get the satiety benefits of 5HTP that’s all.

          • Byron Narine

            Excellent, then I would most likely stick to my one meal a day plan, take a pill in the AM, and then once again after my meal.

          • Michael Matthews

            That works. LMK how it goes.

  • Adam

    Hi Mike, I love that you developed a non-caffeinated fat burner! Thank you! I get enough caffeine from my pre-workout drink and green tea extract, so I have been trying to avoid the popular fat burners on the market since they are just loaded with caffeine. I have been using a homemade mix of supplements, some of which are included in your Phoenix supplement. I have to questions for you:

    1. What are your thoughts on CLA, capsaicin, or 7-keto as fat stoppers/burners?
    2. What do you recommend for fasted training and Phoenix (I currently supplement with Yohimbine, GTE, and my pre-workout before training); Should I take Phoenix with my first meal after working out?

    Thanks again!
    Adam

    • Michael Matthews

      Dude I’m 100% with you! I’ve always hated that the decent fat burners were loaded with caffeine, which meant no pre-workout.

      1. CLA is unreliable and thus not worth the money. Cap doesn’t do enough to matter. 7-keto’s value as a fat loss agent is questionable at the moment: http://examine.com/supplements/7-Keto+DHEA/.

      2. Phoenix will be best when taken with meals so the 5-HTP can increase satiety. This is another reason why I really like it, actually. Your fasted training = caffeine & yohimbine and then your post-workout meal or a later meal with dietary fat, Phoenix.

      • Adam

        Awesome, thanks! Also, when can I get my hands on Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger?! I’m dying to change up my workout with it.

        • Michael Matthews

          YW! I get the final proof on Friday and if that’s good, then I’m ready to launch! So very very sooN!

  • Byron Narine

    Hi Mike, I was wondering how to create my own stack as I was reading this article. I’m relieved to see you’ve created your own formulation. Due to the many appetite supressant and BMR raising benefits, would you reccomend this for daily use? Daily use to me means even on off days (the ones where I don’t work out)

    • Byron Narine

      (subscribing)

      • Michael Matthews

        Thanks man 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the comment Byron! Yup Phoenix will be intended for daily use, including rest days.

      • Byron Narine

        Awesome, I see that the bottle has a good amount of pills in them, what is the reccommended dosage?

        • Michael Matthews

          Hmm you’ll want to do 1 serving at a time. Personally I would do 2 servings per day.

          And I wouldn’t recommend 1 meal per day. 2-3 would be better.

          • Byron Narine

            Ordered 🙂

            I’m working on a plan to incorporate two meals in my day now. Thanks again!

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks man!

  • Britabroad

    Hi,

    I’m reading TLS and being hypothyroid I have to be careful what supps I take. I’m on Green Tea tabs daily and want to know if you recommend Phoenix for underactive thyroid patients ?

    Thanks !

    • acirpr

      i’d love to know this as well, Mike.

    • Jennifer Maxine

      Great question!

      • john max

        JOIN THE ILLUMINATI CALL +2347059014517 OR info. [email protected] JOIN THE ILLUMINATI FROM NIGERIA, USA, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY BE RICH, FAME, AND POSSES POWER.email us on info [email protected] OR call us on +2347059014517 for immediate initiation New members registration is now open online now !!!!! BENEFITS GIVEN TO NEW MEMBERS WHO JOIN ILLUMINATI. A Cash Reward of USD $300,000 USD A New Sleek Dream CAR valued at USD $120,000 USD A Dream House bought in the country of your own choice One Month holiday (fully paid) to your dream tourist destination. One year Golf Membership package A V.I.P treatment in all Airports in the World A total Lifestyle change Access to Bohemian Grove Monthly payment of $1,000,000 USD into your bank account every month as a member One Month booked Appointment with Top 5 world Leaders and Top 5 Celebrities in the World. If you are interested call the agent now +2347059014517 or send your e- mail to [email protected] for immediately initiation.New members registration is now open online…….

    • I’m curious too

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for reading the book! Run it by your doc but I don’t see any reason why it would be contraindicated? The BMR boost will help!

      • Britabroad

        Thanks for the steer Mike ! My fat loss goal is not significant and but I don’t mind trying some fat loss supps in the short-term. Waiting to receive one of your meal plans which should help !!

        • Michael Matthews

          My pleasure! Great! We’ll take good care of you!

  • Rob Pesick

    I pre-ordered Phoenix, when can I expect it to arrive?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! It will be shipping out in 7-10 days. There was a snag getting the exact type of forskolin I wanted. I’m actually sending out an email on this right now with a coupon to make up for the inconvenience!

      • Byron Narine

        Hey, I just wanted to check with you to see if this has been distributed, as I haven’t recieved anything on coupon related.

        • Michael Matthews

          It’s hitting being processed by the fulfillment house as we speak and shoot an email to contact at legionsupplements.com about the coupon and we’ll take care of you.

  • Kerry Leasure Rojas

    Hi Mike – thanks for this article. I’ve pre-ordered my Phoenix and am excited to try it. I’ve read the questions and your comments below, so I just want to confirm that what I’ll be doing makes sense for a cut:
    pre-fasted workout: 1 scoop Pulse, GTE, Yohimbine
    with breakfast: Phoenix
    with lunch: Phoenix, GTE
    Any changes you think I should make?
    I was taking VPX and through a little research and process of elimination I figured out that my sudden chronic migraines were due to the VPX (um…allegedly).
    Thanks,
    Kerry

    • Anthony Giangrande

      If you’re training fasted, you need to add 10g BCAAs pre-workout. Very important to prevent excessive muscle breakdown during fasted training.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thank you!

      I like your routine but remember you need some BCAAs or leucine before the fasted training.

      Interesting on the VPX MD. Not sure which ingredient could be causing that…

      • Kerry Leasure Rojas

        Thank, Mike! Apparently too much caffeine can cause chronic migraines?? Either that or I have a brain tumor and since they stopped within a day and a half of cutting the VPX I’m going with caffeine overload.

        • Michael Matthews

          LOL yes caffeine can do that.

  • Ryan

    Hey Mike – Great article! I’ve also pre-ordered your new supplement, Phoenix. I’m excited to try it. I train around 5PM and I’m taking Legion pre-workout. Would you suggest taking Phoenix in the morning with breakfast, with Legion pre-workout, or with a post-workout meal?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! It’s best taken with meals containing fat. I would do breakfast and lunch personally.

      • Mattia

        Why best with meals containing fat?

        • Michael Matthews

          Helps with absorption of the ingredients.

  • Allen

    Can’t wait to try this. I’m currently cutting and having trouble with those last 5-10 lbs.

  • Rick20033

    I don’t see that this question has been asked yet. Does a user cycle Phoenix like he would other fat burners (for example, 8 weeks on and 4 weeks off)?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah just because the body builds a tolerance over time.

    • john max

      JOIN THE ILLUMINATI CALL +2347059014517 OR info. [email protected] JOIN THE ILLUMINATI FROM NIGERIA, USA, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY BE RICH, FAME, AND POSSES POWER.email us on info [email protected] OR call us on +2347059014517 for immediate initiation New members registration is now open online now !!!!! BENEFITS GIVEN TO NEW MEMBERS WHO JOIN ILLUMINATI. A Cash Reward of USD $300,000 USD A New Sleek Dream CAR valued at USD $120,000 USD A Dream House bought in the country of your own choice One Month holiday (fully paid) to your dream tourist destination. One year Golf Membership package A V.I.P treatment in all Airports in the World A total Lifestyle change Access to Bohemian Grove Monthly payment of $1,000,000 USD into your bank account every month as a member One Month booked Appointment with Top 5 world Leaders and Top 5 Celebrities in the World. If you are interested call the agent now +2347059014517 or send your e- mail to [email protected] for immediately initiation.New members registration is now open online……

  • April

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you for this article, I am struggling with weight loss. I have a lot of stress in my life that seems impossible to cut out. I’m going to be 30 this September and I would like to be well on my way to a healthier version of me so I’m thinking of getting Phoenix. I’m not sure if it would be ok for me to take though. I’m currently taking Now brand special two multi vitamin, b-12, and egcg green tea extract. I also have a tsp or two of maca powder in my shakes. Would any of the ingredients interfere with each other ? I also have mitral valve prolapse not sure if that matters lol. Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      My pleasure!

      Yes you can take it. It won’t interfere with anything you’re talking.

      Let’s check out your diet as well though:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

    • john max

      JOIN THE ILLUMINATI CALL +2347059014517 OR info. [email protected] JOIN THE ILLUMINATI FROM NIGERIA, USA, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY BE RICH, FAME, AND POSSES POWER.email us on info [email protected] OR call us on +2347059014517 for immediate initiation New members registration is now open online now !!!!! BENEFITS GIVEN TO NEW MEMBERS WHO JOIN ILLUMINATI. A Cash Reward of USD $300,000 USD A New Sleek Dream CAR valued at USD $120,000 USD A Dream House bought in the country of your own choice One Month holiday (fully paid) to your dream tourist destination. One year Golf Membership package A V.I.P treatment in all Airports in the World A total Lifestyle change Access to Bohemian Grove Monthly payment of $1,000,000 USD into your bank account every month as a member One Month booked Appointment with Top 5 world Leaders and Top 5 Celebrities in the World. If you are interested call the agent now +2347059014517 or send your e- mail to [email protected] for immediately initiation.New members registration is now open online..

  • Jennifer Maxine

    Ooooohh. I want! Is there any supps that you can’t take with it? I know your stance and read above and in the comments – but I do take CLA, L-carnitine (both liquid forms in a protein shake). And also started 7 keto. Aside from normal vitamins I take DIM for some hormone issues. Is that fine to incorporate your new fat burner? And, for woman, the ingredient that helps testosterone is fine for is? I actually am dealing with estrogen dominance – too much estrogen. Just want to make sure that wont worsen that. Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, no contraindications except for SSRIs and MAOIs.

      The forskolin shouldn’t negatively impact estrogen levels.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for the support!

      • Jennifer Maxine

        Great thanks! Ill preorder today.

        • Michael Matthews

          YW and thank you. Let me know how you like it.

  • Pingback: Why Rapid Weight Loss Is Superior to “Slow Cutting” (And How to Do It Right) | Muscle For Life()

  • CD

    Hi Mike…thanks for all of your research and sharing it with us! Is this fine for women as well?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yes absolutely.

  • Dexx Williams

    Hi Mike, I’m looking to order Phoenix off ya. I see it’s 4 pills in a serving. I hate having to choke down pills, but since you’re awesome, I’ll swallow my dislike for them. Just wondering how many servings a day and when for the product? 4 pills w/ breakfast and then 4 pre-workout? I’m 6’2″ and 250 but looking to cut down to 220. Cheers!

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha thanks man. You’re going to like it. I would start with 1 serving per day: 2 with meal 1 containing fat, 2 with meal 2. See how your body responds and up to 2 servings per day if you want. I would, haha.

  • Edgar Espinoza

    Is it safe to take the Fat Burner (Phoenix) & the Pre-Workout at the same Time ?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup!

  • Renier

    I will definitely be getting this on my next cut, Love the fact that you put research to support the product, just one question, do I need to keep taking this or can I just stop after reaching my desire bf %? because people tends to say that you gain the fat that you lost once you stop taking the fat burner, your thoughts?

  • AmandaH

    I have taken 5 htp in the past and it made me a very vicious person. can you tell me why?

    • Michael Matthews

      Really?? Wow That’s odd. Never heard of that.

  • flabbycurious

    can legion’s phoenix be taken by females?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yep!

  • Jason

    Hey Mike I am trying to train 3 to 4 times a week, I am trying to watch what I eat and my routine incorporates upper body, lower body and high intensity circuit training. I have been doing this for a few months and I have seen some results. I am interested in phoenix but when should I take it? I always eat three meals a day.please let me know. Thanks.

  • mike

    I just want to clarify. Dosage is 2 capsules, twice a day? Total 4 pills a day, correct?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup! Some people do 2 -3 servings per day but that’s a bit excessive IMO.

  • Serge

    Hi Mike,

    I’m thinking of getting a Phoenix for my (non-stop) cut. Currently I train fasted (in the morning) and use BCAA (unflavored), GTE and Yohimbine hcl. I noticed from your cutting routine that you don’t use GTE anymore before workout. Am I getting this right that Phoenix can substitute GTE without any “loss”?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Lol non-stop cutting isn’t good.

      Yes that’s right.

  • Jeremy

    I have an order of Phoenix coming in today. I want to be sure that I am taking it properly. I know that I should take 2 with meals containing fat, but I don’t get a lot of fat during the day (about 20% – 25% of my total calories). My question is: How much fat is need for the best absorption? and Could taking it with Omga-3’s be beneficial?

    Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah 2 caps with food 2 x per day. You don’t need a lot of fat. Just take them with a meal containing SOME. 10 g is plenty, for instance.

      O3s would be fine for this purpose yes.

      Let me know how you like it.

  • Pingback: Fat Burners That Really Work Reviews | Metabolism Boosters Review()

  • Sep

    Hi Mike, do you ship to the UK? what are the postage costs? also, so far every time I’ve been cutting I’ve done it without fat burners and I try to be in 15-20% calory deficit. Since some of the stuff in your fat burner raise metabolic rate (by about 200 cal per day per serving?) should I now eat an extra 200 calories or will that defeat the point of taking it in the first place? don’t want too big a calorie deficit as it wastes muscle.
    Cheers

  • john max

    JOIN THE ILLUMINATI CALL +2347059014517 OR info. [email protected] JOIN THE ILLUMINATI FROM NIGERIA, USA, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY BE RICH, FAME, AND POSSES POWER.email us on info [email protected] OR call us on +2347059014517 for immediate initiation New members registration is now open online now !!!!! BENEFITS GIVEN TO NEW MEMBERS WHO JOIN ILLUMINATI. A Cash Reward of USD $300,000 USD A New Sleek Dream CAR valued at USD $120,000 USD A Dream House bought in the country of your own choice One Month holiday (fully paid) to your dream tourist destination. One year Golf Membership package A V.I.P treatment in all Airports in the World A total Lifestyle change Access to Bohemian Grove Monthly payment of $1,000,000 USD into your bank account every month as a member One Month booked Appointment with Top 5 world Leaders and Top 5 Celebrities in the World. If you are interested call the agent now +2347059014517 or send your e- mail to [email protected] for immediately initiation.New members registration is now open online………

  • Anna

    I avoid caffeine — will Phoenix still work for me?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup. It works synergistically with caffeine but doesn’t require it to work.

  • Juliana LFE

    Hi Mike, I workout early in the morning fasted. Considering taking a pre-workout like ON Amino Energy. Would I still require to take BCAA separately?

    • Michael Matthews

      If AE has 3-5 g of leucine, you could use just it. If it doesn’t have leucine, though, you’d need leucine or BCAAs separately.

  • KJ

    Hi mike . First off i just want to say thank you for educating me in all you do. I would be so greatful if you answered a few quick questions.

    • if your already in a caloric deficit while cutting. Will using phoenix not put you in to much of a deficit?
    And do you start taking this supplement immediately when starting a cut. After calculating your deficit?
    • does phoenix contain any calories?
    • how much is shipping to the UK.

    Thank you again for educating me

    • Michael Matthews

      My pleasure!

      1. Nope. Increasing energy output has different effects on the body than further restricting food.

      2. Yes I take it right when I start and I use on top of a 20-25% deficit.

      3. No.

      4. I’m not totally sure but if you go to the checkout page on the site, you’ll see.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Michael Edwards

    Hey mike, i would love to try your fat burner and even your preworkout as well. But i live in Adelaide, South Australia. Do you post overseas?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yessir! We ship everywhere in the world. 🙂

  • Jeg

    Mike, does one need to be at a certain bf% for this to be truly effective. I’m at about 20%.

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope Phoenix will help you lose fat faster regardless of where you’re currently at.

  • Pingback: The Top 40 Muscle for Life Articles of 2014 | Muscle For Life()

  • Pingback: 3 Calorie Counting "Secrets" Every Dieter Should Know | Muscle For Life()

  • Roman

    Hey Mike! Wanted your opinion on something regarding caffeine. Im wondering how often you should cycle off of caffeine/pre workouts that have caffeine and for how long. I have seen 2 months on, 1 off. 8-12 weeks on, 2 weeks off. Or is it even necessary to cycle off of caffeine? I usually have it pre workout and then throughout the day from other drinks and such, so I do have a decent amount almost every day. What’s your advise on cycling off caffeine or how to do it? Thanks!

      • Roman

        Should I still take a caffeine break if I have been consuming it on a daily basis (about 400mg each day) and then start using it again following the guidelines you laid out? Or just follow the guidelines starting right now and not worry about taking a week or two off? Thanks mike

        • I like to take a break one day per week. Sometimes it doesn’t happen though haha.

  • Greg Groves

    Quick question, what’s your thoughts/opinion using CLA?

    • I used to recommend it but more recent research shows it’s just unreliable in its effects, so I no longer use or recommend.

  • Sakeenah

    Hi Mike,
    I just bought your new supplement Phoenix and I am LOVING it! I know the reccommended dosage is twice a day. Is there any harm with taking it three times a day?

    • Thank you! I’m really glad to hear that!

      Nope, no harm if you feel fine.

      Keep me posted on how the fat loss goes!

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Pingback: 3 Ways Supplement Companies Are Screwing You | Muscle For Life()

  • Lindsay

    Hi Mike,
    First and foremost, thank you for your website, books and accessibility to questions on here. I am doing your TLS program. Starting stats 5’9, 171b, 29% body fat. With your calculations, I was eating 1800 cals/day and after two weeks, not very noticeable results so I adjusted down to 1650 by cutting the carbs (per the book’s formula and suggestions) so I’m aiming for 50% protein, 30% carb, 20% fat though I am not always perfect at hitting the exact grams/percentages.

    Here is my question: I just bought Pheonix to add to my program. I’ve seen your article that describes your exact regimen when cutting and your regimen when bulking but it is my understanding that with my high body fat and lack of muscle, I should be able to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Where do I add Phoenix to my routine? I know it should be taken with my caffeine and with food but I take my caffeine before my meal.

    Right now, I am doing the following:

    Pre-Lift
    30-20-20
    caffeine-coffee

    Post-lift
    meal w/ 30g protein, 60% of my carbs for the day

    Lunch

    (If it’s a cardio day then I do)
    Pre-cardio, fasted

    Dinner after cardio

    Thank you! I hope I have’t been too confusing!

    • Thanks Lindsay! I really appreciate the support.

      Cool on your numbers. 1600ish sounds right.

      Yeah you should be able to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. And most people like to take 1/2 serving of Phoenix with one meal and another 1/2 with another. Some people do 1 servings per day but I recommend you start with 1.

      So for instance, you could have 1/2 serving with lunch and 1/2 with dinner.

      Thoughts?

      • Lindsay

        Thanks for the reply, Mike. Yes, 2pills (1/2 serving) 2x daily I think sounds great. Do you recommend taking if with my coffee and protein shake pre-workout or post workout with my meal? Thanks again! You rock!

        • Cool! Personally I would do pre-workout and with a later meal.

          Thanks! 🙂 LMK how it goes.

  • mandy3

    Synephrine has been banned by the NCAA. Can you verify the reasoning behind this?

  • flexluis84 .

    Whats your opinion on using a ECA stack or clenbuterol with cytomel T3 for fatloss ? without AAS.

    • ECA is safe at least although I would leave the aspirin out. I wouldn’t mess with drugs like clen or T3.

  • Pingback: Stopped Losing Weight? Here's Why (and How to Fix It) | Muscle For Life()

  • sfczarnecki

    Hi Mike! I started using Yohimbine about a week and a half ago. I haven’t noticed any jitters or nausea. I’m taking your recommended dosage along with caffeine in the AM. I take it before my workout first thing in the morning so I am using it properly in a fasted state. I noticed something odd a couple of days after starting. I suddenly put on 3 pounds…which was odd but it happens. But I’ve not lost it. Now I’m noticing that I am retaining water consistantly (similar to PMS)…to the point that things are jiggley like a water balloon, my pants are uncomfortable on my stomach, and I get “imprints” from socks on my legs. I did a little looking around and it seems that water retention can be a side effect of Yohimbine? I drink (literally) a gallon jug of water daily and I urinate regularly but it hasn’t changed. Have you experienced this? Does it suddenly go away as your body adjusts to the dosage? It really is uncomfortable and I’m not sure what to do. Thanks.

    • Cool!

      Hmm are you sure it’s not just related to Na and K? Anything change there? Water intake change?

      • sfczarnecki

        You always reply so quickly! Honestly, I’ve not made any changes in my diet at all (I’m sure I should, though…but I thought I’d start with just the supplements and see how I felt first) and my water intake is the same….a one gallon jug while at work and then sipping water or hot tea in the evenings. I have not changed any other supplementation (correction…I did add GTE with lunch). I still have to go to the bathroom frequently I just don’t seem to actually “drain”. And it is an “all over” puffy. If it were just in my abdomen I’d think it was food bloat. Should I find a supplemental drink to add more sodium and potassium? Usually my evening snack will include half a small banana or a 1/4 cup of diced watermelon but I don’t know if that changes anything. As always, thanks for responding!

        • Yeah I do! 🙂

          Hmm let’s try the obvious and just cut out the yohimbine and see how your body responds?

          • sfczarnecki

            Thanks, Mike! I hate to “give up” on something so soon especially before it has really had a chance to prove its worthiness but if it doesn’t ease up I may have to do just that…or wear my “Thanksgiving Day” pants all the time!

          • Yeah I know but let’s just see. 🙂

  • Larissa

    Hi! Would u recommend this if I’m currently reverse dieting /lean bulking? Thanks!

    • It’s not necessary, no, but it may help you minimize the amount of fat you gain.

      • __187b___

        Thanks for the reply! How many do u suggest I take in a day, just to keep it tight… I’m a natural body builder and my current macros are C275 P155 F 60 wt 100.6lbs today, taken before food and water. I also ordered recharge and I can’t wait to try it out..

        • YW! If you’re talking PHOENIX 1 serving plus day with caffeine is enough to give a little boost.

          Awesome on the macros. That’s high. I like it.

          Thanks on Recharge! LMK what you think.

  • Pingback: How I Use Calorie Cycling to Build Muscle and Stay Lean | Muscle For Life()

  • Mike F

    Mike, you used to talk about VPX meltdown. Do you still recommend it? I have almost a full bottle left and was planning on switching to Phoenix when it’s finished but I don’t want to keep using it if it’s bad for you. Thanks!

    • The old formulation was good but I’m not a fan of their new product.

  • Livo

    Hello. What fat % should a woman have in the body for being fit but also be able to be mom? Will you recommend still the supplements to someone that is trying to have kids through IVF in vitro fertilization?. Thanks so much

      • Livo

        Hi I appreciate that you advise me this article. IVF its not because of me or any infertility issue, but my husband got cancer and the possibilities of having a baby in a traditional way is null. So we have to go through IVF. According to your article IVF has very negative sides, but I can decide not to do it and not being parents or do it and assume the risk.

        • My pleasure.

          Oh okay I do understand! I would just do everything you can to maximize fertility then as laid out in the article…

  • Pingback: The Definitive Guide to Why You're Not Losing Weight | Muscle For Life()

  • Mike, thank you for all the great information!

    I’m looking to accomplish two things. Find a new supplement to use, and start a Keto diet. My BMR is at 2,100 calories. So I read a diet of 1,600-1,500 calories would be sufficient. Would this be ok http://www.fatburnerdepot.com/healthy-1500-calorie-diet-meal-plan-for-any-fat-burner/ It’s a keto diet that says it’s for any fat burner and it’s right at the calorie limit that I have to be at. But I don’t want a lot of muscle loss either. Maybe someone else knows or is in the same boat?

    You’re the expert, you know best!
    Anyways, thank you for any help and for the great post!
    -Jesse

  • Bob

    Hey Mike, what do you think about supplements that use C3G or better known as Cyanide 3-Glucoside? Can it really stop you from storing more fat? Really interested on your thoughts because this seems to be the growing trend for fat burner afterDr. Oz talked about it in his show.

    • Bob

      To correct my self it is Cyanidin-3-Glucoside

      • alexmyers83

        http://examine.com/supplements/Cyanidin some good data on this compound, actually—although yes generally speaking I stay away from anything Dr. Oz endorses…this one may be an exception but time will tell…seems like it has some bioavailability issues but otherwise looks pretty fascinating.

        • That does seem pretty interesting!

          Some good info from Examine.com so far.

          We’ll see how the research develops.

    • I haven’t looked into this but if Dr. Oz recommends it, don’t waste your money.

  • Jon

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve slowly gone through a bottle of Phoenix and have come to best like it for its workout boost when using in pre workout (it helps performance). I also take fermented Ginseng with Pulse as well. My question surrounds adding Forge to this routine. Since synepherine is a stimulant, along with Yohimbine’s effects in raising blood pressure (and it definitely does), do you recommend taking together pre-workout along with Pulse which also has close to daily max of Caffeine?

    I’m a little concerned about this cocktail when used in combination. There’s a lot going on with it. Could L-Arginine help offset the risks?

    • Glad you’re enjoying Phoenix!

      Forge, Phoenix and Pulse work great together. In fact, those are the products that are making up our fat-loss stack. 🙂

      As to the L-Arginine, that’s what the L-Citrulline DL-Malate is for. It’s already in Pulse. Check this out:

      http://examine.com/supplements/Citrulline/

      What do you think?

  • jennifer

    Hey mike! I’m thinking about buying FORGE because I work out better in the morning and in a fasted state. I do have a question though, can I still take BCAA’s while on this product ??

    • jennifr

      OH and also I am a little confused when to take the product, i know before the workout but not sure if 15 mins before or it doesn’t matter? and how many capsules to take?

    • Glad you’re interested in Forge!

      And no, Forge replaces the need for BCAAs. 🙂

  • Mike Alexander

    Hey Mike – When do you expect there will be new Phoenix inventory available. I tried to place on order on Legion and Amazon websites but its seems to be sold out. In the meantime, what do you recommend taking to replace it. I am starting a new fasted regimen and was looking to take a Forge/Phoenix stack. Thanks!

    • Yeah, sorry about that! It’ll be back in 2-3 weeks.

      In the meantime, there really aren’t any other decent fat-burners so I’d recommend picking up caffeine, green tea and synephrine to make your own stack…

  • Shelley collins

    Hi mike

    My husband and I have just ordered forge and pulse, we wanted to order Phoenix too but your out of stock. Should we wait till phoenix is back in stock before we start taking forge and pulse or will they still work well on their own without Phoenix?

    Thanks
    Shelley

    • Sorry about Phoenix! It’ll be back in 2-3 weeks.

      Pulse and Forge will work perfectly fine without Phoenix–no worries.

  • Scott

    Hey Mike there’s one thing i see hasn’t been mentioned about Forge on this site or legion is why there’s an additional 338mg of Calcium per serving in the product along with the calcium hmb? I’ve looked at other hmb products and have also taken Optimum Nutrition’s HMB which is straight HMB and i have a interest in your product cause it includes Yohimbine but when i see extra ingredients i get curious, if you could let me know what that’s about i’d really appreciate it thanks

    • Hey Scott,

      We’re using a form of HMB that’s bound with calcium. There is no additional calcium.

      Hope this helps!

      Mike

  • Brendin

    with phoenix its recommended to take with meals. yet you say its great stacking with forge in a fasted state. can you eloborate a little bit plz?

    • Sure. It’s recommended to be taken with food because for some people, it can be a bit much on an empty stomach.

      However, if you feel fine taking it on an empty stomach, it does stack well with Forge so feel free to do so. 🙂

  • Jeremiah

    I know this isn’t used for Fat Burning… but what’s the word on ATP Adenosine-5 Triphosphate?

  • Dustin

    Hi Mike,

    I’m starting a cutting phase. I do fasted HIIT in the morning and resistance at night. What stacks would you recommend? Forge and Phoenix for cardio, Pulse for resistance, etc.?

    • Nice!

      Yup, Pulse, Forge and Phoenix for the fasted HIIT. Same if you’re weightlifting fasted. If not, just Pulse and Phoenix.

  • Dustin

    FOR BELOW:
    I just noticed I can stack all 3 for fat loss, but usually I like a pump before resistance. WHat do you recommend? Taking it twice a day would probably be too much caffein?

    • Yeah, I’d split the Pulse serving so you take 1 scoop with HIIT and 1 scoop with weightlifting.

  • Alex Wunder

    Will 5-htp mess with my sleep or my natural balance? I ordered some off amazon and took 200 mg today. I am taking it to reduce hunger cravings after my post workout meal because I do not eat for about 6 or more hours thereafter.

    I am just worried that it will interfere with:

    1. My sleep due to its effects on melatonin
    2. My natural balance of happiness/depression due to its effects on serotonin

    Should this concern me? Or is it too small of a dosage to affect that?

    I am not depressed, do not have sleep issues or anything of the like. I felt a change in my mental state about an hour or so after taking it that felt closely related to that of street drugs (probably because of the increased serotonin- not sure)..

    Just want your opinion. Thank you!

    • No on both. You should be totally fine. If, however, you find you don’t respond well to it, just drop it.

      • Alex Wunder

        Thanks for the advice Mike. I tried it for 3-4 days. Made me feel nauseous and I am not a fan. It did however make me less hungry, but the feeling it gave me instead, by my opinion, was worse.

        Messing around with eating at different times now and seeing what works best to deal with the problem another way. Ill get it all figured out.

        Anyways, have a great day man!

        • Yeah manipulating meal frequency and size are the best ways to control hunger.

  • Adam Symonds

    Hello, above you state:

    “Research shows that a proper dose of synephrine, naringenin, and hesperidin can increase your basal metabolic rate by as much as 183 calories”

    The research link however mentioned naringin instead of naringenin?

    Are these two interchangeable?

    As in when combined with synephrine and hesperidin would they both produce similar rate increases or only naringin as mentioned in the article?

    Thanks

  • Gavin

    Hey Mike,

    Just a quick question about ‘Forge’. I do intermittent fasting from 6AM till about 1PM, usually go to the gym around 11:30AM-12:00 3 days a week. Just wondering when the best time to take this would be.

    Would I be short changing the fat burning effects by taking it pre-workout when i eat right after? Would it be better in the early AM or would that take the anti-catabolic properties of the HMB out of the equation?

    Thanks

  • Amanda

    All natural way to burn fat – if you love coconut!!! http://250d5s5pwf27wz6z32xdr9bz2n.hop.clickbank.net/

  • Gary

    If I’m already at a caloric deficit of 20% and losing 8-10 pounds a month, would using this be beneficial? Would raising my bmr with this put me at too much of a deficit if I stay eating the same amount of calories?

    Thanks!

    • I would say keep doing exactly what you’re doing. I assume your body fat % is quite high?

      • Gary

        I started at 34%. Currently I’m at 18%. Sorry, above I meant would using the fat burner you sell be beneficial to me or would it drop me to low in a deficit if I ate the same amount of calories.

        Also, I really appreciate your site and YouTube channel!

        • Damn. Great job Gary!

          How much are you losing per week ATM?

          Glad you’re enjoying them! My pleasure. 🙂

  • Tyler

    Hi, may I ask why caffeine is absent in Phoenix?Since caffeine is such a effective thermogenic, wouldnt the inclusion of caffeine in Phoenix render it a much more potent fat burner overall?

    Thanks!!

    • Yup it’s meant to be taken with caffeine but most people would prefer to get that caffeine from stuff like pre-workout or coffee, not pills.

  • ashokraju7

    Hey Mike!

    Quick question. Do you take Phoenix Fat Burner while bulking? Does it help with slowing down the fat gain while you bulk? Or am I better of saving the pills for when I’m cutting?

    Thanks!

    • Nah, there’s no need to take it while bulking. The whole point while bulking is to put on muscle and gain weight and that requires a calorie surplus.

      Losing fat requires a calorie deficit. So, taking Phoenix while in a surplus doesn’t make sense. Save it for when you’re cutting!

      My pleasure!

  • Jonathan Martinez

    Hey Mike, me again.

    I am taking forge when I can workout fasted but I have a question. you said you can have some coffee with it right? Do you mean Black coffee or Coffee with Milk?

    And one more thing. I am following your recommendations, workouts, diet but I can not get below 11%BF but keep losing weight. I am kinda freaking out I am losing too much muscle. Any recommendations?

    I started at 22%BF, 173lbs, and now I am at 11.3%BF, 159lbs, 5’10”, 31 Years old.

    Keep up the good work. You are awesome!

  • Asai

    What is your view on ECA Stacks?? Is it better to drop the Aspirin or keep it in there?

    • You know I’ve never tried ECA but it works. If I were to do it I would drop the aspirin because I don’t like how painkillers make me feel (I feel a little slower mentally).

  • Sean Haber

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa33.htm
    just read the article on bodybuilding.com which seem to imply that caffine and yombine combination can be dangerous.
    i started taking forge it has been making me feel weird particuly as if my heart rate is still high hours after workout is over is that normal?

    • The “dangers” of yohimbine are generally overstated.

      If you have high blood pressure, don’t use it because it can raise BP. And don’t overdose it.

      Otherwise it’s generally well tolerated.

      Yes, that’s common as your body gets used to it.

      That said, if it’s making you very uncomfortable, you can reduce the dosage or drop it altogether.

  • CJ

    Hi Mike!
    I am very interested in trying out Phoenix fat-burner! I was wondering if you know of any drug interactions I should be aware of? I have hypothyroidism and take compounded T3 & T4, and and just wanted to check with you on whether you have experience using your fat-burners in conjunction with thyroid meds.
    Thank you!!! 🙂

    • Happy to hear it!

      There aren’t any that I’m aware of, but that’s something you should check with the doc on just to be safe.

      Welcome. 🙂

  • Becky Ramsay

    Do you need to cycle any of the above supplements? Including your own.

    • Good question! I recommend you take a week off every 8-10 weeks from the effective ingredients I mentioned and my products (Phooenix and Forge) just to stay sensitive to them.

  • Becky Ramsay

    Can I take Forge and Phoenix during my reverse diet and then after that when using your calorie cycling method to build muscle without gaining fat? I really enjoy fasted training and still want to get the benefits from some of the ingredients in the supplements e.g. Green Tea Extract, HMB etc. Would it be ok taking them on a consistent basis as long as I take a week off every 8-10 weeks?

    • Yep, you can take them while reverse dieting up to TDEE. After that, there’s no need. No need to take them when calorie cycling either.

      Since your focus will no longer be on losing fat, I wouldn’t recommend training fasted either. You’ll perform better with the proper pre-workout nutrition. Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      No reason to take HMB unless training fasted, and if you’d like to continue using GTE for its other benefits, I recommend picking up GTE as it’s own ingredient.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Becky Ramsay

        What if I just really enjoy fasted training?

  • Katie

    I’m wondering which fat burner I should choose. I eat around 10:00am & then I train at about 2pm every day during my break at work. Is this a long enough break to be considered fasted training (& use Forge)? Or should I use Phoenix? Thank you for the help!

    • Ehh. It typically takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted depending on the meal.

      I’d recommend Phoenix since it’s not certain you’ll be fasted by then.

      Welcome!

      • Katie

        Perfect! Can’t wait to share my results… thanks for the help!

  • Hikmat

    Hi Mike

    I’ve recently found out that Yohimbine is banned in the UK because it can have negative side effects on your health. Have you heard about these side effects and what are your opinions on them.

    • Hikmat

      Never mind, I’ve just read through the comments and seen that you’ve already answered a similar question. On a side note any updates on your plans to make UK shipping cheaper.

      • NP!

        I’ll be setting up distribution in the UK this year, and that’ll bring down the cost of shipping big time. 🙂

        Stay tuned!

  • Curious about your thoughts?

  • Ahmed

    Hello,

    I’m 45yrs, 5ft tall and weigh 35st, yes, I seriously need to lose weight, I am planning to start using your “Forge” supplements.

    Would you say this is a good place to start as at the moment, walking is very difficult?

    Thanks.

  • NathAdrian

    Hey Mike, I am going on a cut now, I bought pheonix forge and pulse. Say my TDEE is 2500, so to cut efficiently without losing muscle i would eat about 2000, Since pheonix increases BMR by about 150-200 wouldnt that mean i have to now eat 2200 or can i still eat 2000 without risking muscle loss. Also where do you recommend caffeine since it magnifies the fat loss effect of forge and pheonix. Pulse has caffeine but im only going to use it for workout days.

    • Hey! That’s great you picked up a Legion stack. No need to adjust your cals for Phoenix. Maintain that 20-25% deficit. Take caffeine through pills, green tea, or light roast coffee.

      • Daniel Caruso

        Mike – just curious why we don’t have to adjust for the ~200 increase in BMR when taking phoenix. Wouldn’t the calorie deficit then become too much and actually diminish results?

  • Scott Regler

    Hi Mike. I know I am late to the discussion but hopefully you can direct me. I am 41 years old about 200 pounds, 6’1″. I work at night, get up around 10 am, workout around 12:30pm, protein shake around 3, then eat regular the rest of the day until about 10 pm or midnight. I take Forge pre-workout (on my 3rd bottle now) and it has helped a lot. I just picked up a bottle of phoenix and I thought it said to take with food first thing in the morning. when do you think i should take Phoenix given my fasted workout and given schedule? Thanks for the great products!

    • Hey Scott! Once in the morning, and once at night is perfect!

      Glad you’re enjoying the supps. Thanks for your support!

  • Rafal Cislawski

    Hi Mike

    What are your thoughts on taking Yohimbine and HMB in a fasted state and Green tea, Hordenine, Caffein and HMB 30min before eating a meal or in fed state. So to keep burning more energy from fat and less from muscle. I am not interested in burning more fat because I dont have a problem with that. Most people have problem with losing fat to slow but i dont. In the summer when it gets really hot i lose my apetite. In most people the metabolism slows down after I week at most but my doesn’t. And I am a mesomorph (i would definitly say that 85-90% of my body is that of a mesomorph). Last summer i lost 22 pounds in 1 and half month. I am 6″4 and i went from 220 to 198. I am know pretty much everything from the dieting part ( evem though i should follow it a little more hahaha).

    2. In Poland it is really hard to find hordenine is barley grass powder a good source.

  • MonkeyDLuffy

    Does ephendrine that goes in the nose have fat burning effects. Is it dangerous. What dosage is good for fat burning?

    • Huh?

      • MonkeyDLuffy

        What I mean is that i can only buy it in form of nose spray. Does it matter if it is taken oraly?

  • Andrew

    Hi Mike and the rest of the MFL crew, I have a quick question regarding fat burners. I’m trying to understand the difference it would make to use a fat burner as opposed to just cutting without one. Let’s say you’re aiming for a loss of around a pound per week regardless of whether you’re using a fat burner or not. So technically, wouldn’t you be losing the same amount of weight either way? What difference would a fat burner make in this situation?

    • Fat burners will help, but it’s not a night and day difference. It’s one booster to help you push the envelope of what’s possible. Add to that caffeine, yohimbine, fasted training, and all the cutting tricks and the combined effect is a much faster and effective cut.

      • Andrew

        Thanks for the info, Roger. What I meant to ask was what would be the difference between losing a pound per week without a fat burner compared to losing a pound per week with a fat burner? Or would using a fat burner negate the rule of thumb of sticking to a loss of a pound of bodyweight per week during a cut? Would I be able to lose more without the additional loss of muscle?

        • Ah gotcha. No difference. Still going to be the same pound off. You won’t lose anything dramatically more by using a fat burner, so nothing to worry about.

          • Andrew

            Okay, good to know! So if I do decide to use a fat burner would it be okay to lose over a pound per week without having to worry about losing muscle or should I still stick to the one-pound-a-week rule regardless?

          • 1+ lbs/week isn’t necessary a bad thing. If you’re over 16%BF, that’s a good rate of fat loss. From 10-15%, about 1lbs/week is good. Some people just have more fat to lose anyway, so that number could be 1.25. You’ll know when you’re losing muscle when your strength and reps start going down. Unless you’re under-eating cals and protein there’s nothing to worry about. Proceed as if you weren’t taking Phoenix at all–the supplement does not change any existing guidelines.

          • Andrew

            Great, thanks Roger!

          • NP!

  • Michelle

    Hi Mike,

    I bought your Forge supplement and have been taking it first thing in the morning before HIIT. How long after my training can I eat food? I’m only at 4 pills right now, but my stomach tends to feel unsettled a little after training on it. I want to make sure I’m not ruining my efforts.

    Thanks in advance!
    Michelle

    • Hey Michelle! That’s great you’re training fasted and taking Forge. You can refuel right afterwards, but if you want to wait a little bit for your stomach to settle first, that’s fine.

      • Michelle

        Good to know. Thank you!

        Also, I usually don’t take a preworkout with it, but if I were to start, what’s a good calorie limit to not take me out of a fasted state?

        Thanks for all your help!

  • LoveLea

    Can you take a fat burner while in ketosis?

  • ecoinformer

    Why does it look like Mikes head was placed on a 3d body?

    • Not sure which picture you are referring to.

      • ecoinformer

        Mike, its that call to action at the bottom. I looked at it again. As a graphic designer, I guess I see details that others may not. My suggestion, if you are going to put oil on your skin, put it on your face too. Otherwise, it looks odd.

        • I can’t say I agree with you, but thanks for looking out!

  • Marcus

    I know that you are a big fan of Lyle McDonald. Thoughts of his book Bromocriptine.

    Have you tried Bromocriptine? Does it work?

    • I haven’t tried it (not do I plan to) or read the book, but I’m sure it’s well researched, like the rest of his material.

  • Harry Turnbull

    Hey mike

    Should GreenTea Extract be Cycled? Finding mixed answers online?

    Thanks Harry

    • Green tea doesn’t need to be cycled. Were you seeing studies indicating otherwise?

      • Harry Turnbull

        Not studies just, when googled it, was mixed answers on various websites couldnt find a straight answer thanks a bunch!

  • Yash Gadhiya

    Hey, with you having this kickass Scientific Advisory Board for your supplement line (specifically Menno Henselmans) I wanted to know whether a change in dosages, usages and cycling is now required, specifically for Forge and Caffeine recommendations:
    1. You recommend 4 400 mg , 2 200 mg 1 day off schedule for caffiene vs Menno’s 100 mg per day max?
    https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/caffeine-is-a-femme-fatale/
    2. You recommend Forge to take as long as you cut and not cycle at all vs cycling every 2 weeks
    https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/yohimbine-stubborn-fat-loss/
    Thoughts?

  • Alex

    Hey Mike, I’ve got a question about some of your supplements.

    I recently purchased Pulse, Phoenix and Forge and take them before my workouts in the morning (which I’m doing in a fasted state). I take a scoop of Pulse, 3 pills of forge (I weigh 156 pounds so that’s just about 1 per 50 pounds of body weight) and the recommended 5 pills daily of Phoenix right in the morning with water (I’m not a huge caffeine drinker, that’s why).

    I’ve got 3 questions I guess. First of all though, something in one or more of these has had an amazing effect on my energy in the morning so I want to say thanks – I’ve enjoyed whatever’s working in the product.

    What I want to know is: Phoenix’s bottle says to take them with your meals to maximize effectiveness, but what should I be doing if training in a fasted state? I assumed just taking them in the morning works since your articles talks about consuming them fasted, but should I be taking say 3 in the morning and 2 later with lunch or dinner? Or is all 5 in the morning alright?

    My second and third questions are tied together: I have a relatively weak stomach, and I’ve found that when I eat later in the day I sometimes get a tiny bit queasy. It’s not nearly bad enough to stop taking the supplements, but I wanted to know A) if this is normal and alright and B) should i continue only taking Forge at 1 pill per 50 lbs of body weight, or is this side-effect not from Forge itself and I should begin to slowly increase the amount of pills to the rate of 1 per 25 lbs of body weight like the back of the bottle says. I’ve amazing energy in the morning so I know something is working I just don’t know what (if anything) is a problem. I want to reiterate that it’s not a huge problem (the queasy-ness that is), I just wanted to make sure if I’m taking these right. I eat super clean, lift almost everyday (not a super intense lifter but still a pretty decent amount of weights) and do HIIT 3x a week and have been seeing some pretty great results so far, so thanks for your information and would love a reply!

    Alex

    • Alex

      Oh I should note if caffeine is strongly recommended especially with the supplements I’m a fan of tea, just not so much coffee so I can easily adjust. Thanks!

      • Since you’re taking Pulse, there’s no need to add any extra caffeine during the day.

    • Hey Alex! I’m glad you’re enjoying the supplements!

      Regarding Phoenix, it’s fine to take them in the morning before your workout. They can be taken with or without food. You can take all 5 at once, but I’d recommend splitting up the dose into 3 and 2 at separate times during the day.

      The yohimbine in Forge can cause some people to feel nauseous, so it could be that. The green tea extract in Phoenix can also cause nausea, but only when taken on an empty stomach. It shouldn’t cause nausea when you eat food later in the day.

      You can stick with the 3 caps of Forge for a bit and slowly increase up to 6 over time as you get used to the yohimbine. Hopefully that will solve the issue 🙂

      I hope this helps!

  • Tuan Nguyen

    Hey mike, I’m looking to buy your Phoenix fat burner but I have a question. My diet is already at a 25% calorie deficit, so by taking a fat burner and increase my bmr and therefore tdee, wouldn’t that push my deficit to over 25%? Will I then experience the negatives of cutting too aggressive like losing too much muscle and stuff?

    • You shouldn’t experience any negatives. Phoenix just makes cutting better in general. 🙂 Beyond increasing your BMR, Phoenix also amplifies the power of fat-burning chemicals produced in the body, and it helps you feel more full thanks to the ingredient, 5-HTP.

      Let me know how it goes!

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account