Prohormones, supplements that can increase you recovery ability and possibly your strength, may allow you to increase your training volume. Before making any modifications to your training, determine the benefits of the supplements. Minors should not use prohormones. Consult a health-care professional before using any dietary supplement.
Prohormones are dietary supplements that signal your body to release more hormones that promote strength, muscle growth and recovery. Unlike anabolic-androgenic steroids, prohormones are not hormones but cause your body to produce a slightly greater amount of testosterone. The effectiveness of many prohormones has yet to be demonstrated conclusively in independent research. Other prohormones may allow your body to produce slightly greater amounts of other hormones that promote growth, so read the labels carefully.
Prohomones do not magically allow you to double your training volume, but they might allow you to have a slight increase in recovery time. You should not train more often. If you find yourself recovering better, enjoy it. If you are trying to build muscle, it is important to remember that you recover and grow outside of the gym, not inside of it. The more muscle you break down, and the more muscle fibers you damage, the longer it takes to recover. If you feel the need to take something to boost your recovery, you can certainly do with the extra rest.
Research showing much in the way of an actual positive effect from prohormone use is fairly limited. A 2002 study published in the "Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology" showed that even with 12-weeks of prohormone supplementation, many prohormones did little in the way of contributing to gains in strength or lean muscle mass. Further research published in the "Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology" in 2003 showed that five different prohormones produced little in the way of anabolic effect.
Even though prohormones are not actual anabolic-androgenic steroids, they share some of the same side effects including possible acne, water retention, hair loss and prostate enlargement. The other issue with prohormone use is the possible cross-contamination of the supplements with actual anabolic steroids. A 2004 study published in the "International Journal of Sports Medicine" showed that 14.8 percent of all prohormones reviewed contained unlisted anabolic-androgenic steroids.
- "Peptide Hormones As Prohormones: Processing, Biological Activity, Pharmacology"; Jean Martinez; 1989
- "Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Fourth Edition"; Dr. Jack H. Wilmore, et al.; 2007
- "Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology"; Effects of Prohormone Supplementation in Humans: a Review; T.N. Ziegenfuss, et al.; December 2002
- "Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology"; Oral Andro-related Prohormone Supplementation: Do the Potential Risks Outweigh the Benefits?; C.E. Broeder; February 2003
- "International Journal of Sports Medicine"; Analysis of Non-hormonal Nutritional Supplements for Anabolic-androgenic Steroids - Results of an International Study; H. Geyer, et al.; February 2004