Well, it’s not exactly breaking news. It’s old news but I feel like the ball has been dropped and I decided to pick it up again.
I just want to start this article by saying that I have nothing to gain by writing this other than some piece of mind knowing I’ve helped out my fellow high intensity friends. I’m also too passive to say to the athletes at my box that their hard earned $ would be better spent at the nearest strip club helping some poor girl with tuition than purchasing Progenex. Actually, my response is so long winded I decided to just write it down. I’m not going to go into super investigative mode with this post but hopefully I can throw out enough to get you thinking.
The bodybuilding community has known since 2010 that Progenex is nothing more than hydrolyzed whey. Bodybuilding has a billion message boards and gossip spreads faster than chlamydia at a freshman dorm. Plus, there’s no trademarked monopoly on bodybuilding so just imagine how many message boards there are. There is no big HQ monster policing what people say with threats to pull affiliations for questioning their business practices.
A quick lesson before I start for those that need it. What exactly is whey protein? It is the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. That’s why it smells like shit when you leave a shaker cup in your car. Best just throw it away. Supplementing with it is an efficient way to increase protein intake when the demands of weight training require it for muscle growth and repair.
CrossFitters buying Progenex are spending $60 for a measly 30 servings, or perhaps they are the lucky recipient of a code rendering them 10% off. I can buy a 5 lbs bag of Muscletech containing 72 servings for $32. I realize not everyone is on a budget like I am but, what the heck?
I’ve thought not very long and not very hard to come up with the answer… Because all the cool kids are doing it. If CrossFit HQ signs a contract with Progenex it must be the shiznit.
If you like the taste of Progenex, are partial to the appearance of the flashy chrome bag, and don’t mind forking over a little extra, then why is it a big deal?
Let me break it down…
Dr. Scott Connelly used to have this freaking awesome recovery formula he used to market and sell for Progenex. It rocked. It was cutting edge technology. This was no ordinary whey! A company in New Zealand produced this formula by tracking RNA expression signatures showing which genes were involved with muscle growth, metabolism, and inflammatory response. The product was noticeably effective and it was pricey because it was costly to make. Let’s just say the product was LEGIT, tasted like shit, and was gaining in popularity with bodybuilders, pro athletes, crossfitters and recreational lifters. Connelly knew he landed on something big so the smarty pants patented it, meaning he was the only person in the US that could sell the stuff.
So what happened?
Connelly was shopping for investors for Progenex and stumbled upon this guy named Adam Zuckerman who’s a total DB and currently spending time in a federal prison for fraud. He had fraudulent dealings in all of his business practices. It is safe to assume he is a man of questionable motives and character. He also came with his own team of creepy buddies. If you’re interested do a search on this gem of a citizen and the ethical practices of Progenex. Anthony Roberts can give you more details.
It didn’t take long for Zuckerman and his team to take over Progenex. Connelly and his team were out and so was the formula. Not long after that the New Zealand Company severed ties with Connelly. The formula is not sold by anyone in the US currently that I know of. It is being sold in Australia by a company called Ascend. One thing is certain. The bad ass formula sure as heck isn’t sold by Progenex.
Progenex began selling commodity protein at the same inflated price because people kept buying it. Plus, with the new felony fraud kids running the biz, why wouldn’t they steal an opportunity to lower production costs and produce an inferior product that people are still buying with religious conviction? Well, not all of us. A few people noticed the change immediately.
The post Connelly protein blend at Progenex has actually been tested. It is very similar to, if not the same as, Thermax by Glanbia who just happens to be one of the world’s largest whey protein suppliers. Many supplement companies buy their ingredients and supplements from wholesale central suppliers. Very few companies actually have research and development teams. More money is spent on marketing and flare than on development.
Often times, research based supplement companies are dwarfed by the entrepreneur MBA’s with deep pockets and silver tongues. At least Progenex isn’t claiming to use the old recovery formula they just named their protein Recovery. They’re promoting this thing called Promorphogen that’s trademarked but only as an additive of very little significance, a filler for fiber supplements, meal replacement drinks, and whey protein.
So what gives crossfitters? Put away your cash and make some informed purchases because I care about what you invest in. Be informed when purchasing supplements, especially if they’re expensive. Read the reviews from unbiased sources and consumers who are paying for the product and not paid to promote it. CrossFit is expensive and if you don’t like an affiliate or the trainers I’m going to assume you will find one that appreciates you as an athlete and your business right? Supplement companies should be viewed in the same light.
Find out the most efficient way to be fit and a way that works for you. Splitting hairs on whey protein brands is senseless and insignificant for everyday lifting. The body will absorb what it needs, secrete the rest, or deposit excessive amounts as fat. End of story. If you’re truly concerned about the macros, micros, and artificial sweeteners then become a connoisseur and shop around. Some supplement companies actually do care and hold themselves to a higher ethical standard which isn’t hard to beat when compared to Progenex. Find and invest in them. Advocate in the name of science which is what crossfitters do.