In the bodybuilding world this guy needs no introduction. For the CrossFit and Functional Fitness peeps, let me get you up to speed.
Patrick Arnold or PA as I like to refer to him is an east coast native. He’s an organic chemist who specializes in the research and development of sports supplementation. This guy is to supplements what Robb Wolf is to Paleo, what Greg Glassman is to CrossFit, what Jared is to Subway, and what the Polish are to sausages. As synonymous as Mark McGwire is to home runs! You get the picture.
Funny story actually, Mark McGwire probably wouldn’t have achieved that record setting season if he didn’t have a little help from the research and development of Patrick Arnold. Patrick introduced the supplement industry to Androstenedione (Andro), which just so happened to be the prohormone Mark McGwire was taking during his record setting season.
Not only that, this dude is so ridiculously passionate about chemistry he actually translated research written in German which led him to develop a designer steroid called tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), more commonly referred to as, “The Clear.”
I know what some of the crossfit purists are thinking right now. The supplement Mark McGwire took was illegal (heaven forbid), and THG was the undetectable steroid that tarnished the career of several Olympic athletes and ignited the BALCO scandal around 2003 after a syringe with trace amounts was obtained and a test was developed in the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory. Holy shit right?
Put any thoughts of judgment and emotion aside for just one minute now, and hear me out. Let’s look at this objectively. Patrick was just a guy with a lot of drive to unearth tools in performance that had never been used before. He worked hard to achieve elite status through unconventional and innovative methods. Sound familiar?
When Patrick introduced Andro it wasn’t illegal. Shit, I remember in high school everyone was taking it including my dorky, super skinny, stoner friend Senone. Senone, Jesse, and I would train at the YMCA after school 5 days a week and talk supplements. I believe I was taking this awful fat burner called Agent Orange and Jesse was taking good ole’ creatine fartohydrate. Those were the days! In hindsight as much as I scoff to admit it, Senone was the smartest out of all of us. Long story short, the FDA caught wind that it worked and banned it. I’ll save the discussion of pharmaceuticals, supplements, OTC drugs, and the FDA for another day.
As far as the steroids go let me just disclose a bit about Patrick’s character. He made something truly remarkable and excitedly sold it. He didn’t sedate people and inject them with steroids without their consent. He got busted and went to prison. He took full responsibility, did his time, and kept his mouth shut. He never sold out, rolled, or squealed on anyone and its 10 years later. The same can’t be said for the BALCO founder Victor Conte who bought the THG for distribution. That isn’t exactly shocking. Anyone who’s watched Pineapple Express and Breaking Bad knows you never trust a drug dealer.
Undeterred post prison Patrick continued his work in the supplement industry legally. He HAS to be legal or he gets the hose again. Plus he welcomes a challenge. How can he put out products that work with the resources he’s got? It hasn’t come without setbacks. Patrick has continued to put out quality supplements that work even with the DEA jammed so uncomfortably far up his ass the man forever walks funny. So far in fact that one day they took it upon themselves to seize and raid his beautiful 40,000 sq. ft lab and manufacturing facility in 2009 because a couple of baseball players failed a drug test and blamed it on Patrick’s new product called 6-OXO.
The product sample was tested and found to be insufficient in producing a positive drug test, but the damage was done. The lab was destroyed, and all the equipment. Patrick’s proverbial Ferrari went to auction. He was left standing in the rubble with a heavy heart, swallowing another emotional set back, and 6-OXO was pulled off the market. So long to another effective supplement. May it rest in peace.
These are circumstances that would make an ordinary man throw in the towel and pick a new profession, but Patrick and his business partner Lakhan Boodram continue their work slowly rebuilding with very little capital. I have asked Patrick on more than one occasion. What the hell man? Why don’t you just write a book about the industry, steroids, and debauchery, or go make six figures for an oil company?… something! His answer is simple and the same every time. “Because I’ll never sell out, I can’t imagine doing anything else, and I’ll never leave my business partner hanging.” I don’t blame the guy one bit. That whole book thing didn’t work out so well for Conseco.
It’s admirable to run across honest people that are in a business so cloaked with scandal and exceeding the allowable per capita of swindlers, hustlers, cheaters, liars, and narcissists. The guy is just a good human. The cool thing about Patrick is he’s one of us. He’s approachable and down to earth, and in addition to being a supplement savant, the man actually knows a thing or two about training.
Stay tuned for the interview half of this series where I have Patrick weigh in on training, what he thinks about CrossFit, supplemental things, and a few shenanigans including the cat outside his lab that’s stalking him and possibly some dating advice for fitness minded ladies (wish me luck there). Feel free to check him out anytime at patrickarnoldblog.com.