nterview with Paul Borreson Part I
When the opportunity arose for me to interview Paul Borreson, I had mixed emotions. For personal reasons, I did want to talk to the man. Having heard so much about him, I wanted to hear the devil speak for myself. Many people that I respect do not like Paul Borreson. Trevor Smith, Ian Harrison, even Dorian Yates himself have told me less than flattering stories about this man.
Paul is certainly no stranger to controversy. His educational background has been questioned. His methods have been called irresponsible and unsafe. I don't know what I expected to hear when I spoke to Paul Borreson, but I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised by the time I got off the phone.
I don't know if Paul has any of the degrees he claims. I don't know if he has an ongoing drug habit like many claim. I do know that the man I talked to seem lucid, intelligent, and very passionate about the sport of bodybuilding.
The fact that I'm even printing this is going to piss some people off. Oh well. Quite frankly, my responsibility to my readers far outweighs any ties of friendship I have with people who might feel offended that I'm giving Paul a forum. I'm not endorsing Paul Borreson by printing this article, however, I'm not going to condemn the man until he does something to me personally that warrants such an attitude. You can read the interview and make up your own mind about Paul Borreson. Without further ado, here we go!
AE: Paul, how are you?
PB: I'm well actually, I just got back from training. I got my photos back from my photo shoot with Simon Cohen.
AE: You did get them back?
PB: Yeah, I got them back. There going to go on my web page tomorrow, it will probably be Wednesday by the time Richard gets them, he'll email the shots of Simon and I training, it will put to rest the rumors that I'm weighing 220 lbs.
AE: I look forward to getting them. How's training going?
PB: It's good, it's the best it's ever been. Remember, I did break my back two years ago and I've got this titanium implant called a Moss Cage. Basically it's a metal vertebrate. So to be back up at this weight without my back aching is great.
AE: How does that affect your training?
PB: I have to be lifted on and off the bench. When I'm laying flat on my back I can't really sit up so my training partner picks me up and he hands me the dumbbells. I just have to be cautious. I train with very high intensity, so I always do a first set of 50-60 repetitions. If I'm doing chest for example, I'll do 60 repetitions of flyes, if I'm doing legs I'll do 60 reps on the leg extension to pre-exhaust the muscle. That way the weight I end up using is more manageable. I find I get better results training in that fashion anyway.
AE: That's the way I train too.
PB: You train doing an isolation movement first?
AE: I train using pre-exhaustion with an isolation movement and then move on to a rest-pause type workout after that.
PB: I find that's a much better way of doing it.
AE: So, are you ready to get started?
PB: You go for it!
AE: First question, why do you recommend such high doses of gear?
PB: Right, you must put what I say in perspective. Firstly, I just wrote a new book called the Stack Book and it explains my logic. I don't advocate high dosages all the time, I advocate high dose, short duration courses from time to time. Now that is very different than what people are getting by taking what I say out of context.
I believe that when you get stuck, your body hits a set point, and the support systems can't handle you getting any higher. You only have so much vascular supply, so much nervous tissue supply to the muscle. The way to get through that is to do a short duration, high dose course, as high as 1,000 mg/day. Maybe even slightly beyond that, but for 18, maximum 24 days.
AE: So this is something you recommend on an intermittent basis, when you hit a sticking point you would advocate a course of this nature. Normally the kind of courses you recommend are not as high?
PB: If you read my book, the Anabolic Edge, I generally advocate 1 mg per kilo or bodyweight per day. So, a 100 kilo man, that would be 700 mg per week. That's a very general stack that I recommended in my book. Now, I wrote my book, so I can quote myself on that (laughing). Unfortunately, things are taken out of context. You see, I know people who use high dose stack courses for short periods.
So I looked into them, I tried them, and it was very successful. You can gain a lot of muscle in very short periods, but you can't sustain that kind of growth, otherwise we'd all be 400 lbs. You can go up a lb a day for 10 days, but it's harder to do it for 20 days, and almost impossible for 30 days. However, by doing this, you break through new weight barriers.
If I strapped a lb of steak to your back, you'd have a lb more muscle, but it wouldn't last. There's no way of communicating with it via the nervous system, no way to feed it in terms of a blood supply. The way to do it too is rapidly take your weight up which forces the support systems to rise to meet it. That's the idea behind high dose, short-term courses.
I advocate someone use a cycle like this once, twice, maybe three times a year. If you stay on that dose all the time, your body will try to adapt to it, try to detoxify it and you'll get sick.
AE: So two, three times a year you're using incredibly high dosages, for the rest of the year using?
PB: Moderate dosages and having rest periods. So if I was coaching you and you were stuck, we do blood work and everything is healthy, I would put you on a high dose, short duration course for about 18 days. Your weight would climb, everything would climb. Then we would deal with that situation afterwards.
It's like you've been there, now we're trying to keep you there or get you back there. We take you off, and then resume low dose courses. It's just part of a strategy.
AE: You've stated that DNP is an up-regulator of androgen receptors. What is the mechanism behind this?
PB: Increased metabolic rate. Anything that increases metabolic rate will increase the performance of anything in the body. Very simple. Increased protein synthesis, increased enzyme construction, increased metabolism, the speed at which the factory works is accelerated.
AE: How widely do you think DNP is being used at the professional level?
PB: A lot of people are experimenting with it. I can only talk about its use in the UK. I say I talk about everyday to somebody. I'm asked for it every day, obviously I don't supply it. It's usually used for very short period, again. I think it only works that way. People start turning yellow and feeling sick. I used DNP when I did my first video, I was big and sweating all the time. That's the first time I ever tried it and I found after about 10-12 days I just felt too ill.
AE: I've used it myself, you feel pretty miserable on it.
PB: I actually felt like I had a fever. If I was dieting someone for a contest and they were well behind, I would use DNP one week on, 2 weeks off just to try and accelerate the process. Again, you've got to be careful. I believe there is some metabolic uncoupling that it does. I believe there is the potential to permanently cause damage.
A lot of people I've seen use it for shows tend to have much faster metabolisms afterwards. I think there's been some serious permanent metabolic uncoupling. It's a poison isn't it, like a heavy metal poison where damage can be permanent, it can be cumulative.
AE: I've read a lot where you talk about your use of Triple-X caps where one of the components is DNP.
PB: Intellectual property, but one of the components is DNP. A very, very low dose and a bit of T3. The point of the Triple-X, in crude terms it's everything chucked into a blender and put into a capsule that I think will make you grow. But remember, Triple-X is a once a year thing.
If you read the literature that comes with Triple-X, it's another one of these frontier things you use when your stuck, it isn't something you take all the time. It's only a thirty day program. You take a couple of capsules and you blast through a point. This stuff is for people right on the edge that are taking risks with their health anyway.
It's an informed decision, like this is what it does, here it is, you're going to do it anyway so let's do it as safely as possible. I think it's ignorance that kills us, so let's kill ignorance. Obviously the controversial stuff I do is the stuff that's on the edge, everybody forgets the nutrition?
AE: They totally discount all the work with nutrition and training that you do.
PB: Most of the time all I talk about is nutrition and training. Every once and a while some guy comes along at 260 lbs who'll do anything to get to 280 and we talk about this.
AE: I'm sure you'd agree that bodybuilding is all about nutrition and training and a very small percentage of success is due to drugs.
PB: Everybody is natural up to a point. No matter what you take you have to eat right. You have to train right. And these things are built on layers, and the final layer is the pharmacology. My primary market is supplements and my magazine. That's where I make money. I don't make money off of extreme pharmacological advice.
But when someone asks me a direct question, I try and give them my answer as I believe it. I know there are people using high doses for short periods successfully so when someone asks me how do to it, I say this is how you do it.
AE: You seem to be a tremendous fan of cytadren, why is that?
PB: You're referring to aminoglutethiamide, yes? Basically I like it because of the short- term suppression of cortisol. I'm a firm believer that anti-catabolism is a much better way to produce results than anabolism. As soon as you try to make yourself more anabolic, you get a negative feedback, your body fights it.
By lifting the controls that stop you growing faster, you grow better. So like a chain, you strengthen the weakest link. I use the analogy of two fish, you've got one in a big bowl and one in a little bowl. The one in the big bowl got bigger. When I was a kid I won two fish at the fair and my dad wouldn't let me put them together. So, one was in a big tank, one was in a little bowl and the one in the big tank grew a lot bigger.
I think that's bodybuilding. If you can suppress cortisol, if you can remove the limiting factors, you're more likely to grow than by just driving forward with the anabolic factors. Steroids are more anti-catabolic in the nature than anabolic in my opinion. The primary anabolic hormones in the body are insulin and growth hormone aren't they. The anti-catabolic strategies work faster.
AE: Let's say I'm a 20 year old bodybuilder with excellent genetics, and you take me under your wing. What do the next few years hold for me, and when will I be stepping on stage to turn pro?
PB: So, the example is a 20 year old bodybuilder with good genetics, yeah? How long has this person been training?
AE: Let's say four years and he has a very good base, excellent genetics. We are talking about someone who is very genetically gifted.
PB: And is this person using anything, or is he coming to me considering using something and seeking my advice?
AE: This is a hypothetical situation where this person is coming to you, and is going to follow your advice to a T, what are you going to tell him to do?
PB: Ok, my decision whether this person should go on performance-enhancing drugs or not, obviously you have to take the persons health into interest but let's remove that, I'm not trying to cover my ass and I want to give you a straight answer to the question. Once you cannot progress at an adequate pace naturally, at that time you should move on. I actually believe that if you are progressing at an adequate pace naturally on you go on the pharmaceuticals, you lose that, whatever you were going to get, I call it a natural platform.
AE: And why is that?
PB: Very, very simply, if you can get there on your own without altering your biochemistry, your biochemistry must already be appropriate. You must be producing enough testosterone, have low enough cortisol, so why augment it? If you're going to gain 10 or 15 lbs before you're 21, I'm not going to put you on testosterone. All that will do is inhibit your natural growth.
At 20, chances are you've been through puberty, chances are you're at the right age to make an informed decision for yourself, and I will run by you the options. You are not going to become a professional without performace-enhancing drugs. You're not! That's the harsh truth. If you want to be a pro, you're going to go out and take something from someone, some dealer is going to put you on a load of sustanon and you're going to ruin everything.
So, I would put you on a correct diet, we would get your training right, and then put you on a very simple gear program, which would be something like half a mg per kilo of bodyweight per day. Something like 300-400 mg of deca for a few weeks to see how you would respond. If I had the opportunity of having someone that fresh with those genetics, I would add products to their program one at a time, slowly. I would build up a portfolio of what works for them and what didn't.
AE: So rather than stacking everything at once, your going to?
PB: Start with just one thing, just a bit of deca or something. See how you progress, as soon as you stop moving and hit a plateau I'd pull back. This would be heaven if it were me. If I were 20 years old again, knowing what I know now, I would enter it one step at time. Say I added a product, some testosterone cypionate in there, and I felt sick and depressed, I'd withdraw it.
I would know that's not for me. I would slowly build up a picture of this person, if they were paying me or I was coaching them, I would build up a pharmaceutical portfolio of what worked for them and didn't. I'd understand their reaction to these drugs. So, the answer to you is a little vague, I would build it up one step at time, but that's how I work with everybody. I strip it all back down to the basic level.
Let's say you were to come to me, you're 40 years old and you come to me and say, "Paul, I want help." I would take you off of everything, I'd take you off your supplements and everything else and build up nutritional layers. I'd start with a cytotoxic test and find out what food you're allergic to and remove them.
Every food you eat that you're allergic to is producing cortisol. So I always start with a blood test. I find out thyroid level, if you've got an underactive thyroid, we would need to put it to normal. I just always start with a blood test and a cytotoxic test. I get your diet right and get all the allergic foods out.
When your nutrition is right, I get your training right. When the training is right, we put the supplements in, we add the proteins, all the supplements we know that work, I'm not here to talk about supplements. When all that's right, I mean even Simon Cohen, who's hopefully going to win his pro card this year, we took him down on everything. First we'll build up his diet, then his supplements, then his pharmacology, and he's as genetically gifted as anyone I've seen.
AE: What's Simon weighing in at right now?
PB: At the moment 285 lbs when we did the photo shoot. Very low bodyfat.
AE: How tall is he?
PB: 5'11". You'll see from the photographs that he's a very good 285. He's a real 285, a lot of people enhance their bodyweight now don't they.
AE: In the past you've recommended using GH and propionate in a synergistic combination to increase IGF-1, can you detail the process for our readers and explain the mechanism behind it?
PB: There was a research paper published 5 years ago and I'd have to look up the name. But basically it dealt with the effects of testosterone propionate on IGF-1 production. I read that paper, and I realized then that propionate would greatly promote the production of IGF-1. I cannot recall the mechanism, I'm not going to pretend that I do. The paper should be fairly easy to check on.
AE: But you distinctly remember it being propionate?
PB: Yes, most definitely. The relationship between IGF-1 and growth hormone we're all aware of, yeah? So basically it's two separate mechanism for increasing IGF-1. My basis is that IGF-1 is a very simple molecule, which is two disulfide bridges. Do you know what I mean when I refer to the secondary structure of a protein?
Well it's secondary structure, basically it's folding, it's just two disulfide bridges holding it, which means anything will break that secondary structure. Then it will not adhere to its receptor site, yeah? You've denatured it. It no longer is folded right, the secondary structure will break just by picking it up out of the container, this is why it's such a pharmaceutical nightmare.
Even if you've got real product, you're spending thousands of dollars to get it, and then I don't believe you can even get the molecule effectively out of the container it's in. The solution is, you mix it with plasma and all kinds of buffer solutions to draw it out, you put it in all the little pipettes and freeze it.
But even freeze thawing is likely to denature the disulfide bridges and destroy the secondary structure, so I think the only way around it is to generate IGF-1 production in your body. Even if you could do it and get it right, the cost is massive. So, the best way to do it is with growth hormone and testosterone propionate. That's not my research, that's independent research.
AE: I've personally never talked to anyone that's used IGF-1 who feels they got anything out of it.
PB: Me neither. I don't believe they ever got it into themselves, I always try not to insult people, but if you ask me truthfully, I don't believe they've ever had it stable, or someone has sold them an empty bottle. "Yeah, there's 100 mcg in there." How could you know?
AE: The real stuff is almost impossible to get anyway. I think people are using HCG or growth if anything.
PB: Even if they had the real stuff, I cannot be convinced that they could get it into the bloodstream in a stable form. The pharmaceutical people I've spoken to, their answer is, we haven't perfected it. I don't believe anyone has put it into a stack with everything else and they've grown, this is the people that feel they've grown from it and it's something else entirely.
AE: What's going to be the next big revelation in sports pharmacology for bodybuilders?
DAMN! On that note, we've got to end this months interview. Stay tuned next month for the second installment of the Paul Borreson interview!