Okay. Before anyone states the obvious about this final post being later than 4 weeks after the start of my trial, rest assured I have a very good reason for the delay. As is often the case in life, change happens, and with it, new opportunities present themselves. The change, in this instance, had to do with a college friend of mine from Pennsylvania making an impromptu trip to Colorado to hunt the last 8 days of the elk archery season with me. So, I thought it would be a great time to introduce another Mountain Ops product into the mix. The elevation at which I camp during elk season is just a hair over 10,000 feet. With my Pennsylvania friend coming from Pittsburgh (elevation 1132 feet to be exact), he was concerned about the elevation gain, and how it might affect his hunt physically and mentally. The obvious thing to do was add the Mountain Ops Solitude product into the mix.
For those of you who don’t know, the solitude product is made to increase ones performance at high elevation. Directly from the Mountain Ops website, Solitude claims to do the following:
- May help performance at high-elevations*
- Adaptogenic Complex ingredients may help maintain body’s response to stress*
- Supports your body’s physiological respiratory system*
- Boosts satisfaction while decreasing undesirable side affects common in high elevation sickness*
- May help maintain ventilation within the body during low levels of oxygen*
- May help maintain normal energy levels, and lactic acid build-up*
I presented the bottle of Solitude to my friend when I picked him up at the airport. The instructions suggest starting to take the Solitude regimen 3-5 days before ones high elevation experience starts, but he didn’t have that option. So, he took it immediately when we got into the truck, and proceeded to take it over the course of the next 8 days while we chased elk in North Central Colorado.
To add a little more to this story, my friend is in decent shape for a 45 year old. He didn’t have time to work out for the hunt because he literally decided to make the trip about 10 days before he showed up. He’s not overweight, but he did have Achilles surgery a year ago, so his ability to complete endurance cardio and strength training were somewhat limited for the past 8 months. In spite of this, he was still in fairly decent shape from the therapy the doctors had him doing.
Well, the bottom line is this: The Solitude product worked like a charm. He was able to keep up most of the time on the steep climbs, he didn’t need to take any extended breaks due to shortness of breath, and he didn’t have any symptoms of altitude sickness (which he did experience the last time he was at high elevation with me in Colorado.) If any of you are going to hunt at high elevations and you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, give the Solitude product a try. It may be the difference maker you need to have a better, more rewarding hunting experience. After watching how my friend was able to keep up with us, I am a believer in the product.
Hopefully, this additional product review has provided you some additional information about the Mountain Ops product line that you may not have otherwise known.
And now, back to the 4 week review.
As mentioned above, I spent the last 8 days hunting and camping at high elevation in the back country, so I thought that the Mountain Ops products that I have been taking would really be put to the test. Once again, to remind you, my regimen was as follows:
c. Mangum Protein Powder
d. Ignite Trail Packs
A good friend suggested that I should provide a description of each product to make it easier for folks to understand their purpose and potential affect on ones body. So, below is a description of each product directly from the Mountain Ops website:
MTN OPS Biotics is a pre and pro biotic blend formulated to increase healthy gut bacteria and decrease bad bacteria in the gut. By doing this, Biotics has been shown to aid in the process of digestion and healthy absorption of vital nutrients.
- Decrease Bad Bacteria In Gut
- Improve Digestive Health, Gut Lining and Strength
- Increase healthy Gut Bacteria
- May help maintain healthy energy levels*
- Gently Clean & Detoxify Your Body*
- May help to decrease excess flabbiness*
- May help support a healthy metabolism*
Magnum Protein Powder
- May help maintain normal recovery & performance*
- 23g of Protein Per Serving
- 1.5g of Glutamine
- 5g of BCAA
- Naturally Delivered Vitamins & Minerals
- 100 Calories Per Serving
Ignite Trail Packs
- Improved Cognitive Function*
- Mental Focus & Clarity*
- Sustained Energy with NO CRASH*
- No Jitters*
- Amazing Taste & Mixibility*
- Ultimate Absorption*
In addition to the morning regimen, I also took the following before, during, and post hunt:
a. Yeti pre-workout
b. Cameron Hanes BCAA’s during the hunt
c. Phenix for evening recovery
- Nitric Oxide*
- Explosive & sustained energy without crashing*
- May support endurance*
- Superior Strength*
- Creatine (for lean muscle mass)*
- Unmatched L-Citrulline (for improving athletic performance)*
- Ultimate workout*
- Great Taste & Mixability*
Cameron Hanes BCAA’s (PRE / INTRA / POST WORKOUT • RAPID MUSCLE RECOVERY)
- Post Muscle Recovery*
- Lean Muscle Protein Synthesis*
- 5.5 grams of BCAAs
- Ultimate Absorption*
- Agamatine Sulfate
Phenix (Performance Recovery)
- May help maintain normal recovery time after intense physical activity*
- Supports and may help maintain resistance strength*
- Promotes a balanced intestinal mucosa*
- May help maintain primary defense system*
- may help maintain lean body mass*
As was the case in the three prior weeks, the morning combo of Biotics (gut health), Renu (cleanse), Magnum Protein Powder, and Ignite Energy packet worked extremely well for me. It helped me to maintain my focus and gave me the kick start I needed each morning after a hard day of hunting the day before. The Biotics kept my stomach from getting upset which sometimes happens when I eat freeze dried food over a prolonged period of time. The Renu helped my bodily functions stay on track each day. The Magnum Protein Powder helped me maintain my strength and muscle mass which is easy to lose when hunting hard at high elevations over the course of eight days. And, finally, the Ignite provided me with the morning spark I needed to get my mind right and to maintain the focus necessary to start the day’s hunt the right way. I fully intend to continue this stack for a total of 60 days, and then to take a break for at least a month. It is going to be interesting to see how my body reacts when I ween myself off of these products for those 30 days. I intend to keep eating clean, though, so hopefully I can maintain the gains that I have been fortunate to experience thus far.
With regards to the before, during, and post hunt time frame, my biggest concern was maintaining the ability to physically perform at a high level each day, especially since we were climbing 1500 to 2000 vertical feet one or two times a day. This can definitely take its toll on your body, no matter what your age. I wanted to make sure I woke up feeling refreshed, and that I maintained that feeling during hunting hours as well. The Yeti (pre-workout) definitely helped to support my endurance, sometimes going as far at 15 miles in one day. The BCAAs helped me maintain my energy levels and strength during the heart of each day’s hunt, and the Renu (recovery) was the one thing out of all of the supplements that I have been taking that worked the best for me. I never woke up sore or in pain the entire time.
It is obvious to me that the Mountain Ops products have worked for me over the course of the last 4(ish) weeks. However, how does one decide what products to use and what products are right for them? I mean, cost is always a factor, as well as not necessarily knowing what affect each product you take may or may not have on you. So, here is my advice if you are just starting to learn about supplements and the Mountain Ops product line in particular.
- If you have trouble with your body functions staying regular, definitely purchase the Biotics and take it for 30 days to get GI tract back on track
- If you want give your body a cleanse to remove the impurities you have ingested over the years, one bottle of Renu lasts 30 days and is a perfect amount of time to remove those toxins.
These two products in total cost under $55 dollars for a months supply of each, and it is definitely money well spent to get your gut back in check and your body back into a physiologically sound state.
- Using Magnum Protein powder is a great way to make sure you maintain the appropriate amount of protein in your diet, especially in today’s hectic world of fast food and short lunches. I mix a scoop with a packet of oatmeal, and it makes for a great between meal snack. In addition, Magnum doesn’t cause constipation like a lot of other protein powders sometimes do. For only $45, you get a months supply if you take one scoop a day. It is definitely a great value and a great way to maintain your required daily intake of protein.
- Ignite is a great way to start ones day with focus and clarity. For those of you who don’t drink coffee, Ignite is a great supplement for you. For those of you like me that do drink coffee, Ignite might have the same affect plus more if you give it a shot in the morning. I know it did for me. For only $40 dollars for 20 servings, at $2.00 a serving, it is cheaper than Starbucks…
For those of you on a budget, I recommend that you get your gut health under control first, so start with the Biotics and Renu. After 30 days, back off of those products and move to the Magnum and possibly Ignite to start you day. As mentioned already, it is less money than a cup of coffee these days…
- For those of you that are into working out, and you have used or are thinking of using a pre-workout drink, Yeti is a great place to start. For $40 dollars, you get 30 pre-workout drinks. That is $1.33 per workout and is WAY cheaper than most other pre-workout drinks on the market today. Plus, it didn’t make me feel jittery like a lot of them tend to do, so it may do the same for you as well.
- The Cameron Hanes BCAA’s has worked very well for me by helping me to maintain my focus during hard workouts and aiding in recovery. It is also $40 for 30 servings, so $1.33 per workout. Stacking it with the Yeti costs $2.66 a workout, about the same as most other workout drinks on the market today.
- Finally, Phenix Recovery is the one product of these three that I would NEVER go without. At 45 years old, recovery is my biggest concern. Phenix has completely squashed any concerns I have about recovery because I feel like a million dollars the morning after each workout when I take Phenix the night before. Phenix is $29.95 for 30 servings. $1 a serving is worth feeling like $1 million the next morning. For those of you on a budget, I would recommend the Cameron Hanes BCAAs and the Phenix. For $70, you get 30 servings of each, $2.33 per serving. This is a small price to pay to achieve an elevated level of mental focus and clarity during your workout, and to experience an amazing level of physical recovery after the fact.
All in all, I have become a firm believer in the benefits the Mountain Ops products claim to have. I plan to continue taking them, and this decision is a big one for me, because I take my diet and my workouts very seriously. I am not going to ingest things that are not going to perform the way they are supposed to perform. I will continue to post about my experience with other Mountain Ops products in future, and I promise to give a fair assessment of each new product I try, good or bad. If any of you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you and learn about your personal experiences with the Mountain Ops products. Remember, Be Prepared for The Hunt, Be Fit 4 The Hunt.