Note: I have not tried the products discussed in this article. This is an examination of the product’s advertising along with additional information.
I saw an ad online which showed two very ripped individuals inspecting their washboard abs. The headline read, “‘Steroid Alternative’ Putting Gyms Out of Business.”
Intrigued by the bold claim, I clicked on the ad to see where it would take me.
Men’s World Health
This ad led me to a news-looking advertisement at mensworldhealth.com. Although the story read like news, in reality it was an extended sales pitch for two products: Ultimate Muscle Black Edition, and Nitro Focus NO3.
Below is the beginning of the Men’s World Health article linked from the advertisement above.
Both products are heavily touted throughout the advertorial, and both are shown to offer a free trial for a small shipping fee.
The disclaimer at the bottom of this page notes that it is “not an actual news article, blog, or consumer protection update.” Oddly enough, there is a disclaimer that “The Rock” does not endorse the product – even though The Rock is not mentioned anywhere else on the page. This seems to be a disclaimer copied from a template or another website.
The article touting these two products has a 2012 copyright date – although at least one of the products (discussed below) didn’t seem to exist until 2013.
Ultimate Muscle Black Edition
Of the two products discussed in the advertorial, I decided to investigate Ultimate Muscle Black Edition. The links to this product take you a landing page at ultimatemuscleblackedition.com, which has the obligatory flexed muscle photos along with the typical black/red theme and big, bold, manly fonts. That website was first registered in May 2013.
This is a screen shot of ultimatemuscleblackedition.com, taken in June 2014.
I didn’t see a way to simply order the product, other than signing up for the free trial. I also did not see it for sale by any third party vendor such as GNC or Vitacost.
There is no company name listed on the website, and the contact info simply lists the company as “Ultimate Muscle Black Edition.” The address provided is the same San Diego address listed for a website called myhealthyfitnessplan.com.
The Free Trial and Autoship
The free trial for Ultimate Muscle Black Edition is $4.95 for a one month supply. You have 14 days from the moment you order to decide if you want to keep it. That means if the product takes 5 days to arrive, you will have 9 days to try it before your trial ends. After your 14 day trial, you will then be charged $89.43 for the bottle you received and then you’ll automatically be charged $89.43 every month thereafter until you cancel this subscription.
In order to get a refund, you must contact the company “within 14 days of placing your order” and ship the remainder of the product back to them. The return policy states that “there must be substantial product left in the bottle in order to process a refund. WE WILL NOT HONOR EMPTY BOTTLE RETURNS!”
As evidence that their product works, the website links to a 2009 study entitled, “An analysis of magnesium-creatine chelate, alkaline creatine compound, and placebo on physical performance in healthy, physically active subjects” from Western Washington University. It appear that the study cited did not specifically test Ultimate Muscle Black Edition, but rather creatine in general.
Although Ultimate Muscle Black edition advertises itself as a “steroid alternative,” based on their link to the 2009 study, one may conclude that it is simply a brand of creatine.
Putting Gyms Out of Business
I called a local Gold’s Gym and asked to talk to the manager. I asked him if he thought creatine or Ultimate Muscle Black Edition were putting gyms out of business, as the advertisement above stated. He said he had never heard of the specific product, and scoffed at the suggestion that creatine put gyms out of business.
“If anything, guys who use creatine come here more than those who don’t,” he concluded, and then proceeded to try to sell me a gym membership.
It appears, based on their evidence link that Ultimate Muscle Black Edition is a brand of creatine, costing almost $90 per month and shipped automatically every month when the 14-day trial expires. The label is not posted online, and the product’s extremely short “trial” period should be used with great caution.
Have you used Ultimate Muscle Black Edition? Let me know what you think in the comments below.