The quest for continuous lean mass gains is neverending for some. Even when living the life of a “Vitruvian Monk” (i.e. training your ass off, hitting your macros/micros, limiting stress, and getting enough sleep), you’re always left wondering, “what else can I do to build more muscle, lift more weight, etc.?”
This unrelenting desire to be better inevitably leads you towards bodybuilding supplements, and believe us, that is one rabbit hole that will never end.
Natural anabolics (natty muscle builders) have been an obsession for gains-oriented gym bros, weekend warriors and couch potatoes alike. The allure of simply taking a pill and building slabs of muscle is something too appealing to ignore.
The harsh reality is that all natural muscle builders are worthless if you don’t put in the work.
BUT, if you’re like the Vitruvian Monk we referenced at the outset of this article, then pay attention, because we have developed your ideal natural muscle building supplement in The Last Emperor!
- Improve Body Composition*
- Support Lean Mass Gains*
- Natural Anabolic Support*
- Enhance Athletic Performance*
- Promote Healthy Blood Flow*
What’s in The Last Emperor?
Ajuga Turkestanica (2,000mg)
Turkesterone belongs to a family of compounds known as ecdysteroids -- anabolic compounds naturally occurring in plants, insects, and certain fungi that impact growth, development, and reproduction.
This ingredient reached near-mythical status a few years ago, heralded by a host of influencers, gurus and other snake oil salesmen (some of these jokers even had that gaul to compare it to anabolic steroids). The truth is that turkesterone is not as powerful as anabolic steroids (no dietary supplement can ever be), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without benefit!
Studies suggest that ecdysteroid-rich extracts of Ajuga turkestanica (as well as pure turkesterone) may promote anabolic effects in muscles.
Specifically, extracts from Ajuga turkestanica, riched in ecdysteroids, stimulate protein synthesis via the PI3K–Akt pathway.
Turkesterone may also decrease myostatin expression as well as enhance ATP production. This ultimately allows muscle to train harder for longer with the potential for greater gains!
The Last Emperor includes a 2,000mg of a premium-grade ajuga turkestanica extract standardized to 40% turkesterone.
Mediator® 50P (1,500mg)
Mediator is the leading patented clinically-substantiated phosphatidic acid supplement on the market. This premium natural muscle building supplement has been shown to directly activate mTOR -- the signaling pathway that drives muscle protein synthesis in humans.
Research in resistance-trained athletes finds that supplementing with Mediator PA leads to significant increases in lean mass gains, muscle strength, and body fat loss.[3,4]
Those same individuals also increased their lower body strength by 12.7% and lost 2.8 pounds of body fat compared to only 1.1 pounds of fat loss for those receiving a placebo.[3,4]
The Last Emperor supplies the full research-verified dose of 750mg phosphatidic acid.
Arachidonic Acid (1,500mg)
Arachidonic acid (ArA) is a formidable, yet underutilized, natural muscle building supplement.
Why is it used so infrequently?
Because it’s damn expensive and most companies are too cheap to dose it properly (the same reason you don’t see Mediator PA sold that often).
Tangents aside, you’re probably wondering what is arachidonic acid and what are its benefits?
Arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid that is released by phospholipids in cell membranes. Its unique molecular structure gives ArA incredible flexibility and mobility in the body. As a result, Arachidonic Acid[5,6,7,8]:
- Influences the function of specific proteins involved in cellular signaling
- Plays a critical role in neuron function, brain synaptic plasticity, and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus
- Increases neurotransmitter firing
- May enhance anaerobic capacity
- Lessen the inflammatory response to training
- Improves body composition, muscle function and power output in resistance-training individuals
Polyphenols are invaluable to health, fitness, and performance. In no short order, polyphenols help combat oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, support GI health, bolster immune status, aid athletic performance and recovery, and support cardiovascular health.
While polyphenols are most frequently associated with fruits and vegetables, they’re also found in other plant foods, including coffee, tea, and chocolate.
Yes, you read that right. Your nightly craving for 85% dark chocolate can actually deliver some potent polyphenols in addition to satisfying your craving for something sinfully indulgent.
Epicatechin is a flavanol naturally found in cocoa, and it’s intake has been linked to enhanced cognitive function as well as improved blood flow.
Additional studies indicate that epicatechin may reduce the expression of myostatin (a gains-limiting protein), thereby increasing follistatin, which benefits muscle hypertrophy. Epicatechin also supports nitric oxide production and helps reduce endothelin-1 (a formidable vasoconstrictor).[11,12] This encourages greater blood flow, vascularity, and muscle pumps, ultimately helping you to train harder and make more gains!
AstraGin is a versatile and effective complex of astragalus and panax notoginseng that reduces GI inflammation and improves the bioavailability/absorption of a host of dietary supplements, including vitamins, polyphenols, and amino acids.
In short, it helps your body get the most out of every serving of The Last Emperor!
Consume one serving (8 capsules) of The Last Emperor 30-60 minutes before training. On non-training days, consume one serving of The Last Emperor with a meal.
- Parr MK, Botrè F, Naß A, Hengevoss J, Diel P, Wolber G. Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents? Biol Sport. 2015 Jun;32(2):169-73. doi: 10.5604/20831862.1144420. Epub 2015 Mar 15. PMID: 26060342; PMCID: PMC4447764.
- Isenmann, E., Ambrosio, G., Joseph, J.F. et al. Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans. Arch Toxicol 93, 1807–1816 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-019-02490-x
- Hoffman JR, Stout JR, Williams DR, et al. Efficacy of phosphatidic acid ingestion on lean body mass, muscle thickness and strength gains in resistance-trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9:47. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-47.
- Joy JM, Lowery RP, Dudeck JE, De-Souza EO, Jager R, McCleary SA, Wilson SMC, Purpura M, Wilson JM. Phosphatidic Acid Supplementation Increases Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength. Poster presentation at the ISSN Conference 2013
- Tallima H, El Ridi R. Arachidonic acid: Physiological roles and potential health benefits - A review. J Adv Res. 2017 Nov 24;11:33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jare.2017.11.004. PMID: 30034874; PMCID: PMC6052655.
- Fukaya T., Gondaira T., Kashiyae Y., Kotani S., Ishikura Y., Fujikawa S. Arachidonic acid preserves hippocampal neuron membrane fluidity in senescent rats. Neurobiol Aging. 2007;28(8):1179–1186.
- Rapoport S.I. Arachidonic acid and the brain. J Nutr. 2008;138(12):2515–2520.
- Tallima H., Hadley K., El Ridi R. Praziquantel and arachidonic acid combination. Innovative approach to the treatment of Schistosomiasis. In: Amidou S., editor. An overview of tropical diseases. InTech; Rijeka: 2015. pp. 145–172.
- Roberts MD, Iosia M, Kerksick CM, Taylor LW, Campbell B, Wilborn CD, Harvey T, Cooke M, Rasmussen C, Greenwood M, Wilson R, Jitomir J, Willoughby D, Kreider RB. Effects of arachidonic acid supplementation on training adaptations in resistance-trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Nov 28;4:21. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-4-21. PMID: 18045476; PMCID: PMC2217562.
- Haskell-Ramsay CF, Schmitt J, Actis-Goretta L. The Impact of Epicatechin on Human Cognition: The Role of Cerebral Blood Flow. Nutrients. 2018 Jul 27;10(8):986. doi: 10.3390/nu10080986. PMID: 30060538; PMCID: PMC6115745.
- Gutierrez-Salmean G, Ciaraldi TP, Nogueira L, Barboza J, Taub PR, Hogan MC, et al. Effects of (–)-epicatechin on molecular modulators of skeletal muscle growth and differentiation. J Nutr Biochem. (2014) 25:91–4. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.007
- Loke WM, Hodgson JM, Proudfoot JM, McKinley AJ, Puddey IB, Croft KD. Pure dietary flavonoids quercetin and (–)-epicatechin augment nitric oxide products and reduce endothelin-1 acutely in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. (2008) 88:1018–25. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/88.4.1018