Since I was a tester for ETS, I thought I'd share my experience with you. Let me start by giving you a quick summary of my stats/experience. I've been training off and on for ~10 years. I started out trying to get stronger for sports and now I'm just trying to get stronger. I'm 5'7, ~200lbs, digital calipers consistently measure at 12.5% body fat (although I think it's higher), raw gym lifts include a 405 squat, 315 bench press, and 500 deadlift. I've only trained in a bench shirt once and managed 365. I'm currently using a westside routine, although I'm also fond of the legs/push/pull split. I also do GPP (general physical preparedness), which will be discussed in detail below. Basically, I've been around long enough to learn a few things even though my knowledge may not be as technical as some of our members.
Back in March 2004, At Large Nutrition asked me to test ETS. The catch was, I wouldn't know what it was or what it was supposed to do (Chris actually peeled the labels off!). I'd run the test for 4 weeks, logging anything I noticed out of the ordinary. Obviously I was hesitant about testing an unknown supplement, but after asking Chris tons of questions I felt comfortable participating. I figured this may work out well, since I was planning to test my max squat/bench/deadlift in a few weeks.
During the first week I noticed an extreme improvement in my sleep. I normally get 8-10 hours of solid sleep each night, but for some reason I was waking up even more refreshed than usual. They later told me this was not a feature of the supplement, so take that observation with a grain of salt. I also noticed a decrease in recovery time, more energy, and mental alertness. At the time, I attributed this to the improved sleep. Previous to this week I was suffering some major elbow pain/tendonitis. When the pain disappeared in a week I didn't think twice about it, but I later learned joint pain reduction was one of the major features. Looking back, I know ETS played a role.
The second week was my deload phase before testing my max lifts. Out of curiosity, I decided to use GPP every day instead of training in the gym. Here is the routine I had been using:
Squat Thrusts 10x3 sets
Tire Jumps 10x3 sets
Backward Sled Drag* 85lbs x 200'
Forward Sled Drag* 85lbs x 200'
Sandbag Throws 25lbs x 10
Sandbag Walk 60lbs x 200' x 2 sets
Sledgehammer VS Tire 60 strikes
* My sled is actually a tire loaded with sand bags. As you can imagine, dragging a tire across pavement isn't exactly a smooth pull.
Coming into this week, my best GPP time was about 30 minutes. On Monday I recorded 25:42. Tuesday was 23:50. Wednesday 18:28. Thursday 17:56. Friday I was out of town, so no test. Anyway, as you can see I shaved off almost 8 minutes in 4 days. There's no doubt in my mind that ETS was directly involved in my improved endurance.
My test week. Unfortunately I was hit by some major stress at work and wasn't 100% focused. Usually when this happens everything goes to complete ****: eating, sleeping, training, etc. These things still suffered, but not as much as they usually would have. I still managed a 20lbs squat PR and I matched my bench PR. Not bad.
The following week I matched my squat, set a 10lbs bench PR, and matched my dead PR. What stood out the most during week 4 was that no matter how hard I pushed myself in the gym, I wasn't getting sore. And this is during a time when my rest/sleep was not 100%. Improvements were the same as week 3.
Overall I was impressed with ETS. Despite being sidetracked with stress, the effects were very pronounced. I know that under ideal circumstances I would have noticed even more. Without a doubt I will be using ETS again.