Interview with Marc Stover of IdeaSphere Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com – March 2011
Marc Stover, is a mastermind and has been connected with some of the new best sports nutrition supplements in the world today. In this exclusive Critical Bench interview, Marc Stover discusses some of the best, most revolutionary sport supplements in the world today. Marc's supplements have worked for all types of athletes from kids, to aging adults, to general athletes, to explosive athletes, to the best NFL defensive player of all time Ray Lewis. Critical Bench brings to you the supplement and fitness genius from IdeaSphere, Marc Stover.
CB: Marc, tell us about yourself.
Marc Stover: I've spent almost 20 years in international and domestic marketing and business development, ten of those in nutrition and the last five focused specifically on Twinlab and related brands. I mix in strength training with running, cycling, and am an avid beach and indoor volleyball player (it helps that I'm 6' 6"!).
Editor's note: Marc is 5 inches taller than Ray Lewis...Ray, jokingly had Marc stand a step lower than him for this picture! It's taken at his home in Florida (and how cool is that? "Hey Marc, next time you can do the photoshoot at my place." )
CB: Marc, how did you get involved with Twinlab?
Marc Stover: Our company, IdeaSphere, purchased Twinlab, followed by Metabolife, about seven years ago and it was my job to go out and find innovative products to bring in to the company for placement under one of our many brands.
CB: How did Twinlab originate?
Marc Stover: Twinlab was one of the pioneers in the sports nutrition industry, founded in 1968. Interestingly, the owner had twin sons, hence the name Twinlab. They started with a liquid protein, which was the ancestor of our best selling Amino Fuel liquid products that we sell today.
Marc Stover: Twinlab POWER FUEL is a pre-workout powder inspired by the intensity and drive of football superstar Ray Lewis. The goal was to essentially replicate Ray's intensity, focus, stamina and power in a formula anyone could take. Its core is the Formula 52 Intensity complex that features Nitric Oxide precursors, caffeine/taurine, and beta alanine for pump, focus and stamina. Five different creatines support power and strength gains. Then we have a very unique four stage carb blend that releases over time to provide a smooth energy delivery system that avoids spikes and crashes….this complex was developed from research with our four-time triathlon championship team Full Throttle Endurance, and it is a big differentiator from other formulas on the market. Another big difference is our Fuel Management system, which consists of b-vitamins, electrolytes and a blood sugar management ingredient called Cinnulin™.
Like Ray, Twinlab doesn't play games. We want a real formula that delivers real results….this wasn't an exercise in seeing how much caffeine we could put in the formula. We use 120mg total to help with energy and focus, but we choose to invest the money in ingredients that will pay off.
CB: How did you meet Ray Lewis?
Marc Stover: The first time I met Ray was in his house in Florida. It was a thrill. I guess I didn't really know what to expect, but he was laid back and kind, but also very focused. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. This formula is clearly only part of his efforts to help people achieve their fullest potential. Lots of people say that, but it took only about 5 seconds to see and feel that Ray meant it.
CB: What motivated Ray Lewis to take on your POWER FUEL product?
Marc Stover: First off, I think Ray was attracted to the idea of working with a legend in the industry. He's old school, we're old school. He's about performance, not hype and that's what drives us. Then it evolved. I mean, where else would you start than with a product that could try and "bottle" Ray's intensity – it had to be a pre workout powder. We worked together to create the product and now it's history.
CB: What is Ray Lewis like behind the scenes?
Marc Stover: I would describe Ray as smart, driven, confident and humble, all rolled into one. He's certainly very real...he didn't act differently behind the scenes versus in front of the cameras. That is, unless you mean he's destroying some quarterback in the backfield!
CB: What demographic is your supplement POWER FUEL intended for? Is it helpful to high school athletes?
Marc Stover: It's a pre-training powder and it was designed for anyone looking for a pre-workout boost...something you can feel and something that genuinely delivers. The athletes we work with put in a lot of time and they want to maximize the results of their efforts. All of our Team Fuel members take the product and that's everyone from pro-beach volleyball players to our pro cycling team, body builders, and even Lolo Jones, the USA 100 meter hurdler is taking it before every workout.
CB: Tell us about a few other supplements that you sell with Twinlab?
Marc Stover: We have one of the largest lines in the industry, but I'll share a couple that might be of interest to Critical Bench readers. Our Mass Fuel Extreme is a diamond in the rough…100% the best muscle gainer on the planet. 600 super efficient calories, tons of protein, and our proprietary four stage energy complex I described earlier. Our Nitric Fuel is also gaining a deserving rep, and I'll tell you that taking a half dose of Nitric Fuel with Power Fuel is a stack that will help you just kill it in the gym.
CB: I notice that your Twin Lab company has supplements for every single category of individuals from kids, explosive athletes, aging adults, and general athletes.
Marc Stover: So for the following types of people, recommend a Twin Lab supplement:
Kids: Our Marine Friends Omega 3 Powder is soooo innovative. A "hide it in orange juice" virtually tasteless powder that delivers 100mg of DHA that's so critical for growing the developing brains and eyes. Kids just don't get enough omega 3s and this is simply the best product I could recommend for anyone 2-12 that can't take (or doesn't want to) a softgel and can't stomach nasty tasting liquids.
Explosive Athletes: Our Endurance Fuel is light years ahead of other powdered beverages. Packed with electrolytes, antioxidants, protein, our four stage carb blend and a full clinical dose of endurance enhancing beta alanine, it's getting a cult following among both endurance and strength training athletes as the ideal intraworkout beverage.
Aging Adults: Ocuguard Plus is a terrific "multi for the eyes" or our perennial favorite Daily Ones offer extra nutrition for both heart and vision.
General Athletes: Got to go with our Amino Fuel Liquid. 15g whey isolate plus energizing b-vitamins in by far the best tasting liquid you'll find. Plus, we have two new flavors, both using natural sweeteners and no parabens – "clean sports" if you will.
CB: Getting more specific now. When I look through your supplement website, I see so many different specific categories such as blood pressure success, cholesterol success, sleep success, flexibility and more. They all look tempting. With that said, how many Twinlab products should one take at once? For example, if a person takes the POWER FUEL, would it be okay if they were to also take the Flexibility solution?
Marc Stover: Absolutely. My recommendation is to always take a Daily One multi and then one of our omega products (I'm partial to Krill Oil, and ours has double the krill of what some other brands offer). From there, it's about your fitness goals. There's not too many products we don't offer, and because it's Twinlab, you know it's highly tested. We don't over promise on our benefits because we're in it for the long haul. Never been a believer that it was a good idea to try and fool your customers with claims that aren't legit.
CB: Are there any side effects with the POWER FUEL supplement?
Marc Stover: None.
CB: When and how often should one take the POWER FUEL supplement?
Marc Stover:15 to 30 minutes before a workout.
CB: What are your favorite exercises when it comes to explosive training?
Marc Stover: I mix it up. Beach sprints, hill sprints for cardio. Old school push ups and dumbbell training, but with active rest. I'm working to Ray's philosophy now – every workout should be built to fail. If you're not failing, you're not working hard enough.
CB: What was it like having such a big position at the 2011 Arnold? You had one of the best positions there.
Marc Stover: We've been a sponsor of the Arnold, I believe, since the very first event. It's an institution and everyone needs to come at least once. We work hard to be different at these events and do something competitive and engaging. This year, one of the activities was a football themed event where you threw footballs for accuracy, ran a rope course and did 10 burpies. Fastest time that day won an iPod. Everyone who participated got product samples and a T-shirt. That sure beats just handing out samples and people remember us.
CB: Definitely. Marc, congratulations to you and all of your success. Everyone check out POWER FUEL and any of the supplements that Marc mentioned in this interview, to take your athletic training and performance to new heights. Marc thank you for taking the time to do this exclusive interview with