A common question for the majority of trainees in the world is not about what training program to use or what diet to follow. The most common question when it comes to training is always “What supplement should I take?”
Supplements have been around for ages and everyone in the iron game has tried them at some point.
Natural Testosterone “Boosters.”
And of course the almighty Fat Burners.
Why do people use supplements with such frequency you ask?
The Hustle is Real
The supplement industry is built off of false but very intriguing promises. This goes back to the legendary Arnold being the poster boy for Joe Weider’s protein powders.
Was Arnold’s herculean physique truly a result of taking protein powder? If you believe that then you probably believe that the sky is green and that grass is blue.
It all comes down to marketing as the way the ad is printed in a fitness magazine makes it seem so enticing.
“Take supplement A and you too can look like your favorite bodybuilder or professional athlete!”
You have fallen for it and so have I. So has the very desperate and naive trainee who is seeing zero progress due to a lame training program and poor diet. He or she thinks that the magic supplement can save him or her from their lack of progress.
The truth of the matter is that overhyped supplements will not save you. In fact, 95-99 percent of the supplements on the market will not save you as the majority of them have absolutely no value!
My Vitamin Shop
Let me tell you a story.
In 2010 my kitchen looked like the inside of the Vitamin Shoppe. I used to live very close to an actual Vitamin Shoppe and would visit them frequently.
I literally had every natural supplement that there was and was spending over $100 every time I walked in there. When the management saw me you know in their heads they said “Ching Ching!”
One fateful day I ran out of all of the supplements and had no money at the time either to replace them. This meant I would have to train without “pre-workout.” What would happen to my “incredible” pump and vascularity without my precious nitric oxide tonics?
What happened was the truth.
I started to get my caffeine naturally and use coffee as my pre-workout stimulator.
Black coffee and organic stevia was the answer me. Taking 5-10 grams of creatine with that coffee allowed me to create the ideal pre-workout.
If I run out of creatine I do not have a heart attack. The cup of black coffee is more than enough to get me going.
You figure one cup of coffee is about 100-120mg of caffeine. The average pre-workout sometimes has double and even triple!
Initially, it did not have much impact because my body was so used to the caffeine overload of the old pre-workout supplements I used to take.
If you are a junkie who is addicted to caffeine, and you are pumping 500-1000mg before every workout then spending a couple weeks lowering that amount will allow you to get the true benefits of coffee.
In time your body will normalize and the coffee will get you more fired up and ready to go than any pre-workout you have ever taken.
I also found in time that proper hydration, pre-workout meal timing, and my mindset are much more important to me having a quality workout than an overhyped supplement could ever be.
Vascularity is largely genetic so there was no loss of that. The real question is what was I doing all those years as a younger man buying all these supplements? Wasting my money.
My current supplementation is very minimal. I may typically have a whey protein shake for post-workout or during the day for a snack if my time is short. I will sometimes add a simple carbohydrate powder to that shake post-workout.
Even with the above supplements mentioned there are plenty of days, I do not use whey protein.here are many days when my post-workout carbs are from rice or grits. Trust a meal rich in protein and carbs tastes better and is much more fulfilling than a shake.
My performance and physique do not suffer one iota. In fact, my performances and physique have improved drastically from where they were during the supplement era.
I used to load up on tons of vitamins daily but now I take vitamins when I am prepping for a competition. During this time I do not have the same nutrients coming in as my eating habits are a different pre-contest. With a balanced, non-competition diet, however, you will get the vitamins that your body needs.
During the pre-contest period, a lot of bodybuilders go absolutely crazy trying to find the right supplement to get them shredded for a show.
What bodybuilders must realize is that if you are truly 100% natural, then 99 percent of your results come from your training and your diet.
Obviously when you see someone who did not work hard or eat correctly but they look absolutely ripped and full, then you know some other “supplements” are being used.
In 2012 and 2014 I added carnitine and yohimbine to help mobilize more fat to be used as energy which in turn can lead to a greater fat loss. But in the same breath, I can say I’ve been 4-5 percent body fat without these 2 supplements too.
The literature I read on them seems truthful which is why I invested in them. They also were not even close to a financial burden.
Training and diet are of much, much more importance. That is the extent of my supplementation but those 2 supplements would have no value if my training and diet were not correct.
The 3 Supplements You Need
The 3 supplements that you need to develop a fantastic body are very simple. These three supplements have been around since the dawn of time and will transform your weak physique into a strong and athletic one. These supplements are so effective that they do not even sell them in the standard supplement store. They are:
These supplements are so effective that they do not even sell them in the standard supplement store. They are:
1) Hard Work
This cannot be understated.
Point blank if you are not willing to train hard you will not be creating any long-lasting changes in your physique. I do not care how much it burns, how heavy the weight is, the fatigue that you feel, or how hard the session is. The temporary sensation of perceived pain will be replaced by a feeling of accomplishment and growth when
The temporary sensation of perceived pain will be replaced by a feeling of accomplishment and growth when you are finished. Endure and prosper.
Your efforts must be consistent but they must involve a challenge. There is a difference in Tony Treadmill who slogs away on the machines 5-6 days a week while making zero progress vs. Joey Iron who trains hard 4 days a week, performs real conditioning and make gains every week.
There is a difference in Tony Treadmill who slogs away on the machines 5-6 days a week while making zero progress vs. Joey Iron who trains hard 4 days a week, performs real conditioning and make gains every week.
Consistently work hard and you will reap the benefits of building an eye-catching physique. Your goals cannot be attained with 1-3 sessions a month. They also cannot be attained with 5-6 days a week of lousy effort.
You did not gain 50lbs overnight. You did not develop a gut overnight. You did not go from a former fit athlete to current out of shape has-been overnight either. How in the yellow sun can you expect to get back into prime fighting shape in a mere few months?
You did not develop a gut overnight. You did not go from a former fit athlete to current out of shape has-been overnight either. How in the yellow sun can you expect to get back into prime fighting shape in a mere few months?
You did not go from a former fit athlete to current out of shape has-been overnight either. How in the yellow sun can you expect to get back into prime fighting shape in a mere few months?
Like my man, Jim Mora famously put it “Are you kidding me?!” Real results take time.
It takes longer than 30, 60, or 90 days. If you have been inactive and on the couch, for 10 years you will not reverse those effects overnight.
Be patient and take small steps every day to reach your goal. Whether you are moving forward 1 inch or 1 mile you are still moving forward.
At the end of the day supplement companies are about the bottom line which is money. A small percentage of supplements that have value are whey protein, vitamins, amino acids, and creatine. But in all honesty, you can make progress without any of them.
Fantastic programming and great nutrition is what will keep you moving on up like The Jeffersons.
I am not anti-supplement but am I anti-deception. The majority of supplements are unnecessary.
Look at the bodybuilding physiques of the 1940’s and 1950’s. All of those guys were lean and muscular.
None of the current supplements were even available. No Nitric Oxide. No Fat Burners. No Test Boosters. Nothing. Just hard work and good nutrition.
I will say that if a supplement is legitimately helping you and you are making actual measurable progress vs. perceived, “I can feel it” progress than great. But if you are buying into the tomfoolery of the ads in magazines then you need to wake up and smell the truth.
The fact of the matter is that the actual “supplements” that do work are the ones that your favorite athletes and bodybuilders take. That is why the pros take them…they work! A better performance leads to more money.
It is crazy what people will do for money. But for you and me take the natural route to build your best body. You definitely do not need hormonal or anabolic agents to look and perform at a high level. Remember we are after a long-lasting and healthy physique.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
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