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You don't need a ton of supplements to boost your results in the gym. The quality of your training and your overall nutritional approach is far, far more important. But a few strategic supps can definitely make a difference you can see and feel.
Maybe they'll mean you recover better between workouts so that you can push yourself harder in your next workout. Maybe they mean you can hit those protein targets without feeling like you have to stuff yourself uncomfortably with food day and night. Maybe, after 12 weeks, they mean you can see a little extra definition where there wasn't any before, which motivates you to keep going when others would quit.
That's the power of supplementation. So let's see what you'll be taking during the FreakMode trainer. First, I'll dig into the four essential supplements for any hard-training person, and then I'll discuss supplements that are best suited to specific goals like fat loss or muscle gain.
#FREAKMODE Alex Savva's 12-Week Fitness Plan Supplementation Overview
Watch the video - 9:11
Essential #1 Multivitamin
This is something that I take every morning with my breakfast. When you're training on a strenuous program like this one, your micronutrient needs are greater than the average person. You're going to require more from your body, especially if you're following the fat-loss program, where you're on a slight deficit. That's why you should take your multi every morning: To make sure your micronutrient needs are covered every single day.
Dose: 1 serving with breakfast
Essential #2 Protein
As I talked about in the nutrition overview video, protein is an essential macronutrient for both muscle growth and fat loss. But as many people have discovered, it's hard to meet your protein requirements from food alone. This is why it's important to supplement with protein.
There are two protein options you can use to get the most out of the FreakMode 12-week program. The way that I use them is I have a whey protein shake right after my workouts, and I take a vegetarian protein source, Vegan Freak, between my meals. It's made of a blend of three vegan proteins: yellow pea, hemp, and sacha inchi. So if you have any problems digesting dairy protein, vegetarian proteins like Vegan Freak are for you.
Dose: One 20-30 g shake post-workout and a shake one other time each day
Essential #3 Fish oil
Most of us already take a fish oil supplement, and the research keeps producing more reasons to feel like this is a great idea. It applies to health, but to performance in the gym, too. Fish oil can significantly boost fat loss, but it can also boost muscle growth, power and strength development, and support a whole host of health benefits.
Dose: 3-9 g a day with meals
Essential #4 Greens supplement
Kind of like fish oil, a solid greens supplement is a good choice for more reasons than it's easy to count. One reason, of course, is that the superfoods in high-quality greens supplements are a great source of antioxidants, but it's more than that. Green vegetables also helps maintain what's known as acid/alkalinity balance and help keep you in a slightly alkaline state, where your body prefers to be. When that's out of whack, your metabolism and muscle growth will suffer.
Dose: One scoop in post-workout shake
For me, the essentials are non-negotiable. They just help every part of my training life run more smoothly. But I also recommend that you use a few other supplements geared more specifically to your goal of muscle-growth or fat loss.
Fat-loss supplement #1 Fat-burner
If you're going to take a fat burner, I recommend that you determine your level of caffeine tolerance first. But make no mistake, caffeine isn't all that makes a good fat burner. Other ingredients like green tea extract, olive leaf extract, raspberry ketones, and sweet red pepper extract can all help rev your metabolism and help your body burn fat.
Dose: One serving immediately after waking up, with a glass of water
Fat-loss supplement #2 CLA
CLA is a fat-burning fat. It can help your body use fat as fuel, particularly in people who have a significant amount of weight to lose. Keep it simple and take it with your meals.
Dose: 1 serving with each meal
Fat-loss supplement #3 BCAAs and L-carnitine
L-carnitine helps support fat loss by moving fat into a position where your body can more readily burn it as energy during and after workouts. BCAAs have also been shown to support fat loss, especially when athletes are in a calorie-reduced diet, which you will be on this fat-loss program. The two make for a perfect combination, which is why I included both in Amino Freak.
Dose: 1-2 servings during workout
Fat-loss supplement #4 Sleep aid
Ingredients like GABA, 5-HTP, and L-theanine are popular for boosting the quality of sleep, but they do more than that. They also help support healthy growth hormone (GH) levels. Healthy hormone levels and healthy sleep together are a one-two punch that's essential to make sure you're at your maximum fat-burning capacity.
Dose: 1 serving before bed
Muscle-building supplement #1 Pre-workout
It's no mystery what makes a great pre-workout. It's something that gives you a boost, helps delay fatigue, and helps instigate a great muscle pump. We know what ingredients do that: caffeine, betaine, agmatine sulfate, and citrulline.
But of course, not everyone is looking for a stimulant boost. If you're not, I recommend a nonstimulant pre-workout that focuses more on the pump, like Pump Freak. Or you could do what I do: Take a half-serving of my caffeinated pre-workout SuperFreak, and mix it with a full serving of a noncaffeinated pre-workout. That way, I get double the pump, but I can control my stimulant intake a little more precisely.
Dose: 1 serving 15-30 minutes before you train
Muscle-building supplement #2 BCAAs and L-carnitine
Both of these popular supplements can help spur muscle growth by different mechanisms. For instance, BCAAs are essential for instigating protein synthesis, maintaining sustained energy during your workout, and maximizing recovery between workouts.
L-carnitine, on the other hand, has been shown to upregulate your anabolic hormone receptor sites. This is a fancy way of saying it helps the free testosterone and other anabolic hormones circulating in your blood connect with muscle cells and do their thing. This is going to help you recover more fully from your workouts, among other performance benefits.
Dose: 1-2 servings during workout
Muscle-building supplement #3 Creatine
Creatine is the most heavily researched sport supplement, and the research has overwhelmingly shown that it has the potential to increase the amount of work you can do in the gym, as well as boost muscle growth and recovery between sets. Where you take it is up to you, but personally I recommend it with your post-workout shake.
Dose: 1 serving post-workout
Muscle-building supplement #4 Testosterone booster
When you're trying to add muscle, testosterone is your friend. It's essential that you maintain normal, healthy levels, and the ingredients found in test boosters like Test Freak, including fenugreek, tribulus, saw palmetto, and zinc, have been shown to do just that. If you can optimize testosterone, then you can take advantage of the most powerful hormone in the body for both muscle growth and fat loss.
Dose: 1 serving before bed
Optional supplements for specific situations
Both of these can be considered essential or nonessential, depending on your condition. Some people will definitely not need them, but in the case of a gainer in particular, they can make all the difference for the right person.
Optional supplement #1 Mass gainer
If you're a hard-gainer, I recommend taking a high-calorie mass gainer in the place of protein after your workout. You'll still get your protein and carbs this way, but it will come with a huge influx of calories that you need to build muscle. Take it from me: You can't starve your muscles into growth. They need fuel, and you need to be in a surplus!
Dose: 1 serving in place of protein shake post-workout
Optional Supplement #2 Joint-support supplement
If you don't have achy joints or creaky knees, you probably don't need a joint-support supplement containing ingredients like glucosamine, rose hips, and hyaluronic acid. But if these problems are limiting your ability to train, definitely consider taking a supplement to help get you back in the gym.
Stacked for success
If you've watched this video, the training overview, and the nutrition overview, you're almost ready to get in the gym and start training. The only thing left to do is watch the Phase 1 overview trainer, and take your before picture and weight measurement. Then post your progress photos throughout the trainer. Let everyone know what's working for you so they can be inspired to live the lifestyle with you!