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I don't advocate supplementation simply for its own sake. As I previously wrote in the supplement episode of Mass Class, I firmly believe that the results you get from your supplement stack are entirely dependent on the training stimulus your body receives.
In plain English, this means that if you train like a pansy, all the supplements in the world won't help you. Particularly when it comes to recovery supplements, you need to give your body something to recover from. Follow the Project Mass training program to the letter, and you'll give your body all the growth stimulus it needs. Supplements will help translate that stimulus into results.
Project Mass Trainer Supplements Overview
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Over the 14 long weeks of intense training before you, smart supplementation will give you an extra edge to keep heading back into battle. In the end, this means greater measurable results. Throughout Project Mass, pay as much attention to your supplementation as you do to your training and your nutrition.
PROJECT MASS SELECT SUPPLEMENTS
Our laboratory at the University of Tampa has tested hundreds of supplements. In fact, each semester we test at least a half-dozen new, novel ingredients. However, for this program, we're going to stick with the most research-backed, time-tested supplements to give you an edge and help you gain mass.
Because the workouts in this program are so demanding, you'll augment your training with supplements that enhance recovery. These supplements will ultimately help you get back into the gym more quickly, so that you can continue to take advantage of all of your body's hypertrophy mechanisms.
Whey protein is the king of proteins. It's very high in essential amino acids, which are deemed essential because your body can't produce them on its own, and which actually turn on muscle protein synthesis for growth. Whey protein also contains numerous growth factors that strengthen your immune function, especially when you're training hard.
Creatine monohydrate is probably the best mass-building supplement of all time. It has more than earned its loyal following among athletes of all types, but bodybuilders in particular. Why? In the simplest terms, it will give you more energy per muscular contraction. This means that instead of managing only four repetitions with a certain weight, you might be able to get six or seven. You'll move more weight and do more work overall, which is going to lead to an overall greater stimulus for growth. We also know that creatine triggers growth factors to increase in skeletal muscle tissue. It's a no-brainer for this program.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
The three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are special in that, out of all 20 amino acids, they're known as the triggers of skeletal muscle growth. During your full meals, when you're taking in 30-40 grams of protein, you won't need BCAAs. But between meals, you'll supplement with them to spur muscle protein synthesis throughout the day.
Fish oil is very important for insulin sensitivity, which means that it will help your body shuttle more carbohydrates into your muscles. This will help you get a bigger pump while training, and help prevent excess fat gain as well. Fish oil can also help resolve acute, exercise-induced inflammation, so that you recover more quickly and get back to the gym ready to knock out another round.
When you select your pre-workout, I want you to choose something that supports peak performance, has the potential to boost your pump, enhances your cognitive function and focus, and helps you recover faster from your intense training sessions. Look for key ingredients like beta-alanine, beet root extract, and caffeine to accomplish these goals. Many quality pre-workouts also contain added creatine and BCAAs.
Fish Oil 1 serving
What if I don't have time for breakfast? Can I chug down a shake instead?
Sure! When you wake up in the morning, whey protein is a great choice if you don't have time to eat a high-quality protein source like eggs. Take your fish oil with that protein shake, and between meals take a serving of BCAAs to keep protein synthesis elevated throughout the day.
Does a protein shake count toward my daily macros?
Definitely. If you need 200 grams of protein per day and you get 40 grams from a shake, you still need 160 grams from other sources.
What if I train right after I wake up? Should I train fasted?
I don't recommend it. It's critical to understand that, after an overnight fast, you don't have a lot of nutrients in your system that support skeletal muscle growth. I recommend you eat an easily-digested protein source, like whey protein, before your training session. You can also take your pre-workout supplement at this time, along with your creatine. Your post-workout shake should include more whey along with a second dose of creatine.