In my brief history of weight training, I have tried numerous supplements to help me gain lean muscle mass. I will now share with everyone what supplements I have tried and my thoughts on each of them. Well, without further ado.
EAS Creatine: This is the first supplement that I ever tried. I didn't really follow the directions so I don't think I got as much out of it as I should have. It did help my running tremendously. While on this stuff, I noticed my timed miles being clocked on average of about 4:45. Not bad seeing how our coach would make us run 5 of these timed miles back to back to back to back to back with only a few minutes rest in between runs. Part of spring season training. Hell if you ask me, but I passed with flying colors. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to increase their endurance and/or strength. The gains will be somewhat incremental at first but seem to taper off eventually. That's why I choose to cycle my creatine following a 6 weeks on/2 weeks off.
Cell-Tech Hardcore: When I first tried this supplement, I was somewhat skeptical at about the claims that you could put on "10 lbs" in only 7 days. After only 3 days on Cell-Tech, I noticed my weight slowly increasing. Not to mention, my strength went through the roof. I was hoisting weights which I had never touched before. I gained 7 lbs in 5 days but most if not all of this was water retention. I believe this slight weight gain contributes greatly to the psychological aspect of bodybuilding. If I'm bigger, then I must be stronger. I would definitely recommend Cell-Tech to anyone who has hit a training plateau. Once again, I would cycle Cell-Tech for 2 reasons: downgraded receptors from continued use of creatine and PRICE.
BCAA's (branched chain amino acids): I once read somewhere that for the ultimate insulin spike, you should consume 5 grams of creatine with 4 grams of glutamine and 3 grams of BCAA's. So I tried it but I really didn't notice much of a difference. This one is a shot in the dark if you ask me.
EAS Phosphagen HP: A wonderful supplement! I made some remarkable strides while on this supplement. Once again, creatine with carbs so a company can make a little extra money. Regardless, if you have the cash this is one supplement that I would definitely try. Once again, make sure you cycle it b/c it does contain creatine.
Designer Whey: My protein shake of choice when I first started lifting seriously. Two scoops gave you about 30 grams of protein which could be easily handled by your body without all of those needless calories. Not to mention, strawberry tastes pretty good too. A great protein shake to have after an all out intense training session. Not a bad price either.
Isopure: My first protein shake ever. It contained 50 grams of whey ion exchange protein which was supposed to be top notch. If you ask me, I really couldn't tell that much of a difference. I did put on the most size with this protein shake but I was also eating and training accordingly. It was rather pricey but the Peanut Butter flavor tasted like Butterfingers. I would give it a try if you've got the money for it.
Vitamin C: The ultimate of supplements. At one point, I was taking about 8 grams of this stuff per day. Needless to say, I was hardly ill and I was growing like crazy. My recovery time improved greatly also. I was able to hit all of my bodyparts (excluding arms and legs) every 4 days while increasing in strength at EVERY session. Quite inexpensive and easily accessible. Definitely worth looking in to.
Xenadrine NRG: This stuff is unbelievable. Not only does it help me focus on whatever I'm doing, it also burns fat away like crazy. This is the only supplement that I used while preparing for my first 2 contests. It is inexpensive if you purchase it at the right places (Bodybuilding.com) and if you take it in moderation (2-4 tabs per day) it will last you 1-2 months. I would recommend it to anyone that wanted to increase intensity in the gym and to burn body fat while preserving muscle mass.
Cytodyne: An anti-catabolic/anabolic formula from Cytodyne Technologies. I attribute my being able to compete 10 lbs heavier at Nationals to this supplement. I have done some research on the ingredients of this supplement and am still unsure of the specifics of how it reacts in the human body. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a tendency to overdiet and lose muscle mass while preparing for a contest. The only drawback is that it is quite expensive though.
EAS Betagen: I believe that this stuff has helped me transform my off season physique into something else. Bill Phillips of EAS gave a rave review on HMB in one of his supplement review books. I decided to give it a try and I am sure glad that I did. I was able to increase my mass while actually stripping away body fat. Several university studies have revealed that HMB actually decreases body fat while helping collegiate athletes retain their strength or in some cases improve upon. Even with my off season physique, I am still quite vascular while weighing a healthy 192-195 lbs. Only drawback is the price.
Glutamine: The only thing I have to say about this amino acid is that if you aren't taking it, you should! Bodybuilding.com has a great price on 1000 g of glutamine. Check it out! This is probably one of the most important supplements I am taking right now. When I say one of the most important, I mean Top 3. Nuff said.
Methoxy-Pro: The BEST protein supplement that I have ever taken. Not only did my strength soar through the roof, but I added on quality pounds of muscle. This stuff has taken my physique to another level in comparison to where I was a year ago. Althought it is quite inexpensive in comparison to all the other supplements out there, it is rather difficult to come by. Why? Because everyone and their mother's aunts are trying to get their hands on some Methoxy-Pro. I personally recommended Methoxy-Pro to one of my friends and he gave it rave reviews too.
Z-Mass: I heard a lot about this supplement from various sources. So I took it upon myself to give it a try. What could it hurt? So I ordered my first bottle of Z-Mass so I could stack it with a few other supplements. I felt the effects of it immediately! I found myself full of energy the next day and my sleep had improved. Perhaps I was getting more "anabolic sleep" which bodybuilders desperately seek. Bodybuilding.com has a very inexpensive price for this product so I would strongly suggest that you give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Multi-Vitamin & Anti-Oxidants: You should be taking these even if you're not weight lifting!
Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate: If you want to handle heavy weights, then you are going to tax your joints to their max and beyond. So I strongly suggest that you supplement with a type of joint fuel to aid in their recovery. It is quite difficult if not impossible to train while pain radiates from your wrists when it is turned this way and that. Inexpensive and easily accessible. Get it!
Vanadyl Sulfate: I was once told by an enormous lifter in my old gym that vanadyl sulfate helps you get and attain a better pump. So after 2 years of having this information linger in the back of my mind, I decided to give it a try. I don't think it does too much for my pumps. I think your pumps are directly correlated to a myriad of components in your system including the amount of carbs you have consumed. I wouldn't recommend this supplement to those who already have proper nutrition.
Higher Power Creatine: I just add this creatine to the creatine already present in Betagen to help ensure that I get enough creatine in my system to saturate my cells with water. Creatine has somewhat of osmotic properties. I do this b/c I know that the gatekeeper of the body, our liver destroys most of what goes through it. This is true of everything, including steroids. I would recommend this supplement to anyone b/c Bodybuilding.com has a great price on 1000 g of it. Can't go wrong there!
Taraxatone: This stuff is supposed to help dry you out and give you that sharp look on stage or at the beach. I think I used it wrong so I really can not comment on it. If I did comment on it, it would be negative and I would not be give taraxatone its due. Perhaps it is a good supplement and I just used it wrong. Perhaps it is just plain junk. We'll find out for sure come my next contest.
Well, that about does it. As you can see, I have tried a plethora of supplements in hopes of giving me that edge that steroid users have. Truth of the matter is, nothing really can mimic the muscle building property of anabolic/androgenic steroids. It all boils down to what you feel is right for you. Personally, I feel that my longevity is more important to me than being "huge." What good is "huge" if you're 6 feet under?
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