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Jim Stoppani's 12-Week Shortcut To Size: Supplementation
Watch The Video - 10:57
Protein powder: 20-40 grams
Multivitamin: 1 dose
Fish oil: 2-3 grams; 3 times per day
*Consider taking more protein powder as meal replacement
Pre-workout* (30-45 minutes before)
Protein powder: 20-40 grams (30 min. before)
*Pre-Workout should supply at least:
BCAAs: 5 grams
Creatine: 1.5-5 grams
Beta-alanine: 1.5-3 grams
Betaine: 1.5-2 grams
After Workout (within 30 minutes)
Protein powder: 30-60 grams
*Post-Workout should supply at least:
BCAAs: 5 grams
Glutamine: 3 grams
Creatine: 1.5-5 grams
Beta-alanine: 1.5-3 grams
Betaine: 1-3 grams
Carnitine: 1-2 grams
Fast-digesting carbs: 20-60 grams
Protein powder: 40-50 grams
ZMA: 10-20 grams
Supplements are a critical component of the Shortcut to Size Program, because they really help you maximize muscle size and strength gains. Can you make gains without supplements? Yeah, you can make decent gains, but you can't really maximize your results.
I chose these supplements as a way to enhance your performance during the workouts and then boost your recovery, growth and strength gains.
The Science: 'Sup?
There's a lot of confusion and misconception about the safety and effectiveness of supplements.
Some so-called experts suggest that certain supplements (like creatine) increase the risk of muscle cramps and can even damage your liver. But studies suggest that with long-term use, creatine is both safe and very effective.* Additional studies back up the safety and efficacy of whey protein, casein protein, betaine, beta-alanine-all ingredients I include in this program.
Pre-Workout - Top Sellers
A good pre-workout supplement will cover your bases with quality nitric oxide (NO) boosters, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, beta-alanine, and betaine, not to mention stimulants like caffeine to amp up your focus and training intensity, boost muscle strength and endurance, enhance muscle pumps, and promote muscle growth. Look for products that provide science-backed NO boosters, such as citrulline malate and nitrates from beet extract, at least 5 grams of BCAAs, 1.5 grams of creatine hydrochloride or 5 grams of other forms of creatine (i.e., creatine monohydrate), at least 1.5 grams of beta-alanine, and about 1.5 grams of betaine.
For stimulants, your best and safest bet is caffeine. It's one of the most studied sports nutrition supplements on the market and frequently shown to improve athletic performance. Not only does clinical research show that caffeine is very safe, but that it even may enhance overall health. For performance benefits, you need a minimum of 200 mg of caffeine before workouts to be effective. A pre-workout product that also provides other ingredients such as taurine, tyrosine, alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline, and huperzine A adds to the benefits.
Post-Workout - Top Sellers
A solid post-workout product will provide you with proper doses of BCAAs, creatine, beta-alanine, betaine, carnitine, glutamine, and fast-digesting carbs. Look for products that deliver at least 5 grams of BCAAs, at least 1.5 grams of creatine hydrochloride (or, alternatively, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate), at least 1.5 grams of beta-alanine, at least 1-2 grams of carnitine, 3-5 grams of glutamine, and about 1.5 grams of betaine.
A good post-workout blend should also provide about 20-60 grams of fast-digesting carbs to help replenish muscle glycogen and shuttle nutrients to your muscles. Ideally, the carbohydrates should be separate from the other ingredients so that you can adjust your carb intake as needed for your body size and goals.
Protein Powder - Top Sellers
If you still think that drinking a whey protein shake before and after workouts is the best way to ensure proper muscle growth, you're only half right. Yes, whey is critical to take both before and after workouts. But using whey alone will shortchange your results.
Research suggests that a combination of fast-digesting whey protein along with both a medium-digesting protein, like egg-white protein, and a very slow-digesting protein, such as micellar casein, is superior to a single protein source. Based on the research and real-world data, your protein shake should be about 25-40% whey, 50% casein, and 10-25% medium-digesting protein like egg-white protein.
Fish Oil - Top Sellers
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning your body cannot produce them on its own, and must get them through diet and supplementation.
Multivitamin - Top Sellers
Being short on micronutrients can actually inhibit your ability to make muscle and strength gains, so including a good multivitamin is critical. Research shows that athletes, and those who train intensely, tend to be low in critical vitamins and minerals.
By taking a multivitamin, you ensure that you get adequate levels of these micronutrients, which is actually going to help support your ability to gain muscle and increase muscle strength.*
ZMA - Top Sellers
Many people are under the impression that ZMA is a testosterone booster. It is true that using ZMA can help men optimize their testosterone levels; however, ZMA should be taken for far more important reasons. ZMA is the most effective way to supplement zinc and magnesium, due to the specific form and dose they are provided in. These critical minerals provide a host of health benefits and may also be beneficial for increasing muscle strength. Because magnesium can enhance sleep quality, it is best taken before bed.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) - Top Sellers
This fatty acid found in natural meat and dairy products may help incinerate body fat while supporting muscle mass and strength.* It's great for promoting healthy body composition and can be considered both a fat burner AND mass builder support.*
If you're not taking CLA already, now is the perfect time to start—for maximum benefit, you need to take CLA for at least 12 weeks. Look for cis-9, tran-11 and/or tran-10, or cis-12 on the label.
I've given you a big laundry list of supplements to take. Some guys prefer to buy supplements individually, then mix them on their own. If that seems like too much for you, there are a lot of other options. Most pre-workout supplements actually combine creatine, beta-alanine, BCAAs, and betaine. If you can find a supplement like that, such as Pre JYM, that has my recommended ingredients in the right amounts, then by all means, use that option. The same can be said for post-workout blends like Post JYM.
For many beginners, this may seem like a lot of supplements to take, but trust me—I've given you a solid foundation of what to take to see great results from the Shortcut to Size program. These supplements can't replace your nutrition and hard work, but they can augment your results.
Eager to start lifting? Be sure to watch all the other episodes before starting the trainer! If you've checked out the other overview pages already, then let's hit the gym.