The STACK - Making The Most Of Supplementation!

Supplements are used for a wide variety of purposes, varying from muscle building, to prevention of muscle destruction. Stacking various forms of supplements helps you get well-rounded development in your weights program.
Supplements, whether we like it or not, have become a huge part of amateur athletics and bodybuilding. These substances are used to give our bodies the chemicals it needs to perform at a physiologically optimum level. Supplements are used for a wide variety of purposes, varying from muscle building, to prevention of muscle destruction. Stacking various forms of supplements helps you get well-rounded development in your weights program.

When choosing supplements, it is important to first consider if the supplement is legal. As a rule of thumb (not to mention the legislation), do not use illegal supplements. These have been banned for a reason. Secondly, research the supplement, specifically looking for health risks and side effects. After your hard work in the gym, the only expense of supplementation should be on your wallet. Do not use a supplement if you feel there may be health risks involved. If you have read widely on the supplement and you 100% trust the judgement of the authors and yourself, then and only then should you look into purchasing the supplement. Thirdly, always buy your supplements from a trusted brand name. I have found some trustworthy brands to be Max's, Higher Power, EAS and an Australian company, Balance. Met-RX is also highly recommended as is AST Sports Science and ASN.

So:

? Do not use illegal supplements e.g. Andro (banned in Australia)
? Do not use supplement that you aren't convinced are safe
? Always buy from a trusted brand name (ask your retailer)

Following those three basic rules will save you health, money and muscle. Using supplements individually is great if you are a beginner and want to find out what works for you. Some simple supplements to experiment with for beginning bodybuilding are as such:

Creatine

Can be purchased through Bodybuilding.com at a good price. Helps replenish your energy to pump through the reps. Lots of information on the net. Some good brands include Higher Power and AST.

Glutamine

Also available through Bodybuilding.com, Glutamine is an amino acid that is found largely in muscle cells. Thought to increase testosterone levels and help aid sleep. EAS and AST.

ZMA

An anabolic mineral that comes very highly recommended, ZMA is also available through the Bodybuilding.com Cyberstore. My mate swears by Twinlab.

Whey / Soy Protein Isolate Powder & Multi Vitamins

A fundamental supplement, this is where your muscles come from. Whey and Soy have individual advantages, the future of protein supplements lie in a hybrid of the two. The Multi is as fundamental as the protein, as bodybuilding puts a great stress on your body. Body Ripped and Max's make a good WPI, AST is good for the Multi.

The Creatine / Glutamine / ZMA stack is my suggested stack for developed teenagers (Protein and Vitamins should be a part of every stack). It is a strong foundation for supplementation and a good, rounded stack. A good stack gives you energy to power through your exercises (Creatine) and a good recovery or anti-catabolic supplement (Glutamine and ZMA). I have done some limited research into stacks with the aim of appropriate supplementation for those who are more advanced in their bodybuilding and are looking for an extra edge.

NOTE: I have not included Protein or Multi Vitamins in these stacks, as they should be constantly in use anyway.

1) He-Man Size Stack

POWER:
Creatine Monohydrate
D- Ribose

MUSCLE GROWTH:
Vanadyl Sulphate
Tribulus Terrestis
Methoxy (MX7)
Glutamine

COMMENTS:

This is a very powerful stack. The Creatine works very well with the Ribose and Vanadyl Sulphate. I personally swear by the Trib / MX7 combo. I put on around six kilos of muscle in the month I used this. Glutamine, though not too popular, I believe is a must for muscle development.

2) Strength Stack

POWER:
D- Ribose
Alpha Lipoic Acid

MUSCLE GROWTH:
HMB
GABA
Methoxy (MX7)
ZMA

COMMENTS:

If you are interested in hitting the weights hard and getting some solid, lean, athletic muscle on your body this is a great stack. The HMB and ZMA are great for high intensity training, both being awesome for healing.

3) Money-Is-Nothing Stack

POWER:
Creatine Monohydrate
D- Ribose
Dymetadrine (Dymetadrine Xtreme)

MUSCLE GROWTH:
Vanadyl Sulphate
Methoxy (MX7)
Tribulus Terrestis
Glutamine
GABA
HMB
ZMA

COMMENTS:

Being opposed to pro-hormones, if I were to begin competing in bodybuilding competitions (and I had an endless supply of money) this is one of the main stacks I would most likely cycle.

Most of the supplements I have used in the stacks are over the counter supplements or can be imported for one's own use. If you have any worries about any supplement that you have researched and are thinking about using, consult a physician. Do not sacrifice your health to stupidity or ignorance. Always follow the directions given on the bottle or by your retailer. Supplement stores often have a great depth of information if you are interested in looking into a stack that suits your needs. All supplements I have used in this article are available through Bodybuilding.com. (Click on the blue links above to learn more about the products.)

Now get back to work.
Steve

NOTICE! This article has been debated by other Bodybuilding.com writer's. Read the following articles next:

Todd Torns: The TRUTH On Supplement Stacks
Steve Anderson's Reply: Defending The Stack
Big Cat's Response: Review of The Stack Debates