This time I am focusing specifically on supplements to help lifters over 30. While all of these will work for pretty much every age, many of these are crucial if you lift heavy and have passed the quick recovery years of your 20's. My main areas of focus will be as follows:
This article will only mention items I have tested recently and will probably not rehash many of the items mentioned in the previous articles, although they are all to be considered in their appropriate categories. I am also not biasing any reviews on price, but only on how well I feel they meet their claims. If they are mentioned here, I feel these supplements meet their claims.
The main groups of people I will focus on in this article are not only competitors, but also any lifter who really works hard to continually push himself to be bigger, stronger, leaner, or better. I am not talking about your morning "cardio hamsters" or the guy you see on the flat bench with his cell phone glued to his ear.
I am talking about people like me and my wife, who bust our @sses in the gym and need a little help to keep the intensity going. I can tell you that for me, this last year for me has been the year of feeling my age. My recovery has slowed.
All of the products I have listed were tested by me, my wife, a good friend, or all of us. A lot of these items were reviewed as I was trying to get back to it after being injured or sick these past 4-5 months, so they really received a serious test.
Getting a little older aren't we? Not 25 anymore? We used to be able to hit the gym 7 days a week, stay up late, eat pretty much what we wanted, and still look pretty darn good.
Sometimes we need a little extra push to get us going in the gym. Sometimes that can take the form of a pre-workout drink with some extra items to get us moving. I have recently tried several new ones as well as revisiting some old favorites.
Garbage by Garbage is a very good start. I was initially put off by the seemingly "hard-core hype" type advertising this product uses, but this stuff delivers. It wakes you up, supports focus, and has everything in it but the kitchen sink.
I really like the fact that it comes in little single serving packs so I can take it to work and use it for an afternoon pick me up as well.
I fully believe that getting some aminos in the body before early morning workouts helps tremendously with recovery and energy levels.
GH Stack: GH Stack by Universal Nutrition also delivers on its promise of enhanced recovery. I had tried GH Max with little results, then I tried the GH Stack with good results, and then combined them for VERY GOOD results.
Xtend: Xtend by Scivation in a NEW LEMONADE flavor. As always, this stuff rocks! I have started to tire of the same grape and fruit punch flavors and this was a welcome addition to my cupboard.
If you're not a fan of guzzling energy drinks before you hit the iron, don't you worry. We've got plenty of products in pill or capsule form that give you the kick you need without undesired caffeine crashes.
I've had the privilege to try out some of the best products on the market. These are some of my top choices to get you jacked for the gym. Universal Animal Cuts, Mitotropin by Gaspari Nutrition, and MHP DREN, are all great energy enhancers without stimulant buzz drop-offs or typical afternoon crash scenarios.
Along with plain old creatine monohydrate I've also started taking Cellmass by BSN. Along with the rest of they're products from the BSN line, this one is another excellent product.
Size On Maximum Performance: Size ON Maximum Performance by Gaspari Nutrition is a new formulation of the traditional Size On. This product is a blend of creatine along with carbohydrates for maximum recovery and muscle growth.
Storm: A new entry into my arsenal is Universal Storm. Not only does it have a potent creatine concoction blend but it tastes amazing and really helps my performance in the gym.
The NO tabs from the last two articles continue to be staples. NOX Surge by CEL is a great NO powder with a good hit of energy almost making it a stand-alone. The blue raspberry is tasty too.
White Flood: New stuff includes White Flood by Controlled Labs. (OK, by itself the taste leaves a bit to be desired, but this stuff works really well.) Blend it with a good creatine choice and you can't go wrong. It provides great pumps and it has beta-alanine in it (you already know I love that tingling feeling.)
Vasocharge from my friends at Scivation is another new entry. This stuff really tastes good and has just the right amount of product for a pronounced effect, and it's got my beta-alanine too.
I am using this with their new Lemonade flavored BCAA Xtend, thank you—no more grape for a month or so. This is the best citrus BCAA powder I have used. I love the way Xtend will almost completely dissolve after a few hours in the water bottle in the fridge.
Warning, Vasocharge and White Flood both contain caffeine, so do not double your intake by accidentally taking an additional thermogenic.
This is an aspect of hard exercise that many people overlook. As we get older, post workout recovery needs special attention if we want to keep up our intensity in the gym.
I feel strongly that this is an essential recovery component for any lifter, especially us 'experienced' ones. There's a reason it's one of the 'key three' components you must take for DC training.
L-Glutamine With MSM: L-Glutamine with MSM by IDS is micronized, easy to mix and has an extra 500mg of MSM that I need in addition to the benefits of the glutamine. This will become a new staple in my cupboard.
Micronized Glutamine: Micronized Glutamine by AllMax is just that, very micronized and easy to mix. I must also mention the kilo size L-Glutamine by Higher Power too, as it's price and quality make it a good buy.
All of these noticeably supported my recovery and post workout energy levels.
Torrent: Torrent by Universal—If you read my previous articles, then looked at the ingredients of this, you would swear they made it for me. Whey protein, Waxy Maize Starch, CEE, plus other stuff! Man is it tasty too.
ReFuel by CEL is a great post-workout carb/electrolyte/BCAA drink, very tasty and it really does 'refuel' you after a hard workout.
GlycerGrow by Controlled Labs is another excellent new supplement. I was not sure where this should go as it works well before and after workouts. When I combine this with ReFuel I get a great continued pump well after the workout is over.
WaxiMaize: This stuff tastes great and the 'fruit punch' flavor is not too strong, sort of a good mild strawberry. It is perfect to use with plain unflavored whey isolate with in a PWO shake. It's a new staple for my cupboard for sure.
Animal Pak: Having tried quite a few multi-vitamin packs, I have only found two so far that I actually buy on a regular basis. Animal Pak by Universal and Vita Tech packs by Techline.
Both of these are full spectrum supplements and are designed for ATHLETES and HARD TRAINERS, not just a thrown together "batch of stuff". I am always looking for new ones though so any suggestions are welcome.
Wow, am I getting old or what? (don't answer that or I'll "accidentally" ban you) Talking about joints just makes me wonder. (Or was it those heavy SLDL's?)
I was able to review quite a few of these and most of them passed the test. This is one supplement area where my wife and I both can feel it if we stop taking them. We tend to lift very heavy at times and probably punish our joints and connective tissue more than most people.
Our basic standard stack usually consists of Glucosamine 1000 and MSM 1500 by NOW Foods, each of these at least twice per day. So when we reviewed the other offerings, it was sometimes difficult to get the same ratio of MSM to Glucosamine. I am guessing that both of us are more prone to feeling the effects from heavy training. So the extra MSM handles that for us.
My favorite new stack is AllFlex by Allmax Nutrition. I supplemented with the L-Glutamine with MSM from above for the extra needed MSM and this was a great stack.
My wife's favorite combination is still the Glucosamine 1000 and MSM 1500 by NOW Foods with the occasional use of Celadrin Cream by NOW, or the Joint Performance Roll On by MRM.
Excellent products that we feel anyone would benefit from using also include these: Joint Renew Formula by Ultimate Nutrition is excellent. Joint Performance by MRM is very good (and comes with that cool roll on). Animal Flex by Universal, taken twice a day, is fast becoming a new favorite.
Don't forget to add Super Cissus by USPLabs either. This product works very well in conjunction with the basic MSM/Glucosamine stack after heavy workouts.
All of these passed the test once we adjusted dosages to come close to our baseline targets. If you have a favorite brand in there, feel confident about that product working for you.
Supplements Worthy Of Special Mention
These may fall into another category, but they worked so well I felt they deserved their own section and a little more explanation.
Vita Tech packs by Techline—my wife told me she has not had a supplement that she noticed this much difference from since she tried CEE. She said after about one week she felt better, her skin was maintained, her recovery had improved, and she had more energy.
Now considering she rarely says anything like this, I figured I needed to set this apart. She has an allergic reaction to very much chromium picolinate, so this was one of the few she tried that did not give her a reaction and was obviously the best she's had, since I must now buy them with every order. Those looking for a great multivitamin training pack, here you go.
Celadrin Cream: Celadrin Cream by NOW Foods—Here it is, enough said. I use it quite a bit after heavy leg days or when I push just a little too far.
Anabolic Pump by USPLabs. This is another one of those products I was skeptical about but it lived up to its claims. Try this one if you have some extra cash. Keep a good diet and stay consistent and you should see good results.
Now I would like to be clear that these supplements were tested over a 4-5 month time frame for accuracy in judging the effectiveness of each particular item. Although many were tested at the same time, there were no redundancies in the testing.
I cycled on and off of each supplement so I could make sure that each worked without carryover from the previous brand. This should help explain the long time frame of the testing.
Now, I am not saying that all of these are necessary for everyone all the time. Lord knows I do not take all of them at once or I would explode. But the ones I have listed have been tested by me, my wife, or close personal hard training friends and have proven themselves worthy of inclusion.
As always, these supplements do not take the place of proper nutrition and getting enough rest. But with everything else in place, these absolutely will help to make a difference.