After a few weeks of going through long burnout period where my training, diet and supplements just plain sucked, I felt it was time for me to get back into it harder than ever. So I spent a few weeks reading other articles on supplements, the message boards and just did some good research. I didn't want to waste any time or money on false promises so I focused on the products that I knew worked. I knew that I wanted to use some prohormones and after reading some of Big Cat's articles and talking via email with him I had everything laid out and ready to go. I also set a few criteria up for this cycle so to speak. I knew that I wanted to make it a bulking cycle but I wanted to keep my calories around 5000 calories a day. Usually during bulking cycles I will consume well over 6500 calories a day. I also set it up for a 6-week cycle, when I continue anything any longer than 6 weeks I get tired and bored with it. I trained heavy with a 2-on-1 off split. So let's look at the supplements I chose to use.
1. Amino Acids
Sometimes I feel like this supplement is overlooked. Just go check out the message boards and you will see what I mean. Everyone is looking for some type of prohormone cycle but they always forget to include the foundation for that cycle. Good quality aminos are the building blocks to any supplement schedule, whether you are dieting or bulking. You don't get every thing you need from food so you need to supplement to make up for the lack off them. The best way I can express how important it is to supplement your diet with quality Aminos is like this: say you have 20 s's, 50 t's, 5 o's and 1 p, how many times can you spell the word stop? Just once. By supplementing your diet with Aminos you are giving your body every thing it needs in order to recover faster and they fill the void which regular food can't and so you can spell the word stop more than just once. I come across a ton of people who don't use them when dieting. When dieting if taken in high amounts they preserve the muscle you spent so long trying to build. For this cycle I chose Sportpharma's Amino Maxx.
This is the #1 supplement in promoting recovery. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body and when your body is put under stresses of training it becomes very depleted in the body and really affects the body's ability to recover after training. By supplementing with Glutamine your muscles will stay packed with it and instead or taking glutamine from muscle stores your body will get a constant supply of it from the supplemental form of it. Now don't expect to see rapid gains from Glutamine like you do with prohormones or creatine. Glutamine's gains are much more cumulative so the long-term effects can be quite dramatic. I like to take glutamine post workout in a shake or with some juice. I chose to use Prolabs glutamine, basically because it comes as a 300g+ 100g free.
This is a great supplement for boosting strength and long-term muscle gains. The strength gains I have experienced from using creatine have been amazing. You will notice that your muscles become larger and harder and you will experience greater strength while training. Most people retain a little water with creatine . This is one of the best overall bodybuilding supplements that have ever been created. To me it was the first supplement that I could really tell worked. I chose to use Higher Power's Creatine.
So that I am not eating every 3 hours I needed a good high calorie/high protein shake. By doing this I am getting around 1000 calories from a simple to make shake. I chose to go with Prolabs N-Large 2 for this. I love this shake because it doesn't leave me with that bloated full feeling after drinking it.
Training depletes these so bodybuilders must supplement them in their nutrition. It's hard to get these in a normal diet and by supplementing with these it improves recovery and helps sleep efficiency. Research indicates that in a depleted environment, such as bodybuilders, low levels of these leads to low serum testosterone and IGF-1 levels, as well as increased serum estrogen, which is not a hormonal environment a bodybuilder wants. So you can see the reason ZMA is a useful supplement. I chose Higher Powers ZMA nighttime formula. I must say that while I was on this I slept the best I have slept in a long time. My sleep was very deep and I woke each day feeling very refreshed and very rested.
Without a doubt the single best supplement I have ever used. I have never experienced the feeling that I had while using this product. I got stronger by the workout, bigger by the day. The pumps I had were unreal and would last for hours. I am not going to go into how it works simply because I am no expert when it comes to prohormones, for that you need to read up on some of Big Cats articles which go into great detail. To my knowledge the only one out is Ergopharm's 1-AD and if anything ever did come out cheaper I would still go with Ergopharm. If you haven't tried it, try it you will be very satisfied with it.
Depending on how you take them they serve two purposes for bodybuilders. Thermogenics increase the ability to burn fat faster and they give an increase short-term strength and energy for better focus while training. I took them in light doses just to give me energy and a mental alertness so that I can go very intense and not have a let down until I was finished. I chose Xenadrine (Cytodyne) and Thermadrene (Sportpharma). I would alternate each day from one to the other.
Now for the supplement Schedule I used for this cycle:
- Sportpharma AminoMaxx: 4 tabs 4 times a day. I took 4 with breakfast, 4 with lunch, 4 pre-workout and 4 post-workout.
- Prolab Glutamine: 10g mid-afternoon, 10g post-workout
- Higher Power Creatine: 10g mid-morning, 10g pre-workout
- Prolab Nlarge 2: 1 shake mid-afternoon, 1 shake post-workout
- Higher Power ZMA (night formula): 3 caps before bed
- Ergopharms 1-AD: 300mg daily - 600mg daily split over 3 doses. I took 1 dose with breakfast, lunch and pre-workout.
- Xenadrine (Cytodyne) and Thermadrene (Sportpharma): 1 cap 30-45 min. pre-workout.
This cycle has produced some of the best lean mass gains I have ever had. I didn't record any stats prior to starting it (as a matter of fact I haven't weighed myself since July) but there are a few shirts that I have had to retire due to the fact that they are too small. I am already planning my next one and I think that I am going to add some more prohormones in with the 1-AD. I am leaning to the 4-AD Transdermal but we shall see, I am going to talk to Big Cat about this one. Until next time.