*The latest supplements

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    Which are best?
    Which have stood the test of time?
    Most importantly, which should I try?

    I am about to spend some serious $ on some supplements (weight gainer/protein, hemodialator, pro-hormone etc.) and I would like some sound advice on which ones have the best results with the least negative side effects.

    Can anyone help? I figure ordering from the internet is a cheaper than going to GNC/Vitamin Shop, although it seems far more misleading due to all the products that are out there.

    Calling all Real Jocks -Please help!


  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Mar 20, 2008 1:23 AM GMT
    Kinetic, if you're preparing to spend serious $$$ on supps, I would strongly suggest you talk to a trainer who is also up on these things and reputable. It's not just a matter of supplementing, but when (in conjunction with your workout), how much, what works in conjunction with your workout, what's garbage and merely hype, etc. It's not so simple as just popping expensive pills. Do not -- do not!!! -- make arbitrary contributions to the supplement industry. Spend your money as you see fit, but spend it judiciously.

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    Mar 20, 2008 2:44 AM GMT
    I'd suggest skipping the supplements. Spend the money on a trainer first, and if you are already doing that, spend the money eating/making quality food.
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    Mar 20, 2008 3:22 AM GMT
    There are a lot of good supplements out there that can be beneficial. Without knowing your goals though, its tough to recommend anything. Also, without knowing your diet its tough to recommend anything as well, and the same goes for your training program. If you want to post those things in detail, I can possibly give you some good suggestions. The supplements needed by someone who wants to gain weight/muscle mass, and those looking to cut body fat might call for very different supplements. This could be said for all sorts of variables as well, I would recommend something different for someone lifting six days per week versus three,etc. etc.

    It would be irresponsible to just start recommending supplements without knowing more details bro.

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    Mar 20, 2008 3:37 AM GMT
    Right then! -I guess I was too vague, sorry.
    My main goal (aside from looking and feeling better) is to gain weight and muscle mass.
    My metabolism is already very fast and I get plenty of cardio so being 'cut' comes naturally I guess -So mos def NO fat burning supplements.
    I guess I am looking for a pro-hormone and calorie/protein type of supplements.
    I have always avoided junk/fast foods and try my best to have a well balanced diet.
    This includes 3 squares a day w/ snacks in between, plenty of protein and complex carbs (such as rice, beans pasta etc.).
    Also, I try hard to avoid caffeine and limit my alcohol consumption as I have read all can lower testosterone levels, which does nothing to help a hard-gainer such as myself.
    Hope this info gives a better understanding on where I am coming from and what I am looking to achieve.

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    Mar 20, 2008 3:54 AM GMT
    As others have done, I'm gonna channel ChuckyStud for a minute here: eat more, lift harder!

    Supplements aren't going to do much good unless you're really maxxing all of your lifts out, and it's tough to give advice without knowing everything (such as how often you lift, and what you do).

    If you're trying to put on mass, take about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, drink liquid protein right after a workout (and quality carbs too), and do 3 days a week of compound exercises. Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, and Cleans, with properly heavy amounts of weights, will all force your body to put on mass quickly.

    If you're not doing the above, supplements aren't going to help much. And even if you are doing the above, you probably don't really need supplements until you've put on a fair amount of weight and can lift a lot.
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    Mar 20, 2008 4:04 AM GMT
    I echo UncleverName's suggestion. Save the money for a trainer and/or making/buying more food.
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    Mar 20, 2008 4:29 AM GMT
    I am going to give you a few pieces of advice on how to maximize your gains.

    A lot of times guys that hard gainers have to really ramp up the calories to 4 or 5 thousand calories a day to gain muscle. So, make sure you are eating enough.
    Its important to eat every two to three hours to support your metabolism and keep from entering a catabolic state.

    Protein shakes before and after the gym workouts can really help a lot. The more natural protein in the diet at other times is better, but immediately before and after the workout, whey protein with BCAA's are very helpful in getting the most gain possible, raising testosterone (which helps add muscle), and keeping cortisol (catabolic hormone -breaks down muscle) levels as low as possible.

    Also, it makes sense to look at your resistance training plan. When lifting for muscle growth, a rep range of 8 to 12 is best, and between 4 and 6 sets of each exercise is going to get the best testosterone boost and best growth results. Also, a lot of guys make the mistake of avoiding lower body work. This is a big time mistake if you are trying to grow muscles, as the leg work - glutes/quads/hamstrings - is the work that causes the greatest levels of Growth Hormone and Testosterone release which helps your upper body add muscle as well.

    Several studies have shown that Vitamin C, before and after lifts can help blunt cortisol levels that rob you of your gains.

    Another thing, your body is in a 6 to 10 hour fast for most people while you are sleeping. During that time, your body is in a catabolic state - muscles are being broken down. Its not a bad idea to have a small snack not to long before bed. Also, very important is to get some protein in yourself first thing when getting up in the morning. Breakfast should be your largest meal of the day.

    As far as protein supplements there are a wide variety of them depending on your needs and budget. For hard gainers Muscle Milk can be a good choice. Its very important to have the shake or a meal as soon as possible after a workout, preferably within a half hour and absolutely must within an hour. Failing to do this, is giving up potential gains.

    You will hear a lot of myths and stupid shit said about creatine, but the bottom line is that few supplements have had the amount of scientific research that creatine has. The bottom line is that creatine has been proven to be a safe and effective supplement for resistance training.

    BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids) have been proven in scientific studies to help limit catabolic activity during intense exercise, blunt cortisol increases, and provide for a greater testosterone boost post workout. I would definitely consider this a time tested and proven beneficial supplement.

    The other thing, I would recommend is a good quality multivitamin. During heavy training you use more then the typical RDA of many nutrients. The importance of this cannot me underestimated.

    I think this is a good solid arrangement of supplements to get great gains, and is very safe, and has solid science behind them. I would avoid the tendency to try a bunch of other supplements at the same time, because then you can't tell which is giving you the gains and which isn't doing you any good.

    I would strongly, strongly recommend that you try these before playing with the prohormones. You have to realize that anytime a substance changes a hormone in your body there are other corresponding hormonal changes in your body as well. For example if you succeed in finding a prohormone that raises testosterone, you might also raise your estrogen or SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin) which attaches to the testosterone making it useless, or DHT. The prohormones can cause serious side effects like hair loss, abnormal hair growth, sexual side effects, acne and probably some others that I missed. This isn't to say never ever, perhaps later on with proper research and careful planning you might be able to try these. But I say why risk the side effects until you have tried the scientifically proven safe stuff and made sure you can get all the gains possible from those. Aside from this, its just plain unneccessary, at 26 your testosterone is at or near the highest peak of your life, there simply is not a need nor a benefit in raising your testosterone more unless you have a clinical problem resulting in low testosterone levels. The body's hormone system is a delicate balance with dozens of feedback loops, messing with your hormone balance now could really cause yourself more problems then good. Avoid the temptation to buy into the hype and try the tried and true stuff before you resort to prohormones.

    Good luck to you on this bro. Keep us posted on what you try and how it works for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2008 8:34 AM GMT
    I used to own a bodybuilding supps company, so I have some definite thoughts.

    First, eat lots. You need the calories more than you think. Carbs are not your enemy when you are trying to gain. It seems you are eating clean, so that's good.

    Second, train intelligently for your body type.Maybe you need 5 reps with heavy weights instead of 8 reps with medium weights. There is a case to be made for each method. A qualified trainer can help with that. Also use the internet to find as much training info as you can. Here's a site with lots of great articles from top trainers. http://www.t-nation.com/

    Third, even though I owned a supps business, I have a belief that most supplements are not very useful and, that being said, they are also not cost effective because of the amounts you need to take to get results. Skip the nitric oxide booster (hemodilator), HMB, CLA, and all the other junk. If you want to stay natural, skip the prohormones. If not, be aware that they essentially metabolize into real hormones, so you will be exposed to similar side effects if you take enough to be effective. In that case, you will need to have access to estrogen blockers. Anyway, if you are going to use pro-hormones, you'd be better off saving your money and using the real ones. Milligram for milligram, real hormones will turn out to be cheaper and many times more effective. But, whether to use pro-hormones or real hormones is a decision you have to make. I am just saying that if you go that route, why do it the half-assed way with pro-hormones? Well, I guess there is a legal issue, duh.

    Here are some things you should use, no matter what:
    1) High quality protein. I prefer a whey concentrate/isolate blend. I know it's against common wisdom to not prefer pure isolate, but the process of making isolate strips out important immunoglobulins. And good concentrate, hopefully used by the better companies is 85% protein, while isolate is between 85% and 100%. Not sure the extra purity of the isolate makes up for the loss of important co-factors. They both absorb at the same rate. I, too, am a big fan of muscle milk.
    2) Glutamine. The king of amino acids. Necessary for muscle recovery and repair and building.
    3) BCAA's. I use a really good one, the NSI brand from Vitacost. The ones like this brand and Optimum have double the normal amount of L-Leucine - needed when you are over 40. Under 40, you can get away with normal ratio BCAA's. I think liquid BCAA's are better than capsules.
    4) Use a natural testosterone booster if you decided against pro-hormones or real ones. There is a new-ish product on the market, MyoGenX, which uses Fadogia Agrestis. It is like Tribulus Terrestris but the reports that I've seen on it show that it might be superior. I've tried it and I like it better. Tribulus (standardized with high furostanols and saponins) is sort of a standard. Fenugreek is another source of furostanols and saponins. There are some products that blend tribulus and fenugreek.

    These first 4 are definites.

    After that, I'd consider using ZMA for muscle recovery and repair. Nice to have, but not a necessity.

    I am not big on creatine, but it won't hurt you. It is useful in hydrating muscle cells (makes you look bigger) and giving an energy boost, but some people have gastric upset from it and research suggests that it stops being effective after 6 weeks. So, you could cycle it. The point being, if it helps with energy, that means you can lift harder, and the harder work that will cause your muscles to respond with growth. If you are using pro-hormones or hormones, creatine is not necessary.

    Stepping down another level, there's deer antler velvet, as a source of IGF-1. IGF-1 helps create new satellite muscle cells. There is some evidence that Deer Antler Velvet is mildly effective, though nowhere near using LR3 IGF-1 peptide. On the other hand, if you figure the cost of taking enough deer antler velvet compared with real IGF-1, maybe the IGF-1 is not so expensive. Along those lines, bovine colostrum is touted as being able to act as a myostatin inhibitor (another method of causing muscle cell proliferation). It's hard to prove those claims though.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2008 4:51 PM GMT
    Wow! You guys really know your stuff!
    I almost came close to buying a lot of expensive junk.
    I must say, I'm very impressed and glad that there are a few of you on here willing to take the time to give me proper advice on a topic that you are clearly well educated in.
    Thnx again and I will mos def keep you all updated!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    I am sorry but the last thing a hard gainer needs to be doing is 5 or more sets to get big. All that will do is ramp up the calorie requirement as he burns more off.

    By all means get smart in your routine but your weights routine needs to be effective and limiting the amount of calories burnt and gym time spent ie sub 40 minutes a session

    I wont comment on the supps as I am not in favour of them but there are still no conclusive studies in existance that support any claims of any benefits whatsoever of oral testostone supplementation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2008 10:10 AM GMT
    you might be right about not doing 5 sets if you are hard gainer, you might not be. There are a lot of opposing theories from the best trainers. And it depends on one's particular ration of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscles, which is not easy to gauge. I was relating what works for me and I stressed low reps/heavy weight. The point is to engage the muscle fibers fully. Not tire oneself out with extra reps. Then again, one needs to switch one's routines periodically. At various times, I've done well with 8 weeks of HST (1-2 worksets, full body 3 times per week) and with hitting all body parts twice a week in a 2 day split. There is no magic solution, except to not go stale.