The buzz about supplements nowadays is hilarious in my opinion. You can read about them everywhere.
“Gain 20 pounds of lean muscle with our brand new protein!”
“Scientifically approved supplement will scorch your fat away in 4 weeks! Especially in the belly region!”
“Only our NO-booster will give that skin-tearing pump, and your arms will grow bigger and 900% faster!”
How many times have you heard that? Some of the claims are pretty ridiculous. However, people believe those claims again and again supporting supplement manufacturers. It’s business after all.
But What’s the Problem with Supplements?
There is only one problem with them. People have tendency to overcomplicate things and to give them more value than they can really provide. Supplements are really what they are. They just SUPPLEMENT your training, diet and restoration. You can take all the supplements in the world and get zero results. You need to know where, when and how to use them. Don’t expect miracle gains if you take powdered protein. Don’t expect miracle fat loss if you take some “scientifically proven” fat-burner. Attaining a better body is hard work, and if you don’t plan to inject tons of illegal performance-enhancing substances, then prepare for war.
Focus on the Big Three: Training, Diet and Restoration. I am a big believer that you actually need NO supplements to gain strength, build muscle and get ripped. In other words, you can make it rough. There are so many people that follow all the new supplements on the market while forgetting to devote adequate time for their training, nutrition and restoration. Supplements are a luxury. You must understand that finally.
I actually was there. A long time ago I was also obsessed with all that supplement buzz. All the bodybuilding magazines preach that crap: You need protein powder. You need amino acids. You need transport systems. You need creatine. All that stuff. What a joke! Look at all the mighty men of the past.
John Grimek wasn’t aware of N.O. boosters and HMB
People were athletic and muscular without supplements. So why do you need them after all?
When Do You Really Need Supplements?
The important point here is that I don’t say that supplements are evil and you should avoid them like the plague. I’m saying that people are too obsessed with them. There are times when you can use supplements. In my opinion, you should meet one or several of the conditions below to start using them:
1. You have extra cash.
You can start using supplements only (I mean ONLY) when you have extra money that you don’t have any idea on what to spend it. If you are short on money, forget about supplements and focus on real healthy food in the first place. It works like that: if you have money, buy food, spend it on your girlfriend/family, have some fun and only after that consider purchasing supplements.
2. You have some health problems that can be overcome with supplements.
There are situations in life when people need supplementation for medical purposes.
3. You understand that supplements won’t bring you superhuman results.
It’s simple. Training, Diet and Restoration first, supplements next. They can enhance performance a bit, but expect nothing extraordinary. It’s a sure way to frustration.
So now you really want to use supplementation. What to choose?
Rough Strength’s number one choice is fish oil. The benefits of this supplement are tremendous. Your health will improve, your hormones will improve, your cardiovascular system will improve, your mood will improve, etc. No need to waste time and space on counting the benefits of fish oil. If you have money and desire, this one should be number one priority.
[UPDATE: You should take about 6-12 g per day of quality fish oil. Recent studies show an increase in muscle protein synthesis if you take about 2 g EPA/1.5 g DHA per day. So choose your supplements wisely. Read the label. Also I consider it a not bad idea to take 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil per day too]
Vitamin C should be the next in queue. It’s an anti-oxidant. And it helps with fighting diseases. It’s required in multiple essential metabolic reactions in your body and more.
[UPDATE: You can take several grams of high quality vitamin C per day. Yet no more than 500 mg of a crappy one. Well, you can also use high quality multivitamin supplement as well]
Digestive enzymes would be my next choice. They help with digestion, cure GI tract and fight inflammation all over the body. It’s definitely wise supplement choice.
And after that if you have money and desire left, you can experiment with other supplements. But take care of your health first. The healthier you are the more gains you can expect. And remember: no supplements can substitute training, diet and restoration.
[UPDATE: You can also use protein supplements for convenience. No need to get too fancy. My choice would be casein with at least 80% protein. That should do. There are other effective protein supplements, but they are too expensive for their value in my opinion]
[ANOTHER UPDATE: just recently I found perfect supplement mix for me, which works every time I use it. It’s multivitamins + fish oil. I use Universal Nutrition Animal Pak and some Ukrainian brand of liquid fish oil (there’s only one here). The dosing protocol is 1 bag of Animal Pak with the first meal (never take it on empty stomach; I get severe headaches from this) and 2 tablespoons of fish oil before bed or with the last meal.
What are the effects? Hard wood every morning (if you know what I mean), elevated mood (I can say that it feels something near to happiness), increased energy and feeling that your hormones are in tune (if you possibly can get such a feeling). Of course, in my case this supplement mix is added to intermittent fasting, proper calories and macronutrient ratios as well as a sound training program. Also, I should warn you that the effect is gradual. I began to feel the effect after a week or so of supplementation.
Who will benefit from this mix? Let me share you my story. First time I seriously experimented with multivitamin/fish oil mix was during the spring/summer of 2012. I felt like a million bucks. My testosterone was pretty high, I guess. My sex drive and energy were through the roof. My mood was always good. You know, it’s that feeling when you want to create, when you feel unstoppable, when you want to make jokes and anytime you see hot chicks, you have hardness in your pants. Then due to an increase of work at my demanding daily job, I dropped my experimentation. All the effects also went down.
In April of 2013, I was at a really dark place. I had no energy, I was always angry; there was almost no sex drive. Something had to change. So I dropped that shitty job and never looked back. The day I did it I instantly felt better, but nothing close to the feeling I described above. Then unexpectedly I got back to multivitamin/fish oil mix and that was the perfect time to feel the difference. I was really hooked. It worked like a charm. All the effects were back.
So I would recommend this supplementation to the people that have demanding jobs and low energy and sex drive. Try it and let me know how it worked for you]
Stay tuned for more on rough training.
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