Supplements - My Advice by Mike Gelsei BSc of Empower Bodybuilding

Supplements - My Advice by Mike Gelsei BSc of Empower Bodybuilding First and foremost whatever supplements you decide to use your nutrition must be also be at a good level. Just because you chug down a few protein drinks, pop some fat burners doesn’t mean you can eat what the hell you like! You will progress much further if you diet is on point and THEN add some carefully selected supplements. This is not an article on nutrition but make sure you are EATING good quality protein such as chicken, turkey, steak, fish eggs, etc. The same with carbs, avoid too many processed sources and anything with a high sugar content. Fats are also essential as a diet without sufficient levels will not allow natural hormone production, so make sure you get your good fats in too. Also, make sure your training is well thought out. Train hard but not too long, remember you are in the gym to cause your muscles to grow so tension is the order of the day not slinging heavy weights about for the sake of it. Give your training some purpose – you are in the gym for one reason and one reason only and that’s NOT to show off! It disappoints me when people try to put figures on training, diet etc. Such as, bodybuilding is 70% nutrition – well as far as I’m concerned that’s rubbish! You mean to tell me that I could have a great diet and supplement plan but not train and still get results? Hell no! On the other side of the coin my training could be spot on but my diet could be atrocious, would I get results, hell no again! Really, what I’m trying to say is a chain is only as strong as its weakest link so you must pay attention to every aspect of bodybuilding which includes nutrition, training, supplementation, recuperation and mental attitude. Quality of supplements must also be addressed before I give you my personal plan. There are plenty of people out there that go for the cheapest they can buy. Whilst I appreciate cost is a factor please don’t go for a particular supplement just because it’s cheap – there’s a reason. Let me explain it this way if you were to go to a butchers or supermarket to buy steak you would expect to pay more for fillet steak than a piece of frying steak. Why? Quality of course. This is the same with supplements – quality ingredients cost more. Try to stick with reputable companies that offer good quality with as reasonable a price as they can. If you are unsure about the quality of a particular product ask someone with a good knowledge in the area. Right, let’s get down to business! Here is the list of supplements that I currently use: • Protein blendWhey IsolateBranched Chained Amino Acids (BCAA’s) • VitargoDigestive/appetite aid Protein Blend I use this first thing in the morning and/or last thing at night when I need a slower release of proteins. I may also use this when travelling when I need something quick to prepare rather than miss a meal. Whey Isolate Post workout as it’s quickly absorbed, digested and helps kick start the recovery process. 2 – 3 scoops will be plenty, giving between 40-60grams of quality protein. Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAA’s) I love BCAA’s! They really help with recovery and allow me to train some body-parts more often which results in more growth in the long term. You’ll be amazed at the pump you get when you train using BCAA’s – who would have thought a great pump without carbs! I use powdered BCAA’s and usually take a scoop 20 min prior to a solid food meal, 2 scoops 30 min before a workout and 2 scoops during training. BCAA’s are under used by many, I recommend everyone to either start using them or increasing the amount you use by utilising them throughout the day. Vitargo Great for post workout, quickly absorbed with no bloating I use this along with my whey isolate and I’m ready to eat 30 – 60min later. I only use 1 scoop (about 40grams), as I feel any more is overkill. The only time you completely exhaust carbohydrate stores is during prolonged, intense cardiovascular exercise such as during a marathon – this is where you hear of people hitting the ‘wall’. During bodybuilding type training you typically produce plenty of lactate (i.e. lactic acid) – this is what gives the burning feeling in the muscles. When you are resting between sets and between training sessions this lactate is ‘recycled’ back into glycogen (muscle carbohydrate stores). So, in reality, you don’t deplete your glycogen stores during the type of training we generally do. 40grams of carbs is more than enough to replenish stores – larger amounts are generally not needed. Digestive/Appetite Aid You are NOT what you eat but you are what you ABSORB. It’s pointless cramming loads of food and supplements down your neck if a large percentage of it is being wasted and not digested. This is an area that more people should pay attention to. Sometimes, if a person is not gaining the natural thing to do is add more food, protein and, well, everything – pay attention to digestion and things may start happening. One last bit of advice – when changing or trying new supplements do it one at a time and don’t change anything else in your program (such as training) so you know if the new addition is working or not. If it works great – you can keep it in the plan and try to add/change something else. Simple! Mike Gelsei BSc Empower Bodybuilding