Supplement Pyramid for Success
High Potency, Complete Multi-Vitamin Formula
Vitamins and minerals are hardly a supplement fad - in fact, they're supplements everyone, especially bodybuilders, should use every day. You want to burn muscle and fat, right? Well, then you'd better make sure your body is in top working order. Intense weight-training & aerobic exercise takes its toll on your body, and a complete multi-vitamin/mineral formula or training pack can improve your recovery time, reduce muscle soreness, postpone fatigue, strengthen the immune system, and over the long term, can help you get better results faster from the time you spend exercising.
Protein & Meal Replacement Powders (MRP's)
Studies with both strength and endurance athletes have clearly indicated that exercise increases the need for protein and amino acids, and furthermore, the anabolic effects of intense training are increased by a high-protein diet. The harder and more intensely you train, the more important dietary protein becomes to maximizing the muscle-building process. If you're serious about building lean mass and maintaining your gains, most trainers today recommend a daily protein intake of 1-1.5 grams of quality protein per pound of body weight per day (in addition to whole food sources, whey protein and/or a meal replacement powder formulated with whey protein are preferable.) There are two critical points within the day when your body will best utilize and assimilate protein powder and/or MRP's: Within 30-60 minutes following your workout (25-50g); and before bedtime (25g)
Creatine helps in three ways: it helps build lean body mass, provides energy so duration of exercise or work can be lengthened; and speeds recovery so exercise frequency can be increased. As more creatine is stored, more water may be brought into the muscle cell, giving the muscles a full, or ""pumped"" feel and look. The initial weight gained from using creatine is mostly water - from the cell volumizing effect. However, this is not simply ""water retention."" Cell volumizing means more water inside muscle cells; water retention happens outside the cells - A BIG DIFFERENCE! Within the first month of creatine use, you actually start gaining more muscle tissue - not just water. Cellular hydration caused by creatine creates a favorable environment for muscle growth, stimulates protein synthesis and may work as a lactic-acid buffer as well.
During stress (i.e. weight training), the body's requirements for glutamine appears to exceed the individual's ability to product sufficient amounts of this amino acid. Glutamine has a potent anti-catabolic effect, and studies have shown that supplementation can prevent muscle wasting because glutamine plays a role in controlling protein degradation (associated with muscle breakdown), protein synthesis, and glycogen synthesis. Glutamine is also one of the few amino acids that has been clinically shown to help boost immunity and causes extra growth hormone release. There are four key times to maximize use of glutamine: Before working out (5g); After Working Out (5g); In the Morning (5g); and Bedtime (5g).
Thermogenic Fat Burners/Energy Enhancers
Bringing your body fat down to 5-7% should center around decreasing calorie intake and/or increasing calorie expenditure. There are several ""thermogenic"" supplements that can help accelerate fat loss by increasing your core body temperature! You should be in good health & check with your physician before beginning use.
For men only! Testosterone Boosters are naturally occurring plant sterols which accelerate the muscle building process by creating a very anabolic environment. After completing the enzymatic conversion to testosterone and or nandrolone and binding to the receptor site, a signal is sent to the muscle cells to promote protein synthesis and increased nitrogen retention. This allows your body to absorb more amino acids from your protein, resulting in more lean muscle gains. another benefit is the body's raised androgen levels, which effect the body's ability to recover faster than normal from strenuous exercise.
hGH/IGF-1 (Human Growth Hormone)
Human Growth Hormone/(hgH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is essential for growth and the regeneration of cells and tissues. They body's production of hGH is very high during childhood and adolescence, however, after approximately age 20, the body's natural release decreases steadily. Physical symptoms such as increased body fat, loss of muscle mass, loss of energy and other signs that usually accompany aging are directly related to this decreased in the body's natural production and release of hGH.