I believe that to be a successful bodybuilder you must incorporate supplements into your program. I have done experiments with and without supplements, and have found that there is no comparison to the way my physique looks like when I adhere to a strict supplement regime.
Supplements help ensure the proper amount of nutrients to get into damaged, fatigued, worked muscle tissue. Exercise, as I have always stated, is only a thermogenic boost to the muscles. The intensity at which you train will determine how much damage you will invoke onto the muscle tissue. If you train hard and with high intensity you are firing off many synapses and burning out many motor units along with tearing down muscle fibers. This type of damage requires adequate amounts of nutrients to help repair and resynthesize; muscle cells (cellular machinery: i.e, organelles, etc), motor units, nerves, hormone reproduction, sarcoplasma concentrations. It is going to take more than a spear of brocolli and 6 oz. of chicken to re-establish the muscle tissue and to help it grow. For some reason you just can't get all of your nutrients need from food if you want to maintain muscle mass. If you are exercising just for the sake of increasing your core temperature a little and are performing muscular endurance exercises, then you probably will be fine with taking only a daily vitamin and eating a good clean diet. However, if you want to put on muscle you have to supplement the diet. There really is no getting around it.
My experiment: I did a private study on myself a few years back. I trained for six months without taking any supplements, not even a daily vitamin. I ate 5-6 meals a day. My diet was very strict and regulated with the correct amount of protein, fat, and low glycemic carbs. I trained hard, as usual. The results were, I made small gains, but maintained my original starting muscle composition. My strength was marginal, no real significant changes. My fat has always been 3% so that didn't change. I was able to maintain but no significant changes occurred. I feel that my body was only able to resynthesize just enough of the muscle tissue that I was tearing down. I never seemed to get ahead of the repair / building cycle. By the end of the week of each program I was completely exhausted and my joints would start to ache. I had to drop the intensity of my training by the end of the week to recover. I found that my recovery periods were getting longer and longer towards the end of the six months.
THen I added supplements back into the program. For the next 6 months I trained hard, with high intensity. The results were much different. I would find that I could lift more each week. My strength increased, my stamina increased, my recovery was much better, I wasn't tired by the end of the week. WHen I woke up my muscles felt full and tight, not sore and flaccid. My energy was higher during the day. My measurements increased in all the right places while keeping a 29 inch waist.
My experiment confirmed to me the importance of supplementation. If you are serious about putting on good quality muscle you must take them. If you have any questions or concerns to what supplements you should be taking you can email me your questions.
Vince Gironda told me one time that you have to take supplements with his programs, otherwise you will not see dramatic results. He said that you have to restore used protein with new protein. And you have to keep protein high in your bloodstream.
Supplements that I take to build muscle: I only use NSP Products and have been using them for over 25 years. These are the same supplements that Vince Gironda sold me years ago. It's my own preference there are a ton of products out there from other manufactures. I have never bothered with all those other products because NSP products work for me. Ron Kosloff is a great friend and an honest, hard working businessman, a quality I respect. I feel that his products are superior and are affordable. You can purchase supplements each month in the range of $200-1200.00. That is up to you. I don't want to make a mortgage payment to a supplement company each month so I stick with NSP.
Here is what I use:
All from NSP
* Multi-vitamin Bodybuilders Pak
* Free Form Amino Acids
* Digestive Enzymes
* Branched Chain Amino Acids
* 92% Milk and Egg Protein (wicked good stuff!!!)
How much muscle you develop is dependent on genetics, diet and supplementation.
If you are on a low budget I suggest the following;
* Multi-vitamin Pak
* Free Form Amino's
* 92% Milk and Egg Protein
* Digestive Enzymes
tags: supplements, amino acids, protein, bodybuilding, Vince Gironda, Ron Kosloff, Daryl Conant, lean muscle mass