In becoming the ultimate source for improving your nightlife, I'd be remiss if I left out the fitness component. Fitness is something that colors your entire existence, not just afterhours. Let's face it, the nightlife isin't as much fun if your overweight, and out of shape. That hurts your chances with the opposite sex, and puts you at risk for a lot of nasty things.
My story is I personally love being in the gym, and worked for a vitamin/supplements store for a few years, and am still active in the industry. I've learned a lot, and want to pass it on. This pyramid is a good guide to the world of dietary supplements, and will help to leverage your workouts. This will be the first post of many in the fitness category. Enjoy!
Level 1: Multivitamins and Protein
Forming the base of the pyramid, and indeed the foundation is a good daily multi vitamin, and protein supplements. A good multi provides a trained athlete with all the vitamins and minerals needed, that may be missing in food. Many also included green foods, antioxidants, and even joint support in them as well. A good multi is often likened to “cheap insurance,” and it keeps your bases covered. The lack of a good multi may make one prone to long term deficiencies in critically needed vitamins and minerals, especially the trace minerals. My personal favorite is Alive! By Nature's Way,and can be used by men or women.
Protein supplements are critical for the trained athlete for several reasons, most notably muscle building. Just try and grow without enough of it! The rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. So if you weigh 180 pounds, your optimal intake would be 180 grams of protein. Some bodybuilders have gone as high as 2.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, but this is rather excessive. Unless your trying out for the next Olympia, stick with the lesser amount.
Different types of protein have varying digestion times. Whey protein is completely broken down in about 2 ½ hours, and is optimal for post workout recovery. Egg proteins have a 4-6 hour digestion time, and casein will be closer to 8 hours. A protein blend will often have a mix of whey, egg and casein. Casein protein is most often taken right before bedtime. Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey, NitroCore 24, and Casein are great examples of quality whey, protein blend, and casein supplements.
Level 2: Creatine, aminos, and fatburners
On the next level of the pyramid are creatine, amino acids, and fat burners. One can not neglect, the base of multi vitamins, and protein intake, while adding on the supplements on this level. Creatine is a good cell volumizer, and add some size and strength to the typical user. It is better in short explosive weightlifting situations, rather than for the Boston Marathon. Users of creatine must also increase water intake, as creatine draws water into muscle cells, and can slightly dehydrate users. Luckily this condition is very easily avoidable. Green Magnitude by Controlled Labs, and Neovar by Applied Nutriceuticals, are two personal favorites of powdered and pill creatines, respectively.
Adding in additional amino acids is also very common. Glutamine taken post workout, is used to prevent muscle sureness. Branch chain amino acids (BCAA'S) are essential, and can't be synthesized by the body. Arginine is a great vasodailator, and can be converted to nitric oxide gas, giving one a “pumped” feeling during weightlifting.
Fatburners are also a part of the second level of the bodybuilding pyramid. Fatburners often contain stimulants, and thermogenics, to raise body temperature. Many people are tempted to turn to these products for a “quick fix” to their weightloss issues, but that is NOT the case. Unless the user is under 15% body fat, minimal visible results will likely occur. Additionally, due to the stimulants contained, excessive use may cause adrenal fatigue. Used properly however, they are a great tool to lose “that last 5 pounds.” Slim Xtreme from Anabolic Xtreme is a leading product in this category.
Level 3: PreWorkout and Mass Builders
The third level of the pyramid contains pre-workout products, and mass builders. Pre-workout products often contain creatine, arginine, and caffeine, for energy, and a pump during a workout. These are a great tool to get amped up for workouts, but only a few truly provide long term muscle building results. Hemodraulix from Axis Labs is one such product.
Mass builders(non hormonal type) are also often referred to testosterone boosters. Unlike every other supplement listed thus far, these can NOT be used by women, unless you like the idea of kissing a bearded lady. Not my cup of tea, as I like my women like I like my coffee; sweet and carmel colored. Mass builders often contain herbs, and closely guarded formulas, to boost testosterone, and protein synthesis. These products can also give a leaning effect, whilst building mass. These products do not hold their effects of long term periods, and are often cycled on and off. MassFX by Anabolic Xtreme is a leader in this category.
Level 4: ProHormones and Steroids
The final category is that of prohormones(PH's). These oft misunderstood, and misused supplements, are the final word in legal mass gaining. I like to compare their use to putting forced induction or nitrous oxide on a racecar. It can be done, but not by the novice, and carefully, or you might blow the motor. PH's are no different. Users may gain up to 20 pounds in a month, depending on training, diet, the compound used, and other factors. However, the tradeoff is that cycle support, and post cycle therapy MUST be used, to counter the effect of the extra “boost” on the body natural capacities.
In closing, the bodybuilding supplement pyramid is a guide to physical excellence. Follow the levels in order, building on the one before, with a solid diet, dedicated training, and consistency, and your chiseled physique is assured.
J. "the beach is THAT way"
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