I have a very long history with supplements. I have taken them for well over 3 years. I have tried every one that is out there with the exception of pro hormones. I always prided myself as being “natural.”
At this time I am in better shape, stronger, bigger, faster than I have ever been. I also have better conditioning than I ever thought possible. I am also completely off supplements.
The missing ingredient was not creatine, glutamine or whey protein isolate instead of concentrate. It was me. The hard work was there, not as hard as it could have been though. The dedication in the kitchen was there, again, not as much as it could have been. The intensity was there on and off, progressively more off than on to be honest. Where my dedication, hard work and focus excelled was taking the supplements. The timing was perfect, the in between time was setting up for the next dose, the supply was never short and the “old and outdated” was quickly replaced with the “new and improved.”
The research was undeniable. Proof positive is right there. But is it the whole truth? Remember from movies in court you are sworn to tell “the whole truth”? Why do they make this distinction? What is the difference? Does it matter?
One example that blew me away is the pro hormone Androstone. It was marketed as boosting your testosterone in the hundreds of percentiles (i dont remember the exact number). Strength was also claimed to virtually double. Sounds way too good to be true, but wait! The research is right there, documented and certified. But what is “the whole truth?” The truth is the research group was sedentary 70+ year old woman. Yup, it boosted testosterone in the hundred of percentages in 70 year old woman who have sat around and knitted for the past 20 years. It doubled their strength, so now they can lift a 2lb dumbbell.
My jaw dropped after receiving this information. I am glad I did however. It was blinders falling off and now all the “research” that produces from “study groups” I come across I notice just how much information is omitted rather than how much is given. Who was in these groups? What was there fitness level? Were they even close to my age, gender and fitness level? Were they even human? (you would be surprised at this one!)
With this information in mind, I could not find ONE supplement company that gave me their entire research. I objectively looked back and how often i switched supplements and asked myself is there was ANY change in my performance. The answer was no. I cut them out, used all the focus and dedication I had to them, and applied it to my training. I never looked back. And I couldn’t be happier with the results. Supplement companies love graphs. They know people are in a hurry and people in a hurry love graphs. I wonder what a graph of my training with supplements and without would “prove”.
A few random thoughts:
No one can bottle heart. Pre work out drinks are great if they actually do give your energy. Rely on them and when crunch time comes, you will buckle. It takes heart to have a grueling workout ahead of you, pick yourself up by your bootstraps and go do it! Some days the most important training you do is sticking with your gut wrenching program and developing heart; by far the most important thing to train. Again remember, No one can bottle heart.
Vitamins should be considered almost as essential as water. They are not to be considered as supplements. Additionally supplements are not to be considered as vitamins. There is a reason one is categorized as vitamins and the other as supplements! The greatest work out routine in the world is useless if you do not stick with it. Without vitamins, the body will not repair adequately, your energy stores will deplete without replenishing, and your lowered immune system(a consequence of working out without a proper vitamin regime) will be very susceptible to the common bug going around and burn out will occur.