Archive for the ‘muscle’ Category

Sports Supplements

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Different supplements have got different effects but in general if you are training as hard as you possibly can you are going to want to take something even if it’s just a multivitamin.

The reality is that most people don’t train hard enough to justify the supplements they are on but they can be very useful.

Before taking any supplements you need to understand which level of training you are at and then get the appropriate stuff. You also need to make sure your basics are squared away. If your diet is crap, you don’t get enough sleep or your training program is rubbish no amount of expensive powders will make you big and strong.

So here is a guide for three basic levels of training, keep in mind that these are cumulative which means that people at the advanced/competitive level need to take everything from the levels below as well.

Before you think about supplementation check the following

1. Are you eating 3 solid meals a day + 2 – 3 snacks each containing some protein, carbs and good fats

2. Are you training at least 4 days a week with a focus on the big basics like deadlifts, squats, bench press, chinups and military press.

3. Are you getting 7- 9 hours of sleep a night.

If the answer to any of these is a no then spending big bucks on supplements is going to be a waste of time.

Level 1 – Beginners

During the first 6 months to 1 year of serious training it’s unlikely that you’ll need much more than lots of food and some hard training to make gains.

Supplements at this level are restricted to stuff that’s cheap and highly effective.

Multivitamin – Train hard and chances are that you’ll be working your bodies vitamin and mineral stores a bit harder than the average couch potato. While you may be getting enough from your diet a multivitamin is good insurance and costs bugger all.

Protein – Plain Whey Protein Concentrate mixed with whole milk 2-3 times a day. No need for fancy pants stuff that’s been bioengineered to death.

Fish oil – 3 – 6 caps a day for general heart, brain and joint health. Start now and never stop taking it.

Sports drinks – Gatorade or similar during hard training to replace electrolytes and provide energy. Avoid if your goal is fat loss.

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Muscle Building and Strongman

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

One of the most common goals I’m asked about is gaining muscle mass and recently this topic has become very close to my heart.

As regular readers will know I’ve just entered a Strongman show in June and despite competing in the “Lightweight” category at 101kg and 179cm tall I’m a good 4kg under the weight limit for the class.

Now from weightlifting I can tell you that the last thing you want to do in a weigh category sport is train and compete so far under a weight limit for two reasons.

1. It’s muscle mass that you are just giving away

2. Some other dude will train all year at 110kg and then squeeze himself down to 105 for the weigh in, rehydrate and effectively you’ll be competing against a 110kg monster.

Therefore I’m aiming to add about 6-8 kg over the next few months so that I can be that guy that lives and trains at 108 – 110kg and then squeezes in under 105 for the comp.

What most people don’t realise is that putting on QUALITY muscle mass for strength sports is not easy. You can’t just eat crap all the time because you’ll put on fat and once you’ve reached a certain level of muscle mass it becomes harder and harder to convince your body of the need for more. Furthermore while you could use bodybuilding techniques the type of muscle you put on is different to the type required for true strength sports.

So stay tuned and in furture posts I’ll be sharing some of my strategies.