The Best Supplement

I have spent a lot of money on supplements over the years. Some of that cash was well spent, and some of it... well, let's just say I popped a lot of HMB caps. Bill Phillip's got a little richer off me, and I got crap for results (Bill actually warns consumers to beware of fake HMB). Man, I'm sure glad I got the real stuff.

I'm here to talk about the best supplement out there. I'm sure you're saying, "why should I care, and who is this guy anyway."

Listen for a second. I've got some credibility when it comes to supplements and body building.

Not because I have a diploma on the wall (although I'm currently two years short of my MD.), and not because I'm an overwhelming presence in the gym ( 5'7", 175 lbs, and not setting any records in bench or squat), but because I've used a lot of supplements, and I found a system of training, nutrition, and supplementation that produced dramatic results.

The truth is, I was damn small. I had a thyroid problem as a teenager and at one point, when I turned sixteen, I was 5'1" and 75 lbs. It's hard to believe but those numbers are real.

And even as my endocrine imbalance was treated, and I finally grew a little, I couldn't put on weight to save my life.

I tried everything: creatine, pro-hormones, weight gainers (Weider's Mega Carb Shit 2000), calorie cycling diets with emphasis on the bulking phase, protein bars, cell volumizing recovery drinks, and the list goes on and on.

Despite my efforts, a year ago at this time I weighed 148 lbs.

So what supplement made the difference? Where did the 27 lbs. in one year come from, with 7 of those lbs. in one week?

We'll, obviously there is no legal supplement that produces gains like that by itself. But there was a supplement, among other factors, that made a big difference for me. I'll get to that supplement later, but first, I want to talk about gaining muscle in general.

How To Gain Lean Muscle Mass
You can divide the whole process of gaining lean mass into three categories:

training, nutrition, and hormonal state (maximizing anabolism and minimizing catabolism).

Training
Let's talk about training first. Every time I go to the gym I see something stupid, usually several things that are stupid.

It never fails. There is always some jackass lifting too much weight through too small a range of motion, usually straining, bending, and cheating in every direction just so he can say to his friend at work the next day that he can bench this much, or curl that much, blah, blah, blah.

I have a friend at school who claims to curl about what I curl, except his arms are like toothpicks.

The point is, weights are just a means to end. If you want muscle growth, things like tempo, variation, proper form, and full range of motion are just as important as the weight that is used. Here's an example.

A few weeks ago, I was watching these guys in the gym doing seated over head dumbbell presses, a great exercise for working your anterior delts.

The first guy picks up weights that he can hardly carry to the bench, then precedes to rip off about 8 reps in 8 seconds, with his friend doing at least half the work on the last 5 reps.

He then says to his friend, "I can't get a burn on this one, I get tired too quick." I felt like yelling, "cut the weight in half, and slow the tempo by at least 5 times what your doing now, and you'll feel a burn."

I first noticed impressive gains when I really started to focus on tempo. If you've reached a plateau, try extreme tempos like 7-8 seconds for the eccentric, 4-5 for the concentric.

I bet you'll notice gains in just a few weeks. I'm sure you've heard this before, so I won't bore you anymore.

Just pay attention to effective training habits, things you can find in a GOOD body building magazine, or in any strength training book by Charles Poliquin.

Nutrition
Now, when I say nutrition, I'm talking about everything you take into your body, and also the things you should take in but don't.

I want to focus on post-workout recovery, total protein and calorie intake, and the importance of insulin sensitivity.

Actually, insulin falls under hormonal state, but it's so dependent on dietary intake that I'm going to talk about it now.

Insulin sensitivity, which primarily determines glucose and amino acid uptake into muscle cells, is at it's highest in the morning and after a workout.

So obviously, you should eat your highest glycemic carbs at those times.

Post-workout recovery primarily involves carb intake with a good protein source.

There are formulas you can use, but from what I've seen, it's variable between two people, even if they have similar lean body masses and workout routines.

After some trial and error, I found that I need about 700 calories (with 45-50 grams of protein) following an 18-20 set workout.

You'll need to do some experimenting to find out what works best for you. What about total calorie intake?

A good rough guess is about 18 multiplied by your body weight, but again, this is highly variable from person to person.

See what works for you. Protein intake should be about .8-1 gram per pound of body weight.

If you take in too much above this number, you'll just up-regulate liver pathways that chew up amino acids. Obviously, there's more to nutrition than just calorie and protein calculations.

Make sure you get the vitamins and important minerals (magnesium, zinc, chromium, etc.) that you need, and avoid empty calories (beer, chips, donuts).You've heard this before.

So you're doing everything I've talked about so far:
Good workout routine
Good nutrition
Plenty of discipline and effort

Yet your results aren't as impressive as someone else with a similar program, or even someone who doesn't work as hard as you.

Why Nothing Works
What's the deal? Well, unfortunately, your hormonal state is as much dependent on genetics as it is on anything you do.

You can eat carbs at the right time to maximize your insulin sensitivity, but it is still determined by factors beyond you're control.

And as for the other primary anabolic hormones, GH and testosterone, you're limited by genes there too.

It is in the arena of hormones that in my opinion supplementation can make the biggest difference.

Since we've already talked about dietary measures that improve insulin sensitivity, let's talk about supplements.

Alpha-lipoic (acid) taken with meals for a total of 600 mg per day, will sensitize insulin receptors and also acts an antioxidant.

Minerals like chromium and vanadium can also help with insulin sensitivity.

I use chromium polynicotinate every day, and occasionally like to throw in some vanadyl sulfate.

Next, we need to maximize thyroid function.

Guggulsterones have been shown to increase thyroid activity, and can be found in supplements like Prolab's Metabolic Thyrolean and Biotest's MD6.

As for naturally improving GH levels, there's not a lot of good news at this time.

Most of the current stuff out there is bunk, whether it's a liquid GHB analog or a sublingual spray.

Glutamine supplementation might offer some help with GH levels, and is certainly a good supplement to minimize catabolism during times of stress, so I would recommend it.

Testosterone Is The Answer
Now that we have all that out of the way, it's time to talk about THE REAL ANABOLIC HORMONE: TESTOSTERONE.

Maximizing test levels will do more for overall anabolism than anything I've discussed so far.

Obviously, it's all important, and I went into a lengthy discussion of those other components of growth to emphasize that there isn't just one thing that will transform a body.

But if I had to recommend a single factor, I think the greatest possible benefit would come from increasing testosterone levels, and the best supplement for that is Andro-Shock.

Pro-hormones don't work very well, and they eventually leave you with depressed testosterone levels and increased estrogen.

In the long run, elevating testosterone levels naturally is the best approach to health and enduring success in the gym.

Andro-Shock works. Andro-Shock is the first product I took that I actually felt.

I had all the classic signs of elevated test levels when I took it the first time: insomnia, aggressiveness in the gym, improved strength, and a feeling of well being.

I noticed real gains in only a few weeks, and even gained seven pounds in just one of those weeks.

For more go to Andro-Shock

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