So, a quick post about lessons being learned along my training journey… Probably old news for some, an obvious observation for others or for people like me, a reinforced revelation – Supplements are overhyped!
Ques pas?! Say it ain’t so. Well my conclusions come from a super scientific observational study with a sample size of one (me) and a couple months worth of data points. All kidding aside, due to budgetary constraints I’ve forgone a lot of supplementation that I used to take previously. And (un)surprisngly, I’ve still continued to gain strength and lose weight. There is however, a big caveat with this finding. I’ve really improved my nutritional intake (I don’t like to use the word ‘diet’, as it alludes to a start and end to a period of changed eating, whereas I prefer to make smaller, sustainable changes that will last for a while longer than 6 weeks). I’ve undertaken a more balanced approach with eating, not eliminating any bad foods, merely ‘crowding out’ the opportunity for bad foods by increasing my intake of better foods. The basic guidelines, if it had a face or grew in the earth, eat more of it!
Gone are the days of protein shakes right after my workout (anabolic window be damned), gone are the multiple shakes per day (say hello to maybe 4 shakes a week), gone are any nitric oxide boosters (really… Vaesodilation? I’m pretty sure you need prescription medication to achieve that, and even then if you’re still seeing effects after four hours, you should see a doctor), no hormone support/boosters (pretty sure at 25 my hormone levels are near perfect). I’ve cut down to a preworkout powder or coffee before a workout if I’m tired, a basic multivitamin from Costco, lots of fish oil (Costco) and a protein super shake when I don’t have time for a real meal.
Blasphemy! I can hear it already, even from my former self. The pre-, peri- & post- workout nutritional window is of utmost importance! Well not necessarily, the body is in either two states, catabolism and anabolism. Just like, every up must have a down, being in a constant state of anabolism, isn’t necessarily a good thing. There may be some negative impacts on your body’s health due to changes in insulin sensitivity, leading to your body storing fat more easily. However, what stands out from my own experience is this: I haven’t shrivelled away into a tiny sack of skin & bones by skipping my post workout shake, I haven’t lost any strength at all (in fact I’ve increased my 4RM deadlift max to 365lb @ a bodyweight of 185lb) and I’m not feeling lethargic during my waking life.
It has also taught me that I can achieve a lot without any help from supplements. I can still push myself in the gym to my almost breaking point, I can still train for 2 hours (when necessary), I can still get stronger and I can still lose weight without the aid of supplementation. Work, eat, rest, repeat – is basically what it comes down to.
So save some money, look within and get the results that you know you can achieve!
Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work. – Booker T Washington