The majority of people who want to pack on muscle or cut body fat look to bodybuilding supplements to help them speed up the process. Although these supplements are not totally necessary to achieve most goals, they can definitely make things a little more convenient. For example, many people are busy at work or school and do not always have the time to prepare a high protein meal. Instead, they will use their protein powder supplement to quickly mix up a shake. This will allow them to reach their protein goals for the day that they may have otherwise not been able to reach.
Many bodybuilders make supplementing even more convenient by shopping online. Many people at the gym get their bodybuilding supplements from here. I do know some people who just buy locally, but the number of people who do this seems to be getting smaller and smaller.
Our Top 3 Bodybuilding Supplements
- Whey protein – Whey protein is one of the most commonly used supplements in the industry, and for good reasons. Whey protein has proven to be a cost effective and simple way to help get your protein intake for the day. People love convenience so that makes it very appealing. Some people will even tell you that protein is more of a convenient food product than it is a supplement.
- Fish Oil – A fish oil supplement is probably one of the most beneficial supplements if you do not regularly eat fish in your diet. Fish oils contain essential omega 3s that have been proven have a ton of benefits to your health.Some benefits include: lower cholesterol, fat loss, increased joint pain, improved memory, and the list goes on.
- Creatine – Creatine is a great supplement for increasing your lifts, and building muscle. The reason creatine works so well is because it gives you a “pump” during your lift and keeps you from burning out too quickly.
There are many other great supplements out their depending on what your goals are. However, there are also those that are necessarily great supplements, but provide you with the best supplement of all: the placebo effect. The placebo effect can be very powerful if you buy in to the effectiveness that supplement claims.
Other supplements like BCAA supplements are also quite popular. However, they are not always necessary since most people get adequate BCAAs from their diet or protein supplement. However, they can be useful if you are one of those who like to train in a fasted state. Taking a BCAA supplement will not break the fast and it will help prevent muscle breakdown during your workouts.
Please keep in mind that supplements are just that, supplements! You still need to have proper nutrition and workout routines to get the best results. You should not rely on supplements only to get the results you are looking for
When it comes to weight training, the structure of your workout is very important for your success and ability to make good gains. There are many people who go into the gym with no plan on what muscles to workout until they see a machine or exercise that they feel like doing. By going in without a plan, they are at a disadvantage for a few reasons.
For starters, if you plan on weight training on a consistent basis, you probably end up neglecting muscles you think you don’t need to work on. As a result, you will probably end up looking like Mr. Incredible – who has a huge upper body, but shrimpy legs. This is because many people (especially men) neglect working out legs and end up with a disproportionate physique as a result. Another gem is where the person only works out their arms and abs. You don’t want to be “that guy”.
Another failure that many people have when they don’t have a set plan is to quickly lose motivation. How are you supposed to improve on a particular exercise if you are just bouncing from machine to machine? It can be very difficult to track your lifts this way and usually people who do this aren’t fully invested or interested in achieving progress.
If you are looking to improve instead of maintain you have to improve on your lifts from week to week. This is because the only way to entice your muscles to advance is to increase the load in whatever rep range you are working on.
Structuring a Good Program
The key to a good workout program is to really focus in on the main compound lifts and then the more isolated lifts. Compound lifts are exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and bench press. Simply hitting these three will ensure you are not neglecting any major muscle groups.
So a good basic plan would be to focus on deadlifts on Monday, bench press on Wednesday, and squats on Friday. The days inbetween will be rest days where you will rest and give your muscles some time to repair.
However, that would be a very basic workout. I like to include a major compound lift along with a supplementary lift or 2 in each workout. For example, monday I will mainly focus on deadlifts, but my second exercise is chin-ups. On Wednesday my main focus is bench press (chest), but my second exercise would be military press (shoulders).
Avoiding Mistakes in Workout Structure
The reason you would want to keep exercises like deadlifts and squats apart is because they both are heavily compounded exercises which involve the legs. For example, If you did deadlifts, then squats back to back your legs will be to sore or fatigued to achieve any progress. In fact, it may likely lead to the break down of muscle instead of growth.
If you are a beginner or advanced one of the best programs out there is probably Mark Rippetoe’s starting strength. It focuses on basic compound lifts that will give you incredible results. He also is a great teacher of having the proper form which should be your primary focus as a beginner. Once you have the form down, you can focus on increasing the weight load on each lift.