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Supplements Food is the most important aspect of nutrition and one of the core components of our three sided triangle. The best approach is to always follow a healthy balanced diet comprising of all the clean sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fats needed to support training. Once this is in place only then would I add supplements to compliment this diet because either: (a) the particular substance isn't present in generally available wholefoods or (b) wholefood doesn't contain a large enough quantity of the micro nutrient I need. The other use of supplements is for convenience. As they are not a perishable product they don't degrade over the short term as do wholefoods, and also they can easily be transported and stored as they come in various forms such as liquids, tablets and powders.

In this section I have covered a wide range of products drawing from personal experience amassed from years of training and supplementing, to be able to describe the results of what worked for me and pass on advice and recommendations from trialing and testing each product.

The first questions I would ask myself when taking any supplement are:

  • Why do I want to take it? To build muscle, lose weight, increase energy or all of that?.
  • What does it actually do? Do I think it will produce a result? Is there any evidence or research to back up the claims of its effectiveness?
  • Who are the most reliable retailers and how much does it cost?

I have identified five main reasons why I would want to take a supplement:

  • To build muscle and add bodymass
  • To lose weight while retaining lean bodyweight
  • To aid recovery from training sessions
  • To increase energy during training
  • For general health and well being

The next questions are about:

Timing - When is the best time to take them?

Quantity - How much do I use?

Duration - How long do I use it for?

Once I have made an informed choice, considering the stated benefits, I am able to select the correct supplement for the specific stage of training that I'm currently at, for example weight loss or weight gain. The next step is to follow the process of taking the supplement in the recommended amount, independently and consistently over a period of around 4 - 6 weeks. During which time I would continue with my regular training and nutritional routine. After this trial period is over I can now reflect by using these basic test conditions to conclude if the product had a definite or little to no effect.

While not wanting to overthink the whole process I recognise that some supplements have a synergistic effect when combined and that some products have additional or complimentary benefits. I would then ask myself if I thought that these claims had also been met while using it.

Mass/Weight Gain MASS/WEIGHT GAIN
Weight Loss/Lean Muscle WEIGHT LOSS/LEAN MUSCLE
Recovery RECOVERY
Energy/Endurance ENERGY/ENDURANCE
Health/Wellbeing HEALTH/WELLBEING
Supplements Stacks SUPPLEMENTS STACKS
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