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Muscle Building Supplements

Supplements are the Icing on the Cake

As a strength coach the question I get asked more than any other by my athletes is, “Which supplements should I use?”

While muscle building supplements can play a role, the bulk of your results will always come from your training and nutrition programs. It’s not sexy, cool, or new like the latest supplement, but it’s a fact.

I believe this is indicative of a large issue, and that is people looking for the easiest answer to a problem. This is human nature, and supplement companies exploit this by making outrageous claims about their products.

I have used just about every supplement out there myself, and those I haven’t used, my athletes have.

• Amino Acids
• Creatine Esters
• Pre-workout Drinks
• Nitric Oxide boosters
• Protein Powders
• Carb Powders
• Post-workout Drinks
• Glutamine
• Testosterone boosters
• Etc., etc.

Some of these don’t work at all and some work moderately well. But I have never seen a supplement come close to giving the results of a scientifically-designed training and nutrition program.

Creatine, the gold standard in muscle building supplements, will increase your weight by 2-3 pounds and increase your strength on the big lifts by around 5% over the course of a month. Conversely, when I put an athlete on a scientifically-designed training and nutrition program I typically see muscle gains of 8-10 pounds and strength increases of 20-30% in one month!

Which would you prefer? Now it’s not as easy as taking a teaspoon of powder, but the results are much, much better.

Supplements can be useful, and it’s always fun to try the latest thing out there. But don’t believe the hype from supplement companies telling you that muscle building supplements are all you need to pack on muscle. The marginal benefits they provide are just the icing on the training and nutrition cake.

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