Supplements: Are they worth the investment?

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It seems that you can’t have a conversation about fitness today without supplements poking their vegetarian capsuled heads into it.  You hear about them in the locker room, on the gym floor, on the playing field; everyone wants to know what your taking, how much, when, and how often.  There’s a lot of chatter about supplements, but what really makes a difference is a lot less expensive.  Before taking a trip to the local supplement supplier to liberate yourself of your hard earned income, let’s take a look at a few basics that need to be in place before any supplement will even make a difference.

The Golden Rule: Be Consistent

Consistency is by far the most important aspect of any training and nutritional protocol; if it’s not there, nothing changes.  Get into the gym everyday- make it a priority.  If you’re not getting into the gym, and you’re not working out, why would taking something that is going to make you better at working out be worth anything to you?  It would’t be.  To go further, if you can’t be consistent with your workouts, how are you going to be consistent with your nutrition (which is way more challenging)?  After all, that is the only way that they make a difference.  Consistency just needs to be there- across the board- whether it’s training, nutrition, supplementation, sleeping, or anything else, doing it consistently is the only way that you’re going to see any difference in the long term. In all honesty, consistency will get you 90% of your results before you even put powder in your shaker cup.

Eat Good Food

Proper nutrition is going to be the next thing on the list.  You’re much better off taking the money you want to spend on supplements and spending it on quality food first.  As mentioned previously, proper nutrition is going to make up 90% of any progress that you make, regardless of your goal.  There is no workout for a shitty diet and there isn’t a supplement for one either.  Spend your money on lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils and nuts long before considering which pill you want to take in order to enter the Matrix (don’t take the blue one).

Get Plenty of Rest

It’s not always easy to make this a priority, and this one will end up being the most difficult if it means to have to compromise with your social life.  Staying up late, pulling all nighters, and scheduling yourself out of sleep will hinder your progress.  Sleep is an important part of recovery, and if you want to keep making progress in the gym, you’re going to need to rest.  Supplements won’t help you here either; not even the almighty caffeine.  It may get you moving, but it isn’t doing anything for you to help you recover. Getting more sleep doesn’t cost you anything and makes a world of difference. So head to bed early and reach for that snooze button long before reaching for that bottle of some proprietary blend that makes more false promises than a presidential candidate.

Putting a Lid on the Bottle

Supplements can make a difference but you need to be executing all of the basics before any supplement is going to make one (noticing a pattern?).  Being consistent with your training, nutrition, and rest is the best way to make an impact on your goals, long before you even spend a dime.  Spend your money on a good gym that you enjoy going to, and get quality food first.  Then after you’ve been consistent for a while it’s time to consider adding a few extra things to push your results further.

Train hard, eat well, and sleep plenty.

Keep crushing it,

Sean

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