Listen closely, hardgainers. I’m just like you so you’re not alone. In fact, the majority of bodybuilders are in the “sucky-genetics” category – which is exactly why you got involved in bodybuilding in the first place.
You’re tired of being scrawny and getting blank stares from people when you tell them you body build. You don’t blame them because you find it (just as) hard to believe that you bust your butt in the gym 5 days a week and have little to show.
Our bodies are more suited to be one of those lean, mean, running machines than looking jacked like Hugh Jackman from Wolverine.
Muscle building supplement companies exploit and take advantage of your desires by over promising huge gains, “better than steroids” promises and dramatic feats of strength – but you’re starting to believe it’s just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
Or is it?
Yes and no. Supplements are not the key to winning your first bodybuilding show or shocking your friends when you rip your shirt off but they can make a 10% improvement assuming you have your diet, training and lifestyle dialed to the right station.
The secret is to understand there are no best muscle building supplements for everyone.
You have to analyze why you’re a hardgainer and then use the bodybuilding supplements that solve your hardgainer problems, rather than using every glitzy supplement in the yard.
But before we address which bodybuilding supplements you need, let me be brutally blunt:
1. Don’t ask me what the best muscle building protein supplement is if you’re not eating protein every three hours.
2. Don’t even think of asking me about pre-workout and post-workout protein drinks to buy if you’re not even eating enough calories.
3. Don’t you dare ask me what NO2 product to take if you’re not sleeping 8 hours a night.
4. Don’t even think about asking me what test booster to take if you’re boozing until four in the morning on weekends.
5. Don’t embarrass yourself and ask what multivitamin to take if you’re not eating at least 10 serving of fruits and veggies a day.
Take home message before buying any supplements: Always ask yourself, “What am I trying to get this supplement to do that my diet cannot do?”
Bodybuilders knew this before supplements were even invented and relied on the most anabolic hormone available – whole food. Let that sink in for a moment.
I understand that it’s impractical to get bodybuilding amino acids and nutrition into your system in three hour intervals from solid meals every time.
I know that you may in fact be at a 90% threshold in your training, diet and lifestyle which means you’re maximizing every element that you can control naturally.
Now it’s time to bring on board the best bodybuilding supplements that will appeal to the majority. Remember, you need to create your supplement program based on your individual needs but for 90% of the hardgainers reading this, 90% of the time, the bodybuilding supplements below will be a solid foundation to invest in. Here they are:
Many guys think that if they take creatine, they’re going to grow. These individuals are extremely misled so it’s vital that you get a better understanding of what creatine will and will not do for you.
What creatine essentially will help you with is putting in the hard work at the gym. It does this by replenishing the high energy compound called creatine phosphate, which the muscles need if they are going to keep contracting with intensity – and you’re going to keep lifting weight.
Once your creatine stores run out, you’re going to feel like you’ve hit a wall with your workout – no matter how much you will yourself to push more weight, it isn’t going to happen.
Some guys will have diets naturally high in creatine (those who eat a high amount of red meat for instance), but on average, most people who are involved with heavy lifting fall short.
Creatine bridges this gap and makes sure that lack of creatine phosphate in your system doesn’t become a problem.
When used properly, it can help you work harder so you can see better results – but it is not going to do the work for you.
Micellar-Isolate Protein Powder
Another supplement that I do recommend to most people is micellar isolate protein powder. When you’re working hard in the gym, your protein needs are going to go up and if you struggle to get enough with food, you could risk not seeing maximum muscle gains.
Protein powder is convenient, it’s cost effective, and it’s great for before, during, and after your workouts.
Just don’t go start replacing all your ‘should-be solid food’ meals with protein powder. That I would not recommend.
Choosing micellar isolate protein is the best decision since this is the highest quality form of protein powder and releases much more slowly in the body so you will get a steady stream of amino acids for a longer period of time.
I have personally been experimenting with a variety of micellar isolate protein powders and prefer the variety of amino acid release rates than just one or the other.
Essential Fatty Acids
There is a great deal of research to support the positive health benefits of regularly including essential fatty acids in your day. If you are not eating a higher amount of fatty fish, flaxseeds, or walnuts, chances are you are not getting the essential fatty acids you need.
Using an essential fatty acids supplement makes it incredibly easy to reach your needs and is available in capsule form. Some of the benefits you will receive from a regular intake include enhanced energy, better insulin-glucose control, increased immune system function, mood regulation, and enhanced lean muscle retention and building.
An essential fatty acid supplement is one product that you do not want to miss.
A Greens Product
Finally, the last bodybuilding supplement that you should be taking is some form of greens product. When you’re shooting to gain the types of muscle mass you’re looking to do, you’re going to be eating a very high volume of food – so much that at times you’re going to really struggle to get it in.
This means that you must focus on as calorie dense foods as possible. Unfortunately, that means most whole vegetables are not going to have much of a place on your diet. They will simply fill you up too fast and prevent you from getting the calories in.
But vegetables are extremely important for a healthy body from a vitamin and micro-nutrient standpoint, and this is where the greens product comes in.
When you take this, you’ll get the nutritional assurance you need while freeing yourself up to focus on those calorie dense food sources that will help you build the lean muscle mass.
Got anymore specific muscle building supplement questions? Post them below.
P.S. I know you guys are going to bombard me with, “Which brand should I take?” And here is my answer because this question used to drive me crazy too.
First off, there is not a best muscle building supplement brand. It’s impossible to determine. Everyone will tell you something different. You won’t be able to tell the difference (for the most part). And you’ll waste enough to energy to sprint up the CN Tower so do yourself a favor and take MY advice:
You cycle your calories. You cycle your cardio. You cycle your weight routines. You cycle the foods you eat so cycle various supplement products too.
In light of adaptation I suggest you cycle various products to maximize your gains and give up the search for the best brand.
If the best bodybuilding supplement brand existed, you would know about it and be using it already.
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