Supplementation and Instant GratificationInstant gratification appears to be a fairly uniform human characteristic, we see something and we want it NOW; instant mass, strength, and power—Bigger, Faster, Stronger (which btw is also a great documentary). Of course the supplement industry capitalizes on this, how could they not? We are bombarded with imagery of powerlifters and bodybuilders that use this or that get fast quick stack by any number of companies. Let’s look at an example.
Animal’s “The Explosive Gains Stack.” Core products: , , , . I won’t even begin to list the amount of compounds are in these products… Well over 50… What works and what does not? What is a good use of your money? What is truly driving your results? Oh… and let’s not forget the ancillary compounds that everyone loves to add: Fish Oils, Liver protections, and anti-estrogens, “ ” and other products.
This also applies to companies prohormone stacks and the ancillaries that comes with them. Before we know it we have a cabinet of supplements that looks like a pharmacist’s office… and again we have no idea what is really working for us, and what is a good purchase for our hard earned dollars.
The impulse of instant gratification and the resulting supplement cocktail also brings forth another issue. Side effects… What compound is aggravating your body and what isn’t… Once the Jitters, aches, joint pain, sweating, nausea, lethargy, back pumps, gyno, libido loss, and other sides effects begin, we see the introduction of still more compounds, or high dosages of already employed ancillaries, to these ailments.
The gradual introduction of supplements over a prolonged period of time minimizes side effects, saves money, and allows for the opportunity to measure a supplements results. Keep in mind these measurements are best made when minimizing other factors, for example you can’t introduce a new supplement and try to measure its effects when you also changed your diet and/or workout routine. Now I know we aren’t scientists and I am not suggesting that you engage in a full scientific study, but I am saying you do have it within your powers to introduce a supplement and see how it works over a period of 2-3 weeks while keeping your diet and training regimen relatively the same. Doing this will allow you to develop a strong sense of the supplements usefulness and side effects.
We are building a pyramid of effective supplements that are synergistic for our goals and have minimal side effects (or at least minimal unbearable side effects). New comers to supplements, or more generally people just starting to workout, ask what supplements I take or stacks I employ… Well lets look at the number one most studied and well established supplement , it is cheap, effective, well studied, and demonstrably effective. There is your base. Build on top of that over time.
Remember smart supplementation isn’t the introduction of a cocktail of 50 compounds to your body in the hopes of waking up one day looking like the Hulk. Instead supplementation should be a gradual process of learning, testing, and experimenting to discover what is the most effective for your goals.
Depending on your skill and motivation you could even make a spreadsheet and log all your lifts, weight, bodyfat and convert those numbers into charts and actually see how your body and lifting has changed with the introduction of a supplement. Remember, in some cases less is more… especially when you are employing what works and not spending money on the stuff that isn’t effective.
- Kyle Brown