When I first started writing the 10 most frequently asked questions, the article started to expand on to 6 pages. Understanding my own levels of ADD, I decided that splitting it in to two different articles would be best. No one likes to read that much anyway.
Without further adoo aka bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit on my part, here are the final 5 most asked questions…
1) My face itches when I drink my Pre-Workout, is that normal?
Yes, this is pretty normal. Not all pre-workouts are created equal. Check the label, if you see Beta-Alanine listed in high amounts (2500mg/2.5g or higher) be prepared for some part of your body to itch. Especially for my bigger bro’s who take 2-4 scoops. The itch can freak people out, I get it…this is where the sample box can come in to play. I can also tell you from experience that you build a tolerance and the itch settles down (eventually).
WARNING: If you are new to the SUPP game and are starting to freak out on your new pre, do not prance around the weight room freaking out telling everyone how itchy your face is. They don’t care. If they are experienced meatheads you will turn them off so fast. Check out the 10 commandments of being a bro on how to handle yourself. No one likes a pre-workout virgin.
2) I play an NCAA Sport, how do I know if my supplement is banned?
90% of the time supplements are labeled as NCAA approved. Typically, when an athlete asks me what supplements they should take, I direct them to brands that I know are safe and go through rigorous testing. Brands such as Optimum Nutrition, BSN, Muscle Pharm, ProSupps, and Isatori are all NCAA safe.
Here’s the catch. Just because a product is labeled ‘safe’ doesn’t mean you can’t test positive for high levels of various ingredients…the biggest one being caffeine. When I was in college working with the basketball team, guys would have to be careful of caffeine levels going in to a test week. 2 cups of coffee plus 2-4 scoops of pre-workout puts you pretty close to caffeine levels if you aren’t counting. Especially if you’re drinking coffee with shots of espresso or have a high caffeine pre.
So the bottom line is this- know what is in your product. Protein powder is fine, pre-workouts make sure they are labeled NCAA safe, and avoid T-boosters and fat burners when you’re in season.
3) I’ve been taking a Thermogenic but haven’t lost any weight, why?
The quote “You can’t out train a bad diet” comes to mind. Many times people who buy fat burners think they are magic pills that lets them eat shitty food and ‘get away with it’. This is definitely not the case. When you start on a thermo or fat burner, you definitely still need to watch caloric intake like regular diets. The only thing you may need to watch is caffeine intake along with a thermo- no one likes the caff-jitters.
The bottom line- when you start taking ANY supplement- it isn’t magic. Protein powder doesn’t grow muscles over night and fat burners don’t melt love handles in a week. Stick to your plan, diet and exercise often and with these tools they can help get the results you desire.
Trainer tip- don’t weigh yourself more than once week (I prefer every two weeks). The scale is just a number. Things like body fat percentage and how your clothes fit are more important to me. People get too wrapped up with day-to-day changes and it can destroy you. Stick to the plan. Work hard. Find motivation both internally and externally and kick some ass!
4) I heard Creatine is a waste of money, why do you take it?
I had a prep school kid tell me that creatine is just for gaining water weight.
I had a hard time not laughing directly at his face.
Creatine is one of the most popular and most tested supplements. Those two points are not a coincidence. Creatine has been found to help with muscle loading, recover, and strength gains in trained individuals. Some people say they notice bloating and excess water retention…personally, I have never felt that and I take 5-7 grams a day when I train (5-7 days per week). I don’t recommend it to those who find distance running to be the focal point of their training. But for those who actually lift, and lift hard and heavy…give Creatine a shot. This is my personal favorite. (Muscle Pharm goes through some of the toughest testing procedures before they will release it on the commercial market- makes me feel good about putting in my body!)
5) What supplements do you take?
This is the last question of the list. Like I said in part one, this list could go on forever. People ask all sorts of odds n’ ends. After the protein shake questions, this is typically what I get asked. I always start this answer with “my training goals are different than yours, and my training regime is very different than yours”. Typically I drink BSN’s Syntha6 Isolate or Dymatize Elite’s Primal or anything lactose-free. I am a little sensitive in the dairy department. With my protein, I always add about 100grams of carbohydrates. I love EFX’s Karbolyn but lately I have been all about ProSupps Karbolic Chocolate flavor (check out the review I wrote- should be on CP soon!).
I rotate through about 3 different pre-workouts…Campus Protein’s Fuel (legitimately my favorite pre), ProSupps Hyde, and Cellucor’s C4 all of which I add a generous scoop of Creatine to. When I need a real kick in the ass to get going, 1 scoop of Purus Lab’s Muscle Marinade (OG FORUMLA!) really gets the job done! I consider myself a snob when it comes to pre-workouts. I don’t like trying new ones so when I find pre’s that work for me I tend to stick with them. When I buy BCAA’s I LOVE Scivation’s Xtend…all the flavors are good, but Green Apple is my favorite. On top of these I typically take fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium, and a multivitamin.
It may seem like a lot…typically people look at me like I am crazy, but I like to train hard 6-7 days per week. It’s my lift and my therapy. I need to have a solid stack that keeps me going and allows my body to recover up to the fullest extent to make sure I can perform both with my clients and with my own training. Plus no one is going to trust me as a Campus Protein Rep/ Blog Contributor, if I didn’t LIVE IT!
Hopefully you all found these past two articles to be helpful. I’m sure there will be a third installment to this series at some point down the road. If you have any questions on supplements feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Myself, or one of the super smart CP reps will provide you with the best answer and advice to help you with your training and supplement needs!