I have a confession to make. I’m not a fitness pro, a personal trainer or a nutritionist. I’m a just a guy who whose passionate about fitness and had the objective of achieving what I guess you could say is the classic ‘cover model’ physique – lean muscle, a six pack…you know the drill. And after a lot of hard work, I managed to achieve that whilst balancing a pretty hectic career in London and a busy social life.
Hard work and dedication in the gym were definitely a big part of that. But even more important was making sure I had a simple plan in place to give my body the energy and fuel it needs to perform and grow. Supplements were a key part of that.
But choosing the right supplements is essential. It’s really important to not only buy high quality, clean products, but also ones which are going to help you achieve your goals. These are my top 5 which I use all the time:
Pre-workout – It all starts with the pre-workout! After a long day in the office, this one is a real lifesaver and gets me up and ready to hit the gym with renewed energy. I tend to drink mine 20-30 minutes beforehand if I can so that it properly kicks in by the time I start training.
Creatine – One of the most well-researched and proven supplements, Creatine has been shown to improve power and endurance when weight lifting, helping to boost strength and muscle size. I’ve found this makes a genuine difference when I’m looking to lift heavy weights or increase muscle mass.
Whey protein – Undoubtedly one of THE most popular supplements, whey protein is pretty much essential to anyone who is working out in the gym regularly or doing other sports and activities. Getting enough protein in your diet is critical to muscle growth and repair. My focus is always on making sure I eat enough from real food, but I am never without a high-quality whey protein shake like the ones from Bio-Synergy for during the day and especially after training.
Amino Acids / BCAA – Branched Chain Amino Acids come in tablet or powder form and are essential amino acids which are found in your muscles and are basically the building blocks for muscle growth. They are generally viewed as helping to aid muscle repair and recovery and I’ll always take an extra few of these after my workout.
ZMA – This is kind of a fancy title for Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B. It’s most often used as a recovery aid for high-intensity training but Zinc also has a role in testosterone production. Zinc tends to be one of the minerals that we are most often deficient in and you also lose key minerals through sweat when you workout. It’s often overlooked as a supplement and I like to add it to my overall supplement stack – check out ActiVeman Power Up® Vitamin to get yours.
So there you have it! My 5 must-have supplements that can make a real difference to your training and overall fitness.
About the Author
Rob Farrington is a fitness blogger at LIVE WORK TRAIN, a blog about training, nutrition and balancing your fitness goals with a busy lifestyle. When he’s not working 9 until whenever at a City finance job in London, he’s pushing his limits in the gym and eating copious amounts of chicken and sweet potato.