What sup? part 1

What sup? part 1

Feb 3, 2014

We all take supplements. There is no guaranteed elixir that will catapult us to the top. So we must experiment, trial and error till we come across what works. Our opinions or a belief about supplements dictates the amounts and brands we take. I believe supplements work BUT not all (some I take may be curious to some). I also believe a supplement from one supplement company is not equal to that of another.

I have seen articles in the last couple of months related to supplement companies. These articles cover the scams there are or the harmful chemicals found in them. Yeah I want some of that please.


Also, hard to believe, some companies are ran by people with criminal pasts.  Surprise!!


There are also companies out there that will try to convince you the most insane claims or supplements. Remember boron (Bull testicles) or Mexican sarsaparilla (isn’t that root beer?)

I have to admit I was not a big advocate of supplements but as I hit my late thirties I realized being drug free and aging gains, if any, were going to be few and far so what I did was look at supplements with an unbiased eye. I would just do creatine and vanadyl with caffeine before a workout and that would suffice. When things started changing for me around 38 I figured I would change my supplement intake also. Now I am like a supplement whore. Do all of them work? To me, yes. I know I could do without some but if the results are positive and I can afford them then why change it? Even if it is a placebo effect and works then great (granted my wallet is a little lighter.)

This article is NOT going to cover every supplement out there but only the ones I take and when. Also a question of how and when do you do supplements which I will cover that later. I will briefly explain what the supplement does and my thinking behind the ones you may raise a brow to.

You may notice a supplement you take is missing. That is fine. I am not saying take this and not that. My goal is max contraction and recuperation.

I have 3 different periods or phases of when and what I take. I have an off season, a contest season, and meet day supplement dosage.  I will be also touching base on CNS cleaning of the receptors in a separate section. Also I will just base this off the last 14 months of training because I liked what I saw and felt on the cycles I was doing.

Essential and Nonessential

                After the name of the supplement I will post one of these two definitions. They are self-explanatory but I will clarify more. Essential meaning I can’t miss having it otherwise I will fell it missing it from the regimen.  Now missing a serving or a day will not kill me but DON’T let day to into days or weeks. . All means make sure the shelf has it.

Non-essential meaning -not critical if I miss it a day or a week . If I can notice over an entire cycle  a difference compared to cycle of using it or not I’ll try to keep it in the lineup. Do you need it? Probably not. If however you need to add something or try something different then give this a try.

I can feel this is going to be a long article so let’s get to it.


                I look forward to the off season for few reasons. Rest and recovery. I am not saying that I start training at Planet Fitness but after a heavy cycle of low reps and heavy weight, I actually enjoy the higher reps and quicker workouts for the first couple of weeks. I like dropping almost all the supplements from my routine. Sometimes I felt like my sups were meals because of how many and how often I was taking them.

In the last year my most recent off season comprised of glucosamine and ATP Extreme. The previous offseason creatine was added but NO loading phases.

Glucosamine (Essential best supplement for anyone over 40)

                This is one of my few that I take year round. I will swear by it and can tell within a week when I stop taking it. As we get older the joints start getting creaky, so to say. At 35 I started noticing when I was getting out of bed it was a struggle with the hips and knees when I was training for a meet.  After trying stretching when I got up I found that didn’t help. I thought getting the blood flowing would alleviate the discomfort but it didn’t. I started researching sups and found glucosamine.

What is does?

  • Glucosamine helps keep the cartilage in joints healthy because natural glucosamine levels drop as we age which causes deterioration of the joint. It can help the body recover from injury by repairing and strengthening cartilage and reducing joint pain as well as joint swelling.


What I found out was this was suggested to older people by doctors because how effective it was and it didn’t need a prescription. I also found it is recommended for dogs to because of hip dysplasia.

After taking it for a week I noticed a difference by a couple months passed I felt youthful again in mornings after heavy days. Since then I have NEVER felt like I did back then, stiff and rigid.


  • I take it mid-morning and before I go to bed. The amount in the offseason (is slightly less then contest season). Taken 1500 mg in the morning and night.



ATP Extreme (essential)

Yes I am sponsored by them however my opinion is unbiased. This supplement is the only sport supplement I take in the offseason. Why? Because it WORKS!  I used my offseason as a test to see if this works. Before ATP I would only do glucosamine and a caffeine pill in the off season so this was perfect way to see if it worked.

Here is the article of my opinion of it after taking it.


My goal in the off season is to be within 1 ½ to 2 reps of contest raw training or 5% one rep raw. ATP did it.

What is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate Disodium)?

  • Provides the fuel to convert energy. Involved in muscle contraction.

Body can produce it naturally from the foods we eat BUT the supply will only last for 3 seconds in exercise but increase it by supplementing it and you can increase it to 8 seconds or more.

When I taking it I felt a “full” feeling like a constant pump. There are 2 ways to take it. 4 caps before each workout or 4 before each and taking 2 on days off. I enjoyed it and kept my weights up slightly higher and ALMOST to the same raw max as training for a meet.

It does not make you feel jittery like most pre-workout supplements. I like the extra energy and don’t feel tired at the end of the workout. A MUST supplement regardless what season I am in.


Caffeine (essential)

                Ok you know what it is and what it does. I buy it in pill form at 200 mg a pill. Some studies show power output higher when taken in higher doses.


Offseason maybe 200 mg at most.

Contest season up to 400 mg.


Turmeric Curcumin (only essential for me unless you have same issue)

            I only started taking this in the last 6 months and must say it works!! I have some back issue all because of arching on the bench which has thrown a nerve out of whack causing an inflammation. Well this supplement helps alleviate the inflammation. I take it about 3-4 times a day and can notice a difference.

What it is?

  •  Powerful suppressor of inflammation and inflammation-mediated disease processes.
  • Asian herb with many other health benefits as upset stomach,heartburn,gas, diarrhea
  • Doses from 2000mg to 3.6 g for chronic inflammatory pain.

 Contest Season


Creatine (ESSENTIAL)

                Outside of glucosamine this is thee best overall strength supplement out there. Now some brands are not quite up to par but when you find the right one for you, you’ll know. For myself it is about 2 ½ weeks before I start noticing results with it.

Now some people load while others, even companies state no need to load. I load, twice. Logic is by week 8 my muscles reserve is considerably lower then week 2-4. SO I reload at week 6 for a possible additional “spike, kick” in feel or weight increases. I gain about 5-8 pounds while on. Creatine is cheap if you buy pure not preload. I do preload on workout days and pure on days off from training.

I also take vanadyl sulfate with it to piggy back more into the muscle or with a carb drink.

Week1 load (4-5 times a day)

Weeks 2-5 (2 times a day)

Week 6 load again

Week 7-9 twice a day

Meet week 3-4 times a day


A 200lb man is said to need about 27 grams of creatine a day. A formula I found is: POUNDS: Bodyweight * 0.15 = grams of creatine monohydrate to ingest. (1)


What is it and what does it do?

  • Creatine is a substance created in the human body from the 3 amino acids methionine, arginine and glycine. The body naturally makes about 1 gram a day.
  • Creatine is an energy used for intense weight training. It has shown results in its ability to increase power and strength, leading to greater gains in lean body mass.
  • Creatine keeps your muscles working longer by fuelling the muscles with the energy source, ATP. Now take the ATP Extreme with this and BAM you are on the way to a great workout!!



Outside of creatine this is my second big supplement for contest training. When I start a cycle I take it after a workout and sometimes before bed. I start at 10 grams a day every day and by week 4-5 (depending on how I am feeling) I will increase to 20-25 grams by the meet. When cycling doses of 4-6 times a day I space them out as even as possible, my choice BUT ALWAYS immediately after a workout.

When taking it I never feel a muscular soreness and feel like I am constantly “pumped”’. (I had this feeling too before I added the ATP Extreme to my training). Absolutely like this sup. An absolute for recovery and when I am not taking (because I run out) I will feel the difference within a few days)

What it does?

  • Helps prevent muscle loss, helps growth and boosts muscle energy.
  • The most abundant amino acid however glutamine can easily be deplenished during exercise which can affect performance.
  • Promotes cell volumization, drawing of water inside of the muscle which can help increase muscle “fullness”, increase protein synthesis, and decrease the breakdown of protein.


Beta Alanine (Nonessential)

I take this supplement only before I train. I take around 3200-5000mg. I start taking this around week 4 because as the weight gets heavier and my sets increase I feel to counter the extra volume I need this. Almost is the same as inosine as in what is does which extends the set.


What it does?

  • Reduce the symptoms of fatigue. Studies (2) have shown that athletes had a lower fatigue rate and a higher training volume throughout the exercises.
  • In a double-blind 2007 Belgium study, fifteen      male sprint-trained competitive athletes were either given beta alanine      supplements or placebos for four weeks.  The men taking the supplements showed an      increase in muscle carnosine and a decline of fatigue.(2)
  • May enhance the benefits of creatine. Another study at The College of New Jersey  (2006) looked at the effects of beta      alanine when combined with creatine. During a 10-week program the group      taking the beta alanine saw the most significant gains in lean body mass      as well as reduction of body fat percentage.(2)


Glycerol (non-essential)

I stumbled upon this supplement by accident. It is more popular with runners and endurance athletes. I like it because it loads the body and muscle with more water then usual, it is call hyper hydrating. Now if you say why not just drink more before the gym? Well you will excrete by urinating so the glycerol helps you retain it and the electrolytes.

I only take this before leg workouts, squats and deads. I also only would take this before a 3 lift meet due to the length of the meet not a bench only meet. I add it into my preworkout drink and shake well. Warning it can upset the stomach if you try to guzzle it down. I start an hour before the workout and try to finish it by half hour into workout. It is hard to find in supplements (SSP has it in their sups) but Google glycerol/glycerin and you can order in powder or liquid (oil). I use oil. Not many supplements have it so that is why I buy it separately, it is also cheap.

By the way when it does wear off make sure a bathroom is nearby you be visiting it frequently.

WARNING: TOO MUCH GLYCEROL CAN HAVE YOU FAIL A DRUG TEST. WHY? IT IS COULD BE USED AS A MASKING AGENT.I was told this by a supplement company owner. Now we are talking a considerably larger amount then suggested but just a fore warning.


What it does?

  • Increase water retention, delaying dehydration.
  • Dosage:  Bodyweight (kg) x .8= grams you need.

I need 90 grams which is 3.2 oz. which is 6 table spoons. You times your bodyweight with 21 milliliters and that is your water suggested to consume with.  I take 4-5 because I don’t like drinking the amount runners require. I would have to drink 1890 milliliters (half gallon).



Vanadyl Sulfate (non-essential)

This is a personal old stack for me .I don’t take this in every cycle it is more like when I want to change something up.

It helps piggy back a little more creatine into the muscle. I take this with the creatine only.

****I don’t suggest going more then 6 pills a day if you are 93 kg ish lifter. It can become toxic in high dosages by causing cramping. I know when I am taking too much because my thighs cramp even when I am properly hydrated.

Week 1-2 2 pills a day

“          3-4 3 pills “

“          4-9  4 pills   “

What it does?

  • Vanadium helps glucose rush into muscle(carrying more creatine), store more glycogen and build better muscle tissue.
  • Mimics insulin



Zinc (nonessential)

                This is a supplement that I take to try to keep the testosterone elevated as high as I can naturally. I did an article back some time about it ,testosterone.


I do not feel a kick from doing it nor anything else noticeably but knowing I am trying to keep it elevated with the benefits that can occur is worth taking it. I do get nauseated from it so you may have to take it with a meal.

What it does?

  • Elevates testosterone. 15-25 mg a day will help in the gym and the bedroom. If you are a master lifter I can’t see an argument why you would not care.





Non-training   day

Training   day

Before   workout







ATP Extreme




Contest season

Non-training   day

Training   day

Before   workout

CreatineVanadyl sulfateGlutamineTurmeric



CreatineVanadyl sulfateGlutamineTurmeric



Creatine vanadyl (hr. before workout)Beta alanineGlycerolATP Extreme

Preworkout or caffeine



(1)    http://www.schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/creatine-how-much-should-you-be-taking

(2)    http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/supplement-guide-beta-alanine



Hello? Still here? Well that’s it for part 1. Next will cover the week of the meet, CNS cleaning, and how to use supplements in the offseason.


Thanks to The GYM and Tan Line, Titan Support Systems, IronAuthority, ATP Extreme ,Oxygen Factor, and RockTape.

Till next time.

Focus First.



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