Top 4 economical supplements to seriously consider taking:
BCAA’s: Makes up 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins, it is shown to support recovery as well as help regulate blood sugars. Mix this as directed in your protein shakes or just in plain water.
ZMA: ZMA is a combination of the 2 minerals zinc and magnesium, and vitamin b6 is shown to raise strength levels, aid recovery and support immune system. ZMA is recommended prior to bed.
Whey & Casein Protein Powder: Whey protein is a very economical way to support muscle tissue with fast mixing amino acids: Recommended post workout with low dose of simple sugars.
Casein protein has a structure that is hard to break down by the body and thus time releases amino acids which is suitable for nighttime recovery.
Fat burner: Please choose wisely when it comes to fat burners, you want to look for one that has no crashing effects and one that provides sustained energy.
Recommended: Grenade Fat Burner.
Growth hormone gets released during sleep, which has a tremendous effect on muscle recovery. During the non-rem deep sleep stage, your pituitary gland releases growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle recovery.
The minimum amount of sleep a bodybuilder should get is between 7-8 hours. The national sleep foundations sleep guidelines recommend seven to nine hours on average for adults.
Lets face it, if you continue on following the same routine day in and day out, the results will hit a rut, it’s a given. So make sure to apply plateau breaking training techniques such as: Drop sets, negatives, partial reps, super slow reps etc.. Into your routine in order to keep the muscles guessing. Once your muscles adapt, the results will end!
Make sure that you are consuming at least 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So for a 200 lb. Male bodybuilder that would mean 300 - 400 grams a day. I do not recommend going under 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Also make sure to consume protein from a variety of sources such as: fish, turkey, chicken, flank steak, whey and casein shakes, casein from cottage cheese, egg whites, and mushrooms for example.
Staying motivated to me comes at the top of the charts. The power of motivation is what sparks the fire of the first step towards a goal and also the power to keep going when your mind wants to quit. I try to find motivation through many factors: New outfits, a compliment from a fan, another inspiring athlete, success stories of others, music and finally competing against myself and other athletes.
Consistency is extremely important. Make sure to have a regular routine and don’t let vacations and family functions get in the way of your workouts. My theory is the more days you miss, it takes the amount of days you missed multiplied by 2-3 to get back into it.
Setting short-term goals have been shown to help individuals reach their long-term goals and stay more consistent. This psychological strategy in return helps us to take our physiques to the next level. Goals can include setting a date for a photoshoot, competition, a body fat test or even lifting a certain max weight on a specific day.
The institute of medicine determined that an adequate intake (ai) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The ai for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
Especially for us athletes, we need to drink at least the minimum the amount of the recommendations since we do lose more water during physical activity. Keep in mind, the muscle cells are over 70 percent water and water helps proper muscle contractions, protein synthesis, transport of amino acids and removal of waste products. As bodybuilders/athletes we need to make sure to drink, drink, drink h20.
Most of us have heard about the cheating technique that Arnold himself used to apply in his training routines. Performed with caution and experience, the cheating technique can work wonders and help break plateaus. Remember, however, during all the other lifting techniques form is everything. Picking the right amount of weight and making the mind and muscle connection is crucial.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of cardio created to burn more fat and boost metabolic rates higher in a short period of time.
Usually the HIIT workout sessions vary from anywhere between 9 - 20 minutes. The original protocol set a 2:1 ratio from work to recovery periods. For example, 20 seconds intense exercise followed by 10 - second rest period and repeating the cycle.
There has been clinical studies that has shown that the HIIT methods burns up to nine times more fat than the traditional steady state cardio. The bottom line is if you want to burn more fat and not muscle in a short period of time and in addition increase your metabolic rate for the rest of the day, choose HIIT training.
References: journal of sports medicine, institute of medicine