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Supplementing Regime 101


Blue Belt
Apr 18, 2005
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Alright, fellas, here's the deal:

Back when I first started working out, I spent a lot of time reading the wrong kind of literature. I became intent on maximizing my "pump," taking my "physique" to the "next level," and becoming a "mass monster." So, I copied routines straight out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and started bouncing back and forth between whichever flashy supplements had the most convincing full page ad in Muscle & Fitness. It's a sad story; I know.

Then, I stumbled across Sherdog and got a wake up call. I began working out properly, with a steadily increasing intensity, and with great regularity. I took an honest look at myself and decided that I was hoping my supplements would prove to be some sort of magical shortcut to my longterm fitness goals. I began to eat shitloads of clean calories and cut back on my supplementing to good old whey protein and a daily multivitamin. All this worked out well because soon I found myself at a new college with a work-study job broke as hell; I couldn't have bought supplements if I wanted to.

But nowadays I have my training and diet more or less on lockdown, and I'm not looking for shortcuts. I am looking for ways to improve my performance. I should be running into some cash over Christmas and (with any luck) will improve my financial situation next semester (I'll have a car at least so I can get a job off campus). So, I'm looking to supplement my routine on a modest budget.

Things I want to improve in a prioritized list:

1) My size and the amount of weight I can move.
2) The sleep I get at night.
3) My general, day-to-day comfort. I get to feeling beat up or under the weather (I have bad allergies) about once a month. I usually am over it after a couple days of rest, but I talked about it in S&P and got a bunch of supplement suggestions.

Things I am planning on buying and my questions about them:

A Top-of-the-line Multivitamin: I've been taking KAL Enhanced Energy multi's. Are there any other suggestions out there? What should I be looking for in a multi.

Vitamin C: KAL has 800mg of this. Madmick suggested I supplement Vitamin C to help keep my system waste free. Do I need to be supplementing beyond this? Should I hit myself up with some C multiple times throughout the day?

Fatty Acid Supplements: I'm taking a look at the Omega 3,6, and 9 supplements on Puritan's Pride.

Valerian: Suggested as a sleep aid.

ZMA: Same as above. Does everyone agree that ZMA has an anabolic effect?

Creatine: I searched this forum for threads on Creatine. I never really found a strong consensus on what version of the shit works best. A friend of mine goes apeshit over ether estyl or whatever that junk is called. How do I know I'm getting quality creatine? I know Ross Enamait talks about using Ribose and Creatine together. Does this forum have an opinion on that practice?

NO2: I'm not really convinced I need this stuff, but I read about it in the stickies here. It seems that the general consensus is go for it? Is this true?

If you can help me out by answering any of these questions, telling me if I'm making a glaring supplementation mistake, or giving me the inside scoop on getting this stuff cheap, I'd be very grateful. Thanks.
don't get NO2...

general consensus is GNC mega man sport multi is best.. i personally use puritan pride's iron-free Green Source (got it at 3 for 1 :D )

dunno too much about KAL brand.. but i hear their magnesium orotate is good! :wink:

buy zinc and magnesium separately.. it's way cheaper than ZMA..

fish oil from costco is the cheapest i've seen.. next to puritan pride's Super omega 3 i think it's called.. when they have their 3 for 1 sale..

best vitamin C supplement is one with bioflavanoids..

keep in mind valerian should only be used short-term.. herbs lose effectiveness when continually used
I really like EAS creatine. Although I don't see EAS getting much love around here, I love the fact that their supplements are independently tested.
A Top-of-the-line Multivitamin: Ultra Mega Green (GNC)

Vitamin C: There's enough in your multi (also, I don't think I was the one to recommend Vitamin C to you as an antioxidant; probably it was Kabuki or Sudo).

Fatty Acid Supplements: Fish Oil Pills (Kirkland)- buy at Costco

Valerian: Talk to RJKD. I think his habit of drinking it in actual tea form before bed is right on.

ZMA: Take it postworkout. Look for chelated zincs/magnesiums, and avoid certain versions (Sudo made a thread on this a few months back).

Creatine: Ribose is too expensive. Bottom line, there's two creatines right now. Creatine Monohydrate and Esterified Creatine. The best of the former is Creapure which is packaged cheaply by Optimum Nutrition and Ultimate Nutrition, and the cheapest quality version of the latter is the self-made brand offered by Bulk Nutrition.

NO2: You can try it, but I no longer favor it since Terumo's post on it.
I take GNC Mega Men which has been doing good for me.

I need to start getting some fatty acids, I think.
Thanks alot for the information, guys. Much appreciated!