In the first two parts of my
"Simplicity" article series
, I put forth what I believe is basic framework for a powerful diet and supplementation regime. Ultimately my goal, as with my training ideas, is to "add value to life". In this installment I wanted to address the role and needs of supplementation and firmly spell out what is needed for you to not only attain your strength and fitness goals but to live a healthy life.
While it may appear on the surface that the average fitness enthusiast's goals have changed as body image has been morphed by the media over time, I tend to think that the greatest change isn't the objectives but the marketing approaches and the lack of true, unbiased information being provided to the public. Simply stated, with everything written as "marketing copy", how easy is it for the unsuspecting public to actually receive information that they can trust? Quite honestly, as I read article after article myself, I question the validity of information, the materiality of the actual impact and of course, the underlying motive. Finally, as you review general questions and comments posted on the many internet forums as it relates to diet and supplementation, it is obvious that the need for a bit of
old fashioned common sense
built on practical experience is needed.
Unfortunately as it pertains to
the obvious choices are often ignored or at least lack a certain "sex-appeal". In short, the "proper diet" (excluding health related issues) should be remarkably simple. Yet as I say this and let me state emphatically that is one of those rare statements I hoped I would never have to state, there may be a glaring problem with that statement.
Sadly the quality of food sources is at a low point in history and many renowned experts contend that nutrient level of fruits and vegetables are dropping at alarming rates. In conjunction with this, issues related to the availability of quality protein sources and the ongoing farming of seafood to levels that will leave the ocean barren within our lifetime have made the situation highly problematic. Given the world's burgeoning population and issues related to the commercial side of the food industry, this is a dilemma not easily resolved. Thus I have to state, the issue of supplementation has never been more important for your exercise-related goals and your health.
Returning again to the idea of validating the need of certain supplements, I want to emphasize that this isn't merely a bookish look at what will help you but also what I have found remarkably effective with my clients over an extended period of time. I also base my opinions on what I use personally, which given my incredible hectic schedule is of utmost importance. My schedule is highly dependent on proper diet and nutrition given that I run a large business, appear in countless
exercise related DVDs
as well as maintaining a competitive athletic schedule that it is generally against those 25 years younger then myself.
The supplementation program I recommend is an easy to follow regime that will maximize recovery from strenuous exercise and really allow the user to target their goals in a more time-efficient manner, whether their goal is to build powerful muscle or strip fat. I recognize they may not have the sexy mystique or unique trademarked names that you see in the market but make no mistake about how these products stand above the rest.
Additionally I want to heavily stress for those above the age of 35 these should be considered an absolute must and along with a proper exercise and diet plan, a great form of "pro-active" care. For those of you old enough that this comment will register, there is nothing that can replace your health.
Phosphatidylserine: this is a powerful nutrient as it significantly improves muscular recovery as well as suppresses cortisol. And yet while I say this, PS is known to sharpen memory (including age related), improve mood and enhance learning capabilities. This brief two sentence description doesn't do justice to one of the most important supplements you can purchase whether you are an elite athlete or an individual refusing to be slowed my time.
Acetyl L-Carnitine: which is known to improve fat metabolism in transporting fatty acids from the main body of the cell into the mitochondria as well as being involved in the production of acetylcholine. There has been enormous research on it as a neurotransmitter as well as in treatment with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Because levels of ALC are known to decrease over the age of 40, this is absolute must for any "maturing" individual and dare I say for anyone under this age, please note this to friends and family above.
Alpha Lipoic Acid: is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that helps speed muscular recovery, decrease the storage of fat, help in appearance of skin tone and complexion as well as address other age related issues. The combination of the above two supplements has created intense stir within the field and when used hand-in-hand can have extraordinary impact with recovery.
Omega-1250: Omega oils are essential for the metabolism of fat. Given the low grade availability of natural resources and the poor quality from farmed fish, supplementation of Omega oil is becoming increasingly necessary. Additionally it possesses many immunity building capabilities as well as benefits for muscular recovery.
Branched Chain Amino Acids: Those that have known me for a few decades will get a slight laugh when they read my comments on this, given the fact that I used to purchase 25kg drums of BCAA for my clients. Yet while it wasn't a particular "sexy" sale through the 90's, those "in the know", knew one of the most powerful supplements for athletes is Branched Chain Amino Acids.
Usage of BCAA can vary extensively with quality benefits from recommended dosages found on labels. However, for athletes in hard-core training looking for above-average gains, I would make the following suggestions based upon a 200lb. athlete.
2.5 grams, 3-4 times per day
5 grams upon waking
2.5 grams, 90 minutes prior to workout
5 grams, at start of workout
5 grams prior to sleep
And so those are the major five items that need to be a part of every supplement program. Along with the
Mega Max Vitamin
, my friends will often refer to this potent selection affectionately as the "Renegade Stack". Of course any training table isn't limited to that and naturally every individual will need to make use of a high quality protein supplement given the facts already discussed and the reality of a busy lifestyle. The best on the market I've found is unquestionably
. It packs a whopping 22 grams of protein in a carbohydrate, aspartame and sugar free serving, and tastes great. For those who are on the go constantly, the
best tasting bar
Supreme Protein Bar
that also contains a remarkable 30 grams of protein. I've used this bar quite a bit especially for long climbs, extended training sessions, speaking engagements or when snowboarding and find it far superior to anything on the market, not only in taste but in nutritional breakdown and digestion. If you're looking for more dramatic and substantial muscular growth or to support more challenging training, I would further recommend post-workout
, which uses a very high grade hydrolyzed whey unmatched in the industry. So there you have it, a supplement plan that will give you the results you want, while also providing the basis for long term health throughout your life.
Simplicity Part 1
Simplicity Part 2
John Davies, Founder Renegade Training
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