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In the not-so-distant past, bodybuilding was considered a "hit and miss" science, whereby most successful training programs and diets were created on a trial-and-error basis. However, with the fitness explosion of the 1990s came great scientific efforts to maximize athletic performance safely, legally, and naturally, resulting in the current golden age of the supplement industry.

Today, in this giant supplement world, we have many science-backed products designed to push your potential and maximize your gains. This can be both a blessing and a curse. After all, you have a ton of choices, but you also must sift through the good and bad to come up with the most cost-effective supplementation regimen.

In the following article we will walk you through a day of supplementation with a focus on timing your regimen for the greatest gains in muscularity, while also pointing you to the premium-quality products that will help you achieve your goal.
 
*For simplicity we are assuming training occurs in the afternoon before dinner -- so you may have to adjust your schedule according to your training time.

WAKE AND SHAKE
You have just rolled out of bed and your body is starving, especially your recovering muscles. While sleeping, you spent 7 to 10 hours in a fasting state, so now is the time to give it some fast-absorbing nutrition. Here is a stack that will surely shut down catabolism (i.e., muscle wasting) and get your body fueled for growth.

Weight Gainer
When you are trying to gain lean mass, you need to pack in as many beneficial calories as possible. Weight gainers provide 500 to 1,000 calories of supplemental calories in one sitting. Make certain the product you choose is composed mainly of high quality proteins like whey protein isolate (WPI) and micellar casein. Weight-gain products are high in protein (50–60 grams per serving) and carbohydrates with a modest amount of fat. Because the goal is to gain lean mass and minimize fat accumulation, steer clear of products with more than 50% simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose and more than 5 grams of saturated fat per serving.

DOSE: Drink one shake immediately after waking up (i.e., about 30 min to an hour before breakfast).

Creatine Monohydrate
No other mass builder works as well as creatine. Scientific evidence shows that creatine inhibits myostatin (a hormone that blunts muscle growth) in the body. As well, research illustrates that creatine is a potent "cell volumizer" that increases muscle water content and glycogen resynthesis (signals for anabolism). Creatine also boosts muscle creatine levels for short-term energy and bolsters anabolic signaling through insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

DOSE: Use 5 grams of creatine monohydrate with your weight gainer shake. Always choose products that contain premium-grade Creapure creatine monohydrate to ensure the highest potency. Although most weight-gain formulas include some creatine, generally the amount is very small. Your goal is faster muscle gains, so the addition will ensure adequate dosing.

SUPPLEMENT: For your purposes, you need look no further than ProSource Creatine Monohydrate, 100% sourced with Creapure creatine. No other creatine monohydrate on the market combines Creapure quality and low, low pricing like ProSource brand Creatine Monohydrate.

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Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
The BCAAs (Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine) are three unique essential amino acids that share a branched chain structure and are preferentially taken up by skeletal muscle and broken down during exercise. Traditionally, bodybuilders used BCAAs to replenish lost amino acid stores due to heavy training, but new research illustrates that BCAA ingestion directly stimulates anabolism by acting as an "anabolic switch." In addition, BCAAs are anti-catabolic, reduce exercise induced muscle pain, and decrease mental fatigue during intense exercise.

DOSE: Mix 5-10g of BCAA powder into your weight gainer shake.

SUPPLEMENT: Most of the scientific literature and clinical testing on BCAAs reference leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a 2:1:1 ratio, and that's what you'll find in ProSource's Mega BCAA. Needless to say, Mega BCAA also supplies that essential amino content from the highest-quality sources to ensure maximum purity, potency, and power.

Testosterone Booster
Maximized T-levels are the "holy grail" of optimal male function in virtually every area of life, including high-benefit-intensive workouts, fast recovery from those workouts, and subsequent muscle gain. In this day and age, if you're over twenty-five and not supporting your body's testosterone production via natural and sustainable means, you're truly leaving a good deal of your bodybuilding potential on the table.

DOSE: Take as directed before meals.

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SUPPLEMENT: Of all the T-boosters available, the one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. ProSource's R&D team is comprised of Ph.D. level scientists, which use the most stringent state-of-the-art laboratory procedures and certified Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), operating at a level that would rival big pharma companies. To produce AndroTest they use only the most potent raw materials and an advanced 4-phase multiple-extraction method. In contrast to conventional alcohol extraction methods, 4-phase extraction reduces the involvement of solvents and high heat, which yields significantly higher purity, reduces residual solvents in the final product, and reduces thermal damage to active compounds. With such stringent levels of quality control, AndroTest is the only full spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical super compound standardized (and guaranteed) to contain a minimum of 80% total steroidal saponins, 60% total furostanol saponins, with 40% protodioscin and 28% steroidal glycopeptides -- a level of potency that is not offered by any competitor.

BREAKFAST STACK
Nothing makes you grow better than hearty whole foods. Remember that supplements are just that -- products made to supplement (not replace) a good diet. Assuming that your diet is in check, there are a few key products that absorb more completely when taken with a meal and will give your breakfast extra anabolic kick.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
These are a group of fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore must be taken in through the diet. There are two families of EFAs, the Omega-3 (or Alpha-Linolenic Acid) and Omega-6 (or Linoleic Acid) fatty acids. Such "healthy fats" support a number of central bodily functions and increase overall well-being. In terms of mass building, EFAs get metabolized into eicosanoids, which promote growth hormone secretion, increase protein synthesis, and increase insulin sensitivity. As a bonus, regular dosing of EFAs is scientifically proven to maintain cardiovascular health, burn fat, reduce water retention, promote healthy skin, reduce inflammation and aid in energy production.

DOSE: Take 2-3 grams of a balanced essential omega fatty acid blend with breakfast  

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SUPPLEMENT: ProSource really has you covered here with a number of premium products. ProSource Omega-1250 is the category's premier source of high-potency Omega-3 fatty acids, sourced from top-quality deep-sea, cold-water fish oil. Omega-1250 softgels contain an unrivaled 450 mg of EPA and 300 mg of DHA, consistent with dosages used in clinical testing. When it comes to healthy fats, you can't do any better than ProSource's Omega Fusion and Flax Fusion products. Omega Fusion is sourced from cold-water salmon and cod and is a tasty way to add healthy fats to your regimen, while Flax Fusion represents the highest vegetable source of Omega-3 oils.

Multivitamin
Micronutrients are essential to proper cellular function and nutrient absorption. The bodybuilder's diet has been known to contain very little variety, thus a daily multivitamin will ensure there is no lack of micronutrients. Furthermore, vitamins act as catalysts for many important internal processes and under increased metabolism from heavy training the vitamin requirement needed to catalyze cellular reaction goes up.

DOSE: Use a multivitamin that is formulated for athletes and take as directed on label.

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SUPPLEMENT: It's very important here to supplement with a daily multiple designed specifically for the high-yield nutrition requirements of a hard-training athlete. ProSource's Super MegaMax contains all the basic vitamins and minerals in proper dosages for support of optimal performance, plus a number of support compounds most garden-variety daily multiples skimp on, including the joint-health compounds MSM, calcium and boron, a full spectrum of minerals to augment muscle contraction and hydration support, CoQ10, NAC and Alpha Lipoic Acid, bioactive B-Power energy factors, an excellent Vitamin E isomer blend, and a whole range of antioxidant co-factors.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT)
LCLT is a stable form of L-carnitine and is completely absorbed by the body. Research has shown that LCLT supplementation upregulates skeletal androgen receptor expression (the receptors that testosterone binds to) and increases luteinizing hormone secretion, resulting in greater testosterone and receptors for interaction. Furthermore, it has been shown that LCLT supplements reduce exercise-induced muscle tissue damage -- likely due to increases in insulin-like growth factor binding protein.

DOSE: Take 2 grams of LCLT with breakfast

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SUPPLEMENT: The state of the art LCLT product out there is BioQuest's AndroCept. AndroCept's precision-targeted androgen-receptor-support mechanism uses the exact form and dosage of LCLT used in landmark studies associated with this exciting supplement technology.

Beta Alanine
This is the rate-limiting precursor to the production of carnosine in the body. Research has shown that powerful fast-twitch muscle fibers have higher levels of carnosine that buffer skeletal muscle pH. Additional support for the importance of carnosine in fast twitch fibers comes from data showing that the carnosine content in vastus lateralis is elevated in resistance-trained bodybuilders. In a recent study, dietary supplementation with beta alanine for 2 to 4 weeks was shown to increase vastus lateralis carnosine concentration by more than 60%. In terms of performance, beta alanine supplementation for as little as 4 weeks has been shown to result in 13% greater gains in total work completed during training, with no change noted in the control group.

DOSE: Take 2g in the morning with breakfast.

SUPPLEMENT: ProSource was one of the first supplement manufacturers to introduce a pure, preimu-grade beta alanine, and ProSource Beta Alanine remains the "go-to" product for athletes looking to bolster performance and postpone fatigue.

PRE-LUNCH MUNCH
A few hours after breakfast and about an hour before lunch you should be thinking about boosting calories. This is an ideal opportunity to help load the body with nutrients for a busy day.

Weight Gainer
DOSE: Drink one 500-calorie weight gain shake 1 to 2 hours before your high protein lunch.

PREWORKOUT
When training for mass, you want to be sure the body's cellular environment is primed for performance. After all, the more weight you can push in a given session generates more stress on your muscles and leads to maximum growth. However, with greater overload comes greater muscle breakdown. To overcome this there are a number of supplements designed to feed your muscles and minimize catabolism throughout the training session. The best way to easily get everything you need is to take a high-quality pre-workout supplement.

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SUPPLEMENT: So, how do you like your pre-workout boost? With or without a powerful hormonal surge? BioQuest took the lead in this category a few years ago with the introduction of Alpha Fury, a breakthrough pump catalyst combined with state-of-the-art performance optimizers. Alpha Fury ensures you get the utmost benefit from every workout. Looking for something more? BioQuest's AndroFury provides all the muscle pump and performance boost of Alpha Fury and adds a full-spectrum, protodioscin-rich botanical super compound that will rocket your T-levels into the stratosphere.

Testosterone booster
DOSE: Take as directed, 1 hour before training.  

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
Whey protein isolate is the best source of protein to ingest before training. First, WPI digests rapidly and completely, leaving your blood full of amino acids, including an abundance of BCAAs and other essential aminos. Science has shown that this "hyperaminoacidemia" is what gives WPI its great anabolic properties.  As well, it is low in fat (0.5%) and lactose (0.5%), so it won't cause bloating or weigh you down during your workout. It must be noted that WPI not only acts as an anabolic agent, but also provides the body with additional mass building support. Studies have shown that WPI ingestion upregulates glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) production due to its large fraction of the amino acid cysteine. In addition, its subfractions of beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins significantly boost immunity and overall health.

DOSE: 30 to 60 minutes before training, drink a shake containing 25 to 40 g of high quality, Cross-Flow Microfiltered (CFM) WPI.

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SUPPLEMENT: No need to search high and low here. ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite has been the gold standard in the category for years now. It combines the highest-quality whey isolate and hydrolysate proteins available with a unique leucine-bound leucine peptide technology that provides up to 4 times the bioavailable leucine found in common whe protein supplements. That's critical because, emerging research shows leucine to be a powerful physiological trigger for anabolism. You can't go wrong with NytroWhey!

BCAAs

DOSE: Mix 5-10 g of BCAA powder into your pre-workout WPI shake.

Creatine

DOSE: Mix 5 g of Creapure creatine monohydrate into your WPI shake.

Beta Alanine
This pre-workout dose is intended to ensure substrates for carnosine production are maximized for the upcoming training session.

DOSE: Mix 2 g of beta alanine into your WPI shake

Caffeine
Caffeine taken before training increases time to exhaustion, boosts strength, mobilizes fats, and increases focus. Although the exact mechanism(s) behind caffeine's performance enhancing effects seem indefinable at present, it is well known that caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the central nervous system. These adenosine receptors normally inhibit stimulatory neurotransmitter release, but when caffeine is present the inhibition is lost and neurotransmitters (like adrenaline) are released in large amounts. This stimulatory effect of caffeine is likely responsible for most of its performance benefits.

DOSE:  Take 100-300 mg of caffeine 30 to 45 minutes before training.

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POST-WORKOUT
In terms of mass-building, scientific data suggest that well-thought-out post-workout nutrition and supplementation are vital. After all, the stress that weight training puts on skeletal muscle leaves cells depleted of nutrients and in a state of catabolism if not attended to immediately. This period is termed the "anabolic window" and represents an approximately two-hour time frame where the body is super sensitive to anything you feed it. Consider this a time of super-compensation where the body will replace what was used up with slightly more. Those who take advantage of the anabolic window see great mass gains; those who don't will get very little from their training. We have designed the following stack to exploit the anabolic window and augment anabolic hormones, replace amino acids, and maximize recovery.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)
Whey protein hydrolysate is made from WPI by enzymatic degradation (hydrolysis). This basically means that they use special enzymes to pre-digest the proteins in WPI so that it contains very small peptide fractions or short chains of amino acids. This results in a product that is digested high in the gastrointestinal tract and enters the blood almost immediately upon ingestion. This is the fastest digesting protein source available and research has shown that the quicker amino acids enter the blood after exercise, the greater the anabolic response. As a result of rapid digestion, WPH ingestion loads water into muscle cells (cell volumizing), speeds recovery, drives anabolism, and supports immune function.

DOSE: Drink at 25-30 g of high-quality WPH as soon as you finish your workout.

Dextrose
This D form of glucose is a small monosaccharide and one of the simplest sugars. It is digested high in the gastrointestinal tract (beginning in the mouth) and is very high on the glycemic index. The rapid absorption rate of dextrose makes it an ideal post-training carbohydrate supplement that enters the blood immediately to cause a great spike in blood insulin and drive sugars into depleted muscles. In addition, insulin is very anabolic, so combined with high protein dextrose serves as a mass-building agent.

DOSE: Mix 25-50g of dextrose into your WPH shake and drink immediately after training.  

SUPPLEMENT: You'll get all the ultra-rapid-action hydrolysate and insulin-potentiating carbs (as well as a powerful dose of leucine) in BioQuest's MyoZene mass builder. MyoZene has been a key element in building some of the most impressive physiques on the bodybuilding scene in recent years, and its prodigious, anabolism-unleashing mechanisms of growth are the reason why. In a 4-week, independent, product-specific clinical study at a major medical research center, well-experienced weight lifters using MyoZene achieved a remarkable 4% increase in lean body mass while at the same time experiencing a 3.8% reduction in body-fat percentage. Those are results worth celebrating!

Creatine Monohydrate
This dose of creatine is vital to restore your creatine pool in muscle. It will also turn on key anabolic pathways for a more complete and faster recovery.

DOSE: Ingest 5 grams of Creapure creatine monohydrate immediately after training

Beta Alanine
DOSE: Take 2g of beta alanine immediately after training.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT)
DOSE: Research shows that ingesting a 2 g dose of LCLT immediately after training will augment LH responses and increase androgen (testosterone) receptor expression in skeletal muscle.

BCAA's


DOSE:
Mix 5-10g of BCAA powder into your post-workout WPH shake

DINNER
Since we have assumed that dinner follows your workout, it is imperative that you consume a large, well -balanced, and high-protein mixed meal. Thus, you should be getting most of your needs met from food.

Essential Fatty Acids

DOSE:
Take 2-3 grams of balanced EFA's with dinner

BED TIME
The day is done and its time for some high-quality rest and recovery. Unless you wake yourself up every 3 hours (sleep is too important to do that) or have a feeding tube inserted (not feasible or comfortable), you will likely be fasting for the next 7 to 10 hrs. Here is a stack that will make sure you are feeding your muscles and remain out of catabolism while you sleep.

Micellar Casein
This is the purest casein protein available and its unique properties make it seem like it is a custom-made food supplement for sleeping bodybuilders. A micelle is a large colloidal particle, which basically means that this form of casein can turn to a gel or clot in the stomach, making it digest very slowly. Its slow digestion results in a sustained release of amino acids into the blood, which produces anti-catabolic effects in the body. In fact, research has shown that ingestion of micellar casein inhibits muscle breakdown by over 30%. Additional research has illustrated that casein ingestion produces a 7 hr sustained plateau in blood amino acids and the best muscle nitrogen retention and utilization needed for big mass gains.

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DOSE: Immediately before heading to bed drink 30 to 50 g of high quality micellar casein protein.

SUPPLEMENT: A good source of micellar casein is ProSource's NytroPlex-GF. NytroPlex-GF is a full-spectrum, triple-protein powder that utilizes whey isolate, egg albumin, and micellar casein to drive extreme growth up to 7 hours. It's important to note, too, that NytroPlex-GF is a rarity in the wide-spectrum protein category in that it contains NO whey concentrate at all.

Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA)
ZMA is an acronym for Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate, a proprietary zinc supplement that is reported to increase growth hormone and testosterone levels when taken before bed. A nice side effect of ZMA supplementation is that users report falling to sleep more quickly and deeply. In a study involving NCAA football players it was found that those who took ZMA during 8 weeks of training had 250% greater strength gains that those who received a placebo. The authors concluded that the ZMA group had a 20% greater increase in testosterone levels and over 20% greater insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels compared to the placebo group. Numerous other studies from animals support these data.

DOSE: ZMA supplements are formulated in the following ratio, 11mg Vitamin B6, 450mg Magnesium, 30mg Zinc. Take on an empty stomach, about 30 minutes before drinking your micellar casein shake and hitting the sack.

SUPPLEMENT: No mystery here. ProSource ZMA is 100% sourced by the well-recognized leader in ZMA production and manufacturing, SNAC Systems. This is the ZMA used in clinical trials, and should be the ZMA in your supplementation regimen.

Conclusion
Well there you have it, a day in the life of a mass -building bodybuilder. It cannot be overstated that you will not grow without dedication and discipline -- but if you follow these supplement guidelines, eat well, train hard, and sleep adequately; the gains will be rapid and plentiful.

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