Let's take a day to discuss supplements again.
Me personally, I am not a huge fan of supplements.
Most seem to just prey on the part of human nature that says if we could just find a magic pill to help us reach our goals, everything would be OK. The truth is most are basically inert and, sometimes, cause undesired side effects without any real increase in performance.
Here is a list of things that will help you improve with your performance.
- Food - by far the most important. If you diet is sound you are 99% good to go and will see the benefits very soon. The issue is most of our diets are not sound. You are fighting an uphill battle trying to positively change your appearance and performance without getting your food intake straight. Many people have a huge difficulty accepting and doing something about this. I know we’re busy but plan ahead, back when I used to fight I would plan my meals and snacks on Sunday for the upcoming week. I’d cook up a lot of chicken, fish and steak then pack them in zip locks and small containers this way when I left the house in the morning I had a lot of fruits, nuts, vegetables and meats to eat through the day.
- A decent multivitamin - Nothing fancy here. Just a little something extra to cover what you miss in #1.
- Because we live in Washington maybe add in Vitamin D.
- EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) supplement. Your body needs essential fatty acids for many processes and it cannot synthesize them from anything else. Most people do not eat enough essential fatty acids even if their eating plan is otherwise really great. Try to eat omega 3-rich fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and/or sardines once per week and/or supplement with Omega-3 Fish oil.
- A whey protein powder. I would shy away from pre-made shakes/drink packets that include carbs, fats, artificial sweeteners, additives, etc. Instead stick to a whey protein only powder. You can add what you need to the shake you make yourself. This is not necessarily a must have item. But a well designed shake, by you since you know your needs for that meal, is great in a pinch. I drink 1-2 protein shakes a day on top of my regular meals and usually have one of them right after a workout.
So now I’ll talk about Creatine since I do know some Crossfitters that take it and it’s such a popular supplement with people to help increase strength, endurance and overall power.
No other supplement for enhancing athletic performance gets as much press as Creatine. This supplement says it will increase muscular size, strength, and endurance in those who take it. It’s so popular that an estimate of up to 4% of the American population has taken Creatine at some point, with an estimated $14M spent annually on the supplement.
Creatine in theory, you’re increasing your energy stores and thereby increasing performance as well as your ability to recover from exercise. Seeing as how the phosphagen energy system that creatine is a part of only lasts on the order of a few seconds, most of the benefit is seen in explosive activities like weightlifting and sprinting.
Scientific studies and reviews of the supplement show positive performance increases approximately 70% of the time, while the others show no statistically significant results. So it would seem that taking creatine has a good chance of increasing your strength and sprint performances, though it’s not guaranteed.
If you choose to supplement with creatine, it’s most often taken for a 5-day “loading” period of 10-25 g/day of the supplement in order to saturate the tissues, followed by several weeks of a “maintenance” dose of 3-5 g/day. Side effects seem to be primarily anecdotal or in isolated cases, though reports of nausea and intestinal discomfort seem to be the primary complaints. So far, it appears that long-term use of the substance is also safe, though more research needs to be done concerning that matter.
I have known people that when they stopped using Creatine their strength, power and endurance numbers dipped after coming off it, so when taking supplements like Creatine how long are you looking to take and commit to them?
As always, ask your doctor before taking any supplements, and realize that any performance enhancing substance will not exempt you from having to work hard in the gym and is in no way a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyleThe Fitness Pyramid
Strength: Establish a 1RM Deadlift (newer people establish a 5RM Deadlift)
Here it is, the video of Coach Sparkles doing the September Coaches Challenge. 37 Air squats in 30 seconds.....who can top that?