Should I Take Supplements?

One of the biggest questions out there in the weight training community, especially in the beginners circle, is this: “Should I take supplements?” Well that’s a good question that is not easily answered. Many factors go into the decision on if an individual should take supplements or not, but let’s look at some facts.

What are Supplements?

Supplements are anything used to increase output, gain, or efficiency of a training program. Whether it be protein, mass gainer, creatine, fat burners, you name it, they’re all supplements of some kind. However, several key factors go into the decision of choosing to use supplements or not in your daily routine. Such factors include:

  • Workout Plan/Goal
  • Amount of Food Intake
  • Time Restraints Throughout the Day
  • Financial Accessibility

Supplement Pros

                The fact is simple; supplements can greatly increase the potential of gains and output of any workout program. A great benefit of using weightlifting supplements is that it makes essential nutrients accessible to any athlete. For the busy lifter who doesn’t have the time available to eat the right foods or take in the proper rest, supplements provide a great way to help increase benefits of training.

Supplements can also increase the intensity in which an individual trains. For example, if you’re consistently tired before each workout, and can’t keep up a good pace during your training, perhaps taking a pre-workout would benefit your gains and training. If your metabolism is consistently burning away at your calories and not allowing your body enough energy to form muscle mass, perhaps taking some mass gainer could be an option. The fact is, with the availability of substances today, any need has the possibility of being fulfilled.

Supplement Cons

Although supplements can provide a lot of benefit in a workout program, they can also harm if not consumed responsibly. Overusing weightlifting supplements, or using the wrong type of supplement, can cause anything from stomach pain to organ damage. Included with those aspects are other weird side effects, such as: insomnia, headaches, skin irritation, diarrhea, and more.

However, cons like these are not necessarily meant to discourage anyone from consuming supplements. If used correctly, pros can definitely outweigh the cons. Always remember, if you ever have a question about which supplements are safe to use, as both a trainer AND a doctor (mainly the doctor).

So What Does This Mean?

The number one thing to keep in mind is this: supplements are meant to supplement your workout plan. Read that last sentence again. Supplements are meant to SUPPLEMENT your workout plan. Whether a person is just starting their lifting career or are a seasoned veteran, supplements or other weightlifting vitamins should not be the main ingredient to success.

The best way to reach success is to work hard, be consistent in your training, and have a healthy diet that will boost your program. Whether you choose to use supplements or not, always use hard work as a way to achieve your goals.

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Body Types

For people new to the workout scene, the overwhelming amount of information out there can be quite daunting. For example, if you were to search online for simple start up tips, you would see an insane amount of workouts, supplements, equipment, and more pop up on your search screen. That alone could cause someone to tuck-tail and shun exercise in general, it makes people think they’re already too far behind.

Well, you’re not! I can tell you one of the best ways to get a jump start to your exercise routine is to build upon your self-knowledge. By that, I mean learn your body and know what exercises and routines will work best for you. One of the best ways to start is to know your body type.

BODY TYPES

What do I mean by that? There are three body type categories that explain build, muscle, metabolism, etc. Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesomorph [add]. So let’s just dive in, shall we!

ECTOMORPH

Are you tall and lanky? Skinny and lean? Able to eat a pizza in one sitting without gaining an ounce? You my friend, are most likely and Ectomorph.

 Qualities of an Ecotmorph

  • Skinny/Lean Build
  • Difficult to Gain Muscle or Mass
  • Seemingly Fragile Bone Structure
  • Fast Metabolism
  • Small Shoulder Width

With their speedy metabolism, thin stature and lean build, Ectomorphs find it difficult to put on weight or mass. To help balance the effect of being this body type, individuals should eat more, perform short yet intense workouts for their muscle groups, and possibly take supplements. Prepare to work harder to put on muscle mass, but you’ll lean out easier and faster than the rest.

ENDOMORPH

Are you solid yet soft? Gain fat and put on weight easily? Can you squat a tractor tire without breaking a sweat? You might possibly be a Endomorph.

Qualities of a Endomorph

  • Soft and Round
  • Gains Muscle and Fat with Ease
  • Generally Short and Stocky
  • Slow Metabolism
  • Finds it Hard to Lose Fat

Even though they are generally short, round and stocky, Endomorph find it easy to put on both muscle and fat. Not only that, they usually have strong legs and high weight without having to put in a lot of effort. You may not have to work as hard to put on the mass, but you do have to watch your eating habits to ensure you don’t increase your body fat percentage. Leaning out is a chore, but if you can survive it you’ll look great!

MESOMORPH

Do you have big muscles and big bones? Never worked out yet still have big biceps? Have you ever been accused of being a Greek God after one week of training? If this is you, you’re probably a Mesomorph.

Qualities of a Mesomorph

  • Generally Hard/Solid Build
  • Gains Muscle Mass Easily
  • Athletic Build
  • Gains Fat Easier than Ectomorphs
  • Well Defined Muscle Groups

The Mesomorph body type is the best body type for weight and athletic training. Mesomorphs gain muscle quickly and it shows prominently. They put on great amounts of lean muscle, but they tend to gain fat easier than Ectomorphs. If you’re a Mesomorph, you need to workout hard while watching your calorie intake. This body type may find it more difficult to lean out than the Ectomorph, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

IN CONCLUSION

Though these are the three main categories of body types, there can be several combinations. For example, there can be an Ecto/Endo, Meso/Endo, Ecto/Meso, etc. Also, just because you’re an Ectomorph, that doesn’t mean you can’t bulk up. Likewise, just because you’re an Endomorph, it doesn’t mean you can’t be ripped. Don’t let the overwhelming amount of information out there deter you from beginning a worthwhile experience in exercise. Instead, build upon your knowledge and self-awareness so that you can get the most out of your training, and your health.