GAINS NOT APPEARING? DON’T BLAME THE SUPPS!
Written by Tim Rigby
It’s an all-too-common fitness phenomenon, people who train decide to use high-quality supplements and then expect miracles in muscle growth and fat loss to occur instantly. Their expectations often exceed the boundaries of realistic potential and they subsequently become disappointed, often blaming their lack of progress on the supplements. Even when people are more patient and give the supplements a more long-term commitment, but fail to achieve the desired results, they again blame this on the supps for being allegedly “ineffective”.
In reality, it’s more than likely that these people are shooting themselves in the foot by not adhering to other necessary elements of fitness, some are errors of omission and some are errors of commission. Here’s a menu of six common reasons why your gains may be slow in progressing, despite your disciplined consumption of the right supps:
It’s really in your best interest to read the label when you consume a supplement. The many forms of protein available range from coming with hardly any carbs at all, up to hundreds of grams (mostly sugar) per serving. Protein powder is not the same as a weight gainer. Another example is using fat burners which intensify your training and metabolism, but not actually doing the work and expecting the supp to cause you to lose 30 pounds suddenly, isn't going to cut it. Use them for their correct intended purpose and do your part too.
Your supplements are designed to improve your training performance and the subsequent gains they produce. The need for sleep is crucial for gains success, but if your work (and other lifestyle behaviours) prevent you from recuperating, we need to remind you that it’s not the fault of the supps. Muscle growth in fact only occurs when one is at rest, so get plenty of it and allow supps like protein to help your muscles grow.
Common sense dictates that supps can do only so much. Caffeine and l-carnitine can help release fat for energy and then burn it off, respectively, but you have to do your part, too. Clean eating is vital to achieving the fat loss or weight loss goals you have in mind (which prompted you to buy these supps in the first place). You’re effectively shooting yourself in the foot and negating the effect of the supps if your diet is high in fat, carbs or sodium. Remember that while supps are safe and effective, they are just one part of a broader formula to fitness success.
As we are all different, unique individuals, it should be noted that the level at which supps become absorbed is important, but we do have control over it. Avoiding fat altogether will delay and negate the absorption of testosterone-boosting ingredients like fenugreek and tribulus terrestris. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, meaning their absorption is more efficient in the presence of fat. Vitamins B1 through B12 plus C are water soluble, and therefore copious amounts of liquids help them become better absorbed.
RELYING ENTIRELY ON ZERO-CARB PRODUCTS
Many supps consumers opt for zero-carb products because of an irrational fear that carbs lead to gains in fat. If you’re at the final stage of a leaning out program, you may possibly get more shredded by avoiding carbs; however, if you’re looking to lift more reps and heavier weight, you need the energy which comes from carbs. In moderation, it’s easy to employ and “burn them off” through resistance or cardio training – so you can put that irrational fear to rest.
Finally, in the same vein as hectic lifestyles make it difficult for supps to do their jobs optimally, overtraining can also cause you to take two steps forward and one step back. Cortisol is the enemy of fat loss, but overtraining can cause it to develop in substantial quantities. This can also blunt your muscle-building endeavours, if you’ve ever wondered why intense training volume and lots of protein sometimes don’t produce the desired results. Use common sense and train hard – but don’t overdo it, if you want your supps to work properly.