The what and when of supplements

26 Apr

Ok, here goes. I am going to attempt to explain my supplement regime, a bit about my training, and how I bring them all together.

Firstly, I will say that all PPS Nutrition products come with easy to follow guidelines on the tub. They are also quite simple to choose, as they are clearly explained on the website.

I will start logically, from first thing in the morning. I usually get up around 6am and within 30 seconds of my feet touching the floor, I begin the regime. I always start the day with the vitamins I consider essential; a calcium & vitamin D combination, cod liver oil and high strength vitamin C. I have experienced noticeable, positive changes from all of these in spite of varying reviews and opinions amongst the fitness and medical communities.

After vitamins, the timing of the rest of my supplements is linked to my training, not the time of day. The one exception to this is Bulbine, a testosterone booster which I take on a month on month off basis. When I am taking this, it is four tablets with my vitamins, and four more prior to my main WOD (Workout Of the Day).

Prior to any form of training, I take one scoop (two for endurance) of CCE. This gives me the required levels of carbohydrates, electrolytes and other essentials to maintain performance levels throughout. In addition, for power and CrossFit workouts, but not for metabolic conditioning (running, cycling etc), I use SF Xtreme. This is quite simply the best pre workout I have ever tried. (I’ve tried lots!). I find my focus and ability to get ‘one more rep’ are greatly improved.

As with most athletes and people who train, I take protein post workout. Having tried many over the years, the one I have found to work best for me is Nxtgen 5 in 1. This works well for my recovery, strength gains and all round progress. As with all my supplements, I blend this with water and drink within fifteen minutes or so of finishing training.

Very shortly, I will begin using D-Aspartic acid. I will be sure to let you know how this goes! The one final thing I use is BCAAs. Without wanting to bore you with the science too much, these help the muscles use protein more efficiently. In short, you won’t get the smelly output do often linked to protein supplements. If it is leaving your body as gas, you are not using it properly!

So how does all of this work with such a broad variety of training? Quite easy really, trial and error. I supplement, eat and hydrate in a very similar manner for all workouts, with the exception of serious endurance training. An hour or do prior to this, along with a double does of CCE, I will have a flapjack. Completely not paleo, but it does produce the results I need! I just have to hope my body uses or discards the stuff that is no good for me before it has any real negative effect.

Well, I have tried my best to explain the fuel behind the fire, now to introduce you to the fire itself. Whilst nutrition is vital, without effective training it equates to putting the best petrol, oil and fluids in an F1 car, then never driving it.

It is impossible to impart my routine as I do not have one. There are however rules I follow. The definition of CrossFit is “constantly varied functional movements at maximal intensity”. This is the first rule I follow and truly believe in. I workout one, two or sometimes three times a day, yet with the exception of a few benchmark WODs, I don’t repeat workouts. Variety is as much the spice of training as it is of life.

Again in line with CrossFit principles, I combine metabolic conditioning, strength movements and gymnastic movements in as many random combinations as possible. I vary the weight, the number of reps, the length of time and other variables frequently. One session might consist of heavy dead lifts at low reps, combined with cycling and a high volume of pull-ups. The next might consist of a high number of repetitions of an olympic lift, or part of, at a lower weight, combined with some gymnastic holds and skipping.

Some days, especially with endurance runs, that will be the only time I train that day. Other days I might do a WOD for one of my sessions then work a specific strength movement in the evening. This could be a 5 sets of 5 repetitions rep scheme, or maybe 5-5-3-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 to develop a ‘1 rep max’. Before a standard WOD, I always like to work a weakness. I have a list in my room and pick one each time. This method worked very well to develop my muscle ups. video

From now on, it is my intent to blog on a predominantly daily basis, how and why I am training, tips for efficiency, form and progress specific to those movements and workouts and the food I am using. I will also try and keep you up to date with the facts and figures of my progress. My reasoning for this is simple, whilst I was learning in the very early stages, the vast majority of videos were of elite CrossFitters and could sometimes seem a little overwhelming. Hopefully a more average human diary of a normal guy’s progress might help you realise it is all within your grasp, through a little hard work and discipline.

As an idea of progress and also as promised, here is a ‘during’ progress picture. This is a big personal step for me, it has been some 4 years since I have posted a photo like this anywhere or shown anyone…



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