In the back corner of the gym there are 4 shelves covered in white boxes, silver bags, and white tubs. On occasion a curious athlete will point and ask what each is for and if it is right for them. We believe we are able to find all of the nutrients we need in our food. We do not endorse our athletes purchasing stacks of supplements nor do we take them ourselves. But we do utilize supplements to help meet our nutrient needs or improve our body’s ability to recover.
I myself became a customer of Progenex shortly after cleaning up my diet and cutting alcohol out of my life 5 years ago. I absolutely saw pretty great results and I do believe someone looking to put on a little mass should absolutely use both Recovery and More Muscle, both because it tastes great, and because we like building our house on Jacked Street, right in the heart of Quad City.
Pure Pharma is one of the few producers of Fish Oil that I trust and their Pure Pharma 3 product delivers not only those high quality Omega-3s, but also helps combat the epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency and improves my recovery directly through the Magnesium included in the each serving.
The products of these to companies, along with Grind’s Diesel recovery product, are what you will find on our shelves. Read below for more info on each to see which fits your needs.
WHY THE PREVALENCE OF SUPPLEMENTS IN THE FITNESS WORLD?
In an effort to generate revenue, the supplement industry has positioned itself as being vital to your transformation. Once you have your gym membership, your next step is to swing by the supplement shop. Often, what you buy is dependent upon your gender, but the story remains the same.
Men are targeted with ads for proteins and pre-workouts that feature stole jacked athletes or unbelievable before and after photos where the subject not only lost 50 pounds of bodyweight but put on 30 pounds of muscle. Without these products, the ad tells you, you will remain mediocre.
Women are also targeted, but often it takes them to the other side of the store. Detox teas (and waist trainers, thanks Instagram and Photo Shop), cleanses, and the perfect multi-vitamin are all presented to women as the key to their body’s success.
Once we recognize that we have been educated on this by themass media (the same great people who tell us that egg yolks will kill us, that milk is a great and healthy choice for everyone, and that training one or two body parts a day is the ideal way to workout) we are able to move away from this trend of misinformation and exploitation.
WITH THAT BEING SAID, WHAT WOULD WE BENEFIT FROM
There is a role for some degree of supplementation in all of our training regardless of what we hope to accomplish. However, if you are eating well (lean meat, a variety of vegetables, healthy fats, etc.) then supplementation does not need to have a significant place in your daily intake. Of course, if you are looking to compete at the Olympia (or as a body builder in general) or you are training 2-3x per day then supplements are absolutely beneficial to your process because your demands are quite different than those of a normal athlete.
Fortunately we are comprised mostly of normal, everyday, badass athletes who are looking to chisel our bodies out of the fleshy/chubby prisons we have built for ourselves while still spending a majority of our days out in the real world being awesome. And that means we do not have to spend $400 on this stuff just to hope to see change.
The products we carry at the gym are for you. You do not need everything we sell and some would be wasting their money if they bought certain products. We offer both post-workout recovery/protein powders as well as vitamins and minerals required for your body’s basic functions (as well as optimal performance). Here is the why and the who for each.
Pure Pharma-3 ($65)
With the tag line, “All You Really Need,” Pure Pharma-3 is the only product we carry that I believe EVERYONE WHO COMES IN OUR DOORS WOULD BENEFIT FROM.
- Fish Oil: If you have not heard me discuss the benefits and importance of including Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your diet, often through a Fish Oil supplement of some sort (due to the fact that we simply do not eat large quantities of truly grass fed beef or wild caught fish) then you are missing out. A high quality fish oil supplement should be a staple in EVERYONES daily routine. Look for a product that offers a minimum 1,000mg of EPA & DHA (combined) so you are not having to choke down a ton of pills each day. Omeg-3s help balance out Omega-6 fatty acids which are often out of balance due to our highly processed diets and not awesome lifestyles. Omega-6s are not the bad guys, but left out of balance they will lead to systemic inflammation (beer gut, swollen joints, poor immune health, etc.). Often the first 5 to 10 pounds that come off when someone changes their diet and lifestyle is due to the reduction in inflammation.
- Vitamin D: Simply put, there is a deficiency of vitamin d in society today. Unfortunately it is not as simple as spending more time in the sun although that certainly would help. Vitamin D is vital for bone health (bone density issues are rarely due to the a lack of calcium, but Vitamin D must be present for Calcium to be taken up by our cells) among many other things (battles depression, helps fend off disease, etc). It is a fat soluble vitamin so be sure you have dietary fat in adequate amounts daily, but if you are a part of our community then you already know this.
- Magnesium (and Zinc): Magnesium is involved in quite a bit but the highlights include digestion and other enzymatic processes, relaxing muscles between contractions, pumping bloods, and improving sleep patterns and recovery by reducing cortisol. These minerals build up in your system and will serve to improve the quality of your recovery for quite sometime to come.
Grind Diesel ($55)
This is a unique post-workout recovery product that applies the science we know to be true to the supplement game. It is simply a fact that your muscles look to restore glucose/glycogen levels after you are done training hard. Glycogen is the storage form of glucose and glucose is basically what makes your muscles go (yes nerds, we are aware of ATP, but lets stay in the shallow end here). After you workout your body is looking to absorb as much glucose as possible. That is why we discuss white rice being an awesome food in the hours after you train.
Designed by the great minds of Renaissance Periodization Systems and sold by Chad Wesley Smith at Juggernaut Training Systems, and endorsed by amazing athletes like Becca Day and Mattie Rogers Grind Diesel is backed up by reputable research and performance.
With that in mind, Diesel offers 30g of high glycemic (fast absorbing) carbohydrates that will be absorbed almost immediately and 10g of protein to provide the amino acids vital to recovery as well.
The taste is a little old school and if you are looking for a milk shake like experience then this is not your product. But Diesel works well with those tracking and meeting macro nutrient goals and it definitely meets the needs of those training frequently (5-6x per week).
Progenex Recovery ($59.95)
A hydrolyzed whey protein isolate that is meant to be consumed within 30 minutes of your workout. Quick absorption is the name of the game with this product and back in 2011 I began to use Recovery (and More Muscle) during my training.
The biggest selling point is the taste. Progenex delivers great tasting products that really changed the game. Now more and more companies are getting rid of the old cardboard taste of protein, but Recovery was really the first to offer something that you might find yourself craving even when you were not working out.
Whether it was in my mind or not, my Progenex use absolutely coincided with me feeling great everyday I walked into the gym. It’s selling point is “Reset the “Go” signal,” and that is exactly what I felt like it does.
Delivering 23g of protein (I believe different flavors differ here by a gram or 2) and only 3-5g of carbs, this is a classic protein recovery that I absolutely love taking. Plus their social media campaigns are legit. Im still waiting for them to release the Progenex Instagram Filter that will have all of us looking jacked and tan, but then again, that filter may already be available in the form of hard work and dedication… see what I did there?
This product is technically for anyone who is training 4-5x per week with intensity. Basically, if you hit our workouts with as much effort as you are able to manage, and you show up more often then you do not, then you would not be wrong for a post workout Recovery shake.
Available in Belgian Chocolate, Peanut Butter Smash, and Strawberry Creme (just to name a few), this product is, at a minimum, delicious.
Progenex More Muscle ($69.95)
Everything mentioned above relating to Progenex Recovery applies here plus more. More Muscle is a more traditional supplement in that you are able to consume this outside of the post-workout window. Still the same great taste, still the same rapid uptake by your bodies cells, More Muscle is absolutely my favorite why protein product out there.
More Muscle is for those specifically looking to put on lean muscle. Yes this also means you will burn more fat as well but that goes hand in hand with the amount and intensity of training. Athletes finding themselves in the gym 5-6x per week and who often look for extra work to do before and after class should think about More Muscle.
In my opinion, this product is not for everyone. If your goal is weight loss and you still have more than 15# of weight to lose then we believe you are best served with as little liquid nutrition as possible. Also, if coming to the gym is a struggle for you then this product is also not for you. Protein supplements taken without consistent training will still aid you in gaining weight…just not the weight you are hoping for.
If you have any questions about what product is a good choice for you then just let me know. I believe the diet is the first priority as supplementation will not do a whole lot if you are still living life consuming processed junk. But once that sees a bit of a change these products absolutely will help you achieve your goals.