It really irks me when I here of so many trainees and young athletes falling prey to the marketing lures of the countless supplement propaganda on the market. Companies campaign to make an athlete and even the everyday Joe or Jane think that if they aren’t taking their particular supplements that they aren’t going to be the best they can be and mediocrity is something they are going to have to settle for. Even if performance isn’t the case at hand, supplementation companies have people believing that these items are great snacks for the healthy at heart.
These days a supplementation program seems to be more of a primary focus than having a properly executed training regimen, which to me is utterly preposterous. I fell victim to the supplementation enticement many years ago, as did most of my friends, only to find out that we were supplementing someone else’s wallet and found little benefit in what we were taking. I am not totally against all supplements, as I think adding a quality multi-vitamin from a company that has done a lot of real research is a good idea. But supplementation has become a way of life and people have forgotten the basic elements that should come before it.
Now, let me first state that I am not totally against supplementation and not all ergogenics are harmful, but for the most part, it does boil down to the basics first. In today’s athletic world supplements run rampant with ingredients we can’t pronounce and know very little about. Energy drinks, protein bars, and on-the-go supplementation are ubiquitous. Go into any Wal-Mart and you’ll find a slew of supplements on the racks for easy access by kids, parents, and even pregnant women grabbing a quick energy bar thinking they are getting something good for them.
Here is my simple supplement list for those seeking to gain an edge in their training and who want to be above average. All you have to do is C.H.E.C.K. it out:
Common Sense: I don’t need to (or shouldn’t have to) elaborate on this too much, but the use of common sense for success is vital. Making sure that your training is progressive, safe, and efficient, along with having a strong focus on proper nutrition, rest, and recovery will assist in providing the “edge” you need. Don’t complicate it. Just use good judgment based on your needs, listen to your body, and adjust accordingly.
Hard Work: Pretty self-explanatory. Working hard toward your goals is extremely important at helping you to achieve them. Success doesn’t come easy and, to me, that’s what makes it so rewarding when achieved.
Experience: Learn from the experiences of what others have done but also learn and understand your own. Too many people ignore their own experiences and don’t focus on what’s best for them. Make sure you learn from your mistakes and successes and apply the information intelligently.
Consistency: Progress in anything is unlikely without consistency. Being consistent in your efforts in all aspects is crucial to your success. This means your training, eating, resting, mental approach, and your desires. Supplements usually come into play for most when they fail to be consistent in their efforts. Believe in what you are doing.
Knowledge: Understanding what works and what doesn’t comes from learning and application. It enables you to gain a perspective on how to go about succeeding at your goals.
Those of you who are taking supplements, I offer this not as a challenge but merely as an experiment of sorts. Take no supplements of any kind for two months and honestly assess what happens. Notate your results and be as unbiased as possible. See if you really need what you are taking to succeed. If you are afraid to stop for this short amount of time, thinking you’ll lose whatever positive effects that supplementation has offered you, then consider yourself to be one of the victims of supplementation deception. Re-examine the above list and make sure you are doing all that is necessary to aid your progress.
Those of you who are considering supplements but haven’t yet ventured out, re-evaluate what you’ve been told about the necessity to supplement and make sure you are attending to the list above before falling victim to marketing strategists and grandiose promises. I have nothing to sell you and I benefit not by you adhering to my recommendations. I am merely passing along some common sense, a bit of hard work, my experiences, and my consistent passion for knowledge that has enabled me to express these thoughts to you.
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