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The Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

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The Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

All the major supplement companies claim to have the best supplements for muscle growth. Is anyone telling the truth?


I was at Vitamin Shoppe the other day to pick up some egg protein powder, and I figured I’d take at look at the illegal steroid section in the back (the fancy stuff behind lock and key).

As expected, the usual suspects were sitting on the shelf with a host of new products claiming to be natural, powerful anabolics. The names always get me.







What’s the story with with these types of products? What are the best supplements for muscle growth?

Let’s cut through the hype and find out.

Testosterone Boosters: Fact or Fraud?

With testosterone levels on the decline, many men are drawn to the alluring marketing of testosterone boosters.

If we’re to believe some of the marketing claims, these products are basically natural steroids that will transform us into musclebound alpha males that make women swoon and men tremble. And they’re often backed by pseudoscientific claims or even references to “scientific studies” that “prove” their effectiveness.

Unfortunately they’re almost all completely worthless.

Some testesterone boosters really go to town with their ingredients (a sure sign of a scam), but most rely on one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Tribulus terrestris
  • ZMA
  • D-aspartic acid

Multiple studies have proven that supplementation with Tribulus terrestris has no effect on testosterone levels, body composition, or exercise performance.

ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, and its story is about the same. Unless you’re deficient in zinc, studies have shown that ZMA doesn’t increase testosterone levels.

D-aspartic acid is a bit more promising in this regard. Research has shown that it can increase testosterone levels in both humans and rats, but the effective dosage in humans was just over 3 grams of D-AA per day. Most test boosters that include D-AA use half that dosage or less, which is sure to reduce its effectiveness.

The bottom line is testosterone boosters are a waste of money, and will never deliver the type of results most of them claim. If you want to try D-aspartic acid, save money and just buy the amino itself, and take 3 grams per day.

It’s also worth noting that minor improvements in testosterone levels are very unlikely to affect muscle growth. You might feel a bit more energetic and notice an increase in libido, but don’t think that you can significantly impact your muscle growth by taking a testosterone booster.

Next on the Chopping Block: Growth Hormone Boosters

Like test boosters, most HGH (human growth hormone) boosters are a waste of money.

They’re usually full of amino acids that can provide various benefits when dosed properly (which they almost never are anyway), but which have never been proven to increase GH levels or muscle growth.

Another common ingredient is gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Research has shown that supplementation with GABA elevates resting and postexercise growth hormone levels, but the forms of GH increased have not been proven to contribute to muscle growth (there are over 100 forms of GH in your body, and all perform different functions).

Save your money and skip the HGH boosters.

Is HMB All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

HMB (beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid–a mouthful indeed) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine, and it has been growing in popularity thanks to a handful of studies that indicate it helps with strength and muscle growth, such as this and this.

These studies are controversial, however, because they were conducted by Steven Nissen, the inventor of HMB and owner of the patent.

When you look at unbiased research on HMB, which has also been conducted with resistance-trained men and not the elderly, it’s much less effective than Nissen has reported. For instance:

Researchers from Massey University also conducted a literature review on the subject of HMB supplementation, and their conclusion was very simple (emphasis added):

“Supplementation with HMB during resistance training incurs small but clear overall and leg strength gains in previously untrained men, but effects in trained lifters are trivial. The HMB effect on body composition is inconsequential.”

Save your money.

Are There Any Supplements That Improve Muscle Growth?

Thus far I haven’t really delivered on the title of this article yet. You’re looking for supplements that help with muscle growth…but do they exist?


Well, one at least: creatine monohydrate.

Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in foods like red meat. It is perhaps the most researched molecule in the world of sport supplements–the subject of over 200 studies–and the consensus is very clear:

Supplementation with creatine can help you build muscle and improve strength, improve anaerobic endurance, and reduce muscle damage and soreness from exercise.

There are many forms of creatine available, however, such as monohydrate, citrate, ethyl ester, nitrate, and others. Which is the best bang for your buck?

Check out my article on which form of creatine is most effective to find out.

You should also know that simply eating enough protein is an important part of maximizing muscle growth. Research has shown that the protein needs of people that exercise can be quite high, especially if they’re doing any type of resistance training.

You should eat no less than 1 gram per pound of body weight per day if you’re engaging in regular resistance training, and while protein supplements aren’t necessary, they can help you hit that number.

What’s your take on supplements for muscle growth? Have you tried some of them? Let me know in the comments below!


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Leave a Comment!
  • Todd Farnholtz, CFT

    In my pre-educated days I tried many of the supposed muscle enhancers to no effect. Creatine and proper protein intake with adequate carbs has been the only thing that ever gave me noticiable gains in size and over several years non the less. There is no magic bullet for strength gain. There is only proper diet, proper lifting, and patients. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something or taking an illegal anabolic.

    • Michael Matthews

      Me too. I wasted SO much $ on them it was ridiculous. I totally agree that proper training and diet are everything. A handful of supplements can help, but they don’t make or break anything.

  • marcio

    Hi, what do you and the researchs think about beta alanine,leucine solo ,nitric oxid,dextrose post workout,bcaa or whey protein bcaa and when take

    • Michael Matthews

      I will be talking more about these things soon with the launch of my supplements, but a summary:

      Beta-A: Works, have to take enough though.

      Leucine: Stimulates protein synthesis, worth adding additional leucine to post-workout meal. Don’t see any reasons to supplement throughout the day though.

      Nitric oxide: This is a substance in the body not a supplement. There are aminos that increase it though such as arginine and other similar molecules (citrulline, etc.).

      Dextrose: Not a fan of junk powder carbs. I prefer real food with nutrition.

      BCAA: Only if you’re doing fasted training:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-truth-about-stubborn-fat-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

      Post-workout: Whey is good, but any form of protein works. No need for additional BCAAs.

  • Ian

    Interesting that Finaflex, on their website, extract below, describe pure test as pure testosterone then go on to contradict themselves by stating that its made from DAA. Smell a rat?

    What is FINAFLEX PURE TEST™? PURE TEST™ is PURE TESTOSTERONE, free from anything inferior, totally refined, clean, true TESTOSTERONE. PURE TEST™ is made from 100% HPLC verified D-Aspartic Acid (DAA). D-Aspartic Acid is a NATURAL TESTOSTERONE boosting POWERHOUSE that has been shown to SIGNIFICANTLY increase TESTOSTERONE levels after prolonged use. D-Aspartic Acid has been shown to BOOST TESTOSTERONE in actual HUMAN studies, not in plant, animal, or some bull*%#* laboratory study other supplement companies use to “validate” their latest ingredients.* Taken regularly PURE TEST™ results in increased strength, energy levels, and sex drive.* Boost your test with the best, FINAFLEX PURE TEST™!

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah ignore their marketing. It’s just DAA, which does have research to support its use in increasing T levels naturally.

  • Kevin

    What do you think about Deer-Antler Spray?

    • Michael Matthews

      Really over-hyped and fraudulently marketed. Will NOT improve testosterone or GH levels, and is not anabolic. Based on some in vitro research, it MAY help with tissue regeneration but it’s too early to tell. More research is needed.

      Buy some creatine instead if you want to get bigger and stronger. :)

  • zen

    How about Creature from Beast. Is it good mike? Is it for pre or post workout?

    • Michael Matthews

      Just an overpriced blend of different forms of creatine. Stick with plain mono.

  • Dude

    What are your thoughts on pro-hormones?

    • Michael Matthews

      Stay away. They’re very hard on the liver.

  • Matt

    What do you think about GNC’s ripped vitapack. I’m currently at 14% body fat and want to get down to around 10%. Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Their multi is decent, CLA is worth taking while cutting, and I’m not sure about their thermo or diuretic.

      Remember though that supplements are NOT the key to getting lean. Proper diet and training is…

      • Matt

        Thanks Mike. I learned a lot about the dieting and training from BSL. I’m actually down from 24% since January but I’ve been stuck at 14% for the past month or so while staying on the same diet and training plan. I haven’t tried the VPX Meltdown and am considering giving that a shot too.

        • Michael Matthews

          YW! Wow, great progress so far. That rocks.

          The plateau you’re running into is likely:

          1. Your metab has just slowed down a bit due to the reduction in weight and caloric deficit. The solution is simple: increase your calories to a maintenance level for 3-4 weeks to speed your metab up and then go back into a deficit.

          2. You simply need to reduce your calories. If you haven’t adjusted it your macros at all, you can drop them by about 200 calories per day and see how your body responds.

          If you’ve already reduced calories along the way, do #1.

          Hope this helps!

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  • Bryan Taylor

    Hi Mike,
    I saw you posted about truenutrition.com around here once…
    Can you give us a holy grail formula? Specifically bulk but cut also…prices seem reasonable compared to the shops.

    • Michael Matthews

      I’ve never tried their service but it looks great. If I were to use their service, I would create two products:

      Whey: 100% isolate, naturally flavored and sweetened, 4g additional leucine per serving.

      Egg: naturally flavored and sweetened, 4g additional leucine per serving

  • oxide7

    What are your thoughts on peptides such as ghrp’s and ghrh’s?

    • Michael Matthews

      Don’t know too much about them beyond the fact that they work and apparently don’t have the sides of GH.

  • Michael

    Hey Mike, what do you think or have you heard anything good about “Prosource’s Maximum strength Androtest”?

    • Michael Matthews

      Bullshit product. Don’t waste your money.

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  • Mary Finley

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve recently begun strength training again, but this time I want to try using some supplements. I’m a healthy woman in my late twenties, would you recommend using prohormones to help build muscle? A friend suggested using them but I don’t know enough about them. Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      No, definitely not. Prohormones are very hard on the liver. You don’t need any drugs to do well. Just a proper training routine and diet…

  • Greg Speer

    What about the sups that supposedly act as estrogen blockers?

    • Michael Matthews

      Don’t work for shit.

  • glen

    Good article, I have been taking tribulus as a supplement for increasing testosterone levels but perhaps this is a waste of money. My blood work shows testosterone levels are good for a 64 yr old male.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah trib is a waste of money. I wouldn’t worry about test levels if they are testing good.

  • mp

    I don’t know why anyone trying to gain muscle would listen to a guy this small. There are a ton of scams but high quality supplements plus nutrition are key to gaining muscle.

  • Felipe Nogueira

    Michael, what about fenugreek? I checked that your Legion creatine supplement has 900mg fenugreek per dose. I did a research and there are studies saying fenugreek improved strenght and other study says improves libido.
    There is also the claim that Yohimbine HCL is a testosterone booster, like trib. There is study to backup on this?

    • Michael Matthews

      Fenugreek can increase libido and testosterone levels, yes. Like all natural test/hormone boosters, though, it’s hit or miss. Some people notice it, some people don’t. The primary reason we included it is because it helps with the absorption of the creatine.

      I’ve never seen any evidence that yohimbine affects testosterone levels. Tribulus has been proven to not affect hormones.

  • Felipe Nogueira

    Can you make comments on fenugreek and yohimbine as testosterone booster?

  • charles makhosi

    Hie i am a hard trainer, firstly i used to train without taking any
    supplement and my weight remained at 85kgs. I started taking Ciplactin
    which is same like periactin within 2 months i was weghing 99kgs. This
    drug gives appetite and makes you enjoy every food. After 3 months down
    the line somebody advised me to take whey protein which reduced my
    weight to 90kgs ,i stopped using it immediately and threw it on the dust
    been. Worse part of it Whey is R400.00 and Ciplactin is only R60.00

  • charles makhosi

    Hie i am a hard trainer, firstly i used to train without taking any
    supplement and my weight remained at 85kgs. I started taking Ciplactin
    which is same like periactin within 2 months i was weghing 99kgs. This
    drug gives appetite and makes you enjoy every food. After 3 months down
    the line somebody advised me to take whey protein which reduced my
    weight to 90kgs ,i stopped using it immediately and threw it on the dust
    been. Worse part of it Whey is R400.00 and Ciplactin is only R60.00

    • Michael Matthews

      Interesting. I’ve never heard of that drug…

  • Derrek

    Would if for creatine I didn’t do a loading phase? I didn’t know about it. I just do 5 g. post workout? Any advice on how much I should take and if I should do anything since I didn’t load.

    • Michael Matthews

      You don’t have to load. 5 grams per day right off the bat is fine.

  • Ryan

    I totally agree 99% of supplements are all marketing and will never supplant eating healthy organic foods and lots of them if you’re bulking. I have a quick questions and would like your thoughts on pine pollen. A trainer and good friend of mine tested his testosterone prior to starting a stack of antler velvet w/ tribulus and pine pollen and says he showed a significant increase in his levels and has made significant gains and no longer has DOMS in a way that he had prior to the stack. I only take VEGA plant based protein and pre-workouts and recovery as I avoid anything synthetic or artificial but this pine pollen I found interesting. Have you heard of it and what do you think?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup, supps can never replace proper eating.

      Deer antler and trib have been scientifically proven to do not affect T levels, so don’t bother with them. Not sure about pine pollen but I would assume the same.

      And realize that naturally increasing T levels won’t really do much anyway unless you’re REALLY low:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-testosterone-levels-affect-muscle-growth-and-fat-loss/

      • Ryan

        So perhaps they don’t really do much with T levels and going to ‘high normal’ if they did in fact raise them slightly would not affect lean muscle growth. That being said though if they did act the same way as good old creatine in a sense where they enabled you to lift more with less fatigue thus working your muscles harder and especially helped you recover quicker in line with the claims would they then be a ‘natural’ product to aide lean muscle growth. Perhaps rather than taking synthetic powder after powder loaded with acelusfame potassium and who knows what else they would be a cleaner option…? I guess its speculative as i doubt there is any study comparing someone taking antler, trib pine pollen etc. vs. someone on pre / post workout powders and creatine.

        • Michael Matthews

          Exactly. It MAY affect strength a little, and if that were fully utilized properly, that COULD lead to slightly better gains.

          But many guys think that a T booster will just automatically help them build more muscle. It won’t.

          I also avoid pounding artificial junk. You may like my upcoming line of supplements:


          • Ryan

            Wow thank you! I clicked the link and I couldn’t believe it, finally somebody doing something right. I barely use supplements because they all have some sort of garbage in them from sweetners to fillers to dyes etc. This is what I’ve been wanting for so long in a price that wasn’t stupid. I just browsed through your products and they all look really good and I’m super impressed with your ingredients and the lack thereof mainly – nothing but what I need. Also a huge thank you for using a whey free from cows with hormones. Again that is huge. One thing I might of missed though – these are also cows with no antobiotic use as well? Is the source organic milk or its just guaranteed to be hormone free? I guess that question is confusing as that is what organic milk is but I hope you see what I’m asking. Any info you can provide on that is much appreciated. I will be definitely be wanting to try them all as I’m just starting my winter ‘bulk’. I clicked on the pre-order all 4 with discount and nothing happened. Am I too early or too late?

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks Ryan! I really appreciate it.

            I also always tried to avoid artificial junk but it’s hard, as you know.

            Good question on the cows–I asked my supplier the same thing.

            The milk isn’t organic, which means that cows may have been treated with antiobiotics. How this works, however, is like this:

            If a cow is sick and needs antiobiotics, it’s pulled from the milking herd and treated. Once it’s better, its milk is tested for antiobiotics. Once the milk is clean, it’s allowed back into the milking herd.

            The difference with organic is once it’s been treated with antiobiotics, it can never return to the milking herd.

            I’m looking into being able to offer organic whey. Just going to boil down to pricing I think.

            We actually haven’t started accepting pre-orders yet, but if you get on our email list, we’ll shoot you an email when we open our doors. It will be this week.

          • Ryan

            Hey Mike,
            Well I couldn’t have been more excited to try your new line. The only choices are stuff that actually will benefit you and work, the only ingredients used were natural with no added junk. It turns out unfortunately that I’m in Canada and I just went to pre-order the quad pack and it told me it was $73 to ship to Canada. I don’t understand that especially from USPS. Other sites from the US i can order 10 products and it wouldnt even be at $50 shipping nevermind $73. Please fix that if at all possible as I would really like to try Legion but at the ‘new’ price incl. shipping its just too much.

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks Ryan, and arg, I’m sorry about the shipping cost. It came as a surprise to us as well, and that’s a direct plugin from the USPS.

            The solution that we’re going to implement after the launch is setting up proper fulfillment in the international regions where there is demand.

            The first will be Canada and UK, so hold tight. Again I apologize but do appreciate your interest and support.

  • Teresa Bowser

    I just finished thinner leaner stronger.. thank you for writing this book.. it really helped me understand when to consume majority of carbs /protiens etc also the science of supplements. i am currently doing the beachbody workout program body beast, beachbody is known for their quality of supplements upon reading theor descriptions of the supplements they suggest forthe body beast program their science talk confused me though… what is your opinion on them its Beachbody Extreme Nutrition Stack that goes along with bodybeast (base shake, max creatine, fuelshot and super suma)

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Teresa! I really appreciate it.

      Cool on the BB program. Their supplements are okay, just VERY expensive…

  • calvin

    I’am of the old school that proper Nutritional foods can give you the same gains
    If you know what to eat and when, great information on hermanjr1.com

  • Tony


    What about HCL (hydrochloric acid) I once read an article by Franco Culumbu and he said that in order for protein synthesis to actually happen to build muscle that a person really needs to supplement with HCL. What are you thoughts on this.

    • Michael Matthews

      Unless your body’s production is impaired, I don’t see any need to supplement with it.

  • selva

    i don’t use supp. because they might decrease the size of our balls becareful.

    • Michael Matthews

      Lol only steroids and prohormones can do that.

  • Preston Ray

    Hey Mike, I work out at 545 in the morning (when my gym opens) and I like to lift in a fasted state, because for whatever reason I just feel so much lighter and more capable of full range of motion when my stomach is empty. I’ve heard some people say that while fasted workouts aren’t a bad idea, it’s important to take a BCAA supplement before lifting? What’s your take on this, and do you have any recommendations on which brand to take if you do support the idea?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup, fasted training is okay but you want 10 grams BCAAs or 3-5 grams leucine before training. I talk about why here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-lose-weight-fast-2/

      • Preston Ray

        Well, what do you know… The place that I “heard” that from was YOU, before I learned to recognize your website/name… Now I feel like a dumbass. However, I’m looking at options right now, and I was wondering if you had a personal preference: BCAAs or Leucine? Also, really glad to find out that while apparently some people can’t work out in a fasted state at 5 in the morning, I’ve been doing it for a long time before I even knew that I was “fasted” lifting haha, thanks for any possible reply!

        • Michael Matthews

          Hahah all good. I like this BCAA:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/strength-growth-and-recovery/mrm-bcaag-reload/

          And you can pick up any brand of leucine.

          Yeah, fasted training is fine if you use BCAAs or leucine. :)

        • Cassiedi McKenzie

          I’ve read a lot of Michaels stuff and done the same thing, or forgot Where I read it when I need to check something. So see….its not just you and you were obviously smart fo reading his stuff in the first place even if you didn’t remember it specifically!!! As long as we remeber how to get to the gym and lift those heavy AZZ weights. We’re good. (-;

      • Crazzy

        Good article mike, just curious about one thing. You recommend mrm bcaa for fasted training before a workout. Why does it say on the actual product “post recovery” then? it states to take it after working out on the actual product.

        • Crazzy

          Woops. Delete my link mike, that was accidentally sent cuz I was reading the report. My mistake delete asap sorry.

        • Michael Matthews

          Probably because they include glutamine, which is more of a recovery amino. But their marketing isn’t very good so who knows what they’re thinking, haha.

  • James G-s

    Re; Dextrose… I currently have WPI, dextrose and maltodextrin (about 1 P:2 C ratio) as a post workout. This also contains my creatine mono and glutamine. Care to weigh in on how effective this will be in giving the muscles some glycogen/protein/aminos?

    • Michael Matthews

      That works. I just prefer eating nutritious foods instead of dextrose and malto.

  • Cesare

    Any opinion on DHEA, or is that considered a prohormone and thus should be avoided? Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      AFAIK DHEA can increase T or E levels, depending on what your body needs (what is imbalanced). Most of the research was done with menopausal women though so its usefulness for us guys in this regard is questionable…

  • Sherry

    I’m determined to get back in shape after having 4 beautiful children. I’m 136 but want to be more built & toned. I joined a gym & hit every piece of equipment in the place just knowing I would see the results I’m wanting…NOPE…it doesn’t work that way…yes some things toned up but I feel I wasted more energy then achieving my goal. So I started reading every article & website I could & the best advice & information I learned was to evaluate exactly what your goal is then assess programs & products that best fits your body type & body style. When your working with something that is built to give results for certain areas & body types you will start seeing positive results. Start feeling like your actually achieving your goal & you feel so good about yourself in the process. I wish everyone the very best & hope you do better then I did learning the hard way. These articles may offer you the needed & missing knowledge….you can also read my story on here as well….http://smrl.tk/3gH

  • Nikhil

    Hey Mike, quick question: would supplementing with fenugreek be harmful to a 17 year old guy?


    • Michael Matthews

      No, but I don’t see any need for it. Your T is going to be out the roof naturally haha.

  • j3jones

    Very glad I found this article. I have been working out and exercising like a beast lately and I’m always miserably sore. I was at health food store just staring at the prices and all the different products claiming to be the best. I wondered how are they proving this to me and how do I know I’m not wasting my money. Question about creatin. I know from experience in high school it is effective. I tried it a few months ago and my muscles were always achy and sore because of it. Is there a particular kind I should take that won’t cause this?

  • Karl Kevin

    I would like to get buff so i go to the gym 3 times a week but im not getting buffed instead i get ripped beacause im thin person i want to get buff what do i need to do even im eating much? can u help me with my problem? thank you!

  • Cassiedi McKenzie

    I’m lost with all this and want to just build naturally for whatever that’s worth. Michael could you just list specifically what a 48 yo female bodybuilder should be taking regularly. I’m already taking cla iron. D, B , calcium, glucosamine casein and a creatine ppwder. Which of your products should I use and what brands of the others (I have and have not listed) should I take? HELP.

  • sheldon

    What are your thoughts on DHEA?

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  • Lukus Leonard

    So, I’m 17. I started training with weights in Dec 2013 with absolutely no knowlege/experiece. I got my squat from 80 to now 145lbs. I can deadlift 160lbs easily. Bench press on and off since my bench is broke. So would you say my beginner gains are gone and I need to use creatine? I am going to buy some whey soon. I am also trying to gain weight. I’m 147 right now. Trying to be 155 by mid-June. Any suggestions to add on to this. I did 5×5 training for almost 10 weeks a few months ago (got me to that heavy squat lol ;) )

    • Michael Matthews

      Great man! That rocks.

      You can make plenty of more gains and I’m actually not sure if teens should be using creatine. I’ll have to look into it. For now I would say no.

      Make sure your meal plan is right:


      • Lukus Leonard

        Thanks! Well, early teens from what I’ve read shouldn’t use it. I”m 6 months out from being 18, sooo. Any other reccomendations? Like I kinda like training fasted… Is just using Whey with BCAA worth it, or just straight BCAA?

        • Michael Matthews

          Whey breaks the fasted state so if you want to train fasted, just BCAAs.

          • Lukus Leonard

            Yeah thanks. Today I actually got my working squat into 150 lbs. 4×7. Felt great! I am defintely not going to be using 5×5 anymore, since I can go slightly higher reps
            So can you reccomend good but cheap BCAAS. (I’m already costing my parents a bit sometimes w/ food ) :( .

          • Michael Matthews

            Awesome man! Time to go up!

            Yeah just go with plain leucine powder. It’s cheap and lasts a while.

          • Lukus Leonard

            Particular brand? Thanks though for the tips! Helps me along in my quest to pack on like 6 more pounds in the next month!

          • Michael Matthews

            Here’s what I use:


            My pleasure man. Keep me posted on how it goes!

          • Lukus Leonard

            Ah! My summer job killed me! But I got on some creatine, and some free Clearmuscle from muscletech. My weight has gone up 4 lbs in 2 weeks!! And, I tested my maxes for the first time, and they are WAY higher than I imagined…I never squatted beyond 150 before, but pulled a 235lb squat! my dead was never past 170, but I managed 280lbs, with powerlift grip!! And my bench freaked me out at 190lbs!!! So now I just need a preworkout is all. I have my diet all dialed in, my creatine, on my way to supp with fish oil/Vitd3, got ZMA for sleep, and melatonin preworkout. Tell me what you think!!

          • Michael Matthews

            That’s great! That’s most likely due to the creatine as Clear is just HMB but that’s not surprising–creatine works. I like everything else!

          • Lukus Leonard

            Haha thanks! I’m doing a 3x week plan for gaining size-in the 6-8 rep range on the big 3 and 3-4 additional. So I’m ready to pack on size! Whats HMB though? I just got Bullnox from Betancourt Nutrition. It got me through a 90 minute workout. And….I was still pulling 255 lb deadlift for 2 sets of 3 at the end still going strong!! I’m using Krill oil instead of fish oil-but what time of day should the fish oil be taken to optimize T boosting results?? I’m skipping the melatonin for now, since I took it too early on a bench press day and my strength VERY quickly faded! Thanks for the reply! #annihilate

          • Michael Matthews

            That’s great. HMB:


            Take your oil with your meals.

            Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Darren Lau

    i have started gym approximately a month ago i have not been using any form of supplements, because i am trying to be lean i’m 6’2″ 150 and i am trying to achieve a lean ripped figure as i am already slim and have begun to gain muscle mass on my own to achieve my goal of a lean ripped figure what are my best choices in terms of a lean protein

  • Darren Lau

    i have started gym approximately a month ago i have not been using any form of supplements, because i am trying to be lean i’m 6’2″ 150 and i am trying to achieve a lean ripped figure as i am already slim and have begun to gain muscle mass on my own to achieve my goal of a lean ripped figure what are my best choices in terms of a lean protein

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool man. My favorite low-fat proteins are chicken, turkey, pork, fish, low-fat dairy, and grains.

  • hamy

    i have been working out since the past 12 months,im getting results but very slowly! im looking for a supplement to build lean muscle…shall i opt for whey? or creatine? 100%whey or celltech? :D

    • Michael Matthews

      Creatine for sure. You can use whey if you’d like but you don’t have to–you just have to make sure you’re getting enough protein.

  • phil a buster

    steroids work….anadrol etc..

  • john

    what about taking natural testosterone enchancer like ginger that double testosterone in rat and onion that triple testosterone also in rats ?!

    can give any signfance increase in muscle or strength ?

    • Michael Matthews

      Most natural “T boosters” won’t do anything.

  • http://imanly.weebly.com/ scott spangenberg

    The fact is that there are a lot of good muscle building supplements. You just have to find the one’s that work the best with your body chemistry http://imanly.weebly.com/muscle-building-products

  • juggernaut


  • juggernaut

    Im 5″11 240 bench 420 , leg press 700 squat 580 . My question is how can I maintain my strength and slim down, when im not working out.. I started a new demanding career and have very little time to work out. Ive cycled off creatine. Still take vitamins and drink water. Advice??

  • Suresh Shukla

    Hi Mike, I have a question regarding Creatine monohydrate powder. Should it be dissolved completely before you take it or is it ok if its not completely dissolved.

    I see a lot of contradictory info about this on internet. Some say if you completely dissolve it, it gets wasted. Others say if its not completely dissolved, it will go straight out of you causing stomach upset on the way.

    Could you throw some light on this matter?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Michael Matthews

      Doesn’t matter.

  • Sean

    Hi Mike. I have been lifting for only 6 months now and after reading your book have changed the way I excercise, eat and make the most out of my training session. I started at 240lb, 34% body fat and am down to 202lb, 22%. I have been taking a whey protein and recently was told I have been taking the wrong type. Maybe you could help explain the difference between hyperbolic and anabolic supplements and how they would effectively assist me to build muscle and lose fat? Thanks! Sean

  • Pingback: Home Remedy Network - The Top 3 Best Muscle Building Supplements()

  • Skip

    Hi, this is the label from Body Fortress whey protein,

    Calories 170 1 scoop 340 2 scoops
    Calories from Fat 25 45
    Total Fat 2.5 g 4%† 5 g 8%†
    Saturated Fat 1.5 g 8%† 3 g 15%†
    Cholesterol 70 mg 23% 140 mg 46%
    Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%† 14 g 5%†
    Dietary Fiber <1 g 4%† 2 g 8%†
    Sugars 2 g †† 4 g ††
    Protein 30 g 60%† 60 g 120%†
    Calcium 72 mg 7% 144 mg 14%
    Iron 0.5 mg 3% 1 mg 5%
    Phosphorus 74 mg 7% 149 mg 15%
    Magnesium 23 mg 6% 45 mg 11%
    Zinc 0.09 mg 1% 0.19 mg 1%
    Copper 0.05 mg 3% 0.11 mg 5%
    Sodium 100 mg 4% 200 mg 8%

    Potassium 210 mg 6% 420 mg 12%

    †Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
    ††Daily Value not established.
    Supplement Facts
    Serving Size 1 Scoop (42 g) 2 Scoops (84 g)
    Servings Per Container about 21 about 11
    Amount Per Serving %Daily Value %Daily Value
    Typical Amino Acid Profile (milligrams per 42 g scoop***)
    Essential Amino Acids
    Histidine 334 mg
    Isoleucine 1,133 mg
    Leucine 1,974 mg
    Lysine 1,616 mg
    Methionine 406 mg
    Phenylalanine 613 mg
    Threonine 2,222 mg
    Tryptophan** 320 mg
    Valine 1,076 mg
    Nonessential Amino Acids
    Alanine 903 mg
    Arginine 469 mg
    Aspartic Acid 2,052 mg
    Cysteine 422 mg
    Glutamic Acid 3,104 mg
    Glycine 4,357 mg
    Proline 1,116 mg
    Serine 915 mg
    Tyrosine 564 mg

    Ingredients: Super Whey Protein Blend (Whey Protein
    Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate), Super Recovery Blend
    (Glycine, Creatine Monohydrate, Taurine, Threonine,
    L-Glutamine, Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine), Maltodextrin, Cocoa
    (processed with alkali), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Soy
    Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose.
    Contains milk and soy ingredients.
    Gluten Free

    it appears to have all the other supplements mentioned (creatine, leucine and more) already in it, is this sufficient? The price is great too.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah I know this product I’m just skeptical because cheap proteins usually don’t contain the actual amount of protein they claim…

  • Francesco Lombardi

    if you use natural supplements there is no risk you little Probolan the original 50, one sold on http://www.problan50.com

  • Josie

    I’m not sure how well known these guys are, as their only a few years old, but for followers who reside in Canada; http://www.pvlessentials.com seems to be a good line you can get some of the supplements mentioned above from (although purchase from one of their distributers, as it’s about 30% cheaper). Their ethos is 100% natural ingredients, so while I can’t speak for the effectiveness of their formulations just yet, at least it’s free from any artificial junk. It’s also priced relatively well.

  • Pingback: Best Supplements to Grow Muscle | musclefuelninja()

  • Brett Kingsley

    CellTech is by far the best supplement–all the bodybuilders use it,, including Ronnie Coleman.

    Get it here – http://amzn.to/1qHhm4W

  • Stumpy

    Hey Mike, what are your thoughts on MuscleMeds Secret Sauce? I can’t find any studies on Bovine Serum Albumin (supposedly the most anabolic compound in the world)

    • Stumpy

      it’s also supposed to spike insulin and enhance nutrient transport…

    • Michael Matthews

      Ehh…sounds like bullshit to me.

  • Pingback: Best Creatine For Muscle Growth | Whey Protein Shop()

  • Miki

    I’ve been taking glutamine (morning, pre and post work out.. 10-12 gms daily) along with bcaa’s for like 3 months now. Do you suggest whey and creatine as an add on to my diet? I’m trying to gain lean muscle

  • clouise

    Hi Im a young bikini bodybuilder with below:#
    approx. 55kg on approx. 180g protein, 60-100g carbs, 40-60g fat
    I am having to keep everything low as I am trying to lean down further and loose a little more bodyfat, any supplements you suggest for building more muscle on these ratios without adding more food into my diet?
    Already have creatine, casein, whey proteins, bcaas and glutamine?
    Im desperate to build some more muscle and know my protein is fairly low etc but I am at a loss how to keep leaning and build?
    Or is it just patience/time I need :-)

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey! Hmm honestly there’s nothing else you can really do supplement-wise. If you need to add size, you’re going to need to eat more food…

  • todd

    Perhaps I can gain some insight here…I’m a 49 male, former deputy and have just stated back in the gym after a 10 yr absent. 4 yrs ago I was hospitalized for what the doc thought was a possible M.I. CK levels was extremely high (32k+) and high levels of protein in my kidneys. I should say that I had just completed an extensive academy training where they literally attempted to kill my old a**…lol….anyway, In the first part of 2014 I was looking at a fat man in the mirror. I’m 5’7″ and was 220 lbs..BMI 34%..High Blood Pressure and broader line diabetic…I decided to take back my life. Started working hard, eating clean and exercising. 7 months I went from 220 down to 173 and medicine free…I lost a lot of muscle as well in this time. Im hitting the gym 4 days a week and cant seem to gain muscle back. I have seen a small notice in my biceps but not much. I take kre-akilyne and oral testabol daily. Clean eating is a life-style for me so I dont think that plays a role in my trouble. My question is; What do I need to help with good gain without water retention from creatine or it that really a big deal? I have looked also at HGH, tess, tremboline and other stuff but I want to keep it as clean (& legal) as possible. I know my “T” levels are low around “380” What do you guys suggest????

  • Greg

    I have tried almost every supplement you can think of, and the ONLY 2 that have noticeably helped with muscle growth is creatine monohydrate and protein. Even then, I try to get at least 60 – 65% of my daily protein needs naturally. With creatine, I take 5 grams per day with my post-workout snack, as creatine is absorbed best with a high carb meal, and I aim for 40% of my daily carbs post-workout. Everything else on the market for muscle growth is garbage.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup, improving muscle growth is tough and the only supplement that really does it is creatine.

      • Greg


  • OlderMom

    I have been reading as many of your articles as I can find looking for help and it has become confusing trying to piece everything together so I’m going to ask my question and see if you can give one answer. I am a 40 year old mom of 2 young children 3 & 5 (yes, I had my kids later in life) I am in the gym 5 days a week for 30-60 minutes a day and do 15-45 min of cardio everyday with the remainder of my time doing weight training… some days I train to fatigue and other days I don’t but I am ALWAYS sore so I am working hard. I am trying to lose the body fat I gained with two pregnancies…are there any suppliments you can recommend to help shred the body fat maybe help speed up the process? I have been going at it hard for 3 months now and haven’t dropped a single pound…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Great on what you’re doing. Let’s check out your diet:


      • OlderMom

        I read that article and bought the Thinner, leaner, stronger book, but I get mixed results. When I do all of the calculations my BMR is 1282 (I’m 5’2″ tall and weigh 133lbs) I am seditary all day (desk job) but work out 5 days per week. It says I need 1730 cal and when I multiply by the .8 to create the 20% deficit to lose weight it says I should be taking in 1382 calories per day. That seems very low considering I work out pretty hard 5 days per week. Plus when try to do the macro thing, (I round up to 1400 calories and it comes up wiht 600 for carbs, 600 for protein and 300 for fat…how do I calculate 600 grams of carbs to calories? This is all very confusing :o(

        • Michael Matthews

          That sounds perfect. You’re a small girl so you don’t get to eat that much, that’s all.

          1400 cals per day 40/40/20 should do the trick.

          • Anna

            Divide by 4 to get grams of carb or protein, and by 9 to get grams of fat. I am also a short older mom and my BMR is only 1400, so I have been doing 1100 calories per day with intermittant fasting and cheat meals a couple of times per month, and I have lost 25 pounds in 3 months. Adding exercise now to keep up the momentum.

          • Michael Matthews

            Great job Anna!

  • Todd

    Hi Michael, just started reading your new book on chapter 6 , question have you heard of “Alpha Jym ” its to boost natural testosterone production. or due you recommend any testosterone supplement on the market?
    Im starting to fill worn down by the end of the week from working out M-F. Feeling like muscle soreness and lack of energy. Should i be taking a post recovery drink to help with this?

    • Michael Matthews


      Yeah I have and stay away from natural T boosters. They just aren’t worth the money.

      Soreness is normal but I definitely would recommend creatine and I also like L-carnintine L-tartrate to help with muscle recovery and soreness.

      • Todd

        Thanks for the info . Below is a list of item that I started taking about a month ago ,
        Whey protein by ON
        100% egg protein by Heathy fit
        100% creatine monohydrate by Body tech
        Hemavol by I force
        Opit-men by ON
        Gaba by vitamin shoppe
        Ultimate omega by Nordic Naturals
        Caffeine pill by Pro lab
        And just added the other day after getting your post .
        Arnica Montana by Hylands
        Carnpure by Gaspari Nutrition
        Glutamine Decanate by Muscle meds
        Looking at my list of supplements I’m I on the right track or over killing it . I have been getting stronger going with heavier weights and lower reps . bench 235 4 reps I weigh 185 . thanks todd

        • Michael Matthews

          That’s a lot but they are good choices. Nothing wrong that I can see.

  • nottinghamb

    Before you buy Testosterone Booster, do this first

    • Michael Matthews

      Awesome man! Really glad to hear you’re doing well! Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

    • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

      What was the ‘male fertility drug’, if you don’t mind?

      • Billn

        Kinda reluctant to post medical info. Mod: feel free to delete if inappropriate.

        I’m taking Clomiphene 50mg tablet every other day. It only works on small percentage of males – I was fortunate. At a minimum, you’ll need to get a blood screening for all your hormones, including liver, thyroid, testosterone, etc. Then follow up with another blood test 90 days later (only for the items out of whack.)

        Do your research and work with your doctor.

        • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

          That’s great. Thanks!

  • DT876

    I recently found out that I have low testosterone, and I’ve been looking for ways to solve this problem without having to get expensive injections. I’ve tried a few supplements from GNC, all that had little to no results. I stumbled across the Dr. max Powers Testosterone Boost – I’ve noticed that I’m more energized every day even with the same amount of sleep and no change in diet. I’m also able to work out longer and harder at the gym, and I believe I am building muscle much easier too.

    I’ve only been taking the Dr. Max Powers Testosterone booster for roughly two to three works, and with this much of a significant change, I can’t see why anyone suffering from low testosterone wouldn’t want to give this product a try. It works great for me, and works awesome for many other people.

  • http://batman-news.com JoeM

    After reading the following article, I thought I would get your opinion on it. It’s scary to think of some of the ingredients companies put in there supplements.

  • Pingback: How Testosterone Levels Affect Muscle Growth and Fat Loss | Muscle For Life()

  • Carlos

    this whole article was basically a dis on everything but your product

  • Alec

    Hi Mike,

    Just checking in to see whether you got my email a few days

    If not, I’ll just briefly explain here…

    I have instant commission products that you may be interested in promoting, and all of them are hosted in this site http://www.gymjunkiesnutra.com

    I know you only promote quality and I assure you that our supplements are of high quality

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    give it a try for a few weeks to see if this is something that can work for

    I’m paying 10% commissions but I would be willing to move you to 12% commission if you sign up before the end of the day, Plus a $25
    bonus for making 10 sales, another $100 when you reach 50 sales, and another $250 when you reach 100 sales.

    We allow Trademark bidding and direct linking as well, and we have some top converting landing pages you can send your paid search traffic

    Here is an example of a landing page used to convert paid
    search traffic http://www.gymjunkiesnutra.com/offer/

    We also prepare high quality reviews and customize banners for our affiliate partners upon request

    If you could run a promotion for this it would be incredible, but if you don’t think this is a fit then just give me a shout and let me know.

    You can get all the details and your affiliate link at

    Also, be sure to let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.


    Alec Mwali

  • Gina Johnson

    I am very keen on bodybuilding. I am doing it for four years now. During these four years I realised that the best nutrtion you can find is here https://www.synthetek.com/
    I use almost all of their products and I see bigger results that I have expected.

  • MarkFickler

    good stuff. what do you think about spirulina?

  • Bryan B

    Hey Mike!

    Is it true that Pre-Workout supplements need to be ‘cycled’?

    And if so, what’s the actual, no BS “cycle” like? A month or two?

    Thanks a lot man. You’re a Champion

    • Michael Matthews

      Depends on your tolerance to what’s in them. Some do lose their potency in time and should be “cycled.”

  • http://www.das-kaiserreich.net/ Kaiser

    Out of all the Supplements I have ever taken including Protein Powder wight gainers testosterone boosters amino acids etc. None of them have ever worked in fact all of them where nothing more than money down the toilet with one exception the only Supplement that has ever worked for me is Creatine monohidrate. Creatine has worked for my by allowing my muscles to grow faster bigger and stronger. At this point i have wasted far to much money on supplements with empty promises that i have grown weary of them. I simply stick to what works and always has worked Creatine Monohidrate powder.

    • Michael Matthews

      I hear you. I wasted money on every type of supplement you can imagine and agree that for building muscle and strength, creatine is it.

  • Kareem

    What about pre-workout supplements do they really work?

  • Pamela Y.

    Great new natural and legal HGH supplement, ck it out.

  • T-Bone

    Hi Mike,

    I have to say, it is a breath of fresh air to read your articles. Mainly because you generally make a statement and back it with source references. You speak my language. Out of curiosity, within this field, how many journal articles do you read per week? Thanks for the info. I have been trying to go to those references as much as possible to read for myself.

    Your friend,
    -90 lb weakling

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much!

      That’s a good question. My research reviewing is dictated by my content schedule and some articles require more than others. It could be just 5 papers or 25 depending on the subject, you know?

  • james

    i am a 51yr old male who in January of 2014 weighed 433lbs and was hospitalized for 2wks with a-fib of the heart. The 2wks I was in the hospital was a major wake up call and through changing my diet and with exercise (NO SURGERY), I lost 183lbs today a look like a 35yr old. I was a pro athlete in my 20’s and 30’s but in my 40’s I abused my body with terrible eating habits. But I need to know how to naturally get very hard and ripped with natural supplements.

  • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes


    In this article, you point to two studies on HMB conducted by the patent owner that support it and some limited studies that refute HMB, and thereby dismiss HMB as being effective on trained lifters.

    Nevertheless, a seemingly well formulated, valid study by Jacob Wilson (very reputable) fairly recently supported the positive effects of HMB in TRAINED athletes.

    Does this study change your mind on HMB-FA. to support trained athletes who are training hard?

    Seems legit.

    • Michael Matthews

      Lol the study funded by the patent owner that “demonstrates” results that are on-par with steroids?

      • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

        Maybe I’m just easily snow-balled, and agree that results on-par with steroids seems dubious, but man this is a well done study. By Jacob Wilson and several others for crying out-loud.

        It seems very convincing to me. The people in the study were relative nubies, and I doubt they could do this over and over again, but isn’t it plausible that beginner intermediates like this could realize these types of gains if everything was done perfectly like it seems to have been in this controlled study and if HMB-FA does indeed protect from losing gains in the over-reaching phase?

        • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

          Just FYI, I plugged in my current weights and calculated the volume for the protocol used in the study.

          First 8 weeks: ~45,000

          Over-reach 2 weeks: ~60,000

          By comparison, my current BLS/BBLS workouts are ~80-90,000 per week.

          So I think that one of the benefits of your split is the extra days between body parts allows for significantly more volume without over-reaching too early.

          Just thought you’d be interested.

          • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

            Yeah based on my understanding of things the weekly volume and intensity is more important than frequency. I know there is more research being done on this currently though so we’ll see what comes of it.

      • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

        … was thinking about this during my workout and wanted to add a couple more points. And look, you’re probably right; however, the legitimate appearance of this study is hard to ignore.

        Results ‘on-par with steroids’? Maybe. But then again, I don’t think so. Hear me out. For one, let’s accept for a moment that the researchers have been honest and faithful. Their responsibility is to accurately describe the parameters of the experiment and the results. Let’s assume they did that. Now let’s also assume that within the ethical bounds that they also want the results to support their donor and their hypothesis. Again, without cheating. Let’s assume they skewed something without knowing it (researcher’s bias, but what form?). Other than not having an HMB control to compare against HMB-FA, I propose that they made one other move to tip the outcome in their favor: SAMPLE BIAS.

        SAMPLE BIAS. Think about it. Participants — 24 ‘resistance-trained’ males with bench, squat, and deadlift of 1.3, 1.7, and 2.0 times their bodyweight. For me that would yield, 1RM’s of 336 Squat, 252 Bench, 420 Deadlift. My actuals are 325, 230, and 375. (note: BBLS minimums should be 1.5, 1.75, and 2. to start BBLS). So the participants are ahead of me in terms of strength and just about ready to start BBLS. AKA, they are beginning intermediate stage.

        Why do I point all this out. My hypothesis is that the researchers choose a category of resistance trained males who would be conducive to explosive gains under the right conditions. I know from experience how easy it is to lose gains by over-reaching. If HMB-FA works, this would be the perfect SAMPLE to choose.

        Think about it, you have 24 guys who probably followed bro-science, pyramid, high rep training to reach the intermediate stage. They couldn’t be more ready for explosive gains through work that was mostly in the 2-6 rep range if you look at the workouts in the addendum!! And yes, for a brief window of opportunity in these subjects training life, they would be capable of gains on par with steroids (not really though, just using your words).

        And while you may legitimately accuse the researchers of sample bias to stage the right platform to support evidence of HMB-FA working (under the right conditions), the fact still remains that it DID work under these conditions. The supplemented group gained more than the control, by far, and period. And most of those gains came by avoiding losses due to over-reaching. It’s not the researchers fault if people misinterpret how to use the HMB-FA tool in the tool box, when it would be effective, and when it wouldn’t.

        All right, that’s all I had to say. I probably shouldn’t have wasted your time, and apologize if I did.

        The funny thing is that I’m right behind where these guys started. So I’m very tempted to try this exact experiment because I think I’m primed for it. And I have nothing to lose, after all I’m training as a life-style now and can afford a 12-week experiment where I’m almost gauranteed some gains. On the other hand, I’m thinking about joining your ‘New Year, New You’ contest, and this isn’t the protocol for that. Haven’t decided yet, but if I do it, I’ll let you know what happens.

        • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

          READ THIRD, LOL. LAST ONE (I HOPE). Sorry for all this — #1 rule of Mike Club: don’t waste Mike’s time. lol

          So thought about this again during workout today.

          To sum up what I’m saying:

          a) you’re right. this study does not prove that HMB-FA works better than Leucine or HMB.
          b) but not because the results are on par with Steroids. It’s because the study did not compare to Leucine, HMB, or anything else. It compared to a control group that was over-reached without any safety net at all.
          c) HMB-FA did help the HMB-FA group gain more than the control, but not an unbelievable amount. Leucine or HMB regular could have had similar results (‘on par with steroids’). It is possible to gain 7lbs in 3 months without steroids, imho.

          As someone who is 45 and has left a LOT of gainz on the table due to over-reaching, this is very appealing to me. I wish HMB-FA would have been compared to Leucine or HMB in this study because it may not be any more effective than those. But since I know for sure that it is effective, I’m going to start taking it. Seems like a no brainer.

          • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

            A good summary. :)

            Yes you can definitely gain 7 pounds in 12 weeks, especially if you’re detrained and are gaining back (muscle memory).

            But the numbers in the study are KG not pounds.

          • https://www.facebook.com/iminposition Sean Hynes

            You’re right. So it’s 16.3lbs in 3 months. hahahah!

          • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

            Lol exactly. Cool. Story. Bros.

        • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

          You bring up a lot of good points but it’s the additional gains that HMB supposedly resulted in that make me really skeptical. They’re steroid-esque in terms of quantity.

          And the previous research the patent owner did on HMB was pretty much rejected by peers.

          Ironically I’m using HMB in my next product (fasted training/fat loss product) but not because I think it’s going to help people build a bunch of muscle. It’s very anti-catabolic (this is well established).

  • Jehangir H. Randeria

    Hi Mike,

    I am 45 years of age, weight 75 kgs and have been doing weight training since the past one year. I started taking creatine monohydrate from ON since November’14 and took it for two months (5 grams post workout) and found it to be effective. It showed the desired results. Then i cycled off for a month (January) and I am going to start it again from February. After cycling it off for the past month, I have noticed a very slight drop in my lifting weights, compared to when I was on creatine. I have two questions,
    1. Is it necessary to cycle creatine or can I take it continuously (5 grams per day post workout) for a long time?
    2. I have come across CGT-10 from ON and my supplement shop is recommending to take that itstead of only creatine, as it contains the same amount of creatine (5 grams per serving) and along with it also has glutamine and taurine. Will it help to take CGT-10 or should I just continue with creatine monohydrate which has already shown me good results ?

    Thank you in advance.

    • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

      Great on what you’re doing!

      1. You don’t have to cycle it, no.

      2. Mono is fine.

      Check this out:


      • Jehangir H. Randeria

        Hey Mike,

        Thanks a lot for your prompt reply and sorry for my delayed acknowledgement.

        1. Just wanted to clarify a little more in detail. So does it mean that I can take 5 grams creatine a day for an extended period like six months to a year as long as I am working out 4 to 5 days a week ? Sorry for the repetitive question, but just needed to clarify this.

        And yes,,,, also wanted to inform you that I have downloaded your Maximum Muscle guide and have started following the program from today. As mentioned earlier, I have been working out in a gym since the last one year and also have seen progress.

        2. But after reading your program in the maximum muscle guide, I feel that it is too less of a workout (just 2 or 3 variations per muscle group) compared to what I was doing. Does that mean that I was actually over training and hence the results slowed down and could have been better ?

        3. I am now going to follow your program exactly as it is. How many weeks would it take to show visual progress ?

        4. Can I add on a few sets for biceps on the first day of the week (considering a 5 day/week workout plan) along with chest and calves so that biceps are trained twice a week instead of once?

        Thank you Mike, you are an inspiration for people like me. My son has also started following your program and we work out together. Thanks again for your valuable inputs.


  • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Matt S

    Hi, Mike!

    I was wondering if you knew anything about iSatori and if their product Bio Gro actually works. A lot of people recommend it. Thoughts?

    • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

      I haven’t tried it but the formulation sounds like a bunch of fancy BS to be honest. My guess is they’re relying on really speculative/animal research.

  • Jim Anderson

    Been reading about Taurine,what’s your take on it?

    • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

      Some mild health benefits but not too exciting IMO.

  • milan

    Hello Michael,

    I see this article is 2 years old, but some comments are 3 months old, so will try my luck whether you are still around ;)

    I have been reading on the forum most if not all of your great articles. However, I haven’t found an answer to my dilema:

    1. I am working out 4-5 days a week at the gym – intense 45-50 min. Then I tend to play tennis for an hour right after the workout (a great cardio!). I was wondering if my use of BCAA + glutamine right after the gym is a proper way to go. After the first intense 20-30min of tennis I start drinking slowly my shake (35g protein + 50g carbs + some fats) – not sure if I should wait till the end of tennis (60min cardio after gym seems too much without nutrition).

    2. Now I have bought creatine mono and would love to incorporate that in my routine. Can I mix it with BCAA and glutamine after workout? Or should I maybe drop the BCAA prior to tennis and do just creatine + glutamine?

    3. Sometimes I play tennis early in the morning fasting – there i take 10g BCAA prior tennis and glutamine after. With this scenario, I would take only creatine after my afternoon gym and maybe BCAA prior to bed?

    does this make sense?
    thank you!

    • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

      Hey hey!

      Thanks for the support. :)

      1. I would just have a scoop of whey with some carbs after the lifting and before the tennis. Should be okay.

      2. Do the creatine after the workout, with the protein and carbs. You can do the glutamine here too.

      3. I would do BCAA before and protein after.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Rahul Sharma

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    There is some supplement like : HORMONAL SUPPLEMENTS.

    Energy supplement: CAFFEINE, CREATINE.



  • Onur

    Hi Mike,

    Since I found this blog, I can’t wait to to ask another question :)

    Does drinking alcohol while using the supplementers (protein powder and
    creatin) cause any health problems? I mean, drinking alcohol not only on the
    same day when I intake the supplement, but also on separate days? I’m of course
    aware of the harmful effects of alcohol but on the other hand the facts of social
    life, let’s say:) Thanx :)

  • John Paul

    Hey Mike,

    Do you recommend doing a Creatine loading routine in the beginning or just stick to the 5 grams after your workout? Also, any thoughts on what to do if the creatine is giving you an upset stomach?

    • http://www.muscleforlife.com/ Michael Matthews

      I like to load simply because it accumulates faster in your muscles that way.

      Try a more water-soluble form like creatine Hcl.

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