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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.

Cyclotren

Clenbuterex

D-Pol

T-Bomb

Beastdrol

Somnidren

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?

Yes.

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!

 

How to get lean and build serious muscle and strength, faster than you ever thought possible…

Depending on how you eat, train, and rest, building muscle and losing fat can be incredibly easy or incredibly hard. Unfortunately, most people make many different mistakes that leave them stuck in a rut.

And that’s why I wrote Bigger Leaner Stronger for men, and Thinner Leaner Stronger for women: they lay out EVERYTHING you need to know about diet and training to build muscle and lose fat effectively…

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I’m Mike Matthews and I’ve been training for nearly a decade now. I believe that every person can achieve the body of his or her dreams, and I work hard to give everyone that chance by providing workable, proven advice grounded in science, not a desire to sell phony magazines, workout products, or supplements. More about me.

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130 Comments
  • 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:

      http://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!

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

  • 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:

      http://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:

          http://www.legionsupplements.com/

          • 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)
    thanks
    teresa

    • 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

    Mike,

    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:

      http://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:

          http://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?

    Cheers

    • 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.
    THANKS!!!

  • sheldon

    What are your thoughts on DHEA?

  • 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 ;) )
    LL

    • 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:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      • 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:

            http://www.amazon.com/BulkSupplements-Pure-L-Leucine-Powder-grams/dp/B00GW5ZHI2/?tag=mflweb-20

            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:

            http://examine.com/supplements/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

    Im

  • 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

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  • 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

    HI
    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

        Agreed

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