Muscle for life

The Absolute Best (and Worst) Supplements for Muscle Growth

The Absolute Best (and Worst) Supplements for Muscle Growth

All the major supplement companies claim to have the best supplements for muscle growth…and most are lying. Here’s the truth.



I was at Vitamin Shoppe the other day and I figured I’d take at look at the fancy stuff they keep locked up in the back.

(If it’s behind lock and key, it must be good, right?)

As usual, the cabinet was packed full of loud, shiny bottles that claimed to contain revolutionary natural muscle builders.

The names always get me.







There was a time when I would buy supplements like these and seriously hope they worked. In some cases I would have sworn they did work.

Well, I know better now. And here’s the truth:

The vast majority of supplements that claim to aid in muscle growth do absolutely nothing.

They’re little more than placebo pills and powders and anything you might think is happening is merely a confirmation of how the mind can affect the body.

That said, you can accelerate muscle growth with supplementation. There are a handful of supplements that are scientifically proven to work…if you buy and use them intelligently.

And that’s what we’re going to cover in this article:

Which supplements do and don’t help you build muscle faster and why, and how to get the most muscle-building bang for your supplement buck.

So let’s get to it, starting with the most popular type of “muscle builder” out there: the natural “testosterone booster.”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that the supplements I recommend in this article are not just what I personally use but they are from my supplement line, LEGION.

As you probably know, the supplement industry is notorious for its lies and shenanigans. The truth is the majority of the supplements you see in the magazines and on the shelves aren’t going to help you reach your goals faster.

That’s why I decided to create the products I myself have always wanted: science-based formulations, clinically effective dosages of all ingredients, no fillers or unnecessary junk, and natural sweetening and flavoring.

You can learn more about LEGION and my goal to change the supplement industry for the better here.

And if you like what you see and decide to support my work…you’re awesome. 🙂

It’s because of people like you that I get to spend my time writing articles like this that help others get into the best shape of their lives.

Testosterone Boosters: Fact or Fraud?

best supplements for muscle mass

With testosterone levels generally on the decline, natural testosterone boosters have quickly become of the biggest sellers for supplement companies.

And if we’re to believe even half of the hype used to sell these products, they’re basically natural steroids that will transform us into musclebound alpha males that make women swoon and men tremble.

Well, all the chest-thumping hyperbole found in the sales copy, the reality is…

The vast majority of natural testosterone boosters are completely worthless.

No, not “overrated” or “underwhelming”…but WORTHLESS. As in, will do more or less nothing to help raise testosterone levels and absolutely nothing to help you build muscle faster.

There are two major reasons for this:

  1. The formulations for these products usually rely on ineffective ingredients.
  2. Small fluctuations in testosterone levels won’t help you build more muscle.

The first point is self-explanatory: the ingredients in the products either have no evidence to support their use or have actually been proven to be ineffective in raising testosterone levels.

For example, three of the most popular ingredients in these supplements are Tribulus terrestris, ZMA, and D-aspartic acid.


The research is crystal clear at this point: Tribulus terrestris simply doesn’t raise testosterone levels or help you build muscle or strength. End of story.

  • ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, and its story is about the same.

Many people’s diets are low in both zinc and magnesium, which is why I actually do recommend you supplement with these minerals for overall health (here’s what I take).

That said, unless you’re quite deficient in zinc, ZMA won’t increase your testosterone levels.

Thus, it’s a bit disingenuous to call zinc a “testosterone booster” because a) it won’t influence most people’s testosterone levels at all and b) when it does, it’s not raising the absolute ceiling of natural testosterone production–it’s simply eliminating a micronutrient deficiency that is suppressing testosterone production.

  • D-aspartic acid is the most promising of the trio…but don’t expect much.

Research was published in 2009 that shows that D-aspartic acid could increase testosterone levels in both humans and rats, and supplement companies had a field day.

Bottles flew off the shelves as guys tried to get any and every muscle-building edge possible.

Well, two more studies on D-aspartic acid supplementation have been published since the 2009 one, and they help put this amino acid into perspective.

What you need to know is its testosterone boosting effects are unreliable and temporary. That is, some people may see an increase in testosterone and some won’t, and in many that do, the effects will be short lived.

The second point needs a little more explanation, but it boils down to this:

Relatively small fluctuations in testosterone levels–which is the best you could hope for through natural supplementation–have basically no effect on strength or muscle growth.

That is, if your testosterone levels are right-down-the-middle normal, and you increase them to a high-normal, you may feel a little better and notice a boost in libido…but it won’t enable you to build more muscle.

And that’s not just theory–there’s scientific evidence to back it up.

For example, a study conducted by researchers at McMaster University investigated if the acute hormonal changes that happen during weightlifting affect muscle and strength gains.

The subjects were young, resistance trained men, and they did 5 weightlifting workouts per week and followed a standard “bodybuilding” diet.

After 12 weeks, scientists found that exercise-induced spikes in anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 had no effect on overall muscle growth or strength gains.

That is, the size of the hormonal responses seen in the subjects varied widely but there was no significant difference in terms of muscle and strength gains.

Another study worth reviewing was conducted by researchers at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

This involved manipulating the testosterone levels of 61 young, healthy men using a combination of testosterone and drugs to inhibit natural testosterone production.

After 20 weeks, scientists found there was a dose-dependent relationship between testosterone and leg strength and power (higher testosterone levels meant more strength and power)…

…but the effects weren’t significant until testosterone levels exceeded the top of the natural range by about 20 to 30% (about 1,200 ng/dL).

Now, this study does have an obvious limitation: the subjects weren’t exercising.

The strength and power gains would have been higher if subjects had been weightlifting, of course, but it’s telling nonetheless.

And just to lend further perspective on the matter, let’s review a bit of steroid research.

Scientists at Maastricht University published an extensive review of studies related to the use of anabolic steroids in 2004 and found the following:

  • Muscle gains in people lifting weights on steroids ranged between 4.5 and 11 pounds over the short term (less than 10 weeks).
  • The largest amount of muscle gain over the short term was 15.5 pounds over the course of 6 weeks.

(In case you’re wondering why the large variation in gains, a multitude of factors ultimately determined the results including training history, genetics, workout programming, diet, etc.)

Now, compare this to what you can achieve naturally and my point becomes clear:

Even when you blast your testosterone through the roof with drugs and add additional anabolic steroids on top, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to gain “shocking” amounts of muscle.

So, all this is why natural testosterone boosters are just a waste of money and will never deliver the type of results you want.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

Growth Hormone Boosters: More of the Same BS

best muscle building supplement

Open any fitness magazine and you’re going to see at least a handful of advertisements for human growth hormone (HGH) boosters. And do you know what those supplements are going to do for you?

Absolutely nothing. One for one. Without question.

The HGH boosters you’ll find on the market today usually contain a mixture of amino acids and herbs with the occasional oddball “toss-ins.”

And the long story short is many of these ingredients have no effect on growth hormone production and those that do aren’t powerful enough to confer any real benefits.

Take, for example, the moelcule gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Research shows that supplementing with this compound increases post-exercise growth hormone levels…but this transient increase will do nothing in the way of improving muscle growth.

Another bestseller is deer velvet antler, which is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for various preventative health purposes.

Well, forget what Ray Lewis says. Research shows that deer velvet antler…

Like with testosterone boosters, there’s a bigger picture to consider as well.

  • Research supports the well-known fact among chemically enhanced bodybuilders that growth hormone alone doesn’t help you build more muscle–it must be combined with large amounts of anabolic steroids to have this effect.

If directly injecting the hormone every day doesn’t help you build more muscle and strength what could a natural supplement that can, at best, slightly increase daily production possibly do?

  • Research shows that fluctuations of anabolic hormones within natural levels has little-to-no effect on muscle growth.

Someone with a middling anabolic hormone profile can do more or less as well in the gym as someone with a superb one. So there’s no need to waste money chasing minor increases in testosterone, growth hormone, or IGF-1.

Save your money and skip the HGH boosters.

Is HMB All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

best supplements for lean muscle growth

HMB (beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid–a mouthful indeed) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine, and it has been making the rounds as a powerful new muscle builder.

The problem, though, is that the few studies used to sell these claims were conducted by Steven Nissen, the inventor of HMB and owner of the patent.

And when many millions of dollars are on the line, you’d better believe there’s an incentive for shenanigans.

Well, lo and behold, 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:

“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.”

There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent.

That is, it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness (and the free acid form shows the most promise in this regard).

It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which makes it perfect for use with fasted training.

Its powerful anti-catabolic effects and non-existent insulin effects means you reap all the fat loss benefits of training fasted without any of the problems relating to muscle loss or insulin secretion.

It’s also worth noting that HMB is superior to leucine in suppressing muscle breakdown because it’s more anti-catabolic than its “parent” amino acid.

This means it’s also more effective than branched-chain amino acid supplements because they rely on leucine for their anti-catabolic effects (isoleucine and valine are very weak in this regard).

In terms of which specific HMB supplement I recommend, I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

FORGE is a fat burner made specifically for use with fasted training and it contains clinically effective dosages of…

  • HMB. As you now know, HMB is very good at preventing muscle breakdown, and this means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.
  • Yohimbine. Research shows that yohimbine enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

The bottom line is FORGE helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.


Does Protein Powder Help You Build Muscle Faster?

best supplements for fast muscle growth

“If you want to build muscle faster, you should get some protein powder.”

That’s the first bit of supplement advice I ever got.

And it’s wrong.

Protein powder doesn’t directly help you build muscle faster.

Eating enough protein does, but you don’t need powders to get there. Whole foods alone can give you everything you need.

Protein powder doesn’t help you lose fat faster, either. A high-protein diet does, regardless of whether it includes protein supplements or not.

That said, attempting to get all the protein you need from food alone presents several challenges:

  • It can make balancing your macronutrient intake tricky.
  • It can be quite time consuming (shopping, prepping, cooking, cleaning up, etc.).
  • Lugging around pre-made meals can be inconvenient.
  • Eating large amounts of a small variety of high-protein foods can get old, fast.

Enter the protein powder, which is…

  • Perfect for fast-and-easy snacking.
  • Often preferable to having to eat another meal.
  • Usually low in carbs and fat, which is great for meal planning purposes.
  • Quite affordable in terms of price per gram of protein.

These are the main reasons why protein powders are the most popular types of supplements out there.

If you’re like me, and most people, you’ll find that dieting is just more enjoyable with a protein powder, and that’s why I recommend and use them.

In terms of an actual product, mine is called WHEY+, and it’s essentially the whey protein powder I myself always wanted.

  • WHEY+ is 100% whey isolate protein, not a blend of isolate and cheaper forms of protein.
  • WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored.
  • WHEY+ is made from milk sourced from antibiotic- and hormone-free cows on small dairy farms in Ireland, which are known for their exceptionally high-quality dairy.
  • WHEY+ has no artificial junk like MSG or artificial food dyes.
  • WHEY+ is made with cold micro- and ultra-filtration technologies.

Are There Any Supplements That Improve Muscle Growth?

supplements to build lean muscle

So far I haven’t really delivered on the main promise of the article: the best supplements for muscle growth.

Well, now that we’ve debunked the majority of the junk on the market, let’s talk about what actually works.

And the place the start is the undisputed champion of natural muscle builders…


Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in high amounts in foods like red meat.

It’s the most well-researched molecule in all of sports nutrition–the subject of hundreds of scientific studies–and its benefits are clear:

And the best part is it does all these things naturally and safely.

When it comes to improving body composition and workout performance, creatine is basically all pros and no cons.

There are many forms of creatine available, however, such as monohydrate, hydrochloride, citrate, ethyl ester, nitrate, and others.

Which is the best bang for your buck?

Well, the long story short is creatine monohydrate is the tried and true winner.

The other forms on the market are no more effective and, in some cases, even less effective than good ol’ monohydrate. (Which is great because monohydrate is also the cheapest!)

And that’s why I went with creatine monohydrate when creating a post-workout supplement for my line of supplements, LEGION.

It’s called RECHARGE and each serving contains:

  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate (the clinically effective dosage)
  • 2100 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate
  • 10.8 milligrams of corosolic acid

This gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.

It’s also 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and has no artificial fillers or other unnecessary junk.



Beta-alanine is a nonessential amino acid, which means it isn’t a necessary part of the human diet because our bodies can create it.

(The amino acids the body can’t create are known as essential amino acids, and they must be obtained through the diet.)

Your body primarily uses beta-alanine to form a compound molecule called carnosine, which is stored in your muscles and brain. It does this by combining beta-alanine with an essential amino acid, L-histidine.

Now, one of carnosine’s roles in our muscles relates to the regulation of acidity levels.

When a muscle contracts repeatedly, it becomes more and more acidic. This, in turn, impairs its ability to continue contracting, until eventually it can no longer contract at all.

This is one of the ways muscles become fatigued.

Carnosine counteracts this by reducing muscle acidity, thereby increasing the amount of work the muscles can do before they become fatigued.

While there are many ways a muscle can fatigue during a workout, by targeting just one (acidity), performance can be enhanced.

Well, beta-alanine is a popular supplement because it gets converted into carnosine in the body, which then accumulates in the muscles.

This, in turn, increases the amount of work they can do before crapping out.

Beta-alanine’s major benefits lie in improving physical endurance and possibly body composition as well.

One rather impressive meta-analysis conducted in 2012 involved an in-depth review of 15 studies on beta-alanine as an ergogenic aid (performance enhancer).

Researchers found that beta-alanine supplementation resulted in a minor but statistically significant improvement in endurance (2.85%) when the exercise duration was between 60 and 240s (the duration you see in supersetting, Crossfit-style workouts, and the like).

And while beta-alanine tended to improve exercise lasting less than a minute or greater than three minutes in duration, the magnitude was very small and was not statistically significant.

That is, it’s not particularly helpful with relatively short or long bouts of exercise.

This is why many weightlifters take both beta-alanine and creatine, which notably improves performance in the sub-60-second realm and slightly improves performance in the 60-to-240-second realm.

In this way, they’re “covered” for everything they’re going to be doing in the weight room.

As for beta-alanine and muscle growth there are a few studies that note that even when performance between groups is controlled for (ie. same amount of work done for each group), it’s associated with more muscle growth.

That is, despite following the same types of diets and workout programs, people that supplement with beta-alanine seem to gain more muscle than those that don’t.

This effect doesn’t appear to be merely a byproduct of improved workout performance, either.

We don’t know exactly why just yet, but beta-alanine supplementation appears to directly (albeit slightly) augment muscle growth.

When you look at the data, 4.8 grams of beta-alanine per day is slightly more effective than 2 grams but there isn’t too much of a difference when the supplement is taken every day.

Like creatine, beta-alanine also seems to benefit from a “loading phase,” which allows it to accumulate carnosine in the muscles faster.

In this way, a higher dosage allows you to realize the benefits faster.

It’s also worth noting that it’s generally thought that people doing higher volume weightlifting programs may benefit from the upper end of the clinically effective range of beta-alanine.

This is because carnosine stores are depleted during muscle contractions so, naturally, the more you contract your muscles (workout), the more carnosine your body “uses.”

Although plausible, this theory hasn’t been demonstrated in scientific research yet.

So, given all the above, I think beta-alanine is a worthwhile supplement for boosting both muscle growth and exercise performance, and that’s why I included it in my pre-workout supplement PULSE.

PULSE contains more than just 4.8 grams of beta-alanine in each serving, though. It contains clinically effective dosages of 5 other natural ingredients proven to enhance your performance in the gym:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.


The Bottom Line on the Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

essential supplements for muscle growth

When you see a supplement claim it can help you build muscle faster, you should be skeptical.

It probably can’t.

You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

That said, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

The truth of the matter is there are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more.

And you now know the two most reliable ones for building muscle faster–creatine and beta-alanine.

Use them and you will make faster progress in the gym.


What’s your take on muscle growth supplements? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
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  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

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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.

      • Ozymandias

        I am reading this 2 years later. Have you done an article which elaborates or uses updated info on marcio’s question?

        • Yeah if you search around on the site and check out my blog at legionathletics.com you’ll find them.

    • A great product that is now available for free, paying only the cost of shipping. On the basis of arginine and natural ingredients. I often go to the gym, but not always quickly achieve my desired effect. Thanks MuscleFit results come faster. At the moment, the product can be ordered for free worldwide shipping. Friends hurry. Here is the site:

  • 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.

      • But isn’t there also research showing that it doesn’t increase T, maybe decrease actually, and it harmful to the organs?

        • Yeah new research came out and I don’t recommend DAA anymore.

  • 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!

  • 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? 😀

    • 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.

  • 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

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

    • 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.

    • Brandovibe

      It’s actually a female fertility drug isn’t it?

  • 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.

  • 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

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    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.

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  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • Mike,

    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?

      • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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.

      • … 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • Lol exactly. Cool. Story. Bros.

        • 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.

    • 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.


  • 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!

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  • 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?

    • 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?

  • 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!

    • 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

    Our body has two types of muscle filaments: sort I strands (otherwise known as moderate jerk) help you perform continuance work out, and sort II strands (otherwise known as quick jerk) are the expansive strands in charge of quality and size when weight preparing. To harm these sort II strands enough to cause development, you need to lift weights and hold your muscles sufficiently under strain to select satellite cells.These cells sit on the highest point of muscles and help develop, keep up and repair your muscles.

    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?

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

      Try a more water-soluble form like creatine Hcl.

  • Paravar is a cutting agent with the ability to help users build muscle, burn away fat and sculpt the body so that it is in prime condition for competition, or so that users can simply feel much better about taking their shirts off in public. The majority of the ingredients involved help users to build their muscle mass and buyers that take this product alone as part of their gym routine say that steady progress does lead to some noticeable differences in their appearance. The speed of the results may be part of the reason why users tend to turn to both Paravar and T-Bal 75. T-Bal 75 is a legal substitute for Trenbolone, which is seen as one of the strongest steroids around, and helps to boost users strength and power while they work out. For this reason, T-Bal 75 can be a great pairing with Paravar for those that want harder, faster results; however, there is an alternative in the cutting stack.

  • robster

    hmm im learning the hard way
    tried various protein gives terrible wind, tried various creatine and it bloats me up very bad, pre workouts give me trapped wind and nausea
    trying animal m stack just now makes me feel sick and gives me sore testes so 6 more packets that are left are going in the bin
    think the one a day fish oil is the only real deal

    • No worries it sounds like you might be better off dropping the supplements and putting that money into good food?

  • Musclemaster

    Great article! What you do in the kitchen is even more important than what you do at the gym. want some special methods? visit bestfitnessandmusclebuilding(dot)com , you will know what I mean.Hope this help.

  • Onur

    Hi Michael,

    Do we need to circle high protein nutrition? Do we need to decrease the amount of protein for a while for health?


  • Roberto Eduardo Rojas

    Hi Mike, If I train on the mornings, what would be an appropriate timing for taking the pre workout protein with carbs, Pulse, post workout protein, and recharge?

    • I’d eat about 30 minutes before, take Pulse about 15 minutes before, eat within an hour of finishing and have Recharge with that meal.

  • Roberto Eduardo Rojas

    Hi Mike,
    I am just starting your program and am very excited about it. I am also trying the Legion Supps. Just have a quick question in supplementation timing.
    In your book you mention that is best to have some preworkout proteing and carbs as well on you postworkout. How do you fit Pulse and Recharge intake along with the protein/carb feeding?
    Thank you in advance,

    • Great! Thanks for the support!

      I have Pulse before I train with my pre-workout meal and Recharge after, with my post-workout meal.

  • David Kaplan

    I don’t know if it just mind over matter, but, for me testosterone boosters have worked. How do I know? Because my doctor routinely checks my testosterone levels. We did see an increase when I was on various supplements. But, we haven’t tested it with a placebo to see if the same thing happens and it is just my brain.

    • Some T boosting supplements actually contain drugs and you don’t know it. I would stay away.

  • Brian Giffin

    Mike you recently turned me on to Citrulline. I purchased some Citrulline L and been having great results with recovery and endurance. I noticed your pulse contains Citrulline malate is there a difference between the two types?
    What’s better? What’s your recommendation on dosage and does it need to be cycled?

    Thanks Mike!

    • Awesome!

      Yeah cit malate is actually the form most commonly used in clinical studies on the ergogenic properties of citrulline. The malic acid improves absorption.

      8 grams 15 to 30 minutes before a workout is standard.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Just want to tell you I recently got both BLS and BBLS. And I love them. I’ve been training for years with fair results sense I got your books three months ago I’ve gained eight pounds and got way stronger. Love your books.

    • Thanks Jeff! I really appreciate it and keep up the good work my man.

  • Sam

    Hi Mike, I got your Pulse. Question about its Supplementation facts – it says it has 4g of carbohydrate among other things per serving (2 scoops) and a total Calorie of 5.
    Ignoring the rest of the ingredients, just that 4g carb should account to 16 Calories right?

    • Believe it or not, both are true! Pulse has 5 calories and 4 carbs. The reason why is because some of the carbs come from the sugar alcohol, erythritol. Most carbs have 4 cals per gram. Erythritol however, only has .2 cals per gram.

      Hope that clears it up. 🙂

  • Hi, Mike.
    I just read your Bigger Leaner Stronger (Kindle version) and, about supplements, I have one question: It’s clear that I need to mantain the diet at the weekends, but how do I keep the supplementation? I don’t weightlift at sundays, so, do I need to take some whey or creatine on this days?

    • Thanks for reading my book!

      Regarding the supplements, you’d definitely keep up the creatine intake–even on off days.

      You can also keep up the whey, but it isn’t required. You just want to hit your daily target of protein. You can make your target with all the protein coming from food, or you can help and use whey protein too. 🙂

  • Just picked up a 1.5kg bag of creatine monohydrate, it’s great value for money. Just started on the 1 week loading phase you recommended.

    Mike, what do think of this natural herbal stuff called Tongkat Ali?

    • Great!

      TA won’t help you boost your T.

      • That’s cool, at least I know now. Looks like a lot of men out there got duped.

      • Rob Taylor

        what about all those studies that said TA worked Im confused.

        • No peer-reviewed studies show it boosts testosterone:


          • Rob Taylor

            Yes but the studies says it works if your testerone is below normal baseline like an old person but doesnt work if your young and health. I feel like I have low t below normal baseline so it should help. From my understand all natural t booster really only work with ppl below average baseline. Getting back to baseline should help with body comp right

          • Feel free to try it and see how it goes.

            And yup, significant increases in testosterone can certainly help with body composition. I wouldn’t expect a significant enough increase from supplementing with TA though.

  • Frederik Linderberg

    Hey Mike!
    What would you prefer before a fasted workout HMB or Leucin?

  • Austin

    Hey Mike I have 2 questions.
    1. You recommend taking creatine even when cutting, why? I know creatine helps build muscle and strength but its effects are usually exaggerated so how much good can it do on a deficit?

    2. This picture is my goal physique, the guy is 5’10, what do you think his bodyfat and weight is? Something like 8%, 155Ibs?


    • 1. Yes, I do. There aren’t negative effects to consistent use without breaks, and it improves performance and muscle growth.

      2. Hmm. It depends on how big his legs are, but I’d say 160-170lbs and 8-10% BF.

  • keren

    hey !I’d love to know what is your opinion about clenbuterol for weightloss ?

    • I haven’t looked into it really. I just know it’s bad for your heart.

    • Marc T.MMA

      It can work for some, generally has positive affects on weight loss with the right training and diet still. However, its bloody horrible stuff, while it isn’t a steroid it is a CNS stimulant and thus I don’t feel the benefits outweigh the negatives. Many people suffer intolerance issues, jitters, sweats etc. Why bother is my answer. Hard work, hard diet, control and discipline is the way forward.

  • Doc

    Can I mix creatine with my BCCA/amino powder?

    • Sure, but I only recommend BCAAs before fasted training, and I don’t recommend creatine pre-workout. It should be taken post-workout.

  • Chetan Chhikara

    Hi Mike I purchased BLS frm amazon….just finished with the nutrition part…I would like to know about the bonus report….the book has a link at the end but it doesn’t opens up!!!!
    A bit confused…

  • gregd01

    I’ve tried some of the new pro hormones recently and they are worthless. I took some in the late 90’s and they totally rocked so, obviously, the government has squashed anything that was effective.

    • Interesting. I don’t really know enough about the drug world to comment.

  • Retro King

    Are your supplements available in the UK, I have been searching my usual suppliers, but no one stocks the Legion brand.
    I am returning to weight training after a lay off of six years (diagnosed with severe scoliosis when in my 30’s now 55 ). Weight training improves this condition. I am reading your book and it as inspired me to up my game.

    • Not yet. I’ll be setting up distribution over there next year!

      Cool you’re coming back to the weights! Glad the book helped motivate you.

      LMK what you think of it once you finish it!

  • Steve

    I don’t see any mention of DHEA on your site. I know it its banned in many countries, but not the US.
    Also, from what i see on Examine.com and elsewhere, beta-analine seems to be better than l-carnitine because it is a precurser and induces better serum blood levels of l-carnitine after ingesting.
    Have you done any research on SARMs? They seem to have a positive anabolic to androgenic profile.

  • Aikas

    Hey Mike,
    Is it better to take your multivitamin supplement after your workouts or every single morning? I’ve read an article where it says it’s better absorbed when taken after workout and in the morning on non-workout days.

    • Nah, no need to take specifically post-workout or in the morning. I just recommend taking Triumph with meals, preferably meals with some fats in them.

      It doesn’t have to be a high-calorie meal, but I do recommend creatine be taken with protein and/or carbs. Check this out:


      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Richard Jones

    Great article looking forward to your supplements being available in uk. Got your book few months ago it too motivated me to hit the weights seriously after a year out I’m seeing great improvements in both strength and size. podcasts are great too they even fixed my squat after discovering Rippentoe chat you had then watching YouTube video – and as always great advice. Keep up the good work Mike your becoming a legend over the pond with myself and a few other chaps !

  • RonniCrowley

    Sunestron is One of the best supplement .My Boyfriend wanted to try this one and after a few days has noticed a difference in his energy and stamina.

  • Nishant

    Hey Mike. Thank you for this great info 🙂
    I have a question: Actually i am trying to loose fat and gain lean muscle at the same time. I lost 10kgs in 5months. I workout 6 days a week and target 2 muscle a day and end my workout with 20min of HIIT on treadmill or cross-trainer.

    Supplements i take.. glutamine(bpi flavoured) as soon as i wake up then i snack with brown beead with peanut butter then after 1hr i hit the gym.. i take 2scoops AmiN.O. (by ON) as intra workout and post workout i take isolate whey (iso sensation 93/ dymatize iso100).

    I eat atleast 6-8 egg whites n one whole egg.. boiled chicken and green vegetables. I repat 1 scoop of gluta before sleeping and 1 scoop of whey protein in eve and one before sleeping (earlier i used to take casein before bed)

    So my question is.. what more i should do in order to achieve better results?
    Should i add or remove or change some thing?

    Im sorry to write so much. I hope to get an answer.
    Thank you.

    P.S. Im 28yrs old, 5ft9″ and 91kgs.

  • Martyn Talbot

    hi Mike, I am new to your books having been recommended by someone at my gym so am still working through them, but I have a couple of questions please? I am 58 years old and have a history of high blood pressure, am I safe to use the Legion fat-burner because of the blood pressure? I know it says there is no caffeine but does it affect blood pressure at all?Secondly, I train every morning before work, should I use a pre-workout supplement or train fasted? I started training having trapped a nerve and my consultant told me to join a gym and get a trainer to work out a programme to regain the muscle I had lost so have been training for around a year with reasonable results but still don’t have the body I aspire to, I am hoping the your programme will get me there. Thanks

    • NP!

      That’s something that you should check with your doc on.

      You can use a pre-workout supplement and train fasted. I recommend training fasted if your goal is fat loss. Check this out:


      Cool you’ve been training and regaining the muscle you lost. Stick to the proper training and dieting I lay out in my books, and you’ll get the results you want. 🙂

      Happy to help! Talk soon.

  • Scott

    Hi Mike , I have a question, this is all new to me, but is ok to take your pre workout and the post workout . not sure if you can combine the both in one workout. for all the info you have shown , i really could use both .

    • Yep, I recommend both! Of course, just to be clear, Pulse would be taken pre-workout and Recharge would be taken post-workout. 🙂

  • Brian Giffin

    Mike I still cant figure out what the most effective dosage of Betaine is.
    Examine says 2500- 6000mg, your sups add 2.5 grams. I have also read the best plan is 1.5 grams pre-workout and 1.5 post. The suggested dosage from bulk sups is 800mg.

    Also the Betaine I get from bulk comes in the form of Betaine HCL , whats the HCL part? Does it matter?


    • 2.5 grams per day is going to give you the bulk of its ergogenic benefits and one dosage is fine–splitting into two isn’t going to make it more effective.

      HCL = hydrochloric acid, which it’s bound to. It just joins the Hcl in your stomach. 🙂

  • jon

    I just read over the product page for Phoenix, and was wondering, does Phoenix basically just increase your daily caloric expenditure (one of the three ways you said that fat loss can be sped up)? If so, if someone is doing a 25% deficit each day, does taking Phoenix just make it as if you are doing a 35% deficit each day? It sounds like there a risk when taking fat burners where it causes your deficit to be too much, and you would lose more muscle than desired? Or does Phoenix increase fat loss without affecting muscle loss during someones days of eating at a caloric deficit?

    • Yup that’s the primary way it helps you burn fat faster. The more energy you burn, the faster you lose fat.

      No, it doesn’t quite work like that because a deficit driven by exercise or supplementation doesn’t affect the body in the same way as one driven by actually restricting food intake.

      I’ve worked with thousands of people can can say with 100% certainty that a 25% deficit (diet and training) with Phoenix added on top causes no issues.

      • jon

        Ah okay, great info to know. Thanks. By the way, how many days of no lifting combined with a 25% deficit would it take to start losing considerable muscle?

  • Angela Clare

    Hi michael,

    Nice Article. I am using stack of protein, Creatine and multivitamin right now. I recently went through this article about the best stack for muscle building: http://www.theworkoutmagazine.com/food-and-nutrition/bodybuilding-supplements-to-achieve-fitness/, It has delved deep into the benefits of Fish oil and Glutamine, I am confused that should I add fish oil supplement in my diet if I want to lose cholesterol?

  • William

    Hi Mike. what about Pure Muscle X and Testerone XL?

  • April

    Based on your thoughts on HMB, I’m curious to know what your thoughts were on MuscleTech’s Clear Muscle. They did a study at the University of Tampa and just wondered if your thoughts were the same. Thanks! 🙂

    • If it’s the study I’m thinking of, it’s bullshit. It “demonstrated” that HMB is basically better than steroids.

  • Ruben

    Hello Mike. I enjoyed your article and throughout my research, I have found that your claims are generally agreed upon in most credible sites. However, as you said, the supplement industry is based on unresearched lies. Not saying you are part of the masses but, is there any unbiased related research that separates your product from the rest? I would love you get back in shape like when I was in the military. I just have gained some weight and work a lot of hours. If you can guide me with some information and maybe a consult, that would be great. Again, great article!!!

    • Thanks!

      I cite all the relevant research on my products on the product pages themselves so you can investigate (and verify) all claims, dosages, etc.

  • Carter

    Yeah pretty much this entire article is just an ad for a supplement line. this guys retarded

  • Carter

    Tell me how i picked up 21 pounds of muscle and lost 12 of fat in a month on Test boosters and how they don’t work again.

  • Andy

    Hey Mike,
    Quick question, I just bought the Phoenix Fat Burner product from Legion and read on the label that it should be taken with food. I took it on an empty stomach this morning before my workout with my BCAA’s and Pre-workout because I’m lifting weights in a fasted state. It made me feel nauseous at the gym after my dead lifts and i’m assuming it’s because I didn’t eat anything with it. Should I forget the fasted training and just eat with the product in the morning or switch to something like Forge? Not really sure what I should do as my goal is to lose fat. I’m currently at 14% body fat if that means anything.

    Thanks man!

    • Cool you picked up Phoenix!

      Yep, that’s why it’s recommended with food. It can be a bit much on an empty stomach.

      You can go either way. If you’d prefer to drop the fasted training, you can stick with Phoenix and just take it with meals. If you’d like to continue fasted training since it helps accelerate fat loss, you need to pick up Forge:


      You can continue taking Phoenix while taking Forge though. You’ll just want to make sure you’re taking it with meals.

      Hope this helps. LMK what you think.

      My pleasure!

  • Joe

    This has to be the biggest affiliate marketing fail I have ever seen.

  • dave

    Hi Mike,

    First of all, can I say how glad I am that I stumbled across your book BLS, and subsequently muscleforlife.com. It’s a breath of fresh air in an industry that seems to be full of BS and contradictory information.

    I have been following the program for 3 weeks, although I have been doing HIIT and basic barbell/dumbbell work since September, so I’m still rather new at all this. I have lost 32lbs of fat to date, but at 220lbs still have a long way to go.

    So currently I do weights at 5.30am fasted, and HIIT at about 7pm, also fasted (I believe) as I have my lunch at mid-day and have nothing else bar water until after the HIIT session. I’m doing the 5 day split and do 5 (20 minute) HIIT sessions on the same day as the weights.

    I’ve just found out about HMB, and seeing as I like to train fasted, I thought it would be worth investing in some, however how much would be safe to take if I take it for both sessions? And do I take it before and after the training sessions?

    On a side note, I would love to try Legion supplements, however the cost of postage to the UK is rather prohibitive for me. If you ever get a UK distribution centre up and running, I’m in.

    All the best for the future.

    • Hey Dave! Glad you’re enjoying everything. 🙂

      Cool you’re rolling on the program. Great job on all the weight you’ve lost so far. I look forward to seeing your results to come!

      Great on the fasted weightlifting and cardio you’re doing.

      Yep, picking up HMB is a good call. 3g before each fasted session is good. No need to take afterwards. You should have 20-40g of protein post-cardio and for after weightlifting, check this out:


      Understood on the shipping cost. International shipping is a pain. I’ll be setting up distribution in the UK this year.

      Thanks man! Talk soon.

      • dave

        Thanks for the info. 3g of HMB it is.

        After watching your podcast http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-supplement/ I also take a 200mg caffeine tablet, green tea tablet, 5g beta alanine, and 8g citruline malate pre workout. Man, that mix tastes funky. Plus 5g creatine and 30g whey protein post workout.

        Now I’ve listed them all it seems quite a lot. Does that seem right to you? I have noticed a marked improvement in performance since taking them.

        Great news about UK distribution. I’ll keep an eye out for them. It will be nice for my kitchen cupboard to not resemble the local chemist.

        Thanks again for all your help. It’s much appreciated.

        • Welcome!

          Great on everything you’re taking! You could add yohimbine too. Of course, it isn’t required, but it would help.

          Awesome on the whey protein and creatine post-workout.

          Yep, I’m excited about it.

          Happy to help. 🙂

          • dave

            Yes, I tried to find yohimbine, but apparently it’s prescription only in the UK now and prohibited for general sale. I believe it’s the same everywhere in the European Union. I’ve checked out some forums like bodybuilding.com and similar, and people say they’ve had success getting it from the USA, but there’s always that chance it’ll be confiscated at customs and an empty box will turn up on the doorstep.

            I’m not going to sweat it. I’m still making good progress without it.

            All the best.

          • Ah yeah, that’s true.

            You’ll be fine without it. What you’re taking pre-workout now is great.

            Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Scott M. Peterson

    I appreciate the honest and straight forward approach to your training and supplementation. I have a question or two, if I may: As I am military, and can likely end up in places where I am unable to access these supplements, are they truly necessary in order to maintain a high level of fitness? I am 48 years old, and have lifted for about 30 years. However, the years are starting to catch up with me, and I am feeling the effects of all of those workouts. I am currently taking a multivitamin and fish oil each day. Is there a solid and simple product from your line that I might consider adding to help my recovery and overall health. I’ve read about each of your products, but I am trying to keep things as simple as possible. Protein powders don’t work for me, as I am allergic to the binding agents and end up in a state similar to anylphylaxis. Thanks in advance for your time and attention, Mr. Matthews. I look forward to your response.

  • Brian Giffin

    Hey Mike sorry I think you answered this before but I can’t remember. I know to take my creatine daily even on none training days. But do I want to take my Citrulline, Beta Alanine, and Betaine daily to build up in the system or are they only good for training days?

    Don’t want to waste money!


    • If you can take beta-alanine daily it’s a good idea, yes. Others you don’t have to take daily.

  • Adrian Nielson

    Mike great article and I entirely agree with the segment on testosterone boosters. 99.9% do absolutely nothing. I came to that realisation after spending nearly $500 on one brand or another.

    Great post!

    • Thanks, Adrian!

      Yep, I wasted a bunch of money on them too back in the day. Now I know. 🙂

  • Becky Ramsay

    Are there any good supplements that I can take before a meal that will make me immediately hungry? Really struggling with appetite and want something that will increase hunger pretty rapidly so I can take it if I know I need to eat soon. Don’t really want something that just increases appetite in general. More of an as needed kind of basis… Or am I just being optimistic? Heard things about dissecated liver…

    • Realist

      A joint can stimulate your metabolism with few side effect.

      • Truth and so many healing benefits too-Most NFL NBA Guys? use Cannabis for health benefits…

    • Not really, no. I’m going to write an article on increasing appetite though.

      • Becky Ramsay

        I look forward to reading it 😊

    • Smoke weed it helps with pain 2…

  • Shelby

    I want to try pre-workout but I normally don’t workout till 5:30-6:00pm… does that mean its a no go?

    • Totally depends how sensitive you are to stims. Try out maybe 1/2 a serving to start and see how you do.

  • Mixelflick

    Solid article. Truthful too This kind of thing on bodybuilding.com would kill their business, which of course is why you’ll never see it there. Other than a pre-workout and intra-workout, your $ is better spent on food and sampling different training systems…

  • lee cutter

    How much did legion pay you to write this article and promote their product?..its a norm in the fitness industry now to slate products with unfounded research whilst promoting products for other companies so im very skeptical about what ive just read, seems you can never find an straight answer

  • Chris Baird

    Thanks for the info Mike. I just finished reading BLS and as you know most of what is mentioned in this article can be found in your book with more detail. I do currently supplement my diet with a protein drink as well as BCAA’s. Not sure that BCAA’s are the right way to go but I find that if I drink more than 3 protein shakes in a day I get backed-up. So with that I use this BCAA’s to help make up the difference. I stay away from the T boosters, at 42 I have a mid 600 T count so not a big concern for me at this time. I do use Creatine unflavored in my post workout drink. As I mentioned I just fished BLS, I’m 4 days into week 3 and have gone up in lifting weight each week. I started your program with a 1RM of 240 on bench, 2 days ago I finished my third working set of 205 with 6 full reps, at this point I would venture to say my max has gone up across the board.
    Thanks again for your help, CB

    • YW, Chris! Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      There’s no need to take BCAAs unless you’re training fasted.

      Smart moving staying away from the T boosters.

      Cool you use creatine. I’m a fan of it.

      Awesome to hear on the gains you’ve been making! You can calculate your new 1RM here:


      My pleasure! Keep up the good work.

  • Wayne Christie

    I enjoyed the clarity and frankness of your article. To the point.

    I just turned 61..have been out of sports for quite a while due to an accumulation of nasty injuries and inherent surgeries.
    As decimated as my body and ego are..albeit surviving.. I still have the desire to look and feel the best I can. My neck, rt. shoulder, and lower back are not capable of sustaining heavy workouts.Though having said this, I know I need to do something to hopefully get back some of what I’ve lost , size and strength .
    I’m embarrassed to wear swim-shorts anymore..my wife giggles and says I have ‘chicken-legs’!!!
    Can you help me get back on track???

  • Agustin

    Great article Michael! love your stuff.

    I’m just wondering why you didnt say anything about creatine increasing male pattern baldness in people that are susceptible to it?

    I read it increases DHT levels by 40-56% which causes balding and other side effects like increased prostate cancer and increased and body hair growth.

    Oh and I been training since 15 but am always injured. I am very disciplined but this has kept me from achieving the results I “deserve” 🙁

    Im now following a new routine I created and was hoping you could tell me what you think. It has 3 phases.

    The phases are: from light to moderate to heavy lifting. I aim for approx. 5, 10 and 15 reps per set in each phase respectively. Each phase has 4 work outs for each body part. The workout split is:
    chest, legs ,rest ,back&shoulders , abs&bis, rest). So every ~23 days I change phase. Do you think this is a good routine assuming I have a good exercise selection? (In terms of avoiding injury and building muscle). Im also watching form super closely to end my injuries once and for all and doing 5 minute warm ups + light sets.

    Also, do you know of any stretching routine / supplementary exercise routine to reduce the likelihood of the most common injuries? For e.g. I do int/ext rotations and y raises on chest day to strengthen rotator cuffs.

    Thanks so much for your help man! Your advice is golden. And Im gonna buy your protein soon as my current one ends :)!


  • Clay

    Hey Michael, first time posting on ur site, been reading your stuff/listening to you for a short while. Would like to say I have been studying about training and nutrition for maybe 6 months and I’ve read most maybe all of the opinions from the “fitness gurus” (for lack of a better term) and I respect your opinion the most on general training principles, supplements and nutrition. I haven’t read much on movement specific form from you so I had been taking cues from trainers with a PT background like Jeff Cavalier. I wanted to tell you why I respect your opinion: you seem to maintain an open mind to ideas new and old yet also keep a skeptical view of them as well which is a classic scientific mentality. I have a background in biology and biomedical research so I do a lot of digging on pubmed myself but it can be overwhelming and I often rely on people such as you to digest some research for me, give me ideas to study up on myself.

    Ok well I wasn’t just trying to fluff your ego but I wanted to say that much, I DO have a couple questions, and sometime in the future I’ll link some research that you might have run across and ask your opinion on it. Just don’t have it handy at the moment.

    First, do you have institutional or otherwise paid access to pubmed or are you limited to the full text that are already public.

    About supplements:
    I started taking HMB recently. I train fasted currently about 4-5 days a week, eating approx. at maintenance calories (~5 weeks gained between 2 and 3 pounds) I understand that it can increase muscle over time by lowering MPB. I have only been taking it on training days 3mg approx 20-30 min before I start my warmup. I reasoned that it’s not really necessary to take it on non-training days since MPB wouldnt be AS high then. So my question is: is there a reason to be taking it on a rest day? Seems like no since I don’t intermittent fast on rest days during a non-cut cycle. But I did run across an article that suggested it needed a loading period like creatine…. Not putting much stock in that right now. Anyway, I know
    You take leucine instead bc it’s more cost effective and I believe if it’s effective I can count on maybe a couple extra pounds of muscle this year (currently new, less than a year consistent training)
    But if HMB is only really effective on fasted training days it isn’t as costly.

    Also- I should mention I’m spending at least 2 hours in the gym lifting heavy 3-5 min rest so I’m assuming I’m driving up MPB significantly. (Please don’t chastise me
    For overtraining I get it from my gf already lol. Slowly been moderating that over time)

    Related to that have you found any research specifically on HMB use during fasted training? I don’t remember seeing a reference on your articles and in my searches I haven’t found it.

    Also I had a thought: might HMB actually cause some problem by interfering with MPB? because the training adaptation can include muscle fiber isoform changes – my thought is more fibers would be added or increased in size with less MPB but possibly could remain of the same isoform that isn’t as optimized for the training protocol. Am I stating this concept clearly?

    Okay another question on a different supplement:
    This is basically a “have you ever heard of” or “what is your opinion of”
    An herbal supplement called ashwaganda?
    I started taking it recently to help me sleep, since I have been having trouble sleeping recently (possibly due to overtraining? Lol)
    And for that purpose I can say with some confidence that it does help. I only take it at night before bed and it makes me sleepier, I tried taking it in morning before lifting and it was not good I was all relaxed and “chill” instead of bringing the intensity I’m used to.

    There is some research on it- not a lot in terms of training. The one study I’ve read reported increased muscle/ lower fat and higher testosterone. I don’t believe the results in short. Well maybe it can increase muscle but not due to increased T. I’d have to go back and see if those reported numbers were reasonable or not. Anyway it was never my intention to use it for muscle gain like I said, but after I have experimented with it and realized it DOES have some effect in terms of making me sleepy I got to wondering if it might be interacting with cortisol to cause that sleepiness… If that is true then it might actually be able to increase testosterone by lowering cortisol, which might be useful for reducing bodyfat over time or helping the body to put on less fat. Anyway I just would like to hear your opinion or experience on that one. I’m a scientist by nature and I am skeptical about that and even the HMB, but I’ve been open minded enough to try them.

    Also I wanted to mention a couple things about Nissen S. And the HMB results: one i learned he (or is it the institution he works for?) holds the patent on it…. That can make anyone skeptical as it should, but that is a common practice in science, research is very often privatized in one way or another- and this is the backbone of the modern medical industry, a lot of companies are created and a lot
    Of medicines are created founded on publicly funded research (this is why the government should do a better job funding it!!- NIH budget has been frozen/cut for the last 8 years – rant over)
    Anyway basically just saying don’t throw the baby out on that one but you’ve got the right mindset to be skeptical. Second, I don’t have a link but I read a meta analysis I thought actually with Nissen S on HMB…. Or maybe just referencing his work?

    Anyway you’ve probably read it, the conclusion was basically yes it’s effective to build
    Muscle and to increase strength and they calculated it could
    Increase muscle gain by 0.38% (or it might have been 0.28%, i think it was one of those #s). More per week, and increase strength gains by something like 1.15% per week.

    Seems really small and insignificant but while I was debating spending money to try it this piece of data was ironically the one that finally convinced me because that doesn’t seem unreasonable.
    Anyway after all that FOR NOW I believe HMB is helping in those ways my questions are more on cost effectiveness and when to take it/dosing strategy.
    Anyway I hope this wasn’t too long of a read I get really into training/ nutrition discussions and especially on research in this space. If you have time i would love to hear your thoughts and have a great day!

    • Hey man! This would be a bit tough to reply to in a comment, haha. Any chance you could shoot me an email at [email protected]? I’d be happy to help you out and answer your questions there. 🙂

  • Dan

    Hi Mike, couple of quick questions:
    1) I’m wondering if it is ok to mix my shakes the night before: primarily whey protein isolate, beta alanine, creatine, and Yohimbine (depending on pre or post…)? There’s a comment on some shake formulas to consume ‘right after mixing’…

    2) I used HMB (capsules) while on fasted training, but now reverse dieting up to bulking, should I reduce or drop the HMB?

  • Elijah Laughinghaus

    Hi Mike, I’d just like to suggest, if possible, that you consider approaching iHerb.com to carry your supplements. They ship everything at a flat $8 fee everywhere in the world, and I’ve never met an expat in any country that doesn’t use them regularly. It would be really great to get access to your supplements!

    p.s. I know you do ship overseas currently direct from your site, but the shipping costs are prohibitive : /

    • Hey Elijah, thanks for the feedback. We know international shipping is a pain, and we are looking into various distributors including iHerb. Feel free to shoot an email to [email protected] for international shipping and they can hook you up with a discount.

  • Greg Oneal

    I have a question –

    Why is ultimate nutrition prostar whey so much cheaper than its competitors?

  • garrett knipe

    I am reasonably fit and I’m 16 I want to start working out harder and seeing gains. What’s a good like set for me. For example a pre work out that actually works, and a protein to take after the workout and anything else I will need money isn’t a question I just want the best kit I can get

  • Eliana

    I have a good whey supplement, but thought I might like to try one of your products for fat burning, and another for pre-workout. However, one contains white willow (I am deadly allergic to aspirin..so taking this could actually kill me. Really.) The other contains 350 mg of caffeine, which is way too much when I have high blood pressure and work out in mid afternoon. Could you suggest another route?

  • NoApoloG

    Hey Mike! I heard on one your podcasts that legion was working on a meal replacement or mass gainer. But what do you recommend in the meantime for days where you’re just super busy and come up short 500-1000 calories of your macros while you’re on a bulk? Any good mass gainers out there?

    • Yep, I am!

      In the mean time, unfortunately, I don’t have any to recommend. 🙁 They’re just full of junk calories (mainly carbs). I recommend eating real food, and just stick to calorie-dense foods like…

      Red meat

      Grains like brown rice and quinoa

      Oils like coconut oil and olive oil


      Whole-fat dairy

      Multi-grain pasta and bread

      Almonds and almond butter


      White and sweet potatoes

      If you focus on these types of foods in your meal planning, you should have no trouble reaching your daily caloric needs.

  • NoApoloG

    Thanks for the advice ! Can’t wait to try the new triton!

  • Boris

    Hey, Mike I have a few questions
    1. I know that D-Aspartic Acid wont help me build more muscle, but will it help with muscle recovery. I also want to know how i should cycle it when it loses its effect.
    2. Does taking HMB preworkout decreases muscle soreness and damage.
    3. Are the studies from Muscletech HMB-FA and PA complete BS
    4. Why isnt there any Rhodiola Rosea in your preworkout. I think it does have some solid research that shows that it decreases fatigue, lactice production, muscle damage and improves cognition

    I have seen a lot of websites that write a lot of BS like bodybuilding.com (they only try to sell ineffectice supplents). Some are good but speak a little to much from personal experience. Your website and seannal.com are the only ones that i follow. Sorry, if my English is bad. I am a medicine student from Croatia.

    Best regards

    • Boris

      Oh and i also have threo more questions.
      4. Do i have to take betaine right before training or i can just take it through food sources like spinach (300g= 3g of betaine) during the day?
      5. I read that l-carnitine improves
      androgen receptor density. Does that mean more muscle?
      6. Is there any natura substance that inhibits aromatase. I know rhat indol-3-carbinol decreases bad estrogen?

      • 4. Throughout the day is fine.

        5. No, it won’t have any noticeable effects on muscle gain.

        6. Not really. I3C may help slightly. I don’t take it but I do make sure to eat several servings of cruciferous veg each week.

        • MSK

          Hey Mike 7. (Haha) if I supplement with HMB for fasted workout or if I havent ate for a while donI still make up for my protein numbers? If I am supposed to eat 180g protein/day can I reduce that number if I supplement with HMB?

    • 1. No it won’t.

      2. Yes it can.

      3. There’s definitely some sketchy HMB research out there, yes.

      4. It’s in my multi.

      Thanks for the support my man!

  • Jack96

    Hi, Mike

    Does Taurine have any muscle building or recovery effects?

  • Brandon Watson

    Hey Mike,
    I heard that you are trying to get supplements to places cheaper internationally.
    I live in Australia and I am interested in your supplements such as:
    Specifically (Whey+ Protein) and (Recharge).
    Due to the reason supplements in Australia are “alright” but I only trust by your Legion supplements. As I have done a lot of research on what each supplement does.
    So I really appreciate your time and effort on this.
    Your the only guy I trust in regards to natural weightlifting.
    Your the best out there Mike 😉 Thank You for your knowledge.

  • Joann Casey

    Love the book, Thinner Leaner Stronger, but is the order you prioritise supplements any different for vegetarians? I take Multivits, and an omega oil supplement made from seaweed (instead of fish oil) and one shake of whey at the moment.

  • minnepinne

    Would you consider removing Beta-alanine from Pulse? Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27377257

  • desmapharmaceutical

    really i read very nice information about growth hormone deficiency

  • Leland


    How is this different than any other article where the creator recommends his/her own product?

    How do I know you aren’t just trying to sell me something. It all sounds so familiar.

    Not trying to offend, just don’t want to buy more false promises


    • No worries! For starters, there’s no use of artificial flavors or sweeteners.

      The ingredients are completely open for you to see. There’s nothing being hidden behind a prop blend and at the bottom of each supplement page I list all the references you need to see why I included each ingredient and why I included at that specific dosage.

      Give them a look and LMK what you think.

      Oh and that’s not to mention that there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee on all the supps. So, you have nothing to lose. 🙂

  • Jim Rhoten

    Hi Mike..

    I have a question about Creatine and it’s effects on Bun, Creatine and GFR Labs. I began your workout program after reading Bigger, Leaner Stronger earlier this year. Love the program and have had incredible muscle gains for a 51 Year old. I have worked out for most of my life being a former College Football player and Soldier. However I began taking some Whey and Casein Protein products along with Creatine supplements with my workout program. On a recent Physical the Physician noticed some abnormal limits on my Lab Work.

    Bun 36, Creatine 1.6 and GFR of 50. All other results were normal. Following instructions I was NPO the night prior to the Lab work being drawn. However, I had worked out routinely and supplemented as normal prior to the Lab Work. It is my understanding after some research that it is normal for Body Builders/Weight Lifters to have above normal values on these tests. Would you agree that these results are routine for Weight Lifters who supplement or should I have concerns with Renal Functions.

    Thank You.

    • Glad to hear you’re doing well in the gym.

      Yeah you’ll see these things with high-protein dieting and creatine supplementation. If your doc isn’t used to working with fitness folk, you can always find one that does and know for sure if something should be changed.

  • Jack96

    Hi, Mike. I have read a few researches about Phosphatidic acid and it looks promising. What do you think?


    P.S. There was one more research from the University of Tampa. I know that Muscletech has its finger in that so i dont belibe them.

    I want also to know your opinion on D-Aspartic acid. I saw some research with the daily dosage of 2g. It boosts testosteron 30-40%. After 20days it loses its effect and should be cycled. And there was one more study recently that included 6g per day. It decreased testosteron level. It kinda reminds me of steroids. So logically thinking wouldnt it be great to take 1g daily. It would give us a small boost in strenght, mood, energy levels, recovery. I know that it wont affect muscle growth.

    Best regards from Croatia

  • Abhishek

    Nice article. Have u heard about Shilajit. It is said to be natural testosterone booster. Have any ideas, is it any good??? Plz let me know???

  • David Dietsch

    Hey mike quick question! I take pure leucine and yohimbine for cutting purposes. I don’t take creative because of the potential hair loss aspect. Long story short I’ve been taking beta alanine for a year. I do hit and 4-8 rep training. Is citrulline malete a good addition or should I just keep one over the other? Would it make a difference to take both? What’s your opinion? Thanks!

  • Gurmohan Dhillon

    Hlo sir can i take creatine, test booster, beta alanine, arginine for pump at a same time for muscle growth or there is another best supp stack u can also recommend me .. plz suggest me sir

  • Bryan Splittorf

    My gym buddy says I should be taking 20-25g of creatine per day and suggested the drops for maximum absorption by the glands. You say 5g…what’s the right answer? I lift a lot.

  • Bryan Splittorf

    Hey Mike, what do you recommend with creatine? My pre workout has 3g, and I was thinking of getting your post workout, which has 5g. My gym buddy says 20-25g under the tongue. What should I be taking? I’m cutting but still doing full workouts so recovery is important

  • Brendan

    Mike, I am starting a gym routine and want to gain lean muscle mass. I am confused on what supplements if any I should be taking. I currently am taking Hydro Whey and BCAAs, CLA. I am reconsidering the whey due to having elevated LDL cholesterol levels. I was told whey was a major culprit in my elevated LDL. Any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks

    • The whey will have a negligible effect on your cholesterol. CLA is ineffective. BCAAs are great if you want to train fasted.

      I recommend whey, creatine, preworkout, and BCAAs (if you train fasted). Those will cover the basics.

      • Brendan

        RogerT, Thanks for the input. I will definitely try these out. Also, what is your thought on testosterone boosters such as HighT Black? Could this be elevating my LDL levels. I noticed they have skyrocketed since using these products. thanks

        • Possibly. Depends what’s in it. I guarantee you it’s not boosting your T levels.

          • KevinLphotography

            I need T therapy because my t is low. Would an injection 2 times a week at 65 miligrams per injection be damaging to my liver enzymes?

          • That’s something you should check with the doc on.

            Before doing TRT, why not try naturally increasing your test levels? Check this out:


            Hope this helps! LMK.

  • NathAdrian

    “A study conducted by the University of Memphis found that HMB supplementation did not reduce catabolism or affect training-induced changes in body composition and strength in experienced resistance-trained males.”
    “There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent.” Am i reading it wrong? Two contradictory studies cited by yourself? or is catabolism in the first stupid not talking about muscle catablism?

    • No, that’s correct. In that one study, it didn’t have those effects. It has in others, though, that I feel were well-designed and well-executed.

      You can find studies that found that creatine doesn’t work, but when we look at the literature as a whole, it clearly does.

      One lone study isn’t enough.

  • Ryuin

    Mike, I know that you read a lot of research. How much when you combine all the research and take the average values do people that take these 4 supplements build more muscle in %. I doesnt have to be accurate and i know that it isnt the same for everyone.

    1. Creatine
    2. Beta Alanine
    3. Betaine
    4. Fish

    PS. I got my diet and workout perfected thanks to you. I know that that is the most important thing.

    • Ryuin

      I meant 4. Fish Oil

    • Good question, and that’s really hard to say because some people respond differently/better than others, and how they train and how hard they push themselves matters, too.

  • Wyatt

    Hey Mike are there any other supplements or pills other than the ones u listed that actually work I’m trying to getting bigger muscles for football and want to know wat would work better and quicker thanks.

  • MD

    What about BCAA and Glutamine? What I do is (I actually never read it anywhere, I just think it’s logical) that I supplement with BCAA and Glutamine while cutting to preserve the muscles since I don’t get enough nutrients and with Creatine when I bulk to give that needed boost and pump…

  • AmyL

    I recently read a news article that says that a new study shows that many supplements cause liver damage- in particular sports supplements and fat loss supplements containing green tea extract. Have you heard of this study? And what are your thoughts?

  • AmyL

    Here is the article. I ask because I was hoping to purchase Pulse, Phoenix, Forge and Recharge but I am wondering if any of those contain green tea extract http://www.consumerreports.org/health/liver-damage-from-supplements-is-on-the-rise/

  • If I had to choose, I’d go for the fish oil. For increasing my protein intake, I’d just eat more meats and other wholesome, protein-rich foods.

  • Win Tran

    I was wondering if it was safe for me to take D-bal,bcaa, fishoil, creating, Lglutamine, hmb, and the pulse preworkout,and protein

  • Agustin Izaguirre

    Excelent Work… Thanks

  • deez

    Hi mike I have a problem with getting a gym guide and I am 20 this yeah and need a good gym giude to build muscle and cut, can you help me asap please

  • Sareem Ibn Muhammad

    Hi Mike. Thank you for the article. Have you heard about herbalife ? What do you think about their products

    • Hey Sareem, I’m not a fan. Most of their products have questionable, if not completely debunked ingredients, and their marketing practices aren’t what I would call honest most of the time.

      • Sareem Ibn Muhammad

        Oh! I take note. Thank you Mike 🙂

  • Dan

    Hi Mike, do you have a thought on C3G (Cyanidin-3 Glucoside), that seems to be pretty interesting…

  • Curran

    Hi Mike

    Apologies if this is a duplicate post as my question seems to have vanished. Will blackstone labs products like abnormal help muscle growth ?

    • Hey Curran, personally, I wouldn’t use anything from Blackstone Labs.

      Abnormal also has several compounds that are banned in various sporting agencies due to being, essentially, milder steroids. They will probably aid muscle growth, but they also will likely have some unhealthy side effects: https://www.muscleforlife.com/side-effects-of-steroids/

  • Darren Steel

    Hi Mike. For the last month I have been taking whey protein powder shakes after a workout. I am now constipated all the time. Not sure what to do. Maybe ditch the whey protein for a soya based protein?
    The protein I have is me by USN

    • Hey Darren, I recommend more fiber and drinking more water.

  • Ben

    Just stumbled across your site yesterday and really enjoying the content, so thanks! I’ve just recently become really focused on cleaning up my nutrition and cutting out sugars and MSG’s, which means my protein powder etc i’ve been using is no longer viable. I also train fasted so there’s a few here that interest me a lot. Would love to order some supplements but unfortunately $70 postage is just too much to UK.

    • I hear you. We’re getting set up on Amazon UK, so that should save you on shipping. You can already grab Pulse there 🙂

  • Rocky killela

    Hey Mike I’m 61 will creatine work for me i heard that it only puts on water weight and after and after 4 weeks off it you loss what you gained.

  • Max Cherry

    Seemingly hinting that steroids don’t increase muscle gains much.. but the truth is that steroids increase muscle gains more when not exercising than someone without who is exercising. Testosterone alone is useless.. it needs to be free test or DHT to increase gains.

    • I’m not hinting at that at all. Steroids can be VERY effective. Check this out: https://www.muscleforlife.com/side-effects-of-steroids/

      • Max Cherry

        Ah right. I guess you just need to know what you’re doing to your body and what you need to do to protect yourself. What do you think of SARM’s btw? I’ve just learnt about them and they seem promising.

        • I’d steer clear of SARMS as well: https://legionathletics.com/sarms/

          • Max Cherry

            That article is only half accurate, you should check out the study they referred to on cardarine (not a sarm btw) and it’s ridiculous conditions.

          • A) cardarine is a SARM, and B) there were a bunch of studies in that article. And you’re right that researchers often use extreme conditions to study drugs sometimes, especially in early research. That said, the results still don’t bode well for people.

            And to your point about Legion supplements, please point me to a SARM that has the research of, say, creatine or caffeine or just about anything else in my products, that’s also approved for human consumption, and we can go from there.

          • Max Cherry

            Cardarine is not a SARM even though it is very often sold along side them or wrongly named as one, SARM’s bind to androgen receptors while cardarine binds to PPAR receptors. There are studies showing cardarine to protect from cancer as well at lower dosage, they could easily have abandoned it out of fear that people will megadose, expose themselves to carcinogens and sue them, but who knows.

            Sorry about that, was a little too harsh there and at first I didn’t realise it was your article (although you don’t seem to know about them enough to advise people against them), I’ve seen great reviews that look legit on your supps over at forums.bodybuilding.com. Creatine is great and so is GABA, Prenolone, DHEA and all the other stuff (which I take daily lol), I think your supps look really good but I would rather go for pure ingredients rather than a blend personally mainly just to save some money.

            As for SARM’s, they are just more powerful plain and simple than your regular supplements.. they have about 3/4 the effectiveness of steroids without the negatives (rad-140 anabolic to androgenic ratio is 90:1, almost as anabolic as dianabol but 1/100th androgenic). I’ve been researching RAD-140 and cardarine on myself over the last few weeks and they are impressive, maybe since they are new some will want to use caution when trying them out but the science looks good to me so I have no worries and have seen no sides yet. SARM’s were created as a possible alternative to testosterone replacement therapy after all. However, I wouldn’t touch Andarine as it seems to cause vision problems.

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