Saturday, April 14, 2012
Lots of Protein, Little Gains
This is kind of a fun thing to think about, at least in my opinion. All you muscle heads out there: have you ever really stopped to consider all those supplements you're taking, the ones that claim to be super effective, and contain recovery formulas so advanced that they're basically GUARANTEED to make you bigger, stronger, faster, more quickly than anything else on the market? Well I've got a picture for you:
That there is two 13 gallon bags filled with containers of protein, representing about 8 months worth of supplements. Contained inside are five Combat Powder tubs (4lbs of protein each), two tubs of Wheybolic Extreme 60 (2lbs of protein each), and two generic brand protein tubs (I believe one was a Six Star whey protein tub, and a Body Fortress protein tub, each again containing 2lbs.) I've also had a couple more tubs of the Body Fortress protein that were thrown out previous to this instance. That's a total of at least 32lbs of whey protein, not to mention a couple other supplement bottles in there like Amplified N.O. Loaded pre-workout and Purple Wraath (a branch chain amino acid blend.)
Let's think about this for a second. Do I have more muscle mass than I did at the beginning of this year? I sure do! But do I have an extra 32 lbs of solid muscle packed onto my frame? NOT...EVEN...CLOSE. If I've gained 4 lbs of muscle this year, I'd be quite pleased. And believe me, it didn't all come from the supplements (I've been eating like a horse.)
So what does this mean? Are supplements worthless? Are they placebos? Are the supplement companies screwing you out of your money?
The answer is no.....and a little bit of yes at the same time.
Sure, you can bet those companies make their products for a LOT less money than they charge you. But are they selling you worthless powder in a plastic jug? NO! Supplements have come an extremely long way since their introduction in the 70's, and they ARE very advanced blends of fast digesting proteins that your body has a much easier time using to build muscle. Believe me, I wouldn't be able to work out nearly as often or as hard as I do without supplementation. They greatly assist with recovery, and keep me feeling tip top in order to hit it heavy as often as possible.
But supplements AREN'T miracle workers. The muscle building process is a slow and tedious one, and despite the quality of that powder you're putting into your body, at the end of the day only a tiny fraction of it will be used to build the solid muscle you so desperately desire. It's a depressing fact, but it's one you should know before you go scooping loads and loads of the latest whey protein blend into your shaker bottle.
In my opinion, you should obviously keep supplementing with proteins, pre-workouts, and stuff like that. They work. But don't go overboard on the dosage, because you'll just be wasting the stuff. Your body can only use so much, and as the picture above shows quite clearly, it adds up after a while.
Oh, and if you're looking for a way to cut down on supplement cost, how about eating some more real food?
Lift hard, eat big, and get strong. Good Luck!