By the time you reach this page, you've probably flipped past a dozen or more advertisements for supplements that feature massively muscled professional bodybuilders. While more seasoned read cynical-readers
realize that no product results in magic, a 110-pound teenager who's too small for football and thinks muscles impress girls might see those same ads and truly believe that supplements produced those
Go to your local health food store and who do you see perusing the aisles of weight gainers, anabolic activators and amino acids with wide-eyed awe? Teenagers. The same people whose incomes barely buy burgers and Snoop foggy Dogg CDs will gladly spend - every last penny on a supplement that they truly believe will transform them from Mr. Scrawny to Mr. Olympia in a month.
The truth is a little different. Even the manufacturers-thanks to the Food and Drug Administration-will tell you that supplements are just that: something to add to your daily diet for extra nutrients. If they worked the way steroids or other drugs do, you wouldn't be able to buy them over the counter.
Am I saying that you shouldn't buy supplements? Not at all. lam saying, however, that you should choose them carefully and take them as adjuncts to proper training and nutrition. You should use supplements one at a time and monitor their effects over a given period. That way you can find out if a product actually works. The basics, like weight gainers, protein powders and vitamins and minerals, are time proven, but there are dozens of others that you may not find beneficial. Keep an open mind and experiment, but don't believe anything you hear about a product until you've seen it work.
There's another area in which teenage bodybuilders can be pretty gullible: following the routines of the champions. First of all, these aren't the routines the champs used to put on size, Magazine writers interview the pros around contest time, when their training centers on maximizing striations and cuts, not size. Second, most of these pros are so genetically gifted and use so many drugs, they can actually train twice a day for more than two hours-every day of the week-and not destroy themselves.
The rest of us should train no more than four, days a week using basic exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift and 3 row with progressively heavier weights. It's not a miracle product, but, combined with good I nutrition, it will pack on more muscle than any pro's 150-sets-per-body-part fine-tuning routine. So there it is. Don't be gullible or you might seriously hamper your muscular gains.