First off, do not use any supplement other than a multi-vitamin or perhaps a detox tea type product during the famine phase.
There will be a temptation to toy with individual amino’s or other products during this time. Don’t do it. There are very few supplements on the market designed to help you accomplish what’s going on in this phase. The diet and exercise protocols prescribed will do the job of putting your body in a controlled state of catabolism. Nothing else is needed. The following is a list of products that have tested to be either totally worthless or the cost/benefit ratio isn’t there when using The BluePrint. Avoid the temptation to use these during your feast phase:
Soy/Vegetable/Low Quality Whey Proteins
You can make big mistakes with carbs and fats and correct them rather quickly.
Not so with protein as it builds right into your structure. Radio Isotope studes have proven that every 12 months 98% of your body from your hair right down to your toenails is re-built from the protein in your diet. Most of the important stuff we’re worried about (muscle) is re-built in 6 months. But what, you say, about those people who subsist solely on twinkies? You’ve seen them. The diet is largely composed of coffee, cigarettes, soda and junk food. Sometimes, for years on end. Surely these people aren’t suffering.
Or are they?
The body is brilliant and will do an amazing patchwork job, even given a crappy diet. It will use every available resource including the incomplete amino acid profiles found in the above, and inferior protein sources. You are what you eat though, and these people are building a house of cards. It pays to get it right. This is especially true during the feast phase due to the fact protein synthesis is radically elevated and the recommended use of protein synthesis agents.
Consumer ALERT: Sometimes, it’s what they DON’T mention that matters most.
I was in WalMart the other day and noticed their “Super Advanced Whey Protein”, 2lbs for just $14.99.
– It claimed cross flow micro/ultra filtered whey isolate, concentrate, di and tri peptides, etc.
– Also touted added creatine, leucine, taurine etc.
On label claims alone, could this be a quality product at a bargain basement price?
Not so fast.
I suspected that it was heat dried, which de-natures the protein and cross-links the amino acids, rendering it virtually useless. The very poor digestion of this product alone is the tip off, but to be absolutely certain I emailed the company for a written record.
It turns out it’s heated up to 170 degrees during processing. Here’s a portion of their response:
Thank you for contacting Body Fortress. We appreciate your interest in our products.
The Whey Protein ingredients are heated to a maximum of 170 Degrees Farenheit
Thank you again for contacting Body Fortress.
You want a 100% cold processed whey such as MASS PRO. Why? Because it’s the kind that is research proven to boost glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s most prolific endogenous anti-oxidant. So important is glutathione that it’s used as a bio-marker for aging. 100% undenatured cold processed whey isn’t cheap, but it is what you take a protein powder for; it has muscle building and health promoting properties that food doesn’t!
Take away: If you want to build a sturdy house you use bricks, not straw.
By the way, three brands you can trust for legitimate quality protein products are MASS PRO from musclemass.com, the Beverly International line and Jay Robb.
Ok, this isn’t a supplement per se but I see a lot of guys and gals getting the majority of their protein these days from tuna given the recent milk/whey prices skyrocketing. This advice goes for all fish: Fish is pretty good at building other fish. It’s pretty damn poor at building people as a mainstay, truth be told.
Yeah, they can work but at what cost? Any dose that delivers more muscle is going to suppress your natural test production and delay your next successful Blueprint cycle. I’ve gone to great lengths here to set up a very fluid schedule designed to rotate you into and extend time spent in productive training zones. Any attempt to fool mother nature defeats our plan. And yes, I’ve tried prohormones A-Z. It just delays the positive traction you get once 3-4 successive Blueprint cycles are completed and the gains start to really pile up.
Special note: If you’re under the age of 18-25, please consider the following.
Do you really think that your hormone levels are holding you back? Not likely! While a more experienced trainee might lay claim to that variable, the odds are a lot better that a McDiet and poorly structured training program are the real culprits. I’m not into scare tactics but I am into common sense. Think about this before taking the plunge. It may very well be the decision that makes the difference in how much muscle you ultimately gain during your training lifetime.
This compound is supposedly a component of green tomatoes. Studies show it grows muscle. Sounds good until you try it in the real world and… it does jack. I even doubled the dose and it did ZILCH.
Don’t waste your money.
Shows up in many thermogenic/thyroid formulas, protein powders and even some BCAA products. Huge negative impact on testosterone levels. Stay away.
Looks research reasonable but fails miserably in the real world. Don’t be fooled.
The most onerous among these is HMB. The newest fairy tale is that HMB “Free Acid” is the one that works. Too bad that too is a lie. Don’t waste your $.
Ginseng/Cordyceps/Schisandra/Moomyo/Ecdysterone from Cyanotis Vaga
The adaptogen family is vast. I’ve tried various Blueprint cycles with each of the above and in combo. The results were less than spectacular. Synthagen or Progenadre are the 2 I recommend for many reasons, the first being it’s the one with certified Rhaponticum Carthamoides 98% extract in the form cited in the Russian studies. Alternatively, Progenadrex uses Laxogenin. This analogue of Ecdy functions like it, just at much smaller y amounts.
Fail, fail and fail. Each of these is a classic case of marginal (and I do mean marginal) test tube or animal study successes. The leap from in vitro (test tube) to in vivo (in the human body) is a a vast one and the above products all failed miserably. Most consumers realized this years ago but these items are still out there, begging for your dollars. If you didn’t know already, let me save you some money….stay away.
Lots of people use these anti-inflammatory agents prior to training or even daily. While there is one long term study showing improved protein synthesis on elderly patients, I see no real world evidence to support this fact. Meanwhile, the short term administration results are in: it blunts protein synthesis even when you’re doing everything else right. I had high hopes for use in the famine phase, but even that didn’t pan out. Stay away from this stuff. In short, the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Isolated Amino Acids
With the exception of GABA, and certain Arginine derivatives most are a waste. I’ve used very, very high dosages of most of them but virtually none added anything of note. You will read dazzling studies concerning AAKG, OKG, etc. but see very little return for your money. I had high hopes but (surprise), the benefits are mostly hype.
Vanadyl Sulfate/Chromium Picolinate/Alpha Lipoic Acid
The glucose disposal agents of yesteryear. ALA was marginally helpful but each of the three failed to deliver meaningful body recomposition changes. The only insulin facilitator worth its salt was found to be R-ALA and Berberine.
As a whole etc, glucose disposal agents aren’t effective muscle builders. Unless you have diabetes or like condition, most of there are a waste IMO.
New Spins on Old Herbs
From Tribulus to Ecdy to Fenugreek, they’re being re-pakaged. The more I’ve experimented, tinkered and toyed with these products the more I realize there really isn’t anything new. I’m all for innovation, but the fact of the matter is that the odds your physique will be magically transformed by some weird herb isolate that’s been “extracted” differently is dubious. The quality items that have stood the test of time are typically full spectrum extracts from the whole plant/root. There is no magic here, just beneficial substances the way nature originally packaged them. Put these in their proper context, see them for what they are.