Buck here. In this article, I want to touch on what supplements are required for building lean muscle. Supplements — beyond just pre-workout and protein powder — are often the missing link when it comes to making serious gains. I know this all too well.
Recently, I hit a plateau in my training. It left me distraught. I’m not proud to admit this, but I even lost my way in a sea of donuts for a while. However, like any noble buck — or doe — on the noble quest for aesthetic glory, I found my way back to the path. How I did it is simple; I thought about my weak areas, then zeroed in one at a time.
What supplements are best for building muscle?
The best supplements for building muscle are ones that can balance hormones, boost workout efficiency, optimize muscle recovery, improve protein synthesis, and fit the budget.
If you’re anything like I was, then a percentage of what I just said soared right over your head. Trust me, I feel your pain. The fitness industry is filled with pretentious technical jargon that makes physiology and supplementation irritatingly more complex than it should be.
Lucky for you, I’m just a simple buck. I hated school. It doesn’t behoove me to explain anything like those snobby professors — who I still owe my next 80 years worth of wages to because our education system is way too bank friendly. Let’s break down what requirements your supplements should meet.
It’s no secret that hormones play a massive role in our everyday lives. Although there’s a ridiculous amount of hormones found in our bodies, we only need to understand those that have an impact on our goals — build muscle, shed fat, improve athleticism.
Not only does testosterone host a myriad of benefits in our everyday lives such as promoting healthy bones, skin, and brain, it also plays a critical role in fitness-related functions such as:
- Healthy libido
- Muscle growth — this occurs due to Testosterone’s effect on protein synthesis
- Metabolism — healthy metabolism = greater potential for fat loss
- Growth…and a word that typically follows it, but I’m not allowed to say. Explanation below.
Okay, here’s the thing. This section is all about a certain thing we all produce but the big Goo*** won’t let us say. We hate tyranny, but being mere peons, must bend to their will. Or, at least appear as we are. So, the following section is about Growth More-moans. Yup, we can’t say the real word AT ALL. But I’m sure you’ve taken a poetry class during your angsty teenage years. Find the word that rhymes with More-moans, and anytime you read more-moans, pretend it’s the real word. If that’s not clear enough, just remember that Whores Moan (at least the well-paid ones)
Growth spurts, healthy skin, all those things we took for granted as children. Growth More-moans (GM –but actually G then H) is a peptide more-moan that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. Cells are often called the building blocks of life. Healthy levels of GM can help with several things, including:
- Increased muscle mass through sarcomere hypertrophy
- Anti-aging — look 26 when you’re 35. Not the other way around
- Improved Metabolism — utilize food for energy more efficiently
- Fat loss — see above (metabolic function)
Unlike the previous two hormones where more is almost always better, Insulin needs to be kept at healthy levels — not too high, not too low. When optimized, insulin can benefit your life in some powerful ways:
- Improved fat loss
- Increased muscle mass
- Shimmering skin
- Cognitive health
Your built-in alarm system, Cortisol is the stress hormone. It factors into blood pressure regulation, inflammation, as well as the sleep/wake cycle. There are those that would advise you to treat cortisol like it’s some vampire vanting to suck your gains avay. They command that you stay away from it, hold garlic at all times, stab it with a stake. They’re wrong. Even working out can elevate Cortisol levels, and it’s not like you would stop that. All you want is a healthy balance. Things that help:
- Sleep — if you can’t get 8 hours of sleep a night, try for some 25 minute power naps when possible
- Cutting down caffeine — I know, that sounds like a nightmare for me too
- Take rest days! No. Seriously. The whole “team no rest days” BS is killing you (and your gains)
- Cut out the negativity, Nancy. Beating yourself up isn’t doing anyone any good
- Regulate Stress. Glass of wine. Sauna. Depending on your state, something green (I mean tea, obviously)
- Don’t eat crap. That’s it. Surprisingly sugar has an adverse effect on…pretty much everything <mind blown>
- Get some Ashwagandha in — which you can find in our RUT Testosterone Booster.
The primary female hormone, Estrogen has some niche benefits that really only apply to women — or men looking to transition. But, outside of those scenarios…best to keep that hormone as low as possible. Especially in fitness, where it can pretty much be considered the devil — not the charming one from the television series Lucifer, more like the one from Dante’s Inferno.
Boost Workout Efficiency
It’s no secret that to build muscle, gain strength, or lose fat you need to work out. I’m not talking about hopping on the elliptical for fifty easy minutes and calling it good. Although that has its applications — physical therapy, bodybuilding competition prep, an obese person just starting out, deloading phases — lackadaisical exercise is not how you evolve.
To truly evolve to the next best stage of your self the word exercise shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary. Replace it with working out, training, and practicing. And to be as effective with your workouts as possible, you need proper support. Sure, that can come in the form of nutrition, but no matter how perfect your nutrition is, you still might be leaving gains on the table.
You need a supplement stack that can help with:
- Energy — save sleep for after you’ve slain that beast (beast being your workout), feasted, and wound down.
- Mindset — I own this workout. I can accomplish anything.
- Focus — be in the present; not tomorrow, not what’s for dinner. The present –this set, this sprint, this WOD.
- Blood flow — The pump is the bucking cure, yo
- Endurance — To hell with ‘one more rep,’ get five more.
- Hydration — Your body is made up of 70% water. Think about that.
- Muscle recovery — come back stronger
- Fat metabolization — use fat for energy
Promote Muscle Recovery
Tear and repair. That’s how you build muscle and gain strength. When you tear down muscle fibers, your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to make new muscle protein fibers or strands, similar to weaving several strands together to form a thicker, stronger rope. These repaired muscle fibers increase in number and thickness, resulting in muscle hypertrophy (growth).
This requires proper nutrition, no doubt. But most of us don’t have a perfect diet. And those of you that do can still optimize through supplementation — although, for the record, if you tell me your diet is perfect I can probably point out 3 potential flaws within one glance of your Myfitnesspal.
The most efficient ways to accelerate muscle recovery: optimize hormones, shuttle nutrients as effectively as possible, provide proteins and amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). The right supplement stack will be able to deliver on all those fronts.
Accelerate Protein Synthesis
Protein synthesis is actually a process that occurs in all organs. For our goals, we’re focused on muscle protein synthesis. Join me for a metaphor, if you will. If you were to write a story, you’d need to type one word, then another, and another. And eventually, you’d have a story.
Think of muscle protein synthesis as the same. Each muscle is a story. Each protein is a word. Muscle protein synthesis is the act of adding words until you have the story. Easy enough, right? Just keep typing. Wrong.
Your story is saved in a shared .doc and there’s someone else who has access to edit that doc. We’ll call this backspace happy editor Muscle Protein Breakdown. For every word you type, the editor deletes one too. For every protein you add, muscle protein breakdown takes one. You have to type faster than they can hit backspace.
To put it differently, muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
Fit the Budget
Fun fact: Bruce Wayne (Batman) was the OG biohacker. He had a system that provided daily biofeedback to inform him what vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and so forth he needed. Obviously he needed a lot, considering he had to deal with the stresses of running a multi-billion dollar company, training everyday, as well as save a city that always needed saving.
While none of us have the same struggles as Batman, we also don’t have nearly the same amount of resources — unless you’re Dave Asprey, then hi Dave, thanks for joining. We can’t afford to spend unholy amounts of money on supplements every month. We have a mortgage, car payments, credit cards, Billy’s piano lessons, Joanna’s ju-jitsu class, and of course $200,000 of debt for a college degree we’ll never use.
The optimal supplement stack is affordable, yes. But don’t confuse affordable with cheap — if you can find your supplements in the same place where you find your toilet paper, that should raise a red flag. You want quality and value.
Enter: Bucked Up Muscle Building Stack
Now that you know all the things required to build a perfect supplement stack, I can finally tell you the good news. Bucked Up Supplements has us covered. This muscle building stack has achieved the improbable.
- Muscle Recovery:*
- Protein Synthesis:*
- Workout Efficiency:*
- Hormone Balance:*
It does it all with these five supplements:
- Bucked Up: a pre-workout with clinically proven ingredients to help you push yourself to whole new levels at the gym. Prime ingredients include
- Citrulline — blood flow,* because who doesn’t love the pump?
- Caffeine — the most abused drug on the planet, you know what it does
- Beta-Alanine — endurance,* as well as that lovely tingly feeling that signals that it’s time to put in some freaking work!
- AlphaSize GPC: Focus,* strength,* choline health*
- ActiGin — Nutrient absorption to provide even better pump*
- AstraGin —
- RUT Testosterone Booster: It might be called just a testosterone booster, but the way it helps elevate your testosterone is by also balancing out your other hormones.*
- Ashwagandha: the only clinically proven natural testosterone booster,* that can also decrease cortisol*
- Tongkat Ali: Helps raise libido*
- Vitamin D3 and Iron: Most of us are deficient in these vitamins, and that’s less than ideal
- Tribulus Terrestis: The old school natural testosterone boosting supplement that’s been used a staple since the dawn of t-boosters* — for good reason, too
- Deer Antler Spray: There’s a reason Deer Antler Velvet Extract used to be banned in the NFL — it’s legal now, but we still consider it cheat codes to muscle growth and fat loss round these parts*
- Six Point Creatine: Not all creatines were created equal. Six Point combines six different types of creatine to help cellular volumization (fuller muscles),* prolonged strength benefits,* and improved ATP* (the body’s energy currency) regeneration.*
- RACKED BCAA: The perfect 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine for protein synthesis,* then Isoleucine and Valine for muscle recovery.* Plus, carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine to help your body utilize its fat stores for energy — burn fat when combined with exercise,* not just calories
I just don’t think you can beat that stack. You can call me biased, I don’t mind — I absolutely am. But you want to know what isn’t biased? Math. At higher levels, it might make you feel like you need to return to kindergarten, but it’s never biased. So, let’s do the math.
|Bucked Up Pre-Workout||$49.95|
|RUT Testosterone Booster||$69.95|
|Deer Antler Spray||$49.95|
|Six Point Creatine||$32.95|
|Muscle Building Stack||$185.00|
Like I said, it’s also budget-friendly.
To liftfinity and beyond,