Looking to bulk up and trim down all at the same time? You'll need all the help you can get. Here's a complete supplement stack for anyone who isn't afraid of a little caffeine. Okay, a lot of caffeine.
The first of our two proteins is whey, also termed fast protein. Why's it fast? Because it's digested quickly, delivering a speedy dose of repairing amino acids to your muscles.
For anyone who isn't au fait with muscle repair, protein consumed is broken down into amino acids, which are used to rebuild the muscle you fatigue when working out.
This means that a whey protein shake is best consumed straight after a workout either as a powder or RTD (ready to drink) shake.
You could go for a variety of whey proteins but we go for pHD Pharma Whey HT+ as it's the best tasting, easiest to mix and based on our experience, delivers results.
- Mixes easily
- Easy to find
- Some find it difficult to digest
- Powder inconvenient / RTDs expensive
- Too many brands to choose from
If whey is the hare of the protein world, casein is most definitely the tortoise.
Slow release, this protein will take about 3-4 hours to deliver the goods to your muscles. It's also better at preventing muscle breakdown, so take it before bed and you'll be safeguarding your rippling muscles mid-slumber.
Casein is more expensive and clumpier in texture than whey, so make sure you have a decent shaker when mixing up. A fork and glass will likely leave you with lumpy brown gruel -- as appetising as it sounds.
Optimum Nutrition 100 per cent Casein is available in larger supermarkets and couples decent taste with good value, so that's our Casein of choice.
- Slow digesting protein
- Slows down digestion of food consumed with it
- Prevents muscle breakdown
- More expensive than whey
- Difficult to mix
- Not suitable post-workout
Sometimes, you just want something you can sink your teeth into.
One bar that crams a whole load into a little, albeit incredibly dense, package is Maximuscle Cyclone.
Combining creatine, HMB, glutamine as well as a blend of fast and slow protein, this dinky little bar is loaded with everything any self-respecting beefcake wannabe would want in a snack.
Available in supermarkets and pharmacies across the UK, it's a great between-meal bite and the fact it isn't loaded up with sugars will ensure anyone watching their carbs can consume it guilt-free.
- Convenient and widely available
- Rich in supplements
- Slow release protein
- Bitter taste
- Bitty texture
- It's a jaw workout
Want to become a bonkers rhinoceros on the gym floor? Try Grenade 50 calibre.
It supplements the creatine in the aforementioned Cyclone bars and infuses it with a blend of Power Deliver System, NutriPump Formula, AdrenoPump Oxygen Delivery Formula, Lactic Acid Buffer Formula and some BCAAs.
Translated, that's a mixture of caffeine, taurine, and healthy sounding additions like beetroot extract and bitter orange peel. Throw in a few ingredients that weren't made to be pronounced, and your workouts will be electric.
Pick up the 25 pack of Pre-loaded sticks. They're not too expensive and each stick has two servings so the 25 pack should last you a couple of months.
- Increases performance (in the gym)
- You feel like a superhero
- Definitely not a placebo
- First time use can be overwhelming
- Berry Blast tastes incredibly bad
- Not suitable for people with dodgy tickers
You've toiled, sweated, palpitated and ingested some foul tasting products to build up some hard earned muscle -- now all you need is some definition.
How to get ripped? With a clean, low carb diet of course, coupled with light cardio after weights and a daily dose of Xedra Cut Slim Packs.
These berry flavoured caffeinated sticks mix into 500ml of ice cold water to deliver a bitter and yet oddly refreshing thermogenic. Upping your calorie burning potential, the best time to take these is 30 minutes before meals or pre-cardio.
Cycle these -- five days on, two days off for a month, then take a week off. Also, remember, if stacking Xedra Cuts with Grendade, both are caffeine rich, so avoid coffee and don't take more than two Slim Packs on a Grenade day.
- Energy boost (replaces coffee)
- Supports weight loss
- Aids lean muscle gain
- Bitty texture towards the end of a serving
- Not for the caffeine-sensitive
- Can irritate stomach
There you have it, five products that'll help your average male get their lean beef on.
Suffice to say, you won't bulk up if you're sat on your backside, so take a look at our five-week weights workout for a comprehensive, complementary regime.
Finally -- use your noggin when stacking supplements. As soon as you feel like a product isn't agreeing with you or your heart is about to jump out of your chest -- stop. No amount of body-beautiful is worth killing yourself over.