Which supplements were staples in your pantry for pre-workout fuel and post-workout recovery?
My use of supplements for training were carefully chosen and minimal. I focused first and foremost on making sure I consumed a healthy, well-rounded diet. Eating the right foods and getting proper nutrition is the biggest staple when trying to build and maintain strength. But I did use some supplements that made a marked difference. Caffeine was my go-to performance aid for a pre-workout boost. However, I was moderate in terms of how much I consumed.
I also experimented with protein powders and found creatine to be helpful in a couple of meet preps. It is a beneficial aid in building strength and muscle bulk. I will say that a good quality protein powder is very helpful and a convenient way to keep your protein intake high day after day. Many of my fellow training buddies also used collagen powder to help their post-workout recovery. If I had to pick one supplement that worked for me, I would say that creatine was my go-to. I think that finding supplements for better rest and recovery, like collagen, however, would be helpful in repairing strained muscles, joints, and bones. If you don’t have sufficient protein, your muscles will not recover or grow. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. This is what is used in your body to repair and rebuild muscle damage from exercise.
BCAA’s were used by many of my powerlifting friends as a way to build skeletal muscle and recover during intense training periods. They continue to be popular with both bodybuilders and powerlifters alike.
Any advice for someone just getting into the sport of powerlifting? (books, mindset, podcasts, nutrition, or otherwise?)
RESEARCH! I strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible on the subject. Science is always changing and evolving. Even from the time I was competing to now things have changed and new research has come out about the most effective forms of training and nutrition.
Make sure to find CREDIBLE sources. There are thousands of fitness “gurus” on social media who will sell you whatever you want to hear. Fact check their information and sources. Don’t attach yourself to just one ideology. Become well versed in different perspectives and do not take someone’s opinion as fact. We have access to an incredible amount of information now, thanks to the internet.
I recommend following and reading content from
- Layne Norton (Instagram - @biolayne)
- Brad Schoenfeld (Instagram - @bradschoenfeldphd)
Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy, Brad Schoenfeld
(This book will, hands down, teach you everything you need to know about exercise science, and how to program weight lifting for maximal effectiveness. Be ready, it is a heavy, science packed read.)
My best advice to new lifters is to find a mentor and be consistent. It doesn’t have to be someone you know, it can be someone you find on social media, like I did. Listen to or read their content and try to soak up all the information you can. Consistency is key for muscle and strength building. You must be consistent with training and nutrition. Perfection isn’t necessary and most likely will not happen, BUT consistency will always win out.
Overall, if you are just getting started, HAVE FUN! Enjoy the process and realize that if you put in the work, you will be rewarded.
Hope this helps!