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This guide is intended to help you better understand the benefits of the supplements you are taking. Not only so you can save your time, energy and money by avoiding supplements that aren’t right for your goals, but so you can start benefiting from the supplements and get in the fast lane to your dream body!
Building lean muscle takes time, focus and consistency. The problem is there is no “one-size fits all” formula but we took the time to break down the products to help you meet your goals based on things such as age and activity level. Let’s crush those plateaus!
(We added an alternate section at the bottom to address conditions such as allergies, caffeine sensitivity, and more.)
You need to make sure that you are in a calorie surplus to even begin to build more muscle and gain strength. High protein diets are a must no matter your age or experience level when it comes to this goal.
To get an idea of what you need food and supplement wise you need to understand your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate), which is how many calories you burn just to stay alive before daily activities and workouts. We have the basic formula below.
Male BMR = 66.47 + (6.24 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.755 x age)
Chances are you are going to be a little shocked at the BMR results and that is just the calorie content you should consume if you were not active at all during a day!
To figure out about how many total calories you are burning in a day we go to a point based system that adjusts for each based on your activity level. More on that below!
To get an idea of what your macro and calorie breakdown should be we recommend 1g of protein per pound of body weight and then calculate your carb intake to roughly 30% - 50% of your total calorie intake, and keep the sugar carbs low! To calculate that out, 1 gram of carbs and protein are 4 calories each. Fat equals 9 calories per 1 gram.
The results of the BMR calculation are then used to multiply against the average daily activity of the person. Points are awarded based on how active a person is.
Points for activity levels are as follows:
When the BMR is calculated and the activities points are determined, the two scores are multiplied. The total is the number of calories burned on an average day.
For example, to calculate how many calories a 34-year-old, 6-foot-tall, and 190-pound man who is moderately active burns, the formula would look like:
(66 + (6.2 x 190) + (12.7 x 72) – (6.76 x 34)) x 1.55 = 3,022 calories/day
This figure shows that a man of this age, height, weight, and activity level can consume 3,022 calories and maintain his current weight. He could increase or decrease weight by consuming more or less than this amount over the course of several days. If he is looking to gain muscle, he would want to be average a surplus of around 200-300 calories a day over that total calorie amount and then adjust as activity level and body weight changes. Calculate macros based on the formula above.
Now that you know more about what your calorie intake should be, let's take a look at what supplements can help you reach those results.
Protein powder is the "Go-To" for almost every goal but our recommendation is a little different when your focus is gaining muscle and strength. Your best options here are going to be a protein blend consisting of Whey, Isolate, and Casein protein powders, or just a straight Casein protein. What one you go with depends on if you prefer a protein shake after the gym or not.
If you do, then go with a protein blend to get the quick digesting Whey protein to feed your muscles quickly, and the Casein protein which digests much slower feeding your muscles over a longer period of time. If you get most of your daily protein from whole food sources, then taking regular Casein protein about 30 minutes before bed will feed your muscles while you sleep and have a much better impact on the gains you're after.
Pre-Workout Supplements ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY! We cannot stress that statement enough, and their ingredients and the doses per ingredient play a significant role in muscle development. Probably the most important thing to understand about this is "clinically effective dose." Over the vast amount of research studies out there on the nutrients your body utilizes, there is no argument which it comes to Clinically Effective Doses of an ingredient, which is the optimal amount of a nutrient that your body can use and receive the greatest benefit from.
A great example of this is the amino acid Beta-Alanine. In short, Beta-Alanine serves as a buffer against lactic acid build up in your muscles while training. This means less fatigue and better workouts, which is why it is found in almost every pre-workout available. The kicker is that the Clinically Effective Dose of BA is 4g-6g per day. If you're trying to build more muscle faster, you need to train harder and longer, and getting the right amount of Beta-Alanine will Absolutely help with that. Unfortunately, the majority of the pre-workouts out there will only include 1g of Beta-Alanine per serving. So why would you take a supplement with 1g of Beta-Alanine when your goal is to build muscle faster and effectively?
Now that we understand "Clinically Effective Doses" of ingredients, we can get on with the best Pre-workouts for your goal. The Pre-workouts listed below are dosed correctly of some of the most effective muscle building nutrients available. The right one for you will depend on tolerance to Caffeine and the additions of a few other ingredients that we list under each product. Grab the one that matches andstart crushing it in the gym!
Creatine has now had over 30,000 peer reviewed studies done, all proving its effectiveness for building muscle and strength faster than those training without it, and the one thing all these studies have in common is that you must take it consistently to see real benefits. Now, the first main issue with most creatine powders, is that they don’t contain enough, or the right kind of creatine. Creatine monohydrate is the lone standout across all these studies, proving it works. Second, most creatine supplements taste extremely chalky and are hard to get down.
Kaged Muscle CreaClear and Bucked Up Six Point Creatine definitely stand out above the crowd here. If you're looking to get a blend of the different forms of creatine that help your muscles to different degrees, then Six Point Creatine is your go to here. CreaClear is a full dose (5g) Creatine monohydrate that introduces a microencapsulated process allowing the creatine to dissolve in water. This is a huge breakthrough in the creatine world because all 5g of Creatine monohydrate can be absorbed through this process where traditionally your body would only absorb a portion of the Creatine monohydrate you ingest, leaving you unable to gain the full benefits it can offer!
Incorporating creatine in your supplement routine is the most important thing you can do when your goal is building strength and muscle.
Testosterone is no joke… It’s the most important hormone in a guy’s body, and if you’re over the age of 20, your test levels are already dropping by over 1% each year! And low testosterone levels lead to struggling with putting on muscle, struggling with burning off fat (especially in the abdomen area), lack of sex drive, lack of energy, lack of focus, hair loss, the list goes on and on. But luckily, there are a number of vitamins and minerals that have been scientifically proven to work with the body to naturally boost testosterone levels in men..
Each of the boosters listed below are clinically dosed with the top ingredients to raise your testosterone levels, increase your energy, libido, and maximize muscle growth from the training you're putting in.