A Complete Beginner's Guide To Supplements

A Complete Beginner’s Guide To Supplements: All The Info With None Of The Bullshit

If you’re a complete noob to lifting (here and here are great places to start) you’re also going to be a complete noob to supplementation, with no idea where to start on your path to the ultimate physique.

We’ve all been there.

We start going to the gym, have no sodding idea what we’re doing, and struggle to bench the fucking bar.

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That is until a good friend shows us ‘Pumping Iron’ and we think we’re going to be the next Arnold, respected by millions of men and desired by billions of women until the day we die.

In reality what we become is a target market: the gym noob.

And it is very important to understand that at this point you are the perfect target market for 90% of supplement companies that would like nothing more than to separate you from your hard earned cash.

You and your scrawny ass arms are exactly the reason that words like ‘hardcore’ adorn the packaging of pre-workouts and why lightning is used on almost all product advertising to make it seem like the next best thing to steroids straight out of Russia, when in reality it’s just green tea.

So if you’re a gym rookie, take a look at this quick guide to the supplements you’ll be exposed to first.

All our claims are backed by science (probably) and the most important evidence of all: years of actual lifting.

Some people may tell you that you don’t need supplements and actual food is enough.

These people are wrong, so tell them to fuck off back to their Crossfit gym and take some more ‘after’ pictures for their 14 year transformation.

Whey protein

We’ll start with the most simple of supplements: Whey Protein.

Whey protein is the cornerstone of any good diet.

Whether your routine is lifting heavy weights or fannying about on a treadmill, whey protein is your go-to recovery supplement.

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But you have to ignore the noise.

Whey protein isn’t some kind of magical potion that only gym bros take to make them immediately hench.

No, it is simply FOOD.

That’s right, it’s just a bloody macronutrient, and the most important one at that.

So start with something basic – probably a product containing isolate, and go from there.

And don’t forget, whey protein will reward you, but it’s no substitute for hard fucking work.

So train your arse off too.

Oh, and don’t shop at GNC.

Jesus Christ that place is expensive – get your whey protein online like everyone else under the age of 70.

Creatine

CREATINE!!!!

RAAAARGH!!!!!!

Everyone’s heard all about this stuff – it gives you mad gains and makes you “ripped to the core” (fuck off) with daily use.

Again, creatine is another main offender when it comes to lightning covered packaging and crazy claims.

Remember, this is not a revolutionary drug discovered in Chinese lightning sprints.

It does, however, work.

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Creatine is one of the most studied supplements of all time and is proven to work.

For example, see ‘Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: a brief review’.

Your body produces it naturally and supplementing with it only makes you have more available for energy production.

Don’t piss about with crazy brands trying to sell you sugar-infused creatine mixes, just go with a good, solid creatine monohydrate product.

It will 100% aid your gains.

BCAAs

BCAAs seem to be a supplement that newbies get roped into taking pretty easily – probably due to the claims of building lean muscle that most supplement companies use.

And while it is true that they will aid in building muscle, I can tell you now you 100% do not need to take BCAAs when starting out.

Protein digests and breaks down into amino acids, so if you’re getting in enough protein you will effectively be pissing away cash taking BCAAs.

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They are a good supplement – but not yet young padawan.

Wait until you are a monster and fasted cardio is no longer a mysterious phrase.

Understand what you are taking and when, then maybe BCAAs will have their place.

Pre-workout

Ah, pre-workout.

At Gymtalk, as veterans of shitty leisure centre gyms across the Midlands, we love to bang back a suspicious coloured powder before loading up the bar with as many 2.5kg plates as possible to ego-press out 4.5 reps.

But how do we do this?

How are we this damn awesome?

Is pre-workout our secret?

In short, no, but it does help.

If you’re new to supplements, you will probably enjoy the kick from pre-workouts, but for god’s sake don’t take ten servings at once thinking you’re the man, have a stroke, and get our favourite supplements banned.

Again.

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Test boosters

Been duped into taking a natural T-BOOST product recently?

Here’s a fact for you: they are a crock of shit.

There are very few test boosting products that actually contain an amount of the active ingredients required to even slightly affect the way your body produces testosterone.

Take a look at the guys advertising these products: their vascularity and size didn’t come from something natural, I can tell you that.

The worst offender being Tribulus Terrestris, which has literally no studies to back up its effect on testosterone levels.

Avoid, it’s all bullshit.

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Signing off

And that about wraps us up.

There are a load more supplements that you’ll probably get confused by at first but these are the main offenders.

Of course if you’re really looking for stuff that works, check out our absolutely sick supplement reviews and subscribe to our newsletter.

And if you have any other questions or comments, sound off below!

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  1. Nice straight to the point.

    Haha, I knew all along that Tony Montana was sniffin’ on creatine in Scarface!

  2. Very entertaining read! Thanks!

  3. Great article!

    Whenever anyone is promoting or providing information on supplements they make you feel like you have to be a chemist to choose the right one.

    Thanks for laying it out in an easy and blunt way.

  4. Thanks for sharing this.

    I am beginning to work out now for health improvement.

    I am planning to take some supplements, this will really help me.

  5. Great article bro…

    But creatine works for some people and doesn’t work for some people.

    I have tried it, I found it to be junk.

    And everyone I have spoken to that used it told me that all they gained was water weight.

    Because that’s all creatine basically does, makes you hold more water.

  6. Cool pictures and guide – I’ve laughed!