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The Supplement Game

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012 06:51PM MST
The Supplement Game…
So you wanna get swole? Well then try out the "Get Me Swole Stack", only $149.99! Uh, no. Wanna get ripped, cut, and veiny as a throbbing…bullfrog leg? Then you gotta try out the "Ripped As Hell Stack", only $159.99!! Uh… no. 
Starting Out…
Sure, we see the ads in the magazines. We see the banners on websites. Hell, we read what's posted all over the place on THIS website! But does that mean that you're going to get the same results taking the latest and greatest ultra-mega-mega stack? Absolutely not. The temptation is certainly there for both the novice and the well-seasoned, but the well-seasoned should know that experimentation to know what works takes time, a bit of brain, and yes, sometimes quite a bit of cash. For those who are starting out in the supplement game, I don't think you should buy into the hype without knowing what you are doing first. And knowing is half the battle, right? Yep…and the other half is time/experience. 
I've been training for a few years now, and though I am not near where I want to be and have used nowhere near half of the products out there, I know enough to know what I'm doing. What works for one person may not work the same for you. When starting out, realize this and move ahead cautiously. Read up on different products and choose something. Not that I said "something", and not "choose a bag o' stuff". Analyze your goals, examine where you want to go in the short term, and take a good look at where you are falling short. If it's energy you lack, start with a stimulant product. If it's aggression and drive you're after, look into something for that. If it's "whatever", then look into "whatever". But do NOT look into ALL of these faults and start mixing and matching right off the bat. 
The Stacking Syndrome
Yes, products are made to stack. There's a million different combinations out there, and twice that number of people telling you what's the best for you to take. When it comes down to it, someone new to supplements should try one thing at a time. Stacking more than one product has advantages, but at an early stage, it has distinct disadvantages. If you are trying both Product A and Product X at the same time (like what I did there?), and something is going wrong, which product is at fault? Likewise, if at the end of the run something went right, which product worked the best? The problem with stacking and the newbie is just that – no idea what's doing what. I don't like hearing complaints from people that have done this, but have to realize that perhaps they haven't talked to someone like me to know what to do. When I hear of a problem and am asked to solve it, a situation like this provides way too many variables. Which product is at fault? Well…none in my book. The problem is that you messed up in the first place by stacking new products together without knowing what they did for YOU!! 
Start out with one product, use a bottle of it, and pay attention to what your body tells you. Bad side effects are much more noticeable than quality gains or milimeters from your waistline. Nowadays, products are being engineered that have little to no negative sides at all. AX is and always has done extensive testing on their line in order to eliminate serious side effects and provide you with a quality experience and positive results. Other companies are doing the same thing, and that's not a bad thing at all. But when it comes right down to it, it's not what a product "does" that matters, it's what a product "does for you" that counts. Try Product A, take a break. Try Product X, take a break. Then, and ONLY then, try Product A & X together to see the difference. Anything short of doing it this way is selling yourself short. 
One other downside to mention, and that's finances. Let's face it, unless you're loaded, you can go repeating huge stacks all the time, nor should you. If you're stacking 5 products that cost $50 each for a month, that's $250/month in products. Max the cycle at 3 months, and that's a mortgage payment on a nice house! If you don't KNOW what each product does for you and you want to experience those same results in the future, chances are good that you're going to have to shell out that kind of money again. If only 2 of those were working to do what you liked, then I just saved you an assload of money!!! 
Stacking What With What?
It's easy to put together an AX stack on your own. Each product in the Arsenal does something and goes well with atleast one other thing. The same rings true for many other manufacturers. But cross lines and do an AX product, and AppNut product, a CL product, and a few others, and you could be getting into some trouble in terms of overkill and redundancy. 
This is the part where research definitely comes in handy. I'm no scientist, but I have them at a moment's notice if I need help! You may not have the luxury of having PHD's and formulators like me on your Gchat, so you'll have to do a bit more digging. If you're looking into a test booster, find ONE you like and try it out. If you're looking into something for estrogen, find ONE and try it out. If you're looking into a stim, find ONE and try it out. Do NOT try 2 of the same or very similar things, especially without trying them individually first. If you're stacking 5 things and 3 of them are the same, you're overdoing it. If those 3 have similar or the same ingredients, you're overdosing! 
Keep it simple, reap the benefits. Can you stack Mass FX, Hard FX, Carnobolic, Lean FX, Stim FX, and AX cell all together? Certainly, but why??? Covering your bases is one thing, but carpetbombing is another. Choose which products are geared towards your goals and go with them. Use only what you need and don't rely on the quantity of your capsules to equate the quality of your progress. The newer you are to this lifestyle, the smaller your stacks should be. 
Cliff Notes 
  • 1. Get your diet and training in check first.
  • 2. Close second, but make sure to rest and not overtrain. 
  • 3. Supplement as a last option to 1 & 2, but do it wisely.
  • 4. Don't put all your faith in a bottle until you have 90% of it in yourself.
Thanks for reading, folks. Hopefully this will help atleast one person out there to make wise decisions and the best progress they can. If there's anything that I've missed, I'll be sure to cover it in subsequent articles.

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