What Supplements Should I Take?

Photo Credit: John Jeddore

Photo Credit: John Jeddore

I’ll refrain from talking about brand names and such as I think we all have our opinions on those and many times price is a factor.

I’m also not posting this list to preach about the benefits of supplements.  The post title is “What Supplements Should I Take” and I’m merely answering.

This isn’t my schedule but rather a framework.  And please keep in mind.. these are supplements meant to supplement an outstanding nutritional program.  I do not use this list to fill in gaps or substitute or my lack of proper eating.  It’s in addition to … not in place of.

So let’s begin…

My Foundational Supplements:

These are supplements I take daily with meals (not all meals), regardless of training.

* Multi-vitamin
* Essential Fatty Acid complex (EPA/DHA)
* Joint Matrix
* Digestive Enzymes
* Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Omegas (plant sourced)
* Beta-Glucan

My Picks for Performance/Muscle Building Supplements:

My selection at this time for pre-workout and post-workout recovery.  I’ve tried drinking various energy combinations during a workout (Waxy Maize, Vitargo, water beyond a sip at the drinking fountain, etc) and found it to be bothersome.  My workouts don’t last long enough that I need energy during the workout itself.  I’ve got reserves for 60 minutes of high intensity training.

This section is the most critical for me.  If I can have enough energy to do a very high intensity workout AND I can recovery quickly, my gains will be staggering.

When I do not have a session that involved weight training, this list shrinks a lot.

-Some things are bulk, raw materials that aren’t available for end line consumers. –

* Whey protein
* Creatine
* Vitargo S2
* L-Leucine
* Muscle Milk
* Monster Milk/Mass
* Monster Amino
* Monster Pump
* Beta-Alanine
* Provon 290 whey protein isolate

My Optional Supplements:

Things I’ve found beneficial and I take at irregular times.  I am a coffee drinker and I switch to green tea.  Not for the metabolic effects but for the pick me up of caffeine and the other associated benefits with green tea.

* Caffeine
* Green tea
* Cytomax

Cytomax is something I found useful in 2 specific categories:

a) when attempting to do a high volume, high intensity leg workouts.  It’s the only solution I will consider drinking during the actual workout besides sipping water.  Anything that is “endurance” related which can be some weight training workouts believe it or not.

b) taken long after workouts but before bed on high intensity days to eliminate cramps.  Leg cramps plague me.  This is the only solution I’ve found that eliminates it almost immediately.

And that concludes this lengthy list on what supplements I currently take.

I’d like to know what supplements you take if any.  Please post your comments below.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to update this post when things change or I go home and swallow a pill and realize I didn’t post it here. :-)

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”


You said you don’t need to take supplements to build muscle?  At least that is what your book claims along with everybody else in this industry.  Are you contradicting yourself?


You do not. I was asked what I personally took, and I responded when most other professionals will not.  I’m not a supplement pusher but I’m not a supplement hater.   You only need handwork, consistency and adequate food intake coupled with recovery to build muscle and burn fat.  I said that, others say it and I stand by it.


What supplements should I take?


I’ve got no idea what you should take given your personal financial situation, your work ethic, your age, any medications or other complications and/or needs.  Recommending supplements to people isn’t something I do for a variety of reasons.  One being, I might be fine taking Product A when you have an allergic reaction.  I think sticking to the basics is the best idea.  Beyond that, if your diet is nearly perfect, that’s the time you can put forth some honest effort into making a plan for yourself.  Cookie cutter list of supplements to take is like giving cookie cutter financial advice.  Most people LOSE.  It may or may not pertain to them.  They end up frustrated and upset.  Hence, I make these recommendations for ME and me only.  Not you.  Re-read that this is for informational purposes only.


How come other fitness guys don’t post this?


I don’t know.  I’d guess the same reason they don’t post a lot of things.  They create images and often live different lives.  What you see in this blog, my personality, my preferences for a training style, my opinions.. is how I live.  All the time (except when I’m sleeping).  I take supplements personally and therefore, I don’t create some illusion I don’t.  But I don’t run around pushing them on people and I don’t give out recommendations as I don’t know your history among other things.  It’s a question I get all the time and it’s always the one I can’t answer perfectly.


Where can I buy…   How come you don’t post links?


Because I’m not making recommendations.  This is a list post.  For informational purposes.  Disclosure.  For curious minds.  Not me trying to encourage you or direct you anywhere.  People asked, I responded.  That’s it.


Where can I learn more about the science behind supplements IF I choose to take this path?


I wrote a very lengthy post about How to Evaluate a Supplement. I suggest you read it and do your research before just buying the latest and greatest or what Joe/Sally said on some forum.  You’ll end up with more money in your pocket and feeling smarter.

Dave DePew Interviews the NoBull Muscle Guy


Dave DePew, MFT, LSN is an experienced San Diego-based Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, Licensed Sports Nutritionist, Strength Coach, and Natural Bodybuilder. His fitness boot camps and numerous radio shows and segments are all part of the, “The Dave DePew Network”, as he is well known for physique transformations and is highly sought after in the San Diego area. In this show, Dave interviews me about my NoBull Bodybuilding book, some of the things every natural bodybuilder needs to know, and how I use awareness to continually propell myself and everybody I teach towards their goals …

Monster Milk RTD

Monster Milk RTD

Monster Milk RTD

Cytosport’s latest edition to the Monster line… Monster Milk RTD is finally live! As of June 11th, 2009, Cytosport ran their first batches of this high quality, high content protein aimed at the bodybuilder who wants it all, in a single RTD container.


Each bottle is 2.5 servings!  This is ideal for 50% 1hr before a workout and 1hr after.
But keep in mind.. this is TWO and a HALF servings.

Monster Milk RTD Flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • … more?

Monster Milk RTD Supplement Facts: (Photo of Supplement Label)

At 310-350 calories and 50g of protein per bottle, this  a pre-workout and post-workout nutritional supplement that covers all the bases.  It’s not carb loaded, but you will get 18g per bottle.  At 45g of high quality protein (multi-source whey and casein blends) the natural bodybuilder is going to be quite anabolic pre and post workout.  Which is exactly what you want.

Of course you’ll get plenty of aminos and a dose of creatine.

9g of lean lipids coming from MCT’s, sunflower oil and canola oils.

5g of fiber is typical of functional foods.  Adding fiber is a good thing.  And at 5g it’s enough to make a difference but not so much as to cause a problem.  Those of use who eat our servings of starchy carbs (fruits and vegetables) are probably covered but 5g may be just enough to kick somebody to the daily allowance.  Not a bad thing in any case.

More Than Your Average Protein Shake

More Than Your Average Protein Shake

Supplement Facts Quick Sheet:

Serving Size: 8 fl. oz. (237mL)
Servings per container: 2.5

Amount per Serving:

Calories: 120
Calories from fat: 30
Total Fat: 3.5g
Total Carbohydrates: 5g
Protein: 18g

Cytosport is in Benecia, California.  Which means.. this product is indeed MADE in the USA.

More Photos from Flickr

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle


Thinking About Buying Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle? WAIT! Find Out What You’re Getting Yourself Into BEFORE You Buy

Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle makes some outrageous claims, has a bunch of larger-than-life testimonials, and costs more than your average hardcover book. When scrolling through the (very long) official website, your mind will be racing with questions wondering if it’s a scam or a legitimate program, because you have to admit, the concept behind the program is very intriguing.

It’s getting harder every day to distinguish the legitimate fat loss programs from the ones that are nothing but scams, so…

Before you decide to purchase Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, let’s put it to the test.

First, the author, Tom Venuto has been featured on hundreds of websites as well as in magazines such as Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness, Ironman, Men’s Exercise and Men’s Fitness. Tom is also the author of a hardcover national best-seller, The Body Fat Solution (Penguin/Avery books). There was even a blurb about his latest book in Oprah Magazine.

Venuto is a bodybuilder – in fact, his whole system is based on “fat-burning secrets of bodybuilders and fitness models.”  Looking at his pictures, you can see that he is beyond good shape, the guy is jacked and six-packed.  You’d be tempted to scream “Steroids” except that Venuto says he’s lifetime natural and has competed in drug-tested competitions for more than 20 years.

After a little more research, you’ll find that Burn The Fat was released in 2002 and was the #1 e-book best-seller for 4 years in a row. Most Internet weight loss programs haven’t even been around that long, let alone topped the charts that long. Also, New York City publishers and major magazines like Men’s Fitness don’t give the time of day to fly-by-night Internet marketers, so there’s some credibility.

But the real question is, does the program actually work?

The claim made by Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is that bodybuilders and fitness models are the leanest athletes in the world. Venuto himself was 3.7% body fat at one point (note: on the day of a contest). Therefore, says Venuto, if you find out how bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitors get so lean and you do the same thing, you will get the same results. It makes sense. However, there’s no magic solution here.

From reading Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, you learn that you won’t get 6-pack abs or a body like a fitness model by training a few minutes a day and eating junk. You learn that to get lean you have to change your lifestyle and adopt new habits to replace the old ones that made you fat. You learn that to get “ripped” it takes an even more regimented nutrition program.

When looking at the Burn The Fat website, you’ll see a home page plastered with testimonials from people of all ages. Since it’s impossible to be sure these testimonials/people are real, a little outside research is in order. What you’ll find on a web search is a free discussion forum called the Burn The Fat Facebook group, which has several thousand members who support each other to implement the program. You’ll also find several Burn The Fat Yahoo groups. There is also a paid online support community (sponsored by Venuto), called the Burn The Fat Inner Circle, with thousands of members using the Burn The Fat system. Membership to this site is optional and doesn’t come with the e-book.

With a little more online research, it’s easy to find positive reviews and before and after photos of people who have successful used Burn The Fat to lose weight. You’ll also find some YouTube videos and blogs devoted to chronicling the training journals and nutrition programs of fat burners.

It’s hard to dispute that Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is one of the most established fat loss programs online.  Not only is third party proof all over the Internet, this program has been around since 2002. A program just can’t survive that long on the web if there isn’t good word of mouth. And of course, we know this method has worked for bodybuilders for decades.

The final question then becomes, will it work for YOU?

Burn The Fat, Feed The  Muscle is a best seller and there’s proof that it works.  But it will probably appeal the most to a certain kind of person.  First, it takes effort and a significant time investment.  It trades focus, dedication and hard work to get significant, permanent and natural fat loss (as opposed to some rapid fat loss programs where you’re required to take drugs or supplements and where the weight is a lot more likely to come back).

Another thing to know is that the main focus of the e-book is on nutrition, and it requires counting calories and crunching numbers to create menu plans. There’s a lot of value in that kind of precision, but this approach may not be for everyone.  Some people prefer to just estimate portion sizes. Burn The Fat is probably ideal for people who need structure, enjoy planning and are detail-oriented (accountants, engineers, math buffs and other analytical types will be in seventh heaven). If you like to know WHY you’re doing something instead of just being told WHAT to do, you’ll appreciate the detail in the 300+ pages.  It’s definitely thorough. Encyclopedic even.

Here’s the bottom line:

If you want a quick fix weight loss solution, if you’re looking for what pill to take or if you’re not willing to exercise, then Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is probably not for you.

On the other hand, if you’ve tried all the diet trends and fads, if you really want to know the (sometimes uncomfortable) truth about fat loss and if you have the discipline to make lifestyle changes, then you’ll find Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle to be an excellent investment that delivers what it promises – you burn off the fat, you keep your muscle and you don’t have to starve yourself to do it.

It may not be for everyone, but it’s no scam. Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is legitimate and effective. You can learn more at the official website at http://www.BurnTheFat.com

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

P.S. - Want a chapter by chapter review?  This is one of the longest, most detailed reviews of each chapter of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle.  Click here to read the EXTREME  Review.

How Long Will It Take Me to Lose Weight?


Photo Credit: Eliazar

Imagine how nice it would be to know how long it might take to be “swimsuit” ready. You’d know when to start getting cut for the summer and roughly how long it might take.

How many people ask…

How long will it take me to lose weight?

By using some information in your body composition, it’s easy to tell how long does it take to lose weight.

Just a few steps can take you from a body fat percentage to the number of weeks it’s going to take you to reach your goals.

You might know how to burn the fat, but do you know how long will it take me to lose weight? Let’s find out right now.