Serial Trainer

{July 30, 2008}   supplements

Supplements have been a long argued debate among the health and fitness field professions. I’m going to give you my point of view on it and everyone is welcome to post their opinions on it. Hopefully, a hockey-fight won’t break out in the middle of it!

In this day and age, it is my opinion that we don’t have the nutrients in the soil that we once had. There are more pesticides, more chemicals added to our food than we know what to do with. I could scream and flail that you should be eating organic food but not even I have gone totally organic.

So what do we do? Well, the first thing I always recommend is a vitamin. Why? I recommend the vitamin because if you’re trying to lose weight, what’s the first thing you do? You cut calories. If you cut calories, how do you possibly get all your nutrients from your food everyday? It’s nearly impossible. More so if you’re in a job environment that doesn’t allow you to break every 2-3 hours to eat a small portion of food. Some of us are even shackled to our desks without being able to have water at our side.

Secondly, you’re working out (hopefully, right!?) and you’re losing nutrients through sweat, electrolytes, etc. Vitamins help to ensure that you’re OK. That’s as simple as I can put it.

Onto protein shakes, creatine, and other goodies; I’m of the opinion that these are optional. It’s not a necessity. If you’re someone that has to maintain 4k calories a day, try eating that. I think the funniest thing is talking to someone that’s sitting there at the end of the day, shoving a banana in their mouth and a peanut butter sandwich and just looking at their face.

I worked with such a person. At the end of our shift at 9pm we’d be sitting in the employee break room and he’d just stare at his lunch bag. 4k Calories folks. That’s usually twice as much as most of us eat. He was miserable. He looked at me one day with a mouth full of food and said, “I’m just so sick of eating”.

In those cases, a calorie packed protein shake can help. Of course most of us wanted to kick him because we’d really love to help eat some of his calories for the day, but do you see how having a “shake” could be beneficial? Some shakes pack on 900 calories, that would help with 3 regular meals in some situations.

Onto the other supplements. If you’re a regular Joe Shmoe and you’re just working out to look and feel better, again, it’s not a necessity to pack in all the pills. If you do however, want the boost, please for the love of all things spandex research your product.

If you call your product’s manufacturer and ask serious questions that they cannot answer. Put the product down! Ask for purity. Ask for potency. Ask if they’d let their mother take it! If they cannot answer questions to your satisfaction, get rid of it.

I hate nothing more than for a client to come in, beaming with pride telling me that they’re taking some new hot product that their neighbor is taking and they have no idea what it is. Why would you put it into your body?? Even more distressing is when women take the same supplements as their boyfriend (and same workouts!). Hello? Do you want to look like him? Are you trying to gain beefy arms? Are you trying to pack on the pecs? If not? What the hell are you doing?

I’m all about educating yourself. Get to know your product outside of the advertisements. Be able to explain, in detail, why you’re taking that supplement, how it benefits you, etc.

If you’re going to a gym and the trainers and the staff are pushing supplements on you, ask them to come over and explain each item to you. If they can’t give you a more detailed explanation other than maybe two sentences, I’d pass. At least from buying it from that individual.

I hope that this gave you some insight and answered some questions. I’ll go into more individual products and/or answer questions about supplements the best I can if you post questions.

Have a great workout!


Ron says:

So… what vitamin or vitamins do you recommend for, say, a 26 year old male who is trying to get rid of 5 years of cheap college food and beer? Will just a normal cheap multivitamin work, or do I need to spring for something fancy?

serialtrainer says:

I really like Apex Vitamins. Off their site, they run about the same as a name brand vitamin. At this point I would say any vitamin is better than none 🙂

Ron says:

You missed your chance to linkwhore their website!

Justin says:

What would you say is the most important factor for choosing a vitamin to take?
Why do you think clients might be thinking about taking supplements in the first place and how can training be modified to make up for what the client believes is missing?
What do you think are client’s biggest challenges in determines of nutrition away from the gym and how can supplements minimize these concerns?
just wondering about some things…

serialtrainer says:

alright so number one question: “What would you say is the most important factor for choosing a vitamin” I don’t exactly think there’s one I can choose from. I think that age definitely is a huge factor but also whether they take medications, if they’re active or sedentary plays a big, big role.

Your second question “Why do I think clients might be thinking about taking supplements in the first place and how can training be modified to make up for what the client believes is missing?”

I’m not sure what you mean by what the client believes is missing, would you mind expanding on that for me? Maybe an example? As far as why I believe clients might be thinking about supplements, that’s also a very broad statement. From my personal experience, guys see other guys taking them or see ads in M&F Magazine and want to obtain the same results. What I always ask my client is, “What is your goal”. I’m not going to give them a shake that packs on 900 calories if their goal is to lose weight.

On the flip side of that, if my client is needing to pack on some serious calories, I’m not going to give him a small shake that only gives him 100 calories.

Many women come in with bottles of pills designed to lose weight, curb appetite and drop 10 dress sizes in 30 days. My job is to educate them on what they’re really putting in their body and the realistic expectations they can have.

Your next question, “What do you think are the client’s biggest challenges in deterimining[?] nutrition away from the gym and how can supplements minimize these concerns?”

The biggest challenge is getting people to know how many calories they are eating, how many calories they need to eat and to actually EAT when they are supposed to! It helps people out in both ways. If you’re eating 3-4000 calories, a protein shake packed with 900 calories stuffed with additional calories from a banana, oatmeal, etc can help the monotony of chewing. Whereas the shakes used at meal replacements help people that work all day at a desk who are unable to eat except for designated times. They get hungry, they tend to binge. Drinking a meal replacement will help keep them sated until they can eat a proper meal or to reduce the amount of calories consumed while giving them that full feeling.

There are so many ways that supplements can help someone trying to stay on track. I touched on just a few, I know, but I hope that helps answer your questions.

Thanks again for visiting!

serialtrainer says:

Normally, when I see that someone has made comments on my website just to plug their own …repeatedly. I will not allow them. However, this instance I allowed it because I want to address a few things. Firstly, a lot of the suggestions have already been stated by myself. Always do research and that’s part of my purpose on I do reviews on products and even have people send me samples so I can review it first hand and give my own experience.

I wouldn’t recommend anything to you guys that I wouldn’t use myself, that’s for sure.

As for -not- buying from 24 Hour Fitness or GNC…I cannot wholly agree. 24 Hour Fitness is an ideal place to purchase your supplements when you need advice or further questions about the product you want to buy and their mark up isn’t so criminal that it’s not worth it if you need the bottle -now-. Of course, everyone here on my site knows you can just go to and buy them directly from APEX with an awesome discount.

=) thanks for the post and interest in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: