chapter-2-intra-workout

Now that you have a firm hold on what you should be doing supplementation-wise prior to your workout sessions, it’s time for us to move forward and talk about what you can do during your workout session to enhance your performance and make sure the post-workout recovery process goes off without a hitch. By understanding the basics of what’s taking place in your body during each form of exercise you’re doing, you can better figure out what form of supplementation is going to best serve to your benefit.

How You Train Matters

Remember, how you train in the gym is going to make a big difference over what supplements you use as well. For instance, if you’re doing a session that is running over 45 minutes to an hour, you simply must be providing further fuel sources for your body.

If you don’t, you’re going to run the risk of lean muscle tissue loss as your body may begin dipping into its own reserves (read: muscle mass tissues) for fuel. You definitely do not want this, so it must be avoided at all costs.

Furthermore, if your sessions are lasting for 1 hour+ and you aren’t eating until the very end of it, you’re really missing the anabolic window that would have started as soon as that workout begin. From the starting point of the workout session, you should be ideally getting some form of fuel in no later than 60-70 minutes of elapsed time from that starting point.

By using inter-workout supplementation, you can make sure your body is never going a moment without the amino acids and fuel it needs.

Intra-Workout Supplements for Training

First let’s go over the different forms of exercise training and the demands they’ll place on the body and after that go into what you should know supplementation-wise to match this.

Cardio Training

When you’re doing cardio training, you’re getting your heart rate up and holding it there for a continuous period of time. In addition to that, you’re going to be utilizing either pure glucose for fuel if it’s a higher intensity sprinting session, or a mixture of glucose and fatty acids if it’s a lower intensity, moderate paced steady state session.

During your cardio training, your circulation level is going to increase, your body will increase its metabolic rate, and your blood pressure is going to go up.

To help achieve best results during your cardio training, you should be focusing on keeping your breathing regulated and steady. In doing so, you are going to help to maintain more normalized blood pressure levels and keep your heart rate under control.

What to Eat Before Your Cardio Workout

Your eating pre-cardio will depend completely on the type of cardio training you plan on doing. If you are doing a sprint session, you’ll want to be consuming some form of glucose and protein prior to the session starting as this is the fuel source you’ll need – and you’ll be breaking down muscle tissue in the process due to the intensity.

If, on the other hand, it’s just a moderate paced session, you can rely on stored fat as a fuel source. Many people will choose to do their steady state cardio workouts on an empty stomach for this reason as it can increase the total rate of fat burning in some instances.

Just remember though, if you eat too much after the empty-stomach cardio is done for the remainder of the day, it’s really going to have done nothing for your ‘fat burning’ as your calorie balance will still be too high.

By eating properly pre-cardio, you can make sure you perform optimally.

What Supplements to Take Before Cardio

So all of this said, what supplements best enhance your progress?

If you are doing empty stomach cardio training, you may want to consider utilizing a fat enhancer such as yohimbe. This particular product tends to help increase the fatty acid release from the fat tissues, allowing you to better burn them off as you are doing your cardio training.

In addition to that, many people see good results using caffeine prior to their workout session as well. This will give them a nice energy boost and can also help with the release of fatty acids from the fat tissues.  Caffeine paired with yohimbe is a common combination.

Cardio training doesn’t require all too much on the supplement front due to the nature of the exercise, so your primary goals with it should be to simply boost energy and enhance fatty acid release.

Weight Training

Now we move to weight training. Weight training is a much more physically demanding form of exercise, so one where you will need to be sure you’re getting intra-workout supplementation in.

During strength training, your body will be rapidly depleting its glucose storage in the body as it gets burned up quickly into the workout session.

It’s also going to be utilizing the storage of creatine phosphate, which is the precursor to the high-energy compound ATP, which fuels each muscular contraction taking place.

Tips for Best Results

To help enhance the results that you get from strength training, you want to do two things.

1. First, you want to maintain a good level of mind-muscle control. This means that as you perform the session you are really focusing in on each muscle contracting as you do the exercises. This will ensure that you are targeting the right muscle groups accordingly and are going to be developing maximum tension and therefore fatigue.
2. Then in addition to that, it’s important that you are putting yourself on a well-developed program that is high in compound movement patterns, which will allow you to lift more total weight and stimulate a higher number of muscle tissues.For instance, rather than going to the gym and performing set after set of bicep curls and tricep extensions, focus on chest press and bent over rows. You’ll simply achieve more in less time doing these exercises and take your progress up a notch.

What Supplements To Take Before Weight Training

Many people will choose to supplement with a creatine supplement during the workout if they aren’t using one before or after. This can allow them to make sure their stores aren’t being depleted too quickly.

In addition to that, during strength training, you’re going to start creating tiny microtears in the body tissues, which will need to be repaired.

Many people will start supplementing with amino acids at this time, which are the molecules that form protein that the muscles require for repair. We’ll go into more details on those in a second.

Finally, you may also want to take a glucose solution beverage as well. Many people find that sipping on some rapid release carbohydrates such as waxy maze, carbolyn, or dextrose can help maintain energy levels during their workout as they keep their blood sugar – and therefore insulin higher. If you are doing a longer workout session, this will definitely be a must.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

The most commonly used intra-workout supplement is the branched chain amino acids.  Amino acids, as you may already know, are the building blocks upon which muscle is formed – and what the protein rich foods you eat are broken down into.

You need amino acids every single day in order to repair body tissues, form hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as complete a number of other life-sustaining functions.

Branched chain amino acids however, are a specific form of amino acids that are going to be utilized right in the muscle tissues and can be used as a fuel source during exercise.

Sipping BCAAs throughout your session can help you maintain higher workloads, stronger muscle contractions, and help you kick-start the rebuilding process early.

BCAAs and Muscle Mass

The branched chain amino acids, which include L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine, are extremely important if you are dieting as this is when you are most at risk for lean muscle mass. By using these during your workout session, you can reduce the overall state of catabolism (tissue breakdown) that’s taking place, helping to offset some of the normal muscle mass loss that can occur if you are using such a low calorie diet for fat burning.

When losing weight, muscle mass loss is a real concern you need to tend to and using BCAA’s during your workout session is one of the best ways to combat this.

Even if you are simply focused on muscle building and fat loss is not a big priority for you, it’s still wise to be supplementing with BCAA’s as they can keep you in a more anabolic state, which is going to be critical for mass building.

BCAAs Delay Fatigue

Another interesting benefit of using BCAA’s is the fact that they are going to compete with the other non-BCAA amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain. If tryptophan gets in, this is going to cause a serotonin release, which can actually cause feelings of fatigue to set in sooner.

Normally, serotonin is a good thing as it tends to relax you and calm your mood, but during exercise, it can also make you feel more fatigued.

By avoiding serotonin release because the BCAA’s are crossing into the brain rather than tryptophan, you can delay fatigue better, putting in more intensity during your workout session.

All in all, if there is only one supplement you use during your workout session, make it BCAA’s.

Now to make sure you are fully set to head into your workout, let’s give you an example of a full body workout program that balances strength training along with cardio training for superior results.

Example Full Body Balanced Workout

While this example program is set up for weight training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, feel free to adjust the days as you feel you prefer. Just make sure that you have at least one day off between strength training sessions to allow for a full recovery to take place.

Make sure you also begin each strength training session with a brief 5 minute warm-up of light cardiovascular exercise and a cool down with some stretching after the session is over.

Monday

Exercise Reps Sets Rest
Chest Press 8 3 60 seconds
Squats 8 3 60 seconds
Bent Over Rows 8 3 60 seconds
Deadlifts 8 3 60 seconds
Shoulder Press 10 2 45 seconds
Bicep Curl 12 2 30 seconds
Tricep Extension 12 2 30 seconds
Plank Hold 30-45 second hold 2 30 seconds

Tuesday

20-40 minutes steady state cardio of your choice.

Wednesday

Exercise Reps Sets Rest
Incline Chest Press 8 3 60 seconds
Sumo 8 3 60 seconds
Pull-Ups 12-Oct 3 60 seconds
Deadlifts 8 3 60 seconds
Shoulder Press 10 2 45 seconds
Lateral Raise 12 2 30 seconds
Front Raise 12 2 30 seconds
Calf Raise 15-20 2 30 seconds

Thursday

Off/Rest

Friday

Exercise Reps Sets Rest
Chest Press 8 3 60 seconds
Leg Press 8 3 60 seconds
Bent Over Rows 8 3 60 seconds
Lunges 8 3 60 seconds
Shoulder Press 10 2 45 seconds
Hammer Curl 12 2 30 seconds
Tricep Press-Down 12 2 30 seconds
Bicycle 15 2 30 seconds

Saturday

Interval Cardio Training

Sunday

Off/Rest

So there you have all you need to know about intra-workout supplementation. If you choose your products wisely, they can help your workout go that extra mile and ensure that you see the absolute best results from all your hard gym effort.

back-to-chapter-one

what is a supplement

to-chapter-three