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The Ultimate Guide to Supplements for Advanced Trainers

If you’re here, it’s most likely because you’re an advanced trainer looking to see what other supplements you need to help you take your progress and gains to the next level.

Perhaps you’re just someone who’s been training for a while and the usual suspects of supplements are no longer doing it for you. Maybe you just like reading. Whichever the case, this article provides an excellent guide for anyone wanting to learn more about their supplements; what works, what doesn’t and how to pick a supplement suited to your needs.

Essential Supplements for Advanced Lifters

Most advanced lifters should also have a decent working knowledge of supplements. If you don’t or simply need a refresher, there are two supplements that are absolutely vital for any lifter; advanced or otherwise. These include:

  • Protein
  • Creatine

That’s it. All other supplements are just extras to be added on to these two.

Protein Supplements for Experienced Trainers


The best advice you can get for picking your supplements is to “keep things simple”. So with a protein; go for a blended protein that has fast, medium and slow digesting proteins. A simple whey blend with casein will suffice. If you can’t find one; buy a blended whey protein and casein protein separately and mix it together.

If you’re taking your training up a notch and find yourself suffering from poor recovery; a casein or night time protein can be useful. There are protein powders which seem to have a range of added nutrients to better support recovery and muscle building. While they are useful, especially for the time poor; unless you’re willing to pay for a premium, I would recommend buying these ingredients separately and making your own.

The only other protein powder that is recommended is a mass gainer; especially if your goal is to gain weight or bulk up. No matter how long you've been training for, mass gainers provide a hit of calories that will help you break through any weight gain plateaus.

Creatine Supplements for Advanced Trainers

You should also keep things simple with your creatine. Creatine Monohydrate is the gold standard, but if you’ve taken that before and had some negative effects such as bloating, try for a more soluble source such as Creatine HCL or Creatine Nitrate. They’re not better; just different.

If you’re unsure about how to take creatine, make sure you read our article on “How to Take Creatine”. There is NO need to cycle creatine. However as your muscles will reach saturation in a number of weeks, there’s no need to continue taking creatine beyond that point. Levels of creatine will also not drop that quickly and can take as much as 6 weeks to drop back to pre supplementation levels.

Advanced Supplements for Bodybuilding & Training

Whenever the words “performance enhancing” pops up, most people immediately think of drugs. But there are literally hundreds of other ingredients; many of which are naturally occurring that can enhance and boost your lifting and other performance variables. A well rounded pre workout is invaluable to help you get the most out of your workout sessions. But what ingredients should you look out for? Below is a short list of some of the best researched ingredients to benefit your training:

Recovery Supplements for Advanced Trainers

As an advanced trainer; your workouts are going to be tougher and more intense. As such, your recovery needs are going to be greater. While your protein intake will help support muscle growth and also help to minimize muscle breakdown processes; muscle soreness and your immune system are other factors that can hamper optimal training performance day in day out. Listed below are some of the supplements and ingredients you should look into to help support better recovery:

  • BCAAs – Short for Branched Chain Amino Acids; they help to kick start muscle growth and to limit muscle breakdown. They are the key active ingredients in most intra workout supplements, but can also be taken separately.
  • Glutamine – A non-essential amino acid that can help support immunity during heavy exercise periods.
  • NAC – Short for N-Acetylcysteine, this compound is necessary to produce glutathione; a natural protectant for the body.
  • HMB – Short for β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate, it is another compound that helps to limit muscle damage
  • Citrulline – Although commonly used as a pre workout ingredient, it can also help reduce soreness and enhance recovery
  • L-carnitine – Often utilised as a fat loss ingredient, it can also support reduced muscle soreness and earlier return to the gym.
  • Fish Oil – A fail safe supplement to not only support good health; but can help benefit recovery processes and limit exercise related suppression of the immune system.

Test Boosters & GH Support Supplements for Experienced Lifters

Natural Test Boosters and GH Support supplements can often be touch and go. While some are underdosed, the real problem simply lies in the lack of research. This doesn’t imply that it doesn’t work, but unlike creatine and protein; isn’t really a sure thing. However, as everyone’s test levels and growth hormone levels naturally decline as you age; often dramatically, it’s always a good idea to at least give these supplements a go every so often. So how do you go about picking a good test booster or a good natural GH booster? Again, it will come down to looking at ingredients and their dosages.

What to Look for in a Test Booster

  • Dosages of ingredients
  • Presence of better researched ingredients such as D-aspartic acid, fenugreek, vitamin D, longjack
  • Take some time to research the ingredients if you need to
  • Read plenty of reviews

As a natural test booster, these supplements aren’t steroids, so don’t expect them to offer the same effects. What you should expect is a good boost in training capacity, vitality, growth, recovery and even sexual desire.  Each individual will experience differing levels of these effects, so don’t feel as though you need to compare your results to others.

What to Look for in a GH Booster

  • Dosages of ingredients
  • Presence of the key GH boosting ingredients of arginine, lysine and ornithine
  • Presence of a sleep support matrix or sleep support ingredients
  • Take some time to research the ingredients if you need to
  • Read plenty of reviews

GH Boosters have stayed relatively similar since they were first introduced to the industry some years back. They often include sleep support ingredients, as a deeper, more restful sleep is key to promoting growth hormone release. In terms of research, the category hasn’t had as much focus as the test boosters category, but if you find your recovery lacking; a good GH Booster can work wonders.

Best Supplements for Advanced Lifters

As an advanced trainer, your foundational needs are going to be the same as any beginners. You’re still going to need protein and most likely more of it, and a good creatine supplement will never go astray. Once you have these sorted, the best supplements for you will depend on your problems and your goals.

The next logical progression would be a performance enhancer such as a pre workout and a recovery supplement. Together, they will help you train harder and give your muscles the stimulus it needs to maintain growth as well as help you recover faster; so you never have to spend too long away from a good workout. With these sorted, it’s time to look into more niche supplement categories such as test boosters and GH support supplements.

Finally, as a more experienced trainer, you should look further into the ingredients which work for you and consider making your own concoction. At the end of the day, your supplements are only going to take you so far and it is the continual progresses you make with your training supported by a diet streamlined with your goals that is going to make the most difference.

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