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Do Supplements Really Improve Performance?

Nov 27, 2007
The choice to use supplements is personal... But in my opinion the greatest amount of performance improvement is still made by proper physical training.

Have you ever looked at a Muscle/Bodybuilding magazine or website to get workout tips?

Assuming you have... you know that you can't turn a page without some type of ad for supplements.

It almost makes you feel that you cannot achieve any level of strength, conditioning or fitness without taking one or more of these miraculous, and expensive, supplements.

Obviously, all your physical shortcomings are due to improper supplementation.

Or are they?

If you believe the supplement ad, the reason you don't look like that fitness model in the picture is because you have not been drinking your $40 power shake after every workout.

But most likely it is your choice of physical training methods, stresses, intensities and the frequency of your training that is keeping you from reaching your goals.

Let's take a look at the word supplement for a minute...

These power mixes and concoctions are meant to supplement your daily diet... suggesting that strength, conditioning and fitness cannot be achieved through a regular healthy diet.

Oh, really?

I find it hard to believe that in a society that grossly overeats that the bodily changes that occur because of physical training cannot be supported by proper nutrition and diet... That the daily intake of food needs to be further supplemented by a power shake.

Well, I'm not going to dwell on the effectiveness or uselessness of these products... Ultimately, the choice to use supplements or not is a personal one.

I just want to give you something to think about...

Let's say that there is a liquid formula that you pour into the gas tank of your car that will increase the output of the engine by 10%.

Sounds great... right?

Well, let's also say that your car also has two flat tires, a dead battery and bad breaks.

What do you think will improve the performance of your car more... pouring the liquid formula, "supplement", into the gas tank, or fixing the tires, battery and breaks?

The truth is, using supplements is no substitute for proper physical training... and more strength, conditioning and fitness improvements can be made by proper physical training than the use of supplements.

Your time and energy, not to mention your money, will be best spent by participating in an effective, interesting, modifiable and sustainable physical fitness program that focuses on the improvement of the 10 physical abilities needed for strength, conditioning and fitness excellence.

If you are like me, you physically train to improve performance in the physical abilities that will enable you to meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence.

These type of improvements do not come in a bottle or powder... but are the result of proper physical training that reinforces your strengths and focuses on improving your weaknesses.

If you really want to become a better human being through physical training... concentrate on your choice of training methods, stresses and intensities.

My advice...

Focus on proper fitness training first... and then decide whether or not you need supplements.

Most likely you will exceed your expectations... without the use of supplements.
About the Author
Coach Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach dedicated to building better humans for sport, work and life. Learn more at Optimum Physical Training or take his FREE Tabata Calisthenics Workout Mini Course.
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