Martha’s Little Helper

What a drag it is getting old.

Not only do you have to work, take care of your dwelling, kids, pets, bills, hygiene… But you have to forcibly make time for things you enjoy, meaning, sometimes your ass is going to drag.

If you’ve taken away one thing from my blog in the past, I hope it is the fact that I love to train more than just about anything in the world. Some days, it’s the only thing I really look forward to.

Those days are namely the 18+ hour workdays where I don’t have time to sit on the toilet let alone have a coherent thought. Those days are when I lift on my late night “lunch break” and then go back to work for another 5 hours or so.

To be honest, lifting on “those days” can be less than a cake walk. I have been dabbling with preworkout supplements for awhile now – I started on Amino 3. While I really enjoyed it as a good way to ease into using creatine, it kind of lacked the kick I was looking for.

Being a person who is concerned about what goes into their body, I’ve always been a little iffy about supplements. I try not to eat processed food all the time, so wrapping my brain around dumping something processed into a shake every day was off putting – it seemed to contradict the pillars of nutrition I try to build for myself.

Something in my ISSA studies really stood out to me though, the statement that (I’m loosely quoting, my book isn’t handy) – if you aren’t using every resource legally available to you be it massage therapy, supplements, meditation etc… In your own training, you are selling yourself short. What I took from that was clinically proven supplements that are aimed at directly improving your training are like the icing on your workout cake. Do your research, find out what will work for you, and get them in your body. The end. Maximize your efforts to the fullest potential.

This lead me to my newest preworkout breakthrough – Jack3d Micro.

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While there has always been a lot of hype around jack3d products, it’s within good reason. I can honestly say that my workouts in the past week have been some of the best ever.
Jack3d gave me that extra little kick in the butt that I needed because work had sucked the life out of me that day. Yes, I still had to put in the work. Yes, the weights still felt heavy, and shit was hard. However, I had a nice “pump” and an all encompassing yet calm energy about me that got me through.
I had the strength to superset my assistance work instead of going fetal (except during high rep squats. F me, those do not get easier over time.) When my lifting was done, I had energy to do my cardio, instead of trying to squeeze it in earlier in the day. I actually felt excited about attempting those last few reps that I usually try and talk myself out of. Basically, it made my workout as efficient and productive as I always wished it had been, and when I was done instead of feeling like I got ran over by a truck, I felt revitalized and ready to get back to work.
Even better – I have yet to “crash.” I haven’t noticed a specific point in time that it “wears off” – but I also haven’t had trouble sleeping at night. I’d say she’s a keeper.

I also did 2 unassisted chin ups one day this week. 3 if you count the one more I eeked out eventually.

Anyway – my opinion about using supplements has definitely changed.

I will say one thing though, and this is crucial in my opinion…
Even if a supplement seems to be conducive to your goals, you have to, have to 100% be willing to put in the work to take advantage if its benefits.
For example, I would be doing the same lifting program with or without the Jack3d. The fact that it has helped my training sessions by giving me some extra energy is nice – and I take full advantage of that extra burst.

I will even drop something controversial on you now. I know there are supplements out there for everything you can imagine, including fat burning. If you feel like a “fat burner” would be something you want to use, do your research, because they can wreak havoc on your metabolism, and if you have existing health problems bad things can happen, but if that is the route you go — don’t think you can sit on your butt and eat garbage all the time and get optimal results. If you want to use them, they aren’t an excuse to be lazy or unhealthy – they are there to AID your efforts. I don’t advise anyone to run out and grab “diet pills,” but I can see circumstances in which they are beneficial if they are used to SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet and exercise, not IN PLACE OF.

If you are looking to start adding some supplements into your life, make sure you research, make sure they are right for you, and make sure that you understand they aren’t miracle workers, but instead “helpers.” Don’t be afraid to maximize your potential with the gifts of modern science, and take advantage of what it has to offer you. And know that if something sounds too good to be true – it most likely is.

What do you guys think? Supplements, yay or nay?

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13 thoughts on “Martha’s Little Helper

  1. I love the eat real food idea, and since I started reading more about the importance of eating real things; supplements to scare me. I did use the Amino stuff I won from you an liked it, but haven’t used it since Crossfit started, and I’m hooked on my Energybits lol.
    I guess the whole artificial stuff scares me.. like you wouldn’t eat it, so why supplement with it?
    However.. I trust your judgment and know you do your research, so maybe I’ll revisit the topic another day llol

    • It is what it is. I see totally where you are coming from, because I was there. Sometimes though, being flexible has great rewards. If what you’re doing is working, however, why change it up?

      • I think my focus needs to be more mental than supplemental lol.. Clearly, I’m struggling with what I’m doing, but it’s still so new that I need to be patient with myself and work through it before I try to take it to a new level!

      • Exactly! I would definitely not advise throwing a supplement in on top of a new program. Unless its fish oil and multivitamins. Those are musts for basically everyone 🙂

  2. I wish I would have read your love for this Jack3d. I just bought X-FIT TRAINER. I had it the first time today. Nothing really happened from it today but, it was an easy workout. I was caught between X-FIT TRAINER, Jack3d, and 1.M.R. Still wondering a little.

    • I really like the Jack3d. I bought the “micro” formula, but you can still get the old formula (which is supposedly also awesome.) I will definitely keep you guys posted if I change my mind about it – but as of now it’s going great.
      I think it’s just a matter of personal preference and a trial and error experience. Just make sure you give your adrenals a few weeks off every once in awhile, even if you are switching brands 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!

    • I had a taste of 1.M.R. Yuk. I am using NO BULL from MuscleMeds right now for my preworkout. Nothing special. Jack’d is still my favorite I think. I used to use No Explode, but it has a ton of extra filler junk. The smaller containers have the least amount of junk.

  3. Umm… a lot (not all) of what is in these supplements are already naturally occurring substances in the body or come from real food. Amino acids, creatine, glutamine, are all already in us, but not present in our diet because of personal food choices (ie creatine – comes from red meat) or we just don’t want to eat that many eggs to get the casein protein or drink that much milk to get the whey protein. If you train with weights, you are putting your body and central nervous system under more stress than a person who doesn’t, and the supplements add to what’s already naturally produce to handle that stress and aid in recovery.

    If you take a multivitamin, you are also taking a supplement. I take extra vitamins D, C, and E along with my multivitamin. I have my blood levels checked regularly so my doc can see any deficiencies or elevations that may concern her. And – I haven’t had a flu or a cold in years.

    I am always amazed at the number of people who will not use supplements, but will drink a diet soda or eat anything that is processed with ingredients that cannot be pronounced. Or maybe they use BBQ sauce with high fructose corn syrup. Or will drink alcohol or eat refined sugar. We pick and choose our poisons differently, I guess.

  4. I take creatine (a must for any weight lifter IMO). I tried glutamine but it didn’t do anything noticeably for me. I occasionally do a pre-workout supplement – but too many days in a row and it messes with my GI tract. No fun.

  5. I got no problems with supps, just with ones who use them as a short cut to avoid sweat n hardwork. I like your write up about this. In their right place, they can help a good training routine. For me working out at 5a.m is tough sometimes. So dialing in some C4 or micro helps on those tough mornings. Thanks!

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