What does it mean to be “advanced”?
According to Merriam-Webster, advanced can mean “greatly developed beyond an initial stage” as well as “being beyond the elementary or introductory.”
Applied to bodybuilding, an individual who could be considered “advanced” is some who:
- Has made it past the stage of “newbie gains” where gains in size and strength occur on a weekly basis
- Consistently hits their macros day in and day out
- Knows the importance of sleep and makes it a goal to get 7-9 hours of quality rest each night
- Understands what sort of training methods their body responds best to as well as what it takes to continue making gains
- Continually strives to eek out every last morsel of their natural muscle building potential
Essentially, being an advanced bodybuilder entails having the basics of training, nutrition, and recovery down pat. It also means that gains don’t come as easily as they used to, and you have to work that much harder to even make modest gains in size, strength, and performance.
Veterans of the iron game have also spent a fair amount of time experimenting with various supplements. You’ve been using creatine and protein powder for years, and you’ve likely already popped your fair share of pre workout supplements, too.
But, is that all there is to “advanced” bodybuilding supplements?
Not even close.
Today, we’re going to cover what entails taking your supplementation regimen to the next level with the advanced guide to bodybuilding supplements.
#1 Nighttime Sleep & Recovery Aids
In a list of the best bodybuilding supplements, you probably expected to see something along the lines of creatine monohydrate, protein powder, or some other type of pre workout or natural muscle building supplement.
Make no mistake, those supplements can certainly have a place in any lifters arsenal, but we figured as an experienced trainee, you’ve already been using things like creatine and protein powder for quite a while.
No matter if you’re beginner, intermediate, or advanced, one thing virtually everyone struggles with at one time or another is sleep.
And, sleep directly impacts your ability to perform, recover, and grow.
Essentially, sleep deprivation reduces protein synthesis, increases protein breakdown, impairs performance, and decreases motivation -- all things that run counter to your goals to make gains and grow muscle.
While we all tend to focus on things like training hard and eating right (both of which are exceedingly important), we also need to prioritize sleep. For if you are chronically short-changing your sleep, you’re also short-changing your progress and muscle gains.
The issue for many people is that they’re simply too wired or stressed out from the day’s happenings, which makes it a real challenge to unwind and achieve a deep, restorative sleep.
That’s where having a premium-quality nighttime relaxation and recovery aid like EAA Sleep comes in handy.
EAA Sleep contains ingredients known to promote relaxation and calm as well as support sleep, including L-Theanine, 5-HTP, and melatonin. Since sleep is when the body does the majority of its repair, recovery, and growth, EAA Sleep also includes a full spectrum of essential amino acids to support the body’s muscle-building machinery.
Start taking sleep as serious as you do training and nutrition, and what your gains continue to rise!
#2 Intra Workout Nutrition
The more experienced you get, the harder it is to keep making progress. In order to keep making gains, you need to identify opportunities in your routine that can be improved or optimized.
One of the most important opportunities for growth during the day are the hours in and around your training window. Consuming the right nutrients before, during, and after your training session may allow you to train harder for longer (ultimately accomplishing more work) and accelerate recovery, which allows you to get back in the gym sooner to train!
Chances are, you’re already used to eating a quality meal before training, and you’ve long since been accustomed to having a whey protein shake after training is over.
Since pre and post workout meals are likely already taken care of (and if not, then you should start implementing those too!), that leaves intra workout nutrition.
If you’re a novice or beginner, you can most likely get by with just drinking water during your training session.
However, as you become more experienced, your training sessions can become longer and more intense (both in the amount of weight you lift as well as how many sets and reps you’re performing).
More intense/higher volume training can also create more stress and damage to muscle tissue, which is needed to grow, but also requires more recovery.
As we mentioned above, your ability to continually perform at a high level and see new growth is directly tied to your ability to recover. Therefore, it stands to reason that optimizing your nutrient intake during and after training to facilitate maximum recovery makes sense.
This brings us to intra workout supplements, like EAA Max.
Premium-grade intra workout supplements for seasoned gym rats include valuable nutrients that fuel performance and promote recovery, such as essential amino acids (BCAAs & EAAs).
EAA Max also includes essential electrolytes and hydration support aids, including Pink Himalayan Salt and coconut water concentrate to help support sustained performance and muscle fullness while delaying the onset of fatigue.
Essentially, intra workout supplements are ideal for the individual who loves to train hard and is looking for a way to not only amplify their performance in the gym but enhance their recovery and growth as well.
#3 Real Pre Workout Supplements
Pre workout supplements are some of the most popular supplements in sports nutrition. If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time in the gym, then no doubt you’ve experimented with various pre workout supplements over the years.
But, as you’ve probably experienced for yourself, no two pre workout supplements are the same, and some are much better than others.
One of the main reasons for this is that most “beginner” or bargain pre workout supplements are nothing more than great-tasting caffeine powder with a pixie-dusting of other ingredients like beta alanine, arginine, and/or creatine.
And, for some trainees, this is all they need to get in a decent workout.
But, for a grizzled veteran of the iron, conventional pre workouts just won’t cut it. They’re interested in getting the benefits of caffeine supplementation as well as the various other nutrients shown in research to enhance performance and lean mass gains.
Ape Sh*t Alpha is a perfect example of a comprehensive pre workout supplement formulated using the latest innovations in sports performance.
Mega Pre Black includes caffeine (350mg per serving to be exact), but it also includes other compounds, including Beta Alanine and Grape Seed Extract which are great additions to any pre workout powder supplement, making for a stronger, longer-lasting energy experience to help keep you charged for your entire training session.
In addition to energy and focus, Ape Sh*t Alpha also includes ingredients such as Choline Bitartrate, Vitamin D, Zinc, and more. The combination of these ingredients (at their research-backed dosages) elevates Ape Sh*t Alpha above the casually mundane pre workouts to something that may help athletes to train harder and get more from their training sessions.
Basically, if you’re serious about getting every last ounce of performance out of your muscles in a given training session, then you want to make sure you’re fueling up properly before your training session with a premium-quality pre workout supplement that actually contains nutrients known to enhance performance.
#4 Muscle Support Supplements
Last, but certainly not least, we come to the category of supplements that most of you thought would lead off this list -- muscle support aids, aka natty muscle builders.
Now, make no mistake, creatine is the king of all bodybuilding supplements, bar none.
But seeing as this is an “advanced” guide, the chances are pretty good that you’re already using creatine, preferably creatine monohydrate -- the most well-researched and consistently proven effective form of creatine on the market.
This begs the question, what else is there beyond creatine for supporting lean mass gains?
One of the best supplements to support lean mass gains is phosphatidic acid (PA).
Phosphatidic acid is a naturally occuring phospholipid (glycerol molecule bonded to two fatty acids and one phosphate group) that the body synthesizes during resistance training. Basically, when muscle fibers are damaged as a result of the external loading (e.g. weight on the bar), the enzyme phospholipase D senses this damage and produces phosphatidic acid, which a sensor for your muscles to grow.
Research has shown that supplementation with phosphatidic acid may:
- Increase strength
- Improve lean mass gains as compared to resistance training alone
- Support recovery
- Aid fat loss
Perhaps best of all, phosphatidic acid is known to be highly bioavailable, the same of which cannot be said for many other supplements that are marketed as natural muscle builders.
Similar to creatine, phosphatidic acid is non-hormonal, safe for men and women, and shown to enhance muscle gains in combination with resistance training!
Primeval Labs PA Max supplies the full research-backed serving of 1500mg Mediator phosphatidic acid per serving, providing 750mg phosphatidic acid -- the same amount used in the studies demonstrating the benefits of phosphatidic acid.