We previously covered the approaches you can take to maintain your gym progress at home, but now the question is how can we make the most of our workouts at home?
We know you’re worried about losing that well-earned muscle mass, so we’ve compiled a list of the essentials, so you can keep seeing progress.
The basics of muscle building progress haven’t changed — you focus on progressing the intensity of your workouts and adequately recovering.
Adequate sleep, stress management, higher protein diets, and a muscle-building focused calorie intake (as well as a focus on mostly nutritionally-dense foods like fruits and vegetables) will push you most of the way towards your goals.
Perfecting your supplement routine can, however, take you “over the peak” and, even if it’s just a few percent better than the alternative, this adds up and makes a significant difference over time.
As pioneers of progress ourselves, there’s nothing that brings us more joy than helping you further you own progress, especially during these more challenging times.
We’re going to outline our favourite muscle-building supplements and how you can use them to optimize your at home training and push your body composition and performance to that next level
1. Protein Powder
No surprise with our first choice… protein powder! One of the few foods that you could actually give the title “super food” to and not think twice. It’s a calorie-efficient source of protein as well as being a complete protein meaning it provides all the building blocks required to repair and promote the development of more lean muscle mass.1
Many believe protein powders are only used around, and more specifically after, training. Not true! While protein (be it whey or a vegan alternative) can enhance your post-workout recovery and adaptation, incorporating the powder into other meals of the day can help not only manage hunger, but also improve body composition and even energy levels.2
Adding a scoop to your breakfast oats, or whipping up a scoop of powder with water or milk and adding some frozen fruit for a delicious, nutritious snack are just two examples of how versatile the powder can be.
It’s an awesome addition to your muscle-building stack, but also your pantry as a whole, really making achieving your protein targets just so seamless and stress free.
Our next recommendation is no stranger to most of you either; creatine monohydrate. Not only is it great for preserving muscle (which we covered in our previous article too), but also for gaining muscle too.3,4 Not only that, but it can also help improve exercise performance as well as cognitive performance too (allowing you to better focus on your session).5,6 That means you’ll be able to make the most out of any training session.
3. Pre-workouts (with and without caffeine)
Pre-workout supplements are full of ingredients designed to get the most out of your session (as well as contributing to recovery and adaptation post workout too).
Our pre-workouts have been designed with evidence-based dosage recommendations in mind. Loaded with ingredients to help improve blood flow (such as l-citrulline), buffer lactic acid by-products allowing you to increase your time / reps to exhaustion (beta-alanine) and even increase power output (betaine anhydrous) to name a few of the training benefits you can expect.7,8,9
Caffeine is an awesome addition to any pre-workout stack with a whole multitude of benefits, ranging from increased calorie expenditure to improved performance.10
4. General health
Hold up, that sounds a bit off-key? Well, what’s the number one thing that’ll affect how you perform? Your actual health. Your health affects your exercise just as your exercise affects your health. Want to be able to give everything in your workouts? Well, you need to be feeling your best don’t you.
A few of favourites for health management and improvement are:
Vitamin D is amazing. If there’s one non-performance related supplement to recommend to virtually everyone it’d be vitamin D. It helps with everything from bone mass density to cognition and immunity.
Omega-3s Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Achieving consistent adequate intake of omega 3s can be hugely beneficial for maintaining or improving our health. Many of us lack adequate levels of omega-3 in our diet and so incorporating a supplemental source may have a lot of benefit.
A well-rounded multivitamin
Multivitamins get a bit of a bad reputation. A lot of that criticism likely stems from expectations. Multivitamins are not “crutches” to an unhealthy lifestyle, but more of a dietary “safety net”, catching any possible deficiencies that may arise.
They can be particularly helpful for those of you who may be on a fat loss focused phase and are more restricted in your food intake. They may not necessarily improve your health if you’re already healthy, but they may help keep it there.
Take home message
Making the most of your training at home starts with the fundamentals — sleep, stress management, exercise programming and adequate dietary intake. After that, you can help take your muscle building and exercise performance to the next level with the right supplement stack.
Incorporating a few of these suggestions in your own daily routine consistently will help you really elevate your ability to gain lean muscle and improve your body composition. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t progress.