This page explains which weight lifting supplements you should take to get the most out of your diet and training. I list the most effective supplements and describe how they can help to optimize your results.
Find the right supplements for your goals. Look at reviews for the best health, performance-enhancing, weight loss, weight gain, and muscle building supplements.
On this page, I also tell you how to avoid the multitude of ineffective and overpriced products that deliver nothing but empty promises. Hopefully, this guide will help give you the know-how needed to get results without falling prey to scams or putting a dent in your wallet.
This weight lifting supplement guide is based on science and experience. I have used all of the products that I am recommending.
If you have a question you’d like to have answered after browsing through this post, then feel free to ask it on Weight Lifting Questions and Answers.
What You Must Know First
Amplify Your Results. Weight lifting supplements are very effective tools for accelerating progress. They can bring you to the next level of results and performance faster than you could with just diet, hard work, and rest. However, choosing the right supplements is difficult, especially if you’re new to the fitness scene.
Buyer Beware. The supplement industry is saturated with many misleading products that have shiny labels and false claims. Even worse, and more often than not, the levels of each ingredient listed in the “proprietary blends” are unable to be measured and are often severely watered down.
Don’t Pay for the Placebo Effect!… Be wary of products with a lot of hype and extreme claims. They are not worth the price. Many people waste money on useless supplements, and then report improved gains because they had high expectations and subconsciously worked harder or ate better. That’s the placebo effect at its darnedest.
- …Unless… If for some reason you want to experience placebo gains, I recommend clicking the Donate Button (in the left-hand column) and I’ll personally cast Arnold’s Anabolic Voo-Doo Spell on you, passed down from generations of lifters with guaranteed results! ;D
Before You Consider Buying…
Use This Checklist. Supplements only give you an advantage if everything else is on point. Too often, gym-goers see supplements as a way to make up for poor performance in their diet, training, or rest. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Use the checklist below before even considering any weight lifting supplements:
- Diet. Make sure you are eating enough (or not too many) calories and protein. This includes having a pre-workout and post-workout meal for performance and recovery.
- Routine. You should have already made some noticeable progress in strength and size. If you’ve stalled, modify your routine or just try a new one.
- Rest. Rest is the only time you grow. Sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night is necessary for good results. In addition, be sure you have enough recovery time between workouts.
- Money. Be sure that your money is going towards quality food (and basic supplements: multivitamin, whey, vitamin D, fish oil) before supplements.
If that’s all taken care of, then supplements are a great investment for an added boost to your progress! The rest of this guide teaches you which products are the smartest investments.
The basic supplements that should be the foundation of any successful weight lifting supplement stack. They regulate normal health and body functioning, and (in the case of whey protein) ensure you have the minimum protein intake needed to build muscle…
…If you’re not as healthy as you could be and/or can’t meet your daily protein requirements, then other supplements are rendered all but useless.
It’s worth noting that these are the only supplements I recommended to complete beginners:
- Multivitamins. A multivitamin/multimineral is the first supplement I recommend to anyone I know, weight lifter or not. The obscene number of health benefits makes it a no-brainer for anyone, especially the serious lifter. I find it particularly helpful for staving off illness and making up for those times I “forget” to eat my veggies.
- Whey Protein. The most efficient and convenient supp for muscle building and repair. Just one scoop packs 20+ grams of protein, making your daily protein needs a whole lot easier to reach. I can’t tell you how many times it saved me when rushing to class. I just pop two scoops in my shaker, mixed with some water and carbs, and I’m out the door – See related article: whey protein side effects exist?
- Fish Oil. Who knew fish fat would be so good for you? Improved performance and superior body and mind functioning are just the beginning of fish oil’s benefits. I feel like I’m slightly more on top of things when taking fish oils vs. not. However, the health benefits are most important to me.
- Vitamin D. Also known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is unique in that your body can produce it when exposed to UV rays. It’s critical for a strong and healthy body, and is actually considered a steroid hormone! However, according to recent research, you are likely deficient and need a lot more than you’re getting.
Performance Enhancing Supplements
The next level up from the foundational supps. These are the supplements that get all the glory, and rightfully so. They provide that extra edge needed to truly maximize your potential and realize the full benefits of all your hard work.
- Creatine. A naturally occurring amino acid that produces undeniable results. Hands down, creatine it is the best weight lifting supplement for accelerating strength and muscle building progress. I always experience a noticable jump in strength within the first couple weeks after starting a creatine “cycle.”
- Caffeine Supplements. Nothing like the eneregy of a large cup of coffee crammed into a tiny pill to get you amped up for a balls-to-the-walls workout. Caffeine is super cheap and better than many expensive pre-workout supplements (cheaper than coffee, too). I love taking caffeine before a workout because I “zone in” and experience an intense focus on the lifts – no distractions.
Sleep and Recovery Supplements
Remember that the only time you build muscle mass is during rest while recovering from intense workouts. You can optimize your sleep and recovery with one of the following weight lifting supplements.
- Melatonin. This naturally occurring hormone helps you sleep better, although more will not make you go to sleep quicker. But once you do fall asleep, it is usually deeper and with fewer interruptions. When I take it, I sleep better and wake up rejuvenated the next morning, but only when I know I can get 7-8 hours of sleep (to avoid drowsiness).
- Follow this melatonin dosage guide.
More Reviews Soon!
Check Back Later. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back later because I will continue to add more weight lifting supplement reviews. I hope this guide has helped you find some great weight lifting and bodybuilding supplements that won’t break your budget and force you to file for bankruptcy. Nobody should have to spend hundreds of dollars to look good and be strong!
3 thoughts on “Weight Lifting Supplements: No-Bullsh*t Guide to Supplements”
im looking to start lifting i want to have some bulk but be ripped abbs and all and im starting to look more serious id like to know what should i buy to jump and is there a diet plan i could set for myself that you use ?
I am currently 15 turning 16 in 3 months. I weigh 86 kg, have been training for a year and I am much bigger than the average 15 year old. I’m at 12 % body fat but I am in need of some supplement help… I’m doing abit of research and multivitamin/mineral and these:
– Glucosamine sulfer
– Omega-3 Fatty Acids
All seem important, but am I missing anything besides my protein choice? Or is there anything else i should be taking?
I was in the same position 4 years back, have tried a lot of stuff since. My conclusion:
Glucosamine and glutamine aren’t as useful as some other products, especially if your nutrition is decent.
I’d recommend Creatine, Zinc, Magnesium, those seem to be most effective and they’re pretty cheap in large supplies.
Zinc and Magnesium mainly for testosterone levels and avoiding soreness etc.
Creatine is pure strength and grit in powder form, I’m not kidding, however it only works for 80-90% of people.
Also worth considering:
Vitamin D, B12 for energy and mood.
Sulfur for joint health, a buddy swears by it.
Fish oil is a lot of people’s favorite, but from a pure muscle and strength perspective, I didn’t notice too much, it’s still great for health etc.