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Basic supplement stacks for different goals and target groups

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Basic supplement stacks for different goals and target groups

With the plethora of supplements currently available on the market, it is not always easy to find the right combination for the desired goal. The possible combinations of different supplements are practically endless and as long as two supplements do not interfere with each other's effects, it is in principle possible to combine them and achieve positive results.

This article provides a brief overview of possible basic supplement stacks for different training goals and different groups of exercisers. Basic in this context means that these supplement stacks focus on proven basic supplements that offer the most value for money for the respective goal. Products whose effects have not been clearly proven have been deliberately avoided, which of course does not mean that supplements not used in these stacks are ineffective or bad. Rather, the aim is to achieve the best possible results with the lowest possible budget. If money only plays a subordinate role, there are of course many other possible supplements that can be used to further optimize the effectiveness of the stacks presented.

The stacks presented are general examples that will work well for the majority of users. These stacks are not set in stone and there is absolutely nothing to stop you adapting them to your individual needs. Of course, you should always keep in mind that these stacks only work if training and nutrition are right and the body is given enough rest for recovery and regeneration. Ultimately, supplements, also known as dietary supplements, are exactly what their name implies: they are supplements that complement an already good training plan and a good nutrition plan, making them more effective. Mistakes in training and nutrition cannot be compensated for by supplements, or only to a small extent. But enough of an introduction. Here are the promised supplement stacks:

The beginner stack

For beginners, these are all the supplements they will need to make extreme gains. The mere fact of starting to train with weights will stimulate amazing muscle growth and if you make the effort to study the basics of training and proper nutrition, the supplements listed will limit the possible mistakes. These supplements provide a solid foundation for building a muscular body.

A multivitamin-multimineral supplement provides a solid base and prevents deficiencies in one or more of these essential nutrients. For this reason, it makes sense to use a multivitamin-multimineral supplement all year round. This should be taken with a meal - preferably breakfast - as vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by the body when combined with food.

Although Dessicated Liver (pressed, dried beef liver) tablets - one of the standard supplements from the golden age of bodybuilding - have been somewhat forgotten, they are an excellent source of natural vitamins (especially B vitamins), iron, calcium, phosphorus and amino acids. The unit of measurement for Dessicated Liver is grains. Beginners should consume 120 grains (usually 4 tablets) in the morning and another 120 grains with dinner to maintain an anabolic environment.

A weight gainer is an excellent way of supplying the body with important protein and carbohydrates for muscle building in a simple and convenient way. In particular, weight gainers will help trainers who find it difficult to get enough calories and nutrients from their normal diet to compensate for nutritional deficiencies. Weight gainers can either be consumed in addition to meals or can replace meals if it is not possible to eat a meal rich in protein and carbohydrates every 2 to 3 hours. Consumed after exercise, weight gainers will help provide the body with what it needs to recover and replenish energy stores. Exercisers who are already overweight or easily gain fat should avoid weight gainers and instead use a good whey protein to ensure adequate protein intake for optimal muscle building.

Taking 1000 mg of vitamin C after training will keep energy levels high, boost the immune system and, together with other nutrients, produce anabolic effects.

The stack limited to the absolute essentials

  • Multivitamin- Multimineral preparation
  • B-vitamin complex

This is a stack for exercisers with a very limited budget, such as students, who cannot afford expensive food, let alone supplements, but still want to build muscle. These exercisers often limit themselves to low-cost foods and cheap protein sources such as low-fat quark, eggs and the occasional meat to provide them with the macronutrients they need to build muscle. Such a diet is often not particularly varied or balanced. In this situation, a multivitamin and multimineral supplement can ensure an adequate supply of the required micronutrients and prevent deficiency symptoms. It should be taken with a meal - preferably with breakfast - as vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by the body in combination with food.

A high-dose B vitamin complex, ideally taken with a meal other than the multivitamin and multimineral supplement, will optimize the use of carbohydrates, protein and fat, the use of oxygen and the production of amino acids, as the body has a greater need for certain vitamins of the vitamin B complex when protein intake is increased and for muscle building.

If the diet already ensures a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals, this stack can also be reduced to the vitamin B complex, which ensures that you can get the maximum out of your diet.

The Power Stack

This is a stack specifically designed for strength athletes such as powerlifters and bodybuilders who are looking to increase their strength and be able to move heavier weights. The supplements used are aimed directly at increasing the strength available during training.

The ZMA supplement is taken on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before going to bed. The increased testosterone levels caused by the ZMA overnight and the high zinc and magnesium levels provide a solid basis for more strength.

When taking creatine, a loading phase is not necessary and you start directly with two doses of 5 grams of creatine per day. The first dose is taken in the morning and about 20 to 30 minutes after taking it you should drink some juice to increase insulin levels, which promote the transport of creatine into the muscles. The other 5 grams of creatine and 1000 mg of vitamin C are taken about an hour before training. This will increase energy and strength during training. You will feel stronger, tire more slowly and be able to move heavier weights.

During training, you should drink a training drink that preferably contains a high-glycemic carbohydrate source such as maltodextrin, Vitargo or dextrose. The carbohydrates contained in this drink help to replenish glycogen stores during training and thus enable longer and harder training sessions as well as the movement of heavier weights.

The weight gainer ensures a sufficient supply of macronutrients. Consuming such a shake twice a day - preferably between meals and immediately after training - ensures that the ultimate anabolic component, known as food, is available throughout the day. This also ensures that the other supplements are used by the body for what they are intended.

The basic mass stack

  • Multivitamin- Multimineral supplement
  • Weight Gainer
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Creatine

This stack is tailored to the average recreational bodybuilder who wants to perform a mass-building phase. The goal is to build as much muscle mass as possible while not gaining more fat than is necessary to achieve this muscle growth.

The multivitamin-multimineral preparation is taken in the morning with breakfast and the vitamin B complex before another large meal, preferably lunch. Taking it later than lunch makes it less effective, as the main purpose of the B vitamins is to enable the body to use the protein consumed more effectively. The weight gainer is used to achieve the 6 to 7 meals required for optimal mass gain. It is particularly important to use the weight gainer directly after training as a post-workout meal.

In the case of creatine, a 5 to 6 day loading phase is initially carried out with this and the following stacks for mass building, during which either 3 portions of 7 grams or 4 to 5 portions of 5 grams of creatine are taken simultaneously throughout the day, whereby one of these portions should be consumed after training. This ensures that the body's creatine stores are filled to the maximum within a short period of time.

Thereafter, 5 grams of creatine twice a day is sufficient to maintain the maximum level of creatine stores. The creatine intake is continued as long as further gains are recorded. After this, you can stop taking creatine for four weeks and then start again.

The difference between creatine intake for maximum strength increase and maximum mass gain is that the second creatine portion of the day is not taken before training, but in combination with the post-workout shake after training. The reason for this is that creatine is used less to improve short-term energy release and more to promote regeneration, increase fluid absorption into the muscles and restore energy reserves.

The mass stack for advanced users

  • Multivitamin-multimineral preparation
  • Weight Gainer
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Creatine
  • Dessicated Liver
  • Vitamin C
  • ZMA

This is a mass stack for dedicated bodybuilders who don't mind investing extra money for additional gains. Although at first glance this stack may seem to contain quite a large amount of supplements, it is actually quite cost effective and all of its ingredients have numerous synergistic effects. Basically, it is the basic mass stack described above with the addition of vitamin C, ZMA and Dessicated Liver. These additional, relatively inexpensive supplements can save money spent on food by reducing the need for fruit and vegetables. This allows you to eat more calorie-dense foods that enable further gains. This stack is actually all you need for amazing gains in muscle mass.

For this stack you take the instructions for the basic mass stack 1 to 1 and add 1000 mg of vitamin C to the post-workout shake, take ZMA on an empty stomach 45 minutes before going to bed and drink your last shake 15 minutes before going to bed. The Dessicated Liver tablets should be taken three times a day, evenly distributed throughout the day - e.g. with breakfast, lunch and dinner, with each portion containing around 120 grains.

The ultimate mass stack

  • Multivitamin-multimineral preparation
  • Weight Gainer
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Creatine
  • Dessicated Liver
  • Vitamin C
  • ZMA
  • Optional: testosterone booster or prohormones

This stack is for advanced bodybuilders who have already built up quite a bit of muscle mass and are not afraid to invest additional money and accept manipulation of the body's own hormone balance. While most testosterone boosters are generally more or less harmless to health, the use of prohormones or hormonal supplements, if these are still available at all, represents a significant intervention in the body's hormonal balance and can also have some side effects. In addition, you need to be well versed in optimal nutrition and training in order to get the most out of the effects of these special supplements.

In this stack, the multivitamin-multimineral supplement is taken in the morning with breakfast and the vitamin B complex with lunch. Vitamin C is taken 500 mg in the morning with breakfast and a further 1000 mg with the post-workout shake. As far as creatine intake is concerned, as already described, load up with 3 x 7g or 4 to 5 x 5 grams of creatine for 5 days, followed by 5 grams after training during the rest of the cycle.

In addition to 4 solid high-calorie meals, 3 to 4 weight gainer shakes per day are consumed after training, before going to bed, between breakfast and lunch and in the afternoon. A portion of 150 to 180 grains of the Dessicated Liver tablets is taken with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You start taking ZMA 45 minutes before going to bed during the last three days of the testosterone booster or prohormone intake cycle and continue taking it for a further 2 to 3 weeks after stopping the testosterone booster or prohormones in order to restore the body's own testosterone production to its full potential - which is more common with prohormones but rather rare with testosterone boosters.

The stack for overweight people

Many bodybuilders build up mass first, then try to firm up and "sculpt" this new mass and then diet to achieve good definition. However, for those who are very overweight, it is usually better to achieve a moderate body fat percentage in the region of 15% before starting to build mass and the associated high calorie and nutrient intake. Carrying around too much weight will affect energy and endurance. With the help of the following stack, overweight people can achieve just that. This stack, combined with the right diet, can help you lose large amounts of excess fat.

The diet should consist of a maximum of three solid meals and two protein shakes, with a reduced intake of carbohydrates. The rule of thumb for maximum calorie intake is 22 calories per kilogram of fat-free body mass or less. As individual calorie requirements can vary greatly, this is of course only a guideline that needs to be adjusted up or down depending on the weight loss achieved.

In the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, you eat a meal of solid food and supplement these meals with a protein shake containing 30 grams of whey protein or casein in the late morning and afternoon. With one of the main meals, preferably breakfast, you should take a multivitamin-multimineral supplement to prevent a possible micronutrient deficiency resulting from the restricted calorie intake.

A good fat burner can be helpful to support the metabolism and reduce hunger. In addition, you can take chitosan with fatty meals, which can bind some of the dietary fats so that they are excreted undigested.

The fat loss stack for the beach body

  • Multivitamin - multimineral preparation
  • fat burner
  • Glutamine

When summer comes around, most recreational bodybuilders try to lose some excess fat to cut a good figure on the beach or at the outdoor pool and impress the girls. The following stack is specifically tailored to this target group.

As with any diet, the most important thing with this stack is of course the right diet and a sufficiently large calorie deficit. The calorie intake should be kept below 22 kcal per kilogram of body weight and adjusted as necessary depending on the progress of the diet. To achieve this, the carbohydrate intake should primarily be reduced, while an adequate protein intake and a sufficient supply of healthy fats should be maintained.

A good fat burner can help to increase the metabolic rate and calorie consumption while suppressing the appetite. Once carbohydrate intake begins to fall short of protein intake, it's time to supplement with glutamine to prevent the body from eating muscle protein, which would result in muscle loss. To protect hard-earned muscle mass from breakdown during the diet, 3 to 4 servings of 5 grams of glutamine should be consumed daily between meals, spread evenly throughout the day.

Fat loss stack for competition preparation

  • Multivitamin-multimineral preparation
  • Vitamin B complex
  • fat burner
  • Whey protein
  • Glutamine
  • HMB
  • Chromium Picolinate
  • creatine

This is a stack for all those who want to achieve extreme definition as quickly as possible and are not afraid of additional costs. This stack is intended for competitive bodybuilders, for example, who want to become as defined as possible and as bulky as possible at the same time. Since such a diet can take a little longer and a lot of supplements are used, such a stack is of course not cheap.

As with the other stacks, the multivitamin-multimineral supplement should be taken with breakfast and the vitamin B complex with lunch. Chromium picolinate is taken twice a day - preferably 30 minutes before lunch and 30 minutes before dinner - in a dosage of 400 to 800 mg. It should be noted that chromium picolinate only has an effect if there is a deficiency of this trace element, as the body will only absorb what it needs, regardless of the amount taken.

As far as the fat burner is concerned, it is best to stick to the manufacturer's recommended intake. General recommendations are not possible due to the countless fat burners available with a wide variety of ingredients and ingredient dosages.

You should consume 2 solid meals and 3 protein shakes per day as a meal replacement, as well as an additional protein shake after training. As soon as your carbohydrate intake falls below your protein intake, you should take 5 grams of glutamine four times a day between meals or with a wheyshake to prevent muscle breakdown.

You should take 2 grams of HMB three times a day, evenly distributed throughout the day. If the diet lasts longer than 8 weeks and the cost of HMB seems too high, HMB supplementation can also be limited to the last 8 weeks of the diet.

To look particularly muscular on the day of the competition, you can start a creatine loading phase 4 days before the competition in combination with low-glycemic carbohydrates. However, you should definitely avoid starting too early with the carbohydrates, as this would affect your competition form. A little extra potassium can do no harm during these last few days.

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