Question: Can you recommend an ultimate ergogenic stack for increased performance in the weight room?
Tim Zakowski: Let me first begin to answer this question by breaking down my favorite ergogens legally available as ergogens (aside from protein, multi vitamins and fish oil):
- Creatine Monohydrate (5g daily)
- Arachidonic Acid (500-1,000mg daily)
- Beta Alanine (3.2g daily)
- Creatinol O Phosphate (4g daily)
- Leucine/bcaa (at least 5g leucine or 10g bcaa daily)
- L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate (2g daily)
- Caffeine (100-300mg daily)
The foundation of all of my stacks is arachidonic acid (ArA). Simply put, ArA is an essential fatty acid that is necessary for bodily processes yet cannot be synthesized in the body. Add to it, that this particular nutrient is rapidly depleted via resistance (weight) training, and one quickly realizes supplementing with X-Factor is as much a health supplement as it is a bodybuilding supplement. This answer likely comes as no surprise as we are the pioneers of arachidonic acid and our CEO William Llewellyn is the research scientist who discovered its importance to anabolism and owns the US patent on the ingredient for muscle building purposes. One last note on arachidonic acid, is that after a year or two of training 90% of weightlifters stall out and hit a plateau. This lack of progress is due to one reason in particular, and that is the depletion of arachidonic acid. Not only an essential nutrient for health purposes, it regulates and up promotes protein synthesis to a dramatic degree and has a strong partitioning effect on carbohydrates. With more glycogen stored in muscle tissue and increased protein synthesis you get a truly bigger and stronger muscle as well as nearly immediately more volumized skeletal muscle cells.
Creatinol-O-Phosphate (COP) and L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate make up two thirds of our upcoming release Peak Beta plus. The old formula was a time released beta alanine formula and worked tremendously well. This new formula leaves out beta alanine (slightly more on that in the next paragraph) and instead replaces it with three of the latest and greatest ergogens on the market today. While I cannot tell you any further details on this release just yet, I can tell you a few things. This will be a stimulant free formula for pre workout usage that will be available in capsules, which will make it (much like X-Factor) simple to stack with your favorite caffeinated pre workout drink. As for having our own caffeinated pre workout drink, we have some absolutely unparalleled formulations that we are floating around and will finalize one and release it by the end of 2012. As for Peak Beta+ it is in production as we speak and shouldn’t be much further than 4 weeks from its release.
Creatine monohydrate and beta alanine are quite inexpensive to buy and their neutral taste allows them to be very easy and effective additions into any formula. It is a long story as to why we no longer work with beta alanine in our formulas and likely will not any time soon, but we (above all else) are proponents of science first and business second. As such, even though we have absolutely zero financial stake in the success of beta alanine we still fully recommend its use. At this time, it does seem that anecdotal feedback supports creatinol o phosphate (COP) as being AT LEAST as effective, if not more effective, than beta alanine for muscular endurance in a weight lifting setting. Many trainers are able to push through the pain like never before with assistance of COP and when pushing past barriers more muscle fibers are recruited and hypertrophy can occur.
Lastly, I will touch briefly on branch chain amino acids. While they likely need absolutely zero introduction to the masses, I am a proponent of using the highest quality raw materials which is why I recommend formulas using AjinoPure. A few formulas I use and recommend are Omega Sports Strive, Xtreme Formulations ICE and Dymatize Recoup. The more research that is done into where free form amino acids are being sourced and extracted from, the more consumers and manufacturers alike are turning their business to AjinoMoto’s high end raw materials (once again, another instance of us not working with them or having any financial ties to them, just paying due respect to an industry leader).
Got a question for Tim? Ask in his column here!
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