Cycling Off Supplements Periodically

One of the concerns I’ve always had when taking any sort of medication or supplement is the effects of continuous usage over a long period of time. I think that products that affect the body or health, like anything, are best in moderation. For me, that means not only using moderate dosages (I don’t take 4 times the recommended dosage of a new pre-workout or vitamin supplement and head to the gym expecting to be able to live four times as much, for example) but also using them for just a “moderate” amount of time. Obviously, this is more important for medications, like painkillers or antibiotics, but I think it is applicable to nutritional supplements as well.

For this reason, I usually try to “cycle off” from supplements periodically, no matter how well they seem to be working. I did this with creatine when I first started using it, with Sytropin on occasion, my multi-vitamins on a regular basis and more recently with any product I take that has ingredients I don’t want to “build up” in my body too much. Caffeine is one obvious example, I know first-hand the effects of taking caffeine for too long of a time, or in anything more than moderate doses. One issue is decreased effectiveness. While it used to take just one cup of coffee in the morning to “wake me up”, after time it took increasing amounts, up to 3 or 4 cups, to get the same effect I used to get from just a single cup of joe to start my day. This led to the second issue, as I tried to “dose down”, I became more jittery and a little more irritable too. While I knew that cutting my coffee habit “cold turkey” would probably not be the most beneficial move, I knew that if I didn’t want to stay on this speeding train any longer, I would need to take action that would slow, if not eliminate, my caffeine consumption.

I stopped using any supplements that contained additional caffeine, and switched to ones that contained similar chemical compounds (like bitter orange) to reduce my total intake. I also stopped consuming coffee later in the day, grabbing a latte at Starbucks with co-workers in the afternoon had become a habit several days out of the week. After a couple months, the results were headed in the right direction. I was less irritable even if I skipped the morning coffee completely, and I saved money as well as time by decreasing my afternoon trips to coffee with the coworkers. Once I had cycled down enough, I slowly re-introduced the occasional second cup in the morning, and a Friday afternoon latte to finish off the work week.

With supplements, including Sytropin, I take a similar approach. While I have found them to be largely side effect free, I still take some “time off” periodically. When I do this with Sytropin, I tend to see some short-term reduction in performance while I’m off a cycle but I quickly gain that back when I begin taking it again, usually with even better results than the last week I had taken it. I encourage everyone I know, no matter how well they think their supplement regime is doing for them, to take a similar approach and take time off to give their body a break from the constant intake.

New Year, New Me: Sytropin Usage in 2015

So, it’s the start of a new year. I always dislike the idea of “New Year’s Resolutions”, especially ones related to fitness or weight loss. I always thought that if you are serious about getting fit, or eating better, or anything related to your health, you shouldn’t need an arbitrary date of January 1 of a new year to actually start doing something about it. If you wake up on November 10th, look at yourself in the mirror and go “hmm, I’d like to look better than I do right now”, then I think you should grab your running shoes and go do something about it right then, not wait till the New Year, when everybody else is crowding into the gym or constantly updating Facebook about how their resolution goals are going, only to drop off by mid-February to be ignored until the next year’s resolution (sound familiar?).

That being said, I’ll admit to trying to start this year off right in the fitness department. I still use Sytropin religiously, and I’m still pretty good about lifting weights pretty often, and not having too terrible of a diet (beer and pasta are still my weaknesses though). Additionally, I’m another year older now, and each added year it becomes just a little bit harder than the last year to accomplish fitness goals with the same approach as in years past. So, this year I’ve made some slight changes, in order to just simply “maintain” my usual level of fitness, but to actually step it up a notch to fight off the effects of aging.

In addition to Sytropin usage, I’m now using creatine pretty regularly. There are dozens of different brands out there, so I don’t really have a favorite to recommend. I’d tell people to just find a known-brand at their local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe, and start with that. I experienced slight cramping at first when I started, but that went away with time and plenty of water intake. I’ve also started taking deer antler velvet on the advice of one of my training partners, someone I’ve always looked up to who doesn’t fall for fads or “quick fix” products. I’ve had good results with antler velvet, especially in feeling less sore after workouts, and I’ve felt like I bust through plateaus faster since I started stacking it.

The other change I’ve made this year is protein shakes. In the past, I followed the advice that you should always eat right to get all your protein needs from diet. I’ve known really fit people who refuse to take protein shakes because they thought it was too easy to use as a crutch instead of eating right. I still try to get the vast majority of my protein from diet, but I now take a protein shake immediately following “marge-muscle” workout days (Legs, back & shoulder, chest). I don’t have a favorite flavor yet, since even the best-tasting ones at the beginning start to taste like chalk to me after taking them for a couple straight weeks. I’d recommend you buy just a couple of several different flavors and brands, until you find one you like. I have half-empty cases of protein shakes that I can no longer stand the taste of just sitting in my closet gathering dust.

 

Sytropin Amino Acid Blend

  “Can you tell me what types of aminos are found in Sytropin spray?  I’m anxious to try it out but am already taking an amino supplement and dont want to take too much…”

I got this email from a reader yesterday morning. I’m not sure why he emailed me personally (the customer service at Sytropin could have answered his question better than I, they are always helpful), but its a straightfoward question that i can help with.

First off, amino acids are found in your food, they aren’t something that are “dangerous” or that you have to worry about taking too much of, or overdosing or risking any side effects. Now, Wikipedia defines aminos as “biologically important organic compounds composed of amine and carboxylic acid”, which is quite a mouthful. I prefer to call them “those things you get from high-protein foods that help you build muscle tissue. I think my definition is much simpler, wouldnt you agree? Quite simply, amino acids are the building blocks of the protein that makes up muscle.

The amino acids in Sytropin are, in order:

Ornithine alpha ketoglutarate

L-glycine

L-glutamine

L-arginine

L-lysine

L-valine

L-isoleucine

L-tyrosine

Source: Sytropin HGH bottle label

The “L” in front of most of the amino acids just means that they are the type of amino acid that is found in protein, instead of the “R” form which the body cannot utilize as protein. Hope that helps :)

Be wary of counterfeit Sytropin

I’ve had some readers ask about some “too good to be true” deals on Ebay for Sytropin, and whether its actual real Sytropin, or fake. Nobody has sent me any of the alleged fake Sytropin, and I don’t know anyone that has been duped by the scam, but from some of the pictures I’ve seen, there are some “knock-off” products pretending to be Sytropin, that aren’t actually from the real Sytropin HGH manufacturer.

Part of this is common sense, the retail price of Sytropin runs about sixty bucks. A bit less if you buy multiple bottles at a time on their website, or if you are lucky enough to get one of their VIP coupons they send out to their past customers some times. If someone with no or negative feedback is saying they are selling real Sytropin on Ebay for something like 20 bucks, its a “buyer beware” situation; it is probably not real Sytropin. The ingredients in Sytropin are far too expensive to make for any legitimate wholesaler or retail merchant to ever sell it at a discount price much lower than what you can get it direct from Sytropin for. At best, its expired or opened product, at worst, its not real Sytropin at all, and you have no idea what types of ingredients it really has. A company that will copy and counterfeit another real brand is a company that will cut corners on what they put in the bottles too, avoid the risks of fake product and stick with only real Sytropin.

One thing that sometimes confuses people, real Sytropin has been manufactured in glass bottles before they switched to the cobalt blue ones. I have only ever ordered direct from Sytropin, or from a trusted local GNC or Vitamin Shop, and I have seen the glass bottles before which are legitimate. The label is the same though, so if you see Sytropin for a really low price on some auction website, make sure what you are getting is the real thing, and not some cheap knock-off with a different label. There are lots of labs that will copy really popular products using cheap ingredients, and make a label that “looks” like the real thing, then either choose a very similar-sounding name or just copy the real product’s name directly. None of these are going to give you same benefits or effects as the real thing. It’s better to just pay the retail price (remember, you get what you pay for) to avoid getting ripped off by some fake version of the real thing. I always recommend to people to not try to save a few bucks by buying from some anonymous eBay seller, and just order direct from the company or a local name-brand retail store.

Sytropin Anniversary

Looking at the calendar, it’s been 3 years since I first started taking Sytropin. Doesn’t feel like that long, but I remember starting it right before the 4th of July holiday, when I was realizing I didnt look as good in shorts and a tanktop as I could. Since that time, even though I’m older, I’ve maintained or improved my strength and speed in just about every category. Over the last 3 years, there are a few other supplements I’ve used for various amounts of time, but nothing as consistent as Sytropin. I can definitely tell if I’ve gone a few days without it (usually on trips). The only other supplement I’ve taken pretty regularly over that long of a time period is creatine. I truly feel like Sytropin has made a lot of positive difference for me, both athletically and just in terms of feeling better overall.

Taking a few sprays in the morning and before I go to bed has become a pretty standard part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth. It’s easy to order, and only takes a few seconds each day to take, so its never felt like any effort, especially when it seems to help me bounce back a lot quicker from hard workouts. With creatine, the only downside was that it felt like I cramped more often when I was doing alot of track running, but I’ve had zero effects from Sytropin, at least nothing that I have noticed. For me, I’ll probably continue to take it as long as I am feeling like I’m still getting good results.

Sytropin International?

I’ve gotten a few emails from people outside the United States, asking if I know how to get it in various countries. Being in the U.S, I’ve never had any kind of issue, but I’ll admit I have never tried. I have had at least one reader contact me to tell me that they have been able to order it in the past (he’s from Great Britain), but that the UK is now cracking down on all HGH-related supplements and products, even ones that are perfectly legal in the United States. I know it can be shipped to Canada because I have two friends there who have ordered it in the past (they ordered from the US site both times), although they did mention it takes a long time for Sytropin (and most supplements or pills) to clear customs and be delivered. If you are unsure whether you can order Sytropin from your home country, it is probably wise to contact someone first and determine if it is allowed and legal to ship into that foreign country. While the U.S. has some of the strictest rules about supplements, some other countries have their own regulations about certain ingredients and labeling claims. As always, do your homework before trying to import health products. Australia for example has some very specific restrictions on a particular bean extract (L-Dopa) that is one of the growth factors used in Sytropin’s formulation.

Sytropin and Creatine

While Sytropin is my “favorite” supplement, it’s not the only one I use. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different supplements, with varying degrees of success. Years ago, I took prohormones (basically steroid-like “precursors” to testosterone) with good results, but eventually they got banned (at least in the U.S), so I moved on to other things. ZMA supplements, nitric oxide enhancers, tribulus products, just about anything you would find in your local GNC store that had a decent reputation I tried at some point. Many just plain didn’t work, at least they didn’t work for me. That doesn’t mean I think they were a scam, but some supplement affect some people very differently than others. Supplements that friends swore by did absolutely nothing for me, and products that I liked I had other friends say were just over-priced ripoffs because they didn’t see results from them too. The supplement industry is a billion-dollar industry, and while I wish results were what drove the best products to the top of the list, we all know that marketing plays a huge part in which supplements become the most popular, regardless of their proven effectiveness.

One supplement that has been around for a long time, and doesn’t have a lot of negative reviews or complaints about, is creatine. Nowadays it is pretty commonplace, and a lot of athletes dismiss creatine as “boring”, while they rush off to try to find the next new hot supplement. Personally, I’ve always like creatine, and nearly everybody I know that has used it has gotten results from it. It might not be as sexy as the latest and greatest supplement you see full-page ads for or hundreds of excited testimonials for on forums, but it does the job. Other than Sytropin and a standard multi-vitamin, it is the only supplement I have taken consistently for years, for one reason, creatine works. I was one of the people that had cramping issues on creatine, especially during the loading phase. This is a pretty common, and minor, side effect, it goes away as long as you drink plenty of water, which is a good habit to get into anyways. I encourage all athletes to look into adding creatine to their regimen. There are literally hundreds of different brands, but the actual chemical (creatine monohydrate) should be pretty much the same across different product lines, so select a brand you trust and get started, you’ll be glad you did.

Functional Strength

One thing I’ve always been big on is functional strength. What I mean by that is, I want to be fit so I can be active, not look like some juiced up freak that is shaped like a cloud, but isn’t actually athletic. We have all seen “that” guy at the gym, lumbering around with giant shoulders and no-neck, and moves stiffly. the only thing they can do is lift heavy weight in one direction, then set it down again. I never want to be that guy, I grew up being involved in sports. My first experience in a weight-room was part of team training for basketball as a young kid. Since then, I’ve used weightlifting as much to improve on-field performance as much as for looking good or being able to carry something heavy when I need to.

For me, I am willing to sacrifice a little size and mass to be lean and have good cardio. Adding 20 pounds to my bench-press or two inches to my bicep isnt nearly as important as being able to hike up a mountain, chase down a tennis serve, or  drive for a lay-in on the basketball court. I think too many guys that are trying to get big and bulky are actually missing the big picture. I’d rather be a fit athletic looking guy then a lumbering stiff person who couldn’t throw a football or jog around the track. I know guys that refuse to do cardio because they think it will waste their “bulking” phase. Maybe they are right, I certainly lose weight when I’m running consistently, but being functionally fit and limber (especially since I hardly ever stretch, and never had great flexibility) always seems more important to me that pure weight and ability to lift heavy things. I’m glad to see more and more younger guys going the “cross-trained” route and incorporating cardio, stretching, running and other activities besides just pure bodybuilding or weight-lifting.

Update: Sytropin Disclaimer

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers asking if I got my Sytropin supply through a “free trial” offer that some websites are doing. The answer is No, when I started taking Sytropin (before I started this site), I ordered it at the regular price. There wasn’t a free trial option that I was aware of at the time (though they did offer a 90 day guarantee, which was one of the reasons I chose it). All the bottles of Sytropin that I used in the first 4 months of training with it I purchased at the retail price online, none of them were free or part of any type of trial. By way of disclaimer, since I began tracking my progress online, the Sytropin lab has since sent me some free bottles to continue using for my personal use ( I didn’t request them, they contacted me for my address, and then they were just sent to me). I do not have any to resell though, nor do I have any coupon codes for discount Sytropin for any readers, sorry  :)

Ego boost

So I was traveling over the weekend to see some family I hadn’t seen in a while. Any time I travel, I’m worried that my workouts are going to disappear (it’s hard to find a decent hotel gym, so all I really do is run, not lift when on the road) and that my diet is going to go terribly because I’m eating at random restaurants, drinking with peers, and basically getting out of my regimen. This last trip, I resolved to run every day at minimum, and do some bodyweight exercises at a minimum. Obviously, I packed all my usual supplements including Sytropin in my travel bag.

When I arrived, and saw some close family members who hadnt seen me since last Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised that nearly the first thing they mentioned was “wow,  you look really good, you must be working out a lot”.  Since I’m used to seeing only small incremental improvement over time, I forget how much different a person can look to someone that hasn’t seen them in nearly 6 months. Needless to say, I was pretty motivated that others notice that much of a change in me when they havent seen me on a daily basis, so I cam back to my usual regimen feeling more motivated to keep putting in the hard work, even when the short-term results seem limited.