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.