I want to build muscle, but I don’t want to take supplements.

That’s totally cool. You don’t need to take supplements to build muscle, and you certainly don’t need to take supplements to do our program.

As a skinny guy, creatine terrified me—I thought it was like steroids. I was way way too scared to walk into a supplement store and ask for it, let alone keep it around my room for other people to find. Having creatine seemed both scary and also embarrassing. So I gained my first twenty pounds without it, going from 130 pounds up to 150 pounds.

When it came time to gain more muscle, I enlisted my roommate, Jared, to be my summer-time training partner. (That story here.) I was a little more confident, since I looked somewhat fit and healthy, and I also had my roommate in on it. By then I’d done more research into creatine too, and learned that it wasn’t anything like steroids. So we bought some creatine. Jared gained 5 pounds within that first week, whereas nothing crazy happened to me. I assumed it wasn’t working (probably incorrectly) and I stopped taking it. Jared finished the tub on his own. By the end of that summer I’d gained another 22 pounds, bringing me up to 172. (Jared gained 37 pounds, going from 130 up to 167.)

During my third and final muscle-building spree (while testing the Bony to Beastly Program), I went from 170ish up to 190ish. Since I hadn’t used creatine before and wasn’t even sure if it even had any effect on me, I decided to skip it.

So I gained 60ish pounds of muscle without any creatine. I did use whey protein though, just to make things a little easier and more convenient. (Whey protein offers no advantage over whole food protein sources, other than being convenient and easy on the appetite.)

Frankly, supplements pale in comparison to the effects of lifting and eating heartily (and cleverly). Lots of our members choose not to use any. They do great.

Category: 5. Health & Wholesomeness

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