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To maximise muscle-building, you not only need to train hard and eat right—you also need ideal levels of testosterone. In fact, this quintessential male hormone is crucial for many beneficial functions, including boosting strength, enhancing sex drive, increasing metabolic rate, and encouraging your body to use stored fat for energy, which helps to keep body fat low. When you don’t have ideal levels of testosterone, you may notice that your body lags in one or more of these areas. To keep your T-levels at their prime, consider adding the following supplements to your regime.


Good for those with low testosterone levels or those who generally feel sapped of energy, D-aspartic acid, an amino acid, has become a popular supplement for muscle-gaining. When testosterone levels are low, D-aspartic acid helps to improve mood, focus, and sexual energy. It works by encouraging Leydig cells, which influence your testicles to increase both testosterone and sperm production. While your pituitary gland also produces D-aspartic acid, you may get even greater benefits by supplementing this amino acid. 


 Fenugreek is another great testosterone-boosting supplement. This one comes from an herb found in southern Europe and western Asia, and it also increases libido as well as testosterone levels. In addition, fenugreek encourages insulin release,which helps refuel muscles after intenseweighttraining sessions. Fenugreek is regulated by the liver, which means that it balances and controls the amount of testosterone in your system so you don’t get an overload, spilling over to unwanted hormones, including oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As a side note: many pharmaceutical forms of testosterone are unregulated by your liver, and are absorbed directly into your body.


As mentioned above, these two
benefits are interconnected—having higher levels of testosterone helps your body use stored fat for fuel. In fact, Coleus forskohlii,a herb used in ayurvedic medicine, has been incorporated into many
fat-burning supplements. Forskolin boosts testosterone by activating adenylate cyclase, an enzyme that increases cAMP (a compound related to ATP and important for intracellular signalling). In addition, forskolin boosts the activity of Leydig cells, which help produce testosterone in thepresence of luteinising hormone. Research has shown that supplementing forskolin not only increases
testosterone but also burns body fat compared to placebo.
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Fast Blast


Protein is crucial for muscle building, but the type, timing, and amount of protein are also important factors for maximising results. Fast-digesting whey protein gets to work more quickly than other sources, which is crucial after workouts. Also, certain amino acids work faster than others. Digestive enzymes help, too, as they break proteins down so they’re absorbed more efficiently in the body. Here’s what you need to do to get the most out of these powerful muscle builders.

► Take whey protein
The best way to support muscle growth after workouts is to take in a whey protein supplement as soon as possible. The faster you get whey protein into your system, the more quickly it will help reverse the catabolic (muscle-breakdown) process that follows intense weight training, helping to promote anabolism (muscle growth). While whey is particularly beneficial after
workouts, it’s also a great protein source at other times of day—especially when your tank is on empty, such as when you wake up in the morning.
► Take BCAAs
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) enter your body and bypass your liver, which means
they get to work faster than other amino acids to help repair muscle tissue damaged
during workouts. They also boost the release of insulin, an anabolic hormone that helps drive nutrients, amino acids, carbs, and creatine into muscle cells. This is important after workouts, to help prevent muscle breakdown.
► Combine protein with
digestive enzymes for better
Consuming a high-protein diet helps maximise muscle building—but your body can’t synthesise protein it doesn’t absorb. By taking in digestive enzymes that help break down protein, you increase the amount of protein that enters your body, and also help speed up the rate at which this protein is able to be used for repair and growth. Look for the digestive enzymes that target protein absorption; these includesuch enzymes as elastase, pepsin, trypand bromelain.

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Just do it

If you haven’t heard the story of CT
Fletcher, visit YouTube and enter his
name in the search bar; it’s best to hear
him tell it in his own words, provided
you’re not offended by excessive cursing.
A brief summary of the version is this:
Fletcher was a world-champion
powerlifter in his younger years. He
lifted like a beast, but also ate one of the
unhealthiest diets ever, consisting of the
same meal at McDonald’s every day for
more than 20 years: four Big Macs, four
orders of fries, two milkshakes, and four
personal-sized apple pies—a lunch that
topped 5,000 calories. Not surprisingly,
emergency open-heart surgery ensued.
Fletcher nearly expired multiple times,
but he somehow made it through. Now,
at age 54, he’s a lean 235 at 5'11",
down from 300-plus during his
powerlifting days.Things are
different—namely, he makes very few
trips to McDonald’s and goes much
lighter in the gym than he used to. But
one thing hasn’t changed: his no-excuses
“I flatlined three times on the operating
table, and it took me 18 months to
recover,” Fletcher says. “But I manage to
get my ass up and go to the gym, so I don’t
accept many excuses from the over-40
guys. If I can go do my workouts, you can.
And I’m not just an over-40 guy—I’m over
50. No matter what life throws at you, or
what you’re going through or how hard
it gets, it’s still your motherf—in’ set.”
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