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Persistence PaysA defining characteristic of all high achievers is a willingness to continue regardless of the circumstances. The results-focused trainee must realize that their circumstances will probably never be perfect and that they will seldom be able to apply what may for all practical purposes be considered 100 percent effort. Though your “poor” energy levels may be undermining your ability to continue, you’ve had a “stressful” day at work and you consumed fewer calories than instructed to by your nutritionist, neither of these should be used to justify a lackluster workout. Such excuses will never be adequate justification to give less than your best (100 percent effort being, in this context, your very best effort under any given set of circumstances). Barring injury and any legitimate symptoms of overtraining, a workout can always be intensified. Whether it’s completing a series of prescribed workouts or achieving a desired rep count, persistence remains a foundational element in forcing the body to grow at an exponential rate. By getting to the gym and giving your best when you are feeling your worst and by cranking out an extra five reps when your body is telling you to stop (due to fatigue, not injury), you become more resilient and accustomed to facing, and overcoming, difficult situations – a common hallmark of the mentally tough.
THE PROBLEM MANY OF US FACE WHEN WANTING TO TAKE OUR TRAINING INTENSITY TO THE NEXT LEVEL IS THAT WE TEND TO SETTLE FOR WHAT OUR BODY HAS CONVINCED US IS “HARD ENOUGH.”Take squats, for example – one of the truest tests of physical and mental fortitude known to man. We load up the bar and aim for 15 solid reps. Experience, coupled with feelings of nausea during the latter stages of a set, informs us that achieving this 15 is no easy task and so we mentally condition ourselves to accept this as an acceptable range. But what if we were to rest and reset for a second or two, take a deep breath, block out all thoughts of quitting and force ourselves to do an extra five reps. Do this the next time you “think” your set has come to an end. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you discover about yourself. Chances are that you will come to learn the true meaning of what it is to extend your physical capabilities and, ultimately, that it’s the reps that most people put off, and these extra reps alone, that force the body to grow. Achieving these true growth-inducing reps, via the routine application of persistence, will also give you a degree of mental toughness that cannot be achieved in any other way and which may serve you well in all other aspects of your training.
Fuel the MachineIt remains a physiological fact that by optimizing our neurochemistry prior to training we may, in turn, take greater advantage of the many psychological attributes which underpin mental toughness. Mental arousal, aggression, positive expectations, feelings of power and control and general cognitive improvements each may enhance training success. When combined, such attributes may lend an edge over the iron that is so often lacking in the general training populous. Training when mentally aroused, highly motivated, aggressive and turned-on by the process is not only a far and away more pleasurable experience but also one that’s less likely to be plagued by self-doubt and an unwillingness to fully commit. Best of all, such a mindset will allow you to push past the point of muscular failure, to achieve those final reps we discussed earlier. All of which leads to a problem experienced by many otherwise dedicated trainees: a mental state that’s less than conducive to pushing the body further with each session. However much we feel we are energized and ready to dominate the iron, none of us is immune from experiencing such a state. Whether it’s due to the ravages of time, stressful life circumstances, imperfect nutrition, environmental pollution, mental illness or general tiredness and lethargy, each of us is compromised in some way prior to exerting ourselves in the gym. To become less compromised and to build the mental toughness needed to produce consistently impressive results in the gym, the mind must be fully engaged in the training process – not an easy task for most people. But there are steps that can be taken to enhance the training mindset, to overcome mental barriers which may serve to hold us back from generating full training intensity. These steps require an understanding of what we put into our body before, during and after training. Based on a scientific understanding of what each ingredient does and the real world experiences of those who have benefitted from taking them, it’s recommended that the following training stack be used by those who wish to become mentally tougher in the gym and, ultimately, more dedicated and determined when seeking impressive results.
IMPACT IGNITERHeightening the workout experience can be as simple as consuming a great-tasting pre-workout product prior to training. One such product has a reputation for being the most potent and effective on today’s market. Called IMPACT IGNITER, it’s not for everyone – only those wanting to train with maximum intensity and to push harder than ever before. Here’s what it contains and why each of its ingredients will provide a definitive edge in workout aggression. Natural Caffeine: the world’s most widely used stimulant, caffeine increases mental arousal and wakefulness while offsetting fatigue. Agmapure (Agmatine Sulfate): as well as being a powerful nitric oxide booster, Agmatine Sulfate also doubles as a nootropic, to aid mental clarity and cognition and to improve feelings of wellbeing and motivation when seeking to shift the heavy iron.1 N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC): along with bolstering muscular contraction and endurance and improving fatigue reduction, NAC, a potent antioxidant that plays a vital role in decreasing muscle damage, also works as a glycoprotein to elevate haemoglobin levels by increasing red blood cell proliferation.11, 16 This boosts EPO levels to increase oxygen supply to the muscle cells and brain to extend performance – both physical and mental. Lion’s Mane Extract: one of today’s most powerful nootropics, Lion’s Mane improves focus, mental alertness and training aggression along with enhancing mood, decreasing depression and encouraging the growth of new neurons (brain cells).5, 17 Alpha-GPC: another potent nootropic, Alpha-GPC improves mood, feelings of wellbeing and cognition as well as directly increasing brain function at the cellular level by strengthening the inner membranes of cells, replenishing the cells’ phospholipid outer coating and improving intercellular communication.12, 13 Taurine: in addition to improving hydration and electrolyte balance (both critical to mental functioning) and removing fatigue-producing waste products from muscles, Taurine may also improve cognitive functioning and enhance information processing.15, 20 L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: known mostly for its powerful fat burning benefits, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate has also been shown to help reverse the declining of brain function, while also improving memory and mood.2 Hordenine HCI, Higenamine HCI and Synephrine HCI: along with caffeine, these three potent stimulants optimize training by enabling fat to be burned for fuel, thus preserving muscle glycogen to power brain functioning in the dying, and arguably most important stages, of a workout.
VITASTACKJust as mental functioning might be considered the foundation of physical execution in the gym so too might an optimal micronutrient intake be considered the basis upon which our cellular machinery operates to its fullest extent. In short, without the regular intake of all 13 essential vitamins and 21 essential minerals along with specific compounds known for their potent tissue healing and performance optimization properties, the body’s ability to generate maximum intensity in the gym is likely to be reduced. Though critical in optimizing workout performance and mental toughness, a strong will to succeed along with a powerful pre-workout product are not enough. It’s the interplay of a variety of essential nutritional elements of vital importance to ensuring that every function necessary for both optimal mental and physical performance – from the nervous and endocrine systems through to digestion, electrolyte balance and joint stability – that underpin our ability to truly deliver when a training session becomes hard. As one example, without an efficient nervous system (central and peripheral) strengthened and maintained with key micronutrients – specifically magnesium, calcium, and the B vitamins – there’ll be a corresponding reduction in neurotransmitter chemicals such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and dopamine. The depletion of such chemicals means that alertness, mood, concentration and motor unit recruitment will also be reduced. Thus, no matter how incentivized a training session is likely to be, the body, weakened by such a state, cannot to perform to its fullest potential. In addition, a poorly functioning nervous system will also adversely affect the endocrine system. Poor endocrine functioning will, in turn, affect the release of testosterone, growth hormone and other anabolic hormones of importance to aggression, strength production, and recovery. By including VITASTACK as a way to optimize workout efficiency, every function of the body will be primed for success and thus the body will be energized and ready for any session. With its hundreds of key performance optimizers, VITASTACK will help to ensure stronger and more capable joints, increased cardiovascular efficiency and electrolyte balance, greater muscle anabolism, enhanced mental focus and energy, improved nutrient absorption and a stronger immune system.
ALL THESE COMPONENTS COMBINE TO MAKE THE BODY MORE RESILIENT AND THE MIND SUITABLY STRONG WHEN SEEKING TO SMASH OUT THOSE EXTRA REPS.
TESTOFXThe much revered anabolic hormone testosterone remains an essential compound in the quest for unmitigated size and strength gains. Through DNA activation, testosterone stimulates muscle protein synthesis and in turn greater size gains. Testosterone also activates and releases growth factors such as IGF-1 to ensure continued anabolic reactions within the body. In addition, the Big T increases basal metabolic rate to assist energy production, to increase intensity in the gym. What testosterone also does, a benefit overlooked by many is to activate the brain to engage higher mental faculties which may, as a result, help to improve the concentration and focus needed to strengthen neuromuscular impulses. In short, the production of testosterone could be the single most important factor indirectly stimulating muscle growth and optimizing the aggression and single-minded focus needed to train all out. In other words, the more testosterone we have surging through our body, the more muscular, and mentally stronger, we can become. So it is incumbent upon every lifter to increase their testosterone production. However, short of going the drug route, increasing T production can be a difficult business, with testosterone diminishing with age and with natural levels tapering off due to a confluence of factors including environmental pollution, stress, poor nutrition/supplementation and drug (notably alcohol) use.14 But there is one supplement that can greatly enhance testosterone production and keep it at high levels. It’s called TESTO-FX.
SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO OPTIMIZE MUSCLE GROWTH AND TRAINING AGGRESSION BY ENSURING OPTIMAL TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION AND MAINTENANCE.6, 7, 8, 18, 19By taking TESTOFX, the user can expect to enjoy the following benefits. TESTOFX:
CVOLFound naturally in meat and comprised of the simpler amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine, creatine works as a backup compound for the recycling of ATP (the main energy currency for muscular contraction) while also boosting energy levels by reducing the intracellular acid accumulation which limits muscular endurance.4 The most heavily-researched of all supplements, creatine also significantly increases muscle-cell hydration, a cell-volumizing effect which directly increases muscle size (due to super-hydration) while also increasing muscle protein synthesis (for ongoing lean mass gains).9 By enhancing energy within muscle tissue, reducing training-related fatigue and increasing muscle volume via its super-hydrating effects, creatine provides powerful physical and psychological benefits when it comes to hoisting heavy iron. Feelings of strength and muscular tightness (water retention within the muscles) brought about by the ingestion of creatine makes the user feel they are more than capable of pushing through the pain barrier and toughing out the final reps of a brutal set. With its unique blend of four different types of creatine (the gold standard Monohydrate, HCI, Base and the highly-bioavailable Creatine Magna Power) along with clinical doses of Beta Alanine, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Taurine and Betaine, each known for their fatigue reduction and energy-boosting properties, and an absorption complex that renders each of these powerful ingredients, via complete assimilation, ultra-effective. CVOL, when taken post-workout, aids each of the above-listed products in providing the mental edge when training all-out.3, 10
Mental Toughness for Maximum GainsWithout a mindset geared for high-level training, results are likely to come at a much slower rate than might otherwise be expected (if they come at all). It’s mental toughness that allows us to push on when the body feels like quitting. It’s what keeps us in the training trenches over a long enough period to ensure steady progress, rather than bowing out when we don’t see the results we want. Few people are inherently mentally tough. Most of us are in some way compromised when it comes to fully exerting ourselves in the gym in that it’s natural for most humans to take the easy way out when pain and discomfort set in (pain avoidance being a natural biological imperative to ensuring survival and perpetuation of the species). However, to get the best results in size and strength we must be willing to enter the “pain zone” and, indeed, push beyond it. To do so we must have a strong sense of purpose, know our mission, be willing to endure, show persistence in the face of adversity and ensure our neurochemistry is on point via targeted supplementation. By entering the gym without acting on the above, you’ll likely experience frustration due to a lack of progress.
SO, TO GET AND STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME IT’S YOUR DUTY AS AN ADVANCED TRAINEE TO ESTABLISH THE CORRECT THOUGHT PATTERNS, PRIME YOUR MINDSET FOR SUCCESS WITH THE LATEST CUTTING EDGE PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS FROM ALLMAX AND GET TO WORK BUILDING MORE SIZE AND STRENGTH THAN EVER BEFORE.
- Agmatine. [Online] https://examine.com/supplements/agmatine/ – retrieved on 6.3.19
- L-Carnitine: Benefits, Side Effects, Sources and Dosage. [Online] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/l-carnitine#brain-health – retrieved on 10.3.19
- Hoffman, J. R., et al. (2009). Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 6: 7.
- Kreider, R. B., et al. (2003). Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 244(1-2), 89-94.
- Lai, P. L., et al. (2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 15(6):539-54.
- Morales, A. et al. (2010). A practical guide to diagnosis, management and treatment of testosterone deficiency for Canadian physicians. Can Urol Assoc J. Aug;4(4):269-75.
- Michnovicz, J. et al. (1997). Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans. See comment in PubMed Commons belowJ Natl Cancer Inst. May 21;89(10):718-23.
- Marks, L. S., et al. (2001). Tissue effects of saw palmetto and finasteride: Use of biopsy cores for in situ quantification of prostatic androgens. Urology. 57:999-1005.
- Parise, G. et al. (2001). Effects of acute creatine monohydrate supplementation on leucine kinetics and mixed-muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol. Sep;91(3):1041-7.
- Ripps, H. et al. (2012). Review: taurine: a “very essential” amino acid. Mol Vis. 18:2673-86.
- Sansone, R. R., et al. (2011). Getting a Knack for NAC N-Acetyl-Cysteine. Innov Clin Neurosci. Jan; 8(1): 10–14.
- Trabucchi, M. et al. (1986). Changes in the interaction between CNS cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons induced by L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a cholinomimetic drug. Farmaco Sci. Apr;41(4):325-34.
- Tayebati S. K., et al. (2013). Modulation of monoaminergic transporters by choline-containing phospholipids in rat brain. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets.
- Travison, T. et al. (2007). A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 92 (1): 196-202.
- The Conversation. What is taurine and how can it improve psychosis?[Online] http://theconversation.com/what-is-taurine-and-how-can-it-improve-psychosis-68747 – retrieved on 10.3.19
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- Wankhede, S. et al. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. Nov 25;12:43.
- Zeidan-Chulia, F. et al. (2013). Major Components of Energy Drinks (Caffeine, Taurine, and Guarana) Exert Cytotoxic Effects on Human Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells by Decreasing Reactive Oxygen Species Production Oxid Med Cell Longev. 791795.