2000-07-22 / Columnists

Fitness Forum…

Ask Questions To A Personal Trainer
By Shaun Ruskin
Dear Shaun,

I want to get bigger. I want to gain some weight so I can put on more mass and muscle. There’s so much different information on weight gain, weight loss, and energy boosting products. What’s the deal with these supplements, do they really work?




Whenever I’m asked a question about fitness or any other subject for that matter, it always brings me back to the point in time when I had the same exact question. In other words, I’ve been there and I’ve experienced it. I can still see myself roaming around GNC, standing completely upright with my chest pushed out far, hoping everyone would see that I work out. Not looking as if I needed to find the supplements, but as if I needed to find the nearest bathroom and heard it was up one of these isles. Sorry, I realize my story doesn’t directly have anything to do with your question, but I thought you would enjoy it, and possibly identify with me. In any case, that’s not me anymore, and it shouldn’t be you either.

Weight gainer, weight loss, and energy supplements are three separate products, but fortunately I can lump them all together into one answer. There is no mystical pill that will magically make you lose weight, gain weight, or give you energy. Focusing on your diet and good old fashion hard work is the only method that I know brings results. Personally, I’ve probably used every weight gainer on the market, and never once was I satisfied. One time I actually lost four pounds from it.

Now, since I’ve spent countless dollars on these products, I’ve been interested in hearing the thoughts and experiences of other people. Over seven years of speaking to numerous supplement users, I’ve yet to hear any great success stories.

As for the actual clinical studies, I don’t know of any that have looked at the usage of these products. I do know that most of the information on supplements is provided by the companies making a profit from the sale of them. So be skeptical when you hear this " information".

Ryan, you’re better off spending your money on something that we know works, good diet and solid training. In other words, work out hard and efficient (for the muscle), and eat healthier (for the energy). You may not have the genetics to be massive, but your body will be as big as it can be, and you’ll feel great about it. Looking great, and feeling great, you just can’t beat that. Although feeling great is much more important, but that’s neither here nor there, good luck with it, and I’ll see you on the beach, and possibly at the gym!


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