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Markus started in the supplement industry in 1999, selling sports nutrition to his friends. His focus on the health and fitness lifestyle lead to immediate success and in 2005, he started Magnum Nutraceuticals. He still trains 7 times per week and has appeared on countless magazine covers around the world.
Supplement Cycling for Superb Abs
Today I’m going to talk about something that’s guaranteed to make you uncomfortable. It may even scare you or cause you to cry uncontrollably.
I’m talking about—wait for it—taking a break from supplements.
Stay with me, people. Keep reading. Don’t curl up on the floor in the fetal position.
“Markus,” some of you are saying. “Supplements changed my life and several of my body parts; why would anyone need a break from something so wonderful?”
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but as much as it may pain you to think of it, your body needs a break to reset itself and—most importantly—maintain the function of your delicate endocrine system. Failing to take a break can be harmful.
Similarly, for the same reason you wouldn’t train chest with the same exercise every day, you need to change things up to keep your body guessing.
Let’s start with the most critical supplements to cycle off of, pre-workouts and fat burners. Because these two products offer such drastic results, they are by far the most abused supplements. Every day I run into someone who has been on a fat burner or pre-workout for over a year without a break. Every one of these people complains that they have low energy, poor sleep, lack of results, etc. Without exception, every one of these people is suffering from some level of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands have been stressed too hard for too long. There are many stresses in life that can lead to adrenal fatigue, but stimulant-based fat burners and pre-workouts are a major one. A couple of key facts you should know: The higher the stimulant base in the products, the worse the stress. The longer you use it, the worse the stress. The addition of multiple stimulants (such as coffee, tea, or others on top), multiplies the problem.
How do you get on the road to recovery? Get off the stims! When I’m on my pre-workout (Magnum Limitless) and fat burner (Magnum Heat Accelerated), I cycle them for 60 to 90 days on, 45 to 60 days off. This allows my adrenal glands and other affected hormones to build their own steam and get me back to a healthy homeostasis.
The first week off stimulants can be rough. Here’s a tip: Plan to get your cardio and workouts in regardless of how you feel. Get a very high dose of adaptogens, antioxidants, and hydrators into your body every day. The first week I come off stims, I drink 8 to 10 litres of water every day!
Testosterone boosters are next on my list. I hit Magnum Thrust for 90 to 120 days, then off for 60. This allows my body to maximize the benefits while on it, then allows my natural juices to flow when off. If you never come off your test booster, you aren’t allowing your natural hormonal balance and functions to operate as they are designed to.
“Pump” products also need cycling. Most of these won’t hurt you if you stay on too long, but after five or six weeks, the benefits deteriorate and pumps tend to get smaller. If you take a four-week break and get back on, the skin-splitting throb that you love will be back!
There are certain products that I would argue don’t need to be cycled off; year-round I stay on my favourite protein, multivitamin, CLA, and greens. If I think about coming off any of these, I’ll be the one crying uncontrollably.
To see more of Markus' tips on how to get a SHREDDED 6-pack, check out his column. For more information on Magnum Supplements, click here!