I peel back the lid and a pungent, citrus aroma forces itself upon my olfactory organs. The scoop moves easily through the powder, tossing up a fine dust. Suddenly I taste something sweet; ghost of a tortured Valencia. The addition of water brings forth a gentle effervescent hiss while a light foam forms near the lip of my glass. I pause, considering that the word "quaff" seems eerily appropriate.
Minutes later a surge of energy courses through me. I've never used amphetamines, but my mind imagines it must begin like this.
The Orange Fizzy Draught of Energy
Ok, enough with the waxing poetical. While the comparison to speed may have been overreaching, NO-XPLODE is a curious compound indeed. Caffeine and I get along just fine; a cup of coffee will barely keep me from falling asleep most times. While you will find caffeine in the ingredient list for NO-XPLODE, there's much more to it.
As I understand it, these sorts of supplements work mainly by increasing nitric oxide levels and providing a solid dose of creatine. Nitric oxide (the NO in NO-XPLODE... so many caps... too xtreeme...) acts as a vasodilator, thereby increasing blood flow during exercise. It works a lot like Viagra, actually. Creatine helps to deliver energy to muscles and has a long history of use as a strength training supplement. Combined with the caffeine, you should have more energy during the workout, allowing for more lifting in a single session. It seemed to work for me, at least a little, but it may just have been the placebo effect. Either way, I'll take it.
During my first high intensity workout I did a couple of exercises I'd never done before, the bent row for example. At the end, I didn't feel as tired as I have after working out other times, but I had still had a good sweat going. In terms of actually working until muscle failure, I think I pushed about 90% as hard as I should have. Since I'm more comfortable with the routine now, workout two will focus on output. Here's what my routine consisted of the first time out:
|Sit ups, inclined||20#||15|
|Side bend, left||25#||8|
|Side bend, right||25#||7|
The barbell shrugs were supposed to be reverse barbell curls and I just did them wrong. The forward bend and side bends were done on a stand that supports your legs and hips. I can't figure out what it's called at the moment . Weighing in after the workout put me at 182.8 lbs., a gain of 3 lbs. from the day prior.
Oh right, the best part about working out? The delicious chocolate-peanut-butter protein shake afterwards. I'm using Syntha-6, from the same line as the NO-XPLODE. Mixed with some 1% milk, its like a really good milkshake. I've been wanting to work out more frequently, partially because it makes me feel good, but mostly because I want another shake.
Sticking to the diet has been tough so far, in large part because I've been busy at work. The beef and bean combo with some occasional veggies mixed in has been my staple food. Tabasco makes it much better. I've eaten out twice, once at an indian buffet (chick peas and tandoori chicken) and again at a teriyaki place (spicy chicken, replace the rice with steamed veggies).
At first, I wasn't getting enough of the high-complexity carbs, so I felt hungry pretty soon after eating. The thought of candy or ice-cream became extremely tempting, but adding more beans has really helped.
I had a nagging headache on most of day three and felt a little out of it. It's been extra hard to wake up in the morning too. Day 4 felt better; I had a lot of energy and focus at work, even though I started getting sleepy late in the afternoon (I got up at 10 a.m.). I think the varying levels of energy are mostly due to my caffeine intake both from the NO-XPLODE and from coffee/tea throughout the day.
Besides the aforementioned NO-XPLODE and Synthia-6, I'm taking a few other things to aid the workout routine.
Mainly taken for it's ability to promote the production of human growth hormone. It seems to have other beneficial effects as well, like lowering cholesterol and aiding in carbohydrate metabolism. One of the possible side effects is a niacin flush, which makes skin red and itchy for about a half an hour. I use 'no-flush' niacin to prevent this.
Currently I'm taking 500mg 1-2 times per day. That's a bit much for long term supplementation; I would reduce it significantly if I keep using it after the trial ends.
Alpha Lipolic Acid (ALA)
Although it plays a role in sugar metabolism and energy production, its powerful antioxidant properties are the primary reason to supplement with ALA. Strenuous exercise produces a lot of oxidative stress on the body and antioxidants help to mitigate any resulting damage. I'm currently taking 300 mg of ALA twice a day.
Chromium plays a role in insulin production and regulation. Chromium deficiency may lead to reduced insulin sensitivity. That's bad in general; it can lead to type 2 diabetes. For strength training purposes, reduced insulin sensitivity means longer recovery times as insulin helps direct glucose and other fuels into muscle and fat cells after you eat. I take 200 mcg, twice a day.
Supposed to promote heart health and lower cholesterol, the claims made by proponents of this supplement might be bullshit. I've included it primarily because Tim Ferriss had it in his supplementation list and I'm trying to approximate his program. 10 mg, once a day before bed.
My second workout is tomorrow, I hope to apply the things I've learned from the first and have an even better session. I'm also really looking forward to Saturday, as I've deemed that my weekly 'day off' from the diet. The idea is two-fold, prevent my body from adapting to a very specific diet and reward myself for sticking to the plan. Expect another writeup after my workout tomorrow.