Here come the second part of having a complete well rounded arsenal; What you choose to put in your body!
About a year before I started learning to properly lift and train my body, I was introduced to the concept of supplements to better performance and improve recovery. At first I tried a few protein shakes, pre-workouts, and multi-vitamins to see how my body would react, and for the most part it was ok. But something always felt a tad off the mark, and I felt like I wasn't benefitting as much as I potentially could. In the late summer of 2013, I was introduced to the brand of supplements that would change my life for many years to come!
First let me explain my thought process behind using supplements as a normal person, then as a professional ahtlete. It has come to my attention that having a balanced diet is essential for the proper functioning of the human body, and it is also true that attaining and keeping that "balanced diet" is very difficult. Mostly because the foods we eat on a regular basis don't contain all the vitamins and nutrients we need, and because depending on your part of the world, that specific nutrient might not be available all the time for climate and/or terrain purposes that prevent the growth of certain plants. But also because even if you were somehow able to combine food in that manner, it would cost a lot of money, and it would be difficult to fit all those meals into a day.
As a professional athlete who needs his body to perform like a well oiled machine, and then recover and do it all again the next day, it only makes sense that the body needs to get replenished with the nutrients and minerals it has used up/lost during intense training sessions. So the bare minimum would be a Post Workout mix, some form of an electrolyte mix that is fast absorbing into the bloodstream, a multi-vitamin, and a source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
In September 2013 my friend and brother Carlos Soto introduced me to a program that would later help me discover my true potential and really change my life.. The program is called the "24 day challenge", meant to clean up your body and help it perform in the best way possible with good vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. After completing 4 years of engineering school and another year for my masters, lots of caffeine consumption coupled with late nights and junk food, I felt like this was necessary if I was gonna take my athletic career seriously. I had very little expectations on how this would go, but I had faith. During the 24 days, Carlos put me on a strength program called the 5x5 meant to increase strength and explosiveness (I'll talk in more detail about this in another post). Now, even though I had faith in the program and I trusted Los, I'm a results kind of person and I wanted to see them with my own eyes, and believe me, I did...
In 24 days I had my results, and they were astronomical! I hit 5 PRs (personal records) in all the major lifts, got very lean and toned up like never before. Not to mention the fast recovery, rise in energy levels and feeling good all throughout the day! After the 24 days, all I wanted was to have that awesome surge of energy all the time, and be able to push myself any day I choose to. So I stayed on product continuously, modified ofcourse for my fitness and Jiu Jitsu goals, and I was able to achieve them and much more.
I've never felt this good about my body and as confident knowing I'm treating it the best way I can. Just goes to show you, there's no limit to your potential if you choose to commit and have the drive. When you put the right nutrients in your body, and have the right coaches and people supporting you. I've been blessed with this opportunity and the people in my life that have made it all possible. The company that makes the amazing products I take is called Advocare, and till this day it is the only product I blindly trust to put in my body. More to come on my particular product regimen and how I manage my diet with my training.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!