By Jake Chastain
There was a saying that my teammates and I lived by each and every day while I was wrestling at the collegiate level, and that saying was “Wrestling Like a Champion Today”. Each time we entered the wrestling room we knew it was time to leave all of our concerns and worries at the door and make each other and ourselves better by focusing all of our energy into working as hard as we possibly could. We left the room after every practice knowing that we gave everything we could to get better, but the mindset of a champion does not stop there. It has to follow you outside of the training facilities and into your everyday life. 2-4 hours a day of training alone is not enough to turn yourself into the best athlete you can possibly be. The mindset of a champion has to bleed into almost everything you do outside of actually training. It has to be apparent in your diet, your sleeping patterns, etc. Training like a champion wasn’t a saying I left in the wrestling room. I took it home with me every day to assure that I was doing everything in my power to get my body prepared for competition.
That kind of mindset is what separates gifted athletes from champions. And with today’s medical sciences this mindset can make or break any athlete. There’s a lot more that goes into training than just working out. We here at BJPenn.com understand that in order for an athlete to reach his or her full potential the advancements in sports medicine and science must be harnessed and utilized to help them reach their peak performances.
Here are a couple of the products that every athlete should look into when trying to reach a new level of performance, possess a healthier lifestyle, or just obtain a better quality of life:
Every athlete needs to start their mornings with a multi-vitamin to assist in providing the body with all the necessary nutrients needed in order to train harder and be healthier. Most of the time we don’t get all the nutrients we need from the food and drinks we consumer throughout the day. The Vitamin Shoppe provides several different types of multi-vitamins that each focus on a slightly different advantages. As a coach and an every-day athlete I use The Vitamin Shoppe’s Ultimate Man Multi-Vitamin to replenish and fuel my body for the rigorous training that comes with being an athlete. Multi-vitamins will assist in everything from providing more energy throughout the day, assisting in a better sex drive, aiding in a better night’s sleep, and everything in between. A daily multi-vitamin is a must for any athlete that is serious about their future performance and the future well-being of their health.
I am a firm believer that fish-oils have changed the way I train and the amount of training I can do. It has been proven to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, support healthy inflammation response from the body, and it is important to the development of the brain and eyes. For any athlete, which I’m assuming will be most, that has ever suffered from pain and swelling in the joints after long training sessions or practices is a perfect candidate for this product. I have had two ACL reconstructive surgeries and I have two screws in my right elbow. All of these injuries stemmed from my competitive wrestling days and although the injuries have been surgically repaired I still battle discomfort and swelling in these areas when I’m pushing my body through a training session. These Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to helping reduce the inflammation and ultimately allow me to train harder and longer. The associated heart benefits are also a plus considering we rarely get the necessary ‘essential fats’ that we need in our everyday diet. I take the Omega 3 Fish Oil from The Vitamin Shoppe every morning along with my multi-vitamin to give my body the necessary fats needed to move, bend, and flex like a premiere athlete that is not battling knee and elbow injuries. I recommend this product to anyone that has ever battled joint discomfort or any case of an unhealthy heart. The Omega 3 fatty acids also help sharpen my vision and increase the productivity of brain functionality.
This product is one of my favorites, mainly because it has helped me break through plateaus, get stronger, faster, and more motivated about my workouts. C4 is a Nitric Oxide blended pre-workout supplement that is meant to help athletes gain strength and break through cardiovascular walls. C4 harnesses unparalleled NO3 technology and exclusive, premium ingredients such as Creatine Nitrate. C4 Extreme is more advanced than any pre-workout supplement in its class, possessing the power to ignite your mind, muscles, and workout regimen. NO3 is nitrate, an advanced compound that delivers unbelievable muscle pumps and amplifies the effectiveness of every ingredient in C4 Extreme. The NO (nitric oxide), which helps open up and expand blood vessels to help carry the necessary nutrients throughout the body during a workout, is a product I am in love with. C4 gives me the ‘pump’ that every athlete loves to feel and I can literally feel myself pushing through my previous limits, whether that be on the track while doing stadiums and footwork, speed and agility, if I’m drilling techniques in the wrestling room, or if I’m in the weight room trying to get myself stronger and faster. I’m a firm believer in this product and, although I’ve tried several other NO-based pre-workout supplements, C4 takes the cake in my opinion. It does contain caffeine, but I don’t get the jittery feeling that many other supplements have given me in the past. C4 is the perfect pre-workout supplement for anyone looking to get stronger, faster, and more motivated about their workouts.
I have been using protein supplements in my diet since I was about 15 years old. As a wrestler you have to always be conscience about what you’re putting in your body and how hard it is going to be to cut it off when it’s time to weigh-in before competition. A steady balance of protein in an athlete’s diet is essential because as an athlete works out he or she is breaking and tearing down their muscles. A balanced amount of protein in your diet will allow those muscles to recover, regroup, and grow as you continue to work out each day. Protein supplements help reduce soreness and feed your body the correct nutrients to help those muscles replenish and grow even as you push your body to the limit. I really like Syntha-6 by BSN because it is a timed-release protein, meaning I drink my shake in the morning after my workout and the protein and nutrients will be released into my body 6 different times throughout the day. That means I don’t have to drink 4 or 5 separate shakes in one day. Rather, Syntha-6 allows me to drink one shake in the morning and then one again at night following my second workout. Sytha-6 is an ultra-premium lean muscle protein powder. Its formula features multiple quality proteins resulting in a nutritious and multi-functional protein supplement that ensures an athlete’s muscles a quality supply of protein building blocks and a good amount of BCAA (branched-chain amino acids). As any athlete knows, high-quality protein is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Syntha-6 is the ideal solution to any active individual’s protein needs, designed to perfectly suit a variety of diets and lifestyles. I can use it as a meal-replacement or just as a post-workout supplement. I recommend this product for anyone that is pressing their bodies to the limit and need the right amount of nutrients to keep their bodies healthy following the rigors of a training regimen.
- Factor 2 by Force Factor
Finally, this brings us to one of the newest and most effective pre-workout supplements on the market today: Factor 2 by Force Factor. This is also a nitric oxide powered supplement that relaxes the blood vessels in the body to allow for more nutrients and blood flow to the muscles. Factor 2 uses a key ingredient, L-citrulline, to stimulate your body’s natural NO production. It also uses the dual power of Vitamin C and calcium to allow the creation of NO for a continuous release. What separates this product from many others on the market right now is the fact that it comes in capsule form rather than the messy pre-workout drinks, and it contains no caffeine, which will eliminate that jittery feeling that many pre-workout supplements give the user. This product gives you the intensified workouts and muscle-pumps that you desire from a pre-workout supplement without the over-jittery, amped up feeling. It produces sustained energy and explosive workouts in its purest form. Factor 2 is one of the only supplements on the market that can provide the athletes with that sustained NO production to improve your boy’s strength, power, endurance, and speed. Factor 2 is also promoted and used by 2 time pro-bowler and 49ers tight-end Vernon Davis, one of the games fastest, strongest and most physically diverse players in the NFL today. If you’re mentally motivated Factor 2 will give you then extra boost to work out harder and, in turn, give you the results you’re seeking, whether that be in gaining size and strength, getting lean and faster, or just becoming a better all around athlete in general. Factor 2 by Force Factor is an ideal product for anyone and everyone that is trying to get into better shape, increase their cardiovascular health, and get shredded in the process. This is one of the best pre-workout formulas on the market, not just because of the results but also because of the way it makes you feel during your workouts and throughout the day. I recommend Factor 2 to any athlete that is trying to find that extra something to help push their game to the next level. Factor 2 by Force Factor; the choice has never been more clear.
Those are my top 5 must-have workout supplements for any athlete that is trying to take their game to the next level. It’s not always about what you put out in practice; it’s also what you put in your body outside of training. Being a smart athlete starts with a good diet filled with the right nutrients to allow your body to perform to the best of its ability. These five products are not the end of the line in sports nutrition, as there are several products that range in purpose and specificity, but these five products listed above are a great start to any athlete’s success on the field and in life.
Don’t be left in the dust of sports science and nutrition. Train like a champion; know your supplements.