When I first starting training at 12 years old under the guidance of my Dad I had dreams of becoming a Mr Universe by the time I was 18! I was hungry to succeed, driven you could say by a burning desire to transform my skinny frame into a super human work of art. I was lucky to have a Dad that guided me in the right direction, teaching me the fundamentals on bodybuilding training and good nutrition. I read just about every article in the
top bodybuilding magazines of the time on training, nutrition and supplementation. My hunger for knowledge was as strong if not stronger than my hunger to build a great physique.
I worked hard on the basic exercises on a simple three day per week program where I hit my entire body on Monday-Weds and Friday. I had a limited knowledge on nutrition and supplementation because back when I began (makes me sound like an old timer) around 1980 there wasn’t the science that there is today surrounding nutrition and sports supplementation. Yes indeed my Dad taught me the
importance of a high protein intake but the knowledge on carbohydrates and fats was somewhat limited.
I guess I ate like a typical teenager when it came to carb intake, not really understanding the importance of the types of carbs and timing of carb meals. I did the usual thing that many teenagers or newcomers do today, sculling up to 3-4 massive protein shakes per day! There were no fancy WPIs or Hydro this and that back then it was a very simple protein shake where I threw anything in, eggs, skim milk powder, bananas or anything else that would blend up.
I made good gains from the age of 12-16 but I did add a little excess baggage around the midsection!
The protein shakes and possibly the over indulgence of carbs contributed to the surplus layer that covered my body. It wasn’t until I decided to compete for the first time that I started to gain a little understanding of how important nutrition is for building a lean physique. Keep in mind I first stepped on stage at 13 years old with limited knowledge on precontest bodybuilding diets.
I still remember that first show and being so nervous about walking out on stage in front of what looked like an army of people staring back at me. Did I win? No, but I did place second and was handed my first ever bodybuilding trophy. It was from that day that I set about my journey to learn as much as I possibly could about weight training, nutrition and supplementation as I knew knowledge was power when it came to success in bodybuilding.
By the time I was 15 years old I won the teenage Mr. New Zealand beating many larger bodybuilders. Why? My knowledge on nutrition was 10x that of when I began my journey at 12 years old. I used my body as an
experiment, trying every conceivable diet you could imagine with hundreds of different food combinations and ratios. I quickly discovered that certain foods worked better for me than others. Some made me hold more water while others kept me looking drier and tighter. I also learned that some protein foods worked better for me than others.
As the years passed and I hit my twenties my overall muscle size and conditioning improved from competition to competition. I fined tuned my precontest plan by tweaking the protein/carbs/fat ratios. My dream of becoming Mr Universe by the age of 18 never happened but I did win some fairly decent titles including Pan Pacific Champion two years running in 1993-94.
My goal was to build a classic physique with great lines, symmetry and stage presence in the tune of greats like Steve Reeves, Bob Paris and Frank Zane.
By the time the mid 1990’s rolled around I started to understand how important key sport supplements were when it came to turning on the body’s natural anabolic mechanisms. I read thousands of scientific journals
scouring through for information on amino acids, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals, EFA’s and various types of powdered protein supplements.
I compiled a list of what I like to call the “Anabolic Essentials”- natural supplements that activate key growth factors and anabolic activity in the human body. It was at that point in time I created my own line of sport
supplements based on countless hours of research. I actually formulated the products for my own use and it wasn’t until I got asked by fellow gym members for the magic formulas that I decided to make the products at a commercial level.
Note that this is not a sales pitch, this is my true life story… my journey, my own experimentation, research and 30 years plus of experience that I am sharing with you. I want to save you time in your pursuit to building your ultimate dream physique. So let me share with you some of the Anabolic Essentials that I feel every serious trainer should include in their supplement program.
1. BCAAs and L Leucine (Branch Chain Amino Acids)
If there was only one supplement I could choose from this would be it! BCAA’s are the most powerful anabolic activator in the book. They act like switches that tell the body to turn up anabolic activity. The research on BCAA’s is substantial to say the least. Jump online and Google “BCAAs” and watch as thousands of pages on the benefits for building lean muscle, speeding recovery, insulin sensitivity, fat burning and the list goes on. 
I found that adding extra L Leucine to my formula produced an even greater anabolic effect. This is due to the fact that Leucine activates mTOR a powerful growth activator in muscle cells.
I experimented with various times to take the BCAA’s and discovered that intraworkout was one of the best times to take them. I add 3-4 tablespoons to my drink bottle with some glutamine peptides and creatine/hmb and would drink this throughout my training sessions. I find that drinking an intra workout BCAA cocktail while training allows me to not only push more weight, but also reach the end of a tough session and not feel like I have been hammered!
Anabolize your meals!
If you really want to turn up the anabolic edge take 10gms of BCAAs with every meal. Research has shown that when your body senses additional Leucine it activates mTOR, the
powerful anabolic switch turning up protein synthesis. Or in simple terms converting more of your protein meal into lean muscle mass!
2. Arginine Pyroglutamate / L Lysine – HGH Release
To build a lean impressive physique you have to be able to manipulate your natural hormone levels. One of the key hormones responsible for building lean muscle and burning fat is Human Growth Hormone. I did a lot of
research in this area and found a solid study done in Rome in the early 1980’s that reflected a 600% increase in HGH levels within 40 minutes of taking a combination of the amino acids Arginine Pyroglutamate and L Lysine.  The trick is the ratios have to be 50/50 and include some acid buffers to enable the amino’s to work their magic by passing the blood brain barrier. The combination has to be taken on an empty stomach away from any other food or drink. I found night time just before bed or early morning worked best.
To read the rest of Anabolic Essentials by Steve Jones purchase Vol 6 Issue 2 of Autralian Natural Bodz Magazine