One thing about supplements, specifically products that contain stimulants, as well as prohormones, is tolerance. In other words, you don’t feel or see the effects the same way after using a supplement or supplements for a while. In the case of stimulants, I’m talking about pre-workouts, caffeine ans stim-based fat burners, and any caffeine and stim-based supplement. I’m also talking about prohormones. These are the kind of products this dilemma is most obvious with. Yet tolerance can apply to virtually any supplement. In this article, we look at supplement tolerance and metabolic confusion. Further we will apply this concept to your supplement use.
Supplements And Tolerance
As noted, many supplements seem to lose their effects over time. Also as noted, the most obvious examples of this would be thermogenic fat burners, stim-based pre-workouts, and prohormones. In each case, the body seems to adjust to the effects and you appear to reach a point of limited to no results.
How often have you taken a caffeine-based thermogenic fat burner and really felt it – for all of a few days? Then, you notice the decreased effects. The same can be said of pre-workouts. No matter how great they are at first, you soon lose the feeling. The energy isn’t there anymore. Any nootropic benefits seem to be less noticeable. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right?
Prohormones are similar. They work great for a few weeks. You’re seeing serious gains and more strength. Then, it just seems to stop. Other supplements apply, but the ones mentioned have the most noticeable effects.
In all these cases, most lifters just increase the dosage. Yet, is that really the best option? The answer is no!
Enter Metabolic Confusion
Technically, metabolic confusion is a diet plan that advocates changing or shifting your caloric intake. In other words, you vary between high-calorie periods and lower-calorie periods. This can be every other day, every other week, or even every couple of weeks.
The thinking is that by mixing up your calorie intake, you “confuse” your metabolism. You trick your metabolism into working harder as it adjusts to changing calorie levels.
The next obvious question is, does metabolic confusion work? Well, it can be effective for one primary reason. If it causes a consistent calorie restriction, you will drop some weight. This will be more pronounced if you exercise and stay active throughout the day. (1)
How Does This Apply To Supplement Tolerance?
No doubt you’ve been here before. You start using a new pre-workout or perhaps a fat burner. Maybe you’re also following a prohormone cycle. In the case of your stim-based product, after just a few days, you might find you don’t feel the effects as much. With your prohormones, you might find you see a drop in results after several weeks.
The reason this happens has to do with homeostasis. What is homeostasis? Simply put, it means bodily processes that maintain a state of balance. (2) No matter what external stimuli you introduce, your body wants to maintain the status quo. That’s the reason you find some supplements don’t seem to work as well as when you first started using them.
The reason also has to do with brain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine. The thing is, it’s not the fault of the supplement. It’s the way the body maintains balance.
The best example of this is your stim-based pre-workout or fat burner. These products provide noticeable effects from the first use. The better the product, the more you feel the effects. As we have noted, after a while, maybe even a few uses, you seem to stop feeling the effects.
As far as neurotransmitters, caffeine will increase levels of adrenaline and dopamine in your brain. This might feel great but it causes an unbalance. To counteract this unbalance, these neurotransmitters gradually deactivate the affected receptors. You stop feeling the effects.
How Do I Apply Metabolic Confusion To My Supplements?
There are a few things you can do to offset the dilemma of tolerance.
Cycling Supplements – Metabolic Confusion In Action
One of the key ways to overcome this dilemma is to cycle your supplements. This is the same concept as metabolic confusion. It’s applicable to any stim-based supplements and also prohormones. There are several ways you can cycle products. First, you can cycle different stim-based supplements by using products with unique stim blends. For example, for one or two workouts, use a caffeine-based Pre such as 5% Nutrition Kill It Reloaded. In this case, caffeine is the only stimulant, and total caffeine is 325 mg per serving.
Next time, use something more exotic such as DNM Nutra Helios. Yes, this is high caffeine (400 mg) but it’s also a DMHA pre-workout, along with other stims. The effect will be different from the one you get from Kill It Reloaded.
From there, use a stim-free pre-workout such as 5% Nutrition Full As F*ck. Like the metabolic confusion approach to dieting, you can cycle these every workout, or every week. Also, you can use a non-stim Pre a little longer, thereby giving your body a break from the stims.
Metabolic Confusion And Fat Burners
This approach applies equally to fat burners. Alternate stim-based products with a stim-free fat burner. For example, try alternating 5% Nutrition Shred Time, a caffeine-based product, with Alpha Pro Alpha Cuts, a powdered thermogenic. Or, try Blue Star Blade. Then go with SNS Lean Edge to give your body a break from the stims.
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Prohormones And Metabolic Confusion
As far as prohormones, a cycle is usually no more than eight weeks. Yet you may find you’ve reached your gains limit in as little as four to six weeks. You have two options. The first option is to stick with short cycles. This has its advantages, mainly the fact that you’re off-cycle can be a little shorter. You can apply metabolic confusion by using a different prohormones over three-four new cycles, rotating this approach.
This leads to the second option, which is to stack your prohormones. For example, try our Hi-Tech Deca Stack. This consists of Hi-Tech Decabolin, Halodrol, and Arimistane. Of these products, Decabolin and Haladrol are prohormones, while the other is an anti-estrogen. So, begin with Decabolin for two weeks, then add Halodrol and use both for two more weeks. Then, gradually up the dosage of both over the next two weeks. That’s six weeks. You have the option to try for two more weeks, or end your cycle and jump on your PCT program. If gains have slowed, it’s time for PCT. If you’re still seeing gains, keep it going!
Another option would be to switch up among different brands in one cycle. While most prohormones are similar, different brands mean different combinations and strengths. So, use the Hi-Tech Stack mentioned above for four weeks, then switch to Blackstone Labs Extreme Mass Stack for another four weeks. This is a pricey approach, but you might be rewarded with superior gains.
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As you can see, the concept of metabolic confusion can be applied to supplement tolerance. The beauty of this is, no approach is off-limits. The methods I have presented in this article are a great place to start. Yet, you are free to cycle your supplements however you wish.
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