A few years ago, I got invited to a very big prestigious event filled with very important people within the fitness industry.
The event was smart casual attire. First thing I thought was I needed a tie. Yes, you read that right, smart casual and I’m prioritising the tie. So, the next day I got up out of bed and went straight to the tailors “let me see your best ties” I said. He looked at me bewildered and said, “you’ve got no clothes on buddy!”. He was right, in my rush I’d forgotten my clothes, “no worries” I thought to myself, “let me see your best ties” I repeated. 2 hours later I’d picked the best possible tie, at this point I decided it was time to get myself a nice suit, but alas I was all out of cash, so I decided to call it a day and go home.
3 days later I turn up to the event naked, but rocking a slick £300 tie…..great success!
You might be thinking to yourself that this is one crazy story and it doesn’t make sense. You would be right! This is not because it’s completely made up, but because it’s an illogical approach to purchasing clothes…….FYI it really is a made up story, I can’t actually afford a £300 tie.
The point of this story is to emphasise the irrational importance people put on supplementation, like I did regarding the importance of the tie. In this story the tie is supplementation and the rest of the suit would be nutrition and training. Supplementation will benefit you minimally when compared to training and nutrition, like wearing a tie without a suit, it’s just stupid. Although, people will approach supplementation like it’s the most important, often focusing on supplements before they’ve even joined a gym or seen a broccoli. In short, focusing on supplements before your training and nutrition is like trying on a tie before your suit. Really, in most cases a tie is optional and if your suit is a mess, then you should certainly focus on sorting the suit out (training & nutrition) before trying on another tie (supplements).
Nutrition, when done right, is your crisp white shirt, glorious, and very important to be well maintained, the shirt is the core of the suit! Not one shirt will be right for all suits, like no one diet fits all training goals.
Training is the suit, it gives you the shape you’re looking for. Some people want a bold suit that stands out (jacked AF) and others just want a suit that just looks good (toned/defined).
The shoes are the exercise you do that’s not specifically training related, which is called Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or training. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, gardening, undertaking agricultural tasks and even fidgeting. The shoes are so incredibly important just like NEAT, if someone's wearing a £4000 suit. but they’re rocking it with a set of Reebok classics, I’m sorry but that’s not a good look. Just like nice shoes with a suit, NEAT can really have a huge impact and is to often an afterthought.
The suit (training), shirt (nutrition) and shoes (NEAT) are the most important!
In summary - The tie (supplementation) can be important and sometimes essential, but in a lot of cases it’s not necessary. However, if your shirt is whiter than white, suit fits like a glove and shoes shine like Orion's belt, then maybe the next step is sorting out a sweet ass tie. If so, the list above shows the four supplements I recommend most.