HMB is a nutritional supplement that’s been on the market since the mid-90’s. When it first came to market, supplement companies hyped it so much that many people passed it off as another bogus product that was more hype than benefit.
Unfortunately, no really good research was ever done to show whether HMB supplements really build muscle. This led to customers like you and me taking HMB even less seriously. A study just published in The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research changes this. This studies findings show for the first time how effective HMB can be when used properly.
After reading this article you will know what this study found and what you need to do to get the most benefit from an HMB supplement.
How HMB Was Tested
The effectiveness of HMB was measured by comparing it to a placebo supplement which had no muscle or strength building benefit. During the study, one group of men took 3 grams of HMB every day for 12 weeks. Another group took a placebo supplement. All of the guys had experience lifting weights.
Every guy in each group lifted weights x times a week. The workout plan was pretty intense and included exercises like the deadlift, bench press, and squat using heavy weights.
Tests were performed at the start of the study and every 4 weeks thereafter. The guys strength, muscle mass, and hormone levels were measured at every test.
Study Results – Just How Well Does The HMB Work?
Since I don’t want to overhype anything, I’ve decided to let the results speak for themselves and simply list them below. This way you can see for yourself, without any hype, the results the HMB group experienced.
Strength Gains – the guys taking HMB added 169 pounds to the combined total of their bench press, deadlift, and squat. Those taking a placebo only increased their total by 57 pounds. This means that the HMB group practically tripled their strength when compared to the placebo group, adding over 12 pounds a week to their total.
Muscle Gains – the guys in the HMB group gained an average of 16 pounds of muscle. Those taking a placebo only gained about 5 pounds. Adding 16 pounds in only 3 months is huge. Many people take a year or longer to gain this much muscle.
Workout Intensity – HMB supplements benefit you here too. The the guys taking it didn’t experience an increase in levels of the hormones and biochemicals that typically rise when you’re training really hard. When these chemicals increase too much, they can hamper your progress in the gym. By preventing excessive increases, HMB supplements may help you train harder and recover faster post-workout.
The Best Way To Use HMB Supplements
Now that you know HMB works, it’s time to learn what to need to help you build more muscle and get stronger from it as well. The recommendations below are based on what worked for the guys in the aforementioned reserch.
1. Take the right amount. Taking too little HMB will help you at best experience marginal results. Taking too much is a waste of money. This and other studies find that taking 3 grams a day is the best dosage. While the time of day you take it probably doesn’t matter, you may find that taking it pre and/or post-workout is effective.
2. You must work out intensely and often. HMB isn’t a magic pill that will help you build huge muscle and comic book hero strength overnight. While I wish this was true too, it’s a fact that you are going to need to put in some time in the gym for it to work its magic.
You are most likely going to see the best results from your HMB supplements when you are doing intense, total body workouts 3-4 days a week. Make sure you focus on doing exercises that use the large muscle groups of your body as they are the best for building a strong, lean, and muscular body.
Some of the exercises you should include at every workout are: deadlifts, farmers walks, kettlebell swings, squats, shoulder presses, and rows. Chin ups and dips and pistol squats are great body weight exercises to do as well. Perform 3-5 sets of 4-8 repetitions with every exercise using the heaviest weight you can.
How To Buy The Best HMB Supplement
When shopping for an HMB supplement, make sure you buy a product that has the largest dose per capsule. A good product will contain 1000 mg (1 gram) in every capsule. This makes it convenient to get to the 3000 mg (3 grams) you need to take every day.
Choosing between the two depends on what you’re goals and needs. If you want a convenient way to get your daily dose than Optimum HMB capsules are the perfect choice. Betagen is great for those of us who also take creatine monohydrate. Just 3 scoops a day gives you 3 grams of HMB and 6 grams of creatine, another powerful muscle and strength building supplement.
The results from the study I review show that HMB can help guys build muscle. The way to improve the odds that it will work from you is to make sure you’re taking the right amount every day and working out hard several times a week.
Wilson JM1, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Mar 6.