I understand the importance of supplements in training in general and specifically in certain programs. I understand the 'if you're doing the V-Diet without the supplements, you're not really doing the V-Diet' mentality. That makes perfect sense to me.
Question is, how essential are they to a program like CT's 6 weeks to superhero? I understand they are fantastic complements to the lifting component of the program. As a full time college student struggling to pay for food, gas, and rent, I don't frequently have the spare cash to drop money on supplements these days. (I work 30 paid hours a week and don't spend much on alcohol or other stupid shit.)
Leucine (because I can stretch it out for a long time and the gains are fantastic) and the occasional ZMA (because I'm an insomniac and love the shit) are all I can really get on a consistent basis. Are the Anaconda, Workout Fuel, MAG-10 etc recommendations absolutely essential to the training system, or should I be able to make decent gains without them? I hear the constant advice of 'Don't Frankenstein programs,' and 'No you can't sub X with Y, either do the program or don't do the damn program!' which is what has me curious. And, of course, V-Diet just isn't V-Diet without the supplements.
I am 6'1, 215, 20% body fat, 23 years old, 3 years serious training experience, plenty of that time spent fucking up and learning things the hard way.
My current training goal is to drop down to 12-14% body fat because lately I find my gut disgusting. Hopefully I will do this in 12 weeks or less. I will probably end up trying the 6 weeks to superhero without supplements anyways because I (love learning things the hard way) am curious. Secondary goal is to retain as much muscle as possible while becoming leaner. Third goal is to prime myself for a clean mass building phase coming off this leaning phase. Oh, and fourth goal would be to save up enough money to buy a bottle of MAG-10 some time in that time period.
I am following a carb cycling diet as described by this site.
I don't know if all that shit is essential to the question, but people seem to get railed for not putting it in so hey what the hell.
Would I be better off grabbing a more basic program that doesn't emphasize the supplement component quite so strongly? My assumption is that as a still relatively young (in training age) lifter I should probably be fine.
Any advice on absolute essentials for someone who can maybe scrape together an extra 30-50 bucks a month to spend on sups? If not I'll plan on sticking to the Leucine ZMA combo.
Thanks to anyone who took the time to actually read all this.