If you’re starting out at the gym for the first time and looking to build and tone muscle there are a few essential elements to get you on the road to success.

The first one is lifting weights.. If you’re serious about toning up then bodyweight exercises are not enough. So look for a gym with a good free weights section and a personal trainer to take you through a series of exercises focusing on the different sections of the body.

Once you’ve got your training plan sorted you’ll need some basic supplements to get the ball rolling and on to a leaner, toned better you.


Pre-workouts are energy enhancing supplements that should be taken 30-15 minutes before your workout. Pre-workouts often include caffeine, guarana and other stimulants to keep you energized for you workout and are great if you are feeling tired after a long day at work.

Other benefits of pre-workouts include:

  • Better pumps

  • Stronger lifts

  • Longer sustained energy

  • Improved focus

  • For increased pumps, nitric oxide is added to help increase blood flow and help deliver more nutrients to your muscles, thus giving you more energy and strength gains.

  • Pre-workout products will normally have branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) included, which is extremely important in recovery.

  • By the time you’re hitting the weights you should feel the supplements doing their stuff and giving you a much needed pick- me-up!


Anyone exercising regularly should be taking protein throughout the day and post-workout to aid with muscle tissue repair and growth. Protein is not just for bodybuilders.

Look for a protein powder with high protein content (ideally 20g to 25g per serving) and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) - the building blocks of protein. Amino acids have far reaching effects in the body from building and repairing tissues like your nails, hair and muscles to boosting energy. Depending on your end goal, be aware of fat, sugar and carbohydrate contents in protein.