T Nation

$300 Supplement Challenge


Gentlemen & Ladies,
I have a challenge, or well need advice on the budget.

So I've got about 60-75 days before I need to actively search for a job again since I was recently laid off, I've estimated I can spend roughly 300$ in supplements during that period.

My stats:
Height 6'3
Weight 280 lbs(down from 292 a month ago)

So my goals are obviously:

1 Fat loss.

2 Muscle Gain.

What do you guys suggest?


Buy CT's Get Jacked program.

Buy the food that works for you within the program

You don't have to go the supplement route. I'm going the supplement route as I have the cash, but he gives 3 variances in the plan.

By far the best program for cutting I've seen and you'll trim down significantly, and in your case, you'll probably build some lean body mass as the workouts are brutal.


Paying 50$ for the book then money for the supplements seems like a poor budgetary decision I know CT's stuff is great, but I've already got the exercise portion down for the next few months, the dietary stuff is decently on track as well.

I really just have no clue what I should be rocking to supplement at all.


No, you buy the program and follow the nutrition and workouts to the T. CT provides 3 options for supplemention and in your situation, you can follow the 3rd option and have money to spare.

Just my 2 bits.


You have 60-75 days before needing to search for a job. Don't you think during these economic times, that searching now might be a better idea and it could possibly take months to find one.

what's your field?


lol spending 300 dollars on supps when you're unemployed is a poor budgetary decision.

even if youre employed 300 bucks on supps is a bit much if youre not buying in bulk.

do you live at home?

spend 100 bucks on 25lb of whey concentrate. get some creatine from here.

save the rest.


I live just outside Ottawa Ontario Canada, fortunately we have Employment Insurance so I have a monthly income & I know my job market isn't going out of business anytime soon, hence I'm going to take half the summer off, enjoy the nice weather and get back in shape before Winter comes and scares me back into a recluse of laziness. I appreciate the concerns about my welfare but I'm versed in economics and unless the other few thousand I have saved magically disappears I should be fine....

So if you guys who know supplements could lend me that knowledge we would be well on our way to the Topic we should be discussing, what type of supplements should I be investing in? Or should I just get the CT book and go from there.


I'll make it easy for you. Save your money, supplements aren't going to help you that much and you're clearly a beginner. Spend that extra money on better food choices at the grociery store. If you really have a hankering to buy something that may help you shed some fat, buy some nodoz or vivarin and some fish oil. Or better yet, spend your money on a macronutrient/calorie management program.

It would be good to get it through your head now that supplements are far far secondary to proper diet and exercise. Supplements really aren't a short cut allowing you to bypass the two, they're used in conjunction and between you and me, the only supplements I use that could potentially be attributed to being lean are caffeine and fish oil. The rest is diet and exercise.


I bet the Biotest elves are frothing at the mouth reading this thread.


What's with all these, "I have three digits to spend on supplements, tell me what to buy". Hell I get worried when I spend more than 75 bucks Canadian (so like 5 bucks american, damn yanks)

That being said, here is shit that works, in order of importance:

  1. Protein
  2. Fish Oils
  3. Creatine
  4. Greens Supp

All these are cheap and readily avalible anywhere. You won't spend all 300 though. Save the rest for the next purchase.


Why you hating on supplements so much? Well you are contradicting yourself by saying you take caffeine and fish oils.


I'd spend all $300 on:

Day 1: Heavy lifting chest/back + alactic work*
Day 2: Lactate-inducing (hard core circuit training) workout 1** + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 3: OFF/Mobility work and yoga
Day 4: Heavy lifting quads/hams
Day 5: OFF/Mobility work and yoga
Day 6: Lactate-inducing workout 2 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 7: OFF

*Alactic work (not producing lactate â?? i.e. sprints lasting < or = 20sec) - any combo of 30&60 meter sprints totalling 300 meters.

Sorry for being a smart ass, but I guarantee anyone, including you, who does this program will acheive better results than whatever you are doing right now, especially if you:
A) Make sure you have a training partner,
B) Keep a food log - Plan to calculate your calories and eat at maintenance ~RMR... let the exercise determine your calorie deficit (sort of like the G-Flux approach... I'll calculate it for you if you PM me with your approx BF% and weight)
C) Keep a training log

Okay, so now if you do all that, here's what you should spend your money on:

Beta-7, or other Beta Alanine
**edit - Add fish oil too

I hope this helps,


PS - If you still have money left over, send it to me and I'll put it in a hedge fund for you.
PPS - If you want specifics on what to do on particular days, PM me... but I'm sure you ought to be able to get the hang of it.


Because I consistently see beginners getting side tracked by being worried about whether they should be taking no-xplode or which fat burner is going to burn the most fat in the quickest amount of time before ever having a solid understanding of nutrition or training. They'll pop a HOT-ROX then go to wendys to get their protein. My issue isn't with supplements, it's with the order in which I see beginners managing their priorities to reach their goals.


I wouldn't even be picking up CT's book right now if I was unemployed. Plenty of programs on this site for you to do until you find regular work. Whatever money you have right now should be spent on essentials, i.e. necessary for your existence.


Jeez, this is like the most insane board there is here... ill break down my budget and my life so you guys can get off nuts and give me some god damn products to cash in on.

I have over 4K saved up and banked.

My EI Nets me 1350$ a month.

My rent and car payment come out to 700~ another 150 for Utils.

850$ a month is accounted for.
So for you MATH WIZARDS...
500$ for Food/Grocers/Gas/Whatever(i dont do much whatever).
I am in a zone that will grant me 40 weeks of paid employment insurance (meaning this runs out near december so finding a job in july/august still leaves me 3 FULL months to find a job)

Personal stuff since you guys probably need to know...
I am a Sagittarius true and through.
I am single.
I don't drink.
I don't smoke.
For the last month its basically been Working out daily. Chilling on my computer, going to hang out with friends.
I've been strict enough on my diet/exercise to lose 12lbs in the last month, i've also added 20 lbs to my max benchpress, meaning I probably gained some strength along the way or at least a good portion of muscle mass.
I realize well geez that can be a lot more, shows like the biggest loser they lose 7+ a week.
You know what 12 lbs isn't bad, I havent hurt anything, I've felt great, I haven't dreaded waking up and exercising like I did in the past when I failed.

I want to maximize my potential!!

Is that not what these boards are about, I REALIZE I am a 'Beginner' I just want to maximize gains, I can already do a decent amount of cardio, Summer is about to be here I know I am not going to go to a lean 205 by July 15th. That is a pound a day and that would be silly to believe i could do that, 240-250 seems like it may be reasonable and that is the type of goal I have set.

I was HOPING to get some help on some stuff that would be a great assistance in that goal.
Maybe i shouldnt have put the word challenge in the title you guys are a bit jacked up.


x2 everyone even beginners can benifit froms these. Cause it's SO cheap, vitD3 too.


Your greatest assistance will be food. And making sure you are getting enough protein. If you have 300 to spend then spend it on food. I know that some supps will help you achieve your goal. No one is disputing that, but most everyone here will tell you that your diet is vastly superior in meeting your goal of losing fat and building muscle to supps. Any supps.

Losing 12 pounds in a month is not bad at all. That's a hell of a start and you are to be commended for that.

Train, eat, sleep. There are no shortcuts to this. Supps are not shortcuts they are 'supplemental' to those three.

This isn't a race. As Wendler says, think about building muscle and losing fat in terms of years and not months or days.


I have over 4K saved up and banked.

My EI Nets me 1350$ a month. "

You think 4k is a lot? You are actually bragging about having 4k in savings? You are banking on it only taking 3 months to find a job? Are you serious? I know people who've been out of work for a year. I know some who took 5 months to find a job, and some who took weeks. I know people in their 30s who had to move back in with their parents.

It doesn't matter what your expenses are, you DON'T HAVE INCOME. You DON'T KNOW how LONG it will take to find a new job! You are making an assumption and you are threatening your very ability to buy food to live.

Why aren't you looking for a job immediately? Why are you waiting? If you have extra money and severance, why lose it all when you could get a new job and all that money will be extra?

I got laid off in November, I immediately stopped buying anything I didn't NEED and started looking for a job the SAME NIGHT that I got laid off. And let me tell you looking for a job takes at least 40 hours a week, it is hard and I was on the phone constantly following up leads.

I had a 6 month emergency fund and an 8 week severance, which meant I could live for 8 months, plus I had unemployment insurance. That's at least 10 months where I could pay my mortgage and not work. BUT I had no idea how long it would take to find a job, what it took me over half a year but like you I assumed it would only take 3 months to find a job?

I found one and still have severance left over, and THAT money was extra to save some and buy some nice things I wanted. So I had 6 weeks worth of 2 paychecks, which was nice. After I had the security of an actual job, and made sure to build up my savings in case I get laid off again, I could spend the extra.

in short: don't spend money on supplements or anything you don't absolutely need to live until you find a job. Just buy food. UNLESS you relish the thought of moving back in with your parents. Just don't take the chance.


My vote is don't buy any. Buy clean food, and don't spend extra until you have a job.


You could check out the growth surge program in the training articles section. It looks pretty solid and has a recommended supplement list. While I agree with everyone else about saving but I dont see $300 pulling you out of a whole either...

I would probably just try to do it without supplements till I hit a plateua then go from there.

My big supplement recommedations are:
CLA w/ Fish Oil...Flameout for example
and maybe a mutli but not really necessary if you eat right.

Good luck man, hope that helps!