T Nation

Best Supps for a Bulk?


#1

What sups would you recommend for an experienced lifter (5yrs) trying to do a serious bulk? Current stats, 190lb at 6ft, 12% b.f.

I would very much like to take my physique to the next level… so any tips tricks and hints would be much appreciated!


#2

If your rate my pictures photos are recent, you’re below 12%. I’m only mentioning this because you actually look better than your stats would indicate. You’re very fucking lean.

I’m not big on supplements, but there are a few that I like. Creatine is a good one, and very cost effective. It’s one that the majority of people respond well to. It should help with training.

I drink brain candy every morning. This doesn’t have a direct correlation with bulking, specifically, but it is something that helps get me through the day and keeps me motivated regularly.

I don’t particularly like pre-workout supplements. I think getting extremely amped up for every single training session is generally a bad idea. Plus these supps tend to overheat me. They seem more suited for times when you are at a calorie deficit and need something extra, so I wouldn’t recommend any for your goals.

Plazma is an awesome product. It’s a relatively expensive product, but I actually think it delivers a proper ‘bang for your buck’. I don’t think it’s necessary to consume as much as the label suggests. You can benefit greatly from 1-2 scoops per training session.

I don’t like traditional weight-gainer shakes that are just packed with garbage calories and fillers, but a solid whey-iso protein is worthwhile, particularly if you have trouble meeting your protein goals, as I do, with solid food. I drink biotest’s metabolic drive because it has the best flavors I’ve found. When you’re drinking these day in and day out, flavor ends up meaning a lot more than some people give it credit for.

Vitamin D3 is a good supplement for most people, particularly if sun exposure is low. I take 10,000 IU per day.

There really isn’t anything else out there that I think is worthwhile.


#3

Sleep is ignored by most. But some studies suggest that adequate sleep over 8 hours means you gain more muscle and less fat while overfeeding (probably a study on untrained people but at least it isn’t mice).

So on top of pitch black cold room to sleep in with background noise and no stims after noon I would add:
Melatonin rotated every other week with magnesium/zma.

Also fish oil supposedly affects insulin sensitivity and lbm ratios. But I take it to avoid early preventable death.


#5

Cheers mate! Those shots were taken about a month ago and basically represent my peak form. A form I find achievable and have fallen in and out of over the last couple of years between serious cuts. However, I never get any heavier or gain anymore muscle. In short I feel like I’ve stagnated… being 21 I’m sure this is a ridiculous notion.

So I’ve decided to fully commit myself to a bulk like never before rather than doing my usual lean gains then extreme cut. This is a relatively new training philosophy for me but my body is use to a barrage of intense training techniques on a year round low carb diet, so I’m worried that perhaps I won’t respond as well as someone else someone else because my body has worked itself into a stubborn homeostasis. To try and promote my body to leave this I guess I was hoping for some supplement. I will dfefinitely get on the creatine and up my carb intake… daily dose of sun is also solid too!

Do you have any preferred techniques and regimes for packing on maximum muscle?


#6

it’s all about food, man. Eat more. However much you’re eating, if you’re not gaining muscle, then it’s just not enough. That’s really the key at the end of the day. It’s the only way to push through plateaus. Supplements won’t do it.

I do believe it’s likely that your frequent extreme cuts have hindered muscular gains. This is a near certainty. You haven’t devoted yourself to gaining substantial muscle mass over a long period of time.

As far as lifting, it’s hard for me to guess, because I don’t know what you do now. But heavy basic compound movements have always been the most effective for me, accompanied by higher reps for the smaller muscle groups and supplemental lifts. A couple examples: I’ll frequently work up to heavy squats in the 1-5 rep range, but any leg pressing or hamstring curls I do will be in the 8+ range. I bench heavy fairly often, but never do bicep curls or tricep extensions below 8 reps, and I’m usually more in the 15 rep range for arms. I start every training session with a primary compound movement. I focus on the bench press, overhead press, deadlift and squat.


#7

Yeah Plazma is great. If on a budget loads of BCAAs and karbolyn type carb product pre and midworkout.

Hydrolysed whey post workout, Mag 10 if have some coin. New colostrums like biogro really good for recovery to add to post workout shake also

krill oil with pre workout meal
Quality fish oil like Flameout through out the day
Digestive Enzymes for cheat meals/carbloads etc


#8

I’ve read a lot of research recently that suggests BCAA’s are likely ineffective at best, and a negative factor at the worst. I’ll look for some links to share, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend them. I’d give preference to EAA’s for sure, if anything. Or pepto pro. In any event, IF they’re effective, I don’t think it’s for bulking. Karbolyn, on the other hand, is not a bad suggestion if budget doesn’t allow for Plazma. There are also additional ways to replace Plazma, but if you’re only investing in essentially 1 supplement, then I think most people can afford it, particularly since it’s a direct replacement for food intra/post workout.

I’ll also sort of agree on the fish oil/flameout. I don’t personally use it, but I eat a lot of fish. It is relatively inexpensive though, and I’m confident it doesn’t have deleterious effects. It’s kind of right on the borderline of useful to me.


#9

I am no expert but I read this arrticle today and it sounds exaclty like wht you are looking for:


#10

Some great advice has been given but if your looking for mass and have stagnated try “boring but big”. Guaranteed progress. As well all you need is creatine, protein and a multivitamin at the least. On a side note don’t eat too much. Everyone says “just eat”. Be careful not to get fat. I have over done it before and it’s just a pain to have to cut.


#11

Yeah I actually take an EAA/amino drink myself. Think we’re on the same page -my main point was get in some nutrition based supps as opposed to some stim heavy ‘megapumpzz 3000’ type product


#12

Some great info mate, thank you so much! Got myself a fresh tub of Plazma today, looking forward to trying it out.

As far as working out goes been utilising a push pull and lower strength split followed by push pull lower hypertrophy split, in an 8 day cycle. Also utilising advanced techniques like blood flow restriction and working my way up and back down a pyramid to a 1rm with no rest. Thoughts?

Any chance you would have that article laying around about bcaas and eaas? It tales quite a counter stance to everything I’ve heard up to now, would love to read it


#13

Fantastic read mate @Peterman… will surely be using this !