T Nation

Common Questions


In the (perhaps futile) hopes of stopping the same threads showing up every week I figure we could compile answers to the most common questions on the beginners' forum. I know there are already stickies addressing what newbies should know, but what could it hurt?

If you think this idea is stupid then let it die. If you think I'm being pompous then try not to flame me too much. By no means do I claim to know everything, or very much, but these are some common things that come up that I think most people would agree on.

If you're a teenager and have yet to do anything noteworthy in terms of your physique, don't yell at people for their criticism. You'll get much more help if you act mature.

Supplements in general: This website SELLS SUPPLEMENTS and they are high quality. Don't be surprised if you ask about other supplements and are referred to Biotest products.

1.) Does not need to be cycled, and will not destroy your kidneys.
2.) Won't keep you from having a six pack
3.) Is not steroids (NTTAWT)
4.) Sold in store on this site

1.) Will not kill you if you eat more than 30g per sitting
2.) Whey is just protein, it's like drinking milk (for the most part)
3.) How much you should eat depends on you and your activity level
4.) Is not bad for your kidneys

1.)Eating enough fat is important

1.) Carbs can be great for you, there's no need to avoid them entirely.
2.) If you're worried about fat gain, have them around your workout and/or for breakfast

Refer to Brick's bodybuilding bible as he's covered it better than I can

If you feel like you need to ask about bulking/cutting, chances are you should bulk*.
Note: Bulk does not mean you have to get fat. You will put on fat, but that's a different matter.

It depends. No one can tell you if you're doing too much volume, or if you're doing enough exercises (except in extreme cases where it is obvious you're doing too much). It depends.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, or to add other things you think are frequently asked and can be answered here.



If you "can't gain weight", the only advice you're going to get is to eat more. And that is good advice. If you're not gaining weight, then you're not eating enough. You are not so unique that you defy the laws of thermodynamics. However, asking for advice on how to eat more is good. But bare in mind that there is a search function.

If you're 6'3 and 160 pounds you are not skinny fat, you are skinny. People will tell you to eat. Don't be offended, chances are you'll look better if you gain some muscle rather than trying to lose fat.

If you don't like bodybuilding training, then this is probably not the website for you. Granted tons of people like olympic and powerliftting, which is great. Just don't bash bodybuilders for being "unfunctional".

If you think you are fit, or want to be fit remember that "fit" is subjective. It means that you are good at the things you do. Bodybuilders are good at bodybuilding, powerlifters are good and powerlifting. Etc..

If you enjoy total body training, that is fine if it meets your goals. That doesn't mean that you should ridicule splits or other types of training. Goals are individual.


No, I don't have any questions, but for what it's worth, I agree with what was said by the OP. Good, true information, short and to the point. 'Nuff said.


Thanks. Feel free to contribute and or whore out the thread.


Fat loss:
1.) Move more eat less.
2.) Post your diet up if you're looking for advice
3.) It is likely that at some point you will have to drop your carbs a bit. Keeping them in around your workout is good though.
4.) Creatine will not hinder your fat loss, if anything it would help
5.) The best kind of cardio is the one you can do consistently without hating yourself too much.


Hi,I have been on a no carbs diet since 4th Jan 2010, to lose body fat and get ripped. I am looking to come off this soon and I want a new diet to help me bulk, at the moment my diet consist of:

Meal 1 - 5 eggs
Meal 2 - Low carb protein shake and a tea spoon of peanut butter
Meal 3 - 6oz Chicken breast with 4 Cashew nuts
Meal 4 - Same as Meal 2
Meal 5 - 6oz Pork Chop with green salade and a table spoon of Extra Virgin olive oil
Meal 6 - Same as Meal 2 & 4

Should I just up the chicken and Pork to 2 x 6oz, and have some oats with my eggs in the morning, and maybe a piece of fruit with my protein shakes or something total different?

Before I started I was I weighed in at 173lbs, I am now at 158.2lbs. I'm 5'9" tall and I would like to get to 180Lbs by bulking, is this realistic? Any advice/help would be used wisely.


Upping the chicken or adding shakes will both work. The easiest way to add in calories after a cut (for me) is by adding carbs around your workout.

You could start by doing what you suggested then see if you make progress.


I would oust the chicken if your looking to bulk for lean beef. Since I made the switch to beef, I never felt stronger.


I would oust the chicken for lean beef. Since I've done that I never felt stronger.


So have 6oz of beef instead of chicken and stick with the pork, should I maybe up it to 8oz?

Also what kind of carbs can I take pre/post workout?


I think you may be overthinking it. If you're bulking and only 158 lbs, you'd be fine to eat pretty much anything. You don't have to measure so perfectly with oz's of chicken, beef, etc. Eat plenty of meat and make sure to have your protein shakes when needed.


Surge Recovery is a great product for PWO.


Also just in general you're going to want to increase food intake. You'll likely need more than just adding a bit more meat.


Dude, you should be working up to eating roughly 12-16oz of fucking steak for dinner.

Your breakfast should be about 800-1100 cals and 140+ grams of protein. Cottage cheese, milk, oats and peanutbutter. Eggs and bacon too.

Lunch? Two chicken salad sandwiches that the people you work with think is better served as 4 sandwiches. Literally use half a jar of peanut butter on a sandwich and watch the way people look at you, shrug and say, "What?"

And then mix some shakes in there too...

The diet you have outlined is going to keep you at 150lbs forever.

You have to EAT. Just don't be a bitch in the gym or a tard and live on icecream and waffles so you don't turn into a fat shit. Make sure you are getting stronger.


Ok so what about the following

Meal 1 - Breakfast - 5 x Eggs, 3 slices of bacon and a bowl of oats
Meal 2 - Protein Shake & Peanut butter sandwhich
Meal 3 - 2 x Large Chicken breast with rice
Meal 4 - Protein Shake
Meal 5 - 12oz Steak with rice or potatoes
Meal 6 - Protein Shake and Peanut butter on toast


I'd toss in some veggies if possible.

But it looks much better. Do you have the macro breakdown by any chance?

If not, I'll add it up when I'm not at work. But try that, see how your gym performance goes and make sure you're making progress.


If I get flamed for this response...so be it.

Count calories. In a log book. Every day. Really. When you cut. When you bulk. It only seems like a chore for the first week or so. Then it becomes second nature and is a great tool. Use a website like calorieking.com. Weigh and measure your food.

Not progressing? How many calories/carbs/proteins/fats are you eating? Increase your cals by say, 300-400 cals per day. If you are making steady gains, no use jacking your cals up another 1500 a day, you will only add layers of fat that you will have to diet off later. Unless you are a freak, you will not add 20lbs of muscle per week. Give it time. Consistency is king.


Either that or just monitor quantities of food. Then if you're not making progress add food to meals.

Obviously counting calories is more precise, but the other way is simpler.


A shameless plug got me here so am bumping this to the top!


Haha thanks, maybe with your bump this thread will finally get more contributions.