T Nation

Do Pills Really Work?


ALright im thinking here's summer, i joined a gym, i began my diet. weight loss here i come!!! nothin haven't moved more then a snail, i been at it for a few weeks and so far every day i go work out and i burn about 600 calories on the Bike machine no to mention ill do weights as well.

anyway in the front of my gym they have a counter full of euipment and supplements. so i'm looking around while i wait to recieve the bottle of gatorade i bought when i notice a Xenedrine bottle, i wonder damn does that really work ? So what a better place to get these questions answered then in my home away from home ( T-Nation ).

  1. do pills really work ??
  2. have you used any ??
  3. is xenedrine the best choice for weightloss??
  4. are there anyother weight loss methods i should look into??


Some pills work. Some give the "placebo" affect.

I've used all sorts of pills. Aleve for pain, vitamin pills, HOT-ROX, etc. They all serve a purpose.


Yep. A good nutritional program and training program.

Try one.


Some pills/supps can and do work, however Xenedrine does not rank very highly in this regard.

A much better choice for fat-loss, while retaining muscle, is Maximum Strength HOT-ROX.

Check it out:


Combine Maximum Strength HOT-ROX with a proper training program and diet (can't emphasize this enough), and you'll be in fat-loss heaven in no time.

For more details on how to set up a solid training program and diet, check out the links in this thread:


Hope this helps!


hmmm, well, here's the ingredients for xenadrine,
UT100 (uncaria tomentosa)(bark extract)200mg
Niacinamide 100mg
Zinc 10mg
Mushroom Complex* 250mg ?
Norambrolide 30mg (fermented salvia sclarea leaf extract) ?
*25% Cordyceps sinesis (cs-strain)
25% Agaricus blazei (piedade-6 strain)
16.66% Grifola frondosa (maitake, strain 32)
16.66% Trametes versicolor (philo-1 strain)
16.66% Ganoderma lucidum (reishi, strain 2600)

maybe someone else can debunk these for you but for you it is a moot point. It's too early in the fat loss stage for you to need these (I'm guessing). There are some that work, but you'd want to have all your bases covered first and probably wouldn't really need them until you hit around 12% bodyfat. So just keep working hard.

And the fact that you got 600cals on the bike either means you were working for way too long - like 1-2 hours, or it is grossly overestimating your usage. Go by perceived exertion or heartrate and don't get too hung up on exact calories burned.


Perseverence and tenacity work much better and they are free. I have seen a few people use those combined with diet and exercise, and they have achieved great things. In fact the one most outstanding example was a guy I lift with who used the "Look Great Nekkid" format and heavy lifting, with brief but intense running on his off days.

As far as the weight loss pills go- I have never seen anyone use them, but there have been a lot of good things written about HOT-ROX and it's family of products.


Welcome back, man. Glad to see you are getting yourself into the gym. It's a good start for you.

As the other posters have said, just asking whether "pills" work is a pretty wide-open question, but I think you are specifically asking if fat-burners/thermogenics work. Some do and some don't. I would definitely go with HOT-ROX before any others if you are looking to help yourself out in that regard (just build your way up when taking it so your body adjusts to it - fear not, it describes doing this on the bottle).

Also, when you say you began your "diet" what exactly do you mean? Can you describe it to us at all?

Finally, when you feel your progress is moving at a snail's pace, how so? Are you measuring this by scale weight? Your strength numbers in the gym? Bodyfat percentage? The way your clothes fit/the way you look?

A little more detail will go a long way towards out being able to help you.



My recommendation (as others have pointed out):

1) Read through the diet articles on this site



As others have said... you cannot go by the calorie counter on the gym bike. It assumes everyone burns the same amount of calories. Also, it doesn't take into effect the impact on your metabolism (elevated) after you stop working out.


If you are just getting started don't waste your time on fat loss products period. Most are pure crap and the ones that work are usually only available by prescription. Clean up your diet, keep a food log and don't over do the cardio. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day.

The best weight loss is done sensibly and slowly. If you are losing more than 2 to 3 lbs a week you are probably wasting muscle as well.

Don't just rely on cardio; weights build lean muscle mass. The more muscle mass you develop the less body fat you'll retain.

Ignore the scale. The scale is your enemy and if you watch it, it's like watching a clock you'll never get anywhere. Muscle is denser than fat so if you aren't losing weight that may be why. Buy a caliper and pay more attention to body fat and how you look.

Here is a good example of what I mean. I'm 5' 9" and 195 lbs. Before working out and weighing 195 lbs my waist size was 38" at a body fat of 30% Since training it is 31" at a body fat of 9%.

Take pictures about once a month and compare them objectively. The way your clothes fit is a good indicator too.

BE PATIENT! You didn't gain the weight in a week or a month and you won't get rid of it that quickly either. DON'T GIVE UP.

Ass Buster


Keep in mind fat loss supplements are simply a supplement to proper diet and training, but in no way do they take the place of either.

If you are wanting a good fat burner I would suggest HOT-ROX, however since you are just getting started I would first suggest that you read everything you can here at T-Nation and use the information to get your training and diet where it needs to be to ensure results. Some people prefer to start off taking a fat burner to give them a boost and provide motivation, which is fine too.

Keep working hard and stay positive. Results will come, it just takes time and dedication!

T-Vixen Mod


Kuz , this is for you.

My comp has frozen on me twice while writing this but here it is.

Ok work out routine I do Push / pull exercises and cardio. Push exercise I do are Bench press, Shoulder press, leg press and e.t.c. pull exercise are bicep curls lateral pulls, and e.c.t. One day push next day pull but cardio is always in there. Um I do medium resistance, In order to get more reps. E.X. My max in bench press is 180 lbs. I do 100 lbs for 3sets of 15. ( I do 15reps and 3sets for every exercise or ill die trying .)

My diet consist of 2 meals a day, and 2 snacks. The snacks are between meals

In the morning around 9-10am I eat Special ?k? with low fat milk. ( normal serving size ).
Snack around noon, I usually I eat either a banana or a sliced apple. With a glass of water
At around 12:30 I go to my gym and workout for an hour and a half.

Around 2 I come home and get a bottle of water( it contains one liter ). I drink that as I cool down.

After cooling down and taking a long relaxing shower ill go eat a snack , along with a glass of cold water.

During the evening at 6-6:30 I eat dinner.

The meals have no specific order but are changed around and rotated.

Grounded turkey with corn

Turkey burgers ( 2 ) topped with lettuce, and ketchup.

Grilled chicken with carrots

A Fillet of Salmon ( 10oz steak ) with green beans.

Grilled chicken tacos ( with lettuce and salad ranch ). ( 3 )

The things I go by when looking for results are the weight scale, looks and fitting of clothes.

I have noticed that I feel more energized, feeling better, don?t crave food as much, and I see myself slightly thinner but I have only lost 3 lbs on the scale. I want to lose more weight safely but quickly, that?s why I?m asking about the Thermogenics/ fat burners I want to try and include them in my diet and excersis plan to be as effective as possible.


yo kuz , you havent replied to this... i put some time into this so if you could reply i'd be greatful.

thanks , your friend.



I'm not Kuz, but maybe I can help.

Could definetely be improved. You're not eating often enough, not eating enough calories, definetely not enough protein, and not enough quality nutrients.

I'd suggest reading the 7 Habits article by Dr. Berardi. Also, check out the T-Dawg Diet. There should be a link in Vroom's Beginners Thread II

Your plan looks to be lacking both in quality (compound) exercises and balance, as well as heavy weights. You're going to need to lift heavy in order to keep/gain muscle. Sets of 15 reps is most likely just going to eat away muscle like doing too much cardio. I don't know how much cardio you're doing, but make sure if it is intense that it is after lifting or on separate days. Probably the max you want to do is 2-3 HIIT sessions and 5-7 light hill walking.

I would select a complete plan from one of the contributers here on T-Mag. You should be able to find some good ones in the beginners thread I pasted above.

Measuring Progress:
Scale is not a good way to go. You could be gaining muscle and not even be aware of it or feel bad because your weight isn't going down. Mirros can be decieving and clothing isn't static. I would recommend doing tape measurements and getting caliper tested at the gym (it's usually free) every 2 weeks to measure fat mass and leans mass changes.

Check out the thread I pasted above and go from there.


Goldin, you beat me to it. I just went through the Beginner's Forum to post the link to vroom's thread.

Cageco, goldin gave you good advice. You need to lift in heavier rep range to maintain muscle. Any of those programs would be good. I'm a big fan of ABBH. Watch the volume, though if you're on a cut. You might want to look into Triple Total Training of the The Next Big 3-Waterbury programs.

EDT for fat loss is also very good. Read everything Berardi. I also suggest that you post your stats-height, weight. And bodyfat and measurements if you have any of that information. A lot of beginners have the tendency to think they need to lose weight when they really just need to work on body composition. In these cases, a strict diet and significant caloric deficit is not the best approach.


Your current diet also looks very lousy. Very light on calories and protein deficient. Not enough good fats either. Your metabolism is probably depressed. It's not surprising you can't lose weight on this diet.


Hi cageceo.

My apologies for missing your posting on the diet and exercise, but goldin and jsbrook look like they have nailed a few of the points I was thinking of while reading things over. First the good - it does look like you are improving over where you were and that is always a good thing. Some people believe in huuuuuge jumps, but for beginners, I am a believer more in smaller steps at first so you are not overwhelmed.

Now for a few tweaks along the lines of what the other guys wrote:
- Instead of a total of 4 meals, try upping it to 5 and look for some way to get more protein in your diet, especially first thing in the morning. Think of it this way - you just spent AT LEAST 8 hours of not eating while you slept and your body could sure use some protein to prevent all that good muscle from being eaten up. Also, jsbrook is right about healthy fats. Work in some olive oil throughout the day for sure.

  • Give one of the programs on here a try like goldin and jsbrook suggested. I have done Total Triple Training (or is it Triple Total Training? Damn, I always get that wrong. Look up Chad Waterbury articles under the Article Library under Author. You will find it). I liked that one quite a bit and might work out well for you while you are looking to trim some fat.

  • Totally agree on scale weight being fairly meaningless. Are your clothes fitting better? You said you have more energy and are feeling better and both are very important. Rome was not built in a day and getting lean won't happen that way either. :wink:

If you were to invest in a thermogenic, I would definitely go with HOT-ROX. Start off slow and work your way up to the full dose, but getting your diet in order (in terms of more meals with more protein spread out over the course of the day) is really the biggest plus you can add. The meals you described look healthy, but some of the snacks and especially breakfast look waaaaay too light on quality calories, especially protein.

I hope that helps, but keep posting on here with more questions or fire a PM. We are all here (well, most of us at least) to help.



ok, thank you goldin,jsbrook, and kuz.

goldin, ill make sure after this quick post relpy to check out that other info, but let me ask you is there anything else i can read up on ???

oh and by the way it's not body compostion, i truley am over weight and more then ready to lose it. my problem is lack of guidance and not sure what the best workout plan and diet are nor what they consit of . if i had more examples of diets other people have done i could try and make my own. same for workout routines.

ok basic info
height : 5'8''
weight : 291 lbs

if there is anything else you want to know just ask..

later guys, take care and write back