Help w/ Supplements and Training

Hi everyone,

So, I have a few questions in reference to suggested supplements and even any advice on exercises for me. I am 18 years old and I’m finishing my freshman year of college. This year has been the first I have even tried to eat healthy and exercise (because I now I have available resources) but I’m a little confused as to what I should be doing.

My only way of getting information on workouts are from researching online but there are so many different recommendations that its overwhelming! I’ve lost a lot of the weight that I had in high school simply by eating healthy and working out moderately. But my real goal is to build muscle all over my body, mostly in the legs.

I think I have a pretty good idea about what exercises I should do for that (though any input would be greatly appreciated!) although I am a bit unsure how much weight progression/ reps and sets I should do to maximize muscle gain.

As far a supplements go, I am completely in the dark. I started to read posts by other members to see what might be good for me, but really I have no idea since everyone’s goals are usually much more advanced than where I am now. So, my question: What supplements do you suggest I take to increase my muscle gain while also keeping me from gaining fat? Should a specific diet be followed along with the supplements?

I am concerned as well about the affects these supplements would have on my body’s health. I am an aspiring Naturopathic Doctor so the overall quality of a supplement is very important to me. I don’t want to forfeit my health for my appearance!

Any help on any of these subjects would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

First of all, welcome.

Exercises that are great muscle builders for the legs are the squat(all forms of it), the deadlift, and lunges.

Forget the machines for now. I know so many people that run straight to the machines(with no base strength) and never get nice quads and hamstrings. How is you muscle build right now? Pics? Just curious as to where you stand athleticaly.

If you’re new to quats and deadlifts, I’d start out with very light weight and maybe 3 sets of 10. Pretty standard.

As the weight starts going up, you can cut down on the number of reps and go for something more like 5x5 or 10x3(but that’s more beneficial for advanced people.

Some pointers:

Squat - Squat deep. Tops of thighs to at least parallel. you knees may be sore for a while if you’ve never done squats, but it’s ok. Squats are GOOD for your knees. People who don’t squat deep enough don’t fully engage all their muscles in the lower body like you glutes, or at least since I started squating lower, my glutes were never as sore as the get now when I get deep. Deep squats = great ass + great quads.

As far as supps go, whey, whey, whey. Right after you work out, slam a whey protein drink. The the best supplement you can buy, and for a beginner thats all you really need. Just don’t use it as a crutch into thinking it will make or break your physique.

My belief is diet is the majority, then comes training, then supplements come last in terms of physique building.

PS Whey has no bad side-effects! NONE! Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s really not even a supp if u ask me. It’s more of a food. It’s derived from cheese or milk or something. How could that be bad?


Thank you so much for the welcome and the info! I was so afraid that my question would be overlooked and I’m planning on really hitting my workout hard when I get back to school (Monday).

I don’t have any pics, but I might put some up so that it can give everyone a better idea of what I am striving for. But to give a basic idea for now, I’m not in bad shape. I’m pretty lean and my abs are probably the most built up part of my body though I am not going for bulk there. My legs have some definition but not near what I am striving for. I would like more defined upper arms, but my arms are already naturally muscular so I am not too keen on building them up even more.

I actually HAVE done squats, I knew I was doing them in the correct form but I just wasnt sure about weights/reps. I was doing 3 sets of 20 reps with about 35 lbs, but since that wasn’t much of a challenge for me, I have decided to add 10 more lbs over and over until I reach an acceptable limit.

I have never done deadlifts, however. Really because they scare the crap out of me. I’m scared that I will do something wrong and mess up my back. What are the benefits of doing deadlifts as far as specific muscles?

Haha and about whey protein supplements on the market… I’m kind of iffy on that subject due to my own research on different things (natural medicine buff here) buuut, would anyone happen to know anything on hemp protein? I may end up breaking down and buying whey though.

Also… I have read many things about when to take the protein. Some say in the morning, and some directly after a workout… so whats the deal? And how much should be taken in order to completely utilize the available muscle gain?

Thanks again for all of your tips! I tend to play the devil’s advocate in a lot of subjects and I am really detail oriented so that is why I say so much! I’m definitely doing to keep in mind what you said about squats. That is going to help me greatly!

[quote]rekojuno wrote:
I actually HAVE done squats, I knew I was doing them in the correct form but I just wasnt sure about weights/reps. I was doing 3 sets of 20 reps with about 35 lbs, but since that wasn’t much of a challenge for me, I have decided to add 10 more lbs over and over until I reach an acceptable limit.[/quote]

Good, keep doing them. Use a barbell, add some weight.

They won’t hurt your back if you do them correctly. As far as specific muscles go, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, middle back, traps, abs, grip. Hits just about every muscle of the back side of you, do them.

hemp is fine enough if you don’t want whey. But, why not whey are you vegan? Whey is simply derived from milk, hemp is derived from hemp, rice protein is…you get the idea. Obviously any protein powder you buy is processed, but one is no less processed than another (as far as I know).

It isn’t about “taking” the protein (you say it like you are taking a vitamin).

The basic dietary goal would be for X grams of protein per day. Protein powders simply help you reach these goals, they aren’t necessary (albeit helpful) in building muscle.

General good place to start would be at least 1g/lb. of bodyweight per day. So, I weight 230lbs, so 230g of protein per day is my bare minimum (I usually shoot for about 360, about 1.5g/lb.).

Go read the stickies at the top of the beginner forum and learn some things. Read all of the articles they link to, especially the nutrition ones. Then go to the training articles, and pick one. You could also swing over to MWA and read more female specific stuff. Develop a healthy mostly whole food diet, research your supplements, choose a beginner training template designed by someone else (design your own later), then do them consistently.

Have fun.

Weighted lunges are a great exercise.

As for sets and reps, keep it varied. 6-10 reps per set is great, but remember you need to add some weight to keep challenging yourself. For every exercise you should attempt to add weight.

Squats and deadlift are amazing. Deadlift is great for your hamstrings, quads, glutes, lumbars, spinal erectors, mid and upper traps, and forearms and lats.

As for supplements, I like protein, Surge for post workout with 5g of creatine. Protein is not really a supplement, it is concentrated food. A mix of casein and whey proteins is best, casein stops protein degradation and is anabolic, while whey doesn’t really stop protein breakdown, but is really anabolic. There are different advantages from different sources of protein, there are great articles on here about the subject.

Also, doing dumbbell deadlift is also very useful. It is a good way to learn how to deadlift and work on technique. Stand in between the dumbbells, keep your weight on your heels, drop down, straight back, chest up, push weight back onto the posterior, start by moving your chest up, sqeeze the glutes and move the hips forward as you stand up.

This is a very good exercise.