T Nation

Lifting in China..a Few Questions

hey

I’ll be doing a research program in China for two months and of course I’ll be lifting there. There are gyms around where I work I already know but not sure as to their quality. If they suck I’ll find a better one.

Anyway, I’m planning to do the 12-week Thibadeu olympic program, but I’ll be there for 8 weeks and will have to take a 2 week break afterwards and will probably want a week break the first week when I’m jetlagged as fuck. So I’m thinking to do the first two weeks of the first block, and th emiddle two weeks of the other two blocks.

It’ll be my first time focusing on olympic lifting, and although I focus on bodybuilding generally I feel like this would be a good opportunity, where I won’t have as much nutrition freedom, to work on power. Thoughts?

As for nutrition, anything I should know about China? We get a meal card and I’ll find a grocery store and get a nuts and beef jerky supply for snacks, anyone know about prices there?

How about supplements? Can you buy whey there? Is there anything illegal I should know about? I’m planning to just bring over some whey, creatine+dextrose, fish oil, and a multiV. Should I stock up on bars before I go or are there GNCs or some equivelant there? Can you order supplements to there alright?

I would take any supplements I needed with me. I know that everytime I go to China, people I know there always ask me to bring vitamins, etc. In the big cities, like Beijing or Shanghai, you can get some supplements, but I would be dubious as to their quality.

On the other hand, it’s a good chance to incorporate some TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) into your recovery…cheaper than it would be here.

In China, people dont usually eat salads. You follow suit. Cook everything…boil water. I dont mean to scare you about this.

I have never gotten anything really evil in China (as compared to some of the stories I have heard from people visiting India)
but even with precautions as the above, it never fails that I get a mild case of diahrea at some point during the trip. You can use either chinese medicine (Zhong yao) or western medicine (xi yao) to deal with this. Both are available. Or you can take your own with you.

I dont think you need to worry about taking supplements there.

Enjoy your stay. China is actually a pretty cool place…and LOTS of GORGEOUS women!

Errr, you expect to find a gym that allows for olympic lifting?

It’s very possible that you’d be happy to find a gym that has a decent squat rack.

I wouldn’t expect to much my friend. Stick with the basic lifts that don’t require a lot of fancy equipment.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:

I wouldn’t expect to much my friend. Stick with the basic lifts that don’t require a lot of fancy equipment.[/quote]

Why do you say this? Usually when I go, I stay for two weeks, so I just take a break from training. I visited a couple of gyms though, which were pretty good. Actually, I think it is probably harder to find a GOOD gym in Europe.

I dont know if he will find nice Olympic bumper plates in these gyms, but he will find barbells and that’s all he will need. The average chinese gym probably wont be uptight about using chalk (I go to a Gold’s here-thinking about switching- and chalk is not allowed).

Anyway, here is a link to a review of Beijing gyms accessible to foreigners:

http://www.chinabusinessreview.com/public/0305/ousley.html

Not to be too rough to those of you who think China is what it was 30-40 years ago, but in the big cities China is fully on par with anything you’ll find in Europe and USA.

I would be very carefull with the supplements you bring with you. Find out EXACTLY what you’re going to bring and get in touch with the local authorities or the Chinese embassy in USA and ask them. “Smuggling” shouldn’t be taken lightly, when you’re traveling in Asian countries!

One of my friends is studying Chinese at the university here in Copenhagen and is 100% fluent in mandarin. Sounds so fun when he speaks it :slight_smile:

I will be in Beijing in september for the year

Anyone else?

I think you’ll be fine dude. I used to spend a lot of time in hong kong for business and often went mainland. As long as you’re in a big city like Beijing you’ll find decent places to train and decent stores to buy food and supplements from. The big cities are a lot more modern than the American media would lead you to believe.

entheogens,
Cool. Thanks. I’ll buy enough supps before I head there.

I’m not really sure where we’ll be eating, we’ll get a meal card, but I guess it’ll be at the place I’ll be working or maybe we’ll be eating out. Obviously though, I generally won’t be cooking, but I’ll need to supplement with extra meals as high-protein snacks during the day. Any recommendations for healthy eating out as well as grocery shopping for snacks there?

Any more words about TCM? I know absolutely nothing about it.

Cool. Do the hot chicks speak English? Do they like Westerners?:wink:

Thanks for the link.

The only equipment I’ll need for that program are barbells, dumbbells and blocks, pretty much. If the local hotel gym doesn’t have them I’m sure one will.

Does anyone know and have experience with the olympic lifting program I’m talking about trying? From the Black Book of Training Secrets.

What city?

90% of the gyms don’t care if you oly lifts or whatever…just be prepared to be stared at. It’s the “life” of living here.

Stare at the “Laowai.”

Supps: They have a limit on the amount you can carry with you into China. My buddy (about 250lbs) brought some protein powder here from the US and they rifled through it in the bag.

Basically we were eating a combo-flavored shake directly from the duffel bag because it was all over the place. If you order outside of China and have it shipped in, it’s not bad and I’ve had no problems, but there is a 1000RMB limit. SO only about $125USD.

Most very large cities (Shanghai, Beijing, ChangChun, Hong Kong) will have supplements readily available…and most of these large cities have chain supplement stores as well.

Like someone said previously…it’s not the China from like 40 years ago.

They have some decent brands too…but they also have some websites you can order from (inside CHina) for some American brands.

IMHO: Bring good vitamins, some diaharreal pills, Ny-Quil, and perhaps some T-Boosters (Like TRIBEX or AlphaMale) as these supps are practically non-existant out here…at least, not popular at all.

Most cities have decent gyms, but squat racks are rare…and be prepared because it’s very rare to find dumbells that go past 70lbs. I know you are doing oly’s but still…

But again, it all depends on what city you are going to be in.

Oh, and good luck finding beef jerky…agian, depends on the city.

I’ve been living out here for 3 years nonstop, so I think I have some qualifications to talk about these things.

AD

Oh, and 90% of TCM is a load of junk. I came here thinking “OH yeah!! I can get TCM and all that”

Funny, when you’re here you’ll notice the Chinese want every WESTERN thing they can get their hands on…

You don’t have to be a doctor in most cities to open a clinic…so a TCM EXPERT is hard to find.

You’re better off with western medicine.

Although Accupressure is definately worth the money (and hey, it’s less than $4 USD for an hour).

[quote]entheogens wrote:
Wreckless wrote:

I wouldn’t expect to much my friend. Stick with the basic lifts that don’t require a lot of fancy equipment.

Why do you say this? Usually when I go, I stay for two weeks, so I just take a break from training. I visited a couple of gyms though, which were pretty good. Actually, I think it is probably harder to find a GOOD gym in Europe.

I dont know if he will find nice Olympic bumper plates in these gyms, but he will find barbells and that’s all he will need. The average chinese gym probably wont be uptight about using chalk (I go to a Gold’s here-thinking about switching- and chalk is not allowed).

Anyway, here is a link to a review of Beijing gyms accessible to foreigners:

http://www.chinabusinessreview.com/public/0305/ousley.html
[/quote]

You’re probably right. I’m moving and I’m having difficulty in finding a decent gym in my new town.

Also, when traveling through Europe, I don’t have much luck in finding decent gyms either.
In my book, having a squat rack and enough free weights puts you in the “decent” category already.

Dude, what city are you going to be in?

In Shanghai you can order supplements and have them delivered to your door from this English-language website:

http://www.bbasupplements.com/

I’ve ordered Biotest supps without problems, although they always get held up in customs. You need to send them a written explanation of what is in the supps and what they are for together with a copy of your passport. It usually takes about a week to clear customs.

The commercial gyms like Fitness First are decent enough. DBs go up to 100lbs. They have Olympic bars and squat racks. But they might not like you doing Olympic lifts, especially during peak hours, since they are not really set up for it.

AlphaDragon,
I’ll be in Beijing.

Is that typical or do you think in general if I keep the total weight of my stuff down bringing powders would be fine? I definitely wouldn’t want to risk waiting without protein supps for a while.

fairbairn,
OK. I’ll see how the local gym is and decide from there whether to go there or try to find a more elite gym in the city.

Do you know anything about the legitamacy of the quality of the supps in the stores there?

Also, on a side note, for anyone who’s been to Beijing, I hear you can get cheap identical ripoffs of premium brand name clothing there. Anyone know details about that and where to go for that?

[quote]TheBlade wrote:

Any recommendations for healthy eating out as well as grocery shopping for snacks there?
[/quote]

Look, if you are in Beijing, you can eat at the best restaurants for dirt cheap (with the exception of the Quan Jude, the famous Beijing Duck Restaurant where Nixon ate during the first American visit to the PRC…but you should splurge and eat there once).

Finding healthy food is not a problem. Chinese eat lots of greens, vegetables and meat. In fact, in the better ones, if you are served rice, it comes at the end of the meal. In other words, the Chinese (in the restaurants in the PRC at least) will eat meat and vegetables first and only if they are still hungry add rice at the end.

Just ask the Chinese that you work with where to eat. If you want to go to extremes, there are even health food restaurants that fix meals according to your needs (usually as specified by a Chinese Traditional Medical Doctor)…but dont be surprised to find stuff like roast scorpions on your plate at such a restaurant!!!

Well, you can be sure the top Chinese athletes we are going to be seeing at the next Olympics will all be taking Chinese herbs and getting acupuncture treatments to improve their performance.

It can be very effective (in my experience…I’ve just used it to get over some injuries).

In Beijing there is an important TCM hospital. I am pretty sure that you could go there and get acupuncture, cupping, herbs (usually very bitter herb teas), etc.

One thing though…whenever making a purchase, TAKE ALONG a CHINESE FRIEND.
Merchants, taxi drivers, etc WILL definitely try to charge you more. Taxi drivers have a meter BUT they will try to take a longer route, etc, to charge you more.

By the way, TAXIS are dirt cheap, so unless you are getting ripped off (as in the above scenario), if you need to go somewhere, take a taxi. In Beijing, they are ABUNDANT and you dont have to wait long to find one.

Yes, many of them speak English. So much so that I had to shut them up so that I could practice my Mandarin :wink: If you are a weightlifting T-Nation guy (which you are), you will have to fight the women off of you. Chinese women like masculine men. Be careful though…some are looking for
a cheap ticket to America, if you know what I mean :wink: There is also quite a bit of prostitution.

You will be fine. I envy you!!! What an adventure! There will be some cultural differences that might be hard on you, but you’ll get used to it. HAVE A GREAT TIME!

[quote]TheBlade wrote:
AlphaDragon,
Also, on a side note, for anyone who’s been to Beijing, I hear you can get cheap identical ripoffs of premium brand name clothing there. Anyone know details about that and where to go for that?[/quote]

Yes, that’s true. In terms of clothing, Beijing is a PARADISE. For example I bought two wool high quality suits for $75 each. These are suits that would have cost me 400 or 500 dollars here. You can also have suits, shirts, etc. tailored for you for quite cheap.

Go to Chang?an Jie (the main commerical street in Beijing)…there is also a shopping mall that has more clothing stuff in it than I have ever seen. I can’t remember the name right now…I will think of it later and either post it here or PM you.

Oh, the name of the Shopping Mall I was thinking of is “Tian Yi” (Heaven’s Will). If you can’t find the clothing you want on Chang an’ Jie or at the Tian Yi shopping mall, it doesn’t exist!
You’ll see what I mean when you go there.

Good tips. Thanks man! Got your PM too. Looking forward to my trip. I’m flying Sunday:)

Ok bros, keep us updated on how many women you guys tag over there :slight_smile: