T Nation

One New Supplement


#1

I'm pretty skeptical about most supplements, and currently use only a very basic set:

Low Carb Metabolic Drive
Creatine
Fish Oil (Flameout)
Multivitamin
Green Tea

I'm currently cutting, and fat loss will remain my primary goal for a while yet. I'm considering adding an additional supplement to see if I get better results. My calories, protein intake, and workouts are under excellent control at the moment, so I should be able to tell the difference if any. Here are the three items I've considered so far:

1) Surge - A no brainer if I was bulking, but I'm relatively carb sensitive (in a bad way) and I'm not sure I want to add all that sugar and calories while dieting down. Authors I've read seem to have mixed opinions on this issue.

2) HOT-ROX - My prior experiences with fat burners, including HOT-ROX have been poor, however I never previously had my diet dialed in like I do now. Reviews I've read seem to indicate that some experience great results, others see none, with many using very poor methodology in their evaluations.

Last time I felt very strong effects for the first three days then very little afterwards, but my tracking and diet compliance were mediocre at best and those are vastly improved now.

3) BCAA's - While usually I'd rather just eat natural protein sources like steak or chicken, my peri/post workout routine could use improvement. I currently just drink half a protein shake before and after my workout, which I know isn't optimal due to the protein absorbtion rate. BCAA's are fast acting, and could act as a good Surge substitute while cutting.

Money isn't much of a problem, though I don't like to waste it on things that don't do much. I'm a minimalist when it comes to pill popping, not something I want to be doing all day, and whenever possible I prefer real food. I only want to try one item at a time so that I can evaluate the results properly.

So my questions are:

1) Should I bother adding any supplements at all?

2) Which one would you recommend and why?

3) Is there some other choice that would be more appropriate?


#2

Now that you have everything dialed in, I would say yes. If your weight training workouts remain intense, then Surge is still ideal even if fat loss is the goal. Again, that is the one time of the day, after an ass kicking workout, that an insulin spike and the accompanying shuttling of protein/aminos is desired. This won't effect fat loss and will help to keep your metabolism burning provided the rest of the day you are sticking to your reduction of high GI carbs and unhealthy fats and overall calories.

BCAA's are going to drastically help to keep muscle in your calorie depleted state and are highly advisable to take.

I think you should give HOT-ROX Extreme a try now that you have your diet dialed in.

D


#3

Surge and HOT-ROX Extreme would be my only recommendations.

Surge is great for recovery (even when you are dieting).

HOT-ROX Extreme works if you have your training and nutrition dialed in (you said you did!). I've used it with good results.

That's all you should need!


#4

I think BCAA's get increasingly more important as calories drop further. I seem to be getting good results with the HOT-ROX but who's to say I wouldn't be getting the same results without?

If I could only use 1 product it would be Surge since it is awesome PWO and has the BCAA's in it. I use it on very draining training days while dieting and I've been losing fat continuously for a while now. Even low carbing it.


#5

I keep my training schedule short, but frequent, and try to use the best exercises where possible. I use a four days on one day off schedule that looks like this:

All exercises 5x5 unless otherwise specified.

Day 1
Pullups
Military Press
Decline weighted situps
20 Min Seated bike

Day 2
Bench Press
Cable Row
Shrugs
20 Min Seated bike

Day 3
Squats
Calf Raises
Stiff Legged Deadlifts
20 Min Seated bike

Day 4
Curls
Dips
Supported Forearm Roller 4x8 (2 sets each way)
20 Min Seated bike

Day 5
Off day

I'm not sure if my workouts are long enough for Surge to really pay off.


#6

The length of time isn't the factor rather the intensity of what you do. I can do only three exercises, hell maybe one if it's squats, and hit em hard enough to warrant and benefit from my Surge.

D


#7

How is your progress coming along, thats really the only thing that matters. If you are seeing great gains, dont worry about adding anything.

I suspect 3 exercises per day might not be enough especially when some of them are situps and calf raises and forearm exercises.

You might want to get a program from Thibs or Waterbury on here before you add in any supplements.


#8

Personally, I would get rid of the 20 min on the bike, and throw in a couple more exercises and finish with tabata squats.


#9

Progress is good right now, losing about 1.0-1.5lbs a week with most of it coming from fat. The weights I can handle are still rising regularly as well. Just looking to see if there is anything that can give me additional leverage.

The routine is shorter than seven days, so I get in 5.6 workouts per week, which works out to 16.8 exercises per week. that seemed to correspond with most other programs I've read. The plan is based around a push/pull/accessory scheme. I don't feel like the accessory work is fluff.

This was the shortest workout I could come up with that hits everything. My main goal from lifting at this point is muscle preservation while dieting so that my metabolism doesn't down-regulate.

Believe it or not I've read probably 90% of all the articles ever written on here, took quite a while, but well worth it. I'm always open to more specific feedback though, there's always something new to learn.

I feel that 1-2 hours of cardio per week is beneficial in terms of fat loss, and the bike allows me to do that while catching up on other tasks. I've done sprints, jogging, sled drag, sandbag carry, and a number of other things in the past.

As for "throwing in a couple more exercises" if I did 5 per day that would mean 28 per week which seems high, unless many of them were not compound. Remember I'm on a caloric deficit while cutting, so recovery is not all that great. What exactly would you want to add? (I have a great home gym, about the only thing I can't do is the olympic lifts due to lack of equipment, space, and training).


#10

my vote goes to BCAA's pre/peri/post


#11

This is more what I would do. But also keep in mind that I know my own body a lot better than I know yours and vice versa.

Day 1
Bench Press
Pullups
Curls
Incline or flat db press
Decline weighted situps

Day 2
Squats
Calf Raises
Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Lunges

Day 3
Rest

Day 4
Military Press
Cable Row
Shrugs
Dips
Curls
Tabata Squats

Day 5

Deadlifts
Goodmornings
Hammy Curls


#12

Interesting.

ADDED
Incline or flat db press
Lunges
Curls a 2nd time
Tabata Squats
Goodmornings
Hammy Curls

REMOVED
Forearm Roller
Seated bike

To me this routine seems cardio light and a bit leg/chest/bicep heavy, though the exercises themselves aren't bad. Overall volume would depend on what you're doing after day 5. (immediately back to day 1, rest day, or weekend off) (50%, 25%, and 7% more respectively)

I'm guessing that you meant weekend off in which case I don't really see the volume difference since I don't skip those days currently. Day 4 seems like it would be pretty long.

I have considered compressing down to a 3 on 1 off schedule with the same exercises, but it hasn't seemed necessary yet. Anyone else have an opinion on whether more volume would be appropriate?


#13

I say these. Proven effective and not terribly expensive.


#14

Surge. PWO is the number one priority. I would put Surge before creatine, or even a protein supplement as that is more of a luxury than necessity.


#15

Just realize that this is what I would respond to better. and I respond best to volume at high weights.


#16

Of all my supplements, I think Surge is my most important/favorite. It's the only supplement, save creatine, that has noticeably affected my DOMS and recovery time.

Fish oil is a close second, but I'd take Surge ahead of it.


#17

BCAA's


#18

I want to thank everyone for their feedback. I've decided to purchase all three and try them out. Due to the overwhelming amount of votes for BCAA's and Surge and I'll be testing those first, and saving the HOT-ROX for once the new changes have stabilized.


#19

I liked BCAAs when I could afford them. You don't notice the difference till you don't have them.


#20

Ok, so first of all I'm a bad scientist, I got so excited to try out my new products that I started using all three immediately rather than testing each separately.

Overall calorie totals did rise 5% due to the effort to fit Surge into my diet scheme without causing too much distortion, so that will partially skew the results.

The amount of time tested isn't really long enough to come to serious conclusions. (one week)
Given all those caveats though, here's what I've seen:

7 Days prior

1.00lbs weight lost
0.66lbs fat lost
0.34lbs muscle lost

7 Days after starting with Surge, BCAA, & HOT-ROX

0.44lbs weight lost
0.66lbs fat lost
0.22lbs muscle gained

Exact same fat loss for more calories and 0.56lbs more muscle mass retention! If those results continue, that's amazing! I'm officially impressed.

*For you science types weight and bodyfat measurements were taken daily, and the trend values calculated using 10% smoothed exponential moving average.