T Nation

Question on First Order

Well Ive always used GNC in the past for my supps but Ive stumbled on the page and really love what the company seems to stand for and I want to do my business here.

I am just restarting a fitness program after years of well…nothing. And Im tired of where Im at. If found some good ideas for my gym time and cardio, but I have a few questions how to best utilize a supplement plan. Oh, and I’m vegetarian so help getting some protein wouldnt be a bad thing. I was thinking of the following for starting out:

1 tub of Grow
1 tub of Metabolic Drive
And maybe Alpha Male

I have quite a bit of weight to lose, would like to add some decent muscle along the way, and want to do it the right way.

Not looking for any miracles and I dont want something that will give me jitters. I seem sensitve to those products. Thanks in advance, I really appreatiate the site and any info you guys could give would be greatly appretiated.

If you’re trying to avoid anything stimulating I’d maybe switch the Alpha Male for ZMA, Carbolin-19 & maybe Rez-V.

Not that it gives you the jitters, but it is pretty stimulating (i.e. I work in research & I only take it on weekends or holidays because I get too energetic & all I want to do is women & lift weights when I’m on it).

Okay, good luck, but you said that you had a few questions? What are they, or do you plan to ask them later?

I’m sensitive to supplements and Alpha Male (it’s actually a pumped-up version of what I used to take, TRIBEX) will definitely make you feel a difference. What do you plan to use the protein powders for?

Personally I use Metabolic Drive bars for my work’s morning snack period (my students and I are only allotted 10 minutes to eat something and I like to eat something that allows me to write on the board) and Low-Carb Metabolic Drive for bedtime.

[quote]rhscare wrote:
Well Ive always used GNC in the past for my supps but Ive stumbled on the page and really love what the company seems to stand for and I want to do my business here.

I am just restarting a fitness program after years of well…nothing. And Im tired of where Im at. If found some good ideas for my gym time and cardio, but I have a few questions how to best utilize a supplement plan. Oh, and I’m vegetarian so help getting some protein wouldnt be a bad thing. I was thinking of the following for starting out:

1 tub of Grow
1 tub of Metabolic Drive
And maybe Alpha Male

I have quite a bit of weight to lose, would like to add some decent muscle along the way, and want to do it the right way.

Not looking for any miracles and I dont want something that will give me jitters. I seem sensitve to those products. Thanks in advance, I really appreatiate the site and any info you guys could give would be greatly appretiated.[/quote]

Are you a brand new vegetarian? I don’t think I’ve seen an overweight plant eater. Maybe you should try vegan.

Other than protein powder, maybe you should dial in your diet before jumping into the supplement ring.

What does your diet look like?

Also, read some articles here about gaining muscle while losing quite a bit of fat. It’s not going to happen. Getting your weight under control should be your first goal.

And stay away from those hamburger laced veggies!

[quote]MaloVerde wrote:
Also, read some articles here about gaining muscle while losing quite a bit of fat. It’s not going to happen.
[/quote]I did it. I know plenty of people who’ve done it. I know people who are doing it right now.

[quote]t-ha wrote:
MaloVerde wrote:
Also, read some articles here about gaining muscle while losing quite a bit of fat. It’s not going to happen.
I did it. I know plenty of people who’ve done it. I know people who are doing it right now.

[/quote]

It’s a miracle!

[quote]t-ha wrote:
MaloVerde wrote:
Also, read some articles here about gaining muscle while losing quite a bit of fat. It’s not going to happen.
I did it. I know plenty of people who’ve done it. I know people who are doing it right now.

[/quote]

It really isn’t possible to build appreciable muscle and lose appreciable amounts of body fat at the same time, Newbie Gains aside. If you did it was likely that you were either a) not very overweight, b) underestimated how much you could lift prior to the diet, or c) had a lot of muscle to being with.

As for the Newbie Gains- most of that is just item b) above and not actual gains.

Thanks for the actual feedback guys. I was half expecting a few random flame posts here or there.

As far as the veggie thing, its been about 3 years now. Ive lost weight doing it, although thats now why I started. Although Im veggie, my diet is still not that great and Im changing it as part of the whole plan. You would be surprised how easy it is to improve your diet once youve already made a jump like to vegetarian.

I do understand Im not going to gain as much muscle at first. My biggest concern is getting the weight off first. But Im always hearing from people “I wish I started off with your frame. Just lift, dont lose the frame.” And those type of statements. Im not looking to get huge. I really just want to slim down and tone up. Thanks again guys. I really do appretitate the input, it can be pretty daunting.

Don’t worry about getting huge… believe us. Getting “huge” takes YEARS, AND YEARS of consistant hard work. 1 bottle of Alpha Male aint gonna do it.

Anyway, it looks like a small order to me. I notice a bunch of newbies tend to order 1 bottle of this, 1 tub of that. The fact is I bet a good amount of us on here, if we supplement, go to 6 to 8 bottles of a supplement in a 12 - 16 week period, if we think it works. So 1 bottle of Alpha Male is only 2 weeks at the max dose…not really all that much.

1 tub of Metabolic Drive is 27 scoops
(low carb), so figure that into it when you decide how much you want. If you use 2 scoops a day, thats only a 13 day supply.

I’m not trying to get you to empty your wallett, but plan ahead and realize that supplements go quick sometimes. If you are only committed to get 1 bottle of something, it’s probably better to just save your money actually.

Its good that you’re excited about getting into this, but I would lay off the supps for a while. Don’t intro too many new variables to your body at the same time. I think you should just do the best you can without any supps for about 6 months to a year. I think supps should be used to “finish off” whatever your project is, not to start it. Lift and diet properly for a year then evaluate where you are. Just my two cents.

The last poster made a good point, most people who are casually trying to eat right and get exercise don’t need too many supplements. If nothing else, I would get some Surge for after workouts.

[quote]MaloVerde wrote:
It’s a miracle!
[/quote]
Nope.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
It really isn’t possible to build appreciable muscle and lose appreciable amounts of body fat at the same time, Newbie Gains aside. If you did it was likely that you were either a) not very overweight, b) underestimated how much you could lift prior to the diet, or c) had a lot of muscle to being with.

As for the Newbie Gains- most of that is just item b) above and not actual gains.[/quote]
Nope.

I lost 100lbs initially if that’s enough to count as appreciable - but even now (I’m bulking) I will occassionally go on phases where I lean up while still maintaining/increasing my bodyweight. I could go into more detail about how you go about losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, though depending on your definition of “appreciable” muscle gain & fat loss you may not be interested.

As for your last comment, about newbie gains being due to overcoming mental issues with lifting heavy rather than real gains, well… I’ll just give you an opportunity to think that comment through and decide if you’ld like to change it (Hint: newbies frequently add significantly to both their bodyweights and measurements in that initial period of training, which are objective indications of actual gains).

To the OP, the guys brought up a pretty good point which is the less supplements you are taking, the easier it is to figure out what is working for you & what isn’t.

Also, as a vegetarian it might be worth your while reading some of Mike Mahler’s nutrition articles;
http://www.mikemahler.com/
He’s a vegan but has some examples of how to combine veggie-type protein sources to get a decent spectrum of aminos in.

[quote]rhscare wrote:
Thanks for the actual feedback guys. I was half expecting a few random flame posts here or there.

As far as the veggie thing, its been about 3 years now. Ive lost weight doing it, although thats now why I started. Although Im veggie, my diet is still not that great and Im changing it as part of the whole plan. You would be surprised how easy it is to improve your diet once youve already made a jump like to vegetarian.

I do understand Im not going to gain as much muscle at first. My biggest concern is getting the weight off first. But Im always hearing from people “I wish I started off with your frame. Just lift, dont lose the frame.” And those type of statements. Im not looking to get huge. I really just want to slim down and tone up. Thanks again guys. I really do appretitate the input, it can be pretty daunting.[/quote]
I’m a vegetarian lifter too. Metabolic Drive and other casein-whey blends are your friend. BCAAs teh awesomeness too and it doesn’t hurt to add some to every shake you have. Note that you will be using protein left and right so a tub of Metabolic Drive would not last long on the 1.5g/lb recommendation.

Dare I ask what are your plans for the gym?

[quote]t-ha wrote:
MaloVerde wrote:
It’s a miracle!

Nope.

eengrms76 wrote:
It really isn’t possible to build appreciable muscle and lose appreciable amounts of body fat at the same time, Newbie Gains aside. If you did it was likely that you were either a) not very overweight, b) underestimated how much you could lift prior to the diet, or c) had a lot of muscle to being with.

As for the Newbie Gains- most of that is just item b) above and not actual gains.
Nope.

I lost 100lbs initially if that’s enough to count as appreciable - but even now (I’m bulking) I will occassionally go on phases where I lean up while still maintaining/increasing my bodyweight. I could go into more detail about how you go about losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, though depending on your definition of “appreciable” muscle gain & fat loss you may not be interested.

As for your last comment, about newbie gains being due to overcoming mental issues with lifting heavy rather than real gains, well… I’ll just give you an opportunity to think that comment through and decide if you’ld like to change it (Hint: newbies frequently add significantly to both their bodyweights and measurements in that initial period of training, which are objective indications of actual gains).

To the OP, the guys brought up a pretty good point which is the less supplements you are taking, the easier it is to figure out what is working for you & what isn’t.

Also, as a vegetarian it might be worth your while reading some of Mike Mahler’s nutrition articles;
http://www.mikemahler.com/
He’s a vegan but has some examples of how to combine veggie-type protein sources to get a decent spectrum of aminos in.

[/quote]

During that 100lb weight loss- EXACTLY how much of that was fat? Are you saying you lost 100lbs of fat and no muscle whatsoever? And while you lost that 100lbs of fat you CONCURRENTLY gained lean mass?

When we say “at the same time” we don’t mean in alternate phases of bulking and cutting- that wouldn’t be “AT THE SAME TIME” would it?

Maybe you need to think your comments through.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
t-ha wrote:
MaloVerde wrote:
It’s a miracle!

Nope.

eengrms76 wrote:
It really isn’t possible to build appreciable muscle and lose appreciable amounts of body fat at the same time, Newbie Gains aside. If you did it was likely that you were either a) not very overweight, b) underestimated how much you could lift prior to the diet, or c) had a lot of muscle to being with.

As for the Newbie Gains- most of that is just item b) above and not actual gains.
Nope.

I lost 100lbs initially if that’s enough to count as appreciable - but even now (I’m bulking) I will occassionally go on phases where I lean up while still maintaining/increasing my bodyweight. I could go into more detail about how you go about losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, though depending on your definition of “appreciable” muscle gain & fat loss you may not be interested.

As for your last comment, about newbie gains being due to overcoming mental issues with lifting heavy rather than real gains, well… I’ll just give you an opportunity to think that comment through and decide if you’ld like to change it (Hint: newbies frequently add significantly to both their bodyweights and measurements in that initial period of training, which are objective indications of actual gains).

To the OP, the guys brought up a pretty good point which is the less supplements you are taking, the easier it is to figure out what is working for you & what isn’t.

Also, as a vegetarian it might be worth your while reading some of Mike Mahler’s nutrition articles;
http://www.mikemahler.com/
He’s a vegan but has some examples of how to combine veggie-type protein sources to get a decent spectrum of aminos in.

During that 100lb weight loss- EXACTLY how much of that was fat? Are you saying you lost 100lbs of fat and no muscle whatsoever? And while you lost that 100lbs of fat you CONCURRENTLY gained lean mass?

When we say “at the same time” we don’t mean in alternate phases of bulking and cutting- that wouldn’t be “AT THE SAME TIME” would it?

Maybe you need to think your comments through.[/quote]

Yes, he does. Muscles grow by feeding them. Can’t grow them while decreasing calories for fat loss. Pretty simple concept.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
During that 100lb weight loss- EXACTLY how much of that was fat? Are you saying you lost 100lbs of fat and no muscle whatsoever? And while you lost that 100lbs of fat you CONCURRENTLY gained lean mass?[/quote]
Yes I lost 100lbs and was stronger and had larger muscles than I did starting out. However, to be honest that’s not really what I’m talking about because even though I’d had a few years training under my belt at that stage it wasn’t very informed training (or dieting) so I believe the onset of smarter training/diet would have played a big role in those gains.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
When we say “at the same time” we don’t mean in alternate phases of bulking and cutting- that wouldn’t be “AT THE SAME TIME” would it?[/quote]
Your intellect staggers me. I also am not referring to seperate phases of cutting & bulking, at least not in the traditional sense.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Maybe you need to think your comments through.[/quote]
Yeah that reminds me, you mentioned that newb gains are not real gains, they are just newbs getting over their mental hang-ups about lifting more weight. Can you expand on this interesting theory of yours?

[quote]MaloVerde wrote:
Yes, he does. Muscles grow by feeding them. Can’t grow them while decreasing calories for fat loss. Pretty simple concept.
[/quote]
So what your saying is that of the 168 hours in a week, that you must keep your body in a state of caloric surplus for all 168 hours of that time to grow any muscle that week?

Are you sure I’m the one who needs to be re-thinking my ideas?

Listen guys, I’m not looking for an online fight here - I’ve already offered to explain quite simply how it is done, but it seems you’ld rather stick with dogma and throw patronising comments my way?

[quote]t-ha wrote:
eengrms76 wrote:
During that 100lb weight loss- EXACTLY how much of that was fat? Are you saying you lost 100lbs of fat and no muscle whatsoever? And while you lost that 100lbs of fat you CONCURRENTLY gained lean mass?
Yes I lost 100lbs and was stronger and had larger muscles than I did starting out. However, to be honest that’s not really what I’m talking about because even though I’d had a few years training under my belt at that stage it wasn’t very informed training (or dieting) so I believe the onset of smarter training/diet would have played a big role in those gains.

eengrms76 wrote:
When we say “at the same time” we don’t mean in alternate phases of bulking and cutting- that wouldn’t be “AT THE SAME TIME” would it?
Your intellect staggers me. I also am not referring to seperate phases of cutting & bulking, at least not in the traditional sense.

eengrms76 wrote:
Maybe you need to think your comments through.
Yeah that reminds me, you mentioned that newb gains are not real gains, they are just newbs getting over their mental hang-ups about lifting more weight. Can you expand on this interesting theory of yours?

MaloVerde wrote:
Yes, he does. Muscles grow by feeding them. Can’t grow them while decreasing calories for fat loss. Pretty simple concept.

So what your saying is that of the 168 hours in a week, that you must keep your body in a state of caloric surplus for all 168 hours of that time to grow any muscle that week?

Are you sure I’m the one who needs to be re-thinking my ideas?

Listen guys, I’m not looking for an online fight here - I’ve already offered to explain quite simply how it is done, but it seems you’ld rather stick with dogma and throw patronising comments my way?
[/quote]

I would genuinely like to hear your thoughts on it.

new2

[quote]new2training wrote:
t-ha wrote:
eengrms76 wrote:
During that 100lb weight loss- EXACTLY how much of that was fat? Are you saying you lost 100lbs of fat and no muscle whatsoever? And while you lost that 100lbs of fat you CONCURRENTLY gained lean mass?
Yes I lost 100lbs and was stronger and had larger muscles than I did starting out. However, to be honest that’s not really what I’m talking about because even though I’d had a few years training under my belt at that stage it wasn’t very informed training (or dieting) so I believe the onset of smarter training/diet would have played a big role in those gains.

eengrms76 wrote:
When we say “at the same time” we don’t mean in alternate phases of bulking and cutting- that wouldn’t be “AT THE SAME TIME” would it?
Your intellect staggers me. I also am not referring to seperate phases of cutting & bulking, at least not in the traditional sense.

eengrms76 wrote:
Maybe you need to think your comments through.
Yeah that reminds me, you mentioned that newb gains are not real gains, they are just newbs getting over their mental hang-ups about lifting more weight. Can you expand on this interesting theory of yours?

MaloVerde wrote:
Yes, he does. Muscles grow by feeding them. Can’t grow them while decreasing calories for fat loss. Pretty simple concept.

So what your saying is that of the 168 hours in a week, that you must keep your body in a state of caloric surplus for all 168 hours of that time to grow any muscle that week?

Are you sure I’m the one who needs to be re-thinking my ideas?

Listen guys, I’m not looking for an online fight here - I’ve already offered to explain quite simply how it is done, but it seems you’ld rather stick with dogma and throw patronising comments my way?

I would genuinely like to hear your thoughts on it.

new2
[/quote]

By all means. He’s convinced me. Let’s hear it.

Cool, well I guess the easiest thing to do is to link to where I’ve explained it before. I’d urge people to actually read this link because it’s explained alot better there than it will be in this post;
anacat.teamtestforum.com

The idea is pretty simple, eat your face off when it’s more important (i.e. starting the meal or two before your workout and continuing for a total bulking period of 24 hours), and then use a caloric defecit afterwards.

Obviously I haven’t done scientific studies on protein synthesis rates v’s time in the post-exercise period to determine what the exact periods of caloric surplus and defecit should be, but I have played around with it and found that the parameters given in the link above allow you to keep all the best aspects of bulking but without the fat.

Specifically, if you do it right your strength, recovery times, (lack of) joint pain etc. will all be the same as they would on a standard bulk (or IMO improved, but I’m trying to shy away from hyping it up) but you can work it so you don’t add fat, or even so you actually lean up simultaneously.

If you’re sceptical as to whether this can work or not I can only assure you that I’ve done it myself, and that currently many of the people on that site I linked to, and other local (to me) sites are also doing it. I have recieved only positive feed-back on it, with everyone who uses it losing fat and gaining lean mass.

It was originally intended for people who put on fat fairly easily. For hard-gainers I would recommend a more traditional bulk, maybe using these ideas to trim off the excess every now and then (this is actually what I tend to do myself, although I’m not a ‘hard-gainer’ I just like food alot).

Another group who may run into trouble are very advanced trainees whose calorie requirements are huge at the best of times (since the calories you’ld take in on an ANA day would generally be higher than what you would eat on a traditional bulk), and for them I would probably recommend the same thing as with the skinny guys - bulk as normal and then apply some of these ideas when your bodyfat starts creeping too high.

Regarding the bodyfat issue itself, I would recommend people to stick with a bodyfat level that they are comfortable with for gaining. It’s well known that dropping fat is easier at a higher bodyfat like 15%BF than it is at 7%BF, and that corrispondingly losing muscle is easier to do at a lower bodyfat % than a higher one. Since preventing muscle catabolism is one of the most important aspects of bulking up it makes sense to keep yourself at a higher level of bodyfat when trying to add muscle.

Personally I try to stick around the 15% region. I would give that advice to someone whether they were using deliberate periods of caloric defecit as I’m suggesting here, or doing a more traditional bulk as there will always be those times when you can’t stick exactly to your deitary schedule.

[quote]t-ha wrote:
Cool, well I guess the easiest thing to do is to link to where I’ve explained it before. I’d urge people to actually read this link because it’s explained alot better there than it will be in this post;
anacat.teamtestforum.com

The idea is pretty simple, eat your face off when it’s more important (i.e. starting the meal or two before your workout and continuing for a total bulking period of 24 hours), and then use a caloric defecit afterwards.

Obviously I haven’t done scientific studies on protein synthesis rates v’s time in the post-exercise period to determine what the exact periods of caloric surplus and defecit should be, but I have played around with it and found that the parameters given in the link above allow you to keep all the best aspects of bulking but without the fat.

Specifically, if you do it right your strength, recovery times, (lack of) joint pain etc. will all be the same as they would on a standard bulk (or IMO improved, but I’m trying to shy away from hyping it up) but you can work it so you don’t add fat, or even so you actually lean up simultaneously.

If you’re sceptical as to whether this can work or not I can only assure you that I’ve done it myself, and that currently many of the people on that site I linked to, and other local (to me) sites are also doing it. I have recieved only positive feed-back on it, with everyone who uses it losing fat and gaining lean mass.

It was originally intended for people who put on fat fairly easily. For hard-gainers I would recommend a more traditional bulk, maybe using these ideas to trim off the excess every now and then (this is actually what I tend to do myself, although I’m not a ‘hard-gainer’ I just like food alot).

Another group who may run into trouble are very advanced trainees whose calorie requirements are huge at the best of times (since the calories you’ld take in on an ANA day would generally be higher than what you would eat on a traditional bulk), and for them I would probably recommend the same thing as with the skinny guys - bulk as normal and then apply some of these ideas when your bodyfat starts creeping too high.

Regarding the bodyfat issue itself, I would recommend people to stick with a bodyfat level that they are comfortable with for gaining. It’s well known that dropping fat is easier at a higher bodyfat like 15%BF than it is at 7%BF, and that corrispondingly losing muscle is easier to do at a lower bodyfat % than a higher one. Since preventing muscle catabolism is one of the most important aspects of bulking up it makes sense to keep yourself at a higher level of bodyfat when trying to add muscle.

Personally I try to stick around the 15% region. I would give that advice to someone whether they were using deliberate periods of caloric defecit as I’m suggesting here, or doing a more traditional bulk as there will always be those times when you can’t stick exactly to your deitary schedule.[/quote]

Thanks for taking the time to post this. I’ll check out the link as well.

By the way, Nice Work on your transformation. Obviously you’ve put the time and effort in.

Cheers