T Nation

Shadow Pro Q&A 3.0


#1

WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE OF T-Nation!

Moving on to thread #3! My last ones have reached their limits for comments so you can continue posting here. I'll be happy to help you guys/girls with whatever you need so feel free to join me. I'll help you with your goals intelligently, safely and efficiently.

Let's kick the 3rd thread off to a good start.... Bring on the questions..... I'M READY!


#2

Yeah buddy! Thank you for your honest advice :slightly_smiling:


#3

Hi shadow pro,

Just wanting you to make any tweaks to my cycle that you think are necessary, this is for maximal muscle gain and will by my 3rd cycle.

DBOL week 1 - 6 40mg ed
TEST E week 1 - 12 500mg a week
EQ week 1 - 12 400mg - 600mg a week
week 1 - 12 nolva 10mg ed
week 1-12 HCG 250 iu

PCT
week 1 - 5 clomid 50mg ed
week 1 - 5 nolva 40/40/20/20/10
HCG Un sure on this one

Also was wanting to cruise but un sure how to implement it exactly I basically want to stay on for 9 months of the year and then come off and do a good PCT for 3 months and then start again. So am looking at having 2 good blasts in a year with a cruise in between and then a solid 3 months off with PCT. Do you think this an optimal way to do this?

Stats atm are
PED - none am on a break.
Weight - 85.5kg
Height 1.74m
bf% - 9-11%

Diet am currently eating 2900 cals (deficit for me) and am dieting for a photoshoot coming up, following slight variation of carb backloading so no carbs throughout the day just protein, fats and vege's then am having some carbs pre-workout, majority carbs are Intra and then the rest are post-workout. I workout at night so my post- workout meal is before I go to bed.

Looking at starting PED above in January when I am in a surplus again.

Cheers Shadow


#4


Hi Shadow again!
Responding to:
Here's my suggestion to you... I'll be more specific when I see your current diet but here are a few points.

-protein intake 1-1.2g/lb
-carbs 1g/lb in heavy training days(in off days and light days, possibly .5g/lb or less)
-fat intake minimal for body function (most people are around 40-70g/day)
-choose quality foods, no junk food, try and stay away from processed food

Protein sources: chicken, egg white, turkey, white fish, lean red meat etc.
Carb sources: oats, rice, ekeziel bread, potatos, yams etc.
Fat sources: avocado, natural peanut butter, mct oil, olive oil etc...

Make sure you count EVERYTHING you are eating.

Supplement recommendations: these are a must
-indigo3G (I would recommend this to ANYONE who is dieting and anyone who wants to be lean)
-Plazma
-HOT-ROX
-MAG-10

Training recommendations:
-high frequency training... Squat and deadlift at least twice a week and press and pull 3 times a week in different variations.
-try to stay away from a "classic" bodybuilding program
-the big compound exercises are very important in your program and the more you do them the faster you'll advance in all areas.
- do cardio 4-5 days a week (30-60min) it will help with daily calorie expenditure and help boost your metabolism.

Stay away from drugs until you reach 10-12% bodyfat. It won't take you as long as you think.... As long as you stay on track!

Hope this helps and good luck with your goals.

The macros I'm filling are:
protein, anything 150-200g im content with
carbs i like getting 150-200
fats i usually get 40-60 from eggs and possibly olive oil
talking anywhere from 2k-2200 calories. I havent found the sweetspot yet, I was doing 2k and I was definitely losing but I felt that was just too low for someone my size.

foods that are in my diet every day: grilled chicken/eggs/wheat bread/brown rice/milk/greek yogurt/whey protein/tuna cans (in water)

foods that are in my diet somedays: subway sub (it is 4 chicken breasts with cucumbers on wheat bread). , bananas, apples, green beans, instant oat meal, beef

as far as lifting routine goes, for the first year and a half i did brosplit, but because of a lot of stress from my relationship and eventually my engagement failing i was basically plateau'd and didn't even realize it for about 8 months of that. i actually put quite a few lbs because of it. i got pretty sick of that and switched to PPL afterwards and stay pretty sore all around since. I've been doing this for about three months now. keep in mind this is just beginning my second year of lifting;

I don't do squats and deads however, but i bench. Squats seem to ALWAYS make my back hurt, no matter how low the weight is and no matter how perfect my form is. I've recorded my form dozens of times for very experienced friends to look at and they all say it's okay. That and I can never have enough breath to go until i actually feel anything in my legs, my lungs give out well before my legs do.

It is to be noted that I am EC stacking currently but I've had this issue for a year now. I've always never really squatted.

Typically my leg day consists of (in no specific order) stairmaster warm up, leg press, hack squats, leg extensions, leg curls, two calf exercises (more likely standing and seated raises), and if i can lift my leg up after that I'll go hop back on leg press for burn sets. then ill try for seated ab crunches and oblique twists. After that I'll try to do incline treadmill for 15 minutes.

I don't do deads because they're not something I feel. Like squats ive been form checked by a good number of people both over the phone and in person, but the only place i really feel any strain are my arms. I've basically replaced this workout completely from my routine with bent over rows on the smith and have found this great. Although it's hard for me to actually see any progress in my back since there is a good amount of fat there, the feeling i get working it like that is unmatched.

For both of those compounds it is to be noted that since I used to be obese, I do have a somewhat bad back. It's fine through out most of the day but some things can make it hurt pretty bad. The first hour I'm awake each day is usually where all of the pain is, and it proceeds to stop after that.

MY PP days are pretty standard,
Push= chest/tris/delts (a lot of smith work, i quit for a long time but I remmebered that i did see my best chest gains when I was doubling up each week on the smith while I was on bro split). I've always started doing a lot of behind the neck presses on smith as I saw kevin levrone saw it activates all three heads of your delt which I find pretty great. I have been able to do military press without the smith but I'd be lying if I said the positioning is something I'm comfortable in. After that it's a lot of isolation work.

Push: bis/back/rear delts/traps pretty standard. a few sets of bis, a few sets of back, a set of rear delts, and a few sets of traps.

I don't really hit my biceps too hard anymore, maybe once a month I'll really devote a push day onto them but (i've attached a picture that was taken right before I started cutting) I feel they completely overpower the rest of my body and especially my delts which make them not needed to really be hit much. I never really over trained them so I guess my genetics are just better than average there.

I lift 6 days a week 95% of the time, the other 5% will either be 7/8 days ill lift or 5/7 days ill lift

I do cardio 7 days a week, usually for 20 minutes minimum up to around 45 minutes.
I rotate my cardios between, elliptical HIIT, steady elliptical, and incline treadmill.
At the very minimum I'll be burning 200 calories, and I usually don't go too far above 350 at max.

I'm eating at this very moment 2100 calories(but like i said i haven't decided between 2k and 2200) and cheat once a week, usually with pizza or five guys and an oreo flurry from sonic or something similar.

sorry for the length of this


#5

You're welcome.. That's what I'm here for, so ask away!


#6

Everything looks okay but here are a few changes.

  • run the HCG 250iu 2x/week for the whole cycle. (Instead of once)
  • run clomid for 4 weeks in your pct. 50mg everyday.
  • keep nolvadex for 5 weeks as you suggested.
    -for pct run HCG at 500iu 2x/ week for 5 weeks

If you want to cruise for 9 full months keep in mind you might be taking a chance with fertility issues. With the dosages you're doing 250mg/week of test-e is a good amount, I wouldn't use more than that. When you blast you can add the other compounds to this.

Diet looks good to me for cutting, your carb timing is on point. If you want to post pictures and full diet including macros I can give you my opinion.


#7

Here is the food that you currently you don't want to consume when you are trying to get down to your desired body fat
Milk
Greek yogurt
Wheat bread
Bananas
Apples
Fatty beef

Learn how to squat and deadlift! These are two of the most important exercises for ANY goal. There are so many variations of them that you can do. Hire a coach to teach you how to do them correctly. If you can't squat because of your lungs it's because you are out of shape and it's something you need to work on. One of the reasons you are advancing slowly is due to the fact you aren't squatting or deadlifting.

There is NO WAY you wouldn't "feel" deadlifts if you're doing them correctly. The deadlifting will also improve your bad back, stronger erectors=less stress on the spine. Stay away from the smith machine, it's not comparable to deadlifts or any of the pressing exercises.

You don't need to do a lot of isolation work at all. You need exercises that are metabolically demanding (ex: squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips) all of these should be done with barbells or a bar. No machine can replace this

Cardio looks fine. Do at least 45min a day, not 20. Alternate between HIIT cardio and slow and steady cardio.

Honestly,what I think you need to do is hire a coach to design a personalized training program and diet for you. I think it's your training that's holding you back more than anything and it's a shame because you are very passionate and working hard to reach you goals but have been mislead.


#8

I don't think I'm advancing too slowly. I just have never actually been at a decent caloric surplus since I've started lifting for any time longer than a month or two.
I think that would have more to do with it than anything. I do see what you're saying but I think my lifting is working for me. Maybe I'm wrong though. I wouldn't know until I tried the other things.

I just do the smith for bent rows/military behind the neck/front presses/ and flat benching

I see what you're saying with these exercises. How do you figure some are more than others? Not to make it sound like i'm disagreeing or anything. I've just never really considered or thought of that. It's interesting.

I'll up the cardio to 45. That won't really big deal, just a bit more boring every morning.

As far as a coach goes, I'm fairly tight on money right now. I have been considering it but between budgeting one and actually finding someone that knows what the hell they're doing it's a lot on my plate.

If I were to recomp (eat at maintenance) into a good/better physique would you still recommend I stay away from those foods? Also would I just be increasing my calories about 100 a week until 24-2600 area I imagine?


#9

Cool thank you for the tweaks Shadow, Just a couple more questions

Will cruising of 250mg of test E effect my PCT at all?

Rather than risking my fertility is it better to completely come off and do the PCT and have a rest for 3 months and then go on again for another 3 months?

With the fertility issues is it just luck of the draw because IFBB pros and ex IFBB pros do have children so as long as I take the pre-cautions I should be safe?

Cheers Again for your help look forward to the answer.


#10

hey Shadow,

sorry that i didn't repost the message i sent you with pictures, totally forgot it - but i decided to back off it for now(but still need your opinion), but still got a question related to it.

so my cycle was now for 18 weeks, 500mg test - e / week - i couldnt do any HCG and unfortunately i won't be able to get for my pct aswell, will get it for the next cycle.)

my pct will look like this:
week 1-4 Clomid 50mg a day, no frontload
week 1-5 nolva 40/40/20/20/20

1) I would still run to my second cycle like 2 months after my pct and then i would back off for a while, pct the correct way and be off for atleast 8/10 months. The question is:
- should i got into TRT dose, like 250mg e7/10day and after 2 months from now on do the 2nd cycle and then PCT it off and be off for good OR

2) PCT now, be off atleast for 3 Months and then do the 12 week 2nd cycle and then off again, would atleast be 8 months off.

3) Would like to get your opinion on this on how i should handle it but since there will be the 2nd cycle i would like to know your opinion on it, would like to add as much lean muscle as possible / know it it's all diet, did good for my first cycle but i would like to know how should i manage drugs, i was thinking about something like this:

week 1-8: dbol 40mg
week 1-12: test e 500mg, EQ 400mg/(600mg?)
week 1-12: nolvadex 10mg e2d, depends if gyno symptoms accours i will bump it
week 15-20: clomid 50mg ed, nolva 40/40/20/20/20
week 1-20: HCG 250mg twice per week

is EQ really worth it? I don't really wanna do Tren for now and as you said about Deca, it's not really your favourite coz most of the gains being water.

Thanks a lot.


#11

Big compound movements (with free weights)are more metabolically demanding (you're burning a lot more energy while doing them). They demand a lot more stability and core work, there are a lot more muscles working to assist the main movers which makes it more efficient in building muscle.

This is not an insult so don't take it the wrong way... You are a beginner so you don't KNOW what works and what doesn't work for you yet, you'd need a lot more years of experience to narrow it down. There's no substitute for for the main exercises (specifically squats and deadlifts) there's no other way around it so you should be doing these at least two times a week to help build a base and learn how to do them correctly. You're lacking a good training foundation and this is exactly the tool you need.

Yes, I would take the food out no matter what. These items are not suitable for any of your goals.

I would actually lower your calories, not increase them. You aren't supposed to feel great while dieting and this is why dieting is hard and not fun.


#12

I would recommend to do the 3 months off and then go again for another 3 months. It's much more safe and efficient this way.

The fertility thing is somewhat the luck of the draw. Some people can take a lot and never experience any issues while others could experience major issues from taking minimal amounts. Either way, I think it's much safer to cycle on and off if you're doing it for recreational purposes.


#13

  1. If you are worried about fertility at all I would suggest going off completely after the pct rather than cruising at 250

  2. 3 month off and 3 month on is a better approach in my opinion

  3. In your pct run your HCG @500iu 2x/week.
    I think eq would be a great addition to this cycle, there isn't a lot of water retention and it will produce quality gains.
    Dosages look fine.


#14

I'll start to throw them in my routine then if you insist on them being that important.

As far as the foods go, I'm not doubting you, but my knowledge of nutrition isn't nearly as developed as yours so I'm curious on this. Why is something like greek yogurt or wheat bread which both look pretty good as far as macros bad to eat when you're cutting. I've heard Dairy makes you retain water weight but that's not really that big of a deal to me personally since it's not like I have a show to prepare for.

I eat Kroger store brand greek yogurt which is 90 calories, 16g protein, 8g sugar/5 carbs. I genuinely don't understand why that could be a bad thing. Is there something beyond the surface that I'm just not grasping?

How do you feel about peanut butter throughout the day, about 1-2 tbs daily.

With the calories I meant to the topic that was at the end of the last thread, where I mentioned eating at maintenance into burning fat and putting on muscle into a good physique. You replied to someone else who replied to my post and said he was pretty spot on with his reply.


#15

A lot of people don't react well to dairy in general. I know you're not preparing for a show but your overall goal is to look better so if you are searching for the ideal protein sources this isn't exactly at the top of the list for physique goals. The bloating it causes doesn't do your body any favors when trying to digest other nutrients either. If you have it once and a while it won't kill you but I'm just giving you my opinion for the optimal way to achieve you goal. Same goes for the whole wheat bread... It's not a bad choice per say, but it's definitely not the best one.

You will reach your goals much faster if you make better food choices.

I wouldn't eat peanut butter more than 1-2 times/day and you have to make sure it's be calculated into your total fat count for the day. Make sure it's a natural peanut butter.

As far as calories goes, what I said is that he's on the right track with his comment but it's also very individual. In your specific case your calorie intake is just too high for fat loss purposes, you will not gain anything from being in a calorie surplus.

I get the feeling you are looking for an easier way instead of the most efficient way. Give my suggestions a try and you'll see some great progress.


#16

Hey shadow

So im looking for a new protocol with tren hex and test c
I also have some winstrol in hand
I have-
30ml of parabolan 200
10ml test 400
20ml test 250
Winny, nolva, hcg

Past cycles included low dosed test, deca, dbol, winny
But now I realized that bulking requires higher doses of everything.
Then again I was planning on running low test high tren to combat progesterone sides though I've never really been prone to estrogen or progesterone sides.

But I do want to finish all the gear I have right now in this cycle, which subsequently would require test ran at a high dose from the start, if I were to finish the cycle in 14-16 weeks.

So im kinda torn as to what dosage should I choose.
What i was thinking was
Wk 1-9... tren h 400mg, test 300mg
Wk 10-13... tren 600mg, test 300mg
Wk 13-18... test 750-1000mg

Should I add the winny as a kick starter or a taper? And is it absolutely necessary to add dbol or adrol?

And I just needed some clarification as to why running 20 mg if nolva on cycle is required.

Thanks.


#17

Well it just seems more efficient to up my calories around 3-400 and possibly get a stronger/leaner physique over the next year as opposed to cutting the next 6 months and bulk 6 months after that


#18

Dude look at how much effort he has put into tailored responses to you and every time he says do x you respond 'but y seems better'.

He said lower your calories, it will be more efficient, amd you say 'i think it would be more efficient to increase them 3-400'? If you have the answer, dont ask the question. But if you want to know why yours wont work its because, and shadow correct me if i'm wrong, at your current bodyfat your testosterone levels are significantly suppressed and estrogen significantly raised. It will be very difficult to actually 'recomp' at that bodyfat. You will get a visual recomp lowering your calories, as he kindly reccomended, re-reccomended then insisted despite your contradiction. This is because as you loose fat your underlying muscle will become more pronounced and defined.

It may not be your intention to come accross deliberately contrarian, but i assure you that is how it is sounding to him and the readers of this thread. Learn to take good advice, and not be dismissive of it.

"Ill chuck them in then if you insisnt on them being so important"

He does, so do we, he also explained why, as do about 2534 articles on this site re: the big lifts

Much love


#19

It's not my intention to come off arrogant or ungrateful for any of the advice, some stuff is just harder to grasp than others. It's not good to blindly follow the advice of anyone, even a pro, if you don't fully understand it.

In addition to that a lot of what I'm reading is really new information to me, a lot of it that goes completely against the grain of what I've known and done the last two years.

The squat statement wasn't to sound like an 'oh fine i'll put them in' statement, it was more of, if you think they're this good, then i'll give them a go. As far as articles go, a lot of them aren't even worth reading. In fact most of them aren't. They're usually copy/pasted information written by people with pretty undesirable physiques. Just because it's the bro thing to love to squat and do deads doesn't mean it's always what everyone is eager and dying to do.

I can see how the calories sentence comes off obnoxious though. I understand what he said but I'm just kind of in a tough place, as I don't feel like I'm completely getting through sometimes whether it be through my lack of fitness vocabulary or poor wording.

with recomping, say you'd be gaining muscle at 70% of your normal rate, and you'd be losing fat at 30% of your normal rate (as opposed to if you were cutting or bulking), doesn't it seem more logical to do the 70/30 for an extended period as opposed to cutting down and losing a lot of muscle and then bouncing into a bulk where I'm liable to put on a lot of fat since my body is easily gained.

Another reason I asked was because if I was to continue cutting at 2000-2100 calories with the foods he suggested and the lifting change up that's fine, but I'm thinking a bit further down the road. I'm probably around 30% body fat, if I have to cut at 2000 calories, do 45 minutes of cardio, and incorporate these kinds of lifts into my routine while eating as clean as I am, what the hell am I going to do when I get down to 20%? 15%? It just seems like I would have to eat damn near nothing further down the road. That's why I was trying to ask other methods, not make it seem like I was going to try to take the easy way out.

I don't claim to know more than him, and I apologize if that's what it came off as.


#20

Hi Shadow,

Thank you so much for offering your free advice on this forum. I've read your posts from the beginning, and I don't recall this question being asked before.

What methods do you recommend for tracking progress in the gym (i.e. progress pictures, tape measurements, scale weight, body fat measures, etc)? Seems like all of the methods of measurement have real drawbacks, and I'm curious how you tweak them to make them as effective as possible.

Also do you have any idea, from coaching experience, what might be reasonable expectations for a natural trainee in his 30's w/ ~1 year consistent training experience? Without a good yard stick of what progress looks like, it's hard to evaluate my success. For example, if it takes me 6 months to add 1 inch on my chest... is that a huge win or a huge fail? I realize this is very individual but hoping you might have a rough idea of what can be expected in the first two years of training or so.