T Nation

Some Newbie Questions



I have been bulking for nearly 4 months now and I was just wondering if a little cardio would help at all to minimise the belly fat which is starting to look pretty awesome. My diet's 100% clean except for the odd 5-6 beers on a friday or saturday night and I was just wondering if it was worthwhile jumping on the treadie a couple of times a week to burn a bit of that lard or at least slow it down a little.
Not worried at all...Just curious :slightly_smiling:


I have been drinking powdered gatorade mixed with BCAA's pre/during workout and adding 10g BCAA's to my P/workout shake.
Is there any benefit to adding glutamine to my PWO shake also? I read somewhere that amino acids compete for absorbtion (but I can remember where) therefore I've cut the glutamione from my diet all together and was planning to use that during my cutting phase.


I know a lot of you guys wake up in the middle of the night and have a protein shake to prevent you from getting up in the morning looking a bit like my avatar. I'd do this as I'm keen to get the max out of my training however when I fall asleep and get up for a piss I'm in a complete zombie state and the idea of making a shake doesn't excite me plus I wouldn't want to risk becoming too alert and fucking up my deep sleep. (growing time)-

What I have been doing is drinking water before bed therefore I wake up for a piss and then shovel 5g powdered BCAA's down my gullet and wash it down with some water. This does not affect my sleep pattern as I get back to sleep with no problem... I thought I was on a winner with that one however I read in some article a while ago on T-Nation (which again I cannot find) that this method is useless as I am not providing the "bricks" or the "building blocks." (something along the lines of that)

Do you guys agree that this approach is useless? As far as I'm aware it's not the protein that does the building of muscle but the amino acids in the protein that do the work.
But what do I know? I'm just a newbie.
Do I really have to chug a full protein shake down during the night to get that extra growth?


Am I a supplement junkie?
I'm training to the max and my body is just starting to get used to it now after all this time. (8 months of serious DOMS) Thank christ that's finally eased of a bit!
My supps/vitamins I'm taking are per day- (basic description)
High potency Vit B's 1,2,3,5,6, (1 tablet with a bunch of other stuff in it)
Vit D (1000IU)
Zinc Picolinate (50 mg)
Glucosamine (4g)
Magnesium (2g mixed)
Vit C (1g)
Kelp (1g)
1 x High Potency Multi Vitamin (Balance Muscle Technology brand)
Rez-V ( Biotest)
Fish Oil ( 12-14g)

That's about it but I was thinking about getting into Tribulis and various testosterone boosters as I have just hit 32 yrs old.

Is that a reasonable mix of supps?
Is there some that I should be taking but aren't?
Or am I just a fucking supplement sucker?

I'm just doing my best to avoid injury and speed up recovery.

I'm not gonna proof read this as today was leg day and I'm spent but thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any good advise.


1 nothing wrong with a little cardio to slow down the fat gain.

2 See #4

3 There are arguments on both sides of this. I don't think waking up in the middle of the night to take a shake or some BCAA's is worth it. I'm not going to interrupt my bodies natural recovery/growth time for anything if I can help it.

4 Whore!


1 Maybe cardio will help decrease the fat-gain. Maybe it'll also decrease your muscular gains. I think it differs from person to person. I'd advise trying it out for a month and comparing with the previous months results. It's a good idea, and couldn't hurt.

2 I've seen glutamine and glycine used in PWO shakes for those low-carbing it, but for general purposes, I don't think glutamine does anything important. It's not a supplement I use. I'd save it for when you cut.

3 I think a couple of caveats are in order. First, I'm not one of those people who wake up at night to take anything. When I'm asleep, I'm asleep, I'll see the world in the morning. Second, I don't know anyone who wakes up in the middle of the night to down some protein. In my opinion, it's gains are relatively minor and not something you should really be all that concerned with so long as you're still posting in the Beginners forum (That said, well done on doing it. The fact that I wouldn't recommend it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, as there are intelligent people who disagree with me. Weigh your experience against arguments on both sides and all that).


if you choose to continue the practice, I think you may be confused on some terminology. Proteins are a series of amino acids. As in, there's nothing but amino acids. The differences between BCAA's and regular protein is that BCAA's are a concentrated dose of three specific types of amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine, I think). 10g of BCAAs IS 10g of protein, just... I guess a super-protein, if you will. So whether you choose to down 5g of BCAA's or a scoop of whey with 22g of protein... I mean, I don't really see the point in the practice at all, but if I did, I'd probably just down both of them.

4 You're probably a supplement junkie. I take fish oil and creatine, and that's about it. I used to take a multi-vitamin, but discontinued it after I was prevented from taking it for about a month and didn't notice a difference. There's a thread in the T-cell about what supplements people use- check it out. Most of 'em are taking fish-oil and protien, maybe creatine (because it's CHEAP), and that's about it. Food is top priority. Your diet and exercise are going to dictate most of your gains. Supplements are just that- supplements.

That said, what kind of progress are you seeing in the gym?


Abs is all about BF % unless you've been training like a puss and haven't had your core tight throughout compound movements. So with that said tighten your nutrition, drink more water, and train harder. Cardio will help just don't overdo it.

Why waste valuable recovery time to wake up to drink like 20g of protein? I'd think that sleeping would aid more in your current state. Just drink a protein shake before you go to sleep.

I hope you're not going broke with all those supplements. More than 98% of that crap is not going to do anything for you.


post your routine

your supplementation is actually quite good...
the question is, are you working out hard enough to put all that amazing stuff to good use.


Most of my lifts are going up every month and I lift just enough to fail(or close to)on 12 rep.
3x12 Benchpress /Bar ( 132lb .... I know)
3x12 Benchpress / DB
3x12 Benchpress / Smith Machine
3x12 Chest DB flyes 3x12 Chest cable flyes
3x12 Close grip smith machine benchpress
3x12 tricep cable pulldown
3x12 overhead extention (double grip/1 DB)
2x12 Dips
3x12 cable overhead extentions

(I'm having trouble increasing my lifting weight with squats as I am focusing on deep squatting... Not ATG but way passed paralel.I am still getting DOMS everyweek as I simply increase the amount of sets to add more intensity to my workout.If I add just a little too much weight I can't squat as deep and my aim is to focus more on technique.I have failed a couple of times in the squatbox therefore I am starting to know my limits.Basically what I am saying is that I CAN add more weight but by doing so I can't squat as deep therefore I won't bother doing so until my legs develop a little more)

1x12 Squat ( warm-up 132lb)
Yesterday was-
9x6-7 reps (220lb)
3x12 45deg Legpress (484lb)
3x12 Romanian DL
3x12 Goodmornings
6x15 Calf raises (machine)


Thursday- Back/Bic
3x12 lat pulldown (behind head)
3x12 lat pulldown (to chest)
5x12 seated rows
3x12 bent over rows
3x12 standing EZ-Bar bicep curls
2x12 standing db curls
3x12 cable barbell curls (EZ-Bar)
2x12 seat db curls
2x12 seated isolated DB curls (1 DB against leg)


Saturday- Shoulders
3x12 trap raises
3x12 shoulder flyes (in front)
3x12 seated shoulder press (behind head)
3x12 seated shoulder press (to chest)
3x12 seated db press
1x12 Deadlift (warmup 132lb)
1x8 Deadlift 220lb
4x6 Deadlift 330lb
1x6 Deadlift 352lb
6x12 Shrugs ( smith machine 264lb )

I had been planning on writing up my routine anyway to see what response I get.
EDIT- Benchpress is out of the question now due to shoulder injury and that was my weakest excerise (132lb :frowning: . Ironically the exercise I needed to improve the most I now cannot perform for a while.
I was thinking about making a new thread for this and adding precise weights, diet,sleeping patterns and basic routine but I see where this goes first.


sorry ...see below


My gains have exceeded my expectations... Not bragging at all. I have suprised myself that's all. At the start of this year I was a fat fuck, I lost 40lb of lard (in 14 weeks)whilst gaining some muscle (as I had none) and did take measurments to confirm this and now I'm 9.9 lb short my heaviest weight of all and don't look fat... just a lot bigger....good bigger.


LOL ! I do feel like a dirty supplement whore but my diet is pretty much the same everyday-

1 eggs+oatmeal/cinamin/blueberries
2 chicken+tuna+brown rice
3 chicken+tuna+brown rice (again)
3 Nat yogurt ( on rest days) or PWO shake
4 pasta+ extra meat or noodles with extra meat (asian style)
5 350g cottage cheese+cocoa 2T Nat Peanut Butter

Bruce Lee can't be too wrong.. He was big on supps and I got other ideas from T-Nation, Muscle mags and the net.


"3x12 standing EZ-Bar bicep curls
2x12 standing db curls
3x12 cable barbell curls (EZ-Bar)
2x12 seat db curls
2x12 seated isolated DB curls (1 DB against leg)"

First of all delete four of those and add in some chinups. I'd delete the standing EZ-bar, cable BB, seated db, and seated isolated leaving the standing db substituted for a barbell instead.

Don't believe the hype in the magizes, their sole purpose in life is to generate money from the consumer. I'd also take everything you read on the net with a grain of salt. Read up on the replies that are given from whoever, and decide yourself if it's suited for you.


Is there any particular reason for taking those exercises out of my routine? I need to be carefull with biceps as I damaged some tendons on the inside of my forearm while using to much weight with the seated preacher bar. But chin-ups seem to be fine and I have added them into my routine but it was only a recent addition therefore I didn't mention it.

I do realise that muscle mags are just supplement catalogues in discuise but I do get an Australian Natural BB mag as it's not so desperate to sell you supps and is very informative. I must admit though,I do get most of my info from T-Nation.
My routine was designed by a friend who used to BB... I am still making good gains so until that slows I will keep doing the basics of this routine however I am always open to new ideas and if there is something that's going to help me achieve my goals faster then I'm up for that.


You will make gains up to a certain point in training regardless of using a generic template or a "top secret Jay Cutler" template. Once the time comes that you've plataued in building size or increasing strength, then the game gets tricky. You have to analyze why what you've been doing for "6 months" is no longer working.

On the curls statement, you have a lot of volume just through standard isolation work. Almost all the exercises you have listed will be you holding the bar and either pushing or pulling. In addition to that your biceps, triceps, and forearms will be working indirectly.

A lot of people buy into the hype. Almost all the time if I buy a magazine from the supermarket I read maybe half of it. If I do buy one I think it's for the pictures honestly.

I think a good program/regimen/template, etc would concentrate around the compound movements with 1-2 exercises to work on isolation.

But that's just me...



how much time do you spend in the gym?
im thinking you can see even greater gains with a few tweaks on your routine


About 85-90mins on some days but sometimes about 75min (depends which body part I'm working)

I know it's a bit long and thats something I'm working on by resting for shorter periods but by doing this I need to watch that my technique and intensity don't suffer.


You sir, suffer from a SEVERE case of DamnINEEDtoIncludeThisExerciseOrElseMyTinyBicepsLongHeadWillBeTOTALLYDisproportional-ITIS

I was like that too when I started. You DONT need every exercise in the book. Quality over quantity.

Seriously don't try to invent a program when you have no idea what is a good program.
Look at some already tried and true program like Starting Strength. You will be SHOCKED by the simplicity.


Yes, I am very habitual and that was my starting program therefore I did't want to change much as I am happy with my gains but I do have some threads laying dormant about "starting strength" by Mark Rippetoe if my memory serves me correctly.
So you think I've got a lot to gain by putting that program into practice eh?
I may start a new thread with this one and in order to get as much info as possible from all angles. I am currently reading "How to make a damn good program" by CT but I think I'm better off just throwing my program out there for everyone to scrutinize.
Thanks for constructive comment.

BTW - Why do you believe that this program would cause my physique to become disproportional?


Have a look at WS4SB 3 too, but giving a go at Starting Strength (or Stronglift 5x5) might just give you some perspective on your actual workout plan.
What I meant when I said disproportional was ironic, when I started I had a book explaining how such and such exercises was working the inner or outer bicep, or lower pecs/upper pecs and I felt the need to include every one of those exercise in fear of becoming disproportional. I weighted 145...Having 4-5 exercises for each muscle is counter productive unless you are very advanced.

So my advice is stick to the basics movements until you get half-decent at them.


For what it's worth, McMuscles... while I don't like your routine, because I think there's too much volume, one thing I WON'T do is argue with results. If you're packing on quality mass, keep at it until it stops/severely slows down.

I will also add that think what you did- asking a fellow who DOES know what they're talking about to put together a program for you, was a great move. I'm partial to the routines on this site, but once again, I'm not one to argue with results.

I don't think you necessarily need to remove your biceps exercises. That's a retarded statement from a kid who read somewhere that beginners should only do compound movements. I'm all for lat-pulldowns/pullups, but knocking out your bicep work probably isn't going to help you. Honestly man? Do the program as the fellow wrote it for you until you decide to change it.

When you do decide to change, I think you'll like Rippetoe's Starting Strength. But there's no rush.

One thing that might help- and I know this is gonna sound weird, because I said earlier I was against most supplements, is a workout-drink like Surge (check in Biotest Shop). I say this, because fast sugars + Protein helps athletes crank out reps and staves off any muscle-wasting that might occur from longer workouts. Surge is a premium product for this, but if your current supps list is killing your pocket (then you should drop that vitamin shit... just kidding... kind of) you can get by on powdered gatorade and whey protein (and creatine, but, once again, much of that is just because it's cheap).

Cliffs Notes:
Don't change programs until you stop seeing results.
Don't severely alter your program (cut out bicep training) until you stop seeing results.
Once you stop seeing results, Rippetoes is recommended.
You might benefit from a carb+Protein drink during your workout because it's long.


Thanks Otep, That does sound like genuine good advise.
Actually I have been checking out your other posts (as one needs to be careful who they get their advise from) and found that you are indeed a big fan of "Surge workout fuel" and (since then)I have been trying to get my hands on some through an Aussie supplier but can't seem to find one. ( only "surge recovery")
But it sounds like it may be a good investment for me so I'll keep trying and if I can't get any I'll have to order through this website.


Full disclosure here; I've never used 'Surge Workout Fuel', and I haven't used 'Surge Recovery' in... shoot man, probably coming up on a couple of years. So I'm not sure which post of mine you are referencing. My experience with 'Surge Recovery' was positive, but considering my position as being a college student for most of my lifting career, my PWO drinks were usually... powdered gatorade and a scoop of whey (back when whey was cheap). And then I hopped on the Anabolic Diet bandwagon, and no longer really have a PWO drink (but my workouts are like, half the time yours are, hence, different suggestions).

Don't get me wrong, Surge Recovery (which is, incidentally, what I'm recommending for you) is a great product. But if you can't find it, don't sweat it. Get some Maltodextrin and some whey hydrolysate, throw in some BCAA's and you're good to go. It'll taste like ass, and it might be missing a few things, but that's all you really need. For more information on how to mix your own PWO drink, post in the supps and nutrition forum. Be sure to mention you'd be willing to buy Surge, but you can't find it because you live in Oz, that way they don't flame you for being a cheapskate.