T Nation

Staples

Hello, I’m new here and I just was curious as to what you guys concidered staples. What products and what brands? Please be honest. I’m simply looking to get ripped. I’m 17 years old, 6’2 or 6’3, 178lbs, and in pretty good shape. I’ve been working out since last summer, and I take it pretty seriously. Any help on supplament staples would be greatly appreciated. I’m currently NOT strapped for cash, so don’t hold back. Thanks!

Hey, there, Vince. Welcome to T-Nation!

I think what you’re asking is what supps will help you get ripped. But I have to tell you that having the money to buy supps won’t get you ripped. Putting your money into good food and putting your time into reading the forum to learn how to optimize your diet and make sure you’re getting enough protein and optimizing your post-workout nutrition and cutting out the garbage are the things that will get you cut.

The workouts here are fabulous and will get you all the results you could hope for. Check out some of Christian Thibaudeau’s or Chad Waterbury’s programs/articles. For nutritional advice on how to get HYOOGE without getting FAT, check out John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery.

The names above and your effort and discipline more than the money you’re willing to spend will get you seriously ripped. (grin)

Jump in, start reading, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Unless you have a high bodyfat, then, at your height and weight, you should be decently “ripped” I’d think, if not a little on the skinny side. Perhaps you should be focusing on muscle building for awhile and worry about “ripping up” after you put some muscle on? Even if you have a higher bodyfat, putting on muscle will lower that bodyfat percentage so long as you’re not putting on massive amounts of fat with the muscle.

As for staples…

Beef, eggs(whole, omega-3 variety), protein powder, broccoli, multivitamin.

Here are my grocery lists

Regular Chain Grocery Store
Herbs/Spices
Canned Salmon
Rolled Oats
Eggs
Egg Beaters
Frozen Fruit
Fat Free Yogurt
Canned Tuna
Sardines
Smoked Salmon
Steak
Frozen Fish
Whole Turkey Breast
Ground Turkey Breast
Packaged Chicken Breasts
Frozen Veggies
Canned Veggies
Canned Beans
Cottage Cheese
Metamusil
Crystal Lite

Health Food Grocery Store
Barlean’s Greens
Fresh Fruit
Dried Fruit
Green Tea
Fish Oil Caps
Raw Nuts
Jerkey (Beef and Turkey)
Omega Eggs
Hummus
Whole Wheat Wraps
Whole Grain Bread
Pita Bread
Various Oils (EVOO, Walnut, Grape Seed, Coconut, Pumpkin Seed)
Wild Rice
Buffalo Meat
Yams
Fresh Seafood
Various Vinegars
Exotic Spices
Fresh Veggies
Ostrich
Flax Seeds
Natty PB
Flavored Sparkling H2O

Biotest
Low-Carb Grow!
Surge

x2 for Moon Knight: Your best means of having a “ripped” look would likely be to throw on some quality mass. Even if you stripped down to an obscenely low adipose level, you would probably weigh about, oh I don’t know… 165? At 6’2", you won’t look “ripped” at 165, no matter how lean you are. Beef up; you’ll be very glad you did.

As for “staples,” I don’t really know if you are referring to supplements or whole food, so I’ll include both. This is what my grocery list looks like:

*Purity fat-free cottage cheese
*Giant vat of old-fashioned oats
*Tyson six-pound bags of frozen chicken breasts
*StarKist no-drain tuna
*Various berries
*Various leafy and cruciferous vegetables
*Dannon plain, fat-free yogurt
*Hood low-carb 2% milk
*Health From the Sun flax oil
*Biotest Low-Carb Grow! protein powder
*Biotest Surge PWO drink
*Member’s Mark Omega3 fish oil caps
*GNC’s Ultra Mega Gold w/out iron multi

There are other things that I like, but these are the things I would consider “staples.” Hope this helps.

~Terumo

I was actualy interested in Supplements only, but thanks for the other info.

I have thought about getting big, and have taken the time to add on a few extra pounds, but I was unhappy with the results. The highest I got was 190lbs, my arms were bulky and looked undeveloped. I was bench pressing 235, squating 255, and lifting heavier weights for my other work outs aswell.

-Just for future reference, I’m a martial artist. I’m a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-kwan-do and Karate. So that’s basically why I work out.-

After feeling unhappy with my results, I began lifting lighter weights, more reps, and more jogging. I’ve slimmed down a bit, and am happy with the results.

Some of you may not understand this, but I would rather have a lighter body, and have all of my muscles developed. Rather than a bulky powerhouse core, and huge arms.

I think being ripped is more suitable for martial arts, as speed and endurance is a great factor. So I would rather not get big.

The current supplements I use are ZMA and protein drinks, and the usual multi vitamin. Why? Because I prefer taking supplements that help my over all life, not just lifting. I don’t need power drives and quick recovery shakes to help me gain muscle. ZMA has done alot for my sleep, which has generaly made me a better person. And protein is neccecary for muscle gain.

I was just curious about which supplements you guys would recoment for someone in my position. I’m currently eating right, so food selection is ok. Brands are mostly what I’m curious about. I plan to order Grow! protein MRP in a week to try it out, so besides that, is there anything else I need?


THIS picture shows my ideal body. Just a long term goal.

[quote]Vince12413 wrote:
I was actualy interested in Supplements only, but thanks for the other info.

I have thought about getting big, and have taken the time to add on a few extra pounds, but I was unhappy with the results. The highest I got was 190lbs, my arms were bulky and looked undeveloped. I was bench pressing 235, squating 255, and lifting heavier weights for my other work outs aswell.

-Just for future reference, I’m a martial artist. I’m a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-kwan-do and Karate. So that’s basically why I work out.-

After feeling unhappy with my results, I began lifting lighter weights, more reps, and more jogging. I’ve slimmed down a bit, and am happy with the results.

Some of you may not understand this, but I would rather have a lighter body, and have all of my muscles developed. Rather than a bulky powerhouse core, and huge arms.

I think being ripped is more suitable for martial arts, as speed and endurance is a great factor. So I would rather not get big.

The current supplements I use are ZMA and protein drinks, and the usual multi vitamin. Why? Because I prefer taking supplements that help my over all life, not just lifting. I don’t need
Power Drive and quick recovery shakes to help me gain muscle. ZMA has done alot for my sleep, which has generaly made me a better person. And protein is neccecary for muscle gain.

I was just curious about which supplements you guys would recoment for someone in my position. I’m currently eating right, so food selection is ok. Brands are mostly what I’m curious about. I plan to order Grow! protein MRP in a week to try it out, so besides that, is there anything else I need?[/quote]

I honestly think you are misguided on some of the issues of weight training. I’m not trying to be a troll or argumentative, but for the purpose of discussion, let me bring some of my points to the table. For the sake of being able to relate, let me first say that I practiced Muay Thai for six years, and I’ve been weight training for seven. We are kind of in the same boat, except that I no longer compete in martial arts, hence my larger build now. Anyhow, let’s get to the points, and remember, I’m not trying to be a dick–I’m just offering my opinion.

First of all, weight gain or “bulkiness” is not going to come from a specific training stimulus. It will largely be governed by the diet used in conjuction with your training. I don’t really know what your competitive nature is, but if you are a full-contact fighter, then generation of power is going to be a very important factor. You aren’t going to achieve this from high-rep training. Aside from that, using extremely heavy weights for very low reps generally targets the CNS rather than generating hypertrophy. I think that high-rep training certainly has its place, but I would structure a large portion of my program around movements and parameters that are going to be strength-power oriented.

Secondly, I don’t really agree with the idea of being “ripped.” Fighters who are extremely lean are usually that way as a by-product of their training. The leanness itself does not make them inherently strong fighters. I guarantee you that Bruce Lee never said, “Man, I need to rip up.” No, he was shredded from his 10 hour daily training sessions. Plus, with the contemporary advents of strength/size training while actually increasing ROM, we are now generating fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Filipovic, and Tito Ortiz–all of whom are jacked, fast, and extremely skillful. I really think this new breed of fighters would destroy the lean speed-demons of twenty years ago. Strength and size are not inversely related to flexibility and speed. At least, they shouldn’t be, or you are doing something wrong.

Now, let’s talk about supplements, which was the original issue at hand. (I posted my “staples,” but they were largely food, so let’s reconsider.) I think you are doing well by using the protein and ZMA. Both are excellent choices, especially for those that are training for athletic competition and not just for physical improvement. Stay with those supplements until you are on your death bed. When you order Grow!, I highly advise you get the Low-Carb version. I know you probably need extra carbs, but this is easily achieved via diet. I prefer the Low-Carb version because 1)it isn’t monstrously thick like the Classic, so it is easier to throw down 2+ shakes every day (plus shaker clean-up is easier), and 2)the proteins are of slightly higher quality since the inclusion of micellar casein. You made a mention of Power Drive as a product of muscle gain. This isn’t really the case, and I actually think Power Drive (or maybe Surge PWO drink) should be your next choice after protein, EFAs, and ZMA. Why? Power Drive is a neurotransmitter formula. Lots of NTs are utilized in performing high-motor activities such as martial arts. I think it would be an excellent pre-training product for your skill-specific training. Just a thought.

Anyhow… Staples? I would go with these, in this order:
1)Protein. Low-Carb Grow!
2)EFAs. Member’s Mark Omega3 fish oil, flax, hemp, or Udo’s Choice oil, or any combination of the above.
3)ZMA. Usually not this high on my list, but for competitive athletes, it gets a bit of a higher billing.
4) PWO drink. Surge. You won’t understand the importance of this product until you actually use it.

The following are not exactly “staples,” but they would be nice additions:
5) Neural formula. Power Drive.
6) Creatine monohydrate. An excellent training aid, amond a myriad of other benefits. I would go with the ProLab brand.
7) Multiple vitamin. I take one, but honestly, if you are eating right, you will likely cover any vitamin deficiencies by throwing down a couple of Grow! shakes daily. Not to mention the ZMA.

That all for now. I welcome questions, comments, hatemail, etc…

~Terumo

I think its worth restating that you need some muscle underneath to rip to, otherwise you just get skinnyfat. You’re over six feet tall, quite a bit taller then Bruce Lee was, so, you’re going to be able to put on greater overall weight without neccesarily getting thick or heavy(this is of course assuming you don’t listen to Terumo’s very good advice about having both mass and speed). Whats your bodyfat level like? How far from ripped are you?

[quote]Terumo wrote:
Vince12413 wrote:
I was actualy interested in Supplements only, but thanks for the other info.

I have thought about getting big, and have taken the time to add on a few extra pounds, but I was unhappy with the results. The highest I got was 190lbs, my arms were bulky and looked undeveloped. I was bench pressing 235, squating 255, and lifting heavier weights for my other work outs aswell.

-Just for future reference, I’m a martial artist. I’m a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-kwan-do and Karate. So that’s basically why I work out.-

After feeling unhappy with my results, I began lifting lighter weights, more reps, and more jogging. I’ve slimmed down a bit, and am happy with the results.

Some of you may not understand this, but I would rather have a lighter body, and have all of my muscles developed. Rather than a bulky powerhouse core, and huge arms.

I think being ripped is more suitable for martial arts, as speed and endurance is a great factor. So I would rather not get big.

The current supplements I use are ZMA and protein drinks, and the usual multi vitamin. Why? Because I prefer taking supplements that help my over all life, not just lifting. I don’t need
Power Drive and quick recovery shakes to help me gain muscle. ZMA has done alot for my sleep, which has generaly made me a better person. And protein is neccecary for muscle gain.

I was just curious about which supplements you guys would recoment for someone in my position. I’m currently eating right, so food selection is ok. Brands are mostly what I’m curious about. I plan to order Grow! protein MRP in a week to try it out, so besides that, is there anything else I need?

I honestly think you are misguided on some of the issues of weight training. I’m not trying to be a troll or argumentative, but for the purpose of discussion, let me bring some of my points to the table. For the sake of being able to relate, let me first say that I practiced Muay Thai for six years, and I’ve been weight training for seven. We are kind of in the same boat, except that I no longer compete in martial arts, hence my larger build now. Anyhow, let’s get to the points, and remember, I’m not trying to be a dick–I’m just offering my opinion.

First of all, weight gain or “bulkiness” is not going to come from a specific training stimulus. It will largely be governed by the diet used in conjuction with your training. I don’t really know what your competitive nature is, but if you are a full-contact fighter, then generation of power is going to be a very important factor. You aren’t going to achieve this from high-rep training. Aside from that, using extremely heavy weights for very low reps generally targets the CNS rather than generating hypertrophy. I think that high-rep training certainly has its place, but I would structure a large portion of my program around movements and parameters that are going to be strength-power oriented.

Secondly, I don’t really agree with the idea of being “ripped.” Fighters who are extremely lean are usually that way as a by-product of their training. The leanness itself does not make them inherently strong fighters. I guarantee you that Bruce Lee never said, “Man, I need to rip up.” No, he was shredded from his 10 hour daily training sessions. Plus, with the contemporary advents of strength/size training while actually increasing ROM, we are now generating fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Filipovic, and Tito Ortiz–all of whom are jacked, fast, and extremely skillful. I really think this new breed of fighters would destroy the lean speed-demons of twenty years ago. Strength and size are not inversely related to flexibility and speed. At least, they shouldn’t be, or you are doing something wrong.

Now, let’s talk about supplements, which was the original issue at hand. (I posted my “staples,” but they were largely food, so let’s reconsider.) I think you are doing well by using the protein and ZMA. Both are excellent choices, especially for those that are training for athletic competition and not just for physical improvement. Stay with those supplements until you are on your death bed. When you order Grow!, I highly advise you get the Low-Carb version. I know you probably need extra carbs, but this is easily achieved via diet. I prefer the Low-Carb version because 1)it isn’t monstrously thick like the Classic, so it is easier to throw down 2+ shakes every day (plus shaker clean-up is easier), and 2)the proteins are of slightly higher quality since the inclusion of micellar casein. You made a mention of Power Drive as a product of muscle gain. This isn’t really the case, and I actually think Power Drive (or maybe Surge PWO drink) should be your next choice after protein, EFAs, and ZMA. Why? Power Drive is a neurotransmitter formula. Lots of NTs are utilized in performing high-motor activities such as martial arts. I think it would be an excellent pre-training product for your skill-specific training. Just a thought.

Anyhow… Staples? I would go with these, in this order:
1)Protein. Low-Carb Grow!
2)EFAs. Member’s Mark Omega3 fish oil, flax, hemp, or Udo’s Choice oil, or any combination of the above.
3)ZMA. Usually not this high on my list, but for competitive athletes, it gets a bit of a higher billing.
4) PWO drink. Surge. You won’t understand the importance of this product until you actually use it.

The following are not exactly “staples,” but they would be nice additions:
5) Neural formula. Power Drive.
6) Creatine monohydrate. An excellent training aid, amond a myriad of other benefits. I would go with the ProLab brand.
7) Multiple vitamin. I take one, but honestly, if you are eating right, you will likely cover any vitamin deficiencies by throwing down a couple of Grow! shakes daily. Not to mention the ZMA.

That all for now. I welcome questions, comments, hatemail, etc…

~Terumo[/quote]

Alright, let’s say I want to try your advice. I wan’t to pack on some, SOME, pounds but also achive a ripped look. Aside from trying the staples you listed, which I will look into, what else do you suggest?

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
I think its worth restating that you need some muscle underneath to rip to, otherwise you just get skinnyfat. You’re over six feet tall, quite a bit taller then Bruce Lee was, so, you’re going to be able to put on greater overall weight without neccesarily getting thick or heavy(this is of course assuming you don’t listen to Terumo’s very good advice about having both mass and speed). Whats your bodyfat level like? How far from ripped are you?[/quote]

I think that I’ve already gotten big enough for my muscles to look big, but I may be wrong. I’m currently mostly cut, not ripped, but cut. My torso is somewhat large from my previous weight gain, but my arms are thin and cut, 15 inches around. I do not know how to determine my body fat level, I’m sure it can’t be too bad :D.

[quote]Vince12413 wrote:
Alright, let’s say I want to try your advice. I wan’t to pack on some, SOME, pounds but also achive a ripped look. Aside from trying the staples you listed, which I will look into, what else do you suggest?[/quote]

As I briefly alluded earlier, the “ripped look” should not be something for which you strive. Rather, it should come as a residue from intense training. This is when being lean is also functional. If you get on the Velocity Diet and pop HOT-ROX for a month, yeah, you’re probably going to be lean as all-hell, but it isn’t going to do anything for your skill proficiency. I basically think the problem is that you are trying to get shredded–it should simply come with the training.

It may have sounded as if I was insistent upon you adding size. This isn’t the case; however, I want to convey the fact that adding some size should not be detrimental to your endeavors. I do, however, think that it is imperative to consider a strength/power program. You can be as small as you want, but you are going to be a much more effective fighter/athlete/whatever if you are attempting to maximize your power production for your size. Pound-for-pound stuff is very important. Remember, most guys that exceedingly lean are usually not tremendously strong. The reason for this is that they spend too much time on underfeeding and cardio to ever develop appreciable strength for their size. They are generally stuck in the half-marathon-a-day, high-rep-low-weight purgatory. Every now and then, you will encounter a small guy that is absolutely chiseled and quite strong. From my experience, these are usually the guys that 1)have a genetic predisposition to be small/strong and 2)achieve their look without being in a constant cutting phase.

Chances are, if you are dieting appropriately, weight training, and you are well-immersed into martial arts, you are going to become rather lean. Notice that I listed diet first. It will be the single most important variable that you must control. If you are going, say, Waterbury’s TBT program while taking in 4500kCal daily, it would be likely that you would add a considerable amount of mass. However, if your caloric intake was near maintenance, then it would be conceivable to keep your body mass stable while increasing strength and work capacity. It is all in the energy balance.

Hope this helps. I welcome any follow-up questions or critique of my advice.

~Terumo

Just to let you know, I’m loving the advice. I always take criticism positivly, even if it sounds mean.

The only problem I have with what your saying is that, or what I think you’re saying is, ripped people aren’t strong. I have a problem with this because many people I have faced who were lean have been able to force a serious amount of power into punches, without lifting heavy weights.

I just want to be as strong as possible while staying lean. Just because you’re not big doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. Bruce Lee knocked people bigger than him around all the time, and he was probably 120-130lbs.

I’m extremely hesitant to gain weight again. I got up to over 190 and was unhappy. I wasn’t cut at all, just big. So I’d rather get as strong as I can while staying at a natural weight.

I’m sure you understand what I mean, I’m just having trouble putting it into words.

Anyways, thanks for your advice.


Here’s a good example. A bit more realistic for someone like me. I’d like to resemble him as an adult. Found that on the PI.

Well holyshit, you want to resemble this man but you don’t want to get too big? A little news flash for ya, vince getting to that size isn’t easy. If you want to get ripped, be strong and fast, follow the advice you are given here. Gain some muscle through proper diet and training. If you do things properly, you won’t get that bulky look so undesirable to you. You will have more muscle and look “ripped”. With proper strength and speed training, your power will improve, helping your martial arts.

[quote]vandalay15 wrote:
Well holyshit, you want to resemble this man but you don’t want to get too big? A little news flash for ya, vince getting to that size isn’t easy. If you want to get ripped, be strong and fast, follow the advice you are given here. Gain some muscle through proper diet and training. If you do things properly, you won’t get that bulky look so undesirable to you. You will have more muscle and look “ripped”. With proper strength and speed training, your power will improve, helping your martial arts. [/quote]

He’s not THAT big.
Anyways, one last question.

Now that you know what I want to become, do you suggest I train with light weight or heavy weight? or In between? I got enough info about dieting and all the other stuff, now I just need to know what kind of lifting I should do. That’s all.

[quote]Vince12413 wrote:
vandalay15 wrote:
Well holyshit, you want to resemble this man but you don’t want to get too big? A little news flash for ya, vince getting to that size isn’t easy. If you want to get ripped, be strong and fast, follow the advice you are given here. Gain some muscle through proper diet and training. If you do things properly, you won’t get that bulky look so undesirable to you. You will have more muscle and look “ripped”. With proper strength and speed training, your power will improve, helping your martial arts.

He’s not THAT big.
Anyways, one last question.

Now that you know what I want to become, do you suggest I train with light weight or heavy weight? or In between? I got enough info about dieting and all the other stuff, now I just need to know what kind of lifting I should do. That’s all.[/quote]

Buddy, that is Frank Fucking Zane. He is a 2 time(or was it 3?) Mr. Olympia. You go ahead and try to look like him. Start eating everything in sight, and damn near kill yourself in the gym. Come show me your progress in about 10 years ok?

[quote]Vince12413 wrote:
…I just want to be as strong as possible while staying lean. Just because you’re not big doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. Bruce Lee knocked people bigger than him around all the time, and he was probably 120-130lbs…[/quote]

I certainly understand that. However, you are misconstruing what I am trying to say. You are using the top 0.001% of the elite as a rebuttal. For us normal people that don’t spend 3/4 of our waking hours training, this is a very unlikely scenario. Yes, people that are small and lean can be relatively strong, but they really have to work their asses off for that strength. I really understand your rationale for not wanting to gain a considerable amount of weight. There are numerous reasons why this would be so. Perhaps you don’t want to move to a higher weight class. I understand–believe me. I just don’t want to see you become phobic of gaining some size in the name of staying light and “ripped.”

You final question was concerning weight training protocols. For this type of sport-specific training, I would recommend a hybridized approach of no less than a 60:40 ration heavy:light weights. Power movements are going to benefit you more than repetition. The main benefit of light-weight training is that it provides an intermediate form of cardio (e.g. circuit training, Tabatas) between heavy lifting and running/biking. Stick to a mostly heavy, power movement protocol. Just adjust your energy intake accordingly if you aren’t trying to bulk.

And for everyone else, be nice to this guy! Who the fuck doesn’t wanna look like Zane???

~Terumo

[quote]Vince12413 wrote:
Now that you know what I want to become, do you suggest I train with light weight or heavy weight? or In between? I got enough info about dieting and all the other stuff, now I just need to know what kind of lifting I should do. That’s all.[/quote]

Lift big to get big.

[quote]Terumo wrote:
Just adjust your energy intake accordingly if you aren’t trying to bulk. [/quote]

Sorry I don’t understand this part. You mean try not to consume so much?