T Nation

Supplement for power training, Newbie training

Hi coach, good to have you back.

two questions please

  1. What supplements/cycle of supplements would you recommend for aspiring/competetive strangth/power athletes?

  2. What are the general guidelines for training prameters for newbies to resistance training (if the goal is power/strength) and for how long should they be followed?

Thanks

Lior.

  1. What supplements/cycle of supplements would you recommend for aspiring/competetive strangth/power athletes?

Well if question 1 goes with question 2, and that you are asking me what supplements a newbie strength athlete should use my answer is “as little as possible”.

A newbie doesn’t need many supplements to perform well. And certainly looking for them as a deciding factor in your suggest is certainly a mistake.

The most important supplements to use at this point are:

  • vitamins and minerals
  • proper pre-workout and post-workout nutrition (e.g. Surge)
  • Fish oil

But these should only be added to a perfectly designed nutritional program (read JB’s work).

A beginner can also use what I call “gentle” supplements. Products that will have a decent impact on your body without stressing it:

  • Tribex + maca (to maximize NATURAL test levels)
  • Power Drive (to maximize the CNS)

  1. What are the general guidelines for training prameters for newbies to resistance training (if the goal is power/strength) and for how long should they be followed?

The first thing to do is to learn perfect form on several basic lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift, rowing etc.)

I wrote a post detailing what I do with my beginning athletes as far as training goes… try to find it in the forum’s archieves as I don’t want to retype it all!

Basically it said that the first 8 weeks of training are used to learn proper lifting form and to increase muscle mass and tendons strenth.

Weeks 1-2: You lower the bar under control, pause it for 5 seconds near the end of the eccentric protion (e.g. parallel for the squat, 2" from the chest for the bench, below the knees for the deadlift). The pause will allow the athlete to “feel” the proper lifting position, the coach to assess proper lifting form and make corrections. It will also force the athlete to only use a moderate load, which will avoid “ego lifting”. Perform 6-8 reps per set.

Weeks 3-4: You lower the bar in 8-10 seconds (superslow eccentrics) and lift it normally. Once again, the superslow tempo will allow the athlete to feel his body during the whole movement, which helps learn proper lifting techique. The slow tempo will also helps the coach correct an technical flaws. Both of these first two methods will also help build muscle mass and will increase the lifter’s capacity to activate his muscles (a beginner will have a hard time recruiting motor units at first). Perform 6-8 reps per set.

Weeks 5-6: 604/explosive contrast. You perfrom sets of 8 reps: Reps 1-2 = 604 tempo, Reps 3-4 = explosive, Reps 5-6 = 604 tempo, Reps 7-8 = explosive

With this method you slowly begin to introduce the concept of lifting explosively. You’ll notice that this is done only after 4 full weeks of training. By now the lifter should have good lifting technique and the 6-4 portion of the contrast will make sure that the lifter sticks with this proper lifting form even when performing high-speed reps.

Weeks 7-8: Start heavy lifting, beging with sets of 6-8 reps at a regular tempo.

After these 8 weeks you can begin to use a “real” strength and power program (5x5 for example).

Thanks very much for the response!
Regarding the supplement question, I wasnt talking about newbies but on intermediate level and up lifters, is ther anything different recommended for them?

Hey CT, I really value your opinion, so I am going to ask you straight up, is Surge actually better than just using some whey protein and Gatorade or similar sports drink? I’m sure the researchers put a lot of hard work and technology into it, but at almost $5.00 a serving from the online store, it just doesn’t seem worth it if it’s not a huge improvement over the alternatives. Just curious if you or anyone else has any hard evidence suggesting that it is superior.

For optimal results Surge is hard to beat. However with some of my less well-to-do athletes I use a whey + Gatorade + amino acids mix with almost as much success. It’s MUCH MUCH better than nothing, you’ll probably get 80-90% of the results you’d get from Surge, so it’s an economical solution.