- 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)
- 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).