T Nation

T-Dawg 2.0 - MAG 10 or not?

I’ve been reading a lot of the posts and articles on training, nutrition and supplementation. I’ve decided to try T-Dawg 2.0 and Meltdown with HIIT cardio. My question is, should I add things like Tribex and MAG-10 when trying to lose bodyfat? I’m 200lbs and 20% bodyfat. I’ve read some conflicting information. Some say to wait until 10% bf before using MAG-10 and others suggest it to maintain and even build muscle while on a calorie-deficient diet. Wouldn’t it make sense to try and build/support as much muscle as possible while on a diet like T-Dawg since muscle is metabolically active? This would be in addition to using Methoxy and T2-PRO, which I have just started using. So should I start MAG-10 now or wait?
Thanks in advance.

Hey, there, Big Guy!!! The best part about posting a message like you just did is that you WILL get conflicting opinions. Read them all, try 'em on for size (in your head), and pick what suits you best.

Having said that, you’re doing a whole lotta new things; a new diet, a food log (right?), a new program. I’d really like to see you iron out all the kinks and get your diet right. You’re only talking about having to drop 20 pounds to get to 10% BF. Save your Mag-10 either as a reward or as an ace in the whole. If you ever learn how to diet and manipulate your macronutrients and calories to achieve your goals, you’ll be set for the rest of your life, and it will only stand you in good stead if and when you decide to bulk with Mag-10.

Just my thoughts on the subject. Hopefully everyone else will be by shortly. (grin)

Thanks so much for all your help. Regarding my previous posts with the two cheat meals, I was using something very close to Joel Marion’s The Cheater’s Diet, concerning which he said “…stuff that makes up what I believe to be the fastest, most efficacious way to go about shedding excess body fat.” This is why I had 1 cheat meal on Wed and a cheat “day” on Saturday. One of the things that I noticed when I had my burger and fries on Wednesday was that my body temperature was much higher than normal, I really felt the thermic effect of eating the food (I ate this meal about 45 mins after doing a Meltdown workout). There was also a noticeable change in body composition the next day - probably just water. I’m trying to solidify a plan that I will stick to.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying. It’s really hard to read, study, put together a plan and then have everyone come buy and tear it apart.

One thing I would say is that there is a big difference between a cheat meal and a carb refeed. They’re different creatures. The former is for gratification and sanity; the latter is to refill glycogen stores that have become depleted. And whatever you do, you shouldn’t do EITHER until you have been on T-Dawg for at least two weeks. It takes that long to settle in and make the metabolic shift from sugar burner to fat burner (your goal).

So let’s say that the two weeks have gone by. Since you’re running lower on carbohydrates, you want to take in the types of carbohydrates that refill MUSCLE glycogen stores not LIVER glycogen stores. Liver glycogen is responsible for the cravings you suffer after a cheat meal or a carb refeed. Things that refill LIVER glycogen preferentially? Milk sugar (galactose), honey, high fructose corn syrup, fructose (found in fruit), straight table sugar (a disaccharide, meaning two sugars bonded together, one of which preferentially fills LIVER glycogen). I tend to avoid all of the above when doing a carb refeed. Even though Joel walks on water in my book, he and I probably disagree on which carbs we would do our refeeds with. Myself, I use pasta, potatoes, rice, oatmeal; i.e., your starchy carbs.

But here’s a point he and I DO agree on. Lower your fat when raising your carbs. The reason is that when you take in a lot of carbs, the body converts it to glucose and then responds by secreting insulin (a storage hormone). Unfortunately, insulin is an equal opportunity storage hormone, meaning that if there is any fat floating around your bloodstream, it will IMMEDIATELY store that in the fat cells the same way it shuttle glycogen into the muscles. As I’ve said before I put fat and carbs on a see-saw. When I raise carbs (as in a carb refeed), I lower my fats for the day, and especially before and after the refeed. When I’m running low carbs, as I do most of the time (<30g), I take in a lot of good fat to meet minimum caloric requirements. My fat intake on low-carb days is over 40% of my calories, and that fat is mostly added in as high-dose fish oil, flaxseed oil, Udo’s Choice, salmon, etc.

I’ve been making good progress and that with an EXTREMELY stubborn metabolism, so if you have any interest in this regard, as things progress, I’d be glad to work with you. If you’d like to follow Joel’s cheat meals, re-read the article, start a thread and drop him an email, asking him to participate and keep on eye on the discussion.

Whatever you do, I wish you all the best. I can see you’re working through a lot of issues, educating yourself and making some good decisions.

I have been subscribing to the Berardi system of eating, i.e. P+C meals and P+F meals. Incidentally, in Joel Marion’s Cheater’s Diet, his two cheat days certainly were not composed of clean carbs. I remember reading something about pizza and other carb and fat goodies, and he dropped weight quickly. My guess would be that because he was already at a reasonably low bf%, i.e. below 10%, and was trying to get lower, his system was primed to shuttle more calories to muscle as opposed to fat. On a side note, I have been eating a last meal before bed of tuna and olive oil and greens or salmon and greens. Is this acceptable as a last meal? Also, how do you address a post to a specific individual?

TT-You are great! Keep up the constructive posts. Above, you really describe how a rock solid diet can not fail you. Could you do a quick breakdown of what you eat and when? It would be good to compare logs. Thanks.

bigmike – Actually, I was reading a book on protein where John Berardi contributed the first chapter. In it he said to take a slow digesting protein before bed and he suggested Casein (cottage cheese). I am not sure how the milk sugars would affect your diet. . .I am just getting back into the gym and organizing a meal plan myself. . . . but that is what he suggested.

Hey man, it looks like we’re in fairly similar situations. I’m 6’1 206 lbs with 17% BF. I’ve been reading a lot of what Tampa-Terry has been posting (TT you have no idea how big a help you’ve been) as well as articles by JB and JM to name a few. I figured since we’re doing similar diets and have about the same amount to lose, we should keep each other motivated through a post or e-mail (Lord knows my girlfriend just wants me to big out all day because she thinks it’s ‘fun’). [br]
Let me know if that’s of interest to you and we’ll get a support team together!

Hey, everyone, just jump right. It may be cold outside, but the water here at T-Mag is quite warm and toasty. (grin) Seriously, there are a lot of people on T-Dawg who are working through the same issues. If you have a related question, don’t be shy. Jump in.

BigMike, if you want to address a message to a particular person within an ongoing thread, just type in your name in the “Your Name” box, but type it as “BigMike to Whoever You Want.”

Re tuna and greens or salmon and greens before bed, that would be an excellent P+C meal. I would just leave out the olive oil.

Re the cheat meals, Joel Marion put me back on the road to fat loss after a multi-month plateau. Talk about depressed. I was playing by the rules, working out, keeping a food log, eating clean and not losing ANY weight. As happens many times, the student takes a great idea and runs with it. That’s what I did with the carb refeeds and cheat meals. I’ve studied Lyle McDonald, who’s written an excellent book on different types of ketogenic diets, one of which involves a carb refeed once a week. I’ve done Atkins (no refeeds of any description). I’ve read Dan Duchaine’s “Body Opus.” My latest “find” has been Rob Faigin’s book, “Natural Hormonal Enhancement,” which is all about dieting (including carb refeeds), but with an emphasis or focus on hormonal manipulation. So the recommendations I give you may vary from Joel’s recommendations, but that’s the way it works here at T-Mag. All that matters is that you find what works for you, that you make progress and achieve your goals. If you like Joel’s plan and if it’s working for you, stick to your guns. People will give you their best advice, but it’s up to you to pick and choose what’s appropriate to your situation.

George, thank you VERY much for the kind words. I’ve really hoped that some of my “disertations” were benefiting more than the person to whom it was directed. Myself, when it comes to making changes in the status quo, I need to know WHY a change might be beneficial. If I don’t buy into the logic of WHY, I’m not likely to stick with it. That’s why I go to the lengths I do to explain things.

MikeP, a sample of my diet follow . . .

Mike, I have a pretty slow metabolism, so I have to eat/diet at a multiple of 13 x LBM, which amounts to roughly 1400 calories per day. I may eat as much as 25 calories above or below that number.

On any given day, I try to take in <30g of carbs. Carb-up days are different, of course. Some days I take a half serving of Surge, which raises the number to 39g of carb for the day because Methoxy is 12g of carbs all by itself.

I generally eat 5 meals a day:

Meal 1
6-ounces of canned tuna

1 1/2 tblsp fish oil (6.3g EPA/DHA)

Meal 2
1 scoop of Grow

Meal 3
Tyson Chicken Breast

1/3 can of mushrooms

Meal 4
3 large eggs & 1 tablespoon of EFAs

Meal 5
4 ounces of pork tenderloin

My goal is to get 170g of protein, 60g of fat and <30g of carbs. What I actually get will vary from day to day, but I always try and get my 170g of protein. And I always keep my calories to within 25 calories of 1400.


Thank you. That looks similar to what I am doing except that I add green beans to one meat meal and celery to tuna (with some olive oil)-gotta have the fiber. This year will be the year of dedecation to a very strick diet. I’m 33 and my metabolism is settling into a lower level and with the bad habits of the past two years has resulted in a major weight gain. How do you up-regulate your metabolism? Refeeds of additional calories, or switching of carbs for fat? Being 270 I am using x15 for cals, and plan on taking that down by three week intervals to x12 (x15-x14-x13-x12), then I will adjust from there. I like the idea of maintaining at a lower calorie level. What do you think? Thanks, MP

BigMike & MikeP…I was pumped when I read this thread during my lunch…I am EXACTLY where you guys are at! 6’ tall, 208lbs, 18%bf.
I have been keeping a strong hold with my eating (far more consistant now) and working out. I have done a T-Dawg type approach before and did well. I am thinking the P+C /P+F set up is the way to fly. TampaT -
are you only consuming carbs pre & post workout? I definitely think we should keep each other up on our progression!

It seems as if the original question posted did not receive the varied and insightful answers that I had hoped for (with the exception of Tampa-Terry, of course!). What’s up T-people! Should someone use MAG-10 when trying to lose bodyfat?
Oh, by the way George, i’m not sure if I would be regular enough on the forum to offer any support on an ongoing basis. If (no WHEN) i get into shape i’ll post some pics on the photos section. I want to look like that runner with the 8-pack (who wouldn’t!).

Hey, there, Mike. Gotta love that celery. It has a great crunch factor and virtually no carbs. Sounds like the kinda trick I pull. My other favorites are Swiss chard, mushrooms and kim che (a pickled cabbage), all of which are extremely low in the carb department. Keeps a person from feeling deprived.

If you’re doing your BW x 15, which is essentially maintenance, don’t forget to subtract 500 calories per day from the number to create a deficit. You’ll lose a lot the first two weeks as you make the metabolic shift from sugar burner to fat burner, but after that you don’t want to lose any faster than 2 pounds per week. And as you get closer to your goal weight it should be no more than ONE pound per week. And if you ever decide to try and reach ultra-low BF numbers, it should be no more than ONE-HALF POUND per week.

Re taking your calories down every three weeks, I’m really hoping I can talk you out of that plan. Work with me on this one, Mike. You have to let T-Dawg work its magic. When you lose weight quickly (after the first two weeks, which don’t count) you end up losing lean body mass, which is the LAST thing any of us want to do. Muscle = metabolism. Lots of muscle = a higher metabolism. Less muscle or lost muscle = a slower metabolism.

So please don’t drop your calories to a multiple of 14, 13 or 12. If you hit a plateau of more than two weeks, I’m absolutely sure I could help you through it. I’ve got secret weapons. (wink)

I’ve written quite a bit on using carb refeeds to upregulate one’s metabolism. Give me some precise information on your diet, calories, grams of macronutrients, etc., and I’d be glad to make some recommendations custom tailored for your situation.

Peri, I run so low on carbs that it wouldn’t matter WHEN I ate 'em. Methoxy runs 12g per day of the <30 I allow myself. Things like eggs, LC Grow and mushrooms are what run the number up to the <30 mark.

I am, however, a STRONG advocate of JB’s P+C, P+F food combining, especially since I understand the affect that insulin has if you’ve eaten much fat at the same time you’ve taken in carbs. And don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a person on this earth that loves pizza more than I do. (sigh)

Just an argument for using Mag-10 while on T-Dawg, the more muscle you have (preservation, or even gained), the more calories you’ll burn.

BigMike: I did not mean to jump into your post, but it was a good way to ask TT a few ?. As far as Mag10 during low cals, that is what I plan to do when I go down to 13 or 14 x BW.

TT- you are right, only with Mag10 will I drop down to 13x or so cals, and now that you mention it I will only do so after I’m at 10% BF. I have subtracted the 500 cals, and my stats now are 6’3", 275, 24% BF. The goal, at 1.5 lbs. a week, I will lose 12lbs of fat in 8 weeks (after an intitial 4-5 the first two weeks which will end Sunday). Diet consists of the foods above you mentioned and cottage cheese at night. 400gms protein, 250gms of carbs, and 115gms fat. I like the extra carbs from vegetables (in addition to pre/post wo surge) for the fiber and 250-300 has worked before. You might tell me to drop the carbs and up the fat…which I was thinking of doing. WO-4x6x2 exercises per body part MTTF, HIIT 2x week. Supps: Methoxy-7, surge and Grow. Thanks again, an I will try the mushrooms! MP

Oh, dear, you can read my mind. LOL! No, actually, I’d stay with carbs at your current level until you hit at least a one-week plateau. As long as you’re making progress, leave things the way they are. Carbs are a quality-of-life thing. And the thing is, you’re eatting GOOD carbs.

Thanks for explaining about using Mag-10 in conjunction with dropping calories. THAT makes all the sense in the world.

The supplements look good. The cardio is great. Same with the workout. All in all, it looks like you’ve done your homework, made some good decisions and are moving in a positive direction. What more could a person ask for?

Please let me know how things progress!

Staying on track is the main goal, in an effort to build a better lifestyle. I will post my progress in 6 weeks or so. Good to know I am dialing the right numbers. Later, MP

Get down to 10% bf and then use the anabolic support (MAG-10) to achieve an even leaner condition while preserving mass. Why didn’t I think of that? It sounds like a pretty good plan if you’re starting out at 275lbs, but what about 200lbs?