T Nation

Workout & Supplement Suggestions

Hello,

Here are the statistics:
Age: 21
Height: 64 inches
Weight: 114 pounds
(I’m small)

I would consider myself to be in “okay to better than average” physical fitness-- I’ve always been active in some sport or another, but I’m by no means in the shape I’d like to be in nor am I an experienced weightlifter.

I’m currently taking the following:
Daily Multivitamin (Centrum Performance) 1 pill/day
Creatine E2 Matrix 8 capsules/day
HOT-ROX - 4 capsules/day
Various Forms of Protein - 60g/day
Calorie intake: 1600-1800 (it surges daily)

Workout schedule:

3 days per week (30-45 minutes per day), each exercise 8-13 times. If more than 13 possible, increasing weight:
Leg Curl
Leg Extension
Seated Calf Raise
Bench Press
Seated Row
Lying Shoulder Pullover
Shoulder Shrug
Lying Triceps Extension
Standing Biceps Curl
Seated Abdominal Crunch

2 days per week (45-75 minutes):
Martial arts (mainly cardiovascular)

Goals:
Gain healthy weight & muscle
Retain leanness (at least the look— not into excess fat)

Questions:
Is there something else that would produce similar energy ‘gains’ to HOT-ROX but not potentially harm the anabolic process? I’d like to build muscle; however, I’m REALLY liking the effects (rather they be psychological or physical) of HOT-ROX.
Are there any additional supplements I should consider (I’ve been reading about Spike, Alpha Male, etc.)?
How does the workout schedule look?

(P.S. I was referred here from another forum… nice looking site and good reading material! :))

Thanks,
Wil1

Ok,
First off, you need a serious increase in calories, start here:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459429

Your program is ok, but you could make better gains on this:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460561

As far as supplements, I think most guys here will ask why you are on HOT-ROX. HOT-ROX is a fat loss supplement, it helps you burn more calories…which isn’t so desirable if your goal is to gain muscle. If you want a stimulant try Power Drive of Spike, I havn’t tried either but they’ve both gotten great reviews from the forum.

Creatine is a good supplement, buy the cheap, white, unflavored powder, it’s all the same…look for the CreaPure label, this helps ensure that you’re getting quality stuff. You should be able to find 2lbs for about $18 online…

Personally I believe that protein should be within the 1.5g to 2g per pound of body weight range…This would put you more at 171g to 228 grams a day.

You’re #1 goal should be to raise your daily caloric intake, preferably over 5 or more meals a day.

I would definitly put the HOT-ROX back on the shelf until it’s time to lose whatever fat you gain (if you gain any at all)

Good luck, I hope that helps!

Good to have you aboard, Will! You came to a great place. Anyhow, I’m going to break your post down to make this a bit easier for my writing and your reading. I’m going to tell you that you may get ripped by a few (some guys here just have shit attitudes) as many of the things you are doing contradict what we consider a core ideology. Anyhow, let’s take a look…

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
I’m currently taking the following:
Daily Multivitamin (Centrum Performance) 1 pill/day
Creatine E2 Matrix 8 capsules/day
HOT-ROX - 4 capsules/day
Various Forms of Protein - 60g/day
Calorie intake: 1600-1800 (it surges daily)[/quote]
Ditch the HOT-ROX. As you mention later in the post, Spike would be a much better choice for your goals. The multi is fine. The creatine is fine, I would imagine. I’m unfamiliar with that product, but you are paying too much if you are taking creatine in capsules. Get a kilo of the ProLab stuff, and save yourself some money while getting the same effect. Oh yeah… AND EAT! You should almost be doubling your caloric intake if you are looking to add any legitimate size. If you weight 114#, you are probably going to add fat to your frame about as quickly as Jessica Simpson will prove Fermat’s Last Theorem. And for a start, double to triple your protein intake. You can work on things a bit more stringently once you take care of those things.

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
Workout schedule:

3 days per week (30-45 minutes per day), each exercise 8-13 times. If more than 13 possible, increasing weight:
Leg Curl
Leg Extension
Seated Calf Raise
Bench Press
Seated Row
Lying Shoulder Pullover
Shoulder Shrug
Lying Triceps Extension
Standing Biceps Curl
Seated Abdominal Crunch

2 days per week (45-75 minutes):
Martial arts (mainly cardiovascular)[/quote]
I’m not asking you to give up martial arts, as it is likely an enjoyable and productive thing for you. However, you will need to quash unneeded cardio as it will hinder hypertrophy to an extent. Secondly, you make no mention of set volume in your training. This is kind of important. Lastly, and most importantly, you aren’t picking the big (and most taxing) exercises: bent-over rows, chins, overhead presses, deadlifts, squats, and dips.

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
Goals:
Gain healthy weight & muscle
Retain leanness (at least the look— not into excess fat)[/quote]
I doubt fat will come easily to you. Considering your beginner status, you could likely throw on a good 30 pounds, almost all lean, in 3-4 hard months of training and eating like a beast.[/quote]

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
Questions:
Is there something else that would produce similar energy ‘gains’ to HOT-RX but not potentially harm the anabolic process? I’d like to build muscle; however, I’m REALLY liking the effects (rather they be psychological or physical) of HOT-ROX.[/quote]
Sounds like Spike is right up your alley, although I never really considered HOT-ROX to be much of an “upper.”

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
Are there any additional supplements I should consider (I’ve been reading about Spike, Alpha Male, etc.)?[/quote]
Save all of your regular supplement money (except for Spike, if you are really convinced that you need a boost), and buy Grow! by the truckload. A big, fat grocery bill would be suitable for you also.

Anyhow, I hope this has helped you out. Once again, welcome aboard, check out the archives, and let us know if you need direction.

~Terumo

Hello,

I left out two important things:

  1. Chocolate Low-Carb Grow! will be ordered as soon as it is in stock.

  2. I live in the dead center of no-where— there’s no gym nearby; all I have is a Bowflex that I’m using to exercise with. I’m up for ordering additional equipment if it’s needed though.

RE: Martial Arts’I know cardio exercises aren’t that great when attempting to gain muscle, but I’m not considering dropping it. It is as much as a stress reliever as it is a recreational activity? for me. I’m a full time college student (times two) and the pros of a martial art outweigh the cons for me, I think.

I wish more details would be released on ‘Spike’. I’m up for trying something new, but I wish more information was available for it before I ingest a few capsules a day of the stuff. The reviews, however, do look awesome though.

Thanks for the info, it is much appreciated!

-Wil

Will-

First, I’m glad your second post cleared up why you’re doing things like leg extensions, but not even doing a leg press, let alone a squat. I couldn’t bring myself to write anything last night and was going to have to try really hard today, but, turns out it won’t be so bad :slight_smile:

Anyway, the basic premise(8-12 reps, upping weight when the max reps are reached) is a decent one, especially starting out. I assume you’re doing just one set of each exercise and completing the workout with high intensity, little or no rest?

Now, my suggestion to you equipment-wise is to get access to some free weights. I know you said there’s no gym around you, but sometimes people overlook places that don’t have “Golds” in the title. Does your college have a gym/weight room you could make use of? Is there a YMCA around there? Do you have any buddies that might have an olympic barbell set or squat rack?

If the answer to all of those are no, then, get yourself a good bench(one that inclines up to vertical, and can decline a bit, and that includes a rack setup for a bar) and some olympic plates. I am assuming you don’t have the money for a squat or power rack. If you did, I would suggest that. If you have trouble even affording the bench I mentioned(should be in the 100-200 dollar range I think) with plates(not sure of the approximate additional cash) then get yourself some dumbbells. At least with dumbbells you can do hack squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, rows, and bench presses with.

Now, as for nutrition, considering that you don’t want to lose the martial arts, then I’m going to have to say that calories perhaps should head up to 2.5 - 3 times what they are now. Make sure they’re clean calories, and I don’t see any reason you should have much trouble with fat. Dith the HOT-ROX right now. Make sure you can afford all of the whole food, then get some protein powder. If after that and the equipment, you have money left over, THEN get yourself some Spike.

Best of luck.

[quote]Wil1 wrote:
RE: Martial Arts’I know cardio exercises aren’t that great when attempting to gain muscle, but I’m not considering dropping it. It is as much as a stress reliever as it is a recreational activity? for me. I’m a full time college student (times two) and the pros of a martial art outweigh the cons for me, I think.[/quote]
Just so you know, I was trying to convey the thought that I fully support doing things like martial arts, etc., even though they are generally not conducive to gaining mass. I said you need to quash unneeded cardio, not everything. This is basically the sit-don’t-stand, walk-don’t-run philosophy. Conserve energy when you can, but enjoy life. It isn’t all about sitting on the couch, pounding protein shakes in search of almighty massiveness.

And by the way, I second Moon Knight’s suggestion on getting some weights or a gym membership. Whatever works for you.

~Terumo

Hello,

Thanks for the information— I will take your advice and see what I can do.

Thanks again,
Will

Wil1:

If you seriously want to gain some size you have had some good suggestions so far. I will only add a few more:

  1. Drop Martial Arts from your current routine. It’s burning calories faster than you can replenish. It is a huge muscle waster. You can pick it up again in a year or so. Trust me on this drop it! You will get “stress relief” you talk about from your weight training.

  2. Forget the Bowflex! Go out back and start lifting some rocks. Not kidding. Get a large rock that you know you can lift from ground to shoulder 10 times when you are fresh. Do one set every two or three minutes. Perhaps the reps would look like this 10-8-6-6-4-4.

Next bear hug an even larger rock (or make a sandbag) and do six sets of squats, higher reps. 15-12-12-10-10-10

Find something else you can do over head presses with. Might be a log (carve out some handles). Then do six sets in the same fashion.

Do the above three times per week without fail! Consume at least 3000 calories per day, in smaller meals, 6 meals per day. I would say more, but you are only 114lbs or so. Make sure you get at least 130-150 Grams of Protein per day. Drink plenty of water and sleep at least 9 hours per day.

Also, forget outside activity that will burn calories, like Martial Arts, which won’t do you any good anyway as you are to small. Sorry, but the Bruce Lee myth is just that…a myth. Big guys hurt little guys more often than the other way around (that’s for another thread).

At the end of one year if you follow this type of program (change things up every 8 weeks or so and for Heaven sakes buy some barbells) you might be able to gain 20lbs or so.

If you don’t launch yourself into this type of program you are going to stay small and you won’t like that. It’s time to prioritize. Do you want it bad enough? Wanting it bad enough is the only way you are going to get it!

If you want more help email me anytime.

Good Luck,

Zeb

Thank you for the advice. I understand what you’re saying about martial arts, but I’m not willing to drop it yet.

RE: Big guy vs small guy in fights. Ugh, ok. Ever watch judo competitions? Anyways, that’s a different subject. I got your point though.

I should state that I’m wanting to gain healthy body mass; however, I’m not a “fanatic”. I’m
completely satisfied with my current “size”, however, if I’m going to be small (which, at ~5’4", I will ALWAYS be small unless something kicks in in the height department), I want to be a “healthy” and “fit” “small” guy. :stuck_out_tongue: (I hope I’m making sense.)

Again, thanks for the advice. I have different opinions on a few things, but I do appreciate your input.

Will

Quasi-Hijack Alert!

Zeb, I understand what you are saying, and I totally agree that martial arts is not an activity that is very conducive to bulking. However, I also feel that a person should continue most any hobbies that are for personal betterment, so long as they aren’t going to make physical goals impossible. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time training, and you should choose one or the other. I don’t think a couple of hours of MA per week is going to fall into the “impossible-to-grow” category. So long as there isn’t much strenuous conditioning associated with his training, it would be reasonable to assume undertaking two hours of this activity weekly could be conpensated by a calorie bump. If the guy is eating 1700 kCal daily, I doubt his small stature is a result of training, anyhow. Hell, MA might even prove to be a good form of active recovery and ROM training.

I’m not saying that the activity is not inhibitory of growth, but I am saying (strictly from a standpoint of personal philosophy) that a person needs to live outside the framework of hugeness and leanness. If the guy was insistent upon binge drinking, staying out until 2 a.m., or smoking ganj, I would feel differently. But since the activity in question is actually constructive (although somewhat growth inhibitory), I would have to give it a green light. It is largely about being a well-rounded person.

Zeb, you know I respect you, and this large (larger than I intended) spiel was not meant to be argumentative. I just wanted to present another viewpoint. I think this really raises a question of whether or not we should undertake any outside activities that may prove to be counterproductive to our training. My answer is, “Yes, if it is constructive toward other aspects of T-Ness.” What does everyone else think?

~Terumo

Note: I think I just coined the term “T-Ness” on my own. Has anyone ever seen that used before? If not, I claim copyright privileges.

Good info Terumo.

I understand bodybuilders are against many activities which aren’t constructive to muscle building, but I’d think there needs to be some activities that don’t involve the bench press. :wink:

Also, in my case, the martial arts are occuring for a grand total of 110 minutes per week. I’m an instructor so I’m helping other students for a good portion of that time too…

Thanks for the info-- keep it up! :slight_smile:
Will

Does some of these people read this site? That list of exercises made me cringe.

[quote]sMorri wrote:
Does some of these people read this site? That list of exercises made me cringe.[/quote]

Read on to where he says he only has a Bowflex right now. Thats pretty much thats the only reason he hasn’t gotten hassled mightly over the exercise selection.

I’m fine with the bowflex, but the post was directed more at the recent flood of posts that look like people who have never read an article here before. I didn’t me to sound so harsh to this perticular post, my bad.

Here’s an idea. Sell your Bowflex on eBay immediately and use whatever money you get to buy the best adjustable bench, Olympic barbell and weights that you can afford. Don’t underestimate how much weight you’ll need, since you’ll finally be doing some multi-joint exercises like deadlifts and squats. Squats may be difficult without a rack, but there’s a video somewhere on this site of a dude picking up a heavily loaded barbell off the floor, squatting, and putting it back onto the floor. Maybe someone with a better memory can refer you to that article.

Hello,

Out of curiosity, why does T-Nation users dislike the Bowflex so much? There’s quite a few exercises available and I think it can definitely ‘push’ my limits on quite a few exercises…

Just curious…I’m new to real weight-lifting.

Thanks,
Will

Bowflex’s available exercises are listed at :

http://www.bowflex.com/why/YStrength_Ex.asp

There’s nothing better than real iron.

Being forced to balance a barbell or dumbell while executing good form on the exercise is actually a very important part of building the supporting muscles as well as the targeted muscles.

For instance, try a chest machine at the gym some time, then go do a real bench press with a real olympic barbell.

Then there’s the squat issue. How you can you do real, effective squats on a bowflex?

It’s great for the 20-minutes-a-day to a trim bod crowd. But if you’re serious about bodybuilding, you need some iron.