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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say I know the number one thing is a good healthy diet, plenty of water, and proper exercise habits.

My question though, do any of you use supplements of any kind? Protein, creatine, pre-workout, etc. If so what do you use and why?
 

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You certainly seem to understand this but I'll reiterate that consistency both in the kitchen and at the gym are the biggest keys to success.

Supplemental protein (mainly whey powder) is a staple in my diet. It's well documented that consuming relatively high amounts of protein is essential for building muscle and strength, as well as retaining muscle while dieting. Good whey protein supplements contain very high protein contents without having many calories. They are also very convenient.

I also take a pre-workout supplement though I often vary the brand (and ingredients). Mainly, I take them for the shot of energy they give me before I get in the gym. Some of the common ingredients in pre-workouts have also been shown to slightly improve performance and build muscle. Be careful if you decide to try one especially if you are sensitive to caffeine, because some have ridiculously high caffeine contents!

What are you thinking about taking? What are your goals?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually the two things you mentioned.

I have been doing research into whey protein. I want something as clean and natural as I can get, no need to put additional junk in my body. Right now I am leaning toward Bodylogix or Jay Robb. I am trying to find similar in a preworkout, that is a little harder to find.

I managed to lose 25 pounds just by changing my diet and I am continuing those eating habits in an effort to continue to drop fat. My plan is to now help that process by turning fat into muscle. Making muscle and strength gains are my main goal as well as becoming generally healthier overall.
 

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For me it is a protein powder usually a blend, creatine, fish oils for my joints, and a multi-vitamin. I do mix in a pre-workout sometimes for that extra kick in the butt before a workout. Sometimes I mix other things in but they are not necessary. Because of the creatine I drink 1 - 1.5 gallons of water a day.

For buying my sups I get them online and typically save quite a bit even with shipping. For protein, I usually get what every I can get on sale that is a decent brand and doesn't have too much extra junk in it.
 

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Pre-workout I just eat a balanced meal about an hour before I hit the gym. Typically I have oatmeal laced with egg whites and maybe some blueberries or a bit of yogurt. After work out supplement is always a about 8 ounces of whey protein powder in water with some Dannon protein drink mixed in. At 66 I have lost 75 pounds over the last couple of years and have taken up bicycle riding to replace hiking for cardio because I developed Neuropathy in my feet (which is a pain in the nose).
 

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I just get the cheap protein for Walmart. I also like pre-workout supplements but they are expensive. Most of the time I use C4. It just seems to keep me focused and usually adds one or two reps to my set.
With that being said....the toughest part for me is staying committed. I usually make it a couple months then get sidetracked. Once that happens it's always tough for me to start back up.
 

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Your body can't turn fat into muscle. Building muscle and losing fat are different processes. You need to consume more calories than you expend to build muscle and less than you expend to lose fat. The only real exceptions to this where you can build muscle and lose fat simultaneously are new lifters (less than a few months experience) and those who are taking "special" supplements.

Back to the supplements, as mentioned above, do yourself a favor and shop online. Sites like bodybuilding.com will have everything you could ever want for significantly less money than at GNC.

I usually end up buying Optimum Nutrition or Cellucor whey protein. There are plenty of other good ones out there though.

For the pre workouts C4 and Neon Volt are probably my two favorites. It's important to point out that your body will develop a tolerance to the pre-workouts, so it is a good idea to frequently switch brands and/or take periodic breaks all together.
 

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Chris,I've lifted 5 days a week for the past 30 years and I've never taken a supplement of any kind.The best supplement is your mind.I'm not saying they won't work but they aren't magic and the cost has never been worth it to me.About 5 or 6 years ago,I started seeing some younger guys get pretty big and strong awefully fast.Some were taking the real stuff but most were taking a supplement,now banned called extren.They banned it around that time but other supplements came out with the same active ingredient called nora19.My one buddy that I lifted with every day for years bought two bottles online.I always kidded with him because he was the only guy I ever met that worked out every day and just got weaker and fatter lol.In any event,he had a max bench of about 225 and within a month of taking that stuff,he was benching a legitimate 300lbs.He stopped taking it and was back down to here he started within a month or two.Being in a gym is a daily part of my life and I've never seen the need to take anything although I've often been accused of taking juice.I cut soda out of my diet a few years ago and replaced it with milk.Eat lots of deer meat,drink lots of milk and have the will power to work out hard and consistant.
 

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Esox_Hunter said:
Your body can't turn fat into muscle. Building muscle and losing fat are different processes. You need to consume more calories than you expend to build muscle and less than you expend to lose fat. The only real exceptions to this where you can build muscle and lose fat simultaneously are new lifters (less than a few months experience) and those who are taking "special" supplements.

Back to the supplements, as mentioned above, do yourself a favor and shop online. Sites like bodybuilding.com will have everything you could ever want for significantly less money than at GNC.

I usually end up buying Optimum Nutrition or Cellucor whey protein. There are plenty of other good ones out there though.

For the pre workouts C4 and Neon Volt are probably my two favorites. It's important to point out that your body will develop a tolerance to the pre-workouts, so it is a good idea to frequently switch brands and/or take periodic breaks all together.
While that is true,you will lose a lot of strength as you lose weight.I used to compete at the bench press up til about 10 years ago.I normally weight around 205-210 but always competed at 198lbs.Just dropping 7lbs of excess weight would decrease my bench by 20 lbs and it always took a while to get it back up to where I was at that weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I appreciate the feedback guys. I agree that is it more mental than physical. It is important to put in the work and hammer it every day. I don't plan to go competing like you Doug but I certainly plan to increase strength, physical appearance, and overall health.

I would never take a supplement that was borderline "juice" or anything like that, I was just thinking of adding a protein mainly and maybe a preworkout.

Two baby girls and 55+ hours a week at work make it tough to be consistent but I am trying to carve out more and more time each day. Even if it is just 15 minutes on the treadmill.
 

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Backwoods said:
I appreciate the feedback guys. I agree that is it more mental than physical. It is important to put in the work and hammer it every day. I don't plan to go competing like you Doug but I certainly plan to increase strength, physical appearance, and overall health.

I would never take a supplement that was borderline "juice" or anything like that, I was just thinking of adding a protein mainly and maybe a preworkout.

Two baby girls and 55+ hours a week at work make it tough to be consistent but I am trying to carve out more and more time each day. Even if it is just 15 minutes on the treadmill.
I'd skip the 15 minutes on the treadmill and go with 15 min of full body exercises that work the large muscle groups. That's if I only had 15 minutes.
 

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Backwoods said:
I appreciate the feedback guys. I agree that is it more mental than physical. It is important to put in the work and hammer it every day. I don't plan to go competing like you Doug but I certainly plan to increase strength, physical appearance, and overall health.

I would never take a supplement that was borderline "juice" or anything like that, I was just thinking of adding a protein mainly and maybe a preworkout.

Two baby girls and 55+ hours a week at work make it tough to be consistent but I am trying to carve out more and more time each day. Even if it is just 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Chris,I'm 47 and past my prime.I'm serious about making to the gym but I'm not all that serious once I get there lol.My days of competing have been over for about 10 years and I was never all that serious about it then.Most times,I just got egged into entering some contests by my buddies.Some extra protein won't hurt you but I just doubt it's really worth the expense.It's not easy finding time when they kids are little and it's just as tough when they get older.My only chance to hit the gym is before work but I do it religiously.At my age,I'm more concerned about just maintaining a decent shape.I don't worry about making gains or anything like that.
 

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Backwoods,

I've been "active" for most of my life- about 2 decades of powerlifting and bodybuilding, maybe a decade or more balanced with more cardio and less lifting. Then came kids and for the past 5-6 years I did nothing. But in the past year I came out of my rut- Now for the past year martial arts (Braz Jiu Jitsu, BJJ) coupled w/very light weights (heaviest weight I use is a 30 Lb dumbbell).

I'm 45 now, I work out (BJJ) 3-4 x per week. I call it a workout b/c at the end of an hour of training and sparring, I'm more exhausted than I ever was doing heavy weights for 2 hours at the gym, it's a true total body workout. I've only recently been able to do this w/o being sore the next day. On the off days I'll do a routine involving pushups and rows and other exercises w/the dumbells, and alot of ab/core work. Maybe throw in a 20 min bike ride (high intensity) if I'm in the mood.

When I started BJJ I was in the 240-250 Lb range, this was last October. Now, 9 months later, I'm in the 185-190 Lb range, so I lost 50-60 Lb.

And I am alot stronger now than I was weighing 50+ Lb more because quite honestly that extra weight was just fat and prior I was just plain out of shape.

For diet I have changed that quite a bit- not quite a hard core Atkins diet, but I cut out alot of carbs- I used to put 3-4 sugars in my coffee, and I drink at least 10 cups a day. Now if I use any sweetener it's zero-cal Splenda. I used to eat a ton of carbs, pasta, breads, potato chips, etc. Now I rarely touch that stuff. For breakfast I'll make an omelet w/fat-free egg beaters w/low fat cheese, pretty much all protein. Lunch is mostly salads with some protein (can of tuna sprinkled over top), and for dinner I just watch my portions but still eat whatever's there. One biggie is I quite drinking beer. Not a tee-totaler, I was just drinking 4-8 beers a night. Why? I don't know, but I did that for years. Now I stock up on lemon-lime seltzer water, hits any desire I had for a cold carbonated beverage. I also eat alot of non-fat Greek yogurt (plain) and nuts, both high in protein and low in carbs. I've easily cut out 1000 calories a day and I honestly don't miss it.

That all being said independent of any supplements, I'd focus on protein. When I was a teenager and into my early 20s lifting 7 days a week 2 hours a day at the gym, at one point I decided to eat 4-6 hard boiled egg whites with a small glass of milk as my "late night snack"- a protein infusion. I didn't change anything in my workout regimen, but within a month I put 2 inches on my arms and 5 inches on my chest. Just from adding the extra protein!

Lots to consider- but add more protein and cut some carbs and you will see some results! Lots of folks add supplements but IMO unless you are a competitive bodybuilder on a 15,000 calorie/day diet, I don't think they are necessary. You can change quite a bit by simply changing what you eat in the normal sense, at home.

BH
 

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I never took supplements of any sorts and always tried to eat and live healthy.
As a kid I played sports 12 months a year. In the fall I played football, and boxed, spring baseball and in the summer did ocean swimming and rowing since I was sent to the shore all summer.

Bad lungs ran in my family so I never smoked
When I got out of the Navy in 71 I had a 28" waists and had a tough time buttoning the top button on a 17 1/2" dress shirt.
Today, 44 years later I am only 18 lbs heavier then I was. I still exercise, run about 5 miles 5X a week and still do physical labor....by choice.
I do not use salt and the only medicine I take is Claritin for seasonal allergies, and Rolaids if my Irish wife cooks.
I don't use any salt in cooking or added to food, there is enough already.

I never wanted to just look pretty on the beach but set my goal on seeing my 100th birthday.
Guys that tend to be gym-rats fall apart when they stop and get older. Instead of looking for a bulky short term lifestyle that is a bother trying to hit the gym every night and spending more on supplements @ week then your wife does in the food store go for one that you can incorporate into your daily lives and will last a lifetime.
Fresh veggies, fruits and meat, dairy products and water are all you need.
Heavy gym work might make you look good on the outside but inside it grinds you down. By the time your 50 you will be waiting for artificial knees, hips and shoulder sockets.

Its a lot easier to start off on the right path then to start at 30 and play catch up.
Good Luck, and doing something is a lot better and healthier then doing nothing.
 

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Spend your money on something more meaningful then supplements.

Since your asking these questions I would say get on starting strength, strong lifts, or fierce 5. There are others but that's what I would recommend. If you add anything add farmers walk and sprints after lifting. If your pressed for time do sprints, farmers walk, or get on all fours and chase the girls around. Lifting is safe if done correctly. You will have to be consistent. Learn the lifts. Do what feels comfortable for you. Go at your pace and don't rush for numbers.

For your diet don't make it harder then it has to be. Try to eat real food. Potatos, greens, meats, fruits you get the idea. Drink water and milk, treat yourself to some junk food every once in awhile. Eat to your full.

Your going to go through a lot of trial and error. My best advice is to enjoy yourself don't stress yourself out and have fun. Don't paralyze yourself by carb timing this, supplements that, Bro split that. Your gonna get great, bad, good, and horrible advice. It's up to you to decipher all of it. Have fun and be consistent on whatever you decide to do.
 

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All good points.I'm generaly pretty active but sit on a chair for about 11 hours a day.I need to do something so I hit the gym every morning before work.I still lift pretty heavy but I use more machines today and do more reps than I used to.I have several friends who blew bi and tri tendons as well as screwed up their backs and shoulders.To me,it isn't worth it so while I still lift pretty hard,I also realize I'm not 20 years old any more.I need to hit the cardio much harder and I have to eat much better.I haven't had a beer in about 18 years and very rarely every drink soda.I do eat like crap though and that has to stop.
 

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Regarding injuries I find as I get older I need to stretch more as well before any form of workout. In my 20s I used to go into the gym and go straight to the benchpress, no warmup, no stretching. If I did that today I'd probably end up in the hospital


BH
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I appreciate everyone's advice. I did change my diet about 8 or so months ago. I cut out a lot of carbs. When I started tracking what I was eating, it was an average of 500+ carbs a day. I started eating better and brought that average down to about 85 a day and with it lost 26 pounds. Now I bumped it up to a net of 125 carbs a day. In addition to my regular diet I just did add a protein supplement. Did my homework though and got the most basic and pure protein I could find. Avoided a bunch of filler and flavors and chemicals we Americans have grown so accustomed to.
I have recently started working out a little more are home. Doing some cardio and lifting a little bit. We also have the TRX which I really enjoy doing.
 

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I take testosterone booster, creatine, 3 30 gram protein shakes, C4 Pre workout, and BCAA heavy post workout.

And coffee.
 

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If you're not going to compete, why bother with any supplements at all? Eat healthy and save your money. Ill go a step farther if you are not competing, lay off the heavy weights, all working out heavy is going to do is give you joint issues as you age. I swear I wish someone had given me this advice 10 years ago, 5'9" 175lb benching near 400lbs, why? satisfy my ego thats why, lay off the heavy weight and save your joints.
 
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