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Old 08-11-2011, 07:03 AM
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Starting to Work Out - Supplements

So, starting yesterday, I began my regiment of working out. I'm going into my junior year of highschool, and I weigh about 100 pounds (yeah, I'm one of those really naturally skinny guys). This is a problem for me. After high school I would like to join the military, and hell, in highschool I would like to get a bit better at sports. There just is no reason for me to not be working out more (before this, I did, but nothing concrete or regimented).

I got a membership to my local gym, and now I'm ready. I'll leave the workouts themselves to another thread if need be, because for now this one is for the supplements I'm taking. In your opinion, what should I be taking if I wish to bulk up, and then cut down? Bulking up will be the hardest thing. Ever. I resist weight gain like it's the devil. I figure if that is so, cutting down will be much, much easier.*

My first and current method of bulking up, is eating every 3 hours. I see it is reccomended a lot. The only issue, is that I tend to do this normally, it's nothing new to me really. I mean of course now it will be a mission to not miss one of these meals, but in most cases I do not, so this is not the answer.

My second method is GNC XXX mass gainer. I make two shakes and drink them every day (although I have only been doing so for two days) one after breakfast or with lunch, and one after working out. I'm hoping this will do a big trick. One thing that caught my eye though, was that it featured 5g of creatine. I've never heard good things about it, except that currently it mimics my goal (Bulk up, stop taking it, cut down).

So this brings another question. What are the details behind creatine? I did searching on this forum and a few others, and I could not get a general idea about it. I know it's not a steroid and I know it's naturally occurring, but so are poisonous elements, so this tells me nothing. I'm asking for the things that you athletes would know that I can't get from the internet due to the litter of advertisements. To sum up my questions about creatine:

What is the issue with the water weight?
Is it healthy for your body, namely, the liver?
Should I use it for my idea of working out?

Thank you, I'm hoping someone sees where I am going with this and helps me out.

*Also on a side note, should I be doing cardio on the same day as a lower body workout while bulking up, or should I just work out my legs but no cardio until I get to the cutting down phase about 40 pounds later?

Sorry for the massive intro post.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:56 AM
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first off you need to switch your gainer. BSN True Mass or Gaspari Real Mass destroy anything GNC makes. They incorporate cleaner protein sources that absorb better and are lower in lactose. creatine monohydrate is pixie dusted on most gainers to use as a selling feature.
you need to be using your gainer 3 x daily. first thing in the am, post workout, and pre bedtime are key times to use these gainers to promote gains.

Your goal should be to aim for 150-170g of protein daily in divided doses. this should come half from protein supplementation and half from dietary sources. add 500-600g carbs daily to spare the protein for the muscle to use. with a high metabolic rate, higher carbs prevent the body from burning protein as energy. Always make carb choices from yams, oats, brown rice, and clean weight gainers like the ones mentioned above.

Creatine is designed to recycle ATP, which is a key energy source for the muscle. ATP is an important source of energy for the muscle when it attempts bursting actions such as weight lifting, sprinting, and jumping. when creatine is used, higher ATP levels can create an increase in strength and endurance, this is obviously important when the goal is to create an increase in muscle size.

Your goal should be to lift heavy heavy heavy; minimize cardio. designate 1-2 days for just cardio, and don't do cardio on weight days. your days should include a leg, back, arm, shoulders, and chest day. divided each in their own day. choose 3-4 exercises per body part, and do a lot of sets. the last 2-3 sets should be pushed to extreme failure- while using correct form. this will tax the muscle to promote growth of new tissue. compound exercises such as dumbell presses for chest and shoulders, squats dead lifts and lunges, should be your major exercises. skip the cheesy cables and machines. use those as a burn out exercise at the end of the workout.

collaborate the heavy lifting routine with the diet recommended and its a recipe for muscle growth, scientifically proven. add bcaa's as your 2nd supplement as it can spare glycogen which will create an optimal, yet natural, anabolic environment in the muscle. BCAA's will also increase recovery as they are the only 3 amino acids that are synthesized in the muscle as opposed to the liver. With quicker recovery you are able to push harder, for longer.

Hope this helps a bit Good luck
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:18 AM
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Registered Dietitian here.
I would not recommend any supplements if you're just starting to work out and/or if you're doing sports for recreational purpose (in other words you're not a pro). It's a waste of money and it may affect you negatively in the long run (e.g. high protein diets).
There hasn't been any extensive research on creatine supplementation. Most of the studies have a small sample of volunteers and are inconsistent in findings. It's also hard to eliminate other variables when making research on supplementation: was it the creatine, for example, was it the source, was it the amount, the method of delivery, so on and so forth. Heck even the making of the supplements it's not even a standardized process, why would you want to spend your money if you don't know for sure if what you're getting is what's advertised on the bottles. There's a reason why the health claims found on most supplements/foods are not approved by FDA. My advice is to approach them with skepticism.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:13 PM
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^^^^^AGREED^^^^^

As athletes it is recommended not to take supplements since they are unregulated and you can get into trouble really quickly with drug testing, ignorance isn't a defence. Eating properly and a solid exercise regimen will allow you to put on weight perfectly fine. You don't need to be taking supplements unless you are training at a certain level and you are not. I strongly oppose the use of supplements because of unfounded claims as to what they do and people are too stupid to actually question them. They just eat it up. The only time I take a supplement which is just extra protein is during training camp. I can reach swim volumes in excess of 15km a day easily and that is only a few weeks out of the year. The rest of the time proper diet accounts for all my bodies needs. I also have been a triathlete for 8 years and never taken a supplement. In 2008 I raced in the age group world championships for the olympic distance. Again no supplements. Not many friends in the sport took supplements either. Just ate properly and took proper steps to recover.

Now, as someone who spent 8 years with the military..... you don't need supplements and you don't need to be huge to be in the military. You need to be athletic and be able to use your brain. You seem to be a long way from the point of enlisting so your body will change naturally and you will get bigger between now and then. That is how the body works, unless you're a dwarf, in which case size will be limited. I started military training when I was 16 and had never spent time in a regimented weight program. The only time I had lifted weights was in gym class during the weight training block. I didn't start lifting weights until I was 18 (didn't really last all that long though). Much of the training done during basic is designed to get you ready for the physical and mental tasks expected of you. I wasn't the biggest guy when I joined and it was tough because of smaller size but the training shapes you. Up until joining I played volleyball, basketball, baseball, track and cross country. I can also tell you that just bulking up will not get you close to being fit for military service. In the case of the infantry I have seen many a jacked person fall behind in a forced march or extended time in the field. This is because they are not fit.


I have no idea what this junior year of highschool is but it sounds like you're young and still have a lot of growing to do. I was 5'4'' going through grade 10/11 and no idea how much I weighed. I would reckon close to 110 though. I'm 6' now and weigh 170+ on average depending on what type of training I am doing at any given time. My first year swimming I was 150 going into my final competition and I felt it negatively impacted by results. The subsequent summer I bulked up because my ability in the sport would benefit and spent 3 months in the weight room. I spent 3 days in the gym as well as running, cycling, and swimming each week. In this time I put on ~20 lbs and it benefited the subsequent swim season. Not once did I take a supplement during this period. Focus on being on athlete, that is, someone who is fit in all areas. I can go to any gym and pick out all the meat-heads and all but a few will be in poor physical condition even if they are good at lifting pieces of metal attached to a rod.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeraldeyes_bc View Post

Your goal should be to aim for 150-170g of protein daily.
This is way too much protein intake for someone of his size. He should be taking in about 2 grams of protein for every kg of weight. It should be more like 90 to 100 grams. Too much protein intake can cause kidney failure. He is just starting to work out and there is no way he will be eliminating enough protein through weight training this early in the game. I do agree with what everyone else has said. You don't need supplements. Heavy weights and minimal cardio will bulk you up. Try to move up in weight every 2 weeks. Even if you can't do as many reps moving up in weight will bulk you up. Eat a high caloric diet with a balanced amount of protein, carbs and fat.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:28 AM
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I need to work out, but not until doc says its ok.......
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:38 PM
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Try to move up in weight every 2 weeks. Even if you can't do as many reps moving up in weight will bulk you up. Eat a high caloric diet with a balanced amount of protein, carbs and fat.
This was one of the biggest factors in my weight gain. After the initial 2-3 weeks of low weights to allow the muscle memory to return and familiarize muscles with specific movements every single week I moved up in weight. This is one of the more important parts of the routine. Every 2-3 weeks is more realistic for someone starting out. You don't have the muscle memory, muscle and maybe not the mental fortitude to have workouts kill you 3+ times a week every week.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:03 PM
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Interesting first post for a pants forum

If you take mass gainers and still can't gain weight... there might be something wrong. I started taking creatine back in high school my junior year and it worked wonders for me (granted I played sports throughout the year growing up). Sure a lot of the weight is water weight (kinda makes you look a little bigger/bloated) and it's not exactly the best for your liver (but hey neither is alcohol), nevertheless I got great lifts in and in return I got great results.

IMO, I would hit the gym for at least a couple months before deciding whether you wanted to take any pre-workout supplements and get a personal trainer if you can.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:14 PM
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I'm also a naturally skinny guy and wanted to chime in. The fact of the matter is that adding 40 pounds to your 100 pound frame is probably not going to happen until you get a bit older. When I was in my early 20s I also tried bulking up to no effect. When I was a teenager I ate insane amounts of food and never gained mass. Some people just have metabolisms and bodies that will never allow them to be huge.

That said, once I did start lifting weights on a regular basis I bulked up a bit and now have shape and tone to my body. I also eat way more than anyone I know, but by any definition I'm still considered thin. Just don't get discouraged if you're still thin 6 months from now, it may just be how your body is. I know it is tough at that age being thinner than everyone, but in 10-15 years when everyone your age is fat, you'll still be looking good!
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:47 AM
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Sorry for the delay, for some reason my ipad refuses to let us write on AF it randomly closes the page and we lose anything we've written... so you can imagine trying to write anything more than a few words is VERY frustrating!
and my husband really wanted to answer this one and its on the tiny phone screen so please sorry in advance for mistakes....


"First off let's make a few things clear, to the registered dietitian my words will be easiest to understand as I too have a degree in nutrition. I am also a former university and professional athlete, as we as currently own and operate a sports nutrition store. Not only do I understand the technical physiology of how muscle tissue is created, but I can personally attest to the situation as i have had to apply it to my own regimen.
My problem during my years in university, is many who are in the position to pass on the word of performance nutrition have no clue how to apply it to themselves. I am certain many here would never hire a personal trainer who looks, and is physically less fit them themselves. There is much more validity to any theories when it is applied to ones personal life, especially in the area of performance nutrition.
I must apologize for the grey area caused in regards to supplementation - and the concerns that go with them. I do my work in Canada, however did all my university in the USA. In Canada, no supplement can be legally sold if a certain level of testing is not done on the ingredients the product itself contains. This is not only to keep the public safe, but to prevent consumers from wasting their money. In Canada, any claim done on a natural supplement must show clinical proof of effectiveness. That being said, results will always vary, and testimonials on drastic results are on a case to case basis.

To put out the fire on the creatine - its very simple. Creatine has been proven to be safe, and effective for its intended purpose. PERIOD. 20 years ago when Bill Phillips created this magical substance there was most definitely discrepancies in the studies that were conducted. In 2012, there are HUNDREDS of published, reputable, 3rd party studies that have proven that this supplement is safe, and effective. Now, I believe, the major problem was the expectation. When looking at the raw science creatine is designed to help the muscle cell utilize ATP. For those who don't know, ATP is an energy source within the muscle that is used during quick burst actions, such as weight lifting, sprinting, and jumping. Certain forms of the substance can draw water into the muscle giving a false sense of muscle growth. When a person is instructed PROPERLY, a well hydrated, volumized muscle is a perfect environment for growth and repair, obviously pending diet and proper training are involved.
The negative stigma on creatine came from its improper use. Most creatine must piggy back to the muscle via glucose, therefore must be taken with a simple sugar. When this step is not taken it will simply go unabsorbed into the muscle, and go digested like a food and can cause gastrointestinal distress for the sensitive person. To confirm, when taken properly at the right dose, creatine is safe and effective for its intended purpose.

In terms of supplements in general being safe, we should consider what is the only, socially acceptable supplement people can use as a protein/carb supplement. I am sure our dietitian friend can confirm this. Boost, ensure, and all the other heavily marketed supplements that are pounded in mainstream media are the only ones the medical community "approve" of. For the person who was discussing ignorance, i agree with them. It is ignorant to believe that a powder or a pill of any sort can be the sole reason you will get to where you need to be. Have any of you looked at a label of Boost or Ensure? it's a liquid chocolate bar. 3-4 different forms of refined sugar plague those labels, Pixie dusted quantities of protein and vitamins are slapped all over the label to trick people into thinking its healthy. But why is it socially accepted as a supplement? because dietitians approve.
I do not want to get into Boost or Ensure too deep here, but the purpose of me bringing up this issue was to simply discredit the validity of the "medical communities" opinion on supplements simply because they are a dietitian. I am one, but I do not practice as a result of it being as corrupt and full of BS as the rest of the medical community. People are quite jaded, almost angry, at supplements and the people that take them. I think it has partly to do with the terrible marketing behind them, and the fact that many ignorant people believe that the reason why they gained or lost 20lb is solely due to the supplement itself. The supplement is simply a bridge to ones diet, in order to fill in the gaps that we are unable to attain with our degraded food system. Or wait, should we council this youngster to eat the "4 basic food groups" to achieve his goal? How about chocolate milk post workout for his recovery? do any sheep out there really believe that nonsense? the unfortunate fact is yes, people do. Until we educate ourselves, and recognize what is correct for US, we will still buy $50 bottles of fat burners and weight gainers, and wonder why they didn't work. Its not the supplement itself that is doing the work, its your diet and routine as a WHOLE that will or Wont work for you.

I understand the US of A is going through some tough times financially, as well as with their FDA. Again, causing much of this grey area with supplements being safe. Until they model agencies like HEALTH CANADA, people will always question the safety because they should. It doesn't take much for a supplement company to put something together and throw it inside a store. To protect yourself, and your wallet, always go with large reputable brands that have been around for years.

Now, to put out the fire about the 150-170g protein recommendation. That amount of protein, will cause NO organ distress. That comment was ridiculous and has absolutely no validity. Show me a study, (not done at a senior's home with people suffering from cirrhosis) that proves that statement. Ignorant diets such as the high trans fat, high protein commercial diets that i will not name, will cause elevated ketones and can put the kidneys into overdrive. My recommendation was hardly the Atkins diet.(ok I maybe I will name it) My diets that I put my clients on for the purpose of weight gain, contain high amounts of fiber, 3-4x the carb content, and a high fat content (good fats only - if you'd like to learn more, attend one of my seminars that I conduct on a regular basis)

This kid asked how to gain weight. I simply gave him a brief description as to how it can be done with his food, his training routine, and his supplements. All of it has scientific theories, ESPECIALLY THE PROTEIN QTY. I agree with the person who said that he should worry about being athletic, as opposed to being a giant meatball. This is very true. But there is no reason, why he cannot be both. REAL athletes, are both. he is small, and putting on 20lb of muscle will hardly turn him into a meathead. But again, the automatic jadedness of putting on muscle turns on the defense mechanism in so many people that they go for the meathead throat. I kid the meatheads as much as the next guy, but I'll kid the gangly goofy guy that has more estrogen than my daughter. There is no reason, why he cannot train to put on 20lb of clean muscle, while still training to be athletic, and military ready. He should be training like a pro athlete. Or is that bad too? just because he isn't a pro athlete, should he not train like one? It seems that the anti meatheads are quite often endurance 'athletes" and are the most jaded. During my years as a PAID PRO athlete, I would lift like a body builder, but condition train like an endurance athlete, and run circles around those endurance 'athletes"

I am the performance nutritionist for the athletic dept of the university athletes, as well as council clients at the other end of the scale. My seminars for women's weight loss groups, and child and infant nutrition allow me to help people achieve their goals via their diet. People need to understand supplements are only part of their diets.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:46 AM
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I didn't read through your entire lengthy post because quite honestly I could care less about supplements because I don't take them and am doing just fine gaining muscle mass with diet,exercise and weight training. I will however address you saying that too much protein isn't a problem. I am a registered nurse and have cared for a patient that was 22 years old and went into acute kidney failure due to consuming an excessive amount of protein. The recommended amount of protein for an athlete is 2 grams per kg of body weight. If you can find literature that suggests anymore than that I would love to see it. I read many fitness books and magazines and have never seen a higher recommendation. If you are a nutritionist you know that a 100 lb. man is only 45 kg therefore he should be consuming around 90 grams of protein for weight training. There is absolutely no reason at all for you to recommend that this young boy consume 150 to 160 grams of protein. You may be used to working with athletes that weigh a lot more than him and the 150 to 160 grams is just what you usually recommend. You really should be careful when telling anyone to consume anything without knowing the harm it can do.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:54 AM
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Same here. First, I didn't read through the post since it's too long. It was enough for me to see that you own a supplement store to understand where you're coming from. It's completely understandable that we are all driven by certain things including convictions but it's probably wise not to make concrete recommendations and to label them as "law" if you don't know the medical history of the individual, life style, and other factors.

Secondly, this kid is not an athlete therefore he should not go crazy on supplements without supervision of an RD who is specialized in sports nutrition and/or a doctor/nurse who can run periodic tests, interpret them, AND make scientifically sound tailored recommendations. See the words: registered (R), doctor, nurse, tests, interpretation, science, AND "tailored"... which means that we are not all the same. And since we're here, I'm pretty sure that not ALL athletes would be advised to take in 2 gms or more of protein/kg body wt.
See, I didn't mention coach, chiropractor, massage therapist, or a nutritionist. We need the licensed professionals. I cannot and will not be in a court of law, perform surgeries, or teeth extractions because I do not have the classroom experience, supervised practice, etc.... to do all those things. I specialized in infectious disease (HIV/AIDS) and, of course, I can practice good ol' medical nutrition therapy.

Now, we cannot all be part of an athletic club/pro sports team that pays an RD or any other health professional. Also, as I stated before, not all of us practice sports at a professional level therefore we should all stick to balanced nutrition and practice common sense that too much of anything (including "good things") is bad for you. Even if we now think that some of the nutritional supplements are harmless, we do not have good longitudinal data to inform us on long term effects. Why we do not have good longitudinal studies.... that's a totally different story. Money and time are pretty good damn reasons, I think.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:00 PM
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You guys realize that OP posted this 6 months ago...right?
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:04 PM
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^ Yeah, I saw it too I have just sent the OP a quick email, maybe he'll come back? Or it's some kind of spam?
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:12 PM
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Son of whatever-whatever. I did not.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:15 PM
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Bahahahaha my bad ROFL
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:46 PM
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Ooops, Hope he didn't die from kidney failure kidding
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:51 PM
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:23 PM
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Omg, did you really type that HUGE post (sorry, I didn't read it either, it was too long) on an iPhone? Aren't your thumbs tired
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:45 PM
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Hahahaha He started to then must have got on a role because he stole my daughters netbook lol
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:46 PM
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that was a super awesome necro bump
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the email, I gotta say, nice seeing some responses after 6 months.. heh.

Well thanks for all the advice I suppose. I'm still conquering the same issue, I believe I could agree with the person who said some people will never get big. I have been consistently working out and eating as much as I can since then and... not much has changed.

But hey, I appreciate the help
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Stelmack View Post
Thanks for the email, I gotta say, nice seeing some responses after 6 months.. heh.

Well thanks for all the advice I suppose. I'm still conquering the same issue, I believe I could agree with the person who said some people will never get big. I have been consistently working out and eating as much as I can since then and... not much has changed.

But hey, I appreciate the help
Yep, it's just how your body is. Keep doing your best, I didn't start to gain real mass until after college and like I said I'm still thin. Now all the people that were bigger than me in HS and college are fat and out of shape, so you'll win in the long run
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:48 AM
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Your objective should be to aim for 150-170g of proteins everyday in separated amounts. this should come 50 percent from proteins supplements and 50 percent from nutritional resources. add 500-600g carbohydrates everyday to extra the proteins for the muscle to use........
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:32 PM
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Well the simple reality is that, including 30 pounds to your 80 lb structure is probably not going to occur until you get a bit mature.
When I was in my beginning 18s I also tried bulking up to no impact. When I was a youngster i ate crazy quantities of meals and
never obtained large.
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