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About FerrousMaverick

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  • Height
    6'1" (185 cm)
  • Body Weight
    125 kg / 275 lb
  • Squat PR
    450lb (204kg)
  • Press PR
    OHP: 80kg (176lb) 75kg 3RM Bench: 290 lb (131 kg)
  • Deadlift PR
    235 kg (517 lb)
  1. OK, looks like we're no longer being productive. I'm bowing out now.
  2. We agree on caffeine which has a notable effect on power output and minor effect on most other things. If you are taking caffeine, shortly pre-workout is the best time. Creatine is probably the most studied supplement, and it has strong effects on power output and fatigue levels, notably on quite a few other training related effects. However, timing is not important. Whether you take the creatine in the morning supplement or directly before workout has no effect. Nitric Oxide still needs more studies, but according to whats available, Arganine is the standard NO donor, with Citrulline being more bio available. The effects are still being studied, so no comment on that one other than you'll get it from the other two sources listed. It appears that Citrulline might be the better pre-workout compared to arganine taken an hour before training. DMAA is a stimulant, but not nearly as well studied as caffeine. NOTE: if you deal with high blood pressure, you might want to stay away from DMAA particularly when combining it with caffeine. That said, many people overstate the effectiveness of the compounds in pre-workout. Do note that sugar provides energy that is also rapidly able to be converted to ATP which the muscles use during training. Carbs taken pre-workout or even shortly following are sent to where the body needs them most--your muscles. As with any supplement, too much can have a negative impact. At least with sugar we all know pretty much what that impact is and how quickly we can remedy it. The supplements in most pre-workouts fall into two categories: stimulants and fatigue reduction. Another well studied supplement that does well with fatigue reduction is sodium bicarbonate. Like creatine, timing doesn't matter with it as it buffers your blood acidity which can rise during exertion. It's Achilles heel is that is tastes like salty shite. You keep bringing up the strongmen and powerlifters. I also would caution against assuming that because your buddy with the massive 260kg bench swears by it that it must be the reason he can do that. The reason he can do what he does is a combination of hard work and excellent genetics. The genetics account for the largest portion of his success. But some strongmen like Josh Thigpen swear buy it. He might not be chiseled like a bodybuilder, but I wouldn't necessarily call him chunky either. Bottom line is that there is no perfect answer, and use what works for you. Just know what the trade-offs are and don't get mad if people disagree with you. The only reason I responded with counterpoints is because you essentially called me stupid for suggesting chocolate milk. That wasn't necessary.
  3. Believe it or not, I've done some research into the matter. I'm not against supplements, but as far as timing goes the only thing that really plays a big difference is the timing of your carbs (too a much lesser degree your protein). Taking Beta-analine does have a minor effect, so I'm not saying it's worthless--just the effects are sometimes overstated, and the timing of the beta-analine doesn't make any difference. I'm all for doing what you feel is right to get the results you want. But I'm also all for saving a buck when the marginal benefit is such a low return on investment. I can get the same impact in my workout using chocolate milk and a caffeine pill. The only thing in your list of ingredients that does have an impact on timing is that of stimulants like caffiene. I will say, I try to save the caffeine boost for competition days. The more you partake, the less your body responds to it. If you back off for a while, then your body gets re-sensitized and it can make a big difference. As to body composition, a skim chocolate milk isn't any more detrimental to your diet than pre-workouts are. Remember they have sugar too. Just count the calories from your pre-workout toward your daily goal and you'll be fine.
  4. A good place to start is to major on the majors: Always keep in mind the ability to stick to the plan when you are setting it up. Calories in vs. Calories out is going to give you the biggest return on investment. Eat real food whenever possible. Without knowing your friend, the basic process I would do is this: Start with just getting in the gym. Strength training can jump start things in the right direction. Maintain the current food intake and start making small tweaks. Choose food you make over food you buy at a restaurant whenever possible. Eat vegetables with your meat. Personally, I've found small adjustments work best for me. As to macros, keep it simple. 1.8 g protein / 1 kg target body mass (when in doubt use your current body mass) -- 0.8 g protein / 1 lb for Americans Carbs and fat in the right proportions to keep you satisfied. At least 20% of the calories should be from fat I find I do better with a diet heavier in carbs, but it wasn't always that way. Listen to your body. If there's a lot of fat to remove, then adjust your calories down by 100-200 kcal per day. If you eat more protein it won't hurt you, but it won't help either.
  5. Chocolate milk is my favorite... Honestly, you don't really need a "pre-workout" as they come prepackaged. The powerlifters and strongmen I know who like something before working out recommend something with a little protein and a lot of carbs. Chocolate milk is among the first items listed.
  6. The way my old coach explained it to me was that our max genetic potential goes down and our risk of over-training goes up when we are pushing close to the genetic potential. Thing is, most of us here are probably not working anywhere close enough for that to be a concern. Just work steadily toward your strength goals and see where it takes you.
  7. "The burn" may not be the right way to think about it. When you are used to doing something, you need to vary it in some way to keep progressing. A good way to do that is to slow it down. For example, count 4 seconds as you crunch up and 8 seconds as you slowly go back down. Or simply do more crunches.
  8. @Boola, done. Left a link for people who may stumble on it in the women's section, and the link will autodelete in 30 days.
  9. Yes... The biggest thing that affects how much fat you lose is your diet. Period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. Biggest thing I would focus on is losing a small amount each week (roughly 1 lb / week), and keep going until your weight loss stalls. Then I'd maintain for a while (a few months) before going for round two. Having 1g/1lbs protein with some fruites and veggies is a good foundation for a diet. I might recommend some oatmeal or some other form of carbs that is pretty low density (i.e. a lot of food for a little bit of calories). It does wonders while you get active to keep you going.
  10. OK. I think I've heard of that before.
  11. So, what software are you using? I am intrigued.
  12. Honestly, the type of strap you need really depends on how you intend to use it. The first kind I listed (standard straps) are great for just general purpose work, and they are the cheapest version of strap you can buy. Eventually, they do break, but it usually takes a lot of use and abuse before that happens. The last kind I listed (weightlifting straps) are best for folks doing the Olympic style weightlifting. Because they don't wrap around the bar as many times, they let you dump the bar quickly without getting tangled up. The WOW straps (strongman straps) are best for non-standard loads. They support your wrist and the bar, so you can handle heavier loads than any of the other alternatives. However, because they wrap around so much, there is no quick release. They are a deadlift tool. The only other thing I can say is don't be too dependent on them. They are a great tool when you are going for that overload work, or if your regimen has you training your grip doing other things and you just don't want to overdo it.
  13. To be honest I never heard of them before. When I looked them up on Amazon, they looked kind of gimmicky and way overpriced for what you get. You'll probably get better performance from the cheaper straps like these: However, for really big weights or really big bars (like an axle), the Why Our Way lifting straps are probably the best: They are super long and wrap around your wrist and bar in a way that supports the weight better than you can believe. They're not cheap, but they perform well for axle deadlifts as well as standard deadlifts. Something the Cobras couldn't do if they wanted to. There's one more style of strap designed for weightlifters because they need a quick release:
  14. Oh, and one more thing to avoid frustration later: weight loss is not linear. Some good advice from Dr. Israetel:
  15. Just to add some more perspective regarding exercise theory, I think it's best to point out some clarifications that can show you how the advice is not necessarily contradictory: Progressive overload is required to get stronger--but there is more to it than weight on the bar You need to increase the amount of recoverable volume in your routine over time. You can lose weight and get stronger at the same time: the key is being moderate There's a few articles about recovery and training volume you can find over at Juggernaut Training Systems and Strengtheory. Both of those resources put out top notch articles from people who know a thing or three about strength training, and many are backed by studies or explain what studies actually tell us and don't tell us. I'll just explain some of the fundamentals here and hopefully it will make sense: Progressive Overload The general idea is that if you never require more from your body, your body won't try to build bigger/stronger muscles. However there are several ways of measuring the work you are doing and they all work: More weight on the bar: obvious one here. If you can lift more weight than you could before, you are stronger. More reps at the same weight: If you can lift for more reps at the same weight, you are stronger. Less time to do the same work: If you can do the same work in less time, you are stronger. More training volume per training cycle: kind of goes with reps and weight, but the focus is on overall training volume per cycle rather than per session. There's a few more things to consider, but this alone will help with the fact that progressive overload comes in many shapes and sizes. Novice programs emphasize weight on the bar because the rate of adaptation increases faster than the weight on the bar to a point. That point is different for everyone, but a couple universal truths to apply: that threshold gets lower as you get older, and when you maximize one aspect you have to change something to keep progressing. Diet vs. Strength There's a misconception that if you diet, you have to throw out any notions of getting stronger. There's an equal misconception that if you want to get stronger, you have to throw out any aspirations of getting smaller. The thing is, diet affects your body's ability to recover from exercise. As long as you don't go on extremes, you can see both a moderate growth in strength and a moderate reduction in body fat. Disclaimer: I hired Greg Nuckols to help me do just that, and he helped me shed ~30 kg and increase my max total by over 50kg in the same period of time while I was in my early/mid 40s. I've also been at it a bit so that's no easy feat. Bottom line: Calories are king. Adjust so that you are losing no more than 1% BW a week. If you are losing 0.5kg-1kg a week you should be happy. Protein is queen. Make sure you are getting enough protein. That's 1.5g protein per kg target body weight (when losing weight). Carbs help recovery. Most important post workout and in the AM. Higher fiber content is better as it helps you stay full. Fat is also necessary. 20-30% of your calories should be from fat (less when losing weight). There aren't any magic formulas here. The more you choose low density foods (more volume of food per calorie you eat) the more satisfied you'll be. With the diet that Greg put me on, I was struggling to get the necessary carbs because I was so full. In fact I was more full than when I was eating more calories. If necessary, add another meal. It should go without saying, but fried foods pack a huge amount of calories in with very little food in comparison. On the other side of the equation, just go for slow and steady improvement with your strength program. Adding 2.5-5kg a month is still progress, and a lot easier to recover from than adding that much a week. Recovery Your body has a finite amount of ability to recover from exercise. The folks at Juggernaut like to use the analogy of a cup with a hole in the bottom. The work you do fills the cup with water. The hole in the bottom represents your body's ability to recover from the work. The cup itself represents your work capacity. If the cup overflows, you've gone into overtraining and you have no choice but to take time off to get back to normal. Recovery is any activity you do to help your body repair itself, and includes the following: Sleep: this is #1 critical. You burn more calories and build more muscle while you sleep than at any other time of the day. Not to mention the other health benefits. Rest: not training is rest, and this is one of the reasons that many programs have you training only 3-4 times a week. Eating: eating more food does help recovery to a point, and anything more than that will just pack on fat. Carbs post workout will help with the protein uptake. When dieting, you have to just have to be careful to keep your diet reasonable. Epsom salt baths: it can help sooth sore muscles and improve recovery time. Again, there's more, but this should at least get you started. Cardio There's been some studies that show that low and slow cardio can in fact help you recover from strength training more quickly and improve your overall work capacity. The key is the mode of training. High impact activities like running can make things worse, but cycling and swimming can be a great way to burn those extra calories and help with recovery. 20 minutes a day is really all that's necessary. There's more info at Strengtheory.