Supplement Advice for Leaning Out

Hey all,

Here’s my question: what are the most effective supplements to help me lean out? I wish I could afford everything offered here on T-Nation, but as an young independent with student loans, that’s just not in the budget at this point.

Here’s some background on me and my training. I’m 19 years old, I’ve been training for about three years now. I started working out under a pretty standard bodybuilding regime, training on a four day split. In the last year I really started focusing more on the big lifts, and the olympic movements, which has been great - improvements in strength and athleticism are always good.

Currently I weigh in at about 195 at 6’1". I have a pretty solid foundation of muscle I think, but I suspect I have about another 10-15 lbs of fat to lose before my physique will really reveal itself. (I can attach some pictures later, if that would help)

Two weeks ago I finally convinced myself to buy Z-12, ZMA, and HOT-ROX. I’ve been greatly enjoying the benefits of all of them. Though I’ve been wondering if those are the most effective supplements for me right now.

My budget for supplements, including a whey protein powder is around $110 per month.

Any input is much appreciated!

Thanks so much!

<a href=""target=“new”>HOT-ROX Extreme is our go-to fat burner, so good choice there, and it contains <a href=""target=“new”>Carbolin 19 so you’re getting a doubly-good effect from a single supplement.

ZMA and Z-12 are great, but of course they’re not directly “fat burners.” (Though it could be said accurately that poor sleep leads to poor eating habits etc.) But if budget is an issue and you really want to focus on fat loss, we’d suggest <a href=""target=“new”>Mag-10. I’ll give you a simple idea that will work regardless of your training and diet strategies since I don’t know much about that part of your plan. Simply replace the evening meal with a pulse of Mag-10. If budget allows, have a pulse after weight training as well.

If you’d like to attach pics, that would be fine. Sometimes when a Biotest user posts pics and asks about fat burners, the answer is “You’re lean enough, focus on muscle building and the fat loss will follow.” Post some pics and we’ll see if you fit into that category. Maybe not!

Hey Chris!

I really appreciate you taking the time to reply!

I’ve attached some photos of myself I took this morning. I also weighed myself, and was at 200lbs on the nose.

(For some reason, I can’t figure out how to upload multiple photos at once, so I’m going to do it in three separate postings)

Here’s one from the front.

Let the influx of douchy selfie photos ensue!

Here’s my attempt to capture my back…

And the legs…

Right now my training is a little bit crazy.

I don’t have access to a gym, but I own a Olympic barbell with one set of 45lbs plates. I also have an adjustable set of dumbells with about 90lbs of plates for that (all told, I also have a door mounted pull-up bar and a 20lbs medicine ball. So I’ve had to get a little creative recently, until I save up enough dough to buy myself some more plates to really be able to do the big lifts with maximum effort.

So right now I’m doing a full body workout 3-4 times per week. It looks something like this, which I do like a complex, resting for about 2-3 minutes before starting again.
Snatch (135lbs) 3-5 reps
Single legged snatch-grip deadlift (135lbs) 5 reps per leg
Over-head press (135) max reps (9 is my record so far)
Pistol squats - 3 per leg (after the second complex it usually falls to 2, as my left leg can’t quite keep up. Yet)
Barbel one handed row (135) for 5 reps (It’s a little too heavy for me to use perfect form, so I cheat a little.)
Medicine ball overhead throw - 8-10 throws
Medicine ball slams 8-12 reps

And I do this complex as many times as I can in 35 minutes - which usually ends up being 3. Every once and a while I’ll make it to four.

I also go on a weighted walk every morning for 35-50 minutes, and do one sprinting session per week.

So that’s my training, if that helps at all.

As for the diet, I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a vegetarian (gasp!) So I try to keep my carbs down and protein high. Lots of cottage cheese, greek yogurt, etc. I try to avoid soy products like the plague, but sometimes I am seduced…
As far as macro nutrient breakdown goes, I haven’t been counting carbs in a long time, or fats for that matter (which probably spells out the delay in my fat loss), but I do try to get in 150-200 grams of protein every day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for the thorough reply.

As you probably know, I’m not fan of vegetarianism if ones goal is to goal muscle. You need saturated fat for one thing, so at least start using plenty of quality coconut oil. Also, you need to supplement with creatine. Mono or malate. We have both in our store. It’s cheap and will do you a world of good as a non-meat eater.

Now, given your age and your pics, I think most would agree that fat loss should not be your main goal. Yes, you’d have more visible abs if you lost 10 pounds of fat, but you would also not look like you lifted weights with a T-shirt on. And it would very tough for you to build significant muscle when always trying to lose fat. That can be done, but you’re still a “newbie” and you’re a vegetarian so that shouldn’t be the main goal and you’re inhibiting yourself with your dietary choices.

Now, saying you need to focus on muscle gain not fat loss doesn’t mean we’re suggesting a “dirty bulk” either. There is a happy medium. Train to gain muscle, eat to gain muscle, supplement to gain muscle and avoid the obvious junk food and what little fat you have will peel off and the muscle comes on. You just need time and experience (and soon, a real gym.)

I’m not trying to be tough on you, just wanted to state the facts: you’re at your peak for gaining muscle; take advantage of it. Don’t eat a diet guaranteed to lower your testosterone levels and don’t be so ab-focused that you waste these fast muscle and strength gaining years. You can maybe supplement around the diet choice, but don’t further hamstring your efforts chasing abs, avoiding carbs (you must have insulin at the right times to build muscle) etc. The abs will come anyway with muscle gains.

So: creatine, no fat burner, Metabolic Drive if your diet allows for it, ideally a workout drink (Surge Workout Fuel, etc.), saturated fat (coconut oil), real gym as soon as you can swing.

Creatine, Coconut oil, Metabolic Drive, and Surge Workout Fuel. Got it.

And thanks for your honesty, I really appreciate it.

Just out of curiosity, why Metabolic Drive, and not MAG-10?.. I’m a little unsure of the differences.

I’ll be ordering your recommendations immediately, and maybe I’ll start another thread to track my progress.

Many thanks!

Metabolic Drive is a protein shake (traditional, thick meal replacement or addition.) Mag-10 is more of an anabolic pulse; it’s not a “shake.” Both a great, but I thought Metabolic Drive would better fit your needs and your busy student schedule as a convenient meal replacement. You can also mix into other foods like oatmeal to add protein or use it as a milk replacement on cereals or other foods. Can’t do that with Mag-10. But it’s up to you of course. Both would help you toward your goals.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.