Biotest

Supplements for Strength & Recomposition


#1

So I’m re-starting on a weight lifting program, StrongLifts 5x5 (setsxreps), with the goals of strength, and hopefully body recomposition (lean mass up, body fat down). Momentarily leaving aside the question of whether LBM can be driven up and body fat down “simultaneously”, which supplements make the most sense and when?

The program–2 alternating workouts:

Workout A
Squats 5x5
Bench press 5x5
Pendlay rows 5x5

Workout B
Squats 5x5
Overhead press 5x5
Deadlift 1x5

Plus warm-up sets. Progression is 5 lbs each workout (assuming you got the 5x5 last workout), but 10 lbs for DLs. My weights aren’t intense yet, though the DLs could get there pretty soon (only at 225 lbs DL, at 155 lbs body weight right now).

I’ve been using Surge Recovery post-workout, eating within 1.5 hours post-workout, meals roughly 3-4 hours through the day, Metabolic Drive Muscle Growth if I have to miss a full meal, and, usually, Metabolic Drive Low Carb before bed. With the secondary goal of body fat percentage reduction, I’m experimenting with keeping a minor caloric deficit on average.

Most mornings, I do a single cluster rep of pull-ups with weight (on the p90x pullup bar)–wide-grip then wide hammer-grip, then shoulder-width hammer-grip then close-grip chins aiming for a strength range of 5 reps per cluster followed by a bit of interval conditioning work, a four minute Tabata, 9 minutes of a Gradually Escalating Protocol (GXP), or 16 minute “quick workout” from You Are Your Own Gym (bodyweight exercises, 20s on, 10s rest). I do that fasted to do a little burning, then follow it with a quarter dose of Surge Recovery.

But there are so many other Biotest supplements! I’m trying to keep things pretty simple and relatively inexpensive, but is there an obviously better supplement plan than what I’m doing to help me get where I want to go?


#2

Regardless of goal, taking care of peri-workout nutrition is crucial. Surge Recovery is a proven supplement, but we suggest you upgrade to <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/plazma"target=“new”>Plazma. Preload one serving before lifting, then have another serving or two during.

Ideally, add a “pulse” or serving of <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/mag-10"target=“new”>Mag-10 an hour later. Many people also use Mag-10 to increase fat loss during conditioning work while at the same time preventing any loss of muscle or strength from the additional “cardio.”

This would allow you to get the most out of your weight training and conditioning, then you could alter you diet the rest of the day to meet your fat loss goals, like keeping carbs on the low side for outside of the lifting window.

<a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/indigo-3g"target=“new”>Indigo-3G would also be great for your goals. In a nutshell, Indigo-3G repairs the underlying issues (dysfunctional nutrient uptake mechanisms and inflammatory fat cells), allowing you to eat for muscle gains without gaining fat and lose fat easily without a super-restrictive diet plan.


#3

Great! Thanks for the advice…Would you add to your advice if I throw a 9 minute GXP session (cardio) after my primary workouts (A&B), perhaps drink some MAG-10 during workouts A and B? (Those A and B workouts get to be about 2 hours when the weights get heavy for me.)


#4

That would be a good idea. Mag-10 is the most potent anti-catabolic on the market, though we don’t mention that benefit often. Plus it’ll help with overall anabolism.


#5

I’m 5’7" on a good posture day, 42, and weigh about 155 pounds. My Tanita scale tells me I’m in the neighborhood of 20% body fat. According to the calculator here (health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditure-advanced ), using my estimated LBM from my weight minus body fat, my total daily energy expenditure on a workout day is about 2800.

Two doses of Plazma and three MAG-10 pulses comes to 801 calories. I assume that I should include those calories in whatever calorie target I go after.

Intriguingly, 2 hours and 20 minutes of moderate activity (which is what that calculator suggests for weight training), pretty much adds right around 800 calories to caloric expenditure for the day, so non-workout days come to 1956 calories.

The three MAG-10 doses should still bite 381 calories out of my non-workout calorie intake target…

That’s just the kind of caloric math one needs to do to make sure you get the results you want, right?

Hm, your suggestions pretty much add up to that Plazma Super Stack, don’t they? Is that intended to be for one month or so? The product page for Indigo-3G suggests that I’d need probably need a second bottle of Indigo-3G to last a month at the best results/maximum dosage for the eight weeks prior to going to maintenance levels.

The Indigo-3G suggests doing the Indigo-3G dosage 30 minutes before the start of peri-workout nutrition, but the super-stack sample schedules have the first Plazma dose and the Indigo-3G dose taken at the same time. Is that a conflict, or is that just a “well, it’s close enough” kind of thing?

I have some Surge Workout Fuel that I haven’t used up. How does that compare to this Plazma/MAG-10 stack for workout time? I notice that Surge Workout Fuel contains MAG-10.

Also, I’m “only” a novice/intermediate lifter, and my weights aren’t pushing my limits yet. Even when they do, they’ll be pretty low by most standards, I’d guess (building up still to last training series’ PRs of: squat 200, overhead press 80, bench 160, Pendlay row 140, deadlift 265). Is there a threshold below which the Plazma/MAG-10/Indigo-3G stack might be overkill, and the Surge Recovery + Low Carb Metabolic Drive for protein intake boosting would be all I need (I wasn’t even using the Surge Workout Fuel unless I’d messed up and forgotten to eat my pre-workout meal in time)?


#6

First, keep in mind that those body fat measuring scales are giant jokes. Very inaccurate, usually listing a much higher body fat percentage. I threw mine out years ago. Christian Thibaudeau says it too and did the same. My doctor even admitted that he uses one in his office to scare people.

Those calorie measurements are also largely jokes. They go by the old a “calorie is a calorie” myth. That number can dramatically change from day to day as well, even if your workout is the same. Plus, things like Mag-10 are thermic in nature, so how do you count a fat-burning carbohydrate using those old school calculations?

So, in short, your methods are very likely inaccurate, so don’t put too much stock into any of those numbers. I don’t even count calories myself. It’s really only good for very obese people who are unaware of what they eat, and competitive physique athletes going after unnatural stage levels of body fat and battling hunger.

The labels for the <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/packages/plazma-super-stack"target=“new”>Plazma Super Stack are viewable at the store, so you can see how long it will last you based on your intake levels there.

Some people use Indigo-3G only pre-training to drive in their workout nutrition and the other benefits. Others who have more of the underlying nutrient uptake and dysfunction fat cell issues need full dosage for at least 8 weeks. It’s up to you.

As for timing, it’s a “close enough” thing.

Surge Workout Fuel is fine, but it’s an older formula. Most who switch to the more advanced Plazma plan never go back. SWF does not contain what’s in the new Mag-10 formula.

What you “need” depends entirely on how serious you are and how hard you train. No, you don’t need Plazma and the other supplements if you’re phoning in your workout. If you’re training hard however and really pushing yourself to the point of breaking, they are ideal.


#7

Thanks for your time and advice!


#8

Wait, if you don’t use those methods for nutrition guidance, what do you use? Something like Precision Nutrition?


#9

[quote]Shadowhawk wrote:
Wait, if you don’t use those methods for nutrition guidance, what do you use? Something like Precision Nutrition?[/quote]

One thing to remember is that if you use Indigo-3G you are now working with an “enhanced” body: you’ll partition nutrients differently (toward muscle growth instead of fat storage). So you can’t always go by some pre-made plan created by someone who doesn’t know you’re on Indigo-3G.

Also, when you take care of peri-workout nutrition, everything else falls into place. You don’t have to over-think exactly how much to eat and when, while counting every calorie and macronutrient. You just avoid the obvious junk food, load up on good foods that support your goals and let it happen.

We do have some suggestions for carb intake while on Indigo-3g however: <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/1617"target=“new”>Indigo-3G Carb Guide

But honestly, it seems that at this point you may be over-thinking things a bit. While we realize you’re not a tall guy, you still weigh 155 pounds. So the nutrition answer is simply: more food. Quality choices of course. By building muscle you’ll also ramp up your metabolism and get rid of what little body fat you may have. And again, taking care of workout nutrition, then putting that nutrition to work with hardcore training, is 80% of the battle.

By the way, I’m your age and gained 16 pounds of muscle in the past year on Indigo-3G and Plazma. Never counted a calorie and over-fussed with macronutrient or meal timing. I just chose healthy foods, never cheated with junk, and adjusted a long the way. If the muscle wasn’t coming on, I ate more. If body fat crept up a bit, I lowered food intake a little. Don’t think you have to pay someone to tell you exactly how many ounces of spinach and oatmeal you should eat. Watch the scale, take photos and tape measurement to monitor progress (better than scale weight), add weight to the bar when you can, and adjust as you go. Indigo makes it all pretty easy.

If you’d like to start a log in the Indigo Projects Logs forum, I’d be glad to pop in and look over your diet plan.