New Supplement Regimen - Thoughts?

Next week I start back with speed work, weightlifting, and tempo, basic CF style training. I’m approaching this with a major emphasis on supplements right now. I’m training with my friend who’s looking to walk onto a JC football team, and I’m gonna do everything he’s doing. Most importantly, he needs to pack on the pounds and up his limit strength big time. The program is sound, but right now I really want to get his/mine supplements down to maximize his progress and get as much as we can out of the next 3 months.

-NO Explode: He’ll be taking this before his weightlifting (we’re doing a WS4SB weight split) 3x a week
-Creatine: Takes this on days he doesn’t take NO Explode, 3g dose in the morning
-Cytofuse: Taken 3x a week after each weightlifting session
-Whey Protein: Takes one shake a day at his discretion, ~22g of protein, low in carbs and fat
-Multivitamin: Standard stuff, taken with breakfast
-Frost: Taken the meal after training on all days
-ZMA: Taken each night before going to be

Could you guys think of anything else that might be beneficial? We don’t have unlimited budget, but it is substantial enough. Also, does anyone see any problems with the mixing of everything listed above? In particular the high amounts of B vitamins that will result from taking NO Explode, ZMA, and Frost all on one day (I’m thinking it’s like %3000 daily value). Also, the fact that a ton of vitamins are in all that stuff and that perhaps there might be some conflict in absorption with everything? I’m not quite the expert on nutrition that I like to think I am like in training, so any help would really be appreciated.

I continue to preach desiccated liver, reply if you want to know my experience with it.

if he want to add weight he needs to up his carb intake, creatine will help with that aswell, but i like using creatine after workouts and arginine before. i think with the b vitamins you will just piss out what you dont need, so you may have very expensive urine.

I think you pretty much have it all covered. Any fishoils going to be included? That may be about it from what I can see. Looks pretty good.

Supplements aren’t that great. Don’t waste much time and money on them. All I take is an EFA sup(which is really just food).

Mister C,

What is N0 Explode and Cytofuse?

What’s the diet look like? I’d much rather put the money into quality foods (blueberries, pineapple, salmon, etc.) than things like NO Explode. Those supps also aren’t going to do much if you guys aren’t eating a lot.

I’ve already stressed the importance of diet to him (I’ve pretty much cleaned up my act since about June 2005), and I know that at his house he gets a lot of clean foods, especially with the way his mom cooks around there. I’m actually pretty jealous of that actually. The key for him is going to be eating enough, but I’ll continue to stress the importance of that to him.

Cytofuse is a post-workout protein shake, not sure of the exact Protein and Carb values off the top of my head, but I live and die by that shake for post-workout nutrition. It’s technically off the market right now, but you can still order it from a lab out in Chicago. Plus, it tastes great.

The NO Explode comes on high recommendation from a friend, and in addition after searching through the forum I read enough about it from some respected opinions to believe it worth a trial run. There’s quite a bit in the forumulation, but from what I can tell it’s mostly amino acids, including arginine, in addition to some major doses of B vitamins and cell volumizers, like taurine and creatine, and then a few vitamins/minerals.

Back to the point at hand, I know from personal experience that if you’re eating enough (which he will be), supplements make all the difference in the world. I went from being what you would call a hard-gainer to a guy who people thought had dabbled on steroids, and that was just on creatine and taking cytofuse after weightlifting workouts. Yes, I realize that what you actually eat food-wise will always be more important than supps, but the supps can give you so much in addition to what you’re eating that I really am a firm believer in them.

Cortese, I thought about fish oils, but I’ve really been skeptical of the quality of the stuff I can find around here. From what I’ve read up on, most of the stuff in the liquid capsule form is basically useless, and the actual oil is hard to store for any length of time. Is this true? Do you think that fish oil is really that beneficial in terms of helping recovery and training?

Juggler, are you serious about the dessicated liver? If so, what have your experiences been with it, and what exactly does it do for you? I’m open to all suggestions that have some basis to them.

Thanks everyone, I’m really looking forward to the results that should be coming in the next few months. Hopefully nutrition and supplementation will be of the same quality as the training for this kid, he really needs to add as much weight as possible, because 5’9 and 150lbs will not cut it in college football, even if he does say he’s only playing JC, he needs to realize that it is still very competitive and no walk in the park, so I want to be able to give him the physical tools he needs to at least compete with everyone.

If he is taking in enough quality foods and lots of protein, 20lbs should be very easy to add. I added 10+lbs of just muscle (I assume just muscle because my bodyfat % dropped significantly while increasing 10lbs) without even trying to bulk up (even making SOME attempts to keep weight the same). I understand the stress of diet, I just think it could be bettered even a bit more, at least, in volume. Have him eat a full bucket of cottage cheese (not hard to down with water) for breakfast with some fruit (blueberries and pineapple preferred)–that would be a nice big start to the day.

I still think the NO explode is a bit overrated when compared to the amount of protein one could buy and such. It could be a good extra, but it would be the LAST thing I would buy.

Why wouldn’t I be? Since you apparently find that ridiculous, I’ll do a seach on Medscape, etc. and see if there are any studies, since my anecdotal experience isn’t enough of a “basis”.

No, no, I’m sorry if it came off that way. What I’m saying is that a lot of times people, as a joke, will make sarcastic remarks about supplements and then recommend some “magic” thing that will solve all problems if only you take it. I couldn’t tell if that was what you were doing or if you were serious. That’s all.

Anecdotal experience is certainly enough of a ‘basis,’ and your comments about it would be more than welcome.

Here’s my experience with desiccated liver tablets–

The protocol I was advised on by a friend who swears by them is to take one a day for a week/ten days, then two a day, then three, up to whatever I felt comfortable with. I did so, and after about 2 weeks I noticed that at the end of the day when I was otherwise wiped, I still had some energy. I 've been taking them on and off for 7 years, and here’s my take. They definitely increase work capacity. I think, but am not 100% sure, that there is some increase in intensity capacity, but there is no doubt about daily volume capacity. I can do more without fatigue and recover better. There is a slight feeling in the muscles that they can do more, too, which seems to add a psychological boost to encourage me to keep going. I think, but am not sure, that there is a small strength increase too. Not sure, because it may just be not feeling as tired that gives the added strength, rather than anything the liver itself is doing. I don’t feel upped, though, not like a stimulant at all, just I don’t get as tired. There are some possible negatives and some cautions. Firstly, DO NOT TAKE TOO MUCH. You have to ramp up your dosage, adding no more than one a week. One time I took too many, b/c I was real tired and thought it would help. It didn’t, and I felt like crap. One a day can be just fine, add one per week if you like, but no more than that. The most I ever took was 3/day. I have heard claims that more is better, but haven’t done it myself. Also, make sure you do enough exercise, since you will have too much energy at the end of the day and might not sleep --I’ve been bitten by that several times. Also, your normal tiredness sensor doesn’t “go off” at your usual time, so you could overdo your workload if you don’t watch it. There is a slight tendency towards stiffness, which manifested as tightness in the hamstrings. I didn’t see this at 1/day, but at 3 I did. DO NOT TAKE IT LATE, it will likely inhibit your ability to sleep. I take it with breakfast. Lunch is okay, but no later. It works so well for recovery and energy that you may think of it as a magic pill. It’s not. It can only do so much, and you don’t turn into Superman. You can still overload/overstress yourself, so explore your newfound capacity gradually. You may ask, if it works so well, why don’t I take it all the time? On days when I’ll be doing a lot physically, I do. On days when I’ll be sitting around a lot, I don’t.
I’ve found that 1/day is fine for me, I may ramp back up since my battery has been low of late, but I am always careful of the energy-inhibiting-sleep effect. However, it does improve your ability to function on less sleep, so if you haven’t gotten enough Zs on a given day, take some at breakfast and you’ll be less sluggish. Ask me about anything I left out.

Out of curiosity, are there any side-effects that you have experienced or anything in the long term that has been discussed about taking this? Also, where does one find dessicated liver tablets and how much do they cost?

What about the extra intracellular pressure, and hence, rupture risk that creatine creates?

I’ve taken creatine in the past, and in my experience that has never happened. Relative to what most protocols recommend, the dosage for me is rather low, about 3g a day, no loading phase. I have had some minor issues with creatine when I didnt stay properly hydrated, at one point leading to a quadriceps pull (minor though). However, that was with a much higher volume of work and I had not been drinking nearly enough water. I don’t anticipate any problems with that this time around.

Mister C

3g taken each day over a month leads the muscle creatine levels to be as high as is possible, whether compared to a loading phase or not. And whether de hydrated or extra hydrated as with creatine use the muscle could still be at risk.

Im hypothesising here but the safest way to take creatine may be to limit it to just 5g/day taken for only 3-5 days (or 3g for 5-8 days) prior to a specific training or competitive event. Then approx 10 days off creatine (2g/day excreted) for creatine levels to return to baseline or 2g/day at the hope of levels being maintained only. This way the muscle may not get too ‘full’ for a problem to occur. Still a risk?

I’m not aware of any side effects or long-term effects. Dave Draper and Frank Zane have mentioned using them. You can get them at a health food store or organic grocery that has a supp section. Not every place has them, but someone will. A jar of 250 tabs was I think $18 at Whole Foods.

Juggler, thanks, if the price is right around here I seriously wil consider it.


I like that idea, especially if I’m training for some event/competition in the near future. However, I’m not sure how it would be applied in this particular situation. It’s 2 months of training with no real defineable event coming up after which we could let creatine levels return to normal. Perhaps this concept could somehow be applied within the framework of our training, which is a 3:1 scheme with 3 weeks loading, 1 week unloading and then repeat. After those 8 weeks, week 9 is a testing week to end this particular training block. What do you think would be the most effective way to supplement creatine on this schedule? Also, how much of a risk do you think high creatine levels could really pose to a muscle? It’s good to hear your comments, I look forward to your response.

Mister C

The most effective way would be the conservative way, less risk of problems and also heavy legs for those who notice this. You could try the 3g/day for several days to adjust into it. Defining what the optimum total amount for both safety and performance is impossible and would differ between individuals anyway but go for less is better, 15-25g total over these several days? Then you could maintain on 2g/day for the rest of the 3 wk period. The unloading week is the week were you could take time off the creatine working it at 2g day for excretion and then start again for the next 3 weeks as before. If we could be certain that 2g is maintaining then you could go right through with it but then there is a psychological advantage of starting it again.

Too dificult to say how severe the potential problem for creatine on a muscle would be, it just increases intramuscular pressure and pressure as with any force can cause rupture. Eventually we need as much contraction force as we can get but not intramuscular pressure. The other problem is loading up too quickly which can lead to contraction force being developed too quickly or for too long a period which again puts us at risk. Short term dehydration could also occur before enough fluids can be taken in which may cause problems.

Ive not taken creatine since getting injured a couple of times whilst on it btw. Cant prove it though was the cr of course.

Anyone know of any studies on low dosage creatine?