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View Full Version : Advice on suppliments for hardgainer (UK)



nx1977
11-08-2011, 10:52 PM
UK based

Until now done reasonably well without supplements adding 1" to shoulders and arms without any diet change.

But realising to add the extra 2-3" in my goal to tone and add shape/definition, I'm going to need supplements.

I've been using 2x Maximilk's daily for the last week and had my biggest weekly increase in my arms (0.25"), legs (0.2") and weight (1lb) since starting training. But they are flipping expensive at £2.50 per bottle and £5 per day! I did try a cheaper brand but was bloated and more lathargic than with the maximuscle version.

As such i'm looking at powders which have a lower daily cost. I'd prefer to stay with Maximuscle, but confused by all the various products. Which one do I want? Progain extreme, Promax extreme or Cyclone? Do they all taste similar if using the same flavour? I've always struggled to put on weight until starting training, so classing myself as a hardgainer or Ectomorph.

And importantly, where can I walk in and buy easily for the best/cheapest price?


Many Thanks.


Any help from people using Maximuscle is appreciated.

Deviation
11-09-2011, 12:40 AM
Want the easiest, cheapest way to gain weight? Eat more. I'm not a fan of mass/weight gainers. Pretty much a ton of calories without the nutrition of food.

What's your current routine look like? Age/Height/Weight? Goal weight?

tjwood
11-09-2011, 01:13 PM
Until now done reasonably well without supplements adding 1" to shoulders and arms without any diet change.

Well there's your big hint.

Presumably your initial gains were fuelled by excess calories you already had in your diet and/or body fat stores. Now you need to sort out your diet to keep gaining further!

And how are you measuring an increase of 0.2 inches? This could be just variation in the way you hold the tape measure/swelling caused by recent exercise/differences in hydration levels etc. A difference of 1lb bodyweight from one week to the next is fairly insignificant, it could be down to hydration levels or a particularly large meal etc. It's long term trends you are interested in not the difference from one day/week to the next.

Personally I've never taken any supplements and have been happy with my gains over the past 11 months - I've not gone crazy but have steadily been gaining muscle without significant changes in body fat. It's slightly worrying that the Supplements forum gains more traffic here than the Food and Nutrition one!

nx1977
11-09-2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks all.

As I say for years I've eaten more yet my metabolism means I dont really put on any weight given what I eat. I've added more protein, but due to my job driving, I cant add additional meals or start having 6 meals a day easily.

I've come to the conclusion that diet alone isnt going to cut it, and I'm going to need supplements. Not on about 4 portions of it a day, maybe one or 2 MAX.

I'm 34, 5'9 and currently 136lbs (been within 15-20lbs of this since 18 ). Goal wise I'm unsure how to equate my desired arm/chest etc sizes into an overall weight gain goal.

Workoutwise I started with - http://www.jefit.com/routines/workout-routine-database.php?id=6064

And am now on week 2 of - http://www.jefit.com/routines/workout-routine-database.php?id=6030

Deviation
11-09-2011, 10:54 PM
I think you need to apply some K.I.S.S. here.

As I say for years I've eaten more yet my metabolism means I dont really put on any weight given what I eat. I've added more protein, but due to my job driving, I cant add additional meals or start having 6 meals a day easily.
Then you need to eat more. Don't get so hung up on the 4-6 meals a day. Just eat.

Your BMR is 1560 calories. That's just what you need to exist at your current weight. If you want to get bigger, you need to add some calories to this. If you think about it, an average weightlifting routine might burn 300-400 calories in an hour. You will need to consume the 400 calories back just to stay level. That's 1960 calories. If you want to bulk up, add on some more calories. I'd shoot for around 2300-2500 calories to start.

As for your routine, switch to a strength routine like Starting Strength or StrongLifts. They are simplistic, but very effective at achieving what you're trying to do. There's also this routine: http://www.jefit.com/routines/workout-routine-database.php?id=2909 That worked well for me (read the thread referenced in there).

Deviation
11-09-2011, 10:56 PM
It's slightly worrying that the Supplements forum gains more traffic here than the Food and Nutrition one!
How many ads for Tyson's boneless chicken breasts do you see in the fitness mags? ;)

tjwood
11-10-2011, 03:53 PM
I've added more protein, but due to my job driving, I cant add additional meals or start having 6 meals a day easily.

You know, a "meal" in this context doesn't have to be hot food eaten off a plate. A couple of your "meals" can be healthy snacks, such as a handful or two of unsalted peanuts, a peanut butter/wholemeal bread sandwich, a bowl of porridge (oatmeal), a pot of natural yogurt or quark etc.

I regularly eat breakfast, lunch and dinner - proper "meals" - plus a handful of peanuts mid-morning, a bowl of porridge mid-afternoon, and a tub of quark before bed - that's six "feedings" without much effort. (Also on workout days, I have a homemade banana/yogurt shake while I'm getting changed after my workout and a peanut butter/jam sandwich in the car on the way to work afterwards).

nx1977
11-10-2011, 10:24 PM
I think you need to apply some K.I.S.S. here.

Then you need to eat more. Don't get so hung up on the 4-6 meals a day. Just eat.

Your BMR is 1560 calories. That's just what you need to exist at your current weight. If you want to get bigger, you need to add some calories to this. If you think about it, an average weightlifting routine might burn 300-400 calories in an hour. You will need to consume the 400 calories back just to stay level. That's 1960 calories. If you want to bulk up, add on some more calories. I'd shoot for around 2300-2500 calories to start.

As for your routine, switch to a strength routine like Starting Strength or StrongLifts. They are simplistic, but very effective at achieving what you're trying to do. There's also this routine: http://www.jefit.com/routines/workout-routine-database.php?id=2909 That worked well for me (read the thread referenced in there).

Working out the last 3 days calories intake, I've been over 2500 each of those days. And I would consider those pretty normal.

Take lunch as an example. Just the bread weighs in at over 1200cals, breakfast cereal (wholegrain hoops) & milk is 800cal.

As I say, I'm of a build whereby despite this my weight has changed very little in 20+ years.

tjwood
11-11-2011, 11:06 AM
Working out the last 3 days calories intake, I've been over 2500 each of those days. And I would consider those pretty normal.

Take lunch as an example. Just the bread weighs in at over 1200cals, breakfast cereal (wholegrain hoops) & milk is 800cal.

Are you sure your calculations are right? How much bread are you eating for lunch?! 1200 cals is about 500-600 grams of bread, that's between half and three quarters of a large loaf! And if your cereal is something like Cheerios then you must be eating about 150 grams of cereal with a whole pint of semi-skimmed milk to get to 800 calories - that's 4 or 5 standard portions!

In any case 2500 calories is probably too few for someone who is quite active - that's the approximate daily amount generally quoted for the average man - i.e. someone who drives to work, sits at a desk all day, maybe walks to the local shops or goes for a short jog every so often, and that's about it. If you exercise hard several times a week you probably want significantly more than that.


It's a fairly simple equation really. Broadly speaking, eat fewer calories than you burn - you lose weight. Eat more than you burn - you gain weight. Eat about the same amount as you burn - you stay about the same. If you want to gain weight you need to eat more!

Deviation
11-11-2011, 12:27 PM
Working out the last 3 days calories intake, I've been over 2500 each of those days. And I would consider those pretty normal.

Take lunch as an example. Just the bread weighs in at over 1200cals, breakfast cereal (wholegrain hoops) & milk is 800cal.

As I say, I'm of a build whereby despite this my weight has changed very little in 20+ years.

What kind of bread are you eating?!? That's enough calories to be at least half loaf of bread. And how much cereal are you taking in? Are you sure you're not using cream? Sheesh.

I agree with tjwood, something isn't adding up correctly.

nx1977
11-11-2011, 10:04 PM
Yup, miscalculated these 2. Bread was 452 and cereal inc milk 205.

Going over those days again, Have calculate days as 2251, 2109 and 2002cals. Was just the bread and cereal I messed up calculating. Muddled KJ and KC

tjwood
11-15-2011, 01:28 PM
Going over those days again, Have calculate days as 2251, 2109 and 2002cals.

Then the answer is pretty clear, you definitely need to eat more!

Deviation
11-15-2011, 02:18 PM
Don't feel bad man, I think we've all been there. I know I have. Ate a week straight thinking I was over my calories only to find out I didn't add them up right.

Try using an app like MyFitnessPal. Works great.

nx1977
11-16-2011, 11:12 PM
Don't feel bad man, I think we've all been there. I know I have. Ate a week straight thinking I was over my calories only to find out I didn't add them up right.

Try using an app like MyFitnessPal. Works great.

Thanks.

I thought I was calorie overloading given the Mrs' counting hers like mad and how little she has a day.

Thanks for the app suggestion. Loaded and tracking. Initially back tracking since my last post, I seem to be struggling to get over 2300/day. I'm just plain full or had been thinking I'd done enough.

Need to evaluate replacing a few things it seems.

nx1977
12-06-2011, 10:32 PM
Just an update to say I've been hitting my intake targets thanks to the suggested app myfitnesspal.

Seeing strength increases, but struggling to add size.

Deviation
12-07-2011, 12:47 AM
It will come. Just keep the calories coming and hit the heavy weights.

nx1977
12-07-2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks.

Much harder than I thought, but not giving up given how much better I feel and how much stronger I am now.

tjwood
12-08-2011, 12:28 PM
Much harder than I thought, but not giving up given how much better I feel and how much stronger I am now.

If it was easy it wouldn't be so rewarding, would it? :-)

BrianV
02-10-2012, 09:54 PM
I read somewhere hardgainer=undereater

Deviation
02-11-2012, 01:39 PM
I read somewhere hardgainer=undereater
Pretty much everywhere...except magazines and supplement websites. ;)