Bugs Recommended Product Review: Prolabs N-Large 2

August 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Supplements, The Fitness Bug

N-Large 2 for protein gains

Prolabs N-Large 2

It’s that time again, to share the goodness with you all! I always do get asked about products that I have tried or tested, and I will continue to share whenever I do.  I actually started to use this product back in July, but I didn’t want to post anything about it until a few weeks had passed so that I could give a worthy verdict.

Product: N-Large 2 by Prolab (Monster supplement)

Focus: High Protein Gainer

MSRP: $23.99 for a 3.8lb (pounds) container (view the flavours and cheap supplement prices here)

Available: Online

Remember

Always aim for a good diet before beginning to take ANY supplement!

Why?

Because no supplement can be a replacement for a bad diet!

Just like cod liver oil, it can give the body any nutrients that it maybe lacking in, but it will not fix a bad diet. Get that in order first. If you want a good starter, check Bugs killer foods for fitness.

Many of you may have heard of or even tried N-Large 2, but for the purpose of those that are in the stayfitbug.com community on and offline and who have been asking, here is my verdict.

Now to begin with, I only decided to put this product to the test while I wait for newer product samples to arrive. They should be on their way in the coming weeks so keep your eyes pealed for some fresh recommendations.

N-Large 2 has gotten a lot of praise since it has been around, and after using it for 6 weeks, I can see why.

It works!

One of the key things I look for when trying these supplements is that they have to at least taste good, and this does taste pretty good for a supplement. If your supplement doesn’t have a good taste, then I really don’t see the point in taking it. That would be like voluntarily taking a disgusting tasting medicine… something you would not do. If you are, then stop!

N-Large 2 comes in 3 flavours

  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla

I took the vanilla flavour, as that tends to taste good in most food variations.

It’s all pretty simple to make,

1) Mix

2) Stick it in a blender (recommended)

3) Drink

That’s all but a 2-minute job, so there is no messing about. If you want you can make your own mixes, but I just stuck to the instructions on the pack. For those 6 weeks I drank it 4 times a day along with my usual meals, but 3 times a day is what the average person should take for this to start to work and show results.

In the first 4 weeks of using this, I gained a whooping 14 POUNDS! (ONE WHOLE STONE). For myself, that is a great weight increase and a boost in the levels of proteins that my body needs. To be specific on the amount of calories I would consume daily, it was approximately 1900 calories (4 servings). It sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I would be burning a lot of calories during my workouts, and taking a shake of this stuff after a workout would help replace those calories that I had lost.

Just like my other supplement review over at recommended products, this one also gave me no side affects. Quite often supplements like these can leave you feeling bloated (a horrible feeling), but that was not the case here.

My only problem with taking N- Large 2 is that if you decide to take it, you must keep on taking it. If you stop then all that weight and muscle you put on will just start to disappear, even if you maintain your workout schedule (which I noticed around week 7). So make sure you start as you mean to go on whether it is once a day or 4 times a day.

All is good and well here, and as I stated. It works! If you decide to give it a try, then,

1) Go for the Vanilla flavour

2) Take it in moderation

3) Start off with the 3.8 lb container. (Should last you around 2-3 weeks)

See you on the next review.

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Building muscle with or without supplements?

July 18, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

mens workout without body building supplementsThis is a question i had always asked myself ever since i started to workout. And i was always a firm believer in taking the ‘grow slow’ approach to building muscle (or anything else in life in-fact). Taking supplements in return for short term results will usually always give longer term side effects. And if that has been you, i am sure at the end of it all you probably asked yourself ‘was it really worth it?’. You will be better off by implementing the following, which will allow you to build muscle with the patience of a tortoise, but at the speed of a Hare!

Lift heavy, Lift slow, Lift less

The key to building more muscle mass out of every workout is to lift enough weight to cause muscle failure in only 3-5 reps (repetitions of the movement). Rather than burning calories and creating lean muscle by doing many reps with lighter weights, you’re taking just a bit of time to literally tear your muscle fibers apart, preparing them to build mass and strength when they receive protein from your next meal.

Big multi-joint compound exercises

Make sure that 95% of the exercises you perform regularly in the gym are big multi-joint compound exercises. It doesn’t matter if your goal is fat loss or building muscle… big multi-joint exercises should comprise 95% of the exercises you do in your workouts if you want to get lean, ripped, and powerful.

It’s easiest to think of it in terms of the major movement patterns such as these (focus 95% of your workouts on these):

  • upper body horizontal press (bench press, pushups, dips),
  • upper body horizontal rows (1-arm dumbbell rows, seated cable rows, bent over barbell rows),
  • upper body vertical pull (lat pulldowns, pullups, chinups),
  • upper body vertical press (overhead dumbbell and barbell presses, barbell or kettlebell clean & presses)
  • lower body squatting movements (front squats, back squats, overhead squats, bodyweight squats, etc)
  • lower body deadlifting movements (regular deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts)
  • lower body single leg movements (lunges, step-ups, jump lunges, etc)
  • abdominal and core exercises (these are important, but still are 2nd priority after all of the major upper body and lower body multi-joint movements… your abs and core will be worked from most major multi-joint exercises anyway)
  • abdominal and core exercises (these are important, but still are 2nd priority after all of the major upper body and lower body multi-joint movements… your abs and core will be worked from most major multi-joint exercises anyway)

The other 5% of your exercises can focus on single joint exercises (isolation exercises) such as bicep curls, tricep presses, calf presses, shoulder shrugs, shoulder lateral raises, pec flyes, etc, etc. However, these exercises are only accessory exercises to do after the main focus has been the multi-joint drills.

Eating clean, eat quality

The quality of protein (and additional nutrition from vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) are best injested by the body from real whole food such as eggs, meats, dairy (preferably raw), fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. instead of from processed protein powders, chemical-laden bars, and meal replacements.

Train hard

Of course, all that i mentioned above is irrelevant unless you put the work in.

Train hard and intensely 3-4 days/week for 45-60 minutes per weight training workout. Keep your workouts to no longer than 60 minutes as training too much beyond this point can trigger excess catabolism. You want to stay anabolic, but you still need to train your body hard and intensely enough to trigger muscle growth.

Try a super-set style of workout program to maximize the intensity that you can train.  My favorite combinations are opposing upper and lower body movement patterns that don’t interfere with each other, such as squats coupled with pullups as a superset, or bench press coupled with deadlifts as a superset.

Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of these types of upper/lower body supersets done with heavy weights at a high intensity. My most significant muscle mass gains happened when I started doing these types of workout combos regularly (although still mixing up my training variables).

These are methods that have stuck with me till this day. Caloric intake can simply be adjusted whether your goal is fat burning or gaining muscle mass.

To conclude

Implement the above and you will be rewarded all without the use of supplements. However, i do realize that from ‘real life training experience’ there will be times you cannot keep this up (see my first post ‘Stay-fit bug’ ). If you do include supplements into your workouts, be specific on which ones you use and how you use them. But the fact is, unless you are a body builder, you won’t really need them.

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