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September Top 5 Q/A Round Up
Your Best Questions Broken Down
Starting now: all the free posts at the end of the month will cover the top 5 questions from the paid Q/A, broken down, and answered in an elaborated post.
This way the free subscribers can have access to some of the best questions asked over the course of the month.
Q/A’s are held every week on Sunday, so if you are interested in being a part of these, upgrade to paid today for our extensive Q/A sessions.
Q: “Will you do a full list of supplements that someone <40 & <30 should be taking? Would love to see where you put injectables like peptides, L-carnitine, etc on the worth it or waste of money unless you’re <12% bf.”
Ox: We’ll break this down into a few parts. What I consider essential, then what I would add for an extra boost in terms of quality of life and optimization.
These are simply what everyone should be taking to ensure our nutrient needs are met, and we are setting up the conditions for optimal health.
Fish/Krill Oil—Focusing on 1000mg of EPA a day. Recommended Brand is Nordic Naturals.
Multi-Vitamin—Recommend Brand is Thorne.
ZMA (Zinc and Magnesium)—Recommended Brand Is Optimum Nutrition.
Vitamin B12—Recommended Brand is NOW.
Vitamin K2 and D3—Recommended Brand is Revive Supplements.
For gym performance, these will help immensely, (minus caffeine) I simply would not go into a workout with all of these supplements as they are extremely effective:
Pre Workout—Focus on L-Citrulline, Beta Alanine, Betaine, Glycerol, and optional caffeine if you like stims. I recommend Gorilla Mode or Gorilla Mode Nitric (non-stim) as it is the best dosed pre workout I have ever seen (and has our next item: creatine).
Creatine—Recommended brand is True Nutrition for bulk—but as mentioned, Gorilla Mode pre workout has your daily dose of creatine, so it’s a good bang for your buck.
Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (Carb Powder)—Recommended Brand is Granite Supplements.
Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s)—Recommended Brand is True Nutrition for unflavored in bulk, or Granite Supplements for a flavored blend.
These can be viewed as boosts: as both preventative measures and supplements that will keep you feeling better and younger as you age.
Citrus Bergamot—Recommended Brand Revive Supplements, Lipid Formula.
Ubiquinol— Recommended Revive Supplements, Heart Formula.
Astragalus—Recommended Vitamin Shoppe Brand.
Berberine—Recommended Brand Revive Supplements, Glucose Formula.
Boron—Recommended Brand NOW.
Tongkat Ali—Recommended Brand Solaray.
Ashwagandha—Recommended Brand Revive Supplements.
Type 2 Collagen—Recommended Brand True Nutrition.
Peptides and Hormones
You will need a prescription for all of these, but they work insanely well at improving quality of life and results—consult a qualified clinic and physician:
HGH Peptides (sermorelin, ipamorelin, etc.)
BPC 157 and and TB 500 (for injuries)
To wrap this up, there are an insane amount of supplements with benefits for specific, desired results. This is just to name a few. Next week, I will be constructing a post on selecting brands that can cover the bulk of these with a one product formula. You’ll notice the brand Revive Supplements does this very well. This is the best bang for your buck.
Q: “Can you do a deload week while on a cut? Or will this risk muscle mass loss. Had Covid recently, not a bad case, trained a few days after. But feeling a need to rest in a week or two.”
Ox: You can absolutely deload anytime you want when your body calls for it. Taking one week off the gym will do absolutely nothing to your muscle mass.
It takes around 2 weeks of zero lifting for muscle to start atrophying—even then you won’t notice muscle loss until around a month.
When you start noticing the symptoms of fatigue, it’s time to take a deload. Generally around 12-16 weeks of a program you will notice the signs you need a deload.
- Brain fog
- Sudden drop in strength
- Lack of motivation
- Lower HRV, Higher RHR
- Tired and moody
If you’re experiencing this, it’s time to take 3-7 days off the gym.
Q: “What do you recommend for people with disproportionately small chests? Currently on an upper/lower 4x/week split.”
Ox: This will come down to a few factors—it’s very common for guys to have bigger arms and shoulders than chest, or the other way around.
If your chest is a weak point, it’s more than likely an issue with your mind-muscle connection with your chest.
For this, movements like flies and chest isolation exercises can help you figure out what it feels like to use your chest and provide it with the isolation it might need to actually be fully worked.
This could also be a form issue, and you aren’t using the proper cues to target your chest—I go over this in this post: How To Target Your Muscles Correctly
Another issue, if you fall into the big arm/small chest group is that your arms are taking over on chest exercises as they are stronger and you’re using your chest less.
If your chest is your weak point, an option here is actually pre-exhausting your shoulders and arms here. This way your chest will be forced to over compensate for the lack of tricep and shoulder strength. Simply do your tricep and shoulder work before chest work.
Q: “I’ve been on a cut for 6 months. Took a 2 week maintenance break 3 months ago. Do you recommend take maintenance breaks? If so how often. Thanks!”
Ox: For long phases of an extended calorie deficit or cutting phase I absolutely suggest taking diet breaks.
Typically every 4-8 weeks, you can eat at your maintenance calories for a week, go right back to your caloric deficit, and see virtually no stall in progress over the long run. Any weight gained this week will be glycogen and accompanying water weight.
The most simple way to find your caloric maintenance is your bodyweight in pounds multiplied by 15, but also feel free to use a TDEE calculator and calculate your maintenance.
This diet break serves multiple benefits:
Helps give some mental relief from dieting.
Can offset the slow-down of metabolism from extended deficits.
Replenishes muscle glycogen, which can help with performance and maintaining muscle mass.
The key of the diet break is eating around maintenance. This is not your ticket to completely go off the rails for a week long binge. You will have some extra calories to work with, and thus more flexibility. Enjoy a little “treat” here and there as long as it fits your caloric goal (this goes for cutting and all diet goals too).
This is by far my most common asked question of all time, and it’s not even close…
Q: “Song to help enter the 7th circle of hell while deadlifting?”
Ox: I have an Apple Music Playlist: HERE
For those without, I will list a few album and artist suggestions, granted I like my metal darker than Ed Latimore likes his coffee.
Bring Me The Horizon—Count Your Blessings (Album), 2004-2013 (Album)
Harms Way—Every Album
Griselda—All their mixtapes/albums, hardcore rap
Of Mice and Men—The Flood (Album)
Slaughter To Prevail—Kostolom (Album)
Future—Every Single Song
Some of you will find this music absolutely repulsive, but this is how I get into my dark place when I’m about to take a set of hack squats for 30 reps to failure, or before I puke.
The winner of the competition will be announced tonight or tomorrow—we are having a difficult time selecting the winner and top 6 due to the absolutely mind blowing progress that has been made in the last 90 days.
If you haven’t already, check out BowTiedIsland.com to see the other incredible talents in the BowTiedJungle. I will vouch that this is the most skilled and talented group of individuals I have ever worked with in my life.
This is not Legal, Medical, or Financial advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any workout program, diet plan, or supplement protocol. These are opinions from a Cartoon Ox.