Our expert says:
I am glad that you are so positive about what we've been able to do - it's always nice to hear of someone who has a success story rather than frustration!
I think that you can certainly benefit from the weights you have at home, but it's a case of using them well. I actually think that free weights is a better option than the machines, and even in gyms, most of the lifters use the free weights where possible. So, it can be done. The important thing is to train right - a really good website that you can go to to find out more about weight training is the following:
It contains good advice, explanations and assistance with the different types of exercises for different body parts, and even programmes for different types of people. Well worth a look
As for diet, it is very important that if you are training super hard and trying to build, you do need to add some protein. There are limits though, because the evidence shows that at most, your body uses about 2 g per kg. So, if you are currently weighing 90 kg, that is about 200 g per day. Anymore than this is probably wasteful and excessive. As for raw eggs, I don't think that you need to take them raw. Eggs are a good source of protein, but I've yet to see some evidence that cooked eggs have less protein than raw eggs, and so I don't think that you need to punish yourself on raw eggs.
FInally, supplements. The big question. The only time I would condone the use of supplements is when a person is sure that their diet is inadequate. Here, a vitamin supplement is usually adequate, because we in the western world are never deficient in nutrients like protein. So, someone wanting a protein shake just to be sure that they are eating enough protein is probably wasting their money, unless they are really eating very poorly/inadequately.
The other possible exception is someone who is trying to gain weight, and doesn't have the access to the food that is needed - again, here a protein shake may help to add to the protein stores in the body, and this is probably a safe practice. But, other mass builders, creatine, steroids, fat burners etc. I would not find any reason to recommend. So, if you are very sure and willing, then a protein shake is probably the best way to go. If you buy a reputable name, or a product from one of the established companies, the risk of contamination goes down as well.
You need to make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet that contains enough carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You also need to plan your training carefully so that you get the most benefit out of the least volume of training.
You must make sure that for building mass and especially muscle mass, that you are eating enough proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important as the body's main source of energy during exercise. Feelings of fatigue, lack of energy, tiredness are all indications of a lack of carbohydrates in the diet. Foods that contain carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, pasta, bread etc. Any starchy food is a good bet.
Then, in terms of proteins, you must try to eat meats, fish, eggs etc. as good sources of proteins. Ideally, these types of foods should make up 30% of your diet, with carbohydrates about 60 to 70%. Fats should be kept to a minimum of about 10 to 20%.
Then finally, keep in mind that you must train properly to increase mass, and eating well is not enough on its own. That's where the website comes in and I hope it helps you.
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