Trial and error is the best. Eat 2500 calories a day, for example, weigh yourself once a week, and see if you're losing too much according to what your goals are. Not losing enough, lower calories more. Losing too much, raise calories.
To start, there are various formulas and calculators out there. These calculators come up with wildly different numbers, though.
This stuff requires measurement of food. You cannot guesstimate your calories without experience in doing so. Don't "think" you're eating 2500 calories a day, because you're probably not. Unless you're eating all prepackaged food with listed calories.
There seems to be a lot of pent-up anger and self-righteous morality over there. I bet you those fuckers are all Fred Phelps type fucks in real life. They look at porn all day, are obsessed with sex, but hate themselves for it.
It's fine. Those studies were bullshit, do some in depth reading on them. There's no known correlation between it and baldness, either. That being said, it's not going to magically do shit for you, either. Eating properly trumps creatine.
It works, to some extent. In the world of bullshit supplements, it's one everyone goes back to. There's research both for and against its efficacy. Essentially, if you eat plenty of red meat, it probably does little for you, but has more effect on vegetarians or fish/chicken only eaters.
You can take it or leave it and probably never notice much difference, though. Personally, I think it has a noted effect on heavy lifts.
Well, I've got some muscle mass, I can tell you how to do that. If you want to gain muscle fast, you can throw the clean bulking shit out the window. Clean bulking works, yes, but it's not fast, and it's never going to be fast, unless you're on the magic shit.
If you want to gain muscle fast, then perhaps cut back at a later date, you've gotta start eating a solid amount of protein AND carbs. The popular method right now is milk, if you can handle quantities of it. Mark Rippetoe and some other trainers have exceptional success with it. We're talking a gallon a day here.
You will gain fat, but you will also gain muscle. Google "GOMAD" for more info on this.
You don't have to go that extreme, but it's one of the fastest ways. If slow bulking isn't working for you, at least start increasing your protein and carbs even more.
I workout by myself most of the time. It's nice to have people to workout with for motivation, that's the key thing, but I do alright on my own. Really, the only thing it physically limits me on much is barbell bench, but I can always ask someone to spot.
Clean bulking can take some trial and error. Calculate shit like basal metabolic rate, increase/decrease calories, weigh yourself weekly, see if you're gaining or losing, or gaining too fast, etcetera.
At 6'0 and 159, you should look a helluva lot more ripped than that. You're severely lacking muscle. There's a term "skinny fat." It's what I was in highschool. 5'11, 155 pounds, no muscle. I ran all the time, too, and played tennis and racquetball several times a week.
So, I went to the gym tonight (I usually take off Thursdays, but I wanted to try this new ab shit.)
The roller thing: Yeah, that's pretty boss to be able to do the standing up thing. Obviously, I tried it kneeling. I'm quite sure my form wasn't good, because I wasn't feeling an absolute burn in my abs. I seemed to be using a lot of bicep, especially the further I went out. I also felt a lot of lower back tension. I tried kind of like...thrusting my hips into the floor, which seemed to alleviate the lower back pressure, but put more stress on the arms. I'm sure it was all fucked up.
I need to do some reading on the technique of this and see how I'm supposed to be tensing things, positioning, etcetera. Aside from doing about 50 or 60 of those (incorrect as they probably were,) I also did crunch machine, leg raises, and cable crunches. I think I'll start doing some old fashioned situps and crunches in the morning. I might actually be a little sore tomorrow.
They've got 7 or 8 different ab implements. Roman chair, incline bench looking thing with the feet holders (probably what you were talking about,) the thing where you hang from your arms and put your legs up, a couple of different crunch machines. I can't even quite explain what some of them are, as I never use them. I think a couple of are probably for hamstring raises or glute workouts.
I told the guy to at least start cutting back on his carbs, while not eliminating them. I told him "If you don't think you have the willpower not to gorge yourself on everything in sight, then at least try to fill up with fats and protein instead of carbs."
Then, like a few days later, he tells me he's trying to eat healthier, and that he started to eat popcorn at night instead of chips. He then proceeds to tell me he puts an ENTIRE STICK OF BUTTER on the popcorn. I'm absolutely not making this up.
Oh, yeah, I understand. I realized that a long time ago. I was as high as 215 pounds at one point with considerably less muscle.
Several people at the gym have some up to me and asked how I've lost weight. Some of these guys weigh like 260 pounds, and work out like four hours a day. This one guy I talk to all the time does this. He'll go in, do an hour of cardio, lift for two hours, then do another hour of cardio, and his weight fluctuates between 240 and 260 all the time.
He tells ms things like "Man, I'm working my ass off here, and I keep gaining." I've told him numerous times the old saying "You can't out train a bad diet." The dude finally understands this, but he's just powerless to do anything about it. He simply doesn't have the willpower.
Myself, I've actually been pretty damn pinpoint strict with my diet in the past 6 to 8 weeks, on top of killing it in cardio.