Wow what great feedback and I am sure that this will come in handy for loads of people. With this in mind I have changed this to a "sticky" so that this great information is not lost. This thread should be used for or by anyone looking to get some tips on training and diet ready for a race season or whatever it maybe. Please continue to post up questions / suggestions and links to training and diet plans or anything that you might feel is usefull. Its been a great start, thanks everyone. So i have been going to the gym for about the last 7months after quite a long period off due to various things like new job, new house the normal distractions. I am getting close to my target weight (16st when I started now 13st 10lbs target 13st) and while i have been combining cardio with resistance training up to this point i want to start slowing down on the cardio and biulding more of the resistance. Now i am not interested in being the next hulk hogan or anything like that, I know what i want, i just want to know i am getting the best out of what i am doing. My gym instructor has said that i should now start to think about increasing the amount of protein i take in and he suggested shakes after each work out. This is where my question comes in....do they really work? I always thought that they were a gimmick for people to waste there money on and hard work would just achieve the same result. To be honest i am not sure how i feel about drinking something with an ingredients list as long as my arm on it, i'd much rather do it with diet if possible. So what do you think? Any tips?