So you know at Nexxt Level Up we’re all about taking stuff to the… next level up. So let’s say you’ve been dragging ass a little in the gym, aren’t feeling quite as motivated, or maybe you just want to work harder and get more gains- what to do?
I know I’ve talked at length before about the importance of BCAAs before a workout as well as the useful effects of Beta-Alanine as a daily supplement, so now it’s time to talk about my favorite supplement: Pre-workouts.
Now I’m sure most of you experienced lifters know what’s up when it comes to pre-workouts, and if you’re anything like me you have no idea how you lifted without one in the past. That first time you tried it shit was going off in the gym, pounding out more reps than you could before. There was the buzz, that tingle of the skin. The way you felt locked in and invincible, the way you paced like a caged tiger during rest periods because you wanted back in there and didn’t even feel tired- weights you lifted last week were for pussies now. The way you almost passed out mid workout from how crazy it was (no? just me?). Afterwards, you were pumped up and you didn’t want to leave and as you walk out to your car you’re fighting the urge to go back in for “one more set”. It was like a new awareness. A door had opened, and once you stepped through there was no going back.
The next few weeks saw more gains than two months before. You felt like Hulk walking into the weight room every day, ready to throw down. You didn’t have a problem with dedication because every day was a new journey in how far you could push yourself. It was, for all intensive purposes, magic. Mixed with some hard but fun work.
So for those of you wondering what it is about pre-workouts that make them so special, let’s break it down. The typical main ingredients of pre-workouts-
- Creatine: Your body’s available ATP for energy depletes rapidly during exertion and one of the ways to recharge during anaerobic exercise is by using creatine phosphate breakdown to donate a phosphate to ADP creating more ATP. In layman’s term- Faster recovery.
- Beta-Alanine: Boosts carnosine levels for staving off acid build up (fatigue) in your muscles. Longer workouts, less fatigue. Also gives you that awesome skin-crawling feeling.
- Arginine: Expands your blood vessels, giving you that pump along with the ability to carry nutrients to your muscles more efficiently. Also helps expel ammonia build up.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is awesome. Loads of it. Responsible for the focus and intensity of the likes you probably haven’t experienced outside of cocaine/adderall.
When you combine those together, along with other little things and specialty stuff each brand uses to differentiate themselves, you get lifts better than you’ve ever had without it.
I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing the effects of many brands and have been more or less satisfied with all of them. It’s hard to go wrong with a pre-workout and it’s more important that you’re at least on one. Just off the top of my head Jack3d is pretty decent, NO-Xplode is good stuff, and Ssin Juice does the trick as well.
That being said, I personally recommend 3 brands that in my opinion kick the shit out of the competition. Other brands may be pretty good but the results my buddies and I have had from of these 3 are on another level:
C4 has been a longtime staple of mine ever since I tried it years ago. They claim their Creatine Nitrate is a lot more efficient than regular creatine mono while boosting nitric oxide levels (blood vessel dilation), and my experience has done nothing to refute this. It is also the only pre-workout I haven’t had to take the full recommended dosage of at any time in order to get the desired effect. Kick start your shit today, I recommend the Blue Razz flavor.
To many hardcore dudes, the conversation starts and stops with NO Shotgun. Shit will fuck you up, in a good way. It comes with just about every ingredient under the sun, including BCAAs. Great results, better than C4 but with a bit of a steeper price tag. Honestly the flavors suck but it’s whatever Exotic Fruit is the way to go.
Taze-3 is the newest stuff I’m on, and I am religiously converting anyone I can to this stuff it’s straight up bossy. In addition to usual pre-workout stuff, it’s got a bunch of natural testosterone boosting ingredients in it, and it’s so loaded they’re very adamant that you don’t exceed two scoops a day. I have had the best workouts in recent memory with this stuff. As much as I’d like to be able to get it to all of you, Complete Nutrition doesn’t do Amazon but I believe in it so much that if you have a Complete Nutrition nearby I recommend you make a beeline, stat.
On a final note, to those of you who are starting on pre-workouts, there are a few best practices to consider-
- Start with one scoop. You can always add more next time- you don’t want to overload yourself with all this stuff without prior tolerance and pass out or get nauseous.
- It’s generally recommended to only go a month on this stuff before taking a month off or so as you build up tolerance to the caffeine and other stuff. That’s a good guideline, but you can go longer. The better advice is to listen to your body- once the max dosage does nothing for you, it’s time to take a break.
- Stay hydrated on this stuff, all day. We’re talking at least a gallon of water every day. Healthy creatine use requires hydration, and you can damage your kidneys through creatinine (creatine byproduct) build up.
So no you know, it’s time to get your pre-workout on. I guarantee you that you will have the best workouts of you’ve ever had.