6 body-energizing pre workout supplements that can make the difference between an average and a amazing workout.
By Vince Del Monte
If you’re like me, then you like to turn good into great every chance you get.
That includes your workouts.
I would rather have an amazing workout rather than an average workout.
As a fitness enthusiast and bodybuilder you are always trying to get to that next level of your physique, especially with short and t-shirt season fast approaching!
Today I want to cover six super star supplements that you can use 60-minute to 30-minutes before your workouts. This information is geared to my advanced readers, with at least one year of consistent weight training experience and looking for an edge.
You understand that nutrition and a professionally-designed training program are the key components to an amazing workout but you also admit that the difference between an average workout and amazing workout can be supplementation. Supplements do make a 5-10% difference so if you’re at that point in your training where that extra 5-10% is just what you need, I’ve got some killer preworkout formulas to improve your training.
As you know, my first body transformation from 149 pounds to 190 pounds – a gain of 41 pounds of muscle in 6 months – resulted from very little supplement use. Just whey protein powder, a multi vitamin and fish oils.
Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with more supplements and a variety of pre workout rituals and I’m happy to share that these were six super star supplements that have had a solid impact on my workouts.
Remember, without eating quality carbohydrates and proteins 90-minutes before you workout, don’t expect for these six supplements to power you through your workout alone.
Super Star Supplement #1: Creatine
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that creatine is one of the most potent supplements ever discovered. Creatine can help you improve your lean muscle mass in as little as 2-weeks, boost energy, endurance, strength, power and even burn fat.
Top Reason To Use: The biggest benefit is that it helps create more intensity in your workouts, which is what separates the men from the boys in the gym. The longer and harder you can train, the more muscle you can gain and more fat you burn.
Dosage Guidelines: Males don’t need more than 5 grams before their workout and females don’t need more than 5 grams after their workout. Females can use as little as 2.5 grams before a workout.
INSIDER TIP: Drink a lot of water and don’t let it sit in your liquid for too long or else it’ll lose it’s potency. Also, don’t take creatine with alcohol or caffeine because creatine works by creating an osmotic affect (water storage), which leads to cells swelling with water.
I currently use Power XD from Blue Star Nutrition. Use the coupon code “maximize” if you pick this up and you’ll get some free stuff. The CEO of Blue Star, Adam Cloet, is a good friend of mine.
Super Star Supplement #2 Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally made in your body. Beta-alanine can boost muscular strength, power output, muscle mass, anaerobic endurance and aerobic endurance. When you exercise your body creates lactic acid, which is when you experience the burn feeling. This prevents you from being able to push your body to the max, maintain forceful muscle contractions and do more reps, which seriously hampers your ability to make new muscle gains.
Top Reason To Use It: Beta-alanine produces carnosine in your muscles, which leads to increased power, strength and endurance. You’ll also experience intense vasodilation/pumps from your first few doses of beta-alanine. This happens because beta-alanine produces carnosine and carnosine is a precursor to producing nitric oxide.
Dosage Guidelines: No more then 3-5 grams per day is needed to significantly boost carnosine levels.
INSIDER TIP: It takes about 3-4 weeks to feel a big difference but you should stay on it for at least 3 months minimum to optimize carnosine levels.
Super Star Supplement #3 Protein Isolate Blend
If you’ve been following my reading since 2006, you’ve likely added a high-quality, low carb protein powder into your diet. Excellent job. If, however, you you want to maximize your workout, you need to include a blend of isolated proteins to give you the best protein sources including whey, casein, egg and milk isolates.
Most protein powders have at least one of these isolates, but the product I use, ISO-SMOOTH, delivers all four of the best protein sources in isolate form.
Top Reason To Use It: Bottom line, protein is critical for muscle growth. Your muscles need protein to recover and in turn grow after a workout. Taking a blend protein like ISO-SMOOTH provides a rapid and extended absorption rate because their is both fast and long releasing proteins for an immediate and sustained anabolic effect. This is one of the key elements to accelerated growth from your workouts.
Dosage Guidelines: Males should take at least 30 grams, which is usually 1 scoop. Females can receive the same benefits with at least 15 grams of protein before their workout.
INSIDER TIP: I do make a small commission if you purchase Adam’s ISO-SMOOTH, which is not the reason you’re going to hear more about Blue Star Nutrition in the coming months. I really like ISO-SMOOTH because it contains CLA, flax powder and bromelain (which are digestive enzymes), plus you get your 4 blends of protein in 1. Lastly, Adam’s ISO-SMOOTH is lactose free, sugar free, mixes easily and tastes incredible. Don’t forget to use the “maximize” code for some free stuff.
Super Star Supplement #4 Caffeine
Not only does caffeine give you a spike in the morning but it can give your workout a spike. A popular stimulant, for endurance athletes, research now shows that caffeine works equally effective for weight training. Caffeine works better during a fat-burning cycle when you’re not taking supplements like creatine and arginine. Do not mix and match these supplement together. When taken before a training session, caffeine helps break down fat instead of stored carbs (glycogen) for energy. It also helps release calcium, which leads to more forceful muscle contractions.
Top Reason To Use It: Caffeine dulls your pain receptors and helps slow and prevent fatigue, which means you’ll train longer and harder leading to increased muscle mass and more fat loss.
Dosage Guidelines: Males can take 200-300 milligrams before training and females don’t need more than 200 milligrams.
INSIDER TIP: For accelerated fat loss, have a large cup of black coffee on a empty stomach and do cardio at 6am in a fasted state. Just walk on a treadmill for 35 minutes 5x a week at a steep incline and you’ll lose at least an extra 1-2 pounds of fat each week.
Super Star Supplement #5 Brach Chain Amino Acids
Another power-house supplement that has been getting a lot of attention in literature and a lot of experimentation from myself and my clients. Here’s what you need to know: BCAAs are composed of three essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). Your body relies on these three stooges for muscle protection and ability to build muscle. The more BCAAs in your body, the less chance for muscle loss.
Top Reason To Use Them: They prevent muscle breakdown so if you’re cutting fat be sure to include them in your diet and always have them in your cupboard.
Dosage Guidelines: Males can take 10 grams before a workout and females can take 5 grams before a workout.
INSIDER TIP: Mix 5 grams of creatine and 5 grams of glutamine to make the ultimate “muscle-protection” cocktail before your workout.
Pretty much all BCAAs products are the same and pretty cheap to make and cheap to purchase. I use Adam’s BCAA XD brand because of the XD technology. Again, don’t forget to use the coupon code “maximize” to get some free stuff included.
Super Star Supplement #6 Arginine
Although you can get arginine, a essential amino acid, from almonds and several types of nuts, your body does not always get enough of it. Arginine in your pre workout cocktail can increase blood flow and growth hormone levels. It converts into nitric oxide once ingested, which dilates (opens) blood vessels thus ensuring fluids and nutrients reach the muscles, quickly. This means you’ll experience a stronger pump in your muscles, which can have indirect influence on muscle growth.
Top Reason To Use It: Arginine has a powerful antioxidant ability, supporting the immune system by scavenging free radicals. This helps speed up recovery so you can train longer and harder next time.
Dosage Guidelines: Males can take as high as 5 grams and females 3 grams.
INSIDER TIP: Too much arginine can lead to diarrhea, weakness and nausea, so start with a smaller dosage then recommended above and increase gradually.
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Which pre workout supplement are you going to experiment with 60-minutes before your next workout?
Let me know below.
P.S. If there is a pre workout supplement I did not mention that you want more info on, let me know or feel free to share your own favorite pre workout supplement.