Pre-workout supplements are all the rage right now. They line the shelves of every GNC, Vitamin World, and even Walmart and CVS.
It’s no secret why these things are selling like crazy; because they work. They are filled with stimulants, energy boosters, and creatine and offer up a shitload of benefits for those looking to step their workouts up a notch.
The problem is that many of them are pure garbage. Sure, they sound great with fancy names like Xplode, Armageddon, and Shotgun, but many are filled with sub par ingredients, chemicals, and “secret” blends of useless herbs and amino acids.
Another problem is that they are damn expensive and it’s basically a trial and error process to find one that works for you and doesn’t make you feel like shit.
You can read reviews online of course, but many are fake and just trying to sell you something. It pisses me off because this is a market where men are spending millions of dollars and getting bad and even dangerous advice.
My Experience With Pre-Workouts
I’ve spent a lot of money on pre-workouts over the last few years and have had to do my own research to find out things like:
- What is supposed to be in them and what isn’t.
- What are the most important ingredients and why
- How to cycle them
- How to avoid crashes, headaches, and nauseau
- Which ones are legit and which ones are scams
It sucks because a lot of the “science” behind these supplements is not science at all, but rather marketing. It’s easy to get people to buy your product when you give it a crazy name, a bright and shiny label, claim all kinds of great results, and mass market it to the right demographic.
The issue is that many of these supplements are borderline worthless and many of us don’t know any better. As single dads, you and I don’t have the money to be wasting on crappy supplements nor do we have the time to spend trying dozens of products looking for the good ones.
Fortunately, I have done a lot of the leg work and spent a great deal of time trying and testing dozens of pre-workouts and now share this information with you.
So I created a short, but useful guide called The Fit Dads Guide To Pre-Workout Supplements, that helps answer many of your questions.
In it, I discuss:
- What’s in them and what should be in them.
- The benefits and drawbacks of taking them
- The most important things to understand when using them
- The top 5 pre-workouts based on my experience, trial and error, and research
- What happens when you take them for too long or in the wrong doses
If nothing else, it will save you money (potentially a lot) in the future and it’s FREE.
I honestly hope this guide helps you and look forward to hearing about your success with it.
Good luck with the guide. I’m sure it will be helpful for people who have reached a certain level in their training.
But for guys at the lower, or bottom, tier of the fitness spectrum, like me, amateurs and beginners, is there any need for supplements, let alone “pre-workout” supplements? I can’t envisage it. It seems like supplements of any sort might… might… be of value to seriously fit guys who are looking to take it up to the contest circuit level. But for the average, or below-average, schlubs out here, really, isn’t any supplement, even one of the few that might be somewhat legitimate, pretty much a waste of time and money?
At what point should somebody start to consider supplements? And for who are the supplements a total waste of time and money?
Thanks David. Yes, the guide is really geared towards guys who are either struggling to find supplements that work or are ready to start taking them and don’t know what to look for.
For guys new to fitness, I don’t recommend any supplements other than a multivitamin and fish oil. I do think whey protein powder can help if someone is really struggling with eating enough protein, but generally I would prefer to have people start with the basics.
Cleaning up your diet, moving more, adding strength training, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, stretching. These are all things tat need to happen before jumping into supplementation.
I think you can start considering taking pre/post workouts, creatine, and protein/meal replacements once you have a good routine going. Once you are committed and going to the gym regularly, making progress, and eating well, then we can talk about taking supps.
For people who are looking for shortcuts, all supplements are a waste of money. You have to put the work in first and then once you start to struggle with things like getting adequate nutrients in, needing more endurance, and getting serious about adding lean muscle tissue, you can start looking into supps.
Also, for guys who are doing little or nothing, it’s a total waste. You, for example would be wasting your money by taking anything right now. Let’s say you started using protein powder to get an extra 40 grams each day. You then have to look at why it matters. For you, it wouldn’t because the rest of your diet is not great. You are not in need of an extra 40 grams. You are in need of eating great foods and in the right amounts. I can almost guarantee that you fall wayyyyy short of your protein needs each day and until you are at least getting close (along with the right amounts of carbs/fat), it makes no sense.
Thanks, Steve! Great response, which helps clarify my understanding of the why and when of basic supplements. In fact, you might consider developing this info into a follow-up blog post at some point.
I just may do that, David!