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Do you find yourself feeling run down, tired and just not quite up to hitting the gym after a long day at work? That moment when the temptation starts to set in; just take the day off, head home and pass out on the couch with some indulgent food to see the night out… Sound appealing in theory, but will it help you move closer to those goals you’re chasing? We’ve all been there at some point, sometimes the motivation to train is just lacking, but these are the times that really count. Your ability to pass up that temptation for the couch and a good feed can be the difference between reaching your goals or falling short, just imagine how much more satisfying getting home and relaxing will be after you’ve put in the hard work at the gym.
This is just one reason that supplementation can be so beneficial in addition to a good nutrition and training protocol. One of the largest and fastest growing categories in the supplement market today is pre-workouts, and for good reason too. With today’s fast passed, stress filled environment, it’s easy to find yourself run-down and exhausted, especially when overworked. This is what leaves us unmotivated with little desire to push through a training session, however, by selecting a good quality, well-rounded pre-workout supplement, we are able to boost those energy levels, increase muscular performance and get you revved up, in the mood and ready to hit you training head on.
Pre-workouts are so popular that the market has become saturated with a massive selection of products. This can often make the decision of which product to choose quite a difficult one. So where do you start? We like to recommend starting at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of strength, especially if you’re someone new to stimulant-based products. The reason for this is that the body is adaptive, and over time will no longer respond to the stimulant you are supplying it with. If you were to start right at the top of the range, the strongest formula with the highest amount of caffeine available, then you have reached a ceiling once your body begins to adapt. Leaving you maxed out with no room to increase the stimulant strength you now require to elicit the desired response; and where does this put you? Taking two or even three scoops of a high stimulant formula… this is not a place we want to be. We should always aim to get the greatest response from the lowest amount of stimulus, hence why we use the strength of these products as a tool that we can implement if and only when required.
The next thing to pay attention to when deciding on a pre-workout is the ingredient list, just remember that more is not always better. The results we get from these products are often dependent on the dosage of each ingredient as well as the way these ingredients interact with one another forming a synergistic response in the body. Moving away from proprietary blend (labels that don’t disclose the amount of each given ingredient) and formulas that have massive ingredient labels dosed extremely low is often a wise move. Instead, look for a product that has a nice list of well dosed, quality ingredients that will give you the best results in regards to mental state and physical performance. One final thing to be aware of is the point of diminishing return. This is where a certain product may have extremely high doses of an ingredient, such as caffeine dosed upwards of 400mg, that will over stimulate your body and deliver a negative response in the body.
It can sometimes be hard making this selection and finding that sweet spot, as we all respond a little differently to certain products. However, by paying attention to these little things such as ingredient profile and dosage, we can often make an informed decision to which Pre-workout will best get us up and about for our session after a long days work. From there we can adjust and manipulate down the track, as we gain experience, try new things and find what products respond best for our bodies. Pre-workouts are arguably one of the most useful supplements available to us, as they act as a tool that we can implement to enhance our ability to train and perform at our best, even when we’re tired and unmotivated. With such great tools at your disposal, there is no reason to have to miss those training sessions, so play around, try new things and find what products work best for you. Push through those plateaus, work hard and don’t give up on what you want most for what you want now.
Author Glen George from our Blackburn store in Melbourne!