We all know diets don't work. To lose fat and keep it off takes the right trifecta of clean eating, proper training and customized supplementation.
One supplement I added to my regimen over a year ago is a pre-workout and my results have been UNDENIABLE. I've lost roughly 30 pounds, have leaned out and toned up, and have put on a fair amount of muscle, mainly in the bootayyyy area (BOOM 👊). As of late, I've gotten a ton of questions about why I religiously use a pre-workout and which ones do the trick. So, I'm sharing my secrets with you!
Before I dive in, I want to remind you all that there's no magic pill. But, a pre-workout added to a healthy routine can help kick your results into high gear.
Why use a pre workout?
Pre-workouts are designed to help you increase training volume and intensity so that you can get more out of your workouts.
For a long time, pre-workouts had the reputation for being only for the advanced gym goer whose sole focus was to pack on muscle. But the reality is, pre-workouts can help just about anyone who wants to improve his or her fitness levels–from the beginner all the way to the hardcore gym buff.
In a nutshell, pre-workouts can benefit you if:
Pre-workouts have specialized formulas that enhance physical output for a variety of activities–from heavy deadlifting to running a marathon. The specific ingredients combined in specific doses give you the biggest bang for your buck—helping you to maximize your efforts and reach your goals faster.
What I love about my fave three pre-works I've outlined below?
They all three have a thermogenic! While the pre-workout formula enhances your focus, energy and performance, the thermogenic ramps up your fat-burning ability.
Also, these are in the "low to moderate stimulant" category, so they have enough caffeine to boost your metabolism and give you extra pep in your step, but not enough to keep you awake for days (some pre-workouts do).
Wait, what exactly is a thermogenic pre-workout, you ask?
A thermogenic fat burner speeds up the metabolism by raising your body temperature. In doing so, it creates an atmosphere in your body that is conducive to fat burning. It does this with the aid of natural stimulants such as caffeine, green tea extract and guarana. Thermogenic fat burners boost your metabolism 24/7 while also making your workout more productive. A good thermogenic will also work on the satiety centers in the brain that keep your appetite in check.
If you're a female and your goal is fat loss (whose isn't, let's be real?!), be sure to use a pre-workout with a thermo (you'd be surprised—a lot do not incorporate one).
My top 3 pre-workouts (all tried-and-true):
1. CARDIO CUTS BY NDS NUTRITION
What the brand promises:
1. The best fat-burning pre-workout I've tried, to date. Formulated with 500 mg of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid derived from Safflower Oil) and 500 mg of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Carido Cuts makes your body a fat-burning machine, helping to cinch inches fast.
2. Unfortunately, this quality pre-workout comes at a price. The lowest I've paid is $56 and highest being $66. Not cheap for someone who uses it daily, sometimes twice daily.
3. The brand needs to change the name of this pre-workout because it NOT just for cardio. Ya'll know I'm the furthest from a cardio bunny and I get mad muscle gains from this pre-workout (ask any GNC nutrition/performance expert—they'll tell you the same). So, don't let the name fool you or keep you from trying it.
3. Quicker recovery. Because this pre-workout is packed with Glutamine, BCAAs, and a thorough Rejuvenation Complex, it helps repair your muscles much faster. My DOMS is not nearly as severe as it used to be.
4. Noticeable focus. Because of this thermogenic-inducing blend, TeaCrine®, Quercetin (QU995™), Ashwaganha (KSM-66®), 100 mg of Raspberry Ketones and 100 mug of Huperzine A, these potent ingredients are able to maximize energy levels, focus and mental alertness to make actual gains in the gym.
2. C4 RIPPED BY CELLUCOR
What the brand promises:
3. PRE-WORKOUT EXPLOSION RIPPED BY SIX-STAR
What the brand promises:
My immediate takeaways:
1. Cheapest pre-workout on the market for being a QUALITY product. I can get this pre-workout for $15.99 at Walgreens and $19.99 at Rite Aid. The next best pre-workout is closer to $40.
2. Availability everywhere—I can find this pre-workout at all my local drug stores, including Walgreens and Rite Aid. For me, I can't live without a pre-workout now. So when I run-out, it's nice to know I can run down the street versus having to locate the closest GNC (they're not always so close).
2. Sweat like CRAZY. I really feel detoxed after using this pre-workout. The only downside (if you care) is that my sweat STINKS. It's the strangest phenomenon.
3. Feel the tingles. There's a high level of Beta-Alanine in this pre-workout, which gives you that tingly feeling. Some people despise this affect—I love it because it signals it's working.
4. Explosive energy—I see a noticeable boost in my drive just 20 minutes after taking.