The Importance of Pre Workouts and How To Maximize Strength
I don’t think there are very many of us that go to the gym without a pre-workout these days. Every time I step foot into my gym I see guys chugging back powerful pre-workout mixes – some even toss it back as a powder – crazy, right?
Pre-Workouts are the foundation of success in your strength and power at the gym.
Although many people might view them as a strict pump enhancer or stimulant, many modern pre-workout drinks actually contain a wealth of nutrients that help to provide the body with essential energy for your training.
Think of your pre-workout as the fuel for your training. This fuel helps you hit an extra rep each set, push your weights beyond your training limits and some can even help to recover faster after a workout.
In this guide, we are going to help you maximize your strength by using a complete pre-workout and help you to understand what to look for in the best pre-workout amplifiers.
Why Are Pre-Workouts Important?
The first question we want to answer is why you should even bother with a pre-workout. In other words – are they just hype, or is there something really going on?
Pre-workouts are important for three main reasons:
1. They Allow for Greater Blood Flow
The basis of your training will depend on blood flow. If you can successfully transport oxygenated blood to the muscle, along with all the nutrients it contains you can successfully hit your sets properly.
Good blood flow will also help to delay the onset of lactic acid – a process that can lead to fatigue in the muscle.
Having optimal blood flow is an important trait in any pre-workout and when you are looking for this you should always look for a product that says it vasodilates. Good vasodilators are L-Arginine and Citrulline Malate.
2. They Contain Stimulants
Some people may not like the experience of stimulants and might look for a specific pre-workout that does not contain heavy stimulants, but for most people the amount of stimulants in your pre-workout is essential. Most of these pre-workouts will contain a good source of caffeine and other stimulants that help to accelerate the metabolism and can even lead to an increase in strength and alertness.
After all, the more alert and aware you are during your training session the more likely you are to succeed in your strength session.
3. They Promote Recovery
This is one of the lost elements that many pre-workouts do not aim for, but some of the best will still contain many ingredients that help to limit fatigue and allow for greater workout performance.
Most pre-workouts will contain a good supply of citrulline malate which is derived from watermelon seeds and can help to limit the stress on muscles to promote recovery.
Another aspect of recovery that many people miss is the inclusion of creatine and amino acids. Both of these ingredients will go to work to replenish lost energy stores – especially creatine and the amino acid L-Isoleucine.
Ensuring that you have enough rest and recovery is important, and a good pre-workout will factor this into their blend.
Various Styles of Pre-workout
Now that we have an understanding of the main components of pre-workouts there are some important styles of pre-workout that you should be aware of.
This is my personal favourite (because I’m not into stimulants). Pump products only contain ingredients that help to increase blood flow (vasodilation) although a lot of times they will also have elements like creatine and amino acids to help promote recovery.
The best part about these products is that you can take them at virtually anytime because they do not contain stimulants that will keep you up at night. Perfect for a morning workout with no afternoon crash, or an evening workout with a good sleep following the training session.
The standard pre-workout will contain ingredients that both provide a pump and have a stimulant experience. In this way, you will feel stronger and look your best while training – both categories we all look for in a great product.
These pre-workouts will serve as the basis for your strength training and can help you to grow stronger throughout your training. They contain both stimulants like caffeine and pump enhancers like arginine – but they are also sometimes paired with creatine and other recovery products.
Our favourite pre-workout to fit this category is 4 GAUGE, a premium pre-workout that contains a wealth of potent ingredients built to provide you with a killer workout every day.
You can find more information about 4 GAUGE here.
The last and most trending area of pre-workout products is the hybrids. These products contain a vast array of ingredients that have the end goal of providing you with an unrivalled workout experience and a pure recovery process.
Some hybrids will even contain ingredients that are built to boost testosterone levels so that you can have a temporary boost in raw strength and power. These products are ones that should be taken in moderation and you definitely need to watch your dosage.
My personal favourite hybrid pre-workout is ATOMIC_ONE PRE by Atomic Strength. For more information about this product and how it works feel free to follow this link.
Should You Use A Pre-Workout?
Many people view pre-workouts as an addition that can be unnecessary to your strength advancements. In some cases, these people might be true, but in other cases, it is important to recognize that a pre-workout is built to amplify your performance.
There is nothing in the pre-workout that will actually provide you with more strength, instead of the ingredients blend together to allow you the ability to train harder and longer.
Some people may find that without a stimulant or a pump enhancer that they are not as motivated in the gym. In this case, it is important to note that there are many simple ways to have a natural pre-workout from food. In fact, eating some fruit like apples and mangos with a cup of coffee can actually provide a very good stimulant experience.
Using a pre-workout will help to provide a very specific touch to your workout performance.
Are they completely essential – perhaps not, but there is a good reason a lot of the biggest guys in the gym take them – they work.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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