Tag Archives: pre-workout

Why I DO NOT Review Pre-Workout Supplements

In 2007, I started taking supplements (pre/intra/post workout) in order to increase my performance as a Division I athlete (that I was grossly unprepared for that level of competition). Although I was practically raised in fitness facilities, working out with my mother at home, playing competitive sports all day every day, I never had a real strength and conditioning or sports performance coach until college. In high school varsity sports, we hit the weight room together but there were no programs for exercise or nutrition. My sport-specific skills were top notch but I didn’t have a body that could use those skills. 

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What’s Different? NEW FORMULA BSN N.O.-XPLODE

For hardcore lifters, skip this first paragraph to find what you need. As for everyone else, when I first started lifting weights in the gym and having these focused hour-long or so strength training sessions, I saw all these crazy colored drinks that all the bigger guys had. Most of those were NOXPLODE by BSN, one of the most prominent supplement companies and a pioneer in the industry. More and more supplement companies have been popping up what seems like every single week, creating an endless supplies of pre, intra, and post workout drinks. Still, BSN maintains its place as arguably the biggest there is. They’ve always said FINISH FIRST, and NOXPLODE is certainly one of those products that can help you do just that.

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WHAT’S DIFFERENT: The old formula tasted good, this tastes better. The old formula mixed well, this mixes better. The old formula came in a medium-sized tub, this comes in a much more compact one. As for the effect, as we all know, pre-workout supplements can affect individuals differently. It depends on if your stomach is empty or full, what your tolerance to the ingredients in the blend is, how long and often you’ve been taking similar substances, and if you’re on board or not. The placebo effect of supplements is real, in my opinion, and you must have that mind-muscle connection to push yourself as far as possible. But as for the ingredients, it has nearly everything necessary to promote optimal blood and oxygen flow to allow you to push yourself to the limit.

THE BOTTOM LINE: What I’m saying is that I don’t personally think the new formula is more effective than the old one, in terms of what you feel (tingling, shaking, etc.) BUT it gives you that same amazing result in a better tasting, smoother mixing, and more compact form. That’s a pretty good deal. It’s not like 1MR Vortex, which in my opinion was a FAR INFERIOR product to its predecessor, 1MR. 

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Seriously, this is one of the ONLY FRUIT PUNCH pre-workouts that I can tolerate, let alone enjoy. And the container is so cool. Plus, it’s got a great economical value. It’s not as cheap as White Flood or expensive as NO Shotgun, but it gives you a high-end product at a medium price point. That’s a good deal. Look out for deals at Tigerfitness.com and Bodybuilding.com They usually run specials. Plus you can throw a BSN Syntha-6 on there (one of the most delicious proteins on the market, period.)

Oh, and for anyone that isn’t familiar with it, (which I’m sure most of you are) pre-workout supplements like NOXPLODE help provide amplified levels of energy and endurance to help you maximize your performance and make the most out of your training sessions. It can work for bodybuilders, CrossFitters, strongmen/women, athletes, etc. Just make sure you read everything on the label and listen to all that fine print. Do not mix this in a shaker, it will become all fizz and no liquid. You have been warned. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

Hungry’s New Favorites: Frozen Kiss Apparel

Back in Boulder, through a friend that has lived in Boulder for decades, I found out about a local clothing brand owned and created by his friend. His friend, who I won’t name because he was not consulted about this post but may be featured in the future, is from Boulder but spent time in California and really seems to appreciate living right. That is, enjoying life and being positive, while sharing those good feeling with other people.

Colorado Flag custom Hoodie  3 layer sewn flag zippered sweatshirt

He is now spreading that through his Frozen Kiss apparel brand. You can find the clothing on his shop on Etsy (an online store for handmade and homemade goods and more!). If you had been following me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or our other pages, you would see how I have been featuring the tanks.

Sporting the tank with some tiger balm for pre-workout

Sporting the tank with some tiger balm for pre-workout

My orange tank is made from American Apparel and has been hand embroidered. The fabric is of the highest quality and is ethically made in the United States. The brand name is on the front and the classic Colorado design is on the back. As a result, you are paying a premium price for all of that goodness but it is worth it. The tanks are perfect for the summer and warm days in general. They are comfortable sleeping shirts or for wearing around the house. The hoodies are just as good and the shop offers a New Mexico-based design as well. Finally, the color selection is tremendous… very fun and different.

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Hungry and Fit are enjoying their Frozen Kiss apparel and hope to create ties with the company in the future to offer fans of both some custom Frozen Kiss/Hungry and Fit gear for healthy lifestyles! We’ll keep you posted on that progress and let us know in the comments below if you’d be interested in some apparel by sharing your ideas!

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Do NOT Mix Thermogenics and an “Empty” Stomach

If you don’t know what I’m doing this week, please read hereNow that you understand my Hell, please know that I made a big mistake last night. So yesterday was Day 2 of this awful protein-shake-only thing I’m doing. And I know I have a tough workout coming up, to be more specific, the Spartacus workout3 circuits of it. So I was thinking…I should probably take a pre-workout so I have enough energy for the workout. Unfortunately, the only thing we had left was little thermogenic sample packs. If you don’t know what a thermogenic is–it’s basically a fat burner. However, it also has energy in it–concentrated caffeine. If any of you know me, you know caffeine tears my body apart.

So I take it. Feeling alright, feel as if I have enough sustenance in my body (because I previously just had my #4 protein shake) and head over to my workout. Now I am proud of myself for this workout. Nobody was watching me, I set up a timer, and did every set, every rep as hard as I could. When I felt like giving up, I would push on and fight harder. So that felt awesome–3 circuits through, 10 stations, 1 minute each. And I did it. Felt shaky by the end, but I was expecting that.

Near the beginning

Near the beginning

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photo 2 (7)Then I get home. And it just hits me–I get the shakes all over and become incredibly nauseous and cold. I really felt like throwing up, but didn’t. All I could do was lay down on the couch, trying to watch the NBA Finals game (boo, Heat!), but feeling so tremendously awful. I have one last protein shake to drink, the one I probably needed the most, but I just couldn’t do it. So I go to bed very early and have a rough night of tossing and turning with the taste of bile in my mouth, but I woke up feeling better and hungry.

How I felt

How I felt

Still feeling a little off today, but it’s Day 3 and I’m hoping it will be easier from here on out. My body is getting accustomed to less food, so I will be less hungry. My body is pretty sore, especially my back and rear delts, but it feels good. I brought an ice cube tray to work to munch on and it feels like I’m eating real food!

My cute ice cubes

My cute ice cubes

Moral of the Story: DO NOT HAVE THERMOGENICS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Period.

Cheers! Stay hungry and fit!

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Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

This post is essentially a direct email to a close friend of mine that I brought more into the world of fitness last year before I moved. One of my former pupils is now helping him but there are always questions that need to be answered. This response to one of his questions is going to be used as the topic of this post as a result of his request. It is, therefore, to a certain degree catered to his personal needs. I could have just told him to go to Amazon or Bodybuilding.com to read product reviews, but that wouldn’t be very nice, would it?

Disclaimer: The following is to a certain degree my opinion and personally professional way of explaining some very complicated matters. Although I have knowledge based on formal education and years of experience and experimentation, the language used may not necessarily be technically or scientifically accurate. It is merely a useful means to explain complex processes and ideas in a way that everyone can understand, visualize, and implement. If you have an issue with the way I do what I do, please send us an email. Thank you =)

 

Note: This will not be very in-depth. For more specific questions, please message us. We will answer ALL questions.

 

I am going to break this into a few sections. First, I will be dealing with general vitamins, minerals and similar products that relate to nutrition and dieting. Then I will go into three sections that highlight pre, intra (or during), and post workout related supplements. If you are looking for anything about proteins, skip to the post workout section.

 

Vitamins and minerals are an important part of the operation of our body’s various systems. Common vitamins such as A, B, C, D, and E are very beneficial for our health. While we can obtain them from certain foods and even our environment, sometimes a multivitamin will provide us with a consistent intake. Also, anti-inflammatory and pro-health supplements that are found in nature, such as turmeric and curcumin are low risk options. For more information about those, check out Monica’s Health Mag.

 

I recommend a few “multivitamins.” First, Kirkland has one of the only USP verified products on the market and it is very affordable. Emergen-C is a different means of consumption (a powder that is mixed in liquid) but you need to be aware that it is believed that it can be harmful to the enamel on your teeth. For those that are training hard, Universal Animal Pak is a more serious product that contains 11 pills in one “half-serving.”. I would recommend those products over other brands for performance and value.
 
Creatine: This is an organic acid that is present in vertebrates. That means that is a natural compound that is already inside of you! It’s purpose is to provide energy to various parts of your body, mainly your muscles. For anyone questioning taking creatine, please recognize that it is not a high risk product if taken properly and it can have positive results on your growth and development when paired with an effective physical fitness routine. I would recommend taking Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder. It is a simple monohydrate, more natural and basic essentially. Try to take it in six week on and off cycles, performing a loading stage the first week and a maintenance stage for the next five. In the loading stage, take one scoop (teaspoon) with every macro or major meal, and one heaping scoop post workout. (Realize that many pre/intra/and post workout supplements also contain creatine.) During maintenance, take a scoop post workout.

 

 

Pre-Workouts: Many of these products contain various vitamin b, amino acids, and what I will refer to as aerating compounds. They essentially get more air to your blood and provide you with a placebo effect pump up feeling. I am not the largest supporter of these products and the massive amount of them that exist. They conveniently affect everyone differently. Even if it only makes you think that it is working, that might help your workout. They can potentially reduce lactic acid buildup, allowing you to perform more repetitions and further tear your muscle fibers before fatigue sets in too far. I recommend Cellucor C4 if you want one that tastes better. MusclePharm Assault is another one that tastes alright and is more effective. If you want a better value, try Jack3d. Try to stay away from lemonades and fruit punches, they usually taste worse. Usually stick to one scoop, but follow directions. I like to take these on an empty stomach, but I have a sensitive stomach so it’s up to you.

 

 

Intra-Workouts: Again, I am even less of a fan of these products. They are very similar to pre-workouts, but they provide you with more carbohydrates and electrolytes to help you maintain endurance based strengths throughout a workout. These are more useful for longer workouts. I recommend Cytosport’s Cytomax. Ask for flavor recommendations, but they are all relatively good in terms of taste. Take one scoop for an hour-long workout, or two for a two-hour long workout. Make sure you double your amount of water if doubling scoops.

 

Post-Workouts: Protein supplements are the reason this article was written. I recommend that you eat a gram of protein for every pound you want in your goal weight. I want to weigh 225 pounds again, so I shoot for at least 225 grams of protein a day. Sometimes that can be hard to achieve on a certain budget or with time restraints. Protein powders provide a reasonably priced and very dense protein serving, and they usually have other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids as well. Thus, you can quickly hit a protein goal by making a shake with these powders. I prefer eating real foods for protein, fish being my go to.

 

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a more complex and tasty product, I recommend Cytosport’s Muscle and Monster Milks. BSN’s Syntha-6 is a good value, mixes well, and tastes alright. For the purists out there, I would stick to Optimum Nutrition’s Isolated Whey Protein and Isolated Casein Protein. Now, it is up to you, but do not try the crazy flavors like Cookies n’ Cream. They are awful. Stick with chocolate or vanilla, depending on your preference. Moving backwards, whey protein is derived from the process of making cheese while casein is more so derived from the milk of mammals directly. Whey breaks down and is processed faster, so I usually take it during the day. Casein processes slower but is still protein packed so I usually take it before going to sleep. Get both if you’re super serious, or whey if you’re starting out easy.

 

 

A post for dieting and nutrition will be made in the future and it will go more into depth of how these products can fit into your diets. For now, here are just introductory tips and product recommendations.

 

Cheers!

Supplement Review: Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout

It is time to write this review because I have officially decided to stop using this product for health concerns. Honestly, I cannot say for certain if this is having negative side effects on me, but I believe that it is.

A little history: I have been using Optimum Nutrition as a major supplement provider for the past five years. I have consistently gone back to cycles of their Isolated Whey Protein (Chocolate) because it is affordable in bulk, mixes well with milk and water, and is one of the more natural proteins in its class. I also only use Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder in cycles for the past four years. I have never had any issues with these two products, obviously.
 
As a result, when I found out that they recently released their own Pre-Workout, I was excited. I bought it immediately and said as soon as my MusclePharm Assault and 1MR are finished, I’ll start a cycle with it. Well I did just that and was immediately not impressed. I got the Raspberry-Lemonade, 30 servings, which has recommended use of 1 scoop for average training and 2 for intense. It’s a rule that you only try the half serving the first time around with a new supplement so I did just that.

It tasted awful! Really was one of the worst tasting pre-workouts ever, and I have tried nearly all of them (not every flavor of all of them). The weirdest part was that is was spicy. I have a tongue disorder that causes my tongue to be extremely sensitive and this burned my tongue worse than chili peppers. This was extremely painful and the sensation lasted for quite some time. Within three days of starting using this I ended up in the emergency room with what was diagnosed as gastritis. Looking back, I truly believe that this was the cause of the gastritis, which essentially ruined my last two months of 2012 and even carried into 2013. I believe if I did not buy this product, I would not have had my health issues that led to me missing work, Christmas, and weeks of working out.

Now, I have no issue with ON over the incident but as of tonight, despite having servings left, I will stop taking it to see if my stomach issues and digestive problems go away. If they don’t, maybe I’ll finish the load. If they do, I’ll give it away to someone who might not have as sensitive a stomach. I highly doubt any other supplement that I am taking is the cause since I have used them for the last five years with no issues.
As for its effectiveness, it is hard to measure but I never felt any sensation of extra blood or oxygen flowing through my veins or body during the cycle. No tingling in the lips or mouth. No extra pump in muscle groups and no noticeable decrease in my lactic acid build up.So unfortunately, ON, from a professional opinion, I have to give your Platinum Pre-Workout a 2/10. It is somewhat affordable and mixes well, but tastes awful and has little to no effect on a workout, either pre, during or post. The rating does not even include what I think it did to my health. No hard feelings on potentially ruining a ton of progress that I made and my two favorite months and holidays of the year.