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Posted by Barry on Dec 14, 2011

Pre-Workout Supplements

“Pre-workout supplements”. I had never heard of them, much less used them, before P90X.  Despite the fact that I have spent many years of my life lifting weights, I never spent much time researching supplements.  Then I finally decided to listened to the advice of my coach and tried Jack3d (a popular pre-workout N.O. booster) after a year of doing P90X.  All I can say is WOW!!  What a difference in energy, endurance, focus, and muscle pump.  After using it and seeing the difference even my wife started to use it and loves it. I went up immediately in all my repetitions including 3 to 5 more pull-ups and my maximum weight went up in all categories.  If that is not amazing then I don’t know what is.

So, what do N.O. boosters (nitric oxide boosters) do? They cause an increase in nitric oxide in our body, which causes vasodilation (it makes our blood vessels relax and bulge, thus carrying more nutrients and oxygen throughout our body).  This vasodilation allows our muscles to recieve more oxygen and nutrients during workouts — and after workouts.  The main ingredient in nitric oxide boosters is ARGININE.  Arginine is an amino acid which is broken down by our body into nitric oxide.  Arginine comes in various forms, and either plain or mixed with other ingredients thought to intensify the effects and duration of nitric oxide circulating in our body.  For instance, Jack3d also contains creatine and caffeine.  Other popular brands include Superpump 250, 1 M.R., and N. O. Explode.  They have slightly different variations of ingredients, so finding the right one is a very subjective process.  Some find that one works better for them than the others.

**A word of warning = NO boosters affect people differently, so ease into it.  Many have high doses of caffeine, which can make your heart rate go sky high and keep you awake for hours afterward (which would be a big problem if you work out at night).  NO boosters can also make you feel nauseous (and even throw up) if you take more than your body can handle.  BE CAREFUL and read the directions on the product that you buy!!  For example having learned about N.O. Boosters I started off my first time with half of the recommended dosage for Jack3d to see how I felt and after having a great experience I moved up to the recommended dosage from then on.

Do you ever look ahead to your workout and think, “I don’t feel like working out today.”?  Take an N.O. Booster and let me ask you that same question in 30 minutes!  It literally leaves you chomping at the bit to BRING IT!

Some people who have used Jack3d report a “tingling” sensation in their head and extremities after a few minutes.  All I can say is that neither myself or my wife have ever felt that.  The directions indicate that you can take anywhere from 1 scoop to 3 scoops (Start with a ½ scoop and see how you do before trying more!).  I am currently using 1 scoop and like it, but as I progress I may move up to 2 scoops.

As far as which workouts I take it for, my answer is, “Any workout that I want extra focus and energy for”, which is pretty much all of them except the abs and recovery week workouts.  I take it for both lifting and cardio days.  Since Jack3d (and many of the pre-workouts) have creatine in them, I recommend cycling them (2 months on, 1 month off).

In conclusion, I highly recommend an N.O. Booster.  I use the watermelon flavored Jack3d and both my wife and I like the taste, but the word on the street is that most of them taste horrible.

Bottom line = pick a pre-workout that works for you, but I think that once you try one, you will make it part of your “must have” list!!

 Check out My Other Must Haves!

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