After being in the fitness industry for a couple of years, it doesn't take much to notice that pre-workout supplements often have a bad stigma attached, especially to the beginner lifters. It is understandable, though. Anything that gives you a rush of energy, improved concentration and mood are usually associated with having bad side effects.
For as long as taken in moderation, I have never experience bad side effects from pre-workouts, and so do the millions of other lifters who do. Though pre-workouts aren't necessary, I have noticed a huge improvement in my gains after consuming them.
If you feel like you belong in this list, you should consider investing some money in a pre-workout formula!
For more information on pre-workouts, do check out the Pre-workout 101 guide from Cellucor.
1. You Have Long Working Hours
You might be in the office all day and not exert much physical effort, but believe me, leaving the office and beating through traffic is mentally and emotionally exhausting. When you're beasting in the gym, you need a clear mind and intense focus.
Unfortunately, you're used to this weak mental state and think the weights you're pushing through the night are normal, when in fact, you can push so much more when you're at your peak. Pre-workouts are great because they contain caffeine, which improves concentration and alertness. They give you a rush of energy, much more than a can of Red Bull would and you'll notice that you can lift more!
Do note that you shouldn't be taking pre-workouts too late, though. You'll have a hard time sleeping at night, hindering those gains!
2. You're Plateauing
Plateaus are normal for lifters, and they can get frustrating. There was a point in my fitness career where I was lifting the same amount of weight for a couple of months, despite getting enough rest and having my nutrition in check.
Because of this, I wasn't making any more gains as I would before the plateau, and I was starting to get fed up.
The team at Gym Shock suggest that after taking a scoop of pre-workout, you should be able to squeeze 1-2 more reps on each set of every workout. It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up to being able to add more plates on each movement. You'll feel stronger, and look bigger too. Ultimately your motivation should increase alongside this.
3. Training for a Competition
Whether you're a bodybuilder about to go on stage or a sprinter about to go on the track in a couple of months, you will need all the push you can get when you're sacrificing your days training hard and waking up early the next day.
Pre-workouts have ingredients that can help prevent injury such as beta-alanine which helps slow down the build up of lactic acid in muscles one of the factors for cramps. Beta-alanine is also a powerful anti-oxidant.
Citrulline malate is also another powerful ingredient common in pre-workouts. Aside from being a buffer against acid build-up in your muscles, it is also known to help improve blood circulation in muscles. This gives you that insane pump when you're killing those reps. More oxygen and nutrients will flow into your muscles and you can train longer and harder.
Pre-workouts aren't bad as you may initially think. They are very advantageous to your fitness progress, and I can tell you that it has personally helped me a lot.
However, the FDA doesn't regulate pre-workouts, and as a consumer you should do extensive research on a product you're willing to try.