I enjoy stims. I’ve taken lots of them, in all kinds of combinations. Here’s what I can share based on my experiments:
- They don’t do much, but the little they do, they do better if you limit their use.
I’ve used the expensive pre-workout powders like the stuff from Chaos and Pain, I’ve used ephedrine combined with caffeine and nicotine. I’ve used countless variations of over the counter pre-workout stimulants. In the end, you may be more jacked up to train, but you won’t lift more weight, you won’t get stronger, you won’t build more muscle. The real downside is that the more you use them, the less effective they are.
Recently I stopped taking ephedrine because I ran out. It was pure ephedrine I purchased from England. I did the standard 25 MG combined with caffeine three times a day. I also added a 4MG piece of nicotine gum. The first few times, I felt the stimulant effect, but that faded after a short time. I just recently stopped using nicotine gum because I ran out and didn’t feel like spending the big bucks to buy it again. That leaves caffeine.
I drink lots of coffee, and so should you. The health benefits of coffee are extensive and more are discovered all the time. Even the new US Dietary guidelines recommend 5 cups of coffee every day. But my pre-workout caffeine is in pill form. Until very recently, I’d take a 200 MG pill upon awakening every day. Maybe a little more before going to the gym. Sometimes a little more post-workout if I’d had a gruelling session.
The last couple of days, I passed on the 200 MG wake-up caffeine pill and just made a cup of coffee as I shook the cobwebs from my brain. Yesterday, when I went to the gym I took a caffeine pill about 30 minutes before training. At some point during my workout I realized I felt pretty good. Very alert, focused on my squat technique and in a generally good mood. What more could one want from a pre-workout stimulant?!
So here’s my recommendation based on years of experimentation: caffeine pills are cheap. You can get a bottle of 100 pills of 200 MG each for a little more than the cost of one Venti coffee at Starbucks. Take one before you lift. Don’t take any at any other time. You will get maximum impact for your workout, without building up a tolerance.
You may be thinking about the fat burning impact of stimulants. Every fat burner is loaded with stims after all. They have minimal impact. For fat burning you need consistent focus on your diet, with regular reductions in calories when results stop. Stimulants won’t do the trick. Dieting is hard work and if you aren’t nailing that day in and day out, no amount of caffeine or other fat burners are going to make a damn bit of difference. I promise.