To help you understand my relationships with Pre-Workout supplements – let’s go back to 2001. Yes, 14 years ago. 2001. I was a 6th grader. Whoa! 6th grade? Yes. My brother Jake was my idol. He was in 9th grade. He was taking something called v12 or something crazy like that. It was a pre-workout drink and something a GNC Sales Associate told him to take. I wanted to be big like my brother. So, what did I do? I started SNEAKING his Pre-Workout drinks before my wrestling practices! Ha! Whoa…6th grade was the first year I ever placed in state wrestling. I took 4th place! Wow. This stuff is great. I started lifting in January of 2001. When I was halfway through my 6th grade year. My dad told me I should do it to become a better football player/wrestler/basketball player/track athlete. I thought, heck yeah! My brother takes it, so should I!
6 months goes by and my brother keeps accusing me of stealing it. I was so sneaky I would pour it into zip lock bags and take it to the weight room with me (Before my 6am workout). Keep in mind my house was less than 2 blocks from our school. But, I thought I Was being super sneaky by taking a scoop then taking it in the bathroom of the weight room.
From 2001-2015 I HEAVILY abused pre-workout drinks. V12, Fast Twitch, No-Xplode, Superpump MAX, Superpump 250, 1RM, NO-Shotgun, Pump Igniter, Jack3D, C4, Assault, PRE-, HyperFX, Speed Stack (Aka Speed Crack), Xpand – ETC ETC. Trust me – When I tell you that if there was a popular pre-workout from 2001-2015 – I TOOK IT!
2004-2007 – I took wrestling seriously. I wouldn’t take pre-workouts before wrestling practice because I knew I wanted to keep my Heart Rate down.
But – from 2007-2010 I did strongman. I probably took 800mg of caffeine per day throughout that time (College). I started reselling sports supplements in 2008 – and MAN do you get a lot of free CRACK samples!
2010-2015 – I did weightlifting. (Snatch/Clean & Jerk). If any of you guys aren’t familiar with how top teams train) – you train 2x/day almost every single day. 10-12:30 & 4-7. Almost 6 hours per day you are in the gym. Whoa. How do you get by? You take tons of monster energy drinks and pre-workout!
Let me take you through my typical caffeine schedule the last 5 years.
8am: Wake up
930- Take 300mg caffeine (Pre-Workout)
10-12:30 Workout – And break this up at 11:30 by taking 100mg caffeine
2-330 try to nap/mess around/no idea what actually went on here
3:30 – 400mg caffeine
4-6:30 Workout – And break this up at 5:30 by taking 100mg caffeine)
11pm – Try to sleep – but can’t fall asleep until 1:30am
What the? How weird is this? I essentially had a constant IV of caffeine because I was so drained from training – I thought. I had to wake up and prepare for training. Because I was tired and sore I took more caffeine. I got halfway through training and would take pre workout straight to the mouth because I felt like I Was losing energy. I would get to 2pm and try to take a nap. Even though I Was exhausted I couldn’t nap because I had too much caffeine in me. I then got to 3:30 feeling tired so I took MORE caffeine! I got halfway though and needed MORE to keep me UP. I then developed a hard case of insomnia. I used to say it was because I had SOOOOO much on my mind. I COULDN’T SHUT MY BRAIN OFF.
No…I didn’t have insomnia. I didn’t have a sleep issue. I didn’t have energy issues. I had an ADDICTION issue. I always wanted to feel ENERGIZED for training. I wanted to feel UP. I ABUSED caffeine and as a result lived a VERY poor lifestyle as a result. My work and even my relationships suffered because I Was so exhausted. The WAVES of energy were so severe I’d go from the happiest dude on the planet to thoughts of self descruction.
My point? Let sleep be your drug. Get energy from your sleep and your diet. Don’t let caffeine control you. I know this sounds severe, but, as I sit here at 11:15pm on a Sunday night – I can’t believe it took me so long to realize the issue:
I TOOK PRE-WORKOUT BECAUSE I FELT TIRED. I FELT TIRED BECAUSE I TOOK PRE-WORKOUT…Let your goals be your pre-workout. Let water be your pre-workout. Let your wife, girlfriend, dog, family, friends be your pre workout. Let your sleep be your pre workout. Let mediocrity be your pre-workout. Let success be your pre-workout. Let fulfillment be your pre-workout. Caffeine can help – but don’t let it control you.