Don’t waste money on poor pre workouts. Her’s my quadrennial round-up of THE BEST pre workouts according to science.

The Russ List: The Top 10 Pre Workouts Of 2020

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

9 min read

It’s time for my quadrennial round-up of the best PRE WORKOUT supplements.

2020 has been a very good year for supplement companies in this niche, so compiling this list was a real challenge. You can rest assured that everything which has made the cut is solid as fuck but, of course, there can only be one winner.

So who came out on top?


10. Dopa Rush Pre-Workout (AML)

AML Dopa Rush Pre Workout review
AML Dopa Rush Pre Workout

Product Highlights Include:
* 6g l-citrulline
* 2g l-tyrosine
* 200mg caffeine + 125mg TeaCrine
* 100mg Garcinia indica extract
* No taurine, BCAAs, or niacin

The original Dopa Rush formula was released in 2018, and it was basically AML’s take on an energy drink. As the name suggests, it works by maximizing dopamine production, making you feel insanely focused and full of energy. Dopa Rush quickly became a big seller, so AML upgraded decided to upgrade it into a fully fledged pre workout – the rather obviously titled Dopa Rush Pre Workout.

Dopa Rush Pre Workout takes the clinical dose of 2g l-tyrosine alongside 200mg caffeine, 125mg of the awesome TeaCrine, and 100mg garcinia indica extract of the original product and adds 6 grams of l-citrulline, alongside some beetroot extract and potassium.

The 1-2-3 combo of l-tyrosine, caffeine and l-citrulline mean that Dopa Rush Pre Workout is FREAKING AWESOME during HIIT workous.

Click here to order it.


9. Total War (RedCon1)

Redcon 1 Total War
best pre workout supplements list

Product Highlights Include:
* 6g citrulline malate
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 350mg caffeine

Total War is simple and effective, bringing clinical doses of citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and caffeine.

The marketing is the real star here, though. With an Air Force theme and super manly product names (Total War, Big Noise, Grunt), RedCon1 appear to be following Grenade’s business template to the letter, and they’ve seen huge growth in the last two years as a result.

Some people (including me) were immediately put off this brand out of loyalty to CT Fletcher, and that’s understandable when we consider the history, but there’s no denying that that this is a solid pre workout, and if they carry on with their killer marketing campaigns, the sky is the limit (pun intended). Mark my words, RedCon1 will be one of the biggest supplement brands of 2020/2021.

Click here to order it.


8. Limitless (Muscle Rage)

musclerage limitless pre workout
best pre workout supplements list

Product Highlights Include:
* 6g citrulline malate
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 350mg caffeine
* 225mg DMHA blend
* No taurine, BCAAs, or niacin

Muscle Rage used to be an online supplement store until 2015 when they decided to manufacture their own products.

Limitless is their flagship pre workout, and as far as first attempts go, this is fucking excellent!

So much so, that they actually made this list ahead of the likes of Myprotein, Optimum Nutrition, Reflex, and Gaspari.

Alongside full clinical doses of citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and caffeine, it’s one of the few pre workouts to still contain the controversial stimulant DMHA. That throws it into a grey area for those who compete it sports, but for lifters who just want to get an awesome gym session in it’s top notch.

I recommend buying it direct from the manufacturers here.


7. Morph Xtreme (iSatori)

isatori morph xtreme pre workout review
isatori morph

Product Highlights Include:
* 7g citrulline malate
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 2.5g creatine magnesium chelate
* 1.5g betaine anhydrous
* 350mg caffeine

It’s great to see iSatori back on top of their game.

This brand has a history of being right on the cutting edge of new developments in the supplement world, but they lost their way after founder Stephen Adele sold the company to FitLife Brands in 2015. Morph Xtreme marks their return to the top table of pre workout supplements.

MORPH has a storied history of its own. You see, it was originally released back in 2008 as an unusual pill-form pre-workout, but sales weren’t too hot, and it wound up getting discountinued.

After almost a decade in the dark, the new formula has arrived and it doesn’t disappoint. It contains full clinical doses of citrulline malate, beta-alanine, caffeine, choline, and even creatine. That’s a LOT of bang for your buck right there, and will lead to some impressive training sessions for sure.

Click here to order it.


6. PreFierce (TruFierce Nutrition)

prefierce pre workout
list of best pre workouts

Product Highlights Include:
* 7g citrulline malate
* 3.5g beta-alanine
* 2.5g betaine anhydrous
* 250mg caffeine + 250mg l-theanine
* No taurine, BCAAs, or niacin

This is a real back to basics pre workout, and I like it!

PreFierce cuts out several unnecessary ingredients which are often included in pre workout formulas (like BCAAs, taurine, and nicain) and focuses on the stuff which has been shown to have the most immediate impact during training. The end result is a formula which looks tiny in comparison to most other products, but packs a bigger punch!

You can order it here.



5. Sidewalk Kraka (Iron Addicts)

iron addicts sidewalk kraka pre workout

Product Highlights Include:
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 374mg caffeine + 100mg theobromine
* 125mg stimulant blend
* No taurine, BCAAs, or niacin

sidewalk kraka pre workout

If CT Fletcher could bottle one of his legendary motivational speeches, it would probably look like the Sidewalk Kraka formula.

Anyone who is familiar with Iron Addicts will know that that’s probably the best compliment I can give to this product, because that’s exactly what CT’s audience is looking for. I mean, he’s the kind of guy who could motivate a corpse to climb out of its coffin and perform an extra rep!

You won’t find any muscle pump ingredients here (which ultimately keeps it off the top spot), but in their place you’ll get a stim-heavy formula which was created with the sole goal of ramping your energy levels higher than ever before. You know, when behind-the-scenes drama caused the original Iron Addicts supplement line to go out of business in 2015, CT swore it would rise from the ashes like a phoenix. He was right.

You can buy direct from the manufacturer here.


4. Pre JYM (JYM Supplement Science)

is Pre JYM the best pre workout?
the russ list

Product Highlights Include:
* 6g citrulline malate
* 2g creatine HCL
* 2g beta-alanine
* 1.5g betaine anhydrous
* 1.5g l-tyrosine
* 300mg caffeine

Now we’re getting to the real cream of the crop.

Pre JYM is probably the world’s most famous pre-workout supplement. Since its release in 2013 it has shattered all of the sales records for a product of this type, and it continues to be a big draw almost a decade on. That’s because it has an incredibly solid formula which can still stand up for itself all these years later.

Dr. Jim Stoppani really changed the game when he introduced this one to the market, as it encouraged other manufacturers to move away from using under-dosed ingredients and bullshit proprietary blends. This ushered in a golden age of top pre workouts – and Pre JYM sat above them all.

Thick pumps, great energy, barely any filler ingredients. It was awesome.

But that was then and this is now. Science has eventually caught up to Dr. Stoppani, and the once-king has been de-throned by brands which have moved ahead of the chasing pack. Don’t get me wrong; Pre JYM is still a good product – it wouldn’t have achieved #4 if it wasn’t – but if the doc wants to regain the top spot then this old classic needs an updated formula.

Click here to order it.

UPDATE: The doc must read the website, because he’s just dropped that updated formula!


3. Super Human (Alpha Lion)

Alpha Lion Super Human pre workout
list of best pre workouts 2020

Product Highlights Include:
* 4g l-citrulline
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 2.5g betaine anhydrous
* 1.5g l-tyrosine
* 400mg stimulant blend
* 325mg caffeine blend

The branding of Alpha Lion is on a par with that of RedCon1, and I expect these guys to do some great things in the next couple of years.

Unlike their Air Force themed rivals, though, Alpha Lion are making everything sound… well… ALPHA! Cue some ridiculously over the top product names which reek of manliness (Hulk Juice! Apex Burn! Lion’s Blood!).

It’s hugely entertaining to me.

Of course, none of this would matter if the product was bad, so you’ll be pleased to know it’s great. Super Human is a truly monstrous pre workout which comes fully dosed with citrulline malate, beta-alanine, betaine anhudrous, caffeine, and l-theanine. It turns out they weren’t joking when they said they wanted to give you “the most anabolic workout of your entire life!”

You can order it here.


2. PRE (NutraBio)

NutraBio PRE workout review
Russ_Howe_PTI

Product Highlights Include:
* 6g l-citrulline
* 3.2g beta-alanine
* 3g creatine monohydrate
* 2.5g betaine anhydrous
* 1.5g l-tyrosine
* 350mg caffeine blend
* 300mg l-theanine

NutraBio have been releasing top quality supplements for decades, but they’ve never really received the credit they deserve for it.

That all changed in 2016 when Jim Stoppani (of Pre JYM fame) unknowingly picked a fight with them and they completely shut him down in a glorious 10-minute video. A lot of people responded well to the professional manner in which CEO Mark Glazier defended his brand, and I was pleased to see this, because NutraBio products are rock fucking solid.

Seriously, these guys were using transparent labels and providing fully-dosed ingredients before everyone else.

PRE takes the #2 spot this year. It has a very strong formula indeed – all of the big guns are here (CitMal, betaine, beta-alanine, creatine, l-tyrosine, caffeine, and l-theanine!), and they come in large enough servings to maximize your results.

You can order it here.



1. Pre Workout (AML)

AML pre workout
aml pre workout review

Product Highlights Include:
* 8g citrulline malate
* 5g creatine monohydrate
* 2.5g betaine anhydrous
* 2g beta-alanine
* 1g l-tyrosine
* 520mg potassium citrate
* 400mg caffeine
* No taurine, BCAAs, or niacin

AML take 1st place this year, with the imaginatively titled Pre Workout.

This thing is 26 grams of near perfection.

Not only does it contain a superior ingredient list to any other product in the list (including the often overlooked potassium citrate and folic acid), but the ingredients are mostly delivered in full clinical doses, too! A whopping 8 grams of citrulline malate, 400mg caffeine, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, and 2.5g betaine make this the perfect pre workout for any athlete looking to improve their performance.

You can order it here.


The Best Of The Best

what is the best pre workout in 2020

So there you have it!

Congratulations to Steve Blechman, Joe Donnelly, and the rest of the team at Advanced Molecular Labs for taking home first place in the inaugral Russ List. They’ll be the #1 pre workout until the next edition is published in 2024, at which point we’ll see if anyone has been able to catch them up.

Here are the top 10 pre workouts in full:

  1. Pre Workout (AML)
  2. PRE (NutraBio)
  3. Super Human (Alpha Lion)
  4. Pre JYM (JYM Supplement Science)
  5. Sidewalk Kraka (Iron Addicts)
  6. PreFierce (TruFierce Nutrition)
  7. MORPH Xtreme (iSatori)
  8. Limitless (Muscle Rage)
  9. Total War (RedCon1)
  10. Dopa Rush Pre-Workout (AML)

>> You may also enjoy: The Russ List 2020: Top 5 Whey Protein Powders.

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

One response to “The Russ List: The Top 10 Pre Workouts Of 2020”

  1. Mike avatar
    Mike

    I remember you pointing me in the direction of iSatori wayyyy back in like 2013/14, such a great company! This is a good roundup, and pleased to see they still rank so high, I’ll check out some of these other brands for sure.

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