best pre workouts

THE 10 BEST PRE WORKOUTS OF 2020 (THE RUSS LIST!)

It’s time for my yearly round-up of the best PRE WORKOUT supplements currently available to buy.

2020 has been a pretty good year for pre workouts and compiling this list was a real challenge, but it is done. Every supplement on the list below is solid as f**k and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

However, there can only be one CHAMP, so who won?

Let’s jump into the top 10 and see who comes out as the inaugral champions of the Russ List!



what is the best pre workout in 2020
AML Dopa Rush Pre Workout review
list of best pre workouts 2020

10. AML DOPA RUSH PRE WORKOUT

We start the list with an unusual entry…

I’m all for ingenuity, and if there’s one company who are really on top of their game at the moment it’s Advanced Molecular Labs (AML).

The original Dopa Rush formula was released in 2018, and it was basically AML’s take on an energy drink. As the name suggests, the original Dopa Rush worked by maximizing dopamine production, making you feel insanely focused and full of energy.

It quickly became a big seller, so they upgraded the formula to turn it into a fully fledged pre workout, and that’s how we ended up with Dopa Rush Pre Workout.

The original formula had a clinical dose of 2g l-tyrosine alongside 200mg caffeine, 125mg of the awesome TeaCrine (I believe this will become the eventual successor to caffeine as it provides all of its benefits without any of the drawbacks), and 100mg garcinia indica extract. Dopa Rush Pre Workout simply builds upon this by introducing 6 grams of l-citrulline, beetroot extract and potassium. The combination of l-tyrosine, caffeine and l-citrulline mean Dopa Rush Pre Workout is FREAKING AWESOME if you perform HIIT. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s THE BEST cardio-based pre workout available today.

You can buy it HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g l-Citrulline.
  • 200mg Caffeine & 125mg TeaCrine.
  • 2g l-Tyrosine.
  • 100mg Garcinia Indica Extract.
  • Excludes taurine, BCAAs & niacin.
  • These ingredients are perfect for cardio/HIIT.


Redcon1 Total War pre workout
list of best pre workouts 2020

9. REDCON1 TOTAL WAR

Mark my words, RedCon1 will be “the next big thing” in the supplement industry.

I understand that some people might be put off this brand due to loyalty held towards CT Fletcher’s much loved Iron Addicts, and that’s understandable given the history between the two. Heck, I’ll even go as far as to say this product bears a striking resemblance to Sidewalk Kraka – but there’s no denying that Total War is a good pre workout.

The thing which will make this company huge, though, is the marketing. With their air force themed packaging, this US-based manufacturer have successfully re-tread the territory of Grenade and created a very sellable product which is already being stocked by major retailers in the USA and Europe.

That’s not to say the product doesn’t deliver, of course, because it wouldn’t be on this list if that were the case! Total War is fully dosed in citrulline malate and beta-alanine, which will provide you with monstrous pumps. However, it’s not perfect. There are a few ingredients which have been excluded from the formula, because RedCon1 has chosen to put them in their intra-workout (Big Noise), with the idea being you grab both for the maximum experience.

It’s a common industry strategy which many of the top brands are adopting in 2020, and of course this elevates the overall price, but Total War is a solid product and represents good value for money on its own. It’ll be interesting to see if they can get a higher spot next year.

You can buy this product HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g Citrulline malate.
  • 350mg Caffeine.
  • 3.2g Beta-alanine.


muscle rage limitless pre workout
list of best pre workouts 2020

8. MUSCLE RAGE LIMITLESS

Limitless is the flagship pre workout from Muscle Rage.

This up and coming UK brand have done well to surpass several major rivals (Optimum Nutrition, Reflex, Gaspari, Myprotein) in securing a spot in my top 10 with one of their first products, but that’s because the formula is rock solid.

Limitless provides full clinical doses of citrulline malate and beta-alanine alongside a big serving of caffeine, and it’s one of the few products to still include the controversial stimulant DMHA. It also excludes BCAAs and taurine, which is a GREAT decision.

There are too many absentees for it to win overall this year, and the inclusion of DMHA throws Limitless into a grey area for athletes, but it’s still a good pre workout it’ll be worth keeping an eye on these guys in the next couple of years.

You can buy it directly from the company HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g Citrulline malate.
  • 3.2g Beta-alanine.
  • 350mg Caffeine.
  • Excludes taurine, BCAAs & niacin.
  • 225mg Stimulant blend (a good thing or a bad thing, depending if you compete in a sport).


isatori morph xtreme pre workout review
list of best pre workouts 2020

7. ISATORI MORPH XTREME

I’ve loved iSatori for years, so it’s great to see this brand making a bit of a omeback!

Their first product (2003s Meta-CEL) and it’s accompanying training program (Maximum Growth II) was KILLER… Then they introduced creatine ethyl ester to the supplement industry… Then they created the world’s first pre workout containing beta-alanine (H-Blocker)… Then they developed one of the best-selling supplements of all time (Bio-Gro)

It seems they’re always at the cutting edge of something!

MORPH has a storied history of its own. It was originally released way back in 2008 as an unusual pill-form pre workout, but sales weren’t too hot. After being discontinued for a few years, it was brought back from the dead under the new name of iSatori Morph Xtremeand it doesn’t disappoint!

Morph Xtreme is fully dosed in citrulline malate, beta-alanine, caffeine, choline, and creatine. Wowza. That’s a LOT of bang for your buck! However, like most brands iSatori makes the mistake of adding taurine & BCAAs (consider these slight blips on an otherwise top of the line pre workout), which hold it back from competing with the top dogs.

You can buy it directly from the company HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 7g Citrulline malate.
  • 3.2g Beta-alanine.
  • 2.5g Creatine Magnesium Chelate.
  • 1.5g Betaine.
  • 350mg Caffeine.


prefierce pre workout review
what is the best pre workout for lifting weights

6. TRUFIERCE NUTRITION PREFIERCE

PreFierce is a strong debut product from American brand TruFierce Nutrition.

The formula is really clear and provides us with proper doses of citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine – in fact, the first two go slightly higher than the clinical dose. There’s also a perfect combination of 250mg caffeine & 250mg l-theanine, so you’ll get a great energy boost without the usual “crash”. It even excludes BCAAs and taurine; these guys mean business!

PreFierce also contains a bunch of so-called “fat burning ingredients” (acetyl-l-carnitine, green tea extract, black pepper extract) but these are little more than fillers.

You can read my full review HERE and buy it directly from the company HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 7g Citrulline malate.
  • 3.5g Beta-alanine.
  • 2.5g Betaine.
  • 250mg Caffeine.
  • 250mg l-theanine.
  • Excludes taurine, BCAAs & niacin.
  • No exotic stimulants or any other ingredients which fall under a grey area for sports.


CT Fletcher Sidewalk Kraka
what is the best pre workout for lifting weights

5. IRON ADDICTS BRAND SIDEWALK KRAKA

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

In 2016, CT Fletcher’s Iron Addicts Brand was released a bunch of supplements that were absolutely first rate, and they looked set to go from strength to strength based on CT’s YouTube fame – before a torrid behind-the-scenes power struggle saw them go out of business just one year later!

The Superman from Compton promised that his company would “rise from the ashes like a motherf**king Phoenix!”, and Iron Addicts Brand was reborn in early 2019.

Inside the new-look (and awesomely named) Sidewalk Kraka you’ll find a huge 374mg caffeine alongside 100mg theobromine. Given that theobromine is basically a longer lasting version of caffeine, this is a monstrous combination which is essentially a bottled version of one of CT Fletcher’s motivational speeches!

The only notable switch from the near-perfect original formula is the removal of DMHA, a move which lots of brands made after USADA listed it as a banned substance. However, the excellent new stimulant blend does a top job of replicating the euphoric training effect caused by DMHA, which is quite remarkable because lots of other brands have tried and failed the same thing.

The only downside to Sidewalk Kraka is that you won’t find citrulline malate or betaine here, because they’re in the intra-workout Swoliosis instead. Iron Addicts Brand actually started the trend for supplement companies to split pre workouts into two products, a move since copied by almost every brand. The idea is to use the stimulant blend of Sidewalk Kraka before training, then use the pump formula (Swoliosis) during training.

You can read my in-depth review HERE and buy it directly from the company HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 374g Caffeine & 100mg Theobromine.
  • 125mg stimulant blend.
  • 3.2g beta-alanine.
  • Excludes taurine, BCAAs & niacin.
  • No exotic stimulants or any other ingredients which fall under a grey area for sports.


is pre jym the best pre workout
what is the best pre workout for lifting weights

4. JYM SUPPLEMENT SCIENCE PRE JYM

Dr. Jim Stoppani changed the supplement industry when he released Pre JYM in 2013.

Up until that point, most brands hid their formula behind proprietary blends which allowed them to under-dose key ingredients. When the doc decided to use transparent labels which listed the dose of every ingredient, it gave the industry a much needed kick up the a**!

However, it’s not 2013 anymore.

But while Pre JYM may not be the best pre workout any more, its definitely not a bad product.

Highlights of the formula include 6 grams of citrulline malate, 300mg caffeine, 2 grams of beta-alanine, 1.5 grams of betaine, and 2 grams of creatine HCL. This is all good stuff, and it has the unique asset of being part of “The JYM System” whereby every product is designed to work alongside each other (although you’ll need a nuclear sized wallet to get them all!).

Pre JYM would need to update the this formula to reclaim the top spot, but Stoppani has said he doesn’t plan on doing this, insisting it’s still the best pre workout availebl (it’s not, because it contains taurine and BCAAs), so it’ll have to settle for 4th place this year.

You can read my full review HERE. Buy it from HERE in the UK and from HERE in the USA.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g Citrulline malate.
  • 300mg Caffeine.
  • 1.5g Betaine.
  • 5g creatine monohydrate.
  • 2g Beta-alanine.
  • 1.5g l-tyrosine.


alpha lion super human pre workout
list of best pre workouts

3. ALPHA LION SUPERHUMAN

With a tagline of “the most anabolic workout of your life”, here’s a company who aren’t short on confidence.

And rightly so!

Superhuman is fully dosed in citrulline malate (7 grams), caffeine (375mg), beta-alanine (3.5 grams), and l-theanine (350mg). Excellent! It also contains 2 grams of betaine, and is among the best pre workouts to emerge in the last couple of years. Interestingly, Alpha Lion decided to keep DMHA in the formula at a time when most other brands are removing it. DMHA is a wonderful training supplement but this throws SuperHuman into a grey area if you compete in a sport, so be warned.

Unfortunately, we see the pointless inclusions of niacin and taurine (argh!), but holy f**k it’s a solid product.

You can read my in-depth review HERE. Buy the product from HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g Citrulline malate.
  • 375mg Caffeine & 350mg l-theanine.
  • 3.5g Beta-alanine.
  • 2g Betaine.
  • 175mg simulant blend including DMHA. Exotic stimulants are great for training, may get you in trouble if you compete in a sport.


nutrabio pre review
list of best pre workouts

2. NUTRABIO PRE

I’m a big fan of NutraBio.

They’ve been at the top of the industry for decades, and would probably make the top 5 in every single supplement category!

I’ve held this company in even higher regard since 2016, when Jim Stoppani unprofessionally picked a fight with them and NutraBio owner Mark Glazier dismantled Jim’s arguments without ever stooping to the same level (go search it up).

It’s perhaps quite fitting that NutraBio PRE is essentially a better version of Pre-JYM, working with a similar set of ingredients but providing superior doses. We get full servings of betaine, citrulline malate, beta-alanine, l-tyrosine, 350mg caffeine (and a huge 300mg l-theanine to combat the crash from that), making NutraBio PRE one of the most well-dosed products ever released.

You can also combine this with their equally well-dosed post-workout (NutraBio Reload) for a very comprehensive stack.

It’s not perfect, of course, because they couldn’t resist adding taurine and leucine, which we don’t need before training. However, this is a FANTASTIC pre workout overall and the formula stands tall over every other pre workout except the WINNER.

You can buy it HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 6g Citrulline malate.
  • 2.5g Betaine.
  • 3.2g Beta-alanine.
  • 1.5g l-tyrosine.
  • 350mg Caffeine & 300mg l-theanine.
  • No exotic stimulants or any other ingredients which fall into a grey area for sports.


AML Pre Workout
what is the best preworkout

1. AML PRE WORKOUT

A big well done to Steve Blechman, Joe Donnelly and the team at Advanced Molecular Labs for being the inaugral CHAMPIONS of The Russ List!

They are also the only company to grab 2 spots in the top 10 (Dopa Rush).

AML Pre Workout is 26 grams of near perfection. The vast majority of ingredients are clinically dosed, and they’ve included some useful ingredients which are often overlooked (potassium citrate, folic acid) and they’ve taken the brave step of leaving out a few familiar faces (taurine, BCAAs, niacin) thanks to new research which shows they’re not as productive as we used to believe. You won’t find any exotic stimulants here either, because they want this product to be used by athletes.

Like many of the other supplements on this list, you can combine AML Pre Workout with their post-workout (AML Post Workout) for an exceptional stack that ticks every muscle building box you could ever possibly want to tick.

AML have raised the game. They are the company to beat in 2021. This is the current champion of pre workouts.

You can read my full review HERE. Buy it directly from the company HERE.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 8g Citrulline malate.
  • 400mg Caffeine.
  • 2.5g Betaine.
  • 5g Creatine monohydrate.
  • 2g Beta-alanine.
  • 1g l-tyrosine.
  • 520mg Potassium citrate.
  • Excludes taurine, BCAAs & niacin.
  • No exotic stimulants or any other ingredients which fall into a grey area for sports.


what is the best pre workout in 2020

THE TOP 10 PRE WORKOUTS OF 2020

  1. AML PRE WORKOUT
  2. NutraBio PRE
  3. Alpha Lion SUPERHUMAN
  4. JYM Supplement Science PRE JYM
  5. Iron Addicts Brand SIDEWALK KRAKA
  6. TruFierce Nutrition PREFIERCE
  7. iSatori MORPH XTREME
  8. Muscle Rage LIMITLESS
  9. RedCon1 TOTAL WAR
  10. AML DOPA RUSH PRE WORKOUT

If you’ve got a new contender you’d like me to consider for next year, drop it in the comments and I’ll take a look.

>> Read Next: The Russ List 2020: Top 5 Whey Protein Powders.


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