The pre workout marketplace is a f**king joke, folks…
And not a funny one.
“I had a dream I weighed less than a thousandth of a gram.
I was like 0mg.”
That’s a funny joke.
But supplement companies tell jokes that make your wallet hurt. Those are never funny.
Today I’ll address one of the biggest culprits; proprietary blends.
If you’re new to the gym you might not be familiar with this term yet.
But let me tell you something…
It strikes fear in the heart of Uncle Russ.
It’s enough to take a product from a 4 star review (because I never give 5 star reviews) to a 1 star review.
What Proprietary Blend Means…
There are two meanings for this term.
The first is what supplement companies want you to believe:
“We use a proprietary blend in order to protect you, the customer.
By using a proprietary blend in <insert crazy pre workout name like “Death Pump” here> to hide our top secret formula from rival companies who are always looking to steal our mixture of cutting edge ingredients and extensive research.
This protects you from cheap knock-offs, so you can always be assured you’re getting the very best supplement available.”– Every supplement company since 2000.
Sounds convincing enough, right?
If I’d spent time and money developing a product, there’s no way I’d like some rival motherf**kers to release a copycat product.
But all is not what it seems…
What Proprietary Blend REALLY Means…
Yeah, it’s all bulls**t.
If your pre workout contains a proprietary blend, I want you to destroy it like an angry Rambo in a field of Vietcong.
See, 15 years ago I had no issue with proprietary blends, because it was just “the way things were done”.
I remember buying iSatori H-Blocker back in 2006.
If you are too young to remember this pre workout, let me switch from Uncle Russ to Grandpa Russ and I’ll fill you in…
H-Blocker was the first pre workout to be formulated around beta-alanine. It was a game changer.
People felt like their skin was crawling… they had no idea what was going on… it was a wonderful time.
So it was understandable when iSatori slapped a proprietary blend over it, because they didn’t want other companies to know how they’d created this revolutionary new thing.
Of course, it didn’t work in the long-term.
Over a decade later, most pre workouts contain beta-alanine and its effects are well documented by years of scientific research.
But at least they had good intentions when they did it.
Nowadays, any company using a proprietary blend does not share those good intentions…
The FDA rules that a manufacturer can choose to list all ingredients used without the dosages of if they wish.
(So we know what’s in the product, but not how much.)
They can hide weak formulas behind this phrase because they are legally allowed to, and can then use marketing hype to trick the customer into buying an under-dosed product.
You wouldn’t buy a cup of tea without knowing how many milk and sugars were in there…
But that’s the world of supplements for ya.
So our new “killer pre workout” can make boasts of increased energy (because it contains caffeine)… more more muscle growth than ever before (because it contains creatine)… skin-splitting pumps (because it contains citrulline)… but we would have no idea if the ingredients have been dosed correctly to give you any results at all.
It’s a bogus practice which continues to this day.
And it’s not limited to those cheeky small companies, either.
In fact, there are some well-known supplement brands who continue to use this bulls**t tactic.
Here are a few:
Shame on you all. You should know better.
If a pre workout has a strong combination of ingredients, make no mistake, they will not use a proprietary blend.
They will shout about those ingredients. Very loudly.
You’ll see clinically proven doses. And scientific references. They will leave you with no doubt the product is “the real deal”.
Because this creates the perfect storm for the marketing department, and makes for an easy sale.
Look at the way Jim Stoppani sells Pre Jym.
When you have science on your side, you don’t need images of flaming biceps or soaring jets to gloss over the facts.
So who should you buy from?
Well, people who aren’t f**king liars, for a start.
Thankfully, there are a few “good guys” in this battle, too.
And that’s definitely a good thing.
Not only because they’re honest, but because the products are correctly dosed and therefore kick serious a**!
Anyway, that’s why proprietary blends are bad.
Now you know.
For a list of my top pre workouts, read this post. I continually update it when new contenders arrive on the scene.
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