If you’re asking this question, then chances are that your pre-workout is not working!
All joking aside, a good pre-workout should make it obvious that it’s working based on how you feel before and while you workout.
What does pre-workout do to you? Before diving into the details of how to know if your pre-workout is working, here is a quick list of signs.
5 Signs Your Pre-Workout is Working
- You feel more drive and energy
- Your mood improves
- You feel the beta-alanine tingles
- You feel a bigger pump
- You notice yourself getting more reps
So What Should A Pre-Workout Actually Do?
To know that a pre-workout is working you should know what a pre-workout is meant to do. A good pre-workout should do at least three of these things, preferably more:
- increase endurance
- increase energy
- increase focus
- increase drive
- reduce fatigue
- improve mood
- increase pump
- increase strength
- increase power
- increase recovery from high-intensity workouts
So naturally, you should focus on whether you can perceive or measure any of these things to determine whether your preworkout is working correctly.
A good pre-workout works by allowing you to exert more effort over the same amount of time. It does this by allowing the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. While it can be hard “feel” endurance, you can certainly measure it to know that your pre-workout is working.
A good pre-workout will make you feel more energized and capable of doing work. This is probably the most noticeable part of a pre-workout. You may feel sluggish and tired and then your pre-workout kicks and you’re full of vigor and life.
The better pre-workouts will have ingredients that get you dialed in and super attentive to your task at hand. One way to tell if your pre-workout is working well is to ask whether you feel distracted or hyper focused. If you feel hyper focused then you have a solid pre-workout.
What can I say. You know the feel of drive when you see it. You just want to plough through the next set and nothing can get in your way. The best pre-workouts will make you feel like you can run through a wall.
Properly dosed pre-workouts will reduce your perceptions of fatigue. You’ll feel like you push through more reps than usual. While you’ll still deal with muscle failure, it will be true physical failure and not mental failure.
A great pre-workout will make you feel like a million bucks. No jitters. Just smooth, happy energy. Stay away from pre-workouts that make you feel bad. Even if they give you energy.
A pump comes from increased blood flow and hyper hydration of the muscles. If you look a lot more vascular and feel like your muscles are going to burst out of your skin, then you know your pre-workout is working well for muscle pumps.
Does your Pre even PR? Seriously… a good pre can push you beyond your current limits and give you the strength for a PR. You know your preworkout is amazing if you regularly find yourself taking it before a PR attempt.
Similar to strength, a good pre-workout will enhance muscle contractions allowing more explosive power. Do you feel like you’re jumping a little higher? Pushing the bar more explosively? Then you know your preworkout is working to increase power.
Faster Recovery During High-intensity Workouts
A good preworkout allows you to go hard and bounce back faster. Try doing an interval workout with and without your preworkout. If you notice a difference, then you can know that your pre-workout is working to speed up recovery.