Jocko Pre-Workout Review

This Jocko Pre-Workout Review goes over this new product in its Jocko Fuel lineup. Let’s go over this product and how it compares to other pre-workouts on the market. 

Jocko Pre-Workout Review

A great pre-workout in the Jocko Fuel lineup. Truly effective and will get you through your workout. With not too much or too little in it, it is a great product to pick up.

About the Product

Different from Jocko Go, where it’s more of an energy drink to aid with cognition and an overall pick-me-up, this powder is exclusively built as a pre-workout. This product as of writing is fairly new to the lineup and plans to separate itself from the rest. Jocko’s pre-workout wants to benefit your focus, give you a pump, and give you energy. With that being said, let’s dive more into the product and see if it lives up to the other products in the lineup. 

Nutrition Facts / Ingredients (Rating: 4.5/5)

As mentioned before, this pre-workout is meant to be a pre-workout and not just another energy drink. Here are the nutrition facts of this product. We’ll then break down what differentiates this and make this a pre-workout. 

Nutrient/Ingredient Amount
Calories 10
Carbs 2g
Vitamin C 90mg
Vitamin B6 2mg
Vitamin B12 2mcg
Magnesium 15mg
Chloride 70mg
Sodium 90mg
Potassium 80mg
L-Citrulline 6g
Beta Alanine 3.2g
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Hydrochloride Not Specified
Caffeine 200mg
Theobromine 50mg
Methylliberine 25mg

The formulation is commendable, particularly with its caffeine dose that’s not too over the top, combined with a reasonable calorie count. The potassium-to-sodium ratio is decent, aligning well with what fitness enthusiasts often seek.

Jocko Pre-Workout Review Nutrition Facts

Micronutrients and Their Benefits

  • Vitamin C (90mg): An antioxidant that supports immune function and aids in the synthesis of collagen for joint and skin health.

  • Vitamin B6 (2mg) & B12 (2mcg): Both are crucial for energy production, red blood cell formation, and healthy brain function. You’ll find it in plenty of energy supplements.

  • Magnesium (15mg): Vital for muscle contraction, nerve function, and energy production.

  • Chloride (70mg), Sodium (90mg), and Potassium (80mg): Electrolytes that help maintain fluid balance and muscle function.


L-Citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelons, aids in vasodilation. When ingested, it transforms into L-Arginine, boosting nitric oxide levels, which enhances blood flow to muscles during exercise. This results in reduced fatigue, improved endurance, and faster post-workout recovery.

Beta-Alanine – The Tingles

Beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid, produces carnosine, which helps counteract the acidic by-products of high-intensity exercise, delaying muscle fatigue. Commonly used in pre-workouts, it enhances performance in short-duration, high-intensity activities. Some users might experience a harmless tingling sensation called paresthesia.

Note: If you try this product and you get a tingly feeling, it’s because of this. Plenty of people aren’t a fan of Beta-alanine, so if you are not a fan, you may want to try a different pre-workout.

N-Acetyl L-Carnitine

N-acetyl L-carnitine, a variant of the amino acid derivative L-Carnitine, plays a pivotal role in transporting fatty acids into cells energy-producing mitochondria. Essential for energy production during aerobic activities, it also aids in post-exercise recovery and reduces muscle damage.

Another product that has L-carnitine is in Outwork Nutrition’s Pre-workout.

Other Ingredients

Other ingredients that can be found that mainly enhance the flavor are:

  • Natural Flavors
  • Malic Acid
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Citric Acid
  • Fermented Sugar Cane
  • Monk Fruit Extract
  • Spirulina Extract

L-citrulline, Beta-alanine, and L-carnitine are what mainly differentiates this product compared to the rest in the Jocko making this a true pre-workout. 


Taste (Rating: 4/5)

The flavor of Jocko Pre-Workout that I’m reviewing is the Nitro Pop flavored. Opening the product, you already get a big whiff of the Nitro Pop. Since I love Nitro Pop, this was an awesome experience. I haven’t tried the other flavors yet, but as of writing this, here are all the flavors:

  • Blue Raspberry
  • Sour Peach
  • Sour Grape
  • Nitro Pop

Overall, the Jocko Pre-Workout brings a decent flavor to the table. While it may not be the most outstanding-tasting product, its taste is pleasant enough, making it easy to consume before your workout sessions.

Effectiveness (Rating: 4.5/5)

Jocko Pre-Workout is only 1 scoop for a full dose. You should mix it between 12-24oz of water for effectiveness.

After mixing and drinking, you will probably start to feel “the tingle” 15 minutes in. For most pre-workouts, this is when things start to hit in general. So this isn’t a surprise.

Once working out though, this pre-workout did what it was meant to do and had me get after it. It’s a very effective product

Considering the caffeine content and the beta-alanine alone, you’ll feel amped during your workout.

Overall though, the benefits of the L-citrulline, Beta-alanine, and L-carnitine can’t be understated. This is what makes a pre-workout effective and what will get you pumped.

This product will make you want to GET SOME. IYKYK.

Note: If you’re not a fan of the tingling sensation, this might be a factor to consider.

Price (Rating: 4/5)

The pricing isn’t too different from other products on the market with a similar price of $45. Overall, if you like pre-workouts and you like Jocko, the price is justifiable considering it’s an effective pre-workout. 

You can view the current price here.

Jocko Pre-Workout Review Final Thoughts (Average Score: 4.25/5)

Jocko Pre-Workout is a great product to help you GET AFTER IT.

It’s a staple in the already great Jocko Fuel lineup and will give other pre-workouts a run for their money in some cases. The product’s effectiveness, combined with its solid nutritional profile, makes it a worthy option for many. If you are a Jocko fan, this is a product worth trying! You won’t regret it. 

You can buy it from Amazon or from their website.

Jocko Pre-Workout Review Look Review Score


Note: All Amazon links are affiliate links.

6 Techniques to Save Time at the Gym

Let’s face it, taking up 2+ hours at the gym can be brutal. If you are working out early in the morning, you may only have so much time to work out before you need to go to work or get your kids to school. 

If you work out at night, you may not want to work out too late because you still need to get home, eat, and prepare for the next day.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is condense your workout.

In this guide, we will delve into various techniques to save time at the gym, providing you with examples of exercises for each technique. Let’s dive right in.

1. Re-evaluating Your Training Program

Why It’s Important:

Your training program directly correlates with how much time you spend time at the gym. Making strategic adjustments can help in drastically reducing your workout duration without compromising on results.

There are many different workout templates you can follow. Let’s go over the 2 most popular Full body and Push Pull Legs (PPL) to see how either one can benefit you and your needs. 

Full Body vs. Push Pull Legs (PPL) Programs:

  • Full Body Workouts: These involve targeting every major muscle group in a single session. A full-body workout can help reduce the number of days you spend at the gym, however, they can take up plenty of time each day. Here is an example of what a full-body microcycle may look like:

    • Monday: Squat, Bench, Deadlift (This alone will take easily an hour plus)
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Dips for Chest, Close Grip Pull Ups, Shoulder Press, Leg Press, Hamstring Curl, Calves
    • Thursday: Rest
    • Friday: Squat, Overhead Press, Rows, Chest Flys, Dips, Calves
    • Saturday: Rest
    • Sunday: Rest or another workout.
  • PPL Workouts: These focus on different muscle groups on different days, allowing for shorter but more frequent workouts.

    • Monday: Bench, Flys, Shoulder Press, Lateral Raises
    • Tuesday: Deadlifts, Rows, Bicep Curls, Tricep Kickbacks
    • Wednesday: Squats, Leg Press, Hamstring curl, calves
    • Thursday: Rest
    • Friday to Sunday: Repeat


If reducing the number of days at the gym isn’t a priority but shorter daily workouts are, PPL might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more rest days and don’t mind longer sessions, a Full Body workout might suit you better.

2. Myo-Reps: Intensifying Your Training

Why It’s Important:

Myo-reps are a form of rest-pause training. This technique involves performing an initial set to near failure, followed by several mini-sets with short rest intervals. This can intensify your training and cut down workout times.

Example Workout with Myo-Reps:

  1. Bench Press: Initial set of 10 reps, followed by 3 mini-sets of 3 reps with 15-second rest intervals.
  2. Bicep Curls: Initial set of 12 reps, followed by 3 mini-sets of 4 reps with 15-second rest intervals.

Added Benefits

Myo-reps can be extremely efficient and can help with hypertrophy due to their intensity.

3. Supersets: Doubling Up for Efficiency

Why It’s Important:

Supersets involve performing two exercises back-to-back with little to no rest. This not only saves time but also intensifies the workout.

Example Superset Workouts:

  1. Bench Press (Chest) immediately followed by Bent Over Rows (Back).
  2. Bicep Curls (Biceps) followed by Tricep Dips (Triceps).

Tip Regarding Supersets

Pairing exercises that target contrasting muscle groups can enhance in-session recovery and potentially boost performance in the subsequent exercise.

Take, for instance, coupling bicep curls with tricep dips.  The tricep dip adds a dynamic stretch that can help the short recovery window going into the next set. 

When considering supersets, this approach is highly recommended.

4. Focus on Compound Movements

Why It’s Important:

Compound exercises work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously. By integrating more of these into your routine, you can cut down on the number of exercises while still ensuring a full-body workout. Considering this, there is plenty of overlap going on.

Hence in my Full Body Workout for Monday, it’s just Squats, Bench, and Deadlift. You all major muscles and other muscles get plenty of cross-training. 

Although, you can do SBD every other day, for some people it’s too fatiguing, especially doing deadlifts that often.

Deadlifts can be replaced with something like pull-ups for the 2nd workout of the week as pull-ups are still a multi-muscle workout.

Squat Techniques to save time at the gym

Examples of Compound Movements:

  1. Deadlifts: Targets back, hamstrings, and glutes.
  2. Squats: Engages quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
  3. Bench Press: Works chest, triceps, and shoulders.
  4. Pull Ups: Back, Biceps (overhead pull-ups)

5. Drop Sets: Amplifying Intensity

Why It’s Important:

Drop sets elevate the intensity of your workouts by pushing muscles to their limits, allowing you to achieve muscle fatigue rapidly. I always include them when I’m in a rush and need to head out.

What I love about drop sets, similar to myo-reps, they not only can help maximize muscle hypertrophy due to it’s intensity but are also a key technique to save time at the gym.

How to Implement Drop Sets:

  1. Start Strong: Begin with a weight you can lift for a specific number of reps (e.g., 8-10) until you’re close to failure.
  2. Decrease and Continue: Immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and continue the exercise.
  3. Repeat as Needed: Upon reaching near failure again, drop the weight once more. Typically, 2-3 drops are executed in one set.

Example of a Drop Set with Dumbbell Bicep Curls:

  • Begin with 30 lbs and curl until nearing failure, perhaps after 8 reps.
  • Immediately switch to 20 lbs dumbbells and continue until you approach failure again, possibly after another 8 reps.
  • Without resting, transition to 15 lbs dumbbells and perform reps until near failure.

Points to Note:
Drop sets are demanding on the muscles. It’s essential to ensure proper form to prevent injury and to use this technique judiciously within a workout regimen.

6. Shorten Warm Ups

Why It’s Important:

I’m a firm believer that everyone should warm up before training.  However, it’s very easy to spend too much time warming up. Warming up for some an easily take 30-40 minutes of their workout.

Example of how to shorten warm-ups

Personally, if I need to save time at the gym and i’m doing a training session mainly of isometric movements, my warm-up tends to be 5 minutes on a stationary bike.

That’s it. For every exercise I do, I’ll do a warm-up set with lightweight, but not much more.

When doing a training session mainly consisting of compound movements, I’ll still do my 5 minutes on the stationary bike but will add some core exercises and calf stretches.

Focus On Your Weaknesses

Make sure when you’re warming up, you target weak areas that need to be warmed up.

Have bad ankles? Focus on doing some ankle stretches.

Are hamstrings too tight? Do some dynamic hamstring stretches.

Don’t focus on stretching your quads when your quads are not much of an issue. You can easily warm them up with a warm-up set or doing leg kicks in place.

Final Thoughts to Save Time at the Gym

Time is precious, and optimizing your workouts can ensure you get the best out of both your gym sessions and the rest of your day. By adopting some or all of the techniques mentioned, you can strike the perfect balance between efficiency and effectiveness. Remember, it’s not always about how long you spend at the gym, but how you utilize that time.


Photos by Ann poan and  Ketut Subiyanto

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review

This Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review will go over the fantastic product by Pure Encapsulations and go into further detail regarding its effects, price, size, and more.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and nothing stated here is medical advice. Before taking any supplement, you should consult your physician to see if it’s ok for you.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review

A absolutely phenomenal product and what I believe is a must-have in your supplement stack. Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate will help supplement your magnesium intake and aid sleep very easily with little to no gastrointestinal effects.

About the Product and Company

About the Company: Pure Encapsulations—A Trustworthy Choice

Pure Encapsulations is a well-known brand in the field of nutritional supplements. Renowned for its dedication to producing hypoallergenic, research-based dietary supplements, the company aims to provide top-tier products designed for maximum absorption and effectiveness.

Pure Encapsulation products are also free from Wheat, Soy, Dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, and more.

About the Product: Pure Encapsulation Magnesium Glycinate

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is a dietary supplement that provides the benefits of magnesium in an easy-to-absorb form, Glycinate.

Designed for those who require magnesium supplementation, this product focuses on not just delivering the mineral but doing so in a way that is gentle on the stomach and highly bioavailable.

Before we dive further into the review, I believe it’s important to go over some of the aspects of Magnesium Glycinate.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review Bottle

Why Magnesium Glycinate is Different

Magnesium glycinate is a form of magnesium that is bound to glycine, an amino acid that itself has calming and stabilizing effects on the digestive tract. This unique bonding makes magnesium glycinate easier to absorb and less likely to cause laxative effects for several reasons:

  1. High Bioavailability: Magnesium glycinate has superior bioavailability compared to other forms. This means more magnesium is absorbed into the bloodstream and used by the body, leaving less to act as an osmotic laxative in the intestines.

  2. Glycine’s Protective Role: Glycine itself has been studied for its beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal system. It tends to stabilize the walls of the gut and may reduce the incidence of spasms and other digestive discomforts.

  3. No Extra Ionic Load: Because magnesium glycinate is fully reacted, there are no spare ions to pull water into the intestines, reducing the risk of a laxative effect.

  4. Lower pH Sensitivity: The absorption of magnesium glycinate is less dependent on stomach acid. This makes it a preferable choice for individuals with compromised stomach acid production, as it reduces the likelihood of unabsorbed magnesium ending up in the intestine to cause digestive upset.

Benefits of Glycine

Glycine, the amino acid that binds with magnesium to form magnesium glycinate, is also essential. It has its own set of benefits, including supporting healthy sleep patterns, improving mood, and aiding digestive health.

When it comes to dietary supplements, not all forms of magnesium are created equal. Some types of magnesium supplements are known to cause digestive issues, including diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.

Nutrition Facts (Rating: 5/5)

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate provides approximately 120 mg of elemental magnesium per capsule, meeting a significant portion of the daily recommended intake for adults. Given that magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, the nutrition data gets a top rating.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review Nutrition Facts

Pill Size (Rating: 5/5)

The capsules are about an inch in size, making them easy to swallow. This is particularly noteworthy for those who usually have difficulty swallowing pills. The capsule’s moderate size ensures a hassle-free experience, even for those with swallowing issues.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review Pill Size

Side Effects (Rating: 5/5)

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate has nothing but positive effects for me with the proper dosing. I personally prefer taking magnesium glycinate for sleep and I can tell you the dreams I have and the deep sleep I get is phenomenal. You will notice a huge difference if you start taking it. 

As we know, sleep is an extremely important part of recovery, and proper recovery will help you achieve your goals faster.

Let’s go over some of the other aspects of magnesium and the side effects it can have on you.

The Marvels of Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in various bodily functions including:

  • muscle and nerve function
  • blood pressure regulation
  • supporting the immune system.
  • Aids in the production of energy and improves bone health.

Stomach-Friendly Effects

Anecdotally, magnesium glycinate is among the best forms of magnesium when it comes to my personal gastrointestinal tolerance. However, many people report very similar outcomes. Unlike other forms of magnesium that can cause stomach upset or diarrhea, magnesium glycinate is much less likely to have these side effects. Personally, I’ve experienced no stomach issues while taking this product.

The Laxative Effect of Certain Magnesium Forms

The most common reason magnesium supplements may disturb your digestive system is the laxative effect. Some forms of magnesium, such as magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate, are osmotic laxatives. This means they pull water into the intestines, which can lead to diarrhea. The presence of unabsorbed magnesium in the intestine increases the osmotic load, pulling water from the surrounding tissues into the intestine. This water influx softens and enlarges the stool, thus triggering more frequent bowel movements.

Price (Rating: 4.5/5)

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is not overly expensive, making it accessible for most budgets. It falls around $43.40 for 180 servings. While the price may be slightly high if you don’t feel a pressing need for magnesium supplementation, the quality and quantity provided justify the cost.

How to Use Pure Encapsulation Magnesium Glycinate

The best time to take Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is at night before bed, as both magnesium and glycine aid in improving sleep quality. About an hour beforehand is usually your best bet. I personally take 2 servings (240mg).  However, it can be taken at any time of the day as per your convenience or as advised by your healthcare provider.

Final Thoughts (Average Score: 4.9/5)

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate offers an excellent blend of essential magnesium and glycine in a form that is easy to absorb and gentle on the stomach. It is an absolute must-have supplement in my daily stack.

With an almost perfect rating across the board—from nutrition facts to pill size and minimal side effects—Pure Encapsulations Magnesium stands out as an excellent choice for those looking to boost their magnesium levels. The price is reasonable considering the quality and benefits offered. If you’re in the market for a reliable, effective, and easily tolerated magnesium supplement, this product is highly recommended.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate Review Final Score

Where to Buy

You can get Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate from their website, Amazon, and other stores that sell health products.

All Amazon links are affiliated links.

How Can Grip Training Improve Hypertrophy

Grip training is an underrated way to improve hypertrophy.

It may not make sense in the beginning. How can grip training improve hypertrophy and get you more gains? Don’t worry, we’ll get there.

If you’ve ever struggled to complete a deadlift or felt your grip giving out during pull-ups, you know the importance of a strong grip. 

Honestly, sometimes you may not even realize your grip may be failing you until you do something to help adjust your grip. You will be surprised at how a good grip can even help you with lifts like a barbell squat.

In this article, we’ll delve into why grip strength is crucial, how it can enhance your lifts, and the best exercises and accessories for improving your grip.

Why Is Grip Strength Important?

Before we get into how grip training improves hypertrophy, let’s learn why grip strength is important in general. Reading this portion is essential to correlate why grip training can improve hypertrophy.

The Foundation of Lifting

Grip strength is essentially the foundation upon which all your lifts are built. Whether you’re deadlifting heavy weight off the ground, doing bench presses or even barbell squats, your grip is what connects you to the weight. 

A weak grip can be a significant bottleneck in your progress, limiting how much weight you can lift and the number of repetitions you can perform.

Enhanced Muscle Activation

A strong grip allows for greater muscle activation throughout your body. When you grip a weight firmly, you trigger a kinetic chain reaction that engages muscles not just in your hands and forearms, but also your upper arms, shoulders, and even your core.

Injury Prevention

A stronger grip can also help in injury prevention. A firm grip aids in maintaining better control over the weight, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents like dropping the weight or executing a lift improperly.

Muscles that Control Your Grip

So we went over why grip strength is overall important. A strong grip can be a great foundation to be able to lift weights and can make you focus more on actual lift than having your grip fail or be a limiting factor. It can also help with injury prevention whether it be accidents or some other issues down the line. 

Let’s now go over the muscles that control your grip to get a better understanding of how things work. 

Flexor Digitorum Superficialis and Flexor Digitorum Profundus

These are the primary muscles responsible for finger flexion, which means they help you make a fist or grip an object. They run along the inside of your forearm and attach to your fingers. When you’re holding onto a barbell or dumbbell, these muscles are doing a lot of the work.

Flexor Pollicis Longus

This muscle controls the movement of your thumb and plays a significant role in your ability to grip objects. It allows your thumb to oppose the other fingers, increasing your grip stability and strength.

Extensor Digitorum

Though its primary function is to extend the fingers, this muscle also plays a role in grip strength by stabilizing the fingers. When you grip something tightly, the extensor digitorum helps maintain the integrity of the grip.

Extensor Indicis and Extensor Digiti Minimi

These muscles also assist in finger extension and stabilization, contributing to a balanced and strong grip.

Flexor Carpi Radialis and Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

These muscles control wrist flexion and add to the gripping power by allowing you to curl your wrist while holding an object, thus providing additional leverage.


Located in the forearm, the brachioradialis contributes to elbow flexion and also helps stabilize the wrist during gripping tasks. While it may not be a primary mover in grip, its stabilization role is crucial for heavy lifts like deadlifts.

Interossei and Lumbricals

These smaller muscles in the hand assist in finger adduction and abduction (moving fingers towards and away from each other) and also contribute to flexion at the metacarpophalangeal joints (the knuckles).

Thenar and Hypothenar Muscles

Located at the base of the thumb and little finger, these muscles are responsible for the fine motor skills involved in grip, such as pinching.

Understanding the roles of these muscles can help you target them effectively in your grip training. Exercises like wrist curls and plate pinches can be extremely effective in isolating and training these specific muscles, leading to a more robust and durable grip.

Grip Training Improve Hypertrophy 2nd image

How Grip Training Improves Hypertrophy

Okay, we now have a good understanding of the anatomy of your hand and the muscles that control your grip. Let’s now dive into how grip strength actually improves your lifts and how it can be one of the reasons you are not progressing in the gym

Increased Weight and Reps

The most obvious benefit is that you’ll be able to lift more weight. A stronger grip allows you to focus on the primary muscles involved in lifts like deadlifts, pull-ups, and rows, rather than being limited by your forearms tiring out. 

And that’s just lifts that really require a good grip. 

You will be shocked at how many exercises where you don’t think a good grip actually still requires a good grip and having that extra strength will help you to lift more.

Better Endurance

Grip strength also contributes to muscular endurance. This will enable you to perform more reps before experiencing fatigue. This is particularly useful in exercises that require sustained grip strength, such as hanging leg raises or long sets of pull-ups.

Improved Technique

A firm grip can result in better lifting techniques. When you don’t have to worry about your grip slipping, you can focus more on form, leading to more effective workouts and faster gains.

Better Gains / Faster Hypertrophy

Considering everything just mentioned, it’s very easy to correlate good grip with better gains.

The main reason is that if you have a good grip, you can perform the lift easier without it being a limiting factor. This means you can lift more weight for more reps/sets which will lead to better gains.


Let’s say you’re doing dumbbell rows for 85 lbs for 8 reps. 

You know you can make it to 10 reps but your grip just keeps slipping. So now you’re not hitting your true potential and you’re not hitting an RPE of 8-9 anymore because of this.

If you had a better grip, you can now hit maybe 12 reps with the same weight and you are actually hitting your RPE range without issue.

Not being able to hit your intensity range due to grip being a limiting factor will limit your gains.

Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

Farmer’s Walk

Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand and walk for distance or time. This is a simple yet effective way to build both grip strength and overall endurance.

Plate Pinches

Pinch a weight plate between your thumb and fingers and hold for time. This targets the often-neglected pinch grip.

Dead Hangs

Hang from a pull-up bar for as long as possible. This not only strengthens your grip but also stretches your lats and shoulders.

Wrist Curls

Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in your hand and your forearm resting on your thigh. Curl your wrist upwards to train the muscles in your forearms directly.

Rice Bucket Curls

Rice bucket curls are my personal favorite exercise. It works plenty of muscles in your hands and will provide you a crazy forearm pump once you are done with this.

Accessories to Assist Grip Strength

Accessories don’t directly improve your grip strength. However, they will help you lift more and not have to focus on grip as much which can lead to more hypertrophy.

Lifting Straps

While these should not replace grip training, lifting straps can help you lift heavier weights in exercises like deadlifts and shrugs by taking some of the load off your grip.

Also, there is no shame in using lifting straps, especially when you are aiming for hypertrophy. Some people think it’s “cheating”. It is not.

Again, it shouldn’t replace grip training but they are a great accessory to use.


Gym chalk improves your grip by absorbing sweat and reducing slippage. It’s a must-have for anyone serious about improving their grip.

There are many varieties of chalk loose, ball chalk, and liquid chalk.

I personally prefer the ball of chalk. It’s very easy to use and carry around, it is not too messy and you will probably need to replace it every 2-3 months compared to other products. 

Challenge If You Never Used Chalk: Buy some chalk. Do any exercise you would do normally. For your next or final set of that exercise apply chalk and see how much of a benefit it is for you (promise you will be surprised) 

Fat Gripz

These are rubber sleeves that you can attach to barbells and dumbbells to increase their diameter, making them harder to grip and thereby improving your grip strength.

When Should I Use Grip Accessories?

You can and should use grip accessories on most sets of your exercises especially if you’re constantly training in a high RPE area. 

It may seem silly, but why should your grip be a limiting factor in your hitting your goal rep range and weight?

Don’t let grip be something that slows down your gains. Strap up or chalk up whenever you want. There is no shame in it.

Final Thoughts on How Can Grip Training Improve Hypertrophy 

So we covered how can grip training improve hypertrophy. We know now grip training is often overlooked way to improve hypertrophy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, incorporating grip training into your routine can yield noticeable improvements in your lifts. From better muscle activation to injury prevention, the benefits are manifold. Exercises like the farmer’s walk and plate pinches, along with accessories like lifting straps and chalk, can help you build a vice-like grip.

Again, don’t be ashamed of using grip substitutes even when you either have a strong grip or are just starting your journey for grip training. 


Photos from: Victor Freitas and Allan Mas

Barbells Protein Bar Review – Gourmet Treat for Protein Lovers

This Barbells Protein Bar Review will be going over the new hype regarding this phenomenal bar. We’ll be diving into the nutrition, taste, value, size, and more. Let’s first learn about this product and the company overall.

About the Product

Barbells Protein Bars are from the Barbells company. They are marketed as a satisfying and delicious way to get your protein fix without compromising on taste. With flavors like Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Dough, these bars seem to cater to those with a sweet tooth who are still keeping an eye on their macronutrients. 

Nutrition Facts / Ingredients (Rating: 4/5)

Nutrient Amount
Calories 200
Protein 20g
Carbohydrates 20g
Fats 8g
Fiber 3g


Barbells Protein Bar Macronutrients

The Barebells Protein Bars have a reasonable calorie count of 200 per bar. It also has a decent balance of macronutrients at 20g of carbs, 20g of protein, and 8g of fat.

However, when it comes to fiber, the product could do a bit better. At 3g of fiber, it’s not terrible, but brands like Quest offer similar protein bars with a higher fiber content.

Want to know how much protein you should have per day? Check out this article.


From the bars themselves and their website, be aware that these bars contain milk and soybeans. They may also contain traces of wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and gluten. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, tread carefully.

It’s good to note they also have vegan products on their site.

Potential Laxative Effects

A word of caution: These bars contain maltitol, which in excessive amounts can cause a laxative effect. Moderation is key.

Barbells Protein Bar Review Nutrition / Ingredients

Taste (Rating: 5/5)

Now, let’s review the taste of the Barbells Protein Bar. The part is the part we’ve all been waiting for.

Honestly, if I could break this system and give it a higher rating, I would.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not the best tasting bar in the world BUT it is one of (if not the) best protein bars I’ve ever had. 

Doesn’t Taste Fake

What sets Barebells Protein Bars apart is their taste. Often, you have protein bars and they taste artificial or have a chalky aftertaste.

Not these.

They taste like what they promise and more.

I promise you, you will highly enjoy them and you won’t guess they’re protein bars.

Unbelievably Good

They have a variety of flavors to choose from. I’ve personally only had the Cookies and Cream and the Chocolate Dough, but both were phenomenal!

Honestly, one of the problems with the bar is that they’re almost too good, making portion control a real challenge.

However, I should mention these can leave you feeling satiated though considering the protein and fiber content.

Barbells Protein Bar Review Taste

Barbells Protein Bar Review taste 2

Need a pre-workout to go before your protein snack? Check out our Celsius Review.

Size (Rating: 4/5)

The size of these bars is quite good. Not super large, but not extremely small either. Probably the same size as Snickers. 

They’re easy to carry around, and one bar feels like enough to satisfy a post-workout or between-meals craving.

Price (Rating: 3/5)

These bad boys are on the pricier side at $28.99 for a pack of 12. Which is close to $2.50 per bar.

While the taste may justify the price for some, these bars might best be considered a splurge rather than a daily go-to, especially if you find them addictive.

I do feel this is the one thing that is a holdback for these bars. Slightly cheaper and they would be in serious competition with the other brands easily.

Budget-Friendly Tip!

Tip: As of writing this, Trader Joe’s offers these bars at a slightly lower price. They don’t have it on their site currently but in-store they’re cheaper.

If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, it may be worth checking out their stock.

Barbells Protein Bar Review, Score, and Final Thoughts (Average Score: 4/5)

To wrap up this Barbells Protein Bar Review, Barbells is an excellent taste experience for anyone looking for a high-protein, relatively low-calorie snack.

The macronutrient profile is decent but could be improved with a higher fiber content. However, the price is the biggest downside—if you’re on a budget, these might be a treat rather than a staple.

If you can afford it and are looking for something that satisfies your sweet tooth while offering a good protein boost, these bars are highly recommended.

Just remember to shop smart—Trader Joe’s might be your budget-friendly option for these gourmet bars.

This product gets a solid 4/5!

Looking for other protein reviews? Check out some of our other reviews here.

Barbells Protein Bar Review Review Score


Where To Buy

You can buy Barbells Protein Bars from their website, Amazon, and other shops. Like I mentioned though, Trader Joe’s will be your best option in terms of price.

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliated links.

5 Reasons You Are Not Progressing in the Gym

Not progressing in the gym is an age-old phenomenon. You go to the gym, you workout consistently but you are not getting the results you want. This can be an extremely frustrating situation to happen and to be honest, it’s something that most people tend to go through at some point in their journey.

Why does this happen though?

Well, there can be many reasons for such an issue. 

Before I dive into why though, I just want o make a quick note:

This whole post will assume your goals are oriented towards physical training goals.

If you are reading this and your goal is to win a video game tournament… well I don’t think this is the place for you… But don’t leave just yet. You may still find some items useful in the end.

Training Specificity, Are You Training For Your Goals?

A majority of lifters choose lifting programs that they see some of their favorite influencers use and assume they will get the same results as that person and that is usually not the case.

There is nothing wrong with using online programs, but you need to take into consideration that the program may not be correlated properly for your main goals.

For example, your goal may be to build muscle but you may be doing a powerlifting program or a power build program. A powerlifting program will get you strong but won’t pack on as much muscle as you would hope. 

To avoid this issue and to train for specificity, you need to create a needs analysis.

Needs Analysis: Defining Your Training Goals

In a needs analysis, you will need to write down your primary and secondary training goals. This helps you focus your training and also manage expectations for areas that aren’t your priority.

3 Examples

Example 1 

Do you want bigger biceps? Is that your main priority? If yes, that’s number one on the list. Maybe something like calves (even though it shouldn’t be) isn’t much of a priority. In this case, it will be on the bottom of the list. 

Example 2

Let’s say you’re a powerlifter. You want to get stronger in the main lifts of the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. Which lifts are you strongest and weakest at? Your weaker lifts should take a higher priority vs your stronger lifts.

Example 3

If we were discussing running, is your goal to get a faster time or is it to build endurance? Write down your priorities and goals.

The reason it’s important to write it down is that for one, it keeps you focused. However, it also makes you acknowledge what things may not grow as much as the other. If you have calves at the bottom of your list, you shouldn’t be upset if they aren’t growing too much because that’s not your main goal.

Write down your goals and prioritize what you want for your training.

Training Properly

This section ties in with the above section. 

First to ensure you’re training properly, you need to look at your training program and see if your training meets your goals. 

Let’s assume you are though, let’s look at your physical training itself.

I want you to ask yourselves these questions for each exercise you do next time you are working out:

  • Is Your Form Good?
  • Do you feel like the exercise is properly engaging the targeted muscle?
  • Are you lifting too fast? (Most people need to slow it down a bit)

Assuming you have a good program tailored to you and you still aren’t getting the results you need, the act of training itself can be compromised and hinder your ability to grow.

There is also one more question to ask yourself, but it requires a whole section. 

Without further ado: 

Training Harder, Are You Training Hard Enough?

This is always a difficult question to answer. 

Most times you go to the gym, you probably think to yourself “I’m putting in the work, i’m working hard. No way my training is ‘easy’”. 

I’ve been in this exact same boat before. It wasn’t until I learned how hard I need to be training to actually see results.

Training hard doesn’t mean that you have to be doing a dozen supersets and drops sets and you never take a break and your heart rate is always sitting at 180bpm. 

Training hard in this case means efficiently taking your exercises to a really high intensity to maximize stimulus of the muscle. This can easily be achieved by taking your your working sets of exercises close to failure. (There are other methods to achieve high intensity but this is the most straight forward way without complicating things).

If you are only training and most working sets are in a RPE area of 4-6, you’re most likely not going to get the results you want.

I found this is always something difficult to observe within yourself because your own ego will get in the way.

Leave your ego at the door and truly evaluate if you are working hard enough.

To learn more about this topic and about training close to failure and how to achieve maximum hypertrophy, checkout this article.

Overtraining and Not Enough Recovery Time

On the contrary, if you are training too hard or you have too much going on (lifting, jiu jitsu, running all in a day) you can be burning yourself out and not recovering properly.

As someone who loves doing activities and thinks they are super human at times, this can also be a situation where your ego gets in the way. You have to be real with yourself and see if you are doing too much and it’s impeding with your training.

Now, this doesn’t necessary mean you’re only doing too many different activities. This can also mean that you’re training too hard in 1 activity. 

In lifting, training constantly to failure will lead to overtraining and many times injury. 

Reflect and see if you are training too hard. Take a deload week and readjust your sets/reps and don’t train to failure or too hard. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep. Recover is extremely important to get the results you want

Diet, Is your Diet Hindering Your Results?

No matter what your goal is (maybe not as important for a game competition) your diet will be crucial and can be the reason you are not progressing in the gym.

Your diet will dictate if you:

  • Gain Muscle
  • Gain Fat
  • Lose Muscle
  • Lose Fat
  • Maintain all the above

You can have a great training program and a terrible diet and will only get mediocre results. 

Often, people will overlook their diet or think they can outtrain a bad diet, but this is usually never the case.

Some things to think about when it comes to your diet:

  • Are you getting enough protein per day?
  • Are you eating enough calories to meet your goal?
  • Are you intaking enough fats for proper hormonal balance?
  • Are your severely lacking in specific micronutrients? (Althoug this won’t effect gain of muscle/fat or loss of them, it can effect your energy levels and mood which can then effect your training) 

No matter what, you should be intaking adequate amount of protein per day. Doing so will help build / maintain muscle mass. Unless you’re in a boat where you want to lose muscle, make sure you always get enough protein per day. 

A generic rule of thumb is 0.8-1g of protein per lb body weight or 1.8-2.4g per kg of body weight. 

However, if you want something more specific, check out the Macro Calculator here to get your protein needs. 

If you are trying to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. No “magic” diet of keto, carnivore, vegan will fix that. You need to eat less calories then you expend per day.

If you want to know what that number is, check out the Calorie Calculator.

Not Progressing in the Gym Final Thoughts

Not progressing in the gym can be frustrating.

I guarantee, going through the above article and fixing any of the issues listed here can help you get better results.

Fitness in general is something that needs constant assessment and it’s easy to get derailed.

The people who truly love fitness and other activities tend to overtrain and do too many things that don’t actually fit their goals.

On the flip side, others who may be training and it feels more like a chore to them usually tend to undertrain or not train hard enough. 

You also may just be going through a point in your life where you either don’t care enough about training and it’s not a super priority. That’s fair, but you need to acknowledge it and know you won’t get the results you want.

Getting the results you want requires proper prioritization, hard work and other sacrifices to maximize your potential.


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko and Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels. 

Reign Energy Drink Review

When you’re getting ready challenging session of physical exercise, the proper energy drink can make all the difference. There are tons of different options out there on the market but Reign has rapidly carved a niche for itself. In this Reign Pre Workout Review, we’ll go through everything this drink has to offer— from its nutrition profile to its efficacy, taste, and cost-effectiveness.

About the Product

Reign is by a company called Reign Total Body Fuel.

Reign is easily a powerhouse in a can. It’s crafted to put you in the right mentality to conquer your physical activities. It does this with its nutrition profile by having things like nutrients, natural caffeine, electrolytes, and amino acids. Reign can overall help to improve your focus and aid in quicker recovery.

Let’s delve into the specific aspects that make this product stand out.

Nutrition Facts and Ingredients (4.5/5)

In this Reign Pre Workout Review, we’re going to break down the nutrients overall are really amazing for anyone looking to drink this. It is keto-friendly, and overall low in calories. 

Nutrition Components Amount per Can
Calories 10
Carbohydrates 3 grams
Vitamin B Complex Varied amounts
Caffeine 300mg
Sodium 20mg
Potassium 50mg

Reign Energy Drink Review Nutrition Profile

Micronutrients (A Closer Look at the Vitamin B Complex)

Micronutrients are the unsung heroes of our nutritional intake, and Reign gives them the spotlight they deserve. With its Vitamin B Complex. These include Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. These vitamins serve essential roles such as helping in metabolism, maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone, enhancing immune and nervous system function, and promoting cell growth and division.

Each form of Vitamin B contributes to your body’s energy production. For instance, Vitamin B6 is key to brain development and function and helps convert food into usable energy. Vitamin B12 is critical for optimal brain function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis. Having a blend of these B vitamins means you’re fueling your body and helping you prepare for physical activity.

If you want to learn more about micronutrients and how you should get them, check out this article.

Reign Energy Drink Review Micronutrients

Caffeine Content: What You Need to Know

With a whopping 300mg of natural caffeine, this drink is not for the faint-hearted. It’s designed to give you the push you require to perform at your peak.

However, the high caffeine content may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who are sensitive to caffeine or have medical conditions that restrict caffeine consumption. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns.

On the flip side, if you are someone who takes caffeine on the norm and has about 150mg a day, Reign will get you the amount you need in one sitting and give you that extra push you need for your workout.

Reign Energy Drink Review Caffeine

The Taste Experience (5/5)

Taste is an essential factor when choosing an energy drink drink. Reign excels in this department by offering a variety of flavors, two of which I’ve personally tested— Reignbow Sherbert and Tropical Storm and White Gummy Bear. Both are incredibly satisfying, providing a burst of flavor without that chemical aftertaste we’ve come to associate with many energy drinks.

My personal favorite is the Reignbow Sherbert though (so good!)

Efficacy (5/5)

If you’re reading this section, you’re likely wondering, “Will Reign actually help me perform better?” To cut to the chase: yes, it will. The combination of caffeine, electrolytes, and B vitamins ensures that you will enter your workout with a heightened sense of focus and a tank full of energy. I can vouch for its effectiveness; when I’m preparing for a strenuous workout, Reign is my go-to option.

This is how I personally decide if I’m going to use Reign or not:

  • Do I need to do the Murph Challenge? Reign will be my pre-workout and energy drink
  • Spartan Race? Reign.
  • 2+ hour workout? Reign.
  • Need to hit a PR? Coff– Reign.
  • Competition? Reign.
  • About to go to sleep? Reign (ok maybe not.)

I think this goes without saying that the effectiveness of Reign is top of the list of all the other energy drinks I tried. 

Price Analysis (4.5/5)

Priced at around $20 to $22 as I’m writing this for a 12-pack of 16oz cans on Amazon, Reign offers a middle-of-the-road option that provides good value for the cost. The cost per can (around $2) does place it in a slightly higher bracket compared to some other options like Celsius. However, given its effectiveness, the price tag is justified.

Reign Energy Drink Review Final Thoughts

Reign offers a well-rounded package— exceptional taste, effective energy-boosting capabilities, and a reasonable price. With a high caffeine content, it may not be suitable for everyone, but if you are about to have an intense workout of any sort, I highly recommend this product.

Reign Energy Drink Review Final Thoughts

Reign Energy Drink Pros:

  • Absolutely effective
  • Excellent taste variety
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Enriched with vitamin B complex and essential electrolytes

Reign Energy Drink Cons:

  • High caffeine content may not suit everyone (although this may be a pro for some).

Reign Pre Workout offers an excellent blend of energy-boosting ingredients, flavors, and cost-effectiveness. It provides that ‘oomph’ without the tingling sensations some experience with other pre-workout or energy drink supplements due to ingredients like beta-alanine. Between its efficacy, range of flavors, and price, Reign is an excellent choice for those looking to optimize their performance.

If you’re looking for other energy drinks or pre-workouts besides Reign, check out some of my other reviews.

Overall Score: 4.75/5

Reign Energy Drink Review Final Score

Disclaimer: All Amazon links are affiliated links.