💪 8 Pre-Workout Alternatives That Pack a Punch

Smell that? That’s the smell of the final days of summer staring us right in the face. (It also smells like it’s time to do a load of wash, but that’s a whole different story…)

Here’s what’s on the fitness menu today:

  • Watch Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead's final back workout of his 2023 off-season.

  • Discover eight exceptional alternatives to pre-workouts for elevated exercise performance.

  • Embark upon a 10-week powerbuilding routine to simultaneously enhance strength and mass.


CBum’s Final Off-Season Workout

Credit: Chris Bumstead / YouTube

Chris Bumstead, the reigning four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion, is gearing up for his in-season prep. But before that, he shared a YouTube video showcasing his final back day during the off-season.

Throughout his bulking phase, CBum has upped the volume, incorporating eight movements into his back workout. In his quest to defend his title for the fourth time, he is working closely with coach Hany Rambod, who emphasizes the mind-muscle connection and time under tension rather than focusing solely on heavy weights.

You can watch CBum execute his final back movements of the 2023 off-season in the video below. (And you can follow along if you’ve got the stomach for it.) In the upcoming weeks, he will shift gears to shed 34 pounds in preparation for November’s Olympia.


No More Jitters

Credit: Pongsathorn klamubon / Shutterstock

A top-notch pre-workout can do wonders for your lifts. These supplements improve blood flow and boast beneficial ingredients like L-theanine, which enhances cognitive focus. However, these products can be expensive and may come with a few side effects, especially for those sensitive to caffeine.

Fortunately, numerous alternatives can give you a workout boost without burning a hole in your wallet or leaving you with a caffeine crash. It all comes down to the right blend of macronutrients — protein, carbs, and fats. But picking the perfect whole foods to consume before attempting a deadlift PR can be daunting.

To make things easier, we've curated a list of eight pre-workout supplement alternatives. Find out how simple ingredients like bananas, oats, and some nut butter can fuel your gains below.


Power and Glory

Credit: TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock

Achieving size and strength gains within a few months is made possible thanks to powerbuilding, which combines the intensity and variety of bodybuilding with the hard-and-heavy compound moves of powerlifting.

Typically, strength training involves lower volume, heavier weight, and fewer reps, while training for hypertrophy involves higher volume and reps. With powerbuilding’s training mechanism, you can reap the best of both worlds.

However, these results require a very specific balance during your training sessions. To lay it out in plain English, we’ve put together a 10-week program that covers every single workout in great detail. Plus, we’ve also got advice on how to organize and advance your workouts when the time comes.


Craft Those Delts

Credit: bbernard / Shutterstock

  • Want capped deltoids? Give the Cuban press a shot! Here's a step-by-step guide to this oft-forgotten gem.

  • Speaking of delts, Derek Lunsford is shaping his shoulders 11 weeks out from the 2023 Olympia. Watch his workout and see if you can pick up a few pointers.

  • Do you have a home gym? Cable machines let you train with resistance and hit your muscles from various angles. Check out the top 15 home gym machines of 2023.