💪 Coffee vs. Pre-Workout: Battle of the Buzz

No, we can’t extend your holiday weekend. But we can provide the best bodybuilding news and training tips you could ever want. That makes up for going back to work, right?

Here's what we have in store today:

  • Learn bodybuilding legend Frank Zane’s three-month contest prep plan for effective fat loss.

  • Bust through chest plateaus by adding these eight bench press variations to your workout plan.

  • Could plain ol’ coffee outdo your favorite pre-workout supplement? We take a look.


Zane’s Pre-Contest Ritual

Credit: Generation Iron / YouTube

Professional bodybuilders follow specific cycles throughout the year. During the off-season, they focus on bulking, while contest prep begins approximately 12 weeks before a show. During this phase, athletes adhere to a strict caloric deficit to achieve maximum leanness, often increasing their cardio training.

Recently, renowned bodybuilder and three-time Mr. Olympia champion Frank Zane shared his insights on The Mike O'Hearn Show, detailing how he would diet down for contests during his career.

Zane reveals his meticulous approach, which involves a significant reduction in calories, increased protein consumption, and the elimination of evening carbohydrates. Additionally, he discusses his preference for cardio exclusively in the form of running a mile and a half on a track during contest prep.


Winds of Change

Credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

The bench press is heralded as the ultimate exercise for the upper body, targeting the shoulders, chest, and triceps with substantial resistance. But, like any routine, hitting a plateau is inevitable if it becomes monotonous.

Fortunately, many bench press variations effectively engage the same upper body musculature while shocking your body to break through strength barriers. By altering the grip, tempo, and equipment utilized during the workout, you introduce a refreshing change-up, reigniting the pursuit of progressive overload.

If you feel like your strength has slowed, get step-by-step instructions on the eight best bench press variations below.


Battle of the Caffeines

Credit: Giphy

That first sip of coffee in the morning is probably one of the highlights of your day. This is likely all thanks to caffeine, the legal miracle drug that packs a punch in every sip of joe. And beyond boosting your energy levels, it also improves cognitive function and supports better workout performance. But here’s the big question: Could a cup of coffee actually be a better pre-workout option than a supplement?

Both coffee and pre-workout supplements have their merits. While they all contain caffeine, pre-workouts come packed with additional ingredients like beta-alanine, citrulline, and taurine specifically meant to enhance performance. On the other hand, coffee is more cost-effective and contains fewer unknown additives.

So, which should you guzzle on your next deadlift day? We’re pitting both against each other and finding out which one is right for you.


Olympia Leg Training Mayhem

Credit: Hadi Choopan / YouTube

  • The 2022 Sandow winner Hadi Choopan is ramping up his leg training 10 weeks out from 2023 Mr. Olympia. And you can see the lower-body training strategies he’s employing this year.

  • Resistance bands are one of the most underrated pieces of exercise equipment around. Don’t believe us? Try this banded upper body workout for proof.

  • Organic protein has benefits that their non-organic counterparts can’t match. Discover the nine best organic protein powders on the market to supply your body with clean, quality ingredients.