T Nation

Caffeine Doesn't Seem to be Doing It for Me

I quit using pre workouts for the price of them and because none have worked really good for me. I’ve been having a cup of coffee with some sugar ( about 1 tsp )about 20 minutes before my workout and I feel the exact same with little energy. My workouts have been boring slow and sluggish for about a week.

What works good for you guys as a pre workout? I’m willing to try anything at this point

BLOOD

Okay, on the one hand, I enjoy a can of Spike a half hour before training and have often made that part of my routine.

However as a more general thing, I don’t really believe that much in stimulant products for workouts, other than that caffeine is a proven performance enhancer.

If not having plenty of mental / psychological energy for training, most of the time the lack, and the way to get it, is mental and psychological.

Being prepared for the workout, and knowing you are prepared, having full confidence in it, is a big part of that. A key part is knowing what you are aiming to do in the gym pretty concretely, and having a plan that depends on performing. For example, executing this plan this week moves you towards being able to execute what you already have in mind for next week, and you’d better (in your mindset) perform today so you can kill the upcoming workouts.

That feeling of preparation can also, but does not have to, include having already started your preworkout nutrition. It can include having a workout log. Actually, all kinds of things.

I’m not saying, because I’d have no way to know and further I don’t have any such impression, that you personally are approaching it from an “oh well, I’m going to the gym” viewpoint. But where starting from there, a supplement stimulant is not going to help that problem much. And where starting from being genuinely fired up for the above reasons, a supplement stimulant isn’t necessary.

It’s more a thing to enjoy than a thing to actually need.

Something I’m realizing is the the healthier I get/feel the more a cup of coffee feels like crack.

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:
Something I’m realizing is the the healthier I get/feel the more a cup of coffee feels like crack.

[/quote]

I noticed that partway into my anabolic diet induction. A normal sized coffee left me unable to sit down, I had to get up and pace around my flat.

Got some serious cleaning done that day

Maybe it has to do with your meal timing? I know many lifters that feel incredibly lethargic after a moderate-high carb meal. My consume all my pre workout carbs at around 3 hours before lifting, then proceed to take some BCAA/Whey around 1.30h before my session… Otherwise I’m just dragging ass.

What’s your meal plan on lifting days?

As others have said, I prefer not to use any stimulants either. Heck, I don’t even drink coffee normally.

What kind of deloads do you do? I went for 10 or so weeks continuously when I started out, but by the end of it I had no energy to exercise and had to take a week off before I could get started again. I think that’s a part of deloads that is sometimes overlooked, it can often be of great mental help to keep your motivation up. By the end of the deload you should be eager to get back to it after having held yourself back for a bit.

[quote]Brant2 wrote:
Maybe it has to do with your meal timing? I know many lifters that feel incredibly lethargic after a moderate-high carb meal. My consume all my pre workout carbs at around 3 hours before lifting, then proceed to take some BCAA/Whey around 1.30h before my session… Otherwise I’m just dragging ass.

What’s your meal plan on lifting days?[/quote]

Pretty weak since I’m in school. breakfast is 2 packs of oatmeal, 1 scoop of MHP Probolic SR, some nuts, and maybe a banana. At 11 I put down about 1/4 gallon of water then lunch at 11:30 is either a baked chicken or turkey wrap with spinach,broccoli, and more water or a Met-RX protein bar with a milk and some brocolli. I get home at 3 and have some nuts, cup of coffee, and maybe a banana. Yesterday I had 2 full cups and felt completely normal through my lift

[quote]Mike__Madden wrote:

[quote]Brant2 wrote:
Maybe it has to do with your meal timing? I know many lifters that feel incredibly lethargic after a moderate-high carb meal. My consume all my pre workout carbs at around 3 hours before lifting, then proceed to take some BCAA/Whey around 1.30h before my session… Otherwise I’m just dragging ass.

What’s your meal plan on lifting days?[/quote]

Pretty weak since I’m in school. breakfast is 2 packs of oatmeal, 1 scoop of MHP Probolic SR, some nuts, and maybe a banana. At 11 I put down about 1/4 gallon of water then lunch at 11:30 is either a baked chicken or turkey wrap with spinach,broccoli, and more water or a Met-RX protein bar with a milk and some brocolli. I get home at 3 and have some nuts, cup of coffee, and maybe a banana. Yesterday I had 2 full cups and felt completely normal through my lift[/quote]

So you eat at 3, and by what time are you lifting?

Have you tried cycling yourself on and off caffeine? The first couple of days of a stimulant tend to feel the strongest if you’ve taken a week off from it. Limiting caffeine intake to the pre-workout may also help.

In line with Bill Roberts’ post you can look into dynamic warm ups - full body or goal/session specific - as they physically and mentally prepare you for a workout. You’'ll spend as much time on those as you would a typical cardio warm up, and have the added benefit of CNS activation.

[quote]Brant2 wrote:

[quote]Mike__Madden wrote:

[quote]Brant2 wrote:
Maybe it has to do with your meal timing? I know many lifters that feel incredibly lethargic after a moderate-high carb meal. My consume all my pre workout carbs at around 3 hours before lifting, then proceed to take some BCAA/Whey around 1.30h before my session… Otherwise I’m just dragging ass.

What’s your meal plan on lifting days?[/quote]

Pretty weak since I’m in school. breakfast is 2 packs of oatmeal, 1 scoop of MHP Probolic SR, some nuts, and maybe a banana. At 11 I put down about 1/4 gallon of water then lunch at 11:30 is either a baked chicken or turkey wrap with spinach,broccoli, and more water or a Met-RX protein bar with a milk and some brocolli. I get home at 3 and have some nuts, cup of coffee, and maybe a banana. Yesterday I had 2 full cups and felt completely normal through my lift[/quote]

So you eat at 3, and by what time are you lifting?
[/quote]

I’m usually doing my first work sets at like 3:45

[quote]Mike__Madden wrote:
I quit using pre workouts for the price of them and because none have worked really good for me. I’ve been having a cup of coffee with some sugar ( about 1 tsp )about 20 minutes before my workout and I feel the exact same with little energy. My workouts have been boring slow and sluggish for about a week.

What works good for you guys as a pre workout? I’m willing to try anything at this point[/quote]

have you tried sleep? sugar and caffeine shouldn’t be required for a good workout IMO…

you could also try changing up your workout or listening to better music

you could also try to find a training partner who could help to motivate you

just my $0.02

I am just a very big beginner but with caffeine I feel the total opposite. Since I was a kid, caffeine has a crank-style effect on me. With drip coffee especially, after one cup I feel totally jolted and jittery for 2 / 3 hours then I get stressed out, sometimes somehow depressed. Coffee is not for me.

Before workout, or before sports in general, I don’t really know : sometimes I feel really really good, like I am gonna eat the world, then perform very poorly.

Sometimes I need to struggle to get it done… And those times, are sometimes the times were I get the best of my training.

I don’t think any legal supplement can stimulate that feeling…

lol coffee. try 800mg of caffeine from tablets.

[quote]Mike__Madden wrote:

[quote]Brant2 wrote:

[quote]Mike__Madden wrote:

[quote]Brant2 wrote:
Maybe it has to do with your meal timing? I know many lifters that feel incredibly lethargic after a moderate-high carb meal. My consume all my pre workout carbs at around 3 hours before lifting, then proceed to take some BCAA/Whey around 1.30h before my session… Otherwise I’m just dragging ass.

What’s your meal plan on lifting days?[/quote]

Pretty weak since I’m in school. breakfast is 2 packs of oatmeal, 1 scoop of MHP Probolic SR, some nuts, and maybe a banana. At 11 I put down about 1/4 gallon of water then lunch at 11:30 is either a baked chicken or turkey wrap with spinach,broccoli, and more water or a Met-RX protein bar with a milk and some brocolli. I get home at 3 and have some nuts, cup of coffee, and maybe a banana. Yesterday I had 2 full cups and felt completely normal through my lift[/quote]

So you eat at 3, and by what time are you lifting?
[/quote]

I’m usually doing my first work sets at like 3:45
[/quote]

When you say school…do you mean high school or college? (please say college)