Since the FDA took the old formula Jack3d off the market:
ANS Performance: RITUAL.
- Incredible Rush of Energy, Focus & Strength
- Skin-Splitting Muscle Pumps & Vascularity
- Enhanced Endurance and Performance
- Amplifies Workout Power Output
- Maximum Absorption with AstraGin™
Here’s the thing: I’m a pre-workout junkie. I don’t know how people hit big lifts or much less do any sort of intense cardio without some assistance. Odds are, I’m overworked, stressed out, and lacking sleep and this combination doesn’t always make for the best training session. I also think that this combo is more normal than not for most of the population.
So, if you’re like me, You. Need. Energy.
I’ve tried a LOT of different pre-workout supplements. And while it should be clear that I have not tried every energy booster on the market, I’ve at least tried enough to give you a good run-through.
Backstory: I won’t list every pre-workout I’ve tried. I’ve done the NoExplode, something I ordered from Canada, simple caffeine pills, Advocare’s Spark, Progenex Force, drinks, shakes, boosters, pills, and oh so many more.
Jack3d used to be my favorite pre-workout. One scoop would get me through ANY workout with energy to spare, and two scoops…well, let’s just say I saved those for competitions, races, or other times I needed to seriously kick some ass.
I have lacked that fire ever since.
So here’s the thing: this article is supposed to follow our chain of “Favorite Arnold Sports Festival Finds”…because I found this product in Columbus at the biggest sports festival in the world. If you haven’t read our post about the best protein bars that we tried, make sure you check that one out too.
But this isn’t just a product I want to review because I compared it to others at the AFS, it’s one I want to bring to you, put in your gym bag, and hit PRs for you because I have FINALLY found a pre-workout that I LOVE…even more so than Jack3d.
RITUAL: I know why ANS Performance gave it this name.
When I ran into the beefy guys at the ANS Performance table at the ASF, I kinda looked at them with a scoff and said, “Unless you give me the same energy as the old forumla Jacked, I’m not really interested.”
They scoffed back.
Here, the first muscly man said:we’ve got everything you need in our formula without the risk. (<Click here for a complete list of ingredients.)
Me: Beta Alanine?
Me: Enough caffeine? (I’m used to drinking two cups, strong, and then popping 400+ miligrams on my way to the gym.)
Me: I’m not trying this right now, but if you have samples, I’ll take some with me. I won’t know til I’m lifting.
Enter second meaty man:Here’s a box–take a handful. I promise you’ll love it.
Me: Sure, why not try? I’ll write about it if I like it.
Of course, the guy tried to then make a deal with me, sell me two containers (45 servings each) for $20 total while the tubs normally sell for $35+ each.
And of course I didn’t buy it without knowing if it would work.
I am SO kicking myself in the ass for not taking this deal. SO much.
Here’s what happened when I took my first sample:
I could not move fast enough for my body to keep up. No joke. I was doing a workout that consisted of rowing, box jumps, and front squats. I don’t even think I stopped to breathe. Before my workout started I was running around the gym like a 4-year-old about to go play. I remember running to the bathroom and thinking that I couldn’t even pee fast enough to keep up with the energy rush I was feeling. I wanted to freakin’ MOVE.
When my roommate wanted to redo his 14.1 workout, I gave him a sample. He PR’d his old score by almost 40 reps. He said, “I didn’t feel jittery and I felt more focused. The taste was good.”
I let my friend and Strong Figure Ambassador/Social Media Manager, Kylie, try the product and she reported that Ritual gave her “lots of energy that lasted throughout my workout, and I didn’t have a crash afterwards.”
Another Ambassador, Trevor, gave Ritual two thumbs up. (Technically, he snap-chatted his two thumbs up but I didn’t think about snagging a screen-shot for you til I was writing this.)
The next time I took it was in the CrossFit Open workout, 14.3–the crazy deadlift ladder and box jump workout. I hit 131 reps–on a whim–not even intending to do the workout at all.
In the meantime, ANS Performance contacted me to tell me I won a drawing for their new product, CreXcel: a post-workout creatine drink mix.
CreXcel™ [ kree-EX-sell ] – noun:
Mitochondrial creatine superfuel. Amplifies stored cellular energy capacity and maximizes ATP generation efficiency for unmatched gains in strength, power and muscle recovery.
SWEET! I thought. I emailed the guy back–who was super nice, btw–and explained how much I was enjoying my Ritual samples and planned to write about it. He sent me, not just a tub of CreXel, but a whole 45-serving container of Ritual as well!
As soon as my Ritual arrived, I hit the workouts hard again.
I hate running, and I ran 7 miles one day after a scoop of Ritual. I think that might be a running PR for me.
I completed 14.5–the crazy burpee/thruster WOD in about 13 and a half minutes due to the energy charge I felt from Ritual.
I have lifted every single day with the help of Ritual and CreXcel and my lifts are only getting better and my conditioning faster.
I’m not saying it’s a miracle product–I am working really hard in the gym and I would be regardless. BUT I can feel the extra kick in my ass. I can feel the alanine run through my veins. I have the “desire” to train harder, not just the “I know I need to” feeling.
And the CreXcel? I’m not a guru on creatine products but I am SO liking this one. I’ve only been taking it for about two weeks and I take it as a combo with my Progenex Recovery protein. After being out of lifting since early December due to two major shoulder injuries, I can’t say that these products aren’t actually helping. I’m lifting pretty consistently with only 1-2 days off (one day completely off, and 2-3 days off shoulders) and my movement, flexibility, lifts, strength, etc., all feel really good to me. Both Trevor and John reported that the CreXcel tastes great–it tastes like a dreamcicle!!! I take one scoop after my workout and it’s supposed to help with muscle recovery and rebuilding. Click here to find out how this creatine+mitochondrial product work!
I can’t really benefit off selling this product to you; I’m no affiliate to this company and I get zero commission on sales. I’m not trying to make a buck or sell you something that isn’t going to work.
In fact, I might even warn some of you from it. It’s not going to affect everyone the same way it affects me and it could even be too strong for certain individuals. If you aren’t familiar with the tingly sensation of beta alanine, it might seem a bit scary when your skin starts to tingle.
Kylie reported, “The Ritual pre-workout made me a little jittery, but that feeling went away quickly.”
Another Strong Figure Athlete Ambassador, Rob, reported that he would rate Ritual’s Green Apple a 7 for taste, 10 for mixing, but overall a 5 for the lack of boost he felt. Rob also says he has a high tolerance to stimulants and this one didn’t give him a very noticeable energy boost; although, he mentioned that if he had two scoops instead of one, he might have liked it a lot more.
Rob really likes the feeling of Progenex Force and said that the Progenex supplement gives him the energy charge he needs for his toughest workouts. I’ve taken a lot of the Force, and I don’t get the energy that Rob does. In fact I don’t feel half as much “charge” as I do from Ritual. I guess that just goes to show how different we all are–and how we all need to experiment with what’s right for each of us. I noticed on ANS’s website that one guy reviewed it and said he felt nothing at all. I was shocked by this, but hey, to each his own, right?
If you’re just asking me, I love this product and will probably be a fan for life. A fantastic boost, a tingly charge through my body, no crashes, and a few PRs is what I’ve experienced.
MORE from ANS PERFORMANCE:
Among Ritual and CreXcel, the company has a few more products that I’m super curious about:
Diablo is an advanced thermogenic
HIT is a high-intesnity termogenic
Fortitude is a testosterone booster for men
You can buy these products straight from the company website: ANS Performance and also on Muscle and Strength–Strong Figure’s newest affiliate partner for workout supplements and equipment. Please click the Muscle and Strength Banner below!! And right now on Muscle and Strength, if you buy two Diablo, you get one FREE! Score!