Updated February 2020
The modern pre-workout formulas are increasingly a mix of energy, pump, endurance & nootropics. What used to be some caffeine powder turned into a multidimensional workout enhancer.
So just as this Next Gen Wave in PWOs is taking place, we decided to go back to the basics & rank the top 5 best hardcore pre-workout supplements only on how hard-hitting they are.
So this hardcore pre workout supplements list is for you guys – the stimulant junkies. The bros who want to take something and actually feel like you want to eat the weights. So, if you have a strong heart & you want to crush those weights, hit those PWOs, this is going to be a list for you.
BUT, if you are the type of guy who maybe tried one scoop of Cellucor C4 and go a good kick out of it, then please stop reading right now, as your head might explode by just reading about the number of stimulants in these hardcore workout supplements that we are ranking here.
This list is based first & foremost on our own experience, and then on the label. Another thing worth mentioning is that because we were only looking for the shear ‘strength’ element of these, we are listing them in no particular order. It is worth mentioning that, if you can find it, Arez Titanium is still the top-rated for the most hardcore pre-workout option, with the perfect combination of rage and mood.
YES! Its back! And with a vengeance! Apollon Nutrition through its Anarchy Labs sub brand has finally released its successor to the now legendary Assassin, and well people, this one doesn’t disappoint! With a label that will get you stimmed just by looking at it, if you can take it, you are in for a hell of a ride. Assassin is one of these angry pre-workouts, that will get you going and will keep you going for 4-5 hours. You’ll get pumped, you’ll get angry, you’ll throw weights all over the place and you won’t want to stop! Check out our full review on YouTube, and yes, 1/2 a scoop will do just fine for most of you readers!
Watch our Assassin V6 Pre-Workout Review on YouTube:
Don’t let the clean look here confuse you. There’s something inside this pre-workout from Imperial Nutrition that is not on label. Excelsior hits hard and will make you wanna fly! You can watch the full review on our youtube channel to get more intel but let me just tell you that when it comes for focus and energy Excelsior is one heck of a ride. My sweet spot with this pre-workout is 1.75 scoops and I found that 2 scoops is just too much for most users. Two words of caution: 1) I don’t believe the label here is accurate. Excelsior is hiding something … 2) some people have a serious crash post workout, but everyone I talked with found that the free flight during workout was worth it.
Watch our Imperial Nutrition Excelsior Pre-Workout Review on YouTube:
With a combination of DMHA & DMAA and a bunch of other exotic stimulants, well people, let me tell you something, this pre workout feels amazing. Great clean productive energy and great focus. But more than anything else, the mood elevation and feeling of wellness and euphoria is the strongest I had since the JACK3D or APS Mesomorph or yes, I dare to say it CRAZE! You can expect this feeling to last for about 2-3 hours, well into your workout session and I haven’t had any side effects or any other issues. Clean, focused, HAPPY workouts!
Watch our Dark Energy Pre-Workout Review on YouTube:
Yeah, the first thing that is going to get your attention with the Hooligan pre-workout is the massive 700mg caffeine dose. But don’t let this pre-workout confuse you. This label boasts way more than just a lot of stimulants. The pump & power formula is the most complete on this list and same goes for the focus ingredients. And to bring it all together eventhough you would think this amount of stims might blow your head off, Hooligan is a surprisingly smooth but intense pre-workout experience with intense focus and great energy, with one huge benefit, the energy literally lasts for a full day.
Watch our Apollon Nutrition Hooligan Pre-Workout Review on YouTube:
Without a doubt Aggressive Labz most powerful pre-workout. We reviewed about 5 hardcore pre-workouts from the brand, including 3 that claim DMAA on the label. Leatherfaze is by far the most effective pre-workout of the bunch. If you are looking for a burst of energy and super intense focus look no further. Combination of DMAA, 500mg of caffeine and a load of other effective ingredients, make the Aggressive Labz Leatherfaze one of the strongest pre workouts out there and one of the best DMAA pre-workouts out there for sure, but a word of caution, this one is advanced users only!
Watch our LeatherFaze Pre-Workout Review on YouTube:
Check out our Assassin Pre-Workout review
The Assassin Pre Workout is really intense, and keeps the intensity high for hours on end. Even for me this PWO would be a bit too much to take every day. There are too many stimulants that I feel I would burn down my adrenal gland very quickly, so it is not safe for daily use in my opinion. There are just way too many stims, and I am not sure you would want to keep the alertness and stimmed feeling for 7 hours everyday. I do think this is definitely a pre workout you can take half a scoop and then get your normal stim junkie pre workout from quantities perspective (half a scoop of this is 300 mg of caffeine, 150 mg of DMHA, 150 Eria J and Synephrine at 30mg). The experience during the 1.5 hours of the workout is really no different to Arez Titanium, Oh Yeah, and the other hardcore PWOs on this list. The difference is this one lasts for like 7 HOURS. But, if you’re one of those people that stopped feeling the other stim junkie pre workouts, and really want a serious kick, this is the one for you. You can get this crazy pre workout in retail stores and on the Apollon Nutrition website. Be sure to check out our price comparison and deals on Apollo Nutrition supplements before you make any decisions!
Although the mediocre pumps, this is a VERY hard hitting pre workout. Even an hour and a half into it, Pre Stack Extreme just doesn’t let go. Needless to say, if you can’t handle overstimulation and this hardcore pre workout stim hit, this is not for you. You are, however, really going to enjoy this if you enjoyed my personal favorite Arez Titanium. This one is very similar to Arez minus the mood elevation and euphoria that lasts for 20 years after. Oh, and add way more anger. So, Arez lovers, we have your little brother. I am really not sure how long this formula is going to stay out there, so grab yours while you can. This pre workout retails for about $50, and can be found online at the Fitness Stacks website. Be sure to look for our hardcore pre workout deals before you purchase any of these.
Hell Yeah is a great pre workout choice if what you are looking for is a nice energy kick, good mood and intense motivation that will last a good amount of time, during the workout and a bit after. I really like what Iron Obsession have done here. This hardcore pre workout supplement is very similar to Defiant Unleashed (coming next on the list), but the pumps level is definitely lower whereas the energy level is really increased. You get a really good energy kick and you just feel in the zone. Note it is not as hard-hitting as Arez Titanium and Pre Stacked (probably because of the Alpha Yo they have in them), but it is definitely one of the best as far as focus, mood elevation and being in the zone go. Again, the long lasting energy kick and motivation are exceptional experience wise. I felt so motivated when I used it that I considered extending my cardio session (I know… shame on me). If you are looking for stim junkie but not hard hitting pre workout, this one provides a really good experience without much rage or anger. Make sure to check out the deals on this one on our Iron Obsession price comparison and coupon page to save money on this great PWO.
Check out our MuscleForce Defiant Unleashed review
Last but definitely not least, Defiant Unleashed provides a great surge of energy that creeps up on you and once it hits, gives you a really nice burst of motivation. Considering the amount of caffeine in it (450 mg) and the other good shit in the formula, it is surprisingly subtle. You don’t feel over-stimmed, but you do definitely feel motivated. I did feel quite focused, but not tunnel-vision focused. I would say the most prominent feeling here is the motivation, which I like. The pumps are pretty mediocre, and the energy and focus kicks are as mentioned solid, however, Defiant Unleashed excelled the most for me in really good motivation. The motivational effects lasted for about 2-3 hours, and even though I expected to crash after it considering all the stimulants, it was actually a smooth transition to normal life after the gym. It wasn’t one of these all-day-long effects pre workouts (like Arez Titanium and similar products), but again as far as motivation goes this is this is probably one of the best ones I’ve ever had. I’m not sure what exactly brings all these things together but motivational is the best way to describe it. I actually didn’t have any bad side effects, there’s no Alpha Yohimbine here, there are no chills and no non-smooth transition out. So overall I really like it and you should definitely give it a try. Bare in mind this product is not on the cheap side, with 30 servings priced at $50 in retail stores and on the Defiant Unleashed website. Get the deals on this crazy motivational pre workout and others from MuscleForce here.
If you made to this point, this means you’ve been around pre workouts for some time, so you know you can’t compare prices just based on the amount of servings per tub. Anyone of the Pre Workouts listed here will have at least twice if not 3 times the active ingredients per serving than your run of the mill PWO. So, yeah, you can buy C4 for $29.99 for 30 servings, but that will only last you 10 workouts if you are ‘qualified’ for one of these workout weapon systems.