August 23, 2013
A King Attempts To Regain His Throne…
I want to start with big thank you to USP Labs for sending me a container of Jack3d Advanced. Jack3d was my very first pre-workout and boy was it a doozey. Great energy, pump, and tunnel vision focus. I loved every moment in the gym and it’s the product that got me into many other sports nutrition products.
Bulking at 3500 calories/day, doing power-endurance workouts 2x/week for cardio and power output, then doing a bodybuilding split to fill in the gaps and get my upper body back in shape before another round of Wendler’s 5/3/1 once school starts up again.
Two scoops gets you 200mg caffeine, 100mg vitamin C, and a prop blend of ingredients topping out at a 10.2 gram serving.
Serving Size: 1 scoop (5 g)
Servings Per Container: 45
Amount per serving
Proprietary Blend 3,580mg
Advanced Creatine Ratio (Creatine [as Monohydrate, Anhydrous]), Nitrate Blast (Arginine [as Arginine Nitrate], Pinus Pinaster (Bark) Extract), Beta Alanine (Carnosyn™), Yohimbe (Pausinystalia Johimbe) (Bark) Extract (Standardized for Full Spectrum Alkaloids), Norcoclaurine Hcl, Swertia Chirayita (Whole Plant) Extract
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 50mg 84%
citric acid, natural & artificial flavors, Silicon Dioxide, calcium silicate, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, Beet Juice Powder (Color), Beta Carotene (Color)
200mg is pretty tame for many pre workouts, but frankly, many shouldn’t need more than this considering the other products found here. Caffeine has been shown to not only boost energy but also improve strength in some studies.
Yohimbe extract is an alpha-2-adrenoceptor antagonist. It’s been known to increase blood plasma levels of noradrenaline, resulting in elevated rates of lipid mobilization. Yohimbe has also been used for boosting libido and as an energy supplement. Some have also used it as a topical diuretic, although I’ve never tried that myself. After speaking with the USP Labs rep in my area, he stressed the importance of standardizing and upping the percentage of active alkaloids in their extract. He mentioned how yohimbe usually made him sick and jittery but after trying this, the side effects were gone and the benefits improved (more on that later).
This is a substance that not many have seen in pre workouts (save for Jack3d Micro), but it’s touted to be quite the effective one. It’s effects are similar to caffeine but it works through something called the reverse adrenoreceptor process. In essence, this is supposed to make sure you get a good stim kick from the caffeine and yohimbine, and then have it stay there until your workout is over.
Swertia is an Indian plant known to improve weight loss, detoxify the body, lower blood sugar, and it has also been shown to protect the liver. Not all the studies are entirely conclusive however. For instance, the blood sugar study was done on albino rats, not humans. It works as a stimulant and I’m assuming this is meant to be used almost like “extended release” caffeine.
Creatine monohydrate & creatine anhydrous-
This surprised me a little. USP is all about cutting edge ingredients and yet they opted for a couple grams of creatine mono/anhydrous instead of Kre-Alkalyn or Creatine HCl. While I don’t usually gain water weight with creatine mono I know others might, but the yohimbine might negate any of that so perhaps it’s a smarter choice than I first thought.
Nitrates are taking over new pre workout formulas everywhere, whether as creatine nitrate, arginine, or others. This is another instance where I found myself scratching my head. Why no agmatine? I did a little research and found this excerpt for a possible reason:
“During intense exercise, in the middle or toward the end of your workout when your body is low on oxygen anyway, the L-Arginine NO Synthase pathway — the more common route for typical pre-workouts — is much less effective, and nitric oxide production won’t last as long. The effect of this process is usually seen early in the workout, when energy and stored oxygen levels are high.
Arginine Nitrate, however, doesn’t rely on oxygen nearly as much, meaning a longer, sustained effect that will last through your final reps, and vasodilation will, too. Arginine Nitrate uses the N3O pathway, an alternate to the normal L-Arginine NO Synthase pathway used by regular Arginine-based products.”
Pinus Pinaster Extract-
USP Labs via their rep mentioned that its primary use in Jack3d is to relax the veins and allow for greater transport of nutrients. This is important because caffeine and other stimulant products do the exact opposite.
This is a nonessential amino acid that turns into carnosine within the body. It produces the familiar tingling sensation many have felt when they take a pre-workout. Beta-Alanine is effective for exercise lasting longer than 60 seconds. Others have gone into the nitty gritty aspects of how it works so I’ll save everyone some time.
This is a pretty surprising little addition. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and improves the uptake of nitrates, but it has also been used to relieve and prevent muscle soreness prior to and following exercise, so it could be used by athletes who train almost every day to recover quicker.
I never give out 10s. Ever. But this product deserves it without a shadow of a doubt. No joke, this was the scenario the first time I mixed it: I’m driving down the highway during rush hour for a late gym session. I have a water bottle (not a shaker) held between my legs. I crack open the container of Jack3d and toss in two full, even scoops into the bottle. Traffic picks up to 15 mph for half a minute and I had to merge into a different lane. Traffic slows down again and I pick up the water bottle to start shaking it. I look at it, and it’s PERFECTLY AGITATED. No clumps, floaters, foam, nothing. It was all completely assimilated. I’m pretty sure if I tried hard enough, I could mix the powder up with my mind. It’s really that easy. Great foo-ing job USP!
I won’t lie to you, I’m a female dog when it comes to pre’s. I usually happily take my pre workout, only to choke it down (wincing the entire time), feel nauseous, cramp up, go to the bathroom, and end my workout. Seriously; it must be something to do with the dyes or excess beta alanine or something. There’s only a handful (although growing number) of products that I can take that don’t make me ill or negatively affect my workouts, and I’m happy to say that this is one of them.
The old Jack3d I took with a pained and sort of sickened expression, and by the end of it there was always a layer of sand-like grit at the bottom that was always the worst. All of this is long gone and replaced with a surprisingly full flavored, somewhat natural-tasting formula that is really light on the stomach. A couple of times I ate something light about an hour before the gym. In these cases, something must’ve not agreed in my stomach because I would occasionally get a little gas and have to take it easy for my first few sets. Because of that, I strongly suggest eating something filling a couple hours before, and always take this on as empty a stomach as possible. I didn’t always feel bad from it, but for the sake of getting the most out of this, I would only have water before.
I swear 1,3-Dimethyl has utterly ruined my tolerance for stimulant products. Even products like Mr. Hyde don’t really amp me up much anymore, and I sometimes take months off at a time for pre workouts. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally a pretty focused person, but I didn’t really get much of a “tunnel vision” feeling from this. I had a moderate boost in energy and focus, no jitters, but I was confident and my lifts were superb. My strength definitely went up and I think it might be that USP Labs added more creatine that the 2-3 grams of the original. There’s no way to know for sure, but I do know that this is very, very balanced. No aspect of my pre workout experience grossly outweighed the rest, which I like since it makes the product that much more versatile. Depending on what you do, I could see sports athletes, crossfitters, powerlifters, and bodybuilders all use this formula since it has something for everyone. An added benefit to this is that I didn’t feel like Jack3d Advanced wore off on me. All the way to the last scoop, I was able to get a consistent level of energy, focus, strength, and motivation.
Like I said, this didn’t hit me like a sack of bricks. It’s fairly gradual and you can start noticing it within 10-15 minutes. It’s subtle, but noticeable and I enjoyed the clean energy I got from it. While there wasn’t a huge amount of it, the energy I got was actually perhaps the cleanest I’ve ever had. I felt like it was an energy more from myself than anything else, but I knew it was the Jack3d since I didn’t have any ludicrous expectations for it, and even on days when I was dragging myself to the gym, this got me through it. Awesome.
While it doesn’t compare to Mr.Hyde or Craze, I enjoyed the focus from this. It gives you a little nudge in the right direction, but on days when I really didn’t want to go and had a lot on my mind, it didn’t REALLY work that well. People looking for tunnel vision and a primal feeling should look elsewhere, since it’s unlikely you’ll find it here.
My suspicions were validated even on the first workout of this product. Does it help with pump? Yes. Does it give you fascia-splitting, nigh-painful pumps that could only be gifted to you from the gods themselves? Heeeeeeeeck no! Even on my higher volume days, I got an above average pump. I swear, if there was a gram or so of agmatine this product would rock and the pump junkies of the world would rejoice. Alas, that isn’t the case here, so let us move on to better things.
I’ve been seeing some great deals on this, sometimes ranging in the $20.00 range. At my Vitamin Shoppe this product sells for 29.99, just like the old formula. I figure it’s fair, since this is an admirable successor to the old formula, although someone like myself would get only 20 or so servings out of it. As an athlete who works out only three times a week, that isn’t bad. But I’m doing personal training now and I’m exposed to many different types of workouts and am going about five times a week, that edges closer on the spendy side for me. Frankly though, I think what they give you will suffice for most people since not everyone is as stimmed out as me, and it delivers even with 1 scoop.
Wow, what a great experience. I looked forward to taking this every time and pushed through my workouts easier, even the more puke-inducing ones that I’ve been subjecting myself to as of late. But everyone is surely wondering “Does it stack up to the old stuff”. Like many things, the answer is more complicated than that. Can it go blow for blow, with the old one? I don’t think so. It does however put up a fight much like Rocky does against Drago. It’s a potent, well-rounded formula that has adapted to the recent changes in the pre-workout market almost flawlessly. In every category it seeks to match –if not trump- the old Jack3d, and most of the time it succeeds. So without further ado, I can safely say that for many, the crown has been dropped, and the once and future king of pre-workouts can now have its time at the top. And that product my friends and brothers of the iron, is Jack3d Advanced.
- Mixes Easy
- Decent Focus
- Increased Energy
- Consistent Energy
- Good Pumps
- Awesome Taste
- Needs Agmatine
- Not A Big Pump