IntroductionHello again guys! Another review coming up by Redweilerfan, a 40+ musclebuilding supplement addict from Sweden. I usually train 4 times a week and focus is on building as much muscle as I can for my age, and to try to stay in shape. I consider supplements as an integral part of my training and I use, besides preworkouts, also BCAAs and creatine monohydrate to gain as much as possible. Today I will review a preworkout that I have used this year, and which also is quite a famous one; ISYMFS (Its Still Yo MuthafuckinSet) made in collaboration by iSatori and Youtuber profile C.T Fletcher. Now, I guess its safe to say that C.T isnt for everyone, and Im not an avid follower of him either, but nonetheless he is quite the character and I believe he is right about many things when it comes to musclebuilding. Much around him is, of course, image building and gimmickry, but I still admire the man for his "magnificent obsession" and dedication. Thats why I bought his preworkout, to try it out for myself and to support the man in his no nonsense attitude towards training. I will break down the ingredients and I will try to sculpture out both the positives and the negatives in them.
Ingredient ProfileThe focus in ISYMFS is on the following two main blends and I will present here the dosages based on the maximum dose of 2 scoops (the "C.T Fletcher dose"):
Max Force Strength Complex (7.15 g)
Beta alanine (CarnoSyn) 2400 mg
HPLC Verified Creatine Monohydrate 2000 mg
Betaine Anhydrous 1500 mg
HPLC Verified Creatine HCL (iSaCre) 1000 mg
Ancient Peat Apple Extract (elevATP) 150 mg
Psycho-Active Energy Complex (1.45 g)
N-Acetyl l-Tyrosine 500 mg
Choline Bitartrate 500 mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 300 mg
Caffeine Citrate 75 mg
Di-Caffeine Malate 50 mg
Theacrine (Teacrine) 25 mg
Ingredient Absorption Enhancer
Black Pepper Extract (BioPerine) standardized to 95% piperine 5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2 g (of which sugars 0 g)
Okay, so you see that emphasis is mainly here on energy, focus and strength. It is obvious that there are a few problems with these blends. First off, there are no ingredients for pumps here; no citrulline, no AAKG, no niacine and no agmatine sulfate, so thats a flaw to begin with I think. What we do have are different forms of creatine for muscle power and stamina. The creatine variants taken together are underdosed even in the max 2 scoop serving if we contend that 5 mg of creatine monohydrate is the efficacious dose. However, the debate on creatine and all its variants is heated and there are many claiming that 3 g of creatine monohydrate is the clinical dose and that variants such as creatine puryvate, creatine HCL (as in here) and others are more efficacious than monohydrate even in smaller dosages. No doubt these variants are more expensive, but expensive doesnt automatically mean better. But, as I said, it is an ongoing debate and it will be up to individuals themselves to try different types of creatine and evaluate the results themselves. The betaine is clinically dosed and is mainly for strength, although it has some volumizing capabilities in a more indirect way too. The beta alanine is in the CarnoSyn version which is claimed to be the best version on the market today, but the 2400 mg dose in 2 scoops is still underdosed (clinical dose generally seen in 3.2 g). Either way, 2400 mg will provide you with some rather good effects overall in stamina by blocking lactic acid build up in your working muscles. The elevATP is a new ingredient that works similarly to creatine in fueling your muscles for explosive short burst reps, which will help you build muscles easier. It is clinically dosed here in 150 mg and it is an expensive ingredient, so it is obvious that C.T wants to present a new and innovative preworkout here. Now, the energy and focus blend does have its issues too; N-Acetyl l-Tyrosine is a more soluble version of l-Tyrosine which also crosses the blood-brain barrier and thus has a more direct effect on your mental capabilities. The 500 mg is clinically dosed as is the choline bitartrate, which is also one of the best ingredients for mental focus around today. The caffeine is problematic; taken together you have 450 mg of caffeine from the different sources (including theacrine), which is very high. Of course, the different types yields different effects, such as caffeine anhydrous having the more direct and hard hitting effect on you, whereas the caffeine citrate, di-caffeine malate and theacrine have more long term and less hard hitting effects. Even so, it is a pretty stout amount of caffeine which can be counter-productive for some users.
Taste/Mixability/DosingIn Sweden ISYMFS came in a 220 g tub and in 4 flavors; Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Mango Breeze and Water Melon. I went for the mango flavor and it was a light and really refreshing flavor with a nice tropical character. It was not sweet, but pleasantly light. Mixability was nice, the powder dissolved quickly without problems. The dosing is a bit problematic, because if you go for 1 scoop, then everything is underdosed. If you go for the max 2 scoops, then you get a whole lot of caffeine, which can be a bit too much for some, and some ingredients are still underdosed even here (the beta alanine for example). I went for a 1 1/2 scoop serving which worked pretty well.
EffectivenessFor me, ISYMFS had some good effects overall, I got decent focus and strength, as well as good energy. Although I went for 1 1/2 scoop ISYMFS did a pretty good job, but no doubt effectiveness is lost when you go below 2 scoops ingredient wize. But I decided to compromise in order to avoid too much caffeine, which can be too much if you train 4-5 days a week and take ISYMFS every time. But my compromise worked rather nice after all. The energy was solid and lasted a couple of hours after my workouts, so as an energizing preworkout it definitely scores some important points. The same goes for stamina and endurance, biceps and legs were easier to do and I could press out those extra reps that really counts. Mental focus was okay, absolutely not tunnel vision, but rather that pleasant focus you get when you are in the mood for doing a task. I did not get any euphoria, but still that comfortable feel good sensation in the background when working out. Strength, the trademark of this preworkout, was noticeable, I could increase some weights and it worked extra well when doing biceps for some reason. But I was missing that pump effect you get from N.O boosters and it was obvious that ISYMFS lacked those key ingredients. But endurance and stamina pretty much followed every workout, something that I also look for in a preworkout.
ValueIf you can buy it with some discount it is a good value preworkout, but the full price was a bit expensive, considering that you only get 20 servings if you go for 2 scoops at a time. I paid 300 crowns (27-28 U.S dollars) with 25% off (original price 400 crowns), so it was pretty okay. If you can go for 1 scoop, then you definitely will have a good value preworkout with 40 servings, but I doubt that many can go so low and still get adequate effects in the gym.
Side EffectsI had no side effects of this one, although the caffeine content is in the more higher end of the spectrum, so people sensitive to caffeine should perhaps choose another preworkout. 450 mg could also increase risks for post-workout crashes.
ConclusionTo conclude then, ISYMFS is a good preworkout, although it is also a tricky one when it comes to dosing and purpose I think. If you are primarily interested in strength and muscle building and if you can take 450 mg of caffeine and caffeine-like ingredients, then this ought to be an outstanding preworkout for you. There are many expensive and cutting edge ingredients in it, such as elevATP, N-Acetyl l-Tyrosine and Creatine HCL that gives the impression of a innovative preworkout for modern training. Its focus on strength, high energy and musclebuilding should attract a large crowd no doubt. C.Ts name on the tub should also contribute to that. However, there are no pump ingredients here and the stim content is high, perhaps too high for many people. I personally can take large doses of caffeine, but even for me 450 mg is a bit too much to be honest, and too much caffeine is reported by some experts to actually constrict your blood vessels and thereby making muscle growth harder to achieve. But overall I liked it, even though I only took 1 1/2 scoop. I felt pretty good, the training went smoothly and there is of course a "cool factor" with C.T. Overall, I still recommend it, with abovementioned caveats in mind. If the opportunity arises, I will try C.Ts new Sidewalk Kraka as well.
July 3, 2017
Nice review, enjoyed the reading. Maybe CT Fletcher knew he wouldn't get an effective pump with so much Caffeine, that's why he decided not to add any ingredients for Pump and focus the supplement on Energy, Strength and Focus.
Just a minor mistake, "if we contend that 5 mg of creatine monohydrate is the efficacious dose." You meant 5 grams.