Today I’m taking you on a transparent labs BULK pre-workout review. This is one of the best pre-workouts on the market, and my first major experience with them in a long time.
I’m going to give you the 4-week breakdown of what I experienced, what’s in the product, and what you can expect when using it. I’ll break down the individual ingredients, my week-by-week, and then round out with my verdict on this product.
If you’re interested in getting the most from your money for pre-workout, then you should read on…
Transparent Labs Pre-series Bulk: What Is It?
Bulk tries to walk the line between being a bulking supplement and pre-workout supplement. The idea is that it supports workouts and post-workout recovery. As we all know, good weight gain comes from good workouts, followed by nutrition and sleep.
This gives transparent labs a difficult challenge, where they’re only using 1 nutritive ingredient (BCAAs). Bulk doesn’t actually include anything else with calories, depending entirely on boosting workout performance and supporting recovery.
This makes it a different category of weight gainers to many of the products I’ve looked at recently. It’s not an appetite stimulant, nor a mass gainer, but a pre-workout supplement for enhancer energy and focus.
Why Did I Try Bulk Pre-workout?
I tried bulk because I was interested in how it would improve workouts – and if it would actually improve my bulking phase. I’ve tried all kinds of supplements and a weight-gain pre-workout is always interesting.
1. I’ve Only Tried a Few Best-Selling Pre-Workouts
I’ve only tried some of the best and top selling pre-workouts, so BULK was a great chance to try them out, while combining it with my experience of weight gain supplements. The idea of crossing over the two makes more sense for my goals, and it was an interesting place to start.
I think the familiarity of working with weight gain, and knowing how my body works with different supplements, gave me a foundation. This also means that – if you’re also looking for your first pre workout – this is a perfect review!
2. Bulking Supplement Stack: Combining Bulk With Other Weight Gain Supplements
I was putting together a bulking supplement stack and already had a whey protein and creatine, so I was looking for something different. The combination of a pre-workout and weight gain supplement made BULK the perfect candidate for my stack.
It also let me write this review! Variety in supplements keeps it fresh and interesting, and I get to share my experiences. That always makes a purchase more exciting!
3. Low Energy In The Gym
I’d moved to Canada recently and, with the amount of stress and change, I was struggling in the gym.
I found myself tired, lethargic, and fatigued before I’d even started lifting. I was feeling weak, old weights felt hard, and I didn’t have the right mindset. This was just the result of chronic stress, but I still wanted to get good workouts in. The gym was the place I relaxed, and I wanted that back.
Using a pre-workout is a good way to ‘switch on’ before a workout, so I thought it was the perfect time to work with BULK as a way to bring up energy levels.
4. More Focus And Pump
Not only was I feeling tired, but my physical and mental responses were weak. I was feeling distracted, irritable, and unfocused in the gym. My pumps were weak, and I felt like I was spinning my wheels.
The ingredients in BULK and the marketing material all made sense. There are a lot of pump-boosting ingredients, as well as a clear focus on mental performance and clarity. These sealed the deal because they were the exact things I wanted to work on.
TL Bulk: What The Company Claims
The marketing around BULK says it’s a weight gain aid – Transparent Labs call it “the best “bulking” pre-workout supplement available”.
This isn’t a weight-gainer product, this is a pre-workout to use while you’re gaining weight. This is important because it reminds you that you still have to do the work of dieting and sleeping properly.
Transparent Labs’ other claims about BULK are all far clearer. It’s clinically dosed, using scientifically-backed ingredients, to provide a better workout. Obviously, this drives better muscle gain whether you’re gaining or losing weight, and this product has a great range of proven benefits.
The result is definitely better performance, but I think they could be clearer in outlining how this product helps gain weight.
It can help you gain weight, in the same way that a fork can help you gain or lose weight – it’s all about what you use it for!
Recommended: If you’re looking to learn more about this company, here’s my Transparent Labs Review.
Benefits And Active Ingredients: What’s In Transparent Labs Bulk?
Transparent Labs BULK includes:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Citrulline Malate
- Betaine Anhydrous
- Caffeine Anhydrous
- Dicaffeine Malate
- Astragin (an Astragalus and Ginseng blend)
But what are the benefits? This is a long list of words if you aren’t familiar with the supplement industry.
Recommended: Checkout how pre workout can make you gain weight.
Ingredient Breakdown: What Are The Benefits Of BULK?
The main benefits of BULK are improving workout performance – especially how much work you can do and the pump you get while you’re at the gym. It has a wide range of active, effective ingredients so there’s definitely more to say.
Let’s take a look at the “groups” of ingredients and what they can do for you.
The vitamins are a good place to start. Vitamin D3, B6, and B12 are there as a metabolic and hormonal support complex. The megadose of B12 is important because this regulates energy metabolism and is typically hard to absorb, so you need lots.
These vitamins are useful for health support and getting the most energy from your food. However, this is a pre-workout supplement, and these vitamins aren’t time-sensitive. You could take them outside of your workout for the same effects – though they are very healthy.
Mineral And Electrolyte Blend
The minerals are more useful in a pre-workout, as they include electrolytes Sodium and Potassium. These are the salts that control muscle function, as well as controlling hydration status, keeping your cells healthy while you exercise. The ratio isn’t quite perfect, but there’s a great dose of both to support performance.
Zinc and Boron aren’t electrolytes, but they do support hormonal and metabolic health. Boron regulates sex hormones, keeping your testosterone and prolactin levels where they should be, while zinc supports energy uptake from food.
Again, these aren’t time-sensitive, but they do help your overall weight-gain diet.
Nitric Oxide Boosters
Nitric oxide boosters help improve blood flow to the muscles. The most obvious benefits are the pump, which is drastically improved. However, these also improve exercise performance, endurance, and recovery – as well as power output.
Citrulline Malate is the most powerful, offering a major boost to your workouts. It’s even more powerful because it’s combined with betaine and theobromine, synergists that power up the effects. They make your pumps more powerful, support workout performance, and keep your heart and vascular system healthy.
These are a great addition for any workout, from endurance to bodybuilding to sprint training.
Beta-alanine is a powerful endurance-boosting compound. It improves your time to exhaustion by improving muscle metabolism. It also provides the “tingly” feeling that so many people report when using this kind of pre-workout supplement.
This is a great way to improve your muscular endurance, improving performance while buffering you against exhaustion. This also has benefits after a workout, where beta-alanine improves carnosine status to prevent muscle damage, DOMS, and even improves recovery (modestly).
This is a great way to improve your workout and kickstart the recovery processes surrounding muscle growth. It’s even possible that carnosine status helps build more muscle, but the science is still unclear.
Mental Performance Blend
The mental performance benefits of this product were important for me. The increased energy, focus, and performance were a major factor in my experience with BULK. There are many ingredients that offer these benefits.
Dicaffeine Malate is a powerful form of caffeine that provided me with energy, focus, and a positive attitude during workouts. A major active ingredient for a pre-workout supplement!
L-Theanine is a powerful synergist to caffeine, improving its positive effects, while reducing the risk of things like jitters and irritability. A perfect combination with Dicaffeine Malate.
L-Tyrosine turns into dopamine in the brain through the L-Dopa pathway. The result is a better mood, improved focus, and a “clear” sense of energy and wakefulness.
A-GPC is a cholinergic compound that improves the levels of acetylcholine in your brain – improving mental performance, reducing fatigue, and stabilizing your mood during exercise.
Astragin: Improving Absorption
Finally, Astragin is a compound that improves the absorption of these nutrients through the gut. It’s a combination of astragalus extract and ginseng, which are both great for improving the uptake of other nutrients.
This basically means that the ingredients of BULK are going to make it into your system effectively. This is important because many compounds – like B12 – can be hard to absorb otherwise. It also ensures you’re getting more results for the same dose, providing maximum efficiency.
My Transparent Labs Bulk Week-Wise Review
I tried BULK for 4 weeks and want to share my experiences. It definitely works, but not as you’d expect from the marketing material.
The experience changed from week to week, so I’m going to go through my time, so you know what to expect.
Week 1 Using BULK
Week 1 was relatively calm. I started with a half-scoop, as I’ve not used a lot of pre-workout supplements before. I found that this was a good move, as I wanted to test my tolerance – and I could always increase the dose later.
This meant I had a mild start with the product. I didn’t notice any major changes to performance right away, but I was more aware, awake, and my sense of lethargy and fatigue from before was gone.
The tingles in my skin were mild here but I definitely felt them, from the Beta-alanine. This was odd the first time, but I got over it throughout the week. It was definitely worth it for the mental clarity.
What You Can Expect
If you start with a half scoop, you can expect better workouts, an uptick in energy, and a specific boost to endurance from the first dose.
- A better sense of energy during workouts
- Some tingles, but nothing crazy on a half scoop
- Mild improvements overall
- Improvement to endurance, in particular, from day 1
Weeks 2 And 3
Weeks 2 and 3 were more like what you’d normally expect from a pre-workout supplement – it was like the marketing promised.
I upped my dose to a full scoop and started feeling the difference. The extra caffeine made me far more enthusiastic, awake, and energetic. This was a major benefit, and I could feel the difference in my mindset.
I also felt like the performance-enhancing ingredients were starting to add up. My workouts were better, lifting felt easier and I was hitting some new PRs, especially on higher-rep exercise. My sets of 5-12 were particularly shooting up – which I concluded was the result of the beta-alanine and all the nitric oxide boosters.
These also led to a much stronger pump. I was experiencing more tingles from the higher Beta-alanine intake, but my pumps were much stronger than I’d had before. This meant I looked much bigger by the end of sessions and my “pump” finishers were feeling more effective.
What You Can Expect
If you take a full serving, as I did, you should expect stronger results this week. More performance-boosts, a stronger experience of the beta-alanine, and a boosted sense of energy and purpose!
- Better results in the gym, especially in higher-rep ranges
- Huge boost to energy
- Beta-alanine tingles: they’re not a risk, just be aware of them
- PRs in strength-endurance exercises
Week 4 came around, and I felt much more evened out. I had gotten accustomed to the beta-alanine and the experience was far more mild. The caffeine was still effective, but I no longer felt as wired when I used this pre-workout.
My workouts, however, continued to improve. As with the past 2 weeks, the same trend of better higher-rep workouts continued. I was still pushing good weights and experiencing more powerful pumps. Performance kept improving and I felt like my “turnaround” from one workout to the next was better, too.
I never had jitters, but I felt that my energy was “smoother” and clearer by this 4th week. I still had that extra gear when I got into the gym after a long day, but it was far more about focus and wakefulness than the slightly manic feelings I had during week 2 when increasing my dose.
What you can expect
You should expect a slightly less intense experience as you get acclimated. By week 4, you should start to feel more in-control of the energy, the tingles, and improve your clear focus.
- Reducing experience of caffeine “high”
- Beta-alanine tingles start to fade
- Workout improvements continue from weeks 2-3
- Things start to feel more normal and balanced
Recommended: Checkout some great pre-workout meals for weight gain.
You shouldn’t experience any major downsides – there are no major side effects to the ingredients in Transparent Labs BULK. It’s also free from common allergens and completely vegan, which helps.
There are some possible experiences that you either don’t want, or that may interact with your personal tolerances.
Dicaffeine Malate is one area where some people respond poorly. If you have a heart condition, you should avoid stimulants, like Caffeine. There are also some people who are malate-intolerant, who may experience digestive distress.
If you have any existing medical conditions like those described, give this product a miss, or talk to your doctor. You should always consult a medical professional before starting any supplements.
Caffeine naïve people will experience a more intense sense of caffeine high, as well as increased jittering and other side effects, but these disappear with time. Tolerance is an important way to get the most from caffeine.
Beta-alanine tingles are noticeable – and quite strange – but aren’t related to any negative health changes. The opposite, in fact: beta-alanine is great for vascular health, as well as boosting workout performance.
It might be a downside, or your favorite thing, depending on your personal experience. As with caffeine, you become more acclimated with time and the effects mellow out.
Who Should Take Bulk Pre-workout Supplement?
I think everyone can take bulk – it’s an excellent pre-workout supplement. While it doesn’t directly contribute to weight gain, it offers an effective boost to your workout performance, as well as mental and physical health.
The only problem I have with this product is that the marketing should be more clear: it’s a perfect pre-workout for weight gain, but doesn’t cause that gain itself – it’s better as part of a stack!
I’m glad that this is how I initially used this product. I would have been disappointed if I expected it to cause weight gain by itself. You still have to set up a diet and sleep routine around this product!
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on my Transparent Labs BULK review, it may be one of the best pre-workouts on the market when we look at the ingredients. In my own experience, it was effective and offered a wide range of physical and mental benefits.
You can also checkout the list of natural pre-workout alternatives here.
I didn’t gain any extra weight using this product, but I did notice that my performance in the gym improved. This means that BULK is a great part of a bulking stack, combined with whey protein and creatine, but doesn’t add weight to you by itself.
It’s a fantastic way to have better workouts and – with proper recovery – you can use it to make excellent gains. Over the course of my 4 weeks with this product, it proved itself to me and has become a staple part of my weight gain supplement stack, driving better performance to drive better results.
If you’re looking for a pre-workout that fits into a weight gain diet and workout routine, BULK is perfect. You can buy it for the best prices on the official website, especially on batches, but it’s also available elsewhere (with mark-ups).
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Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.