Finaflex named their pre-workout Stimul8 and dubbed it the ‘shredding pre-workout’. As one of the most reasonably priced pre workout supplements on the market, I often get asked if Stimul8 is any good. Do you want to know the short answer or the long one? Probably the short one right? Ok, ok. No. This is not a good pre workout. And in this thorough ripping, I mean review, I will tell you in painstaking details every little thing that is wrong with this pre workout from the name to the formula to the packaging. Let’s waste no more time and jump right into my Finaflex Stimul8 review.
I had seen Finaflex products on the shelves of my local Vitamin Shoppe before, but never really paid a second thought to them. Actually the parent company is called Redefine Nutrition. Just learned that now. Anyways. The product had never really caught my eye before because frankly it’s a pretty ugly package. The thing is, (if you’re reading this review you already know), this product is straight up dirt cheap. I’m talking like on the south side of $0.75 per serving cheap. But what are you really getting for this little bit of your hard earned money, and should you consider something a little, well, better?
Stimul8 Performance Reviews: 6.0
Yikes. Stimul8 got an actual D on performance. I don’t give ‘D’s’ too too often because, well, often times it’s just little ‘ole me reviewing these things. But for this product, I have actually a funny story. So I actually decided to review this product sort of not on purpose. Let’s face it the majority of my pre workout reviews are women’s pre workouts, and usually the best ones at that. After all, not everyone can come out with the BPW top 10 year after year like I can.
But on this particular day, I was training with my brother in Toronto, Canada. He actually basicially dragged me to come in and train with his lax team because he always tells me how great his workouts are. So I told him I would, but he had to go to Popeye’s and get us a new pre workout to try. And the catch was that he had to make sure that it was a pre workout that I had never reviewed ever before. So after browsing the entire list of pre workouts that I’ve tried, he went on his merry way. what he came back roughly an hour later frankly was appalling.
As you might have guessed, my brother came home with Redefine or Finaflex Stimul8. He also had a stupid grin on his face and was laughing like an idiot. Sight. What happened? Turns out he left his wallet (and brain) at home. And instead of turning around and getting it, he scrounged around his jacket and the car for sixteen dollars. Pretty good haul. But not if you’re trying to pick up a good pre workout powder! I would say if you want a decent product you are going to pay in the neighborhood of $40, and maybe more depending on the size. But alas, my brother walked into Popeye’s with sixteen bucks and told them that he needed a pre workout. They marched him over the their pre workout sale rack and suggested their finest dirt-cheap formula. Good old Finaflex Stimul8. I’m sure bro was just happy that they actually had a pre workout for that cheap so he grabbed it.
Needless to say he had to drive to the gym. And on top of that. He had to make all his teammates take this crap along with the two of us so that they could contribute to this Stimul8 pre workout review. If nothing else, I think their combined commentary will give you a very vivid picture of what this product is really all about. But I will start things off with my own personal thoughts on the flavor.
Finaflex Stimul8 Flavor Review: 7.0
I couldn’t really even bring myself to give Stimul8 any higher than a run-of-the-mill C on flavoring because it just wasn’t above average. I had the Apple Blast flavor (which I’m not surprised was on the sale rack), and it was truly horrid. It was the most generic artificial sweetener taste that you can imagine, and it was disgustingly sweet. To the point where you could barely choke it down. I think I legit had tears in my eyes while I was drinking the chemical-green concoction. Of course my brother liked it. His buddies were sort of mixed in their analysis of the flavors, but suffice to say the overwhelming concensus was not a positive one. Such words as ‘brutal’, ‘awful’, and some other choice ‘bro’ words were used. I can not speak personally to the taste of some of the other flavors such as cherry limeade or tropical storm. But I kind of doubt that they were very good. Taking a peek at the supplement facts and ingredients- I was not surprised at all to see that this pre workout is 100% artificially sweetened. Another reason to steer clear. Ok so taste was sub-par. Let’s get back to the performance. Does Stimul8 pre workout work?
I took two scoops of Stimul8 before our workout and waited for the effects to come over me. Which after about ten minutes they sort of did. I felt the caffeinated wave of energy start to hit, and definitely felt the beta-alanine come in. A few minutes later, the workout began, and it was time to make or break this pre workout. I have to give it to my bros coaches at this point. They can come up with a plain old sadistic workout. You wouldn’t think that you can get this tired from jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, and body squats. The workout was based on timed intervals, and the prompt was to go all out on every exercise and complete however many reps you possibly can for any given workout. To be honest, after the second round through, I thought my shoulders were actually going to fall off. Have you ever done mountain climbers for 30 seconds at a REAL 100% all-out effort? It’s, well, draining to say the least. During the second part of the second circuit is where this pre workout started to show it’s true colors. I felt pretty good and normal and energized throughout the first round. But halfway through the second, my ears started to ring, and I felt totally awful.
I know, I know. Tell me that it was the workout being hard and my pushing too hard or something. I would jump to that conclusion too. But the problem was that the workout was only 5 minutes in, and I am no stranger to difficult workouts and pushing hard. I’ve come pretty close to blackout numerous times in the gym- and this feeling was nothing like that. This feeling was something else and it was horrible. My sides started cramping and aching, and my heart fealt like it was beating out of my chest. I really can’t say 100% that this was attributed directly to the pre workout itself because that isn’t totally fair. Maybe it was the travel from the (two days?) previous, or maybe it was some bad food the night before. But I can say that the pre workout played a big role in this horrible feeling. After taking 10 minutes off, I jumped back in and finished the workout. Nobody likes a quitter! But it was when I was collecting feedback from everyone else after the workout that it started to sink in: this product makes you feel actually awful. Here are some of the one-liners that I tapped out on my phone:
“I fealt like (crap). I think there is too much caffeine in it or something because I was super jittery..”
“Uh it tasted pretty bad but I didn’t feel that much of any performance gain from it other than my skin being all itchy..”
“That pre workout didn’t do the job for me today I take C4 all the time because it’s the best and I’ve never even heard of this stuff.”
And the list went on. I will say there was one kid who actually really seemed to like this stuff. He said it was first time ever taking a pre workout and he only took a half-scoop, so maybe that’s the trick here. The less of it you take, the better it works. Performance-wise I was unimpressed with Stimul8. Let’s take a look under the hood at the ingredients and see if we can’t sort out what is responsible for that.
Stimul8 Ingredients and Formula : 7.0
Stimul8 is getting another unimpressive grade from me on the formula because it is incredibly small in terms of the amount of active ingredients included. And it’s basically all caffeine plus beta-alanine. Which isn’t a huge surprise, but usually the supplements will go at least try and venture outside the box with some additional functional ingredients. Here is the breakdown of this formula:
- 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine (Caffeine)
- b-phenethylamine HCL
- Irisnxd™ (Green Tea Extract [standardized for 60% EGCG]
- Hordenine HCL
- Synephrine HCL
- Rauwolfia vomitoria (Standardized for 90% Rauwolscine)
When you take into account the fact that there has to be at least a gram of beta-alanine in each serving, that leaves you with just about 2 grams for ALL of the other ingredients. Figure about 300 mg of caffeine per serving, and that leaves you with a pinch of the other add-ins. The one ‘bright’ spot in here would probably be the ‘Irisnxd’, whatever that is. Google-ing now. Hm. Nothing. So it seems that is the name given by Finaflex to whatever generic form of green tea extract they used in this formula. Cool. Ok so the formula and performance and flavors are all getting bad reviews from BPW, but what about the packaging? Could this be the first ever pre wokrout review that scores higher on packaging than on anything else?
Finaflex Stimul8 Packaging Review: 7.0
The answer is no. I have to give Stimul8 another even seven on the packaging-because it demonstrates exactly the sort of creative efforts that used to earn me my ‘C’s’ in art class in high school. I knew I didn’t have the skills, so I just kind of dogged it and rode on the excuse that I wasn’t capable. I feel like the artist who designed the Stimul8 label fealt the same way. Maybe he knew it was just a lack-luster product and that it wouldn’t amount to much, so he just went through the motions and spat this thing out. The big 8 takes over the center of the label, and you have to twist your head around sideways to ride ‘stimul’ and then infer that they are trying to make a cute play on the word ‘stimulate’. It’s corny. And then the side graphics. Are.. Eagles? Maybe? They look like they were designed in seven seconds by someone with their eyes closed. I could go on and on about how drab the colors are, how elementary the copy-writing is, and how bad the choice of fonts are. But I think I’d rather put this review out of it’s misery and close us out with an analysis of value and final score.
Stimul8 Final Score: 7.0
I know I gave the performance a 6.0, which is a ‘D’, and everything else a 7.0- so how does the final score not come out below a 7 you ask? Well, it’s because this stuff is so cheap that I feel like you can’t even get that mad when it doesn’t perform. After all, you get what you pay for. And when what you pay for is next to nothing- you can’t expect much more from this pre workout than, well, nothing*.
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