Bulk Pre Workout by Transparent Labs is a pre-workout supplement designed to be taken by athletes during a bulking phase.
To help support a bulking cycle, it includes the ingredients vitamin D3, boron citrate, and zinc for testosterone support. This is rather unique for a pre-workout, as most do not contain ingredients for purposes other than increasing energy, focus, and motivation.
Transparent Labs was nice enough to send me some samples of their products to try out and review for you all. This will be the first in a series of reviews of some of their products.
I would recommend Bulk Pre Workout as a great daily pre-workout choice. It is also a good choice for days when you’re taking a break from more high stim pre-workouts if you take those. It’ll deliver solid energy and motivation in the gym without some of the side effects that can come along with more extreme pre-workouts.
Bulk is even included in our list of the best powerlifting supplements. It’s truly a pre-workout that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.
With just over 200 mg of caffeine, BCAAs, Vitamin D3, and Zinc, BULK is a great choice if you're looking for a normal amount of caffeine + extra nutritional support.
Table of Contents
- 1 My Experience
- 2 Where to Buy Transparent Labs Bulk Pre Workout
- 3 Ingredients Label
- 3.1 Citrulline Malate 2:1 – 6 grams
- 3.2 Beta Alanine – 4 grams
- 3.3 BCAA 2:1:1 – 4 grams
- 3.4 Betaine Anhydrous – 2.5 grams
- 3.5 Taurine – 1.3 grams
- 3.6 N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) – 600 mg
- 3.7 Choline Bitartrate – 500 mg
- 3.8 L-Theanine – 360 mg
- 3.9 Caffeine Anhydrous – 180 mg
- 3.10 Mucuna Pruriens (98% L-Dopa) – 70 mg
- 3.11 L-Norvaline – 60 mg
- 3.12 Synephrine HCL – 50 mg
- 3.13 Hordenine – 25 mg
- 3.14 BioPerine – 5 mg
- 3.15 Vitamin D3 – 3,000 IU
- 3.16 Zinc AAC – 30 mg
- 3.17 Boron Citrate – 5 mg
I enjoyed Bulk Pre Workout way more than I was expecting to. I was skeptical of the 180 mg caffeine dose and was wondering if this pre workout would do anything for me. After all, I’d been testing out some heavy hitters like 1’3 Volt and Hooligan – would this be able to compete?
The answer: no, not exactly, but I like Bulk for different reasons. It’s a great pre workout for daily usage. I can take this regularly and not worry about building up a wild caffeine tolerance or putting my brain through the neurological wringer and feeling like crap.
As a result, Bulk is a versatile pre-workout that works well for a variety of use cases.
In fact, it appears on the following “best of” lists:
- Best Pre-Workout for Beginners
- Best Pre-Workout for Teens
- Best Pre-Workout for Cardio
- Best Pre-Workout for MMA
Within 20 minutes I could feel the beta alanine start to kick in. With over 4 grams of beta alanine, they’re hard to miss.
By 30 minutes or so I could feel the caffeine start to deliver. The feeling was not overwhelming, but was noticeable. From here, a blend of energy and motivation continued to build up to the 60 minute mark or so, where it plateaued for a while.
As the label suggests, you’re not going to get knocked over the head with any crazy stimulants with Bulk pre workout. Instead, a thoughtful blend of properly dosed ingredients (caffeine, L-Theanine, synephrine, hordenine, choline) come together to form a very, very solid energy and motivation package.
I took this in the morning after a light breakfast and this definitely helped me power through a quick 60 minute workout while still getting all of my work in.
Side Effects & Comedown
There was no comedown whatsoever from Bulk. No negative side effects were noted. It lasted for about two hours before fading out nicely.
This is absolutely something I’d feel comfortable taking every day. It’s a solid, functional pre workout and a great choice for something to take in between hardcore pre workout days.
Where to Buy Transparent Labs Bulk Pre Workout
Bulk Pre Workout is only available directly from Transparent Labs. Shipping was quick and hassle free.
Use discount code LV10 to bring the price per tub down to $44, or $1.47 per serving. Not bad at all for what you’re getting.
You can see the ingredient label for Bulk Pre Workout below, along with a full breakdown of each ingredient.
One thing that really impressed me is that almost all of the ingredients are included at their clinical dose. There is very little window dressing on this label, but I suspect there is still some.
I will also call out that it’s great to see a full 30 servings in each tub. So many pre-workouts are opting for 20 full servings per tub, which hurts the wallet a bit.
It’s also worth calling out that Bulk does not contain any artificial sweeteners (if you don’t count stevia as artificial). So if you’re looking for one of the best pre-workouts without sucralose or artificial sweeteners, definitely consider Bulk from Transparent Labs.
Citrulline Malate 2:1 – 6 grams
Citrulline malate is included as a pump and power ingredient, helping improve endurance, reduce fatigue, and increase the production of nitric oxide.
6 grams is a clinical dose.
Beta Alanine – 4 grams
Regular usage of beta alanine has been shown to increase power output. That means it must be taken daily, not just with a pre-workout. Nonetheless, 4 grams is a hefty dose.
3 grams to 4 grams is a clinical dosage for beta alanine, so Bulk is coming in on the upper end of the scales here. Like I said in my experience above – you’ll feel the tingling!
BCAA 2:1:1 – 4 grams
This was a curious inclusion.
BCAAs are typically supplemented when they aren’t already being provided through a normal diet. For example, if an individual is cutting then they may need to supplement BCAAs in order to maintain muscle mass.
If someone is bulking then they’re probably already getting the required amount of BCAAs through their normal diet.
They certainly don’t hurt anything, though. In case you’re not getting them in your normal diet, you’re covered now.
Typical doses range from 3 grams to 5 grams, so the 4 grams included here are right on target.
Betaine Anhydrous – 2.5 grams
Betaine is included to help increase your power output and reduce fatigue. However, research is pretty inconsistent around these claims.
2.5 grams is a solid dose of this ingredient. (More info: Examine)
Taurine – 1.3 grams
Taurine, when taken alongside BCAAs, helps reduce next-day muscle soreness (DOMS) after a workout.
1.3 grams is a solid dose, right in line with what is typically seen in pre workouts.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) – 600 mg
This is one of the missteps of Bulk. While L-Tyrosine is a great ingredient for enhancing focus and reducing stress, NALT is less bioavailable than pure L-Tyrosine.
Transparent Labs claims that “…the acetylation improves the absorption and effective period of L-Tyrosine…”, but Examine claims there is “limited practical evidence on NALT as an alternative to L-Tyrosine.”
Choline Bitartrate – 500 mg
Choline is included as a focus ingredient. Compared with Alpha GPC, choline bitartrate may not be as effective as a nootropic (source). This is another potential area of improvement for the product formula.
Still, the 500 mg of choline bitartate will help with focus, it’s just not as well researched.
L-Theanine – 360 mg
Theanine is a stimulant, similar to caffeine, but is most effective when combined with caffeine. Combined, theanine can work synergistically and help reduce some of the negative side effects of high caffeine dosages like jitters.
360 mg is a solid dose of L-Theanine.
Caffeine Anhydrous – 180 mg
Not much to say here – it’s caffeine.
180 mg is a pretty low dosage compared to most pre workouts, let’s be honest. However, combined with the other stimulants in here, it’s less of a concern. But if you’re looking for a high-stim pre workout, this is not for you. If you’re looking for a solid pre workout that can hold up to daily or regular usage, then BULK delivers.
Mucuna Pruriens (98% L-Dopa) – 70 mg
Mucuna pruriens has been shown to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and promote mental well-being.
However, the 70 mg here appears to be well below generally recommended dosages, which range from 300 mg to 1,000 mg per day. Admittedly, there is not much research around this ingredient in the context of a pre workout supplement, so it’s hard to say whether 70 mg is the correct dosage or not.
L-Norvaline – 60 mg
L-norvaline is a unique amino acid and a form of the BCAA valine. It is an arginase inhibitor, which means that it helps prevent the breakdown of arginine in the body. This makes the nitric oxide production of citrulline more effective.
Synephrine HCL – 50 mg
Synephrine, also known as bitter orange extract, is a stimulant.
50 mg is a relatively light dosage.
It’s worth noting that this ingredient is banned by the NCAA, so if you compete in the NCAA I would avoid this pre workout. No other significant drug testing bodies (e.g. powerlifting federations, weightlifting federations, etc.) have banned this ingredient though, nor are they likely to. It’s been around for quite a while and is not considered “exotic” by any stretch of the imagination.
Hordenine – 25 mg
Hordenine (N,N-dimethyltyramine) is a stimulant that is often included in recent “nootropic” products. It is not widely researched, so much of the information available comes from anecdotal accounts.
According to this account, “effective” doses start around 20 mg, so the 25 mg found in Bulk should be okay. I typically see it dosed a bit higher – usually between 100 mg and 200 mg.
BioPerine – 5 mg
BioPerine is included for ingredient absorption.
5 mg is standard for a supplement like this.
Vitamin D3 – 3,000 IU
Vitamin D3 has been shown to create small, but statistically significant increases in testosterone among men that at Vitamin D deficient (source).
It is worth noting that daily intake is needed for these effects.
Zinc AAC – 30 mg
Zinc helps support optimal levels of testosterone, so regular daily supplementation between 10 mg and 40 mg is important. It can also be lost in sweat, so this is especially important for athletes.
Like Vitamin D3, zinc supplementation will only increase testosterone production in individuals that are already deficient.
Boron Citrate – 5 mg
Boron has been shown to increase amounts of free testosterone in males. The two studies cited used daily doses of 6 mg and 10 mg, so 5 mg is probably enough, especially if supplemented with natural sources like apples, coffee, and nuts.
Transparent Labs Bulk Pre Workout Review
Bulk pre workout by Transparent Labs is an all around solid pre workout for individuals seeking a good pre workout for daily usage. It has a variety of useful ingredients for promoting muscle growth, but most of these ingredients you should be getting from your everyday diet.
- Good for daily usage.
- No negative side effects.
- Solid energy and motivation effects.
- Effects may be too mild for those seeking an “extreme” pre workout.
- Some ingredients are close to “window dressing” status, like mucuna pruriens or hordenine.