I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. I had hoped I’d be able to resist the temptation to sully our dear readers’ innocent minds with an entire blog post dedicated to a shady industry and a product of dubious safety, efficacy, and fundamental logic.
But alas, here we are. This is the blog post all about pre-workout names — an idea I alluded to in my previous post, How Do You Do, Fellow Kids? Gen Z-speak in naming and branding — because they’re just so gloriously insane, I can’t help it. (The two mentioned in that previous post are very mild compared to what’s ahead.)
Before we go any further, I must reiterate that I’m not trying to lead you to the dark side. If my earlier lament didn’t make it clear enough, this is my disclaimer to always DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before buying any pre-workout, if you’re going to buy one at all. Don’t let the funny names, or your favorite influencers, or a random comment, or anything other than thorough research and critical thinking lead you to a purchase.
Pre-workout is a type of supplement where even the “safe,” “mainstream” ones are typically loaded with tons of caffeine and other weird stimulants and miscellaneous ingredients. Whether it’s really “healthy” to take such a supplement in the first place is certainly up for debate. But if you’re going to anyway, “mainstream” is your best bet, because it can get much worse. The further you venture into the dark corners of the internet, the more likely you are to encounter pre-workouts containing straight-up dangerous and illegal drugs. The most famous such example may be the now-banned original formula Jack3d. Other possibly dangerous pre-workouts are all over, including in this very blog post. Proceed with caution.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the names. After all, it is because the pre-workout industry is crazy, that it is littered with crazy names. And there’s something to be said about the beautiful Yin-Yang synergy there: they might kill you, but their names will definitely make you laugh on your way to the grave. So it’s really hard to say whether they’re “good” or “bad” overall — where they stand in the grand moral scheme of things. Gotta hear both sides. Jk. (Can you tell I was up late, wired, when I decided to start writing this post? I was unable to sleep, because at the gym earlier that day, I had taken — you guessed it — pre-workout. There are no coincidences. Everything comes full circle.)
Enough tangents. Here are my favorite, funniest, craziest pre-workout names I’ve found so far. I’ve presented them, of course, in the classic galaxy brain format, starting with “least crazy” (which isn’t saying much), and becoming increasingly unhinged. Enjoy.
Small Brain: Assassin, Assault, Bull Blood, Godzilla, Gorilla Mode, Total War … etc. x ∞
Starting off, we have the regular old high energy, violent names. These kinds of names are dime a dozen in the industry, as nearly every pre-workout name relates at least somewhat to broad concepts of energy/power/aggression. However, there are levels to it, as you will see.
The specific names selected in this first level are somewhat arbitrary, since there are so many to choose from. (I literally have a list of hundreds of pre-workout brand names, company names, and misc. copy.) I like them, but the only real unifying factor in these six names is that they aren’t too crazy; they’re pretty “basic,” stereotypical, masculine concepts. So you may be wondering, “What’s the big deal? I’m not five years old, I’m not impressed.” To which I would say, speak for yourself, I am five years old, and also remember to put things in perspective.
These names might not scare you, the desensitized, jaded consumer, but think about it from the business side. Naming standards in the pre-workout industry are very different from those of nearly every other industry. These kinds of names are, in fact, already “edgy” and “provocative” enough that few companies outside the space would ever consider using them. And that’s just the base level here.
Big Brain Activated: 5150, Pimp Blast, Cannibal Riot, Psychotic Hellboy, Axe & Sledge Hydraulic Unicorn Blood, AK-47 Pre-Workout Paranoia
These are some next-level violent names. They’re not just edgy and subversive, they’re more creative, too — exactly what you want for a pre-workout name. Truly concerning for good Christian parents to find in troubled little Timmy’s room. I especially like “Axe & Sledge Hydraulic Unicorn Blood,” although that one admittedly may be cheating, because it includes the manufacturer (Axe & Sledge), and a specific flavor (Unicorn Blood). Still, just a beautiful string of words, too good to not include. “AK-47 Pre-Workout Paranoia” is great too, and that one seems to be literally the product name, so no cheating. Incredible. And again, there are plenty more out there that could fit this category, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
There was also an exceptionally good one like this in my list, but which is now nowhere to be found, sadly: “Murder Death Kill.” It’s a name that’s so perfectly “beyond parody,” I would’ve included it by itself in a more advanced galaxy brain level, if I could still find the picture of it. The only reference to it I can find now is this apparent mistake on the page for “Shark Bite” pre-workout — suggesting that maybe Murder Death Kill was renamed to Shark Bite, but they forgot to change the name in this one spot in the description:
Anyway, let’s move on. We’ve still got greater and greater intellectual fervor ahead.
Glowing Brain: Kick Your Ass, Epic Shit, Apesh*t Untamed, Full as F*ck
Ah yes, good old profanity. I debated which order to put this and the previous category, but ultimately put this ahead because it’s a red line very few companies are willing to cross. Even I sidestepped explaining “AF” for the sake of cleanliness in my “Fellow Kids” blog post, but now explicit language is unavoidable. Epic Shit goes even further in each bottom corner there. (Look it up since it’s too small to read here, it’s worth it.) Full as F*ck also makes “AF” more obvious for anyone out there who somehow still doesn’t get it; it’s more explicit, which is why it’s in a special category the “AF” names aren’t. I wish the last two had committed fully and not used an asterisk, but they’re still past that red line for most companies. Heartwarming. (And exploding?)
EXPANDING: Crack, Meth, Cocaine, Angel Dust, Androgen Factory Roid Rage Trenberry Punch
It’s one thing to straight-up name your product after a dangerous and illegal drug. It’s even more brazen to do so in an industry already marred by fears of dangerous, illegal, and sometimes hidden ingredients. “Androgen Factory Roid Rage Trenberry Punch” is especially egregious. It’s a pre-workout not only named after a drug, but the exact class of drugs that are so problematic in gym culture: steroids. The name doubles down on them three times in a row, with the company name, product name, and flavor name all containing references to steroids. There are also less direct drug-named pre-workouts like Escobar, El Chapo, and Heisenberg. But needless to say, don’t take any of this shit.
The next levels each have only one name, in contrast to the groups of names at each level so far. They are names which, despite having some overlap with the previous categories, have been singled out for being especially juicy. They are the select few of extraordinarily delightful galaxy brainage.
SUPREME BEING: #Not4Pussy
Maybe I should’ve put this one in the category with the other profane names. But this isn’t an exact science, and this one is especially funny to me. It’s not just that it’s vulgar, it’s the way it sort of sounds… ESL? Can I say that? No offense, but it kind of sounds like a “lost in translation” attempt at “intimidating.” Which is great and hilarious. It also invites misinterpretations, which pave the way for even more fun. The most likely intended meaning is the product is “not for pussies because it’s so powerful.” But it cracks me up imagining it as trying to say, “you should lift for yourself — not for pussy.” Oh yeah, and of course the product has a “RoidRage” variety for good measure.
ASCENSION: I AM FUCKED UP
Perhaps the most “peak,” beyond parody pre-workout in this post, or anywhere in the world. Regardless of whether or not it’s actually dangerous to take — like what ingredients it has — nothing screams “Don’t take me!” more clearly to the rational consumer. Which could be exactly the point: these “hardcore” gym supplements are intentionally marketed to irrational people. It’s just not worth it to jeopardize your health for bigger muscles (and if you disagree, seek help). Doing so defeats the purpose of fitness. This applies not only to the extreme end of the spectrum that is steroids, but even just flirting with sketchy pre-workouts like this, too. Just stay away, stay safe, and stay natural. Focus on the fundamentals in your fitness journey, like proper training, nutrition, and sleep.
Back to the names. As incredible as this one is, it still gets better, in my opinion. There can only be one king…
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA: DISORDER BULGE
This name looks at all your violence, profanity, drugs, and other try-hard attempts to be intimidating, and simply laughs. Tremble before the sheer, unparalleled power of Disorder Bulge. What does it mean? No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative. It’s the most awe-inspiring blend of weird, crazy, suspect, confusing, disturbing — whatever superlatives you want to vomit out in celebration. Disorder Bulge is smarter and better than you in every possible way. It’s playing 9,000 dimensional chess. It pulls the strings behind the scenes. Fate is under its control. Destiny awaits. A profound gauntlet of existential trials & tribulations.
Pretty entertaining names, right? Now you know why, in my previous blog post, I said they’re my favorite part of pre-workout, even more than the actual effects of the supplement. Please, dear reader, comment any other good ones I missed and that you think deserve attention. I spent hours and hours on an exhaustive search for the most entertaining names in the space while assembling my reference list, but surely I missed some. I couldn’t possibly have seen every pre-workout name ever; in fact, I hope I didn’t, because it means there’s more gold for me to discover. So let me know, if you can.
As for pre-workout companies themselves: my message to you is to lean into it. Keep putting out products with more and more creatively insane names. This great satire has the spirit — now take that spirit and run with it.