C4 Pre Workout Review: Shoulder Day Workout

By Mark Barroso

As a personal trainer and lifetime athlete/fitness enthusiast, I’ve tried at least 20 different pre-workout supplements dating back to more than a decade ago. 

When I try a new pre-workout, I’m sure to do a bodybuilding style workout that begins with a strength test followed by the pump chase.

I also don’t drink any caffeine the night before or the day of.

I want to go into the workout with a clear head and ready to enter “headphones and lift” mode immediately after taking the pre-workout.


I know which ingredients to look for in a product to achieve pumps, endurance, focus and lasting energy—citrulline, beta-alanine, creatine, arginine, NAC, TeaCrine, Alpha-GPC—to name a few.

Because I've used pre-workouts consistently, I have a high-caffeine tolerance, so when I see 300mg per serving like in C4 Ultimate, I don’t freak out.

I’ve very rarely been able to see all of the ingredients I commonly see on labels TOGETHER ON ONE LABEL. That is until I picked up C4 Ultimate

To try out C4 Ultimate, I planned out a shoulder workout (see below).

I arrived at the gym, mixed one scoop with 10oz of cold water and got started.


I tried the Orange Mango flavor and it definitely tasted like both of those fruits. There was a considerable mango kick to the drink.

C4 Ultimate contains 3.2 grams of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine so I initially felt the harmless tingles from this recovery amino acid.

During the barbell overhead press, I feel like creatine could have played a part in the last few reps of 155 pounds. That’s the thing with creatine, if you tell yourself it’s working and crank out more reps, that scenario will likely continue every time you’re on creatine. 

The combination of Velvet Bean Extract, a known nootropic, and possible cognitive enhancer, and TeaCrine, a patented version of theacrine (an energy ingredient in tea), resulted in a mental clarity I know only occurs from pre-workout supplements.


What made C4 Ultimate different in the mental sense is how long I felt the mental energy post-workout. My mind stays sharp after C4 Ultimate but not for working out, I mean sharp for usual tasks like writing, cooking, chores around the house, etc.

If you’re the type that takes a pre-workout, trains, then comes home to coffee to finish up the night’s work, you can definitely skip that late night coffee pick-me-up.


I’ll continue to use C4 Ultimate for longer cardio workouts and intense bodybuilding workouts to help me achieve that perfect balance between performance and appearance. 

Check out my workout to see how I achieved a shoulder pump that lasted days with the help of C4 Ultimate. And yes, shoulder pumps are hard to come by.

C4 Ultimate Shoulder Workout

1. Barbell Overhead Press

  • Sets: 5
  • Reps: 10, 10, 8, 5, 4
  • Heaviest Weight: 155

2A. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

2B. Dumbbell Front Raise

  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 10-12
3. Dumbbell Shrug
  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 15
4. Kettlebell Swing
  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 20

5A. TRX Y-Fly

5B.TRX Jump Squat

  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 10


Mark Barroso is an NSCA-CPT, Spartan SGX Coach, editor/writer for Men's HealthMuscle & Fitness MagazineFitness Magazine and Men's Fitness.

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What is your stimulant tolerance?
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a standard energy drink or cup of coffee is enough for me
I drink multiple energy drinks or cups of coffee a day and/or I take pre-workout before the gym
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Alpha Amino is the ultimate performance, hydration and recovery sports drink powder. Its premium formula is built on the power of amino acids and formulated with ingredients that promote healthy fluid balance. Alpha Amino has 14 Amino Acids including a well-studied 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. These Amino Acids support the body’s ability to fuel skeletal muscles, preserve muscle glycogen stores and reduce protein breakdown.

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Pro tip: If you are just starting out on a pre-workout, take half a scoop to assess tolerance level.*

Also available in convenient, bottled, ON THE GO formula!

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CN3&trad; combines 3 forms of Creatine into a stimulant-free 3-in-1 Creatine complex! Providing 6.25 total grams consisting of micronized Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Nitrate, and Creatine Hydrochloride. CN3&trad; is an amazing product to be taken before, during, or after a workout. Looking to amplify Strength & Pumps? CN3&trad; has got you covered!

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