Maybe it was inevitable. Limits, after all, are made to be broken. And bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman have long embraced extreme freakishness and hardcore authenticity. Animal is a popular brand. “Dude’s a monster” is a compliment. Multi-ingredient preworkouts have played into this more than any other supplement category, selling “AMPED-UP” energy, “PSYCHO” focus, and “INSANE” pumps. As the preworkout field has grown increasingly crowded, companies have gone to extremes in an effort to get noticed, sporting outrageous names and labels. Something similar occurred in the crammed energy drink market, where just being another Monster isn’t enough. A drink named Cocaine grew popular off its controversy before being banned. Zombie Blood Energy Potion comes in an imitation plasma bag stamped with a biohazard warning. And on and on.
The most outrageously named preworkouts break into five categories: horror (Redrum, Pennywise), violence (Cannibal Riot, Slaughter), drugs (Crack, Meth), profanity (Full As F*ck, Woke AF), and what we’ll just call ultra (see the last two below). Even the company names (Chaos and Pain, Insane Labz, Aggressive Labz) and flavors (Jungle Juice, War-Torn Melon, Five Finger Death Punch) court controversy. Fifteen examples follow. All are real and currently available, even if some may seem like parodies. Is this working as a marketing strategy or are these merely novelties doomed to fade? Only five that could be considered extreme are currently among the top 50 preworkout sellers at Amazon: Mr. Hyde (#11), Lit AF (#12), Psychotic (Gold) (#19), Psychotic (#40), The Curse! (#42). Amazon’s preworkout best-seller is simply called Pre-Workout with an equally boring label. But that’s in Optimum’s popular Gold Standard line. Smaller companies need to make a name for themselves, and some are going for the most shocking product names possible. Can they go any further? Should they? Have we reached or even breached the limits? Or is this simply good fun, thrilling-up an otherwise boring container of powder with some horror imagery and/or a joke name? You, the customer, get to decide.