Two days ago I rattled off a post on Omega Sports’ FlashOver, a potent supplement that comes in a small can but carries a big stick. It also only contains eight ingredients and no proprietary blends, and I expatiated about how refreshing that was, how that works better, etc. And I meant it; FlashOver is an answer to Jack3d, is great if you’re on a budget ($19.99 for 45 scoops), and contains proven ingredients at clinical dosages. I even called it a category killer, a title I had reserved for supplements like it and Jack3d (if you want to get technical, I suppose Jack3d is also a category creator, see below), and even Maximize V2. These simple, sensibly priced supplements, which contain less ingredients but higher doses, were causing an upheaval in the pre-workout category. They worked — often much better than their more expensive counterparts. Jack3d created a new category in the consumer’s mind, and FlashOver was an inspired addition to it. See, FlashOver is part of Omega Sports’ Alpha Series: “an economical, basic approach to formulation and supplementation. Each product is scaled down to include only the most basic, proven ingredients without fluff or filler.” Despite FlashOver’s success, however, Omega Sports is unveiling a category creator of their own, Ultima, and in doing so, breaking all the rules. Ultima represents something else entirely — an anomaly. Read on.
A few things I’ve never seen before:
1) A lack of proprietary blend in an ingredient list this long (For an explanation of why this is so rare, I again invite you to this post)
2) The most bioavailable/co-enzymated forms of the b-vitamin and mineral absorption co-factors in such high dosages (hint: they’re expensive)
3) A caffeine-free formula with serious stimulant potential, which is also stackable with other caffeine-based products (more on this later)
4) A pre-workout formula that ostensibly costs this much to make
5) No herbal ingredients whatsoever
6) N-alpha-acetyl-carnosine (AACA), and the accompanying three-stage, timed-release intramuscular carnosine-boosting blend
7) 40 scoops, with absolutely no need to take more than one scoop to get the efficacious dose
In the past, I’ve consistently pushed simplicity. I’ve railed against long ingredient lists more times than I care to recount. “Less ingredients, higher dosages!” has always been my rallying cry — the mantra of my pre-workout priesthood. And now, it seems, I must put that notion aside: Ultima is a pre-workout whose lengthy ingredient list makes the product categorically better. The difference is why.
Most companies put more ingredients into their products for a laundry list of crappy reasons: anything from “someone else is using it too” to “we were able to source it cheaply” to “it’ll look more potent because we’re using more stuff.” That’s like buying a car with features you don’t need or won’t use because your neighbor has those features, or buying a cassette deck instead of CD player because it was cheaper — despite you only owning CDs. I still think Ultima represents a streamlined product — one that’s stripped down to only the essentials — it just does more. A stock, fresh-off-the-assembly-line Audi R8 outperforms a Ford Taurus, and Audi’s engineers aren’t fond of superfluity. The car, like Ultima, just does more. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be in Ultima. Simplicity is beautiful, and I’m going to keep pushing it.
Another theme I’ve hammered home is pre-workouts as “feeling” products, i.e., they don’t directly cause an increase performance; rather, they impart a certain feeling to the user who is then able to train harder because of this beneficial feeling; some liken this to an increased desire to train, or a decreased perception of fatigue, or mental alacrity; in any case, the feeling is largely unique to the individual. Count this, then, as another mold Ultima breaks: the increase in performance is real, tangible, and appreciable. This time, the difference is the dosages, the synergy, and the absorption. Not a single corner was cut nor compromise made; “if there is a patented, studied, more expensive form of any nutrient that we felt was essential in our product, we used it.”
I’m won’t dissect each ingredient for you (this post would have chapters). If you’d like to read more about all of them, go here. I have no qualms with Omega Sports’ write-up. Trust me when I tell you they are not putting extra marketing spin on it, which is another reason I like them. Their write-ups are always in an accurate, easy-to-read list format. Granted, they make some claims – ”ULTIMA SIMPLY IS THE BEST PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT EVER CREATED,” (their CAPS, not mine) or “the dose of methylcobalamin alone would be more expensive than the cost of this entire product if attempted by other companies” — but when I read those, I smirk. The corners of my mouth tug up. I don’t retch like I do when I read some other companies’ ad copy; my stomach does NOt want to eXPLODE (giggles, and all that). Chalk up the two statements I quoted as marketing spin, but not extra marketing spin. Omega Sports earned the right to those statements because they made a fantastic product. And sometimes you have to beat your own drum to help the customer separate the wheat from the chaff because this is an industry driven by advertising.
Ultima is everything most other $50 pre-workouts (we sell it for $44.99, and we make nothing on it, to give you an idea of the cost) wish they were. Like buying an Audi R8, you will pay a bit more for beautiful engineering, but that’s what you get with Ultima: a high-performance blend that hides nothing (rightfully so) and wastes nothing. There is no glut, no excess; there is only cutting edge performance formulated by a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry. Why wouldn’t Ultima lay all its cards on the table (i.e., not use a proprietary blend)? The industry has never seen a product like this before, and as Omega Sports fittingly declares on their website, “playtime is over.”
Alas, playtime is over for me as well, and I’m going to go workout. I kicked around the idea of stacking Ultima with another caffeine-containing pre-workout the entire time I was writing this post (I tried it as a standalone — loved it) and I ULTIMAtely decided it’s time (yep, that just happened). I’m going to stack one scoop of Ultima with one scoop of FlashOver, and if they are henceforth no further postings on this blog, you’ll know why: I died. But I’d be willing to bet I had an amazing workout in the process. Until next time… or not.