Shifting Things Up A Gear.
Axe & Sledge have been delivering product after product, each one having a unique element. Their newest pre-workout is no different. Seventh Gear is their high-stim pre-workout that is certainly not going to let down that name of ‘high-stim’. With a 500 mg stimulant blend… yes you heard right, 500 mg’s… Seventh Gear is going to pack something special.
Beta Alanine is a non essential acid; meaning we can synthesize this amino within the body and it is not essentially to consume from our diet. Beta Alanine is the precursor to carnosine which is a molecule we store within our muscles to help flush out acids, such as lactic acid, when required. This flushing of acids prevents their build up which therefore delays the onset of muscular fatigue and increasing muscular endurance. Beta Alanine is most known for the ‘tingling’ sensation users get, known as paresthesia. This sensation is perfectly normal and does lessen with consistent use.
Dose p/serve: 3,200 mg of Beta Alanine
Recommended dosage: 3,200 – 6,400 mg of Beta Alanine per day
Betaine Anhydrous also known as Trimethylglycine, or TMG for short, is a natural compound that is found in the body. Betaine plays a few roles in the body but is most known for providing similar benefits to Creatine. Muscular Power and Energy have been studied benefits of Betaine Anhydrous. On top of this, Betaine, is known for its ability to reduce homocysteine levels dramatically, even from a single serve. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to cardiovascular and other health complications.
Dose p/serve: 2,500 mg of Betaine Anhydrous
Recommended dosage: 2,500 – 5,000 mg Betaine Anhydrous per day
Creatine MagnaPower® (Magnesium Creatine Chelate)
Creatine MagnaPower® is simply Creatine bound to Magnesium. Why? The combination of Creatine and Magnesium creates a more bioavailable form of Creatine compared to Creatine Monohydrate. With higher levels of absorption and utilization you will experience better performance increases than other forms of Creatine. Creatine MagnaPower® also results in greater intracellular water which is a key indicator of greater protein synthesis as well as supporting high levels of muscular function. Creatine has been shown to increase the amount of creatine and creatine phosphate in the body. The more creatine we have within the body, the more we have to utilise for energy. Creatine is used in our ‘explosive’ energy system, typically used when performing short duration, high-intensity movements such as lifting weights and sprinting.
Dose p/serve: 1,500 mg of Creatine MagnaPower®
Recommended dosage: 1,500 mg of Creatine MagnaPower® per day
Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Caffeine is a stimulant which means it speeds up the communication of messages between the brain and body. Caffeine is found in a variety of products such as Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Energy Drinks and Energy Supplements. Caffeine hits the adenosine receptor so it can no longer fire the fatigue signal in the body.
Dose p/serve: 350 mg of Caffeine
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for caffeine
Choline Bitartrate or ‘Choline Salt’ is a specific variation of the nutrient Choline. Choline stimulates the formation of Acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter compound involved in all key brain functions and mental sharpness. Choline will help support cognition, mental alertness and delay the onset of mental fatigue.
Dose p/serve: 250 mg of Choline Bitartrate
Recommended dosage: 500 – 2,000 mg of Choline Bitartrate per serve
Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline
Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline or Alpha-GPC or even A-GPC for short is, as the name suggests, a form of Choline. In fact it is actually regarded as the most bioavailable form of choline to the body and is also known as one of the most effective brain nutrients in the world. Alpha-GPC stimulates the formation of Acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter compound involved in all key brain functions and mental sharpness. Although Alpha-GPC is known as cognition supplement, it also has some very surprising performance benefits. Studies have shown improved athletic performance as well as incredible boosts of growth hormone levels within an hour of a single dose of Alpha-GPC.
Dose p/serve: 200 mg of Alpha-GPC
Recommended dosage: 300 – 1,200 mg of Alpha-GPC per day
TeaCrine® (40% Tasteless)
TeaCrine®, brought to us by Compound Solutions, is a compound chemically similar to Caffeine but functions very differently. TeaCrine® is not actually a stimulant and has no increasing effect on heart rate or blood pressure. Unlike caffeine, you DO NOT build a tolerance to the effects of TeaCrine® so you will continue to feel it day after day. TeaCrine® smooths out the energy lift you get from caffeine so you do not experience any jitters, as well as this it extends the life so there is no crash. Caffeine alone will typically provide 2 hours of energy; when you pair TeaCrine® with caffeine you will get 4 – 6 hours of energy. Studies have shown that caffeine actually enhances the bioavailability of TeaCrine® so you get more from each dose when paired together.
Dose p/serve: 100 mg of TeaCrine® (40% Tasteless)
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for TeaCrine®
Dicaffeine Malate (Infinergy™)
Dicaffeine Malate is simply the combination of caffeine with malic acid. This particular form is the branded Infinergy™ which is produced by ingredient manufacturer Creative Compounds. The Caffeine elements provides energy just like your regular caffeine anhydrous, in fact the blend of the two factors is approximately 75% Caffeine and 25% Malic Acid. Therefore 100mg serve providing 75mg of caffeine. The Malic acid provides a couple benefits to aid the effects of caffeine. It is believed that Malic Acid can help minimise any digestive stress caffeine may put on the body by making Infinergy™ a ‘buffered form of caffeine’. On top of this it also offers a much longer life of energy; when paired with caffeine anhydrous, Infinergy™, offers a 1:2 punch of fast energy with longer lasting energy to ensure there is no post caffeine crash.
Dose p/serve: 50 mg of Infinergy™
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Infinergy™
BioPerine® Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) extract
BioPerine® is nothing new to the supplement industry, it is possibly one of the most used and utilised ingredients across ALL types of supplements. BioPerine® is a patented Black Pepper Extract that has the primary purpose of increasing nutrient absorption of other supplement ingredients. Referred to as ‘bio-enhancement’, this simply means you will be able to better absorb and then better utilise the ingredients that are in the supplement. Its all well and good to have an amazing formula, but if you can’t absorb everything it will go to waste. Another benefit of BioPerine® supplementation is increased thermogenesis. Black Pepper Extract has been shown to improve our bodies ability to break down fats, increase internal temperature thus improving our metabolism through thermogenesis.
Dose p/serve: 5 mg of BioPerine®
Recommended dosage: 5 – 10 mg per serve of BioPerine®
Toothed Clubmoss (Standardized 1% Huperzine A)
Huperzine A is a compound that is found in the plant toothed clubmoss. Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor meaning it has an effect of stopping the breakdown of acetylcholine thereby increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter used at the neuromuscular junction, meaning it is the chemical that the motor neurons of our nervous system release in order to activate muscles. Huperzine A, by increasing levels of acetylcholine, improves nerve and brain function while also improving the signalling of muscular contractions.
Dose p/serve: 100 mcg of Huperzine A
Recommended dosage: 100 – 200 mcg’s of Huperzine A per serve
Axe & Sledge have certainly put a lot of thought into the formula for Seventh Gear. Let’s break it down and see how it stacks up…
Muscular Endurance – Beta Alanine & B Vitamins
Muscular Power – Betaine Anhydrous & MagnaPower®
Mental Focus – Caffeine, TeaCrine, Choline, Alpha-GPC & Huperzine A
Energy – Caffeine, TeaCrine & Infinergy™
Ingredient Absorption – BioPerine®
Let’s address the ‘elephant in the room’… where is the pump? Yes, you didn’t misread it and there is no typo, this pre-workout contains no pump formula.
We have ourselves a total of 10 active ingredients, of which, 5 of those active ingredients are all working towards increased mental focus, alertness and improved cognitive function. It’s pretty clear straight away this is not your typical ‘cover all the bases’ pre-workout. Axe & Sledge have put together this formula with a purpose in mind.
That purpose is to create one of the strongest energy and mental focus pre-workouts that is still backed up and supported by clinically dosed active ingredients to support muscular power and endurance… and that’s exactly what Axe & Sledge have done.
We LOVE the combination of Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous and Creatine MagnaPower®, especially with the large dosing of all 3 ingredients. No need for any fancy over complicated performance blends, these 3 will provide more than enough of an increase in physical performance than you could ever want!
Now for the fun stuff… some call them stimulants… some call them nootropics… we just call them ingredients. There is no overlooking the focus and energy blend here in Seventh Gear, it’s certainly been thought through carefully. While the 350 mg of Caffeine Anhydrous did have us concerned, the addition of TeaCrine® and Infinergy™ should ensure that one it won’t hit you like 350+ mg of Caffeine and that it won’t drop you like 350+ mg of Caffeine.
To help dial in all that mental energy we have a 1, 2, 3 punch of Choline Bitartrate, Alpha-GPC and Huperzine A. While we do have to mention that the Bitartrate and Alpha-GPC are underdosed individually, you don’t normally see BOTH being used together in a formula and this certainly makes up for the dosing. Would we have preferred to have just had a larger dose of one form of Choline? …Yes. A 500 mg dose of Alpha-GPC would have been a very nice touch.
Now back to the elephant… distinct lack of pumps. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely NOT! In our personal opinion we would rather pump ingredients just be left out entirely than having and underdosed serve of 1 ingredient, which is the reality of what Axe & Sledge would have had to do to maintain the same pricing.
A well thought out and well dosed pre-workout that completely addresses 4 of the 5 effects we look for in a pre-workout is a much for versatile product, in our opinion.
Taste & Consumability:
You’ve got 2 flavours to pick with Seventh Gear and they are:
HWMF (Hard Working Mother Fucker)
We won’t spend too much time here, because well we don’t have too. Starting with Raspberry Lemonade, especially in Australia, this will probably be the more popular flavour. One, because everyone knows what Raspberry Lemonade tastes like and, two, HWMF is a cherry based flavour. Rasp. Lemonade is a really good flavour, even given the large amount of actives, stimulants and the relatively low amount of flavours being used per scoop.
HWMF… which we know is a combination of Cherry, Lime & Blue Raspberry. Interesting combination to say the least. So how does it actually taste? We don’t mind it. It actually reminds us of a cocktail you might find yourself having while out for dinner with friends… we’re not sure why, but it really does. Regardless, it’s actually an enjoyable flavour and it’s not too heavy on the cherry as well which, us Aussies will love.
And here we are, the fun stuff… and really, the most important element of this review. Not saying you’ve just wasted your time reading the rest of it, not at all… anyway let’s get into it.
We said it before and we will say it again, we LOVE the combo of Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous and Creatine MagnaPower®. You do genuinely feel stronger training on this pre-workout! Call it a placebo effect, but we found ourselves reaching for this pre more and more just for the consistency of knowing we were going to feel strong throughout the workout.
As for energy… this is on another level! We knew coming in to use this product for the first time we weren’t going to be let down in the energy department. We still underestimated just how much energy we were going to get with a single scoop.This pre-workout is really on a whole new level when it comes to energy.
The best part is, Axe & Sledge, have managed to balance out all this energy so that it comes on strong, real strong. But you feel focused like no tomorrow while it comes on, it’s not that jittery energy that has you feeling anxious standing in the middle of the weight floor. It’s the energy that is dialled into grabbing that bench, grabbing those dumbbells and busting out some seriously intense working sets.
And how about the lack of pump? Honestly we could care less, we were feeling that good session after session. Whether we stacked Seventh Gear with Hydraulic (Axe & Sledge’s Non-Stim Pump Product) or any pump product didn’t really make much difference other than getting a juicy selfie pump or not.
For those that want a pre-workout for energy, focus and performance and aren’t fussed about a pump because they are there to make gains and leave… this is going to be your kind of product. This is also makes Seventh Gear the perfect pre-workout for any training session, leg day, back day… those sessions where a pump can be detrimental this is the pre-workout you want to use.
“But I train in the morning, I can’t afford to have a post workout crash.” Well the good news is we tried Seventh Gear for a few morning sessions and, once again, we were pleasantly surprised with the LACK of any crash or come down even hours after we had finished training and were well and truly into the working day. That TeaCrine® and Infinergy™ combo really comes through with the energy support.
What’s The Verdict?
Seventh Gear is a unique pre-workout on the market. Bringing one of the most intense energy blends to the market that is actually very well thought out and balanced. Most importantly, being backed up by clinically dosed active ingredients to support endurance and power. Axe & Sledge’s Seventh Gear delivers everything you want from a high stimulant pre-workout in this day and age!
Axe & Sledge Seventh Gear$79.95