Tolerance Build Up

Repetitive use of a product causes the body to build a resistance to that product. Tolerance build up causes a deficiency in the effectiveness of that product.  As tolerance increases the ability to reach that same peak level of performance requires a higher dosage.  

Each pre workout supplement has a maximum recommended serving size on the nutrition label.  Tolerance build up causes you to inch closer and closer to that maximum serving size to feel anything at all.

I recommend never exceeding the maximum serving size and to check what the max is before increasing intake.

A good way to gauge personal levels of tolerance is to compare servings needed before stimulation v.s. the maximum serving size.  If you max out the serving size and the effects of the pre workout have dwindled your tolerance is at its peak.

2 Ways to Avoid Tolerance Build Up


Cycling is a process of taking a performance enhancer one month then changing to a different one the next.  One months’ use is normally the same time it take to complete one bottle.  Cycling stimulants is a popular way to recalibrate tolerance levels.  

This can be done by alternating two different supplements or getting a new one every cycle.  Most people alternate when they find that one pre workout that works the best for them and don’t want to risk diminishing those benefits.   If you have not found that pre workout yet I would recommend trying  a new one each month till you strike gold.  It’s important while choosing the next pre workout in the cycle that the main ingredients do not match.


  • One month take a pre workout primarily based on Caffeine.

  • The next month take a pre workout primarily based on Nitric Oxide.

Stim Break

Some people notice that even after cycling different pre workouts their stimulant tolerance is still too high.  This can be determined by taking the maximum dosage at the beginning of a cycle and not noticing benefits.  Reasons for this are not always related to excess pre workout use.  There are other stimulants we consume daily that we may or may not think about.  Energy soft drink, caffeinated soda, coffee, certain medications, and fat burners all can heighten our resistance to stimulants thus suppressing the effectiveness of our dietary supplement.

A Stim Break is when you alternate using a pre workout and not using stimulant products.  Depending on how high your tolerance is a stim break can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.  The longer you stop using stimulants the greater you feel them when you start back up.

A Stim Break is refreshing the adrenal receptors from constant abuse. Stimulants we consume constantly cause our receptors to fire thus  causing adrenal fatigue. In order to get the most out of our pre workout we must cut out all other stimulants that might increase our tolerance even while not on a stim break.  To maximize the effectiveness of a pre workout it should be the only stimulant you intake.  This means no soda, no coffee and no energy drinks.  For some this might be quite the feat but the more we cut back on these stimulants the more optimized our pre workout benefits will be.

Ultimately a combination of these two theories would be the most effective way to avoid tolerance build up.


  • Cycling through different pre workouts for 3 months mixed with 1 month of stim breaks.

  • Taking 2 weeks break between every 4 weeks of pre workout use.  After the 2 week stim break cycle to a different pre workout.

  • Alternate workouts days to use and not use a stimulant each week.

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