Not all pre-workouts are created equally, and Axe and Sledge’s Seventh Gear is a self-titled ‘extreme stim pre-workout’, primarily aimed at the caffeine-high that many people in the ‘hardcore’ circles look for. But what exactly does it deliver other than stimulants? Let’s find out…
About Seventh Gear by Axe and Sledge
The overall impression we get of Seventh Gear is that this product has a borderline-brilliant sense of purpose for mental support. By that, we mean it has a lot of mental support compounds but relies on a small number of powerful performance-boosters.
It’s doing a lot of work with the mentally focused compounds while the creatine and beta-alanine do pretty much everything else.
Let’s look at the label so you can see if Axe and Sledge’s Seventh Gear is the product for you.
Axe and Sledge Seventh Gear Supplement Facts
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Directions for Use
Mix one scoop with 8-10 oz of cold water and consume 15-30 minutes before exercise.
Axe and Sledge Ingredient Analysis
We love beta alanine because it’s one of the most interesting endurance and muscular recovery compounds out there. It’s going to boost your muscular carnosine levels, which are key for repeated performance and the metabolic health of muscle cells.
This is especially useful for endurance, where there are clear benefits to your time-to-exhaustion. This is great if you’re looking to train harder for longer – and recover effectively.
The carnosine levels in muscles and the overall clearance of metabolites from muscles can add up. This can help the recovery and growth of muscles, so the combined benefits of endurance and recovery are great whatever your goals.
The dose is great here, too, so we’re happy with this choice.
This is a natural substance found in beetroot that has been used as a choline- and hydration-booster. It’s a compound that is primarily useful in combination with creatine for its osmolyte properties.
Like creatine, it draws water into the cells, and this can be great for improving the condition, performance, and recovery of muscles after exercise. These are good synergy effects, but it’s pretty useful for health and hydration all by itself.
This is a common – and effective – ingredient. We like Betaine, even if it’s not setting the world on fire with revolutionary performance benefits.
We like magnesium and we like creatine. 120mg of this product is magnesium, which is a good dose, and leaves a solid 1.38g of creatine – a decent dose for a pre-workout.
This is roughly half the amount of creatine you’d need in a day to get the clinically-proven benefits, but its role in this product is two-fold: it improves strength-endurance and hydration in the muscle cells.
Strength-endurance gains are important for making the most of your workout and pair well with the stamina gains associated with beta-alanine. They play a similar role at different ends of the spectrum between strength and endurance.
On the other hand, the energetics and hydration of muscle cells are positively influenced by creatine supplementation. It’s a powerful osmolyte (it draws water into the cells) which can support better muscular recovery and growth.
The improved energy levels in muscles associated with creatine supplementation is also key for the signaling process involved in muscle-building. On top of this, it reduces DNA damage risks and could lower harmful homocysteine levels in the body.
Overall? Creatine is great. This is a good choice, especially with the electrolyte benefits of magnesium as well.
This product contains two types of caffeine so we’re going to take a quick look at these, their doses, and what they are going to bring to the table.
The first and most plentiful is caffeine anhydrous. This is the main kind you’re going to find in most products, and it’s an effective dose at 350mg. In fact, this puts this product very close to the 450mg/day guideline all by itself.
On top of this, you’re going to get 50mg of Dicaffeine malate. This is a relatively small amount of actual caffeine since the malic acid takes up a fair amount of the 50mg. This is great for improving digestion and should help you with any digestive issues you might have with caffeine.
This combination is a good one for improving your overall wakefulness, awareness, and focus. It’s a significant factor in the overall effectiveness of the product since it contributes to both the physical and psychological benefits.
The overall caffeine load is big, however: 400mg total is a significant amount of the daily recommendation. We suggest being very careful with the dosages of this product and even suggest starting with less than a full scoop if you’re not used to this level of caffeine intake.
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Choline is a useful nutrient that is often found in foods like eggs. It’s a mental performance compound that is mostly useful for supporting better acetylcholine levels in the brain.
It’s a pretty common compound in pre-workouts and focus supplements because AcH, as it’s called, is key for fatigue and mood regulation. Increased choline availability is perfect for boosting the production of AcH and it’s a great nutrient for this product.
Fortunately, it’s even better when combined with other AcH-boosters, which this product has even more of…
This is a type of Acetylcholine pre-drug. It’s a compound that is converted into the building blocks for AcH in the body.
While choline is great, it’s possible that it’s going to be broken down in the digestive process. Alpha-GPC has a more robust structure that converts inside the body, allowing you to improve your AcH levels from two directions.
The combination of alpha-GPC and choline is a great one – especially since there are other compounds in this product that support them effectively and improve the overall effects of these well-paired compounds for mental performance.
The mental support provides some pretty cool benefits to endurance and wakefulness, which also combine well with the beta-alanine. The end result is simply a great buzz, combining the performance benefits of caffeine and AcH-boosters.
Spoiler: we love piperine and we’re going to keep praising it every chance we get.
Piperine’s main effect is increasing the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal wall. That’s pretty cool because it means that the effects of other compounds in this product are amplified without increasing the dosage.
Since this is an ‘extreme stim’ pre-workout, you’ll want to be careful. This is going to be a more intense kick than you’re used to in most products and the combination of piperine and caffeine is going to mean a pretty intense set of feelings.
This is all part of the aesthetic and intention of the product, so as long as you’re aware of it, you should be fine. Watch your doses and know what to expect!
Another stimulant, bringing us up to the 500mg of stimulants promised on the container. We’re not sure this is a good thing – but it’s definitely a market leader in terms of sheer quantity of stimulants.
This is a lower-level compound than caffeine but also has a different tolerance pathway. This means that even caffeine-acclimated individuals might experience a new level of buzz – or side effect – from this product.
Theacrine doesn’t have many significant benefits above and beyond what you’re used to with caffeine, so it’s effectively just back-up caffeine for additional buzz. As if this product needed it!
Clubmoss is an herbal extract that provides the Huperzine in this product. It’s the perfect synergist for the choline and alpha-GPC since they boost AcH levels and Huperzine allows you to maintain these heightened levels.
It reduces the breakdown of AcH in the body and thus keeps levels higher than they would be with choline alone. This is a great addition to the existing complex and we’re happy to see that this product has a clear notion of what it’s trying to do – and the ingredients contribute to this goal.
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Axe and Sledge Seventh Gear Formula Analysis: Does it Work?
We’re conflicted on this product because it leans so heavily on caffeine and AcH-boosters to produce any significant gains. It’s not a bad product as a result, but it does narrow itself to a very niche product and struggles to compete with some others on the basis of performance-boosters alone.
The creatine and beta-alanine cover the main benefits you might be looking for when it comes to training, but without the additional benefits you can get from other, cheaper products. It’s a premium price tag and product, but it’s not going to compare amazingly well on some factors.
The formula works if you’re looking for a hard-hitting stimulant-heavy experience. However, it’s lacking some of the nuance we’d like to see with a product that is so incredibly caffeine-rich. It would be better served with theanine, for example, to dull caffeine side effect risks.
We like the product overall, but it sits in the middle region of the supplement market, where it doesn’t out-perform the premium products out there. If you’re looking for this type of product specifically, this is one of the best you’re going to find, but it’s very niche and you need to match it up to your own goals.
Any Potential Side Effects with Axe and Sledge Seventh Gear?
There’s a lot of caffeine in this product, and if you’re not good with stimulants then this self-avowed ‘extreme stim’ product isn’t going to be the right choice for you. It’s one thing to use caffeine as a pre-workout supplement and another to rely on it for the majority of the effects.
Obviously, that’s not a problem for everyone. However, you will need to keep your eye on your daily caffeine intake since common problems like jitters and headaches may occur. This can be a real problem if you have any issues with your heart or regular anxieties.
Even if you don’t, you’re going to run into issues with the possibility of caffeine-induced anxiety, so be careful. Start with less than one scoop and assess your tolerance unless you’re already familiar with high-caffeine pre-workout supplements.
The rest of the ingredients are fairly innocuous – though it’s totally possible to have an adverse reaction. If this happens, get in touch with your doctor and cease use – but this is unlikely for most people.
Benefits of Seventh Gear
A lot of energy and focus, and very specifically a huge caffeine high! The rest of the benefits to mood and fatigue are going to be great, too. It’s an especially useful product if you’re training early and need a big boost but won’t need to worry about the long half-life of this much caffeine.
The benefits are going to be a really intense feeling of motivation and fatigue-resistance. This could drop off if you’ve got a long training session but should provide two hours of intense motivation and focus – which is enough for most people.
The benefits to strength and endurance are also good, but not as notable as the caffeine content or the alternatives on the market. The doses of creatine are sub-clinical though ok for a pre-workout, albeit you should be taking about twice as much on a daily basis for more emphatic results.
The Beta-alanine should be really effective and, as a result, the benefits include a lot of endurance boosts and anti-fatigue effects. These make Seventh Gear more appropriate for the endurance enthusiast than the big lifter.
Who Takes It?
People with a big workout ahead who are pretty well-acclimatized to the intense caffeine dose this product provides. It’s far from gentle, and you need to be comfortable with this kind of product if you’re going to use it regularly.
Ideally, this would be used for morning workouts since the huge 6-8-hour half-life of a caffeine dose this large can be a real problem. The AcH-boosters also make it a good mental performance compound for the rest of the day, meaning possible productivity gains on top of better workouts.
If you’re not in these groups, this product could easily be too intense, or it could be something you respond poorly to. Definitely not a good first pre-workout!
Axe and Sledge Seventh Gear Summary
- Tons of stimulants – if that’s your thing
- Creatine and beta-alanine go a long way
- Piperine is absolutely brilliant and we’re huge fans
- Tons of stimulants – lots of side effect risks
- Price tag is a bit steep considering market alternatives
- Hard to use in the evening if you fancy sleeping properly
- Not much in the way of premium performance-boosters
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Buying Advice and Value
This is a premium price tag, even if we don’t expect this product to be super-competitive with other premium products. It offers a good niche product but the price tag – just under $50 – is pricey.
It’s a relatively expensive product both absolutely and in terms of what it brings to the table.
Final word on Axe and Sledge Seventh Gear
This product is very intense and that’s not for everyone.
However, it does what it says, and we respect that it’s a product that wears its stimulant load on its sleeve. We can’t recommend this generally but what it does offer is an intense pre-workout for you if you’re very familiar with this sort of product and you’re finding that the usual stuff just isn’t getting you buzzed.
The alternatives – of cycling off caffeine entirely or using lower stimulant loads – are great choices. However, if you’re dead-set on a high-stimulant product that offers a well-thought-out acetylcholine booster, this is a good option.
It’s not for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re not convinced this is the best pre-workout around, but we do like it, on balance. It’s a very simplistic approach to pre-workout, but the ‘more stimulants’ approach might be what you’re looking for.
Use if it suits, but always remain cautious.