By Troy Templin
When it comes to performance most riders will go to extreme lengths for very small advantages. Bike upgrades, shoes, helmets and new kit materials only scratch the surface of where we as cyclist spend our hard-earned cash. Well, one of my favorite products got an upgrade. Amp Human has gone through some name changes as the company was in search of the best way to market their unique product. It seems it’s once again getting a new name but this time it’s because the product is getting an improved formula.
WHAT IS IT
The new formula call Next Gen PR Lotion is to improve the application process while maintaining and protecting the underlying technology. But let’s step back a moment and review what the original PR Lotion also known as Topical Edge (originally) is and does. PR Lotion is a proprietary pre-workout lotion that gives your body more bicarb, a natural electrolyte. This allows you to push your limits over the normal perceived limit. Bicarb occurs naturally in our bodies and its role unlike other electrolytes is to neutralize the acid that builds up in our muscles when we ride hard. Applying PR Lotion before and even after a ride is designed to aid in the body’s ability to recover faster and perform better.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
What are the drawbacks you might ask? Well because you are applying the lotion directly to the active muscles it has very little negative effect. For some, salty sweat can burn if you get it in your eyes but this is no different than the body’s natural process and we are usually pretty salty even when we don’t use it. The other drawbacks have all been with the application process, until now.
The original PR Lotion is a sort of dark mustard color and has a thick oily texture. It goes on easy but can be hard to get the slippery feeling off your hands without a thorough wash. This is where Amp Human has been putting much of their recent efforts because they know that a product is only as strong as its weakest link. For me, the color was never an issue but the application was a process but worth the results. For some, that process was not worth it all the time.
The new Next Gen PR Lotion works the same way as the original by applying it directly to the skin above the dominant muscles. Gone is the dark mustard color and goopy feel. It now has a more concentrated feel that leaves less residue and is a cream color. The new formula also applies more like a normal cream or lotion. There is a neutral scent and overall it seems that much of the application process has been improved.
MORE MEANS MORE GAINS
In the past, we used the PR Lotion only on more intense training rides or races. The added bicarb would allow our body to more efficiently manage efforts and the associated side effect of the workload. Our inconsistent use offered advantages on those specific rides but didn’t take full advantage of its true potential. After a few conversations with the Amp Human team they explained how a more regular use would lead to much larger gains.
Similar to hydration, PR Lotion works to maintain a more efficient system. If you go on a ride and don’t drink enough it doesn’t immediately affect you but the days proceeding will be diminished as your body tries to recover. PR Lotion is similar in that it loads the muscles with much-needed electrolytes to keep everything working at its pinnacle. In short, even or less intense days PR Lotion allows your body to work more efficiently.
ON THE ROAD
The new formula is night and day a better user experience. When applying, the new texture seems to spread more evenly and has no greasy feeling. If you are going to apply multiple times (see pro tips below) the new formula doesn’t seem to smear into clothing while you wait for it to absorb. We also noticed that we could use a towel to clean our hands easily. No more greasy hands and hoods while riding.
The underlying technology is unchanged meaning the same results as far as performance. The results can be hard to see on a single ride, especially if you don’t use a power meter. A few testers thought of it as some sort of snake oil even though they were able to PR many of their favorite segments while still felt fresh after their ride. This is where it can be tough to gauge because using it means you are already setting yourself up for a better recovery.
It can’t make you faster, but when used regularly you can ride at a higher level for more days in a row. This builds strength the same way block training can, but with a higher level of recovery. At the end of the day, PR Lotion can help you ride at your most efficient level. The new formula has vastly improved the user experience and is now something that we will use more often. All we can say is give it a try, we think it makes a difference. The new bottle is also improved and we had a few of the original bottles open from the wrong end if we didn’t shake it well enough beforehand.
It still has a 30-minute loading phase like the old formula. This loading phase is important because one of their pro tips is to double up for the most effective results. Essentially about an hour and a half before your workout or race you apply. Give it 30-minutes then clean off the skin of any residue for a clean canvas. Then just repeat by applying it again and letting it absorb for 30-minutes. You can then wipe off the residue or just leave it and go ride. This prosses is valid for the original PR Lotion or the new formula.
Currently Amp is still testing the effective duration of their lotion but they say it’s between three and five hours. So the second tip is if you are doing a very long training session or race, purchase some of the On-The-Go packets and reapply. The On-The-Go packets are very convenient and can fit in a saddlebag, jersey pocket or a drop bag on long events.
GO TRY IT
If you want to try it head to www.amphuman.com . The price is the same for the new formula as the original at 5 ON-THE-GO PACKETS for $20 or the STANDARD TUBE for $35. They also offer packaged deals that will get you even better pricing like the subscribe & save promo.