We Tried It: A Gel That Makes the Gym More Tolerable

02/28/2014 at 04:52 PM ET

Workout WonderCourtesy Mio Skincare/John Soper

What is it: A gel that helps warm up your muscles and alleviate tension pre-workout

Who tried it: John Soper, Editorial Assistant

Why he did it: Because I was sick of using sore muscles as an excuse to skip the gym, and the only other gel I’m familiar with is the kind I put in my hair (so I was curious!)

Level of difficulty: 1: If you’re comfortable applying moisturizer, then this will be a breeze

I’m someone who loves any excuse to skip the gym, up to and including “But I went yesterday and I’m so sore!” But with bulky winter coat season rapidly coming to an end, I knew I needed to kick my routine into gear. That’s why I was intrigued by this Workout Wonder gel, which promises to make muscles looser pre-workout and relieve tension after the fact.

When I first sampled the stuff, I immediately noticed that the spearmint scent perked me up, made my neck muscles tingle and relaxed my shoulders from somewhere near my earlobes to a more normal level. Apparently it’s got a mix of magic ingredients — okay, herbs and extracts (more on those here) — that are supposed to work together to energize your muscles and keep them from getting too tight.

RELATED POSTS: See what other products editors are testing out!

I brought it back to the office for my coworkers to sample, and over the next couple days I kept hearing, “Do you still have that muscle relaxing stuff?” It passed the grueling “office tension test,” but now it was time to see if this gel would really help me during my workout.

Right before I hit the gym, I rubbed the cream on my neck, chest and arms, then conducted my usual lifting routine and then ran on the treadmill afterwards. I felt unusually energetic throughout my workout, and I was able to push myself a bit further than usual. Then while changing, I reapplied the cream to sore spots (and let’s be honest, the smell didn’t hurt). I noticed a lot less tension the next day, so I got another bottle to keep at my desk for those days when I feel my shoulders creeping up, or some residual soreness from the morning’s workout.

Verdict: Clearly, I’m a fan, considering I now have it handy at all times. It’s $33 for a bottle, but a pump or two goes a long way, so it lasts. Is this going to be the thing that makes the guy at the gym check-in desk know me by name? I don’t know, but it sure can’t hurt.

Do you think you’ll give Workout Wonder a try or do you have other pre/post-workout rituals that you do? Let us know in the comments below!
–John Soper

Looking to test out a new fashion, beauty or fitness craze? See what editors are testing below!
We Tried It: A Super-Fancy Customized Facial With Isabelle Bellis
We Tried It: The Winter Solstice Cleanse from Juice Press
We Tried It: Sally Hansen’s New ‘I Heart Nail’ Kit

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