PreSeries LEAN by Transparent Labs: When to Use Lean vs BULK?

Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean

Today, we break down the differences between Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean and PreSeries Bulk!

A while back, the industry was buzzing over Transparent Labs and their extremely well-dosed, albeit pricey PreSeries BULK. The company dominates thanks to it’s all-natural flavor, sweetener, and color profile – nothing artificial there!

However, Transparent Labs also has another incredibly well formulated pre workout created specifically for those looking to get cut — PreSeries LEAN. We forgot to mention this one in the hype of the BULK version, and since they have a new strawberry lemonade flavor that’s their best so far, we’re here to catch up and compare.

There are several similarities between the two formulas, so rather than discuss LEAN in detail, we figured it would be much more beneficial to you, the consumer, to highlight the differences between the products. Sort of a PreSeries Lean vs. PreSeries Bulk discussion if you will.

More details are in store for you below, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:

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PreSeries Lean vs Bulk

Let’s cut right to the chase for those of you who know what’s what. PreSeries Lean is on the left below:

Preseries LEAN Ingredients

LEAN’s Ingredients… now with full label disclosure – even on the inactive ingredients!

Preseries BULK Ingredients

BULK’s Ingredients

Looking at the labels of the two products, you might not be entirely sure which pre workout is more suited for your goals, needs, etc. To put it bluntly, PreSeries LEAN is designed to enhance fat loss and support thyroid function, while BULK is formulated to spur lean muscle growth and boost natural testosterone production a bit more.

So, if you’re wanting to “bulk up”, you’d obviously choose PreSeries BULK (note that it doesn’t really bring a ton of calories so you still need to EAT), and if you’re in a cutting cycle, you’d select the LEAN version.

Now, let’s take a look at what ingredients set these two similar formulas apart.


As mentioned above, PreSeries Lean contains ingredients to support weight loss and thyroid function. The key ingredients in Lean not found in Bulk are:

  • Chromium Picolinate (200mcg)

    Transparent Labs PreSeries

    Lean, Bulk, or PreSeries Stim-Free — Transparent Labs has all of your pre workout needs addressed!

    Chromium Picolinate is a perfect addition to a “shredding” pre workout, but it’s so infrequently used in pre workouts. Chromium has been shown to support weight loss through blood sugar regulation and food craving suppression.[1] Stabilized blood sugar levels make you less likely to experience ravenous spurts in the day when you’re more likely to blow your diet.

  • Iodine Chelate (225mg)

    Iodine is the primary mineral required for proper thyroid function in the body. In fact, it’s the rate-limiting component for the synthesis of thyroid hormones![2]

    Thyroid dysfunction is associated with negative changes in body weight, composition, body temperature, and total and resting energy expenditure independently of physical activity.[3]

    Keeping thyroid function optimal is crucial to successful weight loss!

  • Zinc AAC (30mg)

    Zinc supplementation is essential for any athlete and helps support a strong immune system and optimal testosterone production. Additionally, zinc intake encourages healthy food cravings, while a lack of zinc in the diet has been associated with lack of hunger.[4]

  • L-Selenomethionine (50mcg)

    Another essential mineral, Selenium (included L-Selenomethionine) aids glucose uptake and metabolism in the body.[5]

  • Copper AAC (1mg)

    Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean Sarah

    TL fan Sarah is a fan of PreSeries LEAN for its support of lean muscle building and fat loss.

    Copper supports the energy production in the body as well as a cofactor for several other reactions and nutrient uptakes in the body (including iodine!). In this, copper aids optimal thyroid, and thus metabolic, function.[6]

  • Guggulsterones (75mg)

    Guggulsterones is the active component of the Guggul that’s traditionally used for combating diseases such as liver dysfunction, obesity, and high lipid levels. Moreover, it also promotes the uptake of iodine by the thyroid.[7]

  • Less BCAAs

    PreSeries LEAN has 2g branched chain amino acids, whereas BULK has 4g.

    This isn’t a huge deal, but BCAAs do admittedly get metabolized as protein calories, even if it’s not legal to say so on a label like this where the free form aminos are alone (don’t blame us or Transparent Labs, that’s an FDA thing).

    So technically, you’re dealing with 8 less calories here. Obviously not a big deal but worth mentioning.

  • No Taurine

    Transparent Labs Strawberry Lemonade

    The original flavors of TL’s PreSeries pre workouts left a bit to be desired, but the new Strawberry Lemonade flavor is a considerable upgrade over the OG flavors.

    PreSeries LEAN doesn’t have taurine, but BULK does. While this is a great ingredient for hydration, a bit of focus, and some force output production, many dieters don’t want to take on extra water! Sometimes that last bit of fat you’re trying to drop is actually in the form of water… and taurine helps your muscle tissue hang on to that water!

    So for a slightly dryer look, dropping the taurine is where it’s at for Preseries LEAN prospects.

  • Way less beta alanine

    This one has less to do with bulking vs. dieting and could possibly make you switch to the LEAN team because it only has 1.5g beta alanine.

    While that’s less effective in terms of muscular endurance, it’s also a whole lot less annoying to those who get large amounts of “tingles” from the whopping 4g in the BULK version.

    We believe that BA is great for both dieters and bulkers – it’s an endurance ingredient after all – but this at least gives you some options if you like the idea of these supplements, but just want to choose the one with less.


Now that we’ve highlighted the ingredients that make Lean stand out, let’s take a look at the ones unique to the muscle-building BULK pre workout.

  • Vitamin D3 (3,000IU)

    PreSeries BULK Ingredients

    Now also with full label disclosure, PreSeries Bulk is transparently dosed and in amounts documented by research to improve all aspects of your workout… but do you want all this beta alanine and BCAAs or do you want more dieter-friendly ingredients?

    Transparent Labs has included the incredibly bioavailable Vitamin D3 in its Testosterone Boosting complex in PreSeries Bulk. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamins that supports bone health, mood, and brain function. Unfortunately, most of us are chronically deficient in Vitamin D, due to long hours spent indoors, be it work, tv watching, or gaming.[8,9]

    Therefore, Vitamin D supplementation is critical to maintain adequate reserves. In fact, Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve sleep quality in groups,[10] which indirectly helps increase GH production — a vital component for muscle growth.

  • Boron Citrate (5mg)

    Boron is an essential mineral generally known for its support of optimal bone growth. However, it also has a significant impact on muscle building as it increases levels of free testosterone and a reduces sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that ties up testosterone in the blood [11,12].

  • Zinc AAC (30mg)

    Although we touched on zinc supplementation up top with PreSeries Lean, it’s making an appearance here in Bulk for a slightly different reason. Zinc supplementation is essential to any aggressive athlete and contributes to a strong immune system, maximal testosterone production, and extensive enzymatic processes.[13 Clinical trials have shown numerous times that a strong correlation exists between zinc supplementation and maximal testosterone levels in men [14,15,16].



    Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean Ashten

    Another happy customer with a fresh shipment of Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean.

    Well, there you have it!

    Though the core of each product is the same, there are a few lagniappe ingredients that can help you boost your end results. That’s not to say that you couldn’t use PreSeries Lean if you were bulking and vice versa.

    It’s just that using Lean for shredding and Bulk for bulking will enhance your goals even more so. Although, for those recomping or doing a lean bulk, there may be some advantages to using PreSeries Lean.

    But remember. It’s all about diet. We get asked a lot in our BULK video if it will truly help you bulk up. The truth is that your diet is what helps you bulk up, as it really only has “16 calories” from those BCAAs, and you obviously need a whole lot more than that to gain weight!

    So in the end, your goals will ultimately be determined by your diet and training intensity, no matter which preworkout venue you may take, but we do indeed love both of these products. To save on the cost, just remember who’s got the best coupons on the web for ’em:

    Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

    No spam, no scams.

    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    About the Author: Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

    Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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    2. Chung HR. Iodine and thyroid function. Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2014;19(1):8-12. doi:10.6065/apem.2014.19.1.8.
    3. Hoogwerf BJ, Nuttall FQ.1984. Long-term weight regulation in treated hyperthyroid and hypothyroid subjects. Am J Med 76:963–970.
    7. Tripathi YB, Malhotra OP, Tripathi SN. Thyroid Stimulating Action of Z-Guggulsterone Obtained from Commiphora mukul. Planta Med. (1984)
    8. Bonnet MH, Arand DL; We are chronically sleep deprived . Sleep. (1995)
    9. Van Cauter E, et al; Metabolic consequences of sleep and sleep loss . Sleep Med. (2008)
    10. Huang W, et al; Improvement of Pain, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Chronic Pain Patients With Vitamin D Supplementation . Clin J Pain. (2012)
    13. Kylie, M., et. al. (2006). The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone of elite athletes receiving oral zinc. Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 27(1-2): 247-252

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