Anyhow, while a valid point to be made, that doesn't detract from the overall point that I'm trying to make, in fact it really supports it... the part of about the OP not spending the big bucks on the "MRI NO2 Red" for $70 from GNsee, and more caffine-powder kitchen-sink 50-ingredient proprietary-blends masquerading as pre-workout formulas, the dosage of which ingredient at that point you can't determine (and manipulate/play with individually to improve efficacy for your body) never mind taking it more that just pre-workout to let it build up in your system without having to get cracked out on the blend... but rather stick with less expensive basics that have more solid science behind them for helping him add lean mass... adding mass being something that one does from eating more, and trying to keep that mass lean with proper exercise and supplementation.
There's lots of small changes that folks would make to some of the suggestions I've made above, for the pre-workout timeframe he could go with Clearshot and get a healthy dose of Citrulline Malate (which is also known to reduce fatigue and improve endurance like Beta Alanine) and take that with some creatine mono... I'm just trying to give him a simple clear answer to a complex question with the goal of getting him to focus on basics, and not get taken in by fancy boxes and high prices at retail rip off joints. I could have suggested Patrick's Effervescent COP, which I'm taking presently and like for a bunch of reasons.
Really, I could have said any creatine, I just picked one... I personally feel like the the Green Mag worked better with less water retention for me that regular creatine mono, but the idea for the OP is: pick a creatine you like, add in some stims (if you like them) and simple, proven other things that help you lift more weight more times, like Beta Alanine, Citrulline Malate, etc... making sure you're getting an effective dose of those things (for less $$) and then go lift heavy and eat a lot. Like Ronnie Colman says, "everyone wanna be a bodybuilder, don't no one wanna lift no heavy ass weight", which really should be followed with ", force themselves to eat more food then they want when they wanna bulk, less food then they want when they cut, make sure they get good sleep, manage their injuries, etc..."
Incidentally, that reminds me that in my description of the many benefits of "UR Spray" above, I neglected to mention that many folks (including myself) have reported sleeping much better while using the product, which is another great bonus, for a variety of reasons.