of "Advanced Mass Building"
Book by "The Muscle Nerd" Jeff Anderson
Right off the bat,
let me just say, the title of this book is dead
on. The strategies in Jeff's book are targeted for
the more advanced lifter (or the intermediate lifter
looking to become advanced).
If you're in your
first year of training, these techniques aren't
necessary in order for you to get results. Learning
proper exercise technique and getting comfortable
with a more basic training program will get you
But when you get PAST
the initial stages of training and move into intermediate
and advanced stages, THEN you need more advanced
THIS is where "Advanced
Mass Building" finds its home.
And let me just say, this
manual is a far cry from the usual "dry" training
programs. This is not just great information, Jeff
has a very entertaining writing style as well, making
this an easy read.
His military analogies (taken
from his time in the Army) will really help you understand
exactly where he's coming from with his training, nutritional
and supplementation techniques.
And there is a LOT of excellent
stuff to be found here. Jeff takes you step-by-step through
the EXACT rationale he used to put together this program.
You'll learn how one phase builds into the next phase,
which sets up the next phase. It's not random - it's very
obvious from the start, there is a method to Jeff's madness
- it's a highly-targeted approach.
What you'll notice is that
Jeff uses a variety of what you would normally consider
"intensity techniques" (for example, pre-exhaust
supersets). But as I mentioned, unlike the way most
people use intensity techniques, these are not placed
They are used with very
specific purposes in mind. For example, when you start
off, you'll find there is a VERY high-rep phase of the
program. Why would you use high reps in a muscle-building
This very specific high
rep training physiologically PREPARES your body for future
muscle growth by increasing capillary density (capillaries
are the tiny blood vessels where nutrient exchange happens)
and the number of mitochondria (the energy factories that
reside within the cells of your muscles).
You're basically setting
the stage by building a foundation. Plus, as a bonus,
you're also hitting the endurance-oriented Type 1 muscle
fibers to maximize the overall muscle-stimulating effects
of the program. Naturally, Type 1 fibers, being more for
endurance, don't have huge growth potential but still
have SOME, so you don't want to leave them out.
Once you've set the stage,
THAT is when you move to specific training targeting the
OTHER muscle fibers
the ones that REALLY have maximum
And here's where Jeff's
program really goes for broke - you'll be using several
more intensity techniques in a very controlled manner
(so as not to completely overtrain yourself
in one day) over the course of the next 3 weeks, each
phase setting up the next phase (as I mentioned above)
for better results.
This is the major "stand
out" point that I'd like to get across with this
program. It's NOT a bunch of
random intensity techniques thrown together and hope they
Jeff has done the research
to show you exactly how each intensity technique affects
the body at a physiological level. This is a far cry from
the guys I see on the bench press doing "forced reps"
every day (I should say, forcing their spotters to do
the reps for them!).
He also goes into detail
about how the training affects hormonal levels (such as
GH and testosterone) and how to maximize those hormonal
levels for best results. It's very well thought-out information.
Here's the thing
this is a TOUGH program. If you're "recovery-impaired",
even these targeted intensity techniques might be too
much for you to recover from and make progress with.
This is one of the major
downsides I've found with programs that utilize techniques
that go beyond straight sets. Some people can recover
from there. Some people simply CAN'T. If you're a beginning
trainer, you're going to have a very hard time with this
program, which is why it's not recommended.
If you're at the appropriate
training level, however, the layout of this program will
really help you understand how these intensity techniques
affect your body.
Plus, in the book, Jeff
also includes a good deal of information on how to find
the optimal training frequency for YOUR body. So even
if you ARE somewhat "recovery impaired," you'll
still be able to get a great deal out of this program.
Nutrition and supplementation
also covered in the program. There is some very useful
information in this section. If you've been "around
the block," you'll probably know quite a bit of this
already but there is some unique info that you'll enjoy
(plus, a refresher never hurts).
What I found really interesting
was Jeff's take on customizing your eating plan for your
body type (i.e. endo, meso, or ectomorph). He's also included
a variety of meal plans, covering calorie loads from 1500
up to 4000 calories per day. It's good, solid information.
Mass Building" offers a well thought-out, unique
approach to muscle building. It's a short program and
packed with challenge.
The only downsides may be
the degree of difficulty for those who have a hard time
recovering. Also, the program does contain a lot of different
training techniques, so you'll need to read through carefully
to make sure you understand exactly what to do in each
section before you do it. If you've been training awhile,
you'll most likely recognize a lot of these - but now
you'll know the "WHY" as well!
So if you're looking for
something different and a quick growth spurt sounds good,
this might be just what you need to gain some quick pounds
info - definitely worth checking out.