The first thing
I want to make clear when you look at "Mad
Scientist Muscle" is that this actually
IS a serious program and a seriously GOOD
program. Don't let the name fool you :)
This program by
Nick Nilsson is based on good, scientific training
principles and is definitely not just same random
crazy sh$# thrown together.
There is a method
to his madness. I'm not saying there isn't some
really cool and effective crazy sh$# in there...it's
just not random...
What Nick has
done is put together a series of programs
based on the concept of "controlled
overtraining," also known as "accumulation
and intensification" or "dual
To put it simply,
in these programs, you'll gradually ramp up
your training volume by increasing the number
of sets you're doing (this is done on a weekly
basis), while simulatenously DECREASING your
rest periods in between sets, thus increasing
the overall density of your training in a very
The author of Mad Scientist Muscle, Nick Nilsson
density is extremely effective for muscle growth and
strength gains. What the "Mad Scientist"
programs do (and there are three of them in the book)
is structure the increase in density for you, gradually
building up to a point at or near overtraining.
This is the
"accumulation" phase as you're gradually
accumulating workload and training volume over the course
of 3 weeks.
you HIT this point of overtraining, that's when you
back off on both the training volume AND the rest periods.
You'll do fewer sets and with long rest periods in between
sets. You're also going to reduce the rep ranges so
that you're working with more power and strength-oriented
this overtraining ramp-up, your body is desperately
trying to keep up with recovery...the analogy Nick uses
in his book is that of a car going up a steep hill.
You have the gas pedal floored but you're still going
come up and over the top of the hill and keep the pedal
down, you pick up speed FAST...just like when your body
comes off the overtraining phase. You're going to pick
up speed FAST. This is the "intensification"
phase, called that because you're increasing the INTENSITY
of the workload, operating closer to your 1RM.
training scheme is extremely effective. It makes great
use of your body's predictable reactions to volume and
overreaching and takes full advantage of the rebound
on the other side.
included programs are put together in this format, utilizing
different training techniques for each accumulation
and intensification phase. You'll really see the "mad
scientist" stuff come out to play in the training
techniques themselves :)
cool part is, this "mad scientist" stuff is
actually very well thought-out and not just a collection
of strange intensity techniques.
very effective training strategies that are implemented
in a very logical fashion to achieve very specific effects
on your body. This is a very accepted training-protocol
that can absolutely deliver results in strength and
it gets interesting...
is that by utilizing certain specific types of training,
you can make changes to the physiology of your body/muscles
in order to better set the stage for future muscle growth.
is that there are certain aspects of your physiology
that can be "trained up" using the right techniques
so that your body is better prepared for muscle growth.
If you have a hard time building muscle (classic hardgainer),
this could be a very attractive idea for you. Heck,
even if you're NOT, the idea of turning yourself into
an even EASIER gainer is not bad, too!
is does this idea have merit?
In a word...yes.
The training styles that Nick puts forward in his
"Structural Training" section DO have the
potential to make very positive changes to your body's
physiology that impact future muscle growth.
partial training is a very widely accepted method for
increasing the strength of your bones and connective
tissue due to the super-maximal loads you're able to
use. Using heavier weights also primes the nervous system
for using heavier weights in FULL range of motion, too.
of the other changeable factors he talks about in the
book is capillary density in the muscles...basically
the number and density of the tiny blood vessels where
oxygen and nutrient exchange take place. By using very
high rep, endurance-type training, research HAS shown
you can increase capilliary density. And by increasing
this density, you enhance the ability of your muscles
to receive nutrients and oxygen, which means more fuel
and food for them to GROW.
of Structural Training into the overall framework of
the program is done in a very elegant and intuitive
manner. You'll start with it before you do anything
else (what better time to set the stage!) then you'll
do more of it just after you hit the overtraining point.
Weaknesses of the Mad Scientist Muscle Program...
this is a strong program. It'll definitely deliver great
results in terms of muscle and strength.
be nice to see more of a focus on performance in the
program. You absolutely WILL gain strength on the intensification
end of the program, though. The way it's structured
pretty much ensures it.
thing that might be something to modify would be the
split training aspect of it. Being from more of a bodybuilding
background, Nick has used bodypart splits. Now, these
CAN be effective when done properly and with primarily
compound exercises (and that's exactly how these programs
are put together) but you could absolutely use the frameworks
provided and change up the focus to be more on training
movements rather than bodyparts.
bodybuilding perspective, this is absolutely effective
stuff. It WILL make you bigger and stronger.
isn't anything in here that should stop you from picking
up this program if you're interested in hypertrophy
and strength. You'll definitely learn a lot from the
approach Nick puts forward in this book.
line is this a very complete program and very effective
for what it proposes to deliver...muscle and strength.
to get SIX MONTHS of detailed training schedules, covering
every single set and rep and exercise along the way.
If you're looking for a real "done for you"
type of program, this will be right up your alley. The
included "lean muscle" meal plans are a nice
Nick is also
offering separately an add-on program for the book that
he calls "Frankenstein" and I have to say,
when you SEE this program, you'll know exactly why he
called it that. This one is only for advanced trainers...I'll
tell you that right now.
I will give
you a hint, though, it starts with six-day-a-week
training working your WHOLE body every day, before
backing off to three days a week. After you pick
up the main "Mad Scientist Muscle" program,
you'll be able to grab that one, too, in a package
along with ANOTHER book he's just put out "The
Best Mass Exercises You've Never Heard Of"
(yet another very interesting book from Nick..it's
a collection of 119 of some of the most unique
mass-building exercises and training techniques
you've ever seen - very cool stuff).