to keep you in suspense when I write these reviews...
maybe not so much.
you're looking for a training manual that gives
you the guts of how to get big (even if you're
a typical skinny-guy hardgainer) and is also an
enjoyable read, this book is going to be a GREAT
choice for you.
I've got that out of the way...let's find out
WHY it's a great choice...what makes it
such an effective program, who will get the best
results from it and what some of the potential
weaknesses of the book might be.
first thing you'll notice about this book is that
Jason approaches his training not only based on
scientific principles on research but on his "in
the trenches" experience actually TRAINING
one of the BEST things about Jason's approach...the
NOT a book about "working out"...this is a
book about TRAINING to maximize muscle mass using
a performance-based approach.
find a bunch of pumping exercises here...you won't get
overloaded with scientific jargon and references coming
out of every orifice...this is NOT a "Bally's Total
Fitness" type of book, to put it one way.
This is about
hitting the iron with hard training and making sure
your mindset is in the right place to maximize results.
I do have
to say up front, if you're the sensitive type, this
might not be the book for you. Jason gets right up in
your face with his writing style. It's powerful and
right to the point. You either buy in or...well, you
said, no matter how it's presented (I quite enjoy his
writing style myself!) this information is, for the
most part, dead on.
selection is all about free weight and bodyweight exercises
with a focus on compound movements.
We do diverge
in some respects on training volume. Jason's focus is
more towards higher-intensity rather than the EDT style
of approach where it's higher-volume and staying away
from failure. He does explain in detail the rationale
behind his approach and it's certainly valid (he actually
doesn't advocate going to "total" failure
definitely get results with this program - the higher
intensity means you HAVE to keep the volume lower.
When it comes
to rep ranges and HOW you should perform exercises,
we definitely agree on that. High-reps...not going to
get you anywhere (though Jason does include some exceptions
to that rule). Powerful, heavy and explosive-oriented
included a TON of exercise information in this book
- proper form instruction on all the big exercises and
many variations to choose from. The exercises are the
cream of the crop for focusing on muscle growth.
His philosophy...train with exercises that allow you
to use the most weight. I couldn't agree more.
I also really
like the exercise troubleshooting section he includes
at the end of each bodypart chapter. You can use this
info to self-diagnose any form problems...such as figuring
out that bouncing a 300 lb bar off your chest is a bad
though, Jason has some great info in these FAQ's - how
to feel your lats when training them if you can't feel
them well, how to prevent the droopy pec look, what
to do if you can't get all the way down when squatting.
thing really missing from the book here are pictures
of the exercises and form points in action...but guess
what...Jason's included as a bonus a database of 100
exercises - pictures and detailed descriptions included
(he's also included nutrition plans as a bonus, too,
so you're covered there).
covered pretty much all the "basic" information
in the first half...sets, reps, exercises, etc. The
next section of the book is how to put it all together
into the full program.
He's included programs for beginners to advanced trainers,
including modifications for female trainers.
all the program and training session layouts you need,
no matter what you're training level.
When it comes
to eating, Jason and I are definitely on the same page.
Eating an overload of calories is a necessity when it
comes to muscle-building. The body needs that excess
of calories - the very act of eat those calories is
anabolic in itself!
section is good, basic mass-gaining eating information.
Nothing crazy here but plenty of good advice that won't
steer you wrong (plus some interesting tidbits that
can actually help quite a lot - such as an interesting
phenomenon about junk food and mass gain you may not
And if you're
looking for supplement info, there's a section on that,
too, of course. Jason really pulls no punches in this
one - you'll get insider information on some of the
worst scams in bodybuilding supplement history (HMB,
Myostatin suppression, ZMA, to name a few). He includes
his list of effective suppplements as well - all good
stuff, from what I can see. I've used most of the ones
he mentions and agree with the majority of them.
I have to
say, though, the most entertaining part of the book
is the part where Jason talks about training with his
brother, Jared. You'll get a visual when you read it....talk
about training intensity!
is PACKED with solid and effective training information.
If you want to get big, you will not go wrong with this
book - definitely worth the purchase price.
everything you need to know about building muscle and
strength here. It's the end-product of years of research,
reading and training and it shows.
a more advanced trainer who's used to training with
explosive movements and big, compound exercises, you'll
probably find yourself nodding your head at a lot of
this information. It'll definitely set you back in the
right direction if you've strayed from that path.
a beginning trainer, this is a good chance to get yourself
pointed in that right direction right off the bat. You'll
save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort with Jason's
approach to training.
About The Author
is a highly sought after, world renowned strength
and conditioning specialist. Over the last
15 years he has trained more than 700 high
school, college and professional athletes
from nearly 20 different sports. He is known
for his ability to rapidly increase muscular
size, strength, speed and endurance in all
of his clients.
is currently the chief training advisor for
Mens Fitness magazine where he also has
his own monthly column called The Hard-Gainer.
He has authored over 200 training articles for
various other fitness related websites and magazines
such as Mens Health, Maximum Fitness,
MMA SportsMag, Todays Man, Muscle and
Fitness Hers and Shape.