By Jeff Anderson - Review
Review by Rahul Alvares
has been making quite some news these days; his new book
"Optimum Anabolics" has been written about and
advertised so often lately, I just had to get myself a
copy. Anderson was virtually unknown to me some months
ago, but I know he's not a newcomer.
I read an article
by Lewis Wolk sometime ago about Jeff locking himself
in a dark room with his computer for six months till he
had finished writing Unleashed (a book on boosting testosterone
levels). Lewis is still singing praises about that book,
and I've joined the band giving him backing vocals! (By
the way that book is for free download, so make sure you
get a copy before that Muscle Nerd changes his mind and
puts a price tag on it).
to "Optimum Anabolics" I must tell you that
this is one of the best books on bodybuilding I have ever
read. Exceptionally controversial, Anderson attacks the
very foundation of bodybuilding.
To give you
an example; "Optimum Anabolics", in one of its
training cycles, uses severe protein deprivation as an
anabolic trigger to boost testosterone and growth hormone
levels producing as a result huge gains in muscle mass.
And Oh No
is not a one day protein deprivation period, if that's
what you are thinking. It's a full cycle lasting weeks!
is so full of information, this review would have to be
the size of a booklet to cover all aspects. I don't think
it necessary, however, to do so. I am sure you will love
this book. So instead I am just going to list a few points
to give you an idea of what the book is like.
Some of the
aspects dealt with in this book include (in no particular
- Isolation v/s Compound
Exercises -which are the best exercises for each body
part and why.
- Pre Exhaust training
and Super Sets -how these amazing training techniques
can be exploited to their full potential.
- Cardio and HIT training
- the best strategies for fat loss.
- Diet Charts - there
is some excellent information in this section on food
to eat, supplements, timings, GI ratings etc.
- Calculations - mostly
calculations for muscle gain, fat loss, different
metabolisms, carbs, proteins etc.
- Exercise description
encyclopedia - descriptions on all the exercises,
with notes on how to perform the best ones (averaging
twelve for each body part)
a lot of stress on performing the exercise with correct
form, the pump effect, body weight exercises and training
left no stone unturned in writing this book. The training
techniques taught in the book make sure also that you
stimulate both the fast twitch and slow twitch muscle
fibers. This kind of training will ensure that the muscle
is exercised in a holistic way for its optimum growth
I don't think
I need to say anything more. As far as drawbacks are concerned
I can't think of any. Like most books on bodybuilding
however this is largely targeted at the male trainees.
Female trainees will also benefit a lot from reading "Optimum
Anabolics" - though with the amount of testosterone
dripping all over it they might find it a little too thick
and musky to get through!
has a very humorous style of writing. This, coupled with
his very practical mind makes "Optimum Anabolics"
truly enjoyable to read.
Anabolics is a must have for every bodybuilder.
Learn more about
If your primary goal is
to build muscle mass but you've had a hard time actually
ACHIEVING that goal, this is a review I think you're going
Because "Optimum Anabolics"
is a program put together by Jeff Anderson, a.k.a. the
Muscle Nerd, specifically designed to elicit muscle growth
in stubborn cases just like yours.
Let's get right into it...
The first thing you'll notice
about this book is Jeff's writing style...very informal
yet very informative. It's not jammed packed with science
lessons - it's easy to read and understand, which is always
The rationale behind the
structure of the program rests on 8 "Anabolic Factors,"
as Jeff refers to them as. I'll briefly go through each
one here with regards to how it impacts the effectiveness
of the program.
Factor 1 - Hyper-Adaptive Cycling
This section is right on
the money - if you're familiar with overtraining and deloading
of the body, you're already familiar with the concept.
Basically, the idea is to stress the body until you hit
that point near or at overtraining, then back off and
let the body recuperate and rebuild.
This is a powerful concept
and Jeff uses it very effectively in his program, not
only with the training program but also by applying this
to the dietary considerations of the program (more than
in Factor 8 - THAT is probably the most controversial
aspect of the whole program).
2 Body Part Training Frequency
This section is where we'll
disagree on. Jeff suggests not training a bodypart more
than once a week, in order to allow for full recovery
before training it directly again. He does provide a rationale
for his argument but experience suggests this once-a-week
loading schedule is not a "set in stone" rule.
You CAN and should train
your bodyparts more frequently, especially if you're using
exercises that overlap, e.g. deadlifts and squats both
stress similar muscle groups yet you could work deadlifts
on a "back" day and squats on a "leg"
day and still call it working a bodypart once per week.
This is definitely not a
make-or-break thing with the program, though. It's not
necessarily wrong to train a bodypart just once a week.
3 Training Session Length
We're totally in agreement
in session length - excessively long training sessions
tend to be counterproductive.
4 Exercise Selection And Form
Jeff's program focuses on
compound exercises over isolation exercises, which is
definitely on par with what we recommend. He has a quote
that I really like with regards to the system muscle-building
effects of compound vs isolation exercises...
Think of it this
If your local 9-1-1 OPERATOR received a call
about an ISOLATED FIGHT happening in a park and a call
about a RIOT happening downtown, which incident do you
think she would dispatch assistance to first? Get the
5 Number Of Repetitions And Weight
Rep ranges and weight selection
is also section we're a bit in disagreement on, though
too crazy. Higher rep ranges do have their purpose, though
we're more inclined to hit lower rep ranges than what
Jeff recommends. Again, it's not necessarily wrong, just
different and may actually be more effective for you.
6 Repetition Speed
Nothing controversial here
- good solid recommendations. Again, we're a bit different
in this department, believing that instead of specifying
a tempo for each rep, you should move the weight as quickly
as possible on the concentric portion, without resorting
to poor form.
7 Rest Cycles
Jeff has planned out all
the rest periods in the training program and included
a good amount of info on recovery outside the gym. By
decreasing your rest periods while increasing your workload,
you're going to force that hyper-adaptation we metioned
8 - Diet
HERE is where it gets a
bit more controversial.
The diet in the "Optimum
Anabolics" program is based on periods of eating
very low amounts of protein, setting up a rebound similar
to when you carb-restrict then carb load. His contention
is that by depriving the body of protein, your body is
put into an emergency state where testosterone and growth
hormone are released by your body in an effort to deal
with this situation.
Training and not eating
much protein definitely WILL cause a reaction in your
body! Jeff has mentioned that he has uncovered research
supporting the effectiveness of this protein deprivation
Could it be effective? There
is some logic behind it and it could be worth trying out,
to see if it's something that works for you. It might
be just what you need to get past a muscle-size plateau.
The rest of the dietary
program is solidly put together with more conventional
recommendations. Good info there. The section on supplements
is also nicely done - nothing crazy and the supplements
are solid selections.
Overall, this is a well-thought-out
program that definitely has the potential build some excellent
muscle mass. We don't fully agree on every point, but
there's nothing in the actual training program that should
stop you from trying it out. The general mechanism of
action is very effective and well-proven.
The dietary portion of the
program might throw you off a little bit as it may be
tough to wrap your head around the protein-deprivation
concept. But definitely read through it and see if it
makes sense to you. It could be the shot you need to get
your muscle growth moving in the right direction.