Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The MAX Muscle Plan book review

What's a gal like me doing reading a book so obviously tailored to men? Trying to get all their secrets, duh! Just kidding. However, I do want to get all "their" weight-training advice. Much of what is written specifically for women doesn't cover serious weight training and I'm done playing games with fitness. I want to be strong! Brad Shoenfeld's The MAX Muscle Plan: Blast Through Training Plateus for Your Best Body Ever is detailed 12-week program intended to up the ante for experienced lifters. For those new(er) to lifting, Brad includes a break-in routine to be repeated as necessary, as well as a complete pictorial how-to catalog on every exercise utilized in the program.

Brad's book explains the science of mass-building and provides a method to gain maximum muscle size while being entirely drug free. In fact, the only supplements the author promotes are nothing more than whey protein and fruit juice! It is fascinating to see how complex and hard it is for a man to build lean muscle bulk once he has passed the beginner to intermediate stage. Building strength is much simpler than building that coveted size. When Brad explains how integral testosterone is to muscle growth and maximum size, it's patently obvious that as a woman, I have nothing to fear! I will never, ever be big no matter how much I lift. How comforting.

I'm not yet ready to try the routine, but it's just the thing for Bodybuilding Boy. He read the book and set off and is now at the end of the program. Here's my man working out in the program:

dumbell incline fly

Here's what he has to say about it:

Q. Why did you decide to give the MAX Muscle Plan a try?
  A. You recommended it [Oh. I guess there's a first time for everything, LOL]
Q. What's your favorite aspect of this program?
  A. The diversification in the workouts
Q. What did you dislike about this program?
  A. Didn't explain anything about warm-ups for the routines
Q. Where did you have trouble with the plan, if at all?
  A. Supersets - no room in the gym to work them as prescribed
Q. What surprised you?
  A. Nothing [I guess that means it works as expected, ha ha]
Q. What did you expect to find, that wasn't included?
  A. Just the warm-ups.
Q. Who would you recommend this book to?
  A. Anyone trying to gain some muscle mass

As you can see, he's not into interviews. Too bad, because he's typically talkative, especially about training! I suppose that oppositional side preferred not to talk precisely because I wanted him to. Ah, well. So I give you what I observed about his round with the MAX Muscle Plan:

  • He did get results beyond what he expected. 
  • While the routine charts are set out with most of the details, we still found it necessary to review details included in the intros for each program (such as when to superset or double-drop set, etc) and scribble those notes onto copies we made for him to carry in the gym. 
  • He insisted he didn't need all the unloading (i.e. "active rest") weeks in the program and did end up overtraining. Ha! That's definitely proof it's an intense plan if nothing else.
  • It takes planning to follow this plan.
  • The final phase is TIME CONSUMING. Be prepared to rearrange your schedule. 

While I work myself up to trying the routine in a few years or so, I think I'll check out Brad's books for women and see if they're as hardcore as I hope they'll be.