Building muscle is never as simple as emulating the training methods of popular bodybuilders. The superhuman physiques of professional bodybuilders are often not achieved through innovative training, says leading strength and fitness expert Brad Schoenfeld, but through a combination of superior genetics and a great deal of chemical enhancement. They typically have little or no knowledge of the nuances of exercise science, and most people who follow their routines will only end up frustrated and overtrained.
Schoenfeld, the 2011 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year, argues that the real way for people maximize their muscle potential without any gimmicks or expensive supplements is through a six-month periodized program that systematically manipulates exercise variables. He has successfully used his unique program, detailed in the forthcoming The M.A.X. Muscle Plan, with hundreds of private clients over the years, promising results if the protocol is followed as directed. “You can gain muscle by following pretty much any resistance training program, at least in the early phases of training,” Schoenfeld acknowledges. “Unfortunately, such an approach will take you only so far. Without a well-devised plan of action, you'll soon reach a plateau and results will come crashing to a halt.”
What sets the MAX muscle plan apart from other programs is its scientific approach. Along with several years of practical experience, Schoenfeld spent nearly 20 years researching muscle development to create it, publishing his findings in a comprehensive review article in the prestigious Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. MAX is an acronym for Mitogen Activated Xtreme training. Simply stated, mitogens are the chemical substances that encourage cells to remodel, a process essential for muscle growth. “As the name implies,” Schoenfeld says, “the ultimate goal of the program is to enhance mitogenic and other growth-oriented training responses in a manner that promotes optimal muscle development.”
Schoenfeld stresses that the results one achieves from the MAX muscle plan depend on two factors: training status and genetics. Those who have been training for less than a year can actually expect to see large increases in muscle size. In fact, from Schoenfeld's experience, it's not unusual for a novice lifter to gain 15 or more pounds of muscle over the initial six-month training period. However, another element that sets this plan apart is the way it helps highly experienced natural bodybuilders blast through training plateaus to continue progressing through their muscle-building efforts, so much so that they put on an additional 6 to 10 pounds of lean muscle by the end of the training cycle.
While some people may not have great muscle-building genetics, Schoenfeld reveals that genetics account for only about 25 to 50% of a person's potential. “Although you may have a difficult time becoming the next Mr. Olympia,” Schoenfeld admits, “the MAX muscle plan will help you squeeze out every ounce of your genetic potential. You unquestionably can develop an impressive physique that is sure to turn heads at the beach.”
Featuring six months of targeted, periodized routines, The M.A.X. Muscle Plan presents a scientifically proven, ready-to-use three-phase program for the entire body, with no scientific background required for understanding the basics. For more information, see The M.A.X. Muscle Plan.