Max-OT isn't about getting good results. Heck! It isn't even about getting great results. Max-OT is about getting MAXIMUM results. What do I mean by maximum results? I mean gaining the most amount of muscle, and losing the most amount of fat in the shortest amount of time possible. Max-OT is all about efficacy. Training the Max-OT way will transform your body into the one you have always wanted and fast! But to get the most out of Max-OT you must follow some simple guidelines. 30 to 45 minutes per work out.
• 1 or 2 body parts per day
• 6 to 9 total heavy sets
• Do 4 to 6 reps per heavy set
• Rest 2 to 3 minutes between sets (STR)
• Train each muscle group once ever 5 to 7 days (ITR)
• Take a 1 week break from all training ever 8 to 10 weeks.
There is only a small bit of give in these guidelines. But they are easy to follow. It is important to follow the rules as they are outlines here. Don't try to adapt them to your liking. If you do that, then you are not training Max-OT style and you will not see the results you want. When you commit to these guidelines, then and only then will you see the most benefit. Each of these parameters builds and depends on the other.
30 to 45 minutes per workout
Efficiency is the key to Max-OT. Efficacy and intensity. Your workouts should last no more than 45 minutes. And you know what? I'm being very liberal with that 45 minutes. It should really be closer to 30 minutes. I understand there are various conditions where this may not be possible, like crowed gyms but it is very important that you finish in this amount of time. If you have more than one training partner, you are going to have to lose the third wheel.
Why is there this small imposed time frame? Well, with Max-OT you are required to train with the Maximum amount of intensity. Trying to keep such a level of physical and mental intensity for longer than 30 or 45 minutes is an very challenging task.
By limiting yourself to this short time you will be able to take advantage of the anabolic hormone spike that result from this type of heavy weight training. Anything longer than this amount of time and you will miss out on a prime opportunity to get the most out of your training. Training beyond this time frame puts you into a 'catabolic' state which is very counter productive to your efforts and can lead to overtraining.
Train 1 to 2 body parts per workout
Max-OT is designed to recruit the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time. It is physically draining and mentally taxing. Training only one or two body parts is a critical factor to achieving this. Every time you walk out of the gym you need to be completely confident that your workout resulted in stimulating muscle growth. Training one or two body parts takes advantage of the shortened time frame and allows you to train with maximum intensity!
When you walk into the gym knowing that you only have to train one body part, you instantly establish a level of intensity and determination that you never thought imaginable. This level of focus and drive gives you an instant edge over everyone else in the gym. The bottom line is that you will train much harder, work each muscle group hard, achieve a greater contraction, stimulate more muscle fibers and increase the rate at which you put on muscle mass and rid yourself of body fat. Plain and simple!
Do only 6 to 9 Heavy Sets
For each body part you are limited to 6 but not more than 9 total sets. No matter how many exercises you do, you have only 6 to 9 sets to divide between them so make your selection wisely.
What Is a Max-OT 'Heavy' Set
A heavy set is a set that is done with a weight that allows you to complete at least 4 reps on your own but will not allow you to complete any more than 6. This is a Max-OT fundamental principle. All sets are performed to 'positive failure'. A warm up set is not a Max-OT set. Don't count this as a part of your 6 to 9 sets.
Positive failure is when a set is performed to volitional exhaustion with in the 4 to 6 rep range. In other words, you are done when you can no longer do another repetition on your own. Max-OT does not encourage forced reps. Some help is understandable if you are completing the last rep of the last set, but only a little. You are the one doing the work, remember!
Forced reps are not conductive to muscle growth. The impose more fatigue to the muscle and deplete valuable energy. This is also a form of non-progressive overload. Meaning that while it may be an "overload" to the muscle, someone is helping you get that last rep or two. And help means that they are in some way lightening the load so you can complete the rep. It must be made very clear that more fatigue does not lead to more muscle!
Do 4 to 6 Repetitions
This is the heart and soul of Max-OT. This is the range of reps that you will be using for virtually all exercises. In the beginning, there will be some where you may do more, but not many. As I progress you through the program, you will see that by the end of your first year, all of your lifts will be in this range. Now when I say 4 to 6, what do I mean exactly? Well simply put you need to select a weight that will allow you to complete at least 4 reps on your own, but no more than 6. If you can do more than six, it is too light. If you can not do 4, then it is too heavy. It is really that simple.
The reasoning behind this is to achieve maximal muscle fiber and motor unit recruitment. You may be thinking why not just do sets of 1. This is somewhat counter-intuitive, but that would not necessarily achieve maximal recruitment. As the duration of the set increases, EMG patterns change from the first rep no matter how heavy it is. This tells us that the motor units are doing a number of things - 1. altering their firing rate 2. increasing in # of units active 3. Failing and shutting off. 1 or 2 reps can not induce that much overload, there isn't enough time.
Aside from the physiological aspects of a Max-OT workout, there are numerous mental aspects that will allow you to focus more energy to each and every set. A set of 4 to 6 repetitions will be much shorter than one that is 10 or 12. This means that you need to concentrate for a much shorter time. Less time means that the amount of mental focus and intensity you can create and maintain for each set will be much greater. Believe it or not your level of motivation plays a huge part in how much force (weight you can lift) you can produce. Being able to create this mind set is critical to being able to accelerate your results from Max-OT. Once you realize that it is the heavy weight that stimulates muscle growth, you will continually search for new ways to increase you meant al focus and intensity so you can continually become bigger, stronger and leaner in a shorter amount of time. This is what Max-OT is all about.
Rest 2 to 3 Minutes Between Sets
The Max-OT program is about creating a maximal level of intensity and overload. This takes a lot out of you. Each set of the work out is physically demanding, and requires as a complete of a recovery as we can achieve This s call Short Term Recovery (STR). After every set, rest 2 to 3 minutes. During this time hundreds and thousands of physiological processes are taking place as the muscle recover. Research has shown that after about 3 minutes, approximately 99% of the muscle fibers and neurons involved have recovered as much as the are going to. For a complete recovery and for that last 1% to recover would take 48 hours, and 96 hours for the neurons to completely recover. This amount of recovery allows you to literally attack the weights with the utmost focus and intensity each and every set. Doing so when you are physically and mentally fatigued will not generate the same results.
Being fully recovered before each set is one of the most important aspects of training that people seem to want to overlook. Being fully recovered before each set allows you to achieve the maximal level of overload that you are capable of. As you will The Max-OT program does not make use of various fatigue or so called "Advanced" techniques such as super-sets, pre-exhaustion and so on. The it be made very clear now, that fatigue does not build muscle! Once you are fatigued, you can not generate a maximal overload. For many of you it will be hard to separate fatigue from overload with years of being bombarded with "Feeling the Burn". The burn is nothing more than an accumulation of lactic acid with in a muscle from carbohydrate metabolism. Years and years ago there was research that found there was a relationship between lactic acid and growth hormone and came to the conclusion that the more acid (Burn) more growth.
Train Each Muscle Group Once Every 5 to 7 days
This is termed Muscle Specific Recovery. Recovery is Everything- Recuperation is Everything! Muscle do not grow while you are in the gym pounding the weights, they grow while they are recovering outside of the gym. For this reason you should only be training each muscle group once a week. That means the time between identical workouts or muscle groups should be at least 5 to 7 days. After you train your chest, do not train your chest again for and entire week. If a muscle is not fully recovered that it can not generate maximum overload and your results will falter. More over, this type of recovery time creates the feeling of always wanting more. When you start spending 45 minutes in the gym, doing 7 sets and walking out the door before everyone else is done with their first exercise, you will feel a little guilty to say the least. But you will also feel like you could have done more. This is a GOOD feeling. Use that to fuel the next workout. Use that to reach a higher level of intensity.
1 Full Week Off After 8 to 10 Weeks
That's right an entire week from all training. Max-OT is an intense and brutal form of training, it places a higher than normal demand on your body. YOu will need this time to fully recuperate from the damage that you have done. This time should be focused on your nutrition. The proper building material is needed to allow the the growth process to actually take place. The quality and amount of food you eat needs to improved. It is as important, if not more important than the training itself. This week off is the key element of the Max-OT program, with out it, you will be short changing your results.
It is important to try to avoid any strenuous aerobic or anaerobic training during this week off. Your primary focus is recovering. Although it doesn't take much on your part to recover, it can be challenging for some to do virtually nothing for a week due to a fear of turning to a fat slob after all your hard work. Don't fall into this train of thought, it simply isn't true and it isn't going to happen. Feed yourself well and allow all of your hard work to shine through. This is a pretty good overview of the Max-OT training program. It should set you on the right path. In the members area I go into more detail on the finer aspects and techniques that separate Max-OT from the crowd and that will accelerate your results to a blistering speed!
To find more information about Max-OT visit AST Sports Science - Max-OT Introduction
5x5 Training Rotuine
HIT It Hard!