Showing posts from October, 2007

Analysis of MAX-OT

I've tried every program out there on myself and on my clients. People search for the perfect program, one that will continuously give them results in size and strength. There is a constant search for this holy grail of bodybuilding.

I've done 15 years of training, and I've realized this: all things work to some degree, but all good things must come to an end. You can choose a program, and it will give you results, but only for a short while. Every program has its pros and cons.

Max-OT is no different. The parameters are really simple:

6-9 sets per bodypart
4-6 reps
2-3 minutes rest between sets
no more than 30-40 minutes per workout
train each bodypart once 5-7 days

I like this program, because it is nice and simple, but it produces results. I find this program is great for clients who cannot figure out the concept of periodization. This program is also great for people who fast-twitch dominant.

The con, of course, is that if you're slow-twitch dominant, then this program can&…


I picked this up from a Charles Poliquin article in Muscle Media (July 1996), and it's a great method for boosting your strength on certain exercises and for blasting past any sticking points you may have within a movement itself (for example, the midpoint of a biceps curl).

Isometronics is practical for only certain kinds of movements, namely pressing movements (bench press, incline, military, close grip, etc.) and curling movements (barbell curls). This means only your chest, delts, triceps, and biceps can benefit from isometronics. Too bad, because the increases in strength using this method are truly phenomenal.

What you need is a power rack, an Olympic-size barbell, some Olympic plates, and two pairs of rack pins (meaning 4 pins altogether). Using the bench press as an example, here's how it works:

1) Divide the movement's range into three equal parts. You will perform partial reps in each portion of the bench press inside the power rack, using the two sets of pins to ma…

Book Recommendation: Loaded Guns

So I just got back from training a client at Lake Merced in San Francisco, and lo and behold, we ran into a crap load of other trainers with their clientele. Never ran into other trainers there before, but for some reason today, it's like every trainer in the city decided to do outdoor training at Lake Merced AND occupy the pull-up bars.

It's good though, because people should learn how to do real pull-ups and not those exercise machines of denial and self-delusion that assist you in doing pull-ups.

If you can whip out 15 full range pull-ups (not chin-ups, which are underhanded) without jerking your body up, then you should consider harder pull-up variations. There are 12 variations you can use to make things more interesting. If you train in these variations, then you're heading into more elite athleticism, one that is closer to gymnastics. And we know how strong, explosive and built gymnasts are.

One variation that is extremely difficult is the pull-up with scapula retr…

Board Games Your Kids Can Play to Help Them in Life

Here's another topic off the usual strength and dieting: the best board games to teach your kids to develop life coping skills. I love board games, and I'm particularly fond of social games like Taboo, Pictionary and Scruples. But some games really develop your mind and strategic thinking. If you want your child to grow up and mentally compete on a show like Survivor, then consider introducing him or her to these games:

1) Monopoly - Not only does the child learn to handle finances, but s/he can learn the fine art of negotiation. Nothing makes you more pragmatic and a realist than managing your money and real estate.

2) Risk - Everybody should think big and have big dreams. A game on world domination can bring out that inner megalomaniac. With Risk, you learn the Art of War and leverage your position. You don't have to be in the military or condone war to think stragically in the game of life. Personally, I like the sequel, Castle Risk, far better than the original. Unfort…