Disclaimer :- All I’m trying to do with this post is make some sense of the stuff I have read from either the program or his recommendations, which do not go hand in hand with other scientific and practical recommendations by either his peers, also people I learn from, or in some cases even himself.
Who I am.
Without making this too long, certified in Personal & Home training from multiple different organizations, Sports Nutritionist, and the youngest NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist in my country. More importantly a passionate student of all science related to training and nutrition, I have been reading and practicing circa 2008, and a quite seriously since 2011. Some of the people and the works from whom I have learnt a lot that I haven’t mentioned below are Tom Venuto, Tudor Bompa, Vladimir Zsatiorsky & Verkoschansky amongst many others, whose work I use to analyze the program and other recommendations.
Who Dr. Brad Schoenfeld is.
I assume you already know which is why you are here reading this review.
My past history and experiences with Dr. Brad Schoenfeld’s work.
I have had a very tough time understanding a very few people’s work in the industry, one of which is Dr. Schoenfeld. I have no problems understanding most of the works of people like Dr. Jacob Wilson, Dr. Layne Norton, Dr. Mike Zourdos, Alan Aragon(the Science geeks and nerds, who are absolute complete bosses in their fields and from whom I can most certainly learn something or the other new, along with proper scientific evidence and data) and also John Meadows & Shelby Starnes (I learn from what they share the most, which is their experiences and intuition, and mostly have that feeling of that light bulb switching on at the back of one’s head, while learning from their experiences, recommendations and work.)
The reason I mention these names is because I have heard and learnt about Dr. Schoenfeld through all of these people. The one other person I’ve heard on radio shows associated with him is Ben Pakulski, someone else’s recommendations that, imho, have made very little to no sense to me, in 90% of his work on attempting to educate others into a bodybuilding lifestyle. This person probably has a PhD in pseudo-science & is a totally different topic worthy of having it’s own space for dissection.
How I came across Dr. Schoenfeld’s Max Muscle Plan.
I was searching for resources to understand the different forms of periodization and program design, especially w.r.t how they handle fatigue and recovery. Also how they can be applied in both strength training and bodybuilding oriented goals. I happened upon Dr. Schoenfeld’s program which was very highly rated on Amazon. I know that it is not a book on periodization, but any proper and successful training program has to have some sort of periodization built into it, which is what I wanted to understand.
- Explains what is hypertrophy and what causes it. Explains lightly what are satellite cells(I assume he has to in order to ‘sell’ the crux of the program viz. ‘Mitogens’. This will be referenced in detail later.) Explains the most important muscle building hormones and their importance and functioning.
- Explains training variables like Intensity, Volume, Tempo, Rest Intervals.
- Good explanation and recommended use of Unstable surfaces in training.