Sunday, August 15, 2010

Principles are more important than the routine.

I get a lot of questions about which Max-OT routine is best to follow. The answer is there really isn't one Max-OT arrangement that is better than any other. The important thing is that each routine sticks with the important Max-OT principles:

*Train each body one time per week.

*Stick with basic free weight compound exercises.

*Train in a 4-6 rep range.

*6-7 total sets for larger body parts (chest, back, legs)

*4-5 total sets for smaller body parts (biceps, triceps)

*Train to achieve overload NOT muscle fatigue.

Remember, there are a number of different Max-OT routines you can follow and all can be effective. Let me reiterate the adherence to the Max-OT principles is more important than the actual arrangement you follow.

Believe. Achieve.


  1. Respect,

    you are the best natural bodybuilder in the world of all time.

    I am writing from Europe.

    I have a couple questions.

    On the web site ( it writes:

    3.Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.

    Here you write differently.

    What is better?

    And please answer to me on one more question!

    For shoulder, is it better to work more total sets as for larger body parts, or less total sets as for smaller body parts?

    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    You are my motivation!


  2. I love the principles of Max-OT. Everything works for me. I know you have told people time and again to only train legs one day per week. I've tried to be patient and just am not getting the results I want in my glutes. I do high intensity cardio 4-5 times per week as well. I'm tempted to go outside the this particular principle and train legs twice a week, but I want to know if you have suggestions? My glutes just aren't improving!

  3. Hailey,

    If by improving you mean tighter looking then that will be a product of diet and cardio not of your weight training.

    I would avoid the temptation to train legs more frequently. Train them once per week with the Max-OT principles to keep building muscle.

    Really focus in on diet and cardio to get the area tighter.

    I see you do Max-OT cardio 4-5 times a week. You could try 5-6.

    I don't believe the issue is with the weight training component as it usually isn't.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Zvonimir -

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I like to stick with 6-7 total sets for bigger body parts and 4-5 for smaller.

    Shoulders I usually give 6-7 total sets split between 3 exercises.

  5. Hi Jeff I have a question about nutrition during the week off. I am moderately active and along with working out Max-OT I do muay thai. When I take a week off i also take a rest from muay thai, should i keep my calories the exact same? or is it a good idea to eat a few less carbs during the week off?
    You also mention that doing Max-OT cardio 2-3 times a week while bulking is fine, would it be okay to do another 2-3 sessions of low intensity cardio (light sparring for muay thai) and still get good results bulking?

  6. Hi Jeff,

    I've been training the MAX-OT way and I'm lifting heavier weights than most at the gym. The only problem I've encountered is that the heavier the weights, the greater the stress on my joints and they ache shortly after (even during) my workout. My muscles can take the heavy weights but my joints cannot, what do you suggest I do? I want to lift heavier weights but I'm afraid my joints might give and therefore result to an injury.

  7. On the week off of training you want to focus on consistent protein intake. You will naturally consume fewer carbs because you will not have your pre and post workout meals/drinks.

    It is fine to do light cardio in the off training week if that is something you enjoy doing.

  8. If you are increaseing weights by the smallest increments over time, usually your joints are getting stronger at a proportionate rate as your muscles and can accomodate the gradual weight increases over time.

    If joints are hurting then back off a little bit and make sure you are getting all your reps with good control before you increase.

  9. Hi Jeff,

    Is there something compromising about placing a rest day in the middle of the five-day Max OT program (i.e. 3 days of training, 1 day of rest, 2 days of training, 1 day of rest) instead of scheduling the rest days next to each other (i.e. 5 days of training, 2 days of rest)?

  10. Aaron,

    No, I don't think that would make a huge difference. My preferance has always been 2 days off in a row but again, I think that is more of a personal preferance than anything related to results.