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    Post Max-OT for Dummies

    This is a 'sneak preview' I guess. I'm doing a big article line for Bodybuilding.com, a "for Dummies" guide to about 12 different types of training. HST for Dummies is already up on here and has been for a while, and Max-OT is probably the next most (or more) popular routine, so I'm just going to post this one as well. Please do not post saying "you just took all of this out of the Max-OT handbook!". Of course I did, this is a "for Dummies" guide, and it's not my training method/idea. Enjoy.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Max-OT for Dummies

    Max-OT (Maximum - Overload Training) is one of the most popular routines out there, and it can give great gains in strength and size. This article will put in simple and short terms what exactly Max-OT is, what the training looks like, and what to expect from it. I've seen both beginners and experienced lifters gain well on Max-OT splits, so don't doubt it.

    Who Should Use Max-OT?

    Anybody who is looking for a nice blend of strength and size, while keeping gym time short should do Max-OT. Max-OT also works very well for beginning lifters, but is not specific to just beginners, there are plenty of very big and very strong fellows that use the Max-OT way of training. Max-OT is also great if you are a person who complains that they can't workout because they "have no time." Max-OT would work perfect for you, because the workouts only last 30-40 minutes. Regardless, you still shouldn't have the mind-set that you have "no time" to workout, anyone can make time if they are dedicated enough.


    The Principles of Max-OT

    We'll start by listing the principles of Max-OT, as directly stated from the Max-OT Handbook :

    1. Each workout should last 30-40 minutes.
    2. Train only 1-2 muscle groups per workout.
    3. Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.
    4. Do 4 to 6 reps per set.
    5. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
    6. Train each muscle group once every 5-7 days.
    7. Take a 1 week break from training every 8 to 10 weeks.


    The steps above are quite simple. The theory behind Max-OT is that you must constantly overload the muscle, and it will keep growing. You will be using the rep range of 4-6, and will be training to positive failure each set. Your goal each week is to keep increasing the weight, while maintaining the same intensity and form. The workouts are short and to the point, but will blast your muscles into new growth. As long as you follow each of the principles, you will be training the Max-OT way correctly, and will reap the benefits of it. To give you a little further understanding, I'll break it down a little bit more.

    1. Each workout should last 30-40 minutes.

    Your goal for each workout is to get into the gym, blast your muscles with overloading weights, and get out. We all know that muscle isn't actually built in the gym, it's built during recovery out of the gym, so it's time to put that idea into use. Each workout should be short and sweet, but you need to put forth 100% for that 30-40 minutes, no wimping out because you're "tired".

    2. Train only 1-2 muscle groups per workout.

    This step goes hand-in-hand with step one. You don't want to spend 2 hours in the gym blasting every body part, you want to keep the workouts short and intense. Only train1-2 muscle groups per workout, and following the other steps, your workout will be simple and effective.

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

    Again, we are going for overload here, not volume. You want to blast your muscles with a few sets, going to complete concentric failure. Keeping the volume low and intense will ensure optimum release of growth factors, so you're not going for fatigue here.

    4. Do 4 to 6 reps per set.

    This is one of the main things that defines Max-OT. You'll be using 4-6 reps on almost all exercises, there are a few that are trained using higher reps, but for the most part it's all 4-6. You should hit failure during this range. The weight should be heavy enough to stay under 6 reps if you go to failure, but not heavy where you will only be able to do 1-3 reps.

    5. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

    With the intensity level you're training at, you're going to need the 2-3 minutes of rest in between each set. You need to let your muscles rest and energize them fully for the next set in which you will blast them to failure again.

    6. Train each muscle group once every 5-7 days.

    After each session, your muscles are going to be totally damaged. You need to give them plenty of time to rest and grow back bigger and stronger, so that next time you workout you won't damage them again. Well the next workout you have, you'll be increasing the weights and will damage them again. Your muscles are going to need at least 5-7 days of rest after each intense workout.

    7. Take a 1 week break from training every 8 to 10 weeks.

    This should be done with every training program, it is not specific to just Max-OT. As you keep lifting hard, eventually your body isn't going to be able to handle the constant training, and you'll start to over train, which actually can make you lose muscle. Now losing muscle is the last thing you want, so you need to give your muscles a break. After 8 to 10 weeks of solid training, take a week of from lifting, and try to enjoy it (although some of you I know will hate not lifting for a week). After that week of rest, you'll be able to start lifting heavy again and make some fresh gains.

    How to Warm Up for Max-OT Sets

    Warming up the Max-OT way is the most efficient way to prepare yourself for a brutally heavy set. Many people warm up wrong, and this affects their sets, even if they may not notice it. When warming up, most people spend too many sets with too much weight. This fatigues the muscle too early, and it will not be able to work to it's maximum capacity. You also are asking for injury when you start a warm up with a heavy weight, it's not a warm up then. When you warm up, you should just simply warm up. A warm up is meant to increase blood flow to that muscle, and prepare it for the heavy weights that you'll be using. You should not be tired or feel fatigued at all from any of your warm up sets. Below is an example of how to warm up for a bench press of 285lbs for 4-6 reps :

    135 x 12 (warm up)
    135 x 10 (warm up)
    185 x 6 (warm up)
    225 x 3 (weight acclimation)
    255 x 1 (weight acclimation)
    285 x 4-6 (work sets)


    Max-OT Approved Exercises

    With Max-OT training, you're going to be overloading your muscles as much as possible. You don't do this with isolation movements, you do it with compound movements. Compound movements will allow you to use the heaviest weight possible. Below are lists of approved Max-OT exercises. If an exercise is not on the list, then it probably doesn't overload the muscle as much as any of the other exercises on the list.

    Approved Legs Exercises

    Squat
    Leg Press
    Lunges
    Stiff Leg Deadlift
    Leg Curl
    Leg Extension


    Approved Chest Exercises

    Barbell Bench Press
    Barbell Incline Bench Press
    Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
    Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    Decline Barbell Bench Press
    Dips


    Approved Biceps Exercises

    Straight Bar Curls
    EZ Bar Curls
    Alternate Dumbbell Curls
    Cable Curls


    Approved Upper Back Exercises

    Pull-ups
    Pull Downs to the Front
    Close-Grip V Bar Pull Downs
    Seated Cable Row
    Barbell Row
    T-Bar Row
    One Arm Dumbbell Row


    Approved Lower Back Exercises

    Deadlift
    Good Morning
    Weighted Hyper-extension


    Approved Triceps Exercises

    Skull Crushers
    Cable Press Downs
    Close Grip Bench Press
    Seated Triceps Extension
    Behind the Back Cable Press Down
    Behind the Back Dumbbell Press Down


    Approved Deltoid Exercises

    Military Press
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    Dumbbell Side Laterals
    Dumbbell Bent Over Laterals
    Dumbbell Front Raise


    Approved Traps Exercises

    Barbell Upright Rows
    Barbell Shrugs


    Approved Calf Exercises

    Standing Calf Raise
    Seated Calf Raise
    45 Degree Calf Press
    Hack Machine Calf Raise


    Approved Forearms Exercises

    Wrist Curls
    Reverse Wrist Curls
    Standing Dumbbell Wrist Curls


    Approved Abdominal Exercises

    Lying Leg Raise
    Vertical Knee Raise
    Crunch
    Cable Crunch
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    What Does a Max-OT Split Look Like?

    So now you know the principles of the program, how to properly warm up, and what exercises to be used. Now it's time to take a look at what the actual training looks like, and it's nothing complicated. It's fully customizable for you to set up based on your schedule. Just make sure that you hit every body part, and that you abide to the 7 principles. In case you still aren't sure on what you should be doing, I'll lay out a few splits from the Max-OT Handbook.


    Routine A


    Monday - Legs and Calves

    Squat - 3x4-6
    45 Degree Leg Press - 2x4-6
    Stiff Leg Deadlift - 2x6

    Standing Calf Raise - 3x6-8


    Tuesday - Chest and Forearms

    Incline Bench Press - 3x4-6
    Barbell Bench Press - 3x4-6
    Decline Bench Press - 1x4-6

    Barbell Wrist Curls - 3x8-10
    Reverse Wrist Curls - 3x6-8


    Wednesday - Back and Traps

    Bent Over Barbell Row - 2x4-6
    Close Grip V-Bar Pull Down - 2x4-6
    Pull-ups - 2x4-6
    Cable Row - 1x4-6

    Deadlift - 2x4-6
    Barbell Shrug - 1x4-6


    Thursday - Shoulders and Triceps

    Dumbbell Press - 3x4-6
    Military Press - 2x4-6
    Dumbbell Side Laterals - 2x4-6

    Lying Skull Crushers - 2x4-6
    Triceps Press Downs - 2x4-6
    Seated Overhead Triceps Extension - 1x4-6


    Friday - Biceps and Abs

    Straight Bar Curl - 2x4-6
    Standing Dumbbell Curl - 2x4-6
    EZ Bar Curl - 1x4-6

    Leg Raise (Weighted) - 2x12-15
    Cable Crunch - 2x8-10


    Routine B (Jeff Willet's Max-OT Split)


    Monday - Chest and Triceps

    Flat Barbell Bench Press - 2x4-6
    Incline Barbell Bench Press - 2x4-6
    Incline Dumbbell Press - 1x4-6

    1 Arm Overhead Dumbbell Press 1x4-6
    Dumbbell Kickback - 1x4-6
    Cable Press Down - 1x4-6
    Lying Skull Crusher - 1x4-6


    Tuesday - Legs

    Leg Extension (just for warm up) - 2x10
    Squat - 3x4-6
    Leg Press - 2x4-6
    Lunges - 2x4-6
    Stiff Leg Deadlifts - 2x4-6


    Wednesday - Back and Biceps

    Pull-ups - *x50 (as many sets as it takes to get to 50 reps)
    Barbell Row - 1x4-6
    Pull Downs - 1x4-6
    Low Pulley Row (V Bar) - 1x4-6
    Low Pulley Row (straight bar) - 1x4-6

    Alternating Dumbbell Curl - 1x4-6
    Straight Bar Curl - 1x4-6


    Thursday - Shoulders, Traps, and Neck

    Military Press - 2x4-6
    Dumbbell Side Laterals - 2x4-6
    Dumbbell Bent Laterals - 2x4-6
    Shrugs - 2x4-6
    Low Pulley Row - 2x4-6

    Neck Flexion - 2x6-8
    Neck Side Flexion - 2x6-8
    Neck Extension - 2x6-8


    Friday - Calves, Abs, and Forearms

    Seated Calf Raise - 2x4-6
    Standing Calf Raise - 2x4-6
    45 Degree Calf Press - 2x4-6

    Leg Raise - 2x20
    Crunch - 2x20
    Side Crunch - 2x20

    Wrist Curl - 2x4-6
    Reverse Wrist Curl - 2x4-6


    Routine C


    Monday - Legs and Calves

    Squat - 3x4-6
    Leg Press - 2x4-6
    Stiff Leg Deadlift - 2x6

    Standing Calf Raise - 2x6-8
    45 Degree Calf Press - 2x6-8


    Tuesday - Arms and Abs

    Straight Bar Curl - 2x4-6
    Alternate Dumbbell Curl - 2x4-6
    Cable Curl - 1x6

    Lying Skull Crushers - 2x4-6
    Cable Press Down - 2x6
    Dumbbell Kick-back - 1x6

    Wrist Curl - 2x6-8
    Dumbbell Wrist Curl - 1x6-8

    Leg Raise - 2x12-15
    Crunch - 2x8-10
    Cable Crunch - 1x8-10


    Wednesday - Shoulders and Traps

    Military Press - 3x4-6
    Dumbbell Press - 2x4-6
    Dumbbell Side Laterals - 2x6-8

    Barbell Shrugs - 2x4-6
    Upright Rows - 2x4-6


    Thursday - Back

    Cable Pull Downs - 3x4-6
    Seated Cable Row - 3x4-6
    Barbell Bent Row - 2x4-6

    Good Morning - 2x4-6
    Hyper-extension (Weighted) - 2x4-6


    Friday - Chest

    Barbell Bench Press - 3x4-6
    Barbell Incline Bench Press - 3x4-6
    Weighted Dips - 2x4-6

    The Pros Use Max-OT

    Just to prove that Max-OT isn't just for beginners, here are two bodybuilders and Max-OT advocates, Skip Lacour and Jeff Willet.

     

    Wrap Up

    Max-OT is a tough, solid training program that will be useful whether you're bulking or cutting. Stick to the training, eat right, ensure a good amount of sleep, and Max-OT will take you places that you've never been before.
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    Bump.
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    so basically i'm training the chest group, for example, only once a week? is that enough? especially for abs?
    Last edited by roguephoenix; 06-17-2005 at 05:30 PM.
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    Registered User Hoffman's Avatar
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    Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.


    So its not 6 sets per exersise? lol boy did i screw up i was doing 4-6 reps for 6 sets

    so for squats i only should do about 4 sets ? then leg press 3 and leg extion 2?
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    The Elite mickey mouse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hoffman
    Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.


    So its not 6 sets per exersise? lol boy did i screw up i was doing 4-6 reps for 6 sets

    so for squats i only should do about 4 sets ? then leg press 3 and leg extion 2?

    the stuff is so well explained on the site i don't see how you could screw up
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    The dummies guide is a great idea

    The dummies guide is a great idea

    I think it will be clearer if the warm up and weight acclimation parts are added in to the routine.
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    Originally Posted by Hoffman
    ..So its not 6 sets per exersise? lol boy did i screw up i was doing 4-6 reps for 6 sets...
    I know a friend who does this, he just does 6 sets of usually 5 reps. For example on a bicep training day, he'll do DB curls & hammer curls for 6 sets of 5 reps. It seems to me that he's overtraining, but what do you guys think?
    MAN Clout Log
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=916879
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    Registered User Hoffman's Avatar
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    all i know i did that with legs 4 days ago
    and they are still soar as heck lol
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    Sticky please!
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    Nice, what are the other for dummies articles are you doing penny?
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    Originally Posted by ravadongon
    Nice, what are the other for dummies articles are you doing penny?
    Hmm I'll try to remember off the top of my head...

    -Max-OT
    -HST
    -GVT
    -TP-PT
    -HIT
    -DFHT
    -Hardgainer (Abbreviated) Training
    -WSB
    -Russian Training
    -Bulgarian Training
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    Bump.
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    Heh, this sure isn't getting as much publicity as HST for Dummies.

    You can ask any questions you have about the program, I'll try to answer them, and I'm sure the Max-OT'ers on here would be happy to help.
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    1st question...do you move up in weight for different sets. for example, say i do 3 sets of flat bench starting @ 225 for 5 reps. Do my next sets use 225 or more?
    2nd question...for max-OT cardio, what time of day is best for this. I've heard right when you wake up or right after you lift.

    thanks
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    Originally Posted by Bcrichsolo
    1st question...do you move up in weight for different sets. for example, say i do 3 sets of flat bench starting @ 225 for 5 reps. Do my next sets use 225 or more?
    2nd question...for max-OT cardio, what time of day is best for this. I've heard right when you wake up or right after you lift.

    thanks
    1) If you can increase the weight, do it. You're training to failure.

    2) I'm not too sure, but don't do fasted cardio (in the morning) unless it's low intensity.
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    Exclamation

    Ahh so *this* is what I've been doing! I haven't known the name of the workout program I've been on for the past few weeks, but now I do.

    Since I started (early April), I've experience large increases in strength but not in size. Just my two cents.

    -Mike
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    Originally Posted by hepennypacker52
    2) I'm not too sure, but don't do fasted cardio (in the morning) unless it's low intensity.

    why are you only supposed to do low intensity cardio on an empty stomach - what are negatives of doing high intensity on an empty stomach?
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    Originally Posted by gonzo719
    what are negatives of doing high intensity on an empty stomach?
    Tons of muscle loss.
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    Bump.
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    according to the 165 pg max ot pfp file you are supposed to do cardio 8 hours before or after your lifting no closer
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    He:

    Good article. I thought I would add a couple of thoughts to this based on my experience with Max-OT, I have been using it for 8 months.

    (1) Add Spider Curls to the Biceps area. Hands down, the best exercise for stimulating bicep development, IMHO.
    (2) Exercises should be changed out every 4-6 weeks
    (3) This program should not be used for beginners. I know the site says it should, but I would never have my clients who are just starting out use this. The idea behind doing compound exercises is exactly what beginners need. However, going that heavy when you are just startig out is a recipe for disaster.
    (4) Leg press machine calf raise. Good for folks like myself who have gyms with no seated or standing machines. I know, don't ask

    Looking forward to learning more about some of these routines. I am switching things up and starting WS4SB tonight
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    bump
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    Originally Posted by geoffsherman
    He:
    (2) Exercises should be changed out every 4-6 weeks
    I am switching things up and starting WS4SB tonight

    Yea i think you should definitely add that people should switch up exercises every 4 weeks.

    Are you doing a log for your WS4SB program?
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    good thread



    dont forget the: "Want Results Yesterday" attitude



    and the week off is the hardest part due to the gains being so good.
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    Registered User chopsky's Avatar
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    I see that HST advocates the whole 'frequency' training bit. i.e. training each muscle group 3 times a week instead of once. Max-OT however I see only trains each group once a week. How does one argue that one is more beneficial than the other?

    Thanks
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    Why no chin-ups for biceps?
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    ttt
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    what would happen if i change my routine to 6-8 reps instead of 4-6? i really haven't seen development in my chest area when doing max-ot. would switching up these reps ellicit more growth?
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    For Max-OT to make size gains within the 4-6 rep range area, you have to be advanced, otherwise you'd be making mostly strength gains. So for beginner's-intermediates, it's a good strength routine to get you more dense.
    Screw my logs, I won't post one up until I know I'll be back in the game for sure!
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