Advice on Which Program to Run

Hello everyone. Its been a while since i last posted and im seeking some advice/opinion on which program to run. Quick update on myself: recovered/recovering from an eating disorder that took a pretty bad toll on my health. Through professional help ive been able to imrpove my relationship with food and myself. Ive gained back a healthy 20 lbs and am feeling strong again.

Id really like to get my strength fully back and add some quality mass to my frame. My body is ready. Ive been reading some forum threads and ive been drawn to some programs mentioned like super squats,dan johns mass made simple, and stuart mcroberts brawn. Im drawn to routines based on compound lifts for 2-3 days a week.

I would like to know your personal experience with any of these and which ones you felt were most successful for strength. Any pros or cons with each? Which would you recommend for someone working full time with 3 kids who can put in an hour a time at the gym 3 days a week. Thank you for the help.

Super Squats is fantastic. The book is very valuable.

Many of the programs in Brawn use the principles of Super Squats.

Mass Made Simple is a great book. @dagill2 can speak to it’s effectiveness.

You aren’t limited here. Run all of them. SS and MMS are 6 week programs. You have time.


Do you own the books you reference? I own Brawn and MMS. I ran a SS inspired programme during lock down.

MMS is the book I wanted Brawn to be. Not that Brawn is not a great book. But MMS is a dictatorial book. It takes its time to explain the reasons behind each dictate . And is full of learning. But coach Dan lays the plan out on the table and all you have to do is “as you are told”.
Brawn is much more about the concepts of how to lay out your own training for the rest of forever. The reps, sets and how frequently to work out are left largely up to you. This is great if you have the time and energy to do so. And the experience to understand some of the concepts. effecting the decision. But personally it was not until I ran my 20 rep squat programme I really understood recovery. And the impact of not getting enough food. Or the need for a deload. I think Brawn might offer a touch too much freedom to a rank beginner.

I do not own SS the book. It is next on the list. But as a programme - even my poor substitute worked wonders.

Personally I would go towards MMS. If only so that you own the book. Then SS. After this I would say you’d the ideas in Brawn might make more sense and serve you better.
This is not to say that if you own a copy of Brawn it is not worth while. Only its a book for people with a few months of harder lifting under their belt.


Well done.

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Thank you carlbm and T3hPWnisher for the adivce, i appreciate it. I have the Brawn book and just finished reading it. It was definitely different to hear that training should be done less, every 4-5 days as oppossed to the more mainstream every other day. Ive seen some things online regarding MMS and SS that are a little different then in Brawn. Specifically workout frequency and exercise selection (meaning more or less compound movments). Are details like this just splitting hairs or does one approach produce better results than the other? When i say better i mean in terms of gains in strength/recovery/and longterm usage. Thanks.

It just means there are many roads to Rome. I’d recommend trying different approaches sequentially.


Keep in mind the target audience of Brawn: scrawny hardgainers who have trained for YEARS without results using high volume, high frequency training methods.

Such trainees have built up a MASSIVE and broad base of physical qualities. Laser focused infrequent training like Brawn capitalizes on that and effectively “unlocks” all that work. You have to EARN That minimalism. Absent that starting point, it’s just a small amount of work.

Again: all good books, all good programs. You make a mistake if you try to pick only ONE because it’s “the best”. Run them ALL.


Firstly please don’t let my comments put you off Brawn. Brawn serves a different purposes to MMS & SS. Brawn is 1 book to use for the rest of your life. It discusses intensification periods, deloads and managing your lifting career over the course of years.
SS and MMS are “just” 6 week long training blocks. They will teach you things. But in a much more focused range and practical sense.
And you are right the MMS &SS offer a different view on training frequency. But no one is saying you should run them 52 weeks a year.

The way I would fit these together is: Use the lessons in Brawn to construct a year long plan. Start with some of abbreviated work outs and infrequent training. And spend 10 weeks slowly increasing your intensity. Before launching into MMS.
Following this 16 week phase start again. But this time 10 week building into SS.
And then repeat.
Or the last 6 week period you write your self with the knowledge of running the other two. Or any other high intensity high frequency training. 531 BtM and deep water both fit the bill. This would be a 16 months of solid training.

Thanks for the insight. Ive never looked at it that way of cycling between different programs. I was always under the assumption of sticking to one for an extended period of time. I have also had the mind sight of picking one program and just kind of slowly grinding it out over the long run and focusing on making small progressions in weight and reps.

I just purchased MMS and once i read through that ill get SS. I want to make sure i have an adequate understanding of all programs before i try to implement them. Thanks again


You’re welcome. It’s kinda the point of the forums. I come here to learn. And if I can impart the tiny ammounts of knowledge I have.

If you’re getting gonna be about for a while start a log. It’s a great way to track your progress and ask questions.

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Can i recommend starting a log in here? Especially if you do MMS, because i want to see someone else do it.