Bulking, 'Mass Made Simple' Training

Does anyone have any opinions on this article?

Mass Made Simple - Bigger Stronger Leaner - COMMUNITY - T NATION

I have read that you shouldn’t change up 5/3/1. This article suggests two workouts a week, with a third bonus workout to do assistance work. Complexes to warm up, two big lifts a day- bench, squat or deadlift overhead press, and then finishing up with a hi rep squat program. Heavy on one day, and low weight with high reps the other day.

I am trying to decide if doing the 5/3/1 triumvirate would be more beneficial than a program like the one suggested in this article. Would adding complexes and a hi rep squat program take away from the benefits of 5/3/1?

I am currently 5’7 and 160 pounds. I am looking to gain as much mass as possible.

they are both good programs in their own way, but its not gunna be the program that puts the mass on you, its gunna be your nutrition and how many calories you consume. so choose the program that you think works best for you and get in the gym.

[quote]justinpalmz wrote:
Does anyone have any opinions on this article?

Mass Made Simple - T Nation Content - COMMUNITY - T NATION [/quote]
My opinion is that Dan John is brilliant and has decades of experience in the strength game. His advice, almost regardless of topic, is very much worth considering.

Even realizing that 5/3/1 is just a set of principles in the first place and not a strict “program” or “routine”, this is usually correct. There should be a good reason for every “change” to the plan.

The third session isn’t necessarily for “assistance work.” Think of it more as “detail work.” To repeat the article:
"I’d also strongly suggest one additional day a week. On this day, warm up and do five sets of three with any of the standard complexes striving to add weight each set.

Then, do any of the things you feel you missed, curls or whatever. Get in a good workout and go home. No, I’m not going to spell it out for you. If you choose not to do it, that is fine, too."

I usually recommend using the third session for more legs (non-squat exercises) and isolation work for back, shoulders, and arms.

That’s the MMS plan in a nutshell. Interesting point: The argument could be made that it’s not all that far from Wendler’s basic recipe of addressing “Strength, Mobility, and Conditioning.”

Best way to decide:

  1. Follow MMS to the letter for 6-8 weeks.
  2. Follow 5/3/1 Triumverate or Boring But Big or whatever template for 8-16 weeks.
  3. ???
  4. Profit.

If it distracted that much, it wouldn’t have been designed that way. There’s going to be an adaptation period, sure, where your body has to try to survive it all, but that’s where the copious amounts of food before and after lifting come into play.

What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

Either way will work. The template in this program is a good one, and it’s been proven to work. If you want to give it a go, do it.

The only thing I would caution you on is to make sure you’re getting in your back work. The 3rd day would be a good time to do that. Say 3-5 sets of a rowing variation, and then hit a set of chins between your bench and press sets on the first 2 days.

its a quality program, give it a try

Thanks a bunch for all the responses. I really appreciate it.

What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?[/quote]

I understand the important role nutrition plays here. I used to log my food for months and months, until eventually i realized i pretty much eat the same things everyday. I feel like i have gotten good at eyeing things out and making adjustments. Obviously right now I am eating more than i would during a maintenance period.


1st meal-3 whole eggs,4 -6 egg whites, two servings plain oatmeal. 1/4 cup unsweatend applesauce. Every once in a while I will change it up with whole wheat toast and 1 serving oatmeal.

2nd meal- If i am extremely busy I eat a clif builders bar. I feel like this is probably the worst part of my diet. But I figure on a bulk it wouldnt hurt too much. An apple and some nuts

3rd meal- Either grilled chicken over a big salad. Or a whole grain whole wheat wrap, chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, and avacado.

4th meal- usually my pre workout meal. a banana, more nuts. If im home maybe some peanut butter. Or A clif bar if I didnt have one in my 2nd meal.

I drink Anaconda, MAG-10 and Surge Workout Fuel mixture during training.

5th meal- post workout. Metabolic Drive shake. chicken steak or fish, sometimes a potato or sweet potato, always vegetables like brocoli, green beans, salad etc…

6th meal- greek yogurt, blue berries. or cottage cheese and peanut butter

I also drink a ton of milk. orange juice with my first meal (real orange juice).

That is just a basic idea of what a normal day looks like. I train MMA once a week (backing off for the bulk ) and on that day i make sure to eat more carbs from potatoes oatmeal and fruit. I sometimes switch the order of the meals around.

Not sure if you wanted to critique my diet, or just make sure I know how important eating right is. Feel free to give me suggestions though, always looking for input.