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Max Muscle Bible: Shifting on Training Paradigms

Hey Christian, I recently purchased your book and was really excited because I have always been a HUGE fan of you and Paul Carter, Anyways, I was slightly disappointed to see that most of the programs were once a week body part splits with the exception of Hybrid Program and your strength pump program which I am currently on (Its 20 sets per muscle group and 2 groups per training session which the sessions that train all the push muscles such as squats, presses and bench presses take almost an hour and a half at time since were doing 16 sets with 80-85% of 1rm. Am I doing something wrong? I worry that this is too much volume but I’m trusting you and plodding on.

My last question is, it seems to me that a lot of your concepts in this book differ from what you have been teaching lately which is higher frequency training for bodybuilders, whether enhanced or not, and lower volume, unless they need more volume then do the high volume workout for natural trainees, How come this is counter intuitive to the book?

Sorry for the long post I was just super excited for this book and was really hoping it would teach me how to design a program that would hit each muscle twice a week. I want to switch to your Simple Guaranteed program but since I paid 40$ for the book I feel like a waste for not at least continuing to give at least one program a go!

Thanks for everything man!

You are 100% correct that I believe in frequency first and foremost. It probably comes from my background as an olympic lifter and also my first 10-12 years in the business where I was solely working with athletes and used mostly whole body workouts 3x a week focusing on a different type of contraction at every workout. I’m actually working on a book on my system of training athletes.

However I also use more traditioonal bodybuilding approaches from time to time, mostly when working with “pure” bodybuilders. I will confess that this is not my favorite approach and also that the programs in the book (those that I designed) were designed with the crowd we were targeting for the book in mind and I wanted to be in line with what Paul was doing. In retrospect I would not have done it this way. That having been said, the actual info in the book is still solid.


Heres something I noticed. Some of the best gains I ever made in a month were the first 4 weeks of high frequency bodybuilding. The concentric day, isometric day, eccentric day and pre-exhaust day. I still don’t understand why… ? I believe in 4 days a week traininf especially for recovery but you might be onto something with that style.

Okay Christian so which of the programs would you recommend I use from you book based on my pic and progress and goal? 5’11” 240lb geared on low doses off and on. I preferred muscles trained twice a week. Would you say one of the programs in the books or the Simple Gaurenteed Mass you have on your site or would you recommend the quadrology of programs in your “best damn series?d

That is pretty much liike the way I train athletes, but we do 3 days (eccentric, isometric, concentric) because they also must do track work. And the results are literally shocking.

Im curious howd you’d do an accumulation, intensification and a realization phase with an eccentric and isometric day. How do you measure progress here?

It depends… when working with athletes, unless they are young or underdevelopped I don’t really have pure hypertrophy work.

But I do have a progression but based on the methods…

For example:

A) Eccentric
Slow eccentrics (5-6 sec) for 6-8 reps
Superslow eccentrics (7-10 sec) for 4-5 reps
Extreme eccentric (20-30 sec) for 1-2 reps
Tempo contrast (6010/2010) for 6-8 reps (S/S/F/F/S/S/F/F/S/S)

B) Isometric
Isodynamic 1 (15-20sec pre-fatigue)
3 pauses eccentric (2-3 sec) 3-4 reps
2 pauses eccentric (3-4 sec) 4-5 reps
1 pause eccentric (5-8 sec) 5-6 reps
3 pauses concentric (2-3 sec) 3-4 reps
2 pauses concentric (3-4 sec) 4-5 reps
1 pause concentric (5-8 sec) 5-6 reps
1 pause ecc. + 1 pause conc. (2-4 sec) 4-5 reps
Yielding iso 3 x 30-60 sec
Loaded stretching 3 x 60 sec
Loaded stretching 2 x 90 sec
Loaded stretching 1 x 120 sec
Isodynamic 2 (max duration post-fatigue)
Isodynamic 3 (15 sec/3 reps/10 sec/3 reps/5 sec/3 reps)

C) ConcentricRegular lifting
3-4 x 6 à 8
3-4 x 6
3-4 x 7
3-4 x 8
Rest/Pause (starting at 4-6 or 6-8)
90-70 drop set
80-60 drop set
Mechanical drop set
1 & ¼ reps
Pure concentric (lifting from pins, full range) with same loading schemes as regular lifting
Partial pure concentric (same loading schemes)


A) Eccentric
Slow eccentrics (5-6 sec) for 2-3 reps
Superslow eccentrics (7-10 sec) for 1-2 reps
Extreme eccentric (12-15 sec) for 1 rep
100/80 with releasers clusters 5 reps
110/70 with weight releasers 1+3
120/80 with weight releasers 1+1
Pure eccentric using power rack 5-8.x 1
Eccentric contrast using power rack 3-4 x cluster with 100-110 and 65-70
Lifting with added bands (sets of 1-3 or 4-5 reps), slow eccentric

B) Isometric
3 pauses eccentric (2-3 sec) 1-2 reps
2 pauses eccentric (3-4 sec) 2-3 reps
1 pause eccentric (5-8 sec) 3-4 reps
3 pauses concentric (2-3 sec) 1-2 reps
2 pauses concentric (3-4 sec) 2-3 reps
1 pause concentric (5-8 sec) 3-4 reps
1 pause ecc. + 1 pause conc. (2-4 sec) 2-3 reps
Overcoming iso. 2 positions (3 x 4-6 sec/position)
Overcoming iso. Weak point (3-5 x 4-6 sec)
Functional isometrics 1 (pushing 2” and holding 4-6 sec)
Functional isometrics 2 (pushing against 2nd set of pins 4-6 sec)

C) Concentric
Regular lifting
4-5 x 1 to 3
3-4 x 3 to 5
5 x 1
4 x 2
3 x 3
Clusters 88-90%
Rest/Pause (start at 2-3 or 4-5)
Pure concentric (full range, same loading schemes)
Partials pure concentric (same loading schemes)
Lifting with added chains (same loading schemes)


A) Eccentric
Depth jumps
Depth push ups
Lifting with added bands with fast eccentric (4-6 x 2-3 with 60-70% bar weight)
100-110 / 50-60 (for speed) with weight releasers (fast eccentric, explosive concentric)

B) Isometric
Depth landings (jump & push-ups)
Drop and catch
Quick bursts isometrics (3-4 reps of 1-2 sec per set)

C) Concentric
Jumps (esp. box jumps)
Regular lifting with max acceleration 5-8 x 2-3 (65-75%)
Loaded jump (20-30% for sets of 5)

NOTE: The methods are not necessarily in order of demand/stress. It’s my own working list when designing programs.


This is really cool. Ty. With athletes where have you found better use of the hanging band technique with the eccentric or isometric day?

Im guessing all the deadstop and chain work would be on the concentric day?

@Christian_Thibaudeau what’s a minimum viable level a trainee should be at where training in such a fashion as you’ve outlined (for athletes) or employing techniques from Maximum Muscle Bible (for bodybuilders) where they’ll be primed to really take advantage of the programming rather than it being too soon for them.

Obviously, leverages come into play but is it suitable for trainees with say,

  • 1.5-2.0x BW squat,
  • 2x+ BW deadlift,
  • 1x BW bench,

Or is it better suited for a athlete/lifter with a

  • 2-2.5x BW squat,
  • 2.5-3x BW DL,
  • 1.5x BW BP?

Would this be a one rep max?
Example: if I weigh 200 lbs and 200 lbs squat RM

Curious how you would train a young and undeveloped guy?

Super interesting stuff. What might each session look like in terms of exercises and total sets?

Yes, I believe this to be the norm. As an aside, perhaps it would be more meaningful to talk about what one can do for 3 reps (3RM) but when I posed my question I was referring to a 1RM.

Then that is a 1x BW squat.

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Can you elaborate on this statement? Is it in an absolute sense, as in “wow, they’re progressing so quickly” or “it’s amazing that we can improve all of these qualities and not interfere with their sport training” or something else.

And, a different question. If you combine the 2/1-method for the eccentric day with isoholds for the isometric day is the need for unilateral work (lunges) reduced?

Because, we were talking about training movement patterns earlier and some would argue that the lunge is a primary movement pattern but depending on how much time you have on your hands training economy in the sense of session duration becomes a factor too.

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Sir what were your result on strength pump program from maximum muscle bible? I bought the book and i was thinking of trying it