T Nation

Mechanical Advantage


Marc McDougal's thread Progress, in the photo forum, sparked my interest in this lifting program. It is clearly designed for the advanced lifter. I have found the program particularly challenging. I started this thread to see if others have used/are using the Mechanical Advantage. If there is interest, we can continue this, as a Support thread, as is common for this board.

The workout is brutal, but worth it.


I was dotting my i's and crossing my t's to begin the program at the end of the week. However, I did something to strain my right arm/shoulder on Monday. Doctor said it was not a rotator cuff injury and gave me an anti-inflammatory, which hasn't worked too well. I am hoping to get healed up ASAP, but the doctor said to rest for a week. I couldn't workout today if I wanted to because it hurts like a bitch. I do like the idea of a MA support thread.


Oh hell. I don't even go to a doctor first. You need to go to an expert in biomechanics. Someone with at least a bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy or Kinesiology/Athletic Rehab.

A doctor can tell you if you have cirrhosis of the liver, but can usually do dick all for soft tissue injuries.


My healthcare forces me to see a primary first. I am going to see an ART specialist today, hopefully.


Day Four: Arms, shoulders, abs:

Tricep dips- The Jump Dip

Great googaly, moogaly....

this one was definitely dreamed up by a masochist with a love for pain.


Where did you find his workouts?


Haha. Private health care. :stuck_out_tongue:

(I kid, I kid! :slightly_smiling: )


The workout is on johnberardi.com


What kind of supplements and diet are you using? I am going to use 4-AD-EC for the four weeks for the androgen along with Marc's diet recommendations he suggested in the photo forum.


It's about time somebody started a M.A. support thread.

As long as you are following the nutrition advice, you will make phenomenal progress. I have been getting emails and PM's daily since the article ran from folks trying the program, so far everyone loves it.

R.E. the jump dips, I've been called less accurate things than masochistic, I'll take it as a compliment.

I'd be happy to help any of you with questions/concerns, as I've coached many people through the program.

I have a handfull of folks that are providing me with before and after pics, if any of you would be willing to do that as well, let me know, or even post them on this thread.

What are your experiences so far? I've had a few trainers tell me that they couldn't make it through the first Quad Dominant leg day, how have you all done?




Whats the purpose of doing jump dips? Is it specifically to develop power? Whats the advantage of doing them over regular dips?


Atreides- Sorry I didn't get back to your PM sooner, I haven't checked them recently. I'll just post your question here in case the answer helps anyone else as well:

"This is my third week on the program. This is the third leg day where I have some minor bruising on the inside of my right leg at the knee.

Always goes away in a day or so. I am convinced it is the jump squat. This is a new movement for me and is somewhat awkward.

Can you give me some tips or coach me through this movement?"

If you are having brusing at the knee, I would assume your landing is faulty. You are probably either:

a> Landing stiff. Focus on a soft landing, absorb the impact into an immediate descent. Don't try to stop between reps, aim to complete your set in as short of a time frame as possible.

b> "Caving in". Watch your knees as you land. Do they deviate inward at all? If so, focus on forcing a weight shift to the outside of your feet during the landing. Your knees MUST point the same direction as your feet at all times during the lift.

Either way, it sounds like you might have some sort of knee deviation. Give me some more info and I can help you figure it out.

diesel23- This program encompasses strength, hypertrophy, as well as power. As for the Jump Dips, they are placed immediately after 6RM weighted dips for a purpose. The preceding heavy load allows for a larger pool of motor units to be activated, and can enhance your power output as well as total fatigue of activated fibers during the Jump Dips. Plus, they look really cool and will DEFINATELY get you in good with any onlooking fitness bunnies.


I agree wholeheartedly with Marky Marc...It's about dang time somebody started this thread!

Marc did an absolutely awesome job on this and deserves his props. Watch out for my boy, he's got a lot more up his sleeve!

Great work, Marc!


Well then, bring on the fitness bunnies.


I actually started yesterday. I had to take a few weeks off because of a disk problem in my neck or a strained bicep tendon. I am about 80% but was dying to start. My arm was sore last night and today. Doctors are saying to give it some time. I am using Biofreeze so hopefully I will be 100% VERY soon. First day was grueling though.


Achieving the next level.

I really have to say this workout is helping me achieve just that. I am finding a new level of fatigue... but I am also finding a new level of focus during my workouts.

Workout recovery is turning out to be key.

I will watch for deviation on the knee.

This really is a superior workout.


Beltar if you have a real cspine disc problem or a shoulder problem, You shouldn't be doing jump dips. Personally, I would never give the go ahead to do jump dips to any pt. of mine. You are landing on your hands(palms and abosorbing a ton of force through your elbow joint, ac joint, and shoulder capsule, and glenoid labrum(shoulder socket. You will trash your shoulder with these. Pay your health premiums and call your gp for a referral to the best orthopedic surgeon around.
There are many other ballistic exercises that can be performed much safer than jump dips. You are placing your ac joint in maximun extension with a boatload of ballistic force. Good luck.


Coincidentaly, I was about to make a post to beltar telling him to avoid jump dips, reverse grip arc pull ups, or any of the upper body ballistic movements until he gets his shoulder/bicep fixed. And get that ART!

Irondoc is on a quest to defame the jump dips, and will not rest until they cease to exist!

I'll reiterate my reply to your last statement about the dangers of jump dips from the photo forum:

"I've said it before and I'll say it again, in most cases, an exercise is not the cause of the problem, it merely exposes a pre-existing condition. Lack of shoulder integrity can be assesed with some simple tests, once this is determined the problem needs to be adressed, and resolved. Once you start avoiding exercises due to their potential hazard it becomes a downward spiral ending up in a 24 Hour Fitness Body Pump class doing cat stretches and curling pink dumbbells. If you've got bad shoulders, it's common sense, don't do Jump Dips! Just like if your resting heart rate is 160, you may not want to gobble down handfulls of ephedrine!"

As far as "you will trash your shoulder with these", I hope you were referring to injured patients, otherwise I am really going to have to question your logic on that one, doc. A healthy shoulder will have no problem distributing load safely throughout the indicated soft tissue. I would assume that if a ballistic vertical pushing exercise is harmful to the shoulder joint, then so must a ballistic vertical pulling exerscise such as the often reccomended jump chins...correct? Or is the human shoulder joint in your opinion designed to absorb and distribute ballistic load in vertical pulling but not pushing? Please explain.

In other news-

Timbo- Thanks my good man.


Leg day.

I could barely walk (out of the gym).

I watched the knee alignment. No twisting and hence no bruising. Just sore legs.

Thanks for the tip.