Max-OT is a relatively new type of training program developed by the company AST. The basic idea of Max-OT training is a twelve week program that will give someone the fastest results in terms of building muscle in the least amount of time as the company claims. Another amazing thing the company boasts is that it will work for everyone specifically the non-genetically gifted, maximizing strength and size better than any training technique. And for those who are gifted it will accelerate their gains faster than they’ve ever had. Max-OT is also about the mental aspect of training and getting in the right mindset to maximize gains. The definition of Max-OT is as follows:
Max – OT (maks’ ô’ tê)
Maximum overload training
The act of building maximum muscle in minimum time
The ultimate muscle building, fat burning, strength developing, power increasing approach to weight training ever conceived – adj. to pack on lean muscle – syn. Intensity
If this radically new training program appeals to your goals then its time to learn the principles of Max-OT. However as the designer warns you have to follow the program requirements strictly. It isn’t just like learning a new exercise or training technique and discarding it later. You must follow every principle because your progress relies on this since each rule depends and works in unison with the others.
What is the best Max-OT workout?
According to Max-OT to achieve the best workout these guidelines must be followed strictly.
- Train 1-2 muscle groups each workout.
- Performing 4-6 reps every set.
- Performing 6-9 heavy sets for each muscle.
- Rest times are 2-3 minutes.
- Workouts should last 30-40 minutes (30 minutes is optimal for max intensity).
- Each muscle should only be trained once every 5-7 days.
- A break of 1 week of rest and relaxation should be taken every 8-10 weeks.
1. Train 1-2 Muscle Groups Each Workout.
Because of the fact that Max-OT is all about overloading the muscles in the least amount of time, training 1-2 muscle groups is a must since it will increase efficiency. This also allows you to be in the 30-40 minute time zone in which intensity is maximized. Also this has positive psychological effects which leads to positive physical effects. When you know you only have to train 1-2 muscle groups in a workout, you focus more of your mental intensity towards that body part. Imagine if you had to work 3-4 body parts in a workout, you would probably be dreading the workout. Focusing intensely on 1-2 body parts leads you to train harder for those body parts therefore accelerating progress.
2. Performing 4-6 Reps Every Set.
The rep range as the makers of this program boast will allow maximum muscle overload and will recruit the most muscle fibers leading to increased strength and size. Also intensity is affected by this since you only need to focus on 4-6 repetitions rather than 8-12 which a lot of bodybuilders do. Because rep ranges are shorter all your mental energy is set on doing just 4-6 repetitions and therefore psychological intensity is maximized allowing you to achieve better muscle overload.
3. Performing 6-9 Heavy Sets For Each Muscle.
Max-OT is centered around doing 6-9 heavy sets for each muscle. A heavy set defined by Max-OT is one which the weight is light enough for 4 reps but too heavy for more than 6 reps which is extremely important to achieve. Another principle that Max-OT brings to the table is doing each set to positive-failure. This means that between the 4-6 rep range you should perform each set so that you are not physically able to complete another without assistance. This means that you should not use forced reps for more than one rep, or even better, try not to do forced reps at all. The reason is because it goes against muscle overload and actually fatigues the muscle which is counter productive to muscular growth. Fatiguing muscle doesn’t build muscle because your just training it to have better endurance.
4. Rest Times Are 2-3 Minutes.
Because each set requires heavy weights with maximum intensity rest times should be 2-3 minutes. Also with the heavy and low rep sets it takes lots of cellular energy, oxygen and near the fifth rep you’ve almost depleted your muscles intra-cellular energy capacity. Another thing is that Max-OT is all about muscles to extreme overload and to do this for each set you have to rest your muscles so it can do this again to stimulate muscle growth to its maximum capacity.
There’s no point in resting 30-60 seconds to fatigue your muscle because as the program states, fatigue does not build muscle, it just trains your body to better take the stress (not build muscle).
Resting for 2-3 minutes makes sure your muscles can recover its intra-cellular energy and take out lactic acid which is anti anabolic. Another thing the makers of this program point out is that you have to feel recovered to do another set. If you feel like crap then you might not be able to perform to max intensity and therefore achieve muscle overload.
5. Workouts Should Last 30-40 Minutes
Training between 30-40 minutes each workout might seem different but it is optimal for muscle growth. First of all when training in that time frame you better able to maintain a good mental focus therefore increasing the quality of the workout. As a matter of fact after 30 minutes your mental state usually starts to go down. This time frame also emphasizes hormones that spike which are related to this type of high intensity training. If you don’t believe this here’s a direct quote: “Training for 30 to 40 minutes optimizes the “anabolic-window” high-intensity training provides. Going beyond the 40 minute threshold places you outside the optimum hormonal response time.” As a lot of people agree training beyond 40 minutes decreases your anabolic state and you start to set into overtraining. With overtraining your progress decreases and you won’t be able to work out with intensity.
6. Each Muscle Should Only Be Trained Once Every 5-7 Days.
Recovery is a key point to Max-OT training. Muscle growth doesn’t happen while working out; the only reason your muscles feel and look bigger is because your blood vessels dilate. Training body parts once every 5-7 days lets your body recuperate so that it can once again perform to max overload. While in recovery your muscles are repairing, growing, and becoming stronger and if you disrupt this process by training too frequently your progress goes down the drain because of overtraining. Also if you train more than is required your muscles won’t be able to recover fast enough so that it will be able to achieve overload for the next workout, this decreases progress significantly.
7. A Break Of 1 Week Of Rest & Relaxation Should Be Taken Every 8-10 Weeks.
Bottom line is that Max-OT is an extremely intense form of training. It taxes your body’s energy and recovery systems as well as mental capacity. Without a break you could potentially burn out because the program is too stressful. Imagine going to work for 8-10 hours without one single break, wouldn’t you go insane? As a matter of fact this break of 1 week lets your body totally recover from everything so when you start again you will be fresh and more ready than before. Also you shouldn’t do any high stress activities since it will just impair your muscle recovery.
This doesn’t mean you should refrain from doing things like volleyball at the beach or a game of soccer with your kids. You should also keep a tip top diet in this stage since good nutrition accelerates recovery.
Key Notes & Tips:
You must have a proper warm up before doing this workout since it puts a lot of stress on the muscles, so you have to be ready. You shouldn’t warm up with cardio; rather you should warm up with weights. You also shouldn’t stretch since it weakens your muscle prior to training. Warm up the body parts that you will be training with high reps to get blood flowing but you shouldn’t go to failure.
You should concentrate on compound exercises. The main point of this program is to build really good size and compound exercises are known to do just that. This doesn’t mean you can’t have isolation exercises, but the bulk of your program should be compound.
For muscular overload you must keep increasing the weight. You should always try increasing the weight and doing more repetitions in the 4-6 rep range. Remember you will be getting stronger each time so you have to always force your muscles to work harder.
Nutrition Is Key
Nutrition is key to getting the best benefits, if your nutrition sucks your progress sucks. For building muscle and strength you have to remember these key points:
- Get more calories than your maintenance level so that it uses these extra calories to build muscle. If you don’t get over this level it will be very hard to gain muscle since you need excess energy for anabolism. Try to get around 500 over.
- Eat good proteins, fat, and carbohydrates. Try to get 45% of your total calories from carbs, 35% from protein, and 20% from good fats/essential fatty acids.
- Drink lots of water since it helps transport nutrients to your muscle and limits fat gain.
- Eat at least 5-6 meals a day so that a constant flow of nutrients is fed to your muscle to maximize recovery.
The Max-OT Program
One exception for the rep range is abs. The program requires that you do different rep ranges for abs.
- Monday – Legs
- Tuesday – Arms and abs
- Wednesday – Shoulders and traps
- Thursday – Rest
- Friday – Chest
- Saturday – Back
- Sunday – Rest
Weeks 1-4: Monday – Legs:
- Barbell squats: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Leg press: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Stiff-legged deadlifts: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- One-legged calf raises: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Sitting calf raises: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Tuesday – Arms & Abs:
- Barbell curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Hammer curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Preacher curls: 1 sets x 4-6 reps
- Close-grip bench press: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Weighted tricep variation dips: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Skull crushers: 1 sets x 4-6 reps
- Palms-down dumbbell wrist curl: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Palms-Up Dumbbell wrist curl: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline sit-ups with weight: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
- Leg raises with weight: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Working oblique too hard will take away from your v-taper.
Wednesday – Shoulders & Traps:
- Shoulder press 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Upright rows 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bent over lateral raises 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Dumbbell shrugs 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Barbell Shrug Behind The Back 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Friday – Chest:
- Incline Barbell Press 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline Flyes 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Dumbbell Press 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Saturday – Back:
- Wide Grip Chin ups 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bent-Over Barbell Rows 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Behind the Back Lat Pulldowns 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Hyperextensions 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Week 5-8: Monday – Legs:
- Hack Squats: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Lunges: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Hamstring curls: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Machine calf raises: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Tuesday – Arms & Abs:
- Dumbbell alternate curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Concentration Curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Incline curls: 1 sets x 4-6 reps
- Tricep kickbacks: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Overhead tricep dumbbell extension: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Reverse tricep cable pushdowns: 1 set x 4-6 reps
- Palms-Down EZ bar wrist curl: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Palms-Up EZ bar wrist curl: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Weighted sit ups: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
- Hanging leg tucks: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Wednesday – Shoulders & Traps:
- Arnold’s: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Dumbbell side laterals: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bent-Over low-pulley side lateral: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Barbell shrugs: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Low pulley row to neck: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Friday – Chest:
- Bench press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline cable cross: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Incline flyes: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Saturday – Back:
- Lat pulldown: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Deadlifts: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- T-bar Rows: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Wide grip pulley rows: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Week 9-12: Monday – Legs:
- Front barbell squat: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- One leg barbell squat: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Standing leg curl: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Quad machine extensions: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Calf raises: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Tuesday – Arms & Abs:
- Dumbbell cross body curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Wide-grip barbell curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Cable curls: 1 set x 4-6 reps
- Cable rope overhead tricep extension: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline skull crushers: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bench dips: 1 sets: x 4-6 reps
- Wrist roller curl: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Behind back barbell wrist curls: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline reverse sit ups: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
- Machine crunches: 2 sets x 8-12 reps
Wednesday – Shoulders & Traps:
- Clean and press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Cable side laterals: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bent-over rows: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Cable Shrugs: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
Friday – Chest:
- Incline dumbbell press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Machine flyes pec dec: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Decline dumbbell press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Saturday – Back:
- Close-grip chins: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
- Bent-over wide grip barbell rows: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Dumbbell rows: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Good mornings: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
This program is geared towards building the most amount of muscle in the least time. One of the things that the makers repeat and emphasize is muscular overload rather than fatigue. Since muscular fatigue is more like training for endurance and builds up lactic acid, it is not as efficient in building muscle. Rather muscular overload ensures that the muscle is overstressed not burned out. Because the muscle is overstressed it rapidly tries to adapt to the changes by building more strength and size.
Lifters Looking For Strength:
Lifters who are looking to add some serious strength will also benefit from a Max-OT workout. First of all low rep ranges stimulate the fast twitch fibers since large amounts of stress are induced for a short period of time, and since this best suits the fast twitch fibers, your body recruits them. Fast twitch fibers produce the most contractile force and therefore when they are stimulated, you will get stronger. Secondly the program stresses intensity and muscular overload. These two principles work in together to increase strength since the muscle is worked so hard and has to rapidly adapt to the stress by becoming much stronger.
Athletes In Sports Which Require Explosiveness & Speed:
As stated before the fast twitch fibers are best stimulated with a low rep range in this case 4-6. Because the fast twitch fibers are stimulated in this case, they become stronger and are able to produce larger amounts of force. Since explosive and speedy sports require the fast twitch fibers, the stronger they are, the more force they can apply thereby making an athlete faster and more powerful. This rep range is especially useful for people in sprinting, track and field, football, and other “Fast” sports.
This program is great for powerlifters since it is in the low repetition range which works the fast twitch fibers. Powerlifters need strong fast twitch fibers because the goal is to lift the maximum amount of weight and fast twitch fibers produce the most force. Also rest periods are 2-3 minutes which is characteristic of how long powerlifters rest. Most people think powerlifters just focus on the extremely low repetition ranges like 1 or 2 reps. That isn’t true. Some of the training program is in the 4-6 repetition range. Take for example the powerlifter Marius Pudzianowski, in his leg workout video he works in a rep range higher than 1-2.
What kind of results can you expect with Max-OT?
If done properly progress will be very good. In terms of strength and size the results will be great because of the new principles that Max-OT brings to the table such as muscular overload, maximum mental and physical intensity, resting periods, taking advantage of hormonal levels, and using a repetition range that maximizes muscle fiber recruitment. All these well thought out ideas will produce great gains.
One other thing is that if you’re new to this program in terms of using a different rep range your results will be extremely good. If you’re used to using high rep ranges like 8-12 and you consistently use it, your progress slopes off.
This is because your body adapts to this repetition range, using this different rep range will shock your body since it’s challenged in a way it never has been. Your body rapidly wants to adapt which is seen through increased muscular growth and strength. Because of the extreme intensity its great for people who are in a plateau with the same old workout. Since all the principles and rules are different than many other programs, it will help stimulate your body differently so that it busts through a plateau.
How does Max-OT compare to other training methods?
Max-OT is very different approach to building muscle, but is a similar approach to building strength. At first when I heard of Max-OT I thought it was just some attention grabber to promote the company, however upon closer inspection of the principles it does make sense more than other programs I’ve seen. In terms of building muscle I would say it is an excellent way to do it since it brings so many new training methods to build muscle. It is one of the most reasonable programs I’ve seen, but the only main drawback is that it isn’t a flexible program which many are.
By flexible I mean you can’t bend the rules or take some of the principles and discard others. Therefore if you just did the Max-OT program all the time your body would go into a plateau since it will just adapt to the workout. However I don’t want to discourage people from using it, I mean it’s great if you haven’t tried it and want to accelerate your gains.
For strength only athletes it should make up a good portion of their training program. Since strength athletes still need to work in the high rep ranges, this programs’ rules will emphasize building strength as well. However it can’t be the only workout used by strength athletes since they also need to work in the 8-12 rep range and 1-5 rep ranges. For fat loss it shouldn’t be the first program you choose since it really wasn’t designed to burn tons of calories. In my opinion there are much better programs that are geared towards fat loss. Although Max-OT is a very good and effective workout I would prefer Chad Waterbury’s high frequency system. This is a great program that will work on strength, size, and endurance. It uses a variety of techniques as oppose to just a few in the Max-OT program. It also utilizes different repetition ranges for maximum growth of all the three muscle fibers. The thing is that it will make a trainee more well rounded since it works endurance, strength, and size. The program also includes cardio so your getting different types of exercise.
This is also good for fat loss since it is high frequency and will help you burn off calories as oppose to the Max-OT workout which isn’t as great for fat loss since most of the time the body is at rest.