Review of Mad Scientist
Muscle by Nick Nilsson
first thing you need to know when you look at "Mad
Scientist Muscle" is that this actually IS a serious
program and a seriously GOOD program. Don't let
the name fool you :)
program by Nick Nilsson is based on solid, scientific
training principles and is definitely not just same
random crazy sh$# thrown together.
is a method to his madness. I'm not saying there isn't
some really cool and effective crazy sh$# in there...it's
just not random...
Nick has done is put together a series of programs based
on the concept of "controlled overtraining,"
also known as "accumulation and intensification"
or "dual factor theory."
put it simply, in these programs, you'll gradually ramp
up your training volume by increasing the number of
sets you're doing (this is done on a weekly basis),
while simulatenously DECREASING your rest periods in
between sets, thus increasing the overall density of
your training in a very deliberate fashion.
is the "accumulation" phase as you're
gradually accumulating workload and training volume
over the course of 3 weeks.
when you HIT this point of overtraining, that's when
you back off on both the training volume AND the rest
periods. You'll do fewer sets and with long rest periods
in between sets. You're also going to reduce the rep
ranges so that you're working with more power and strength-oriented
off this overtraining ramp-up, your body is desperately
trying to keep up with recovery...the analogy Nick uses
in his book is that of a car going up a steep hill.
You have the gas pedal floored but you're still going
you come up and over the top of the hill and keep the
pedal down, you pick up speed FAST...just like when
your body comes off the overtraining phase. You're going
to pick up speed FAST. This is the "intensification"
phase, called that because you're increasing the INTENSITY
of the workload, operating closer to your 1RM.
overall training scheme is extremely effective. It makes
great use of your body's predictable reactions to volume
and overreaching and takes full advantage of the rebound
on the other side.
three programs that are included are put together in
this format, utilizing different training techniques
for each accumulation and intensification phase. You'll
really see the "mad scientist" stuff come
out in the training techniques themselves!
cool part is, this "mad scientist" stuff is
actually very well thought-out and not just a collection
of weird intensity techniques.
are very effective training strategies that are implemented
in a very logical way to achieve very specific effects
on your body. This type of "accumulation/intensification"
is a very accepted training-protocol that can absolutely
deliver big results in strength and muscle mass.
where it gets interesting...
theory is that by utilizing certain specific types of
training, you can make changes to the physiology of
your body/muscles in order to better set the stage for
future muscle growth.
idea is that there are certain aspects of your physiology
that can be "trained up" using the right techniques
so that your body is better prepared for muscle growth.
If you have a hard time building muscle (i.e. you're
a classic hardgainer), this could be a very attractive
idea for you. Heck, even if you're NOT, the idea of
turning yourself into an even EASIER gainer is good,
question is does this idea have merit?
a word...yes. The training styles that Nick puts
forward in his "Structural Training" section
DO have the potential to make very positive changes
to your body's physiology that impact future muscle
For example, partial training is a very widely accepted
method for increasing the strength of your bones and
connective tissue due to the super-maximal loads you're
able to use. Using heavier weights also primes the nervous
system for using heavier weights in FULL range of motion,
one of the other changeable factors he talks about in
the book is capillary density in the muscles...basically
the number and density of the tiny blood vessels where
oxygen and nutrient exchange take place. By using very
high rep, endurance-type training, research HAS shown
you can increase capilliary density. And by increasing
this density, you enhance the ability of your muscles
to receive nutrients and oxygen, which means more fuel
and food for them to GROW.
incorporation of Structural Training into the overall
framework of the program is done in a very elegant and
intuitive manner. You'll start with it before you do
anything else (what better time to set the stage!) then
you'll do more of it just after you hit the overtraining
of the Mad Scientist Muscle Program...
this is a strong program. It'll definitely deliver great
results in terms of muscle and strength.
aspect that might be something to modify would be the
split training aspect of it. If you're interested in
a more performance-oriented program, you may need to
make some changes to that.
from more of a bodybuilding background, Nick has used
bodypart splits. Now, these CAN be effective when done
properly and with primarily compound exercises (and
that's exactly how these programs are put together)
but you could absolutely use the frameworks provided
and change up the focus to be more on training movements
rather than bodyparts.
from a pure bodybuilding perspective, this is absolutely
effective stuff. It WILL make you bigger and stronger.
really isn't anything in here that should stop you from
picking up this program if you're interested in hypertrophy
and strength. You'll definitely learn a lot from the
approach Nick puts forward in this book.
line is this a very complete program and very effective
for what it proposes to deliver...muscle and strength.
going to get SIX MONTHS of detailed training schedules,
covering every single set and rep and exercise along
the way. If you're looking for a real "done for
you" type of program, this will be exactly what
you want. The included "lean muscle" meal
plans are a nice bonus, too.
is also offering separately an add-on program for the
book that he calls "Frankenstein" and I have
to say, when you SEE this program, you'll know exactly
why he called it that. This one is for sure only for
starts with six-day-a-week training working your WHOLE
body every day, before backing off to three days a week.
After you pick up the main "Mad Scientist Muscle"
program, you'll be able to grab that one, too, in a
package along with ANOTHER book he's just put out "The
Best Mass Exercises You've Never Heard Of" (yet
another very interesting book from Nick..it's a collection
of 119 of some of the most unique mass-building exercises
and training techniques you've ever seen - very cool
this is an excellent program, well put-together and
definitely worth picking up a copy.