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Review of "Muscle Gaining Secrets"
Book by Jason Ferruggia

I love to keep you in suspense when I write these reviews...

Okay, maybe not so much.

If you're looking for a training manual that gives you the guts of how to get big (even if you're a typical skinny-guy hardgainer) and is also an enjoyable read, this book is going to be a GREAT choice for you.

So I've got that out of the way...let's find out WHY it's a great choice...what makes it such an effective program, who will get the best results from it and what some of the potential weaknesses of the book might be.

The first thing you'll notice about this book is that Jason approaches his training not only based on scientific principles on research but on his "in the trenches" experience actually TRAINING athletes.

And that's one of the BEST things about Jason's approach...the athletic mindset.

This is NOT a book about "working out"...this is a book about TRAINING to maximize muscle mass using a performance-based approach.

You won't find a bunch of pumping exercises here...you won't get overloaded with scientific jargon and references coming out of every orifice...this is NOT a "Bally's Total Fitness" type of book, to put it one way.

This is about hitting the iron with hard training and making sure your mindset is in the right place to maximize results.

I do have to say up front, if you're the sensitive type, this might not be the book for you. Jason gets right up in your face with his writing style. It's powerful and right to the point. You either buy in or...well, you know.

That being said, no matter how it's presented (I quite enjoy his writing style myself!) this information is, for the most part, dead on.

Exercise selection is all about free weight and bodyweight exercises with a focus on compound movements.

We do diverge in some respects on training volume. Jason's focus is more towards higher-intensity rather than the EDT style of approach where it's higher-volume and staying away from failure. He does explain in detail the rationale behind his approach and it's certainly valid (he actually doesn't advocate going to "total" failure either).

You'll definitely get results with this program - the higher intensity means you HAVE to keep the volume lower.

When it comes to rep ranges and HOW you should perform exercises, we definitely agree on that. High-reps...not going to get you anywhere (though Jason does include some exceptions to that rule). Powerful, heavy and explosive-oriented training...absolutely.

Jason has included a TON of exercise information in this book - proper form instruction on all the big exercises and many variations to choose from. The exercises are the cream of the crop for focusing on muscle growth.

His philosophy...train with exercises that allow you to use the most weight. I couldn't agree more.

I also really like the exercise troubleshooting section he includes at the end of each bodypart chapter. You can use this info to self-diagnose any form problems...such as figuring out that bouncing a 300 lb bar off your chest is a bad thing.

Seriously, though, Jason has some great info in these FAQ's - how to feel your lats when training them if you can't feel them well, how to prevent the droopy pec look, what to do if you can't get all the way down when squatting.

The only thing really missing from the book here are pictures of the exercises and form points in action...but guess what...Jason's included as a bonus a database of 100 exercises - pictures and detailed descriptions included (he's also included nutrition plans as a bonus, too, so you're covered there).

So Jason's covered pretty much all the "basic" information in the first half...sets, reps, exercises, etc. The next section of the book is how to put it all together into the full program.

He's included programs for beginners to advanced trainers, including modifications for female trainers.

You'll get all the program and training session layouts you need, no matter what you're training level.

When it comes to eating, Jason and I are definitely on the same page. Eating an overload of calories is a necessity when it comes to muscle-building. The body needs that excess of calories - the very act of eat those calories is anabolic in itself!

The nutrition section is good, basic mass-gaining eating information. Nothing crazy here but plenty of good advice that won't steer you wrong (plus some interesting tidbits that can actually help quite a lot - such as an interesting phenomenon about junk food and mass gain you may not know).

And if you're looking for supplement info, there's a section on that, too, of course. Jason really pulls no punches in this one - you'll get insider information on some of the worst scams in bodybuilding supplement history (HMB, Myostatin suppression, ZMA, to name a few). He includes his list of effective suppplements as well - all good stuff, from what I can see. I've used most of the ones he mentions and agree with the majority of them.

I have to say, though, the most entertaining part of the book is the part where Jason talks about training with his brother, Jared. You'll get a visual when you read it....talk about training intensity!


This book is PACKED with solid and effective training information. If you want to get big, you will not go wrong with this book - definitely worth the purchase price.

Jason covers everything you need to know about building muscle and strength here. It's the end-product of years of research, reading and training and it shows.

If you're a more advanced trainer who's used to training with explosive movements and big, compound exercises, you'll probably find yourself nodding your head at a lot of this information. It'll definitely set you back in the right direction if you've strayed from that path.

If you're a beginning trainer, this is a good chance to get yourself pointed in that right direction right off the bat. You'll save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort with Jason's approach to training.

Learn more about Jason's book "Muscle Gaining Secrets"

About The Author

Jason Ferruggia is a highly sought after, world renowned strength and conditioning specialist. Over the last 15 years he has trained more than 700 high school, college and professional athletes from nearly 20 different sports. He is known for his ability to rapidly increase muscular size, strength, speed and endurance in all of his clients.

Jason is currently the chief training advisor for Men’s Fitness magazine where he also has his own monthly column called The Hard-Gainer. He has authored over 200 training articles for various other fitness related websites and magazines such as Men’s Health, Maximum Fitness, MMA SportsMag, Today’s Man, Muscle and Fitness Hers and Shape.


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