Interview with Muscle Gain Specialist Jason Maxwell

Got an FVT Expert Interview for you today I recently did with muscle gain specialist Jason Maxwell of JMaxFitness.com.

Jason has some interesting insights the value of HIIT (this is a new one for me), what he thinks is the biggest mistake people make in their training, a sample leg session designed for strength and mass, and a whole lot more.

 

FVT Expert Interview with Muscle Gain Specialist Jason Maxwell

Can you tell us how originally got involved in the fitness industry?

When I was in high school, I was a skinny fat kid.  I wanted to join the football team, but I didn’t want to get knocked around.  I was searching online for football workouts, and I came across Robert Dos Remedios’ book, Power Training.  I ordered it and that book changed my life.

I graduated highscool with honours and then went to university for aerospace engineering.  Because of this, I can successfully say that I’ve heard every single rocket science joke in the book.  While at school, all my classmates would go home and read about spacecraft and airplanes.  Myself?  I’d go home and read Mike Boyle and Pavel.

During second year, I obtained my personal training certificate and started training people.  I started my blog and the rest is history.  I now have a Bachelor in Engineering and I run my training business online, while training the select few clients in person, here in Toronto.  90% of my current clients are looking to build muscle, so I guess you could say that I am a muscle gain specialist.

What is the biggest myth you encounter every day in the fitness industry?

Lately, there’s been new research showing the short intense sprint sessions are superior for fat loss.  Now, I’m not talking your regular intervals here.  I’m talking all out, 110% effort, sprints.  If done correctly, you should feel like you’re about to die after doing a single 10-15 second interval.  Last week, I had a guy pushing a sled with only 110lbs extra weight added and it almost killed him.  They key is to go as fast as possible.  Try four rounds of 10-15 seconds on and 2 minutes off then progress up to eight rounds.

The research is showing that fat loss is through the roof when compared to traditional cardio.  On top of this, test subjects are even gaining muscle, and this is from bike sprints.  Imagine being able to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time; solely through exercise.  This is a very powerful tool.

What crucial mistake do people make when they decide to undergo a program such as yours or any other?

Not using a program such as mine sooner!

All jokes aside, a lot of people still neglect form (this is with my ebooks), even though I always mention specifically that correct form is of utmost importance.  Here’s the deal, you never want to get injured in the weightroom.  What you do in the weightroom should bulletproof your body and prevent you from getting injured in everyday life.

I think a lot of guys get caught up with their egos and want to add more weight to the bar, even though their form isn’t picture perfect.  My argument is that if your form is amazing and you’re able to produce enough muscular tension, you will see incredible gains in muscle mass and strength by using lighter loads.  Once form is spectacular, it is then appropriate to add weight.  This will lead to even greater size and strength gains.

What is the best exercise that people are NOT doing, and should be?

Bulgarian split squats, hands down.  Once you get the technique down, you can really load this baby up.  I’m talking 90lb dumbbells in each hand.  You want a real leg builder?  This is it.

I think a lot of people got caught up saying squats are the king for building leg size, but the problem with squats is that your spine is your limiting factor.  This means you can’t really overload the legs on squats.  On the other hand, you can really overload the legs on Bulgarian split squats because there isn’t as much loading on the spine, and you don’t need as much compressive core stability, instead it is more rotational.  Don’t get me wrong, squats are a fundamental human movement and should be done every day, but they don’t have to always be loaded.

If you’re looking to add size in your legs, try Bulgarian split squats instead of back squats.  Give them an honest shot for at least 6 months and you will be rewarded 10-fold.

Can you provide my readers with a sample workout, done in your style, to try on their own?

Ya, sure.  With regards to the Bulgarian split squats above, I might as well show you how I would plan a sample leg session designed for strength and mass.

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Tempo Loading
1A: Bulgarian Split Squat 10 3 40 sec 30X0 Use your 5RM
1B: TRX Hamstring Curl or Glute Ham Raise 10 3 75 sec 30X0 Use your 5RM
2: Goblet Squat 1 As many as possible n/a 20X0 Use your 20RM

 

On paper, this workout may not look that sexy.  You’ll be surprised at the results though.  I would recommend doing this workout 4-6 times before going into a new phase based more on reps in the 8-12 range.  You’ll find when you start lifting in the 8-12 range again, you’ll be much more stronger.

The reason I like the 10 sets of 3 reps approach is because it allows you to get stronger, but also increases muscular size.  My philosophy with muscle building is that everything you do should directly relate to your goal of muscle building.  Obviously, pure hypertrophy phases will have the sole goal of muscle building.  When doing strength or fat loss phases, I still like to use methods that will build muscle.  Hence, using 10 sets of 3 reps or the intense sprint sessions I spoke about earlier.

Author Bio

Jason Maxwell – Muscle Gain Specialist – is an Aerospace Engineering graduate and currently an NSCA-CPT and nutritionist from Toronto, Canada. He went from a skinny fat kid to ripped adult and it’s his passion to help others make the same change. Check out his free muscle building e-book at http://www.jmaxfitness.com/books/6-day-mass-blast/

2 comments… add one
  • mike

    Hi Forest and Jason,
    My problem strengthening the calf muscle complex. I swim a lot in HIIT mode with added resistance like big paddles and fins. Unfortunately in butterfly style my calfs are cramping after after a few laps. The usual exercises like calf raise, etc. do not help in strengthening my calf. Biking, which uses that muscle a lot, seemingly give just endurance. What do you adwise?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  • admin

    Mike –

    Thanks for your comment.

    Jason Ferruggia has quite honestly got one of the best approaches to training calves I have seen:

    http://jasonferruggia.com/how-to-build-big-calves/

    Hope that helps!

    Forest

Leave a Comment