Maximum Functional Mass

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At the heart of almost all men and probably many of ladies, is the desire to be powerful.  It fleshes out in many ways around the world, but for most of us here, it’s the desire to be physically dominant.  To be just flat-out big and strong.  Not to hurt people, not to be a muscle head who doesn’t have the brain to match his brawn, but to touch on the superhero and demi-god myths that draw us all in.  To be Hercules (or Queen of the Amazons).  To be Beowulf.  To be Conan.  Or for those who are willing to admit the dirty little secret of why most of us got started in weightlifting – Wolverine or Superman (the comic book is the embarrassing little secret).  Or maybe you’re inspired by the old-time lifters like Saxon or Goerner, big and incredibly strong in ways that make most modern lifters want to hitch up their school-boy pants and cry. 

For others maybe it was the golden era of modern bodybuilding with men like Reg Park and Marvin Eder and then a later Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Colombo or maybe strongmen of the modern era like Bill Kazmaier – BUT – maybe you too see the problem I do here:

Maybe you want to be more, not the modern specialist.  Not the guy who just does one thing well, not the bodybuilder who looks good, but doesn’t make anyone quake in their boots from strength.  Or the powerlifter who’s super strong, but can’t move.  Maybe you want to be the next evolution of strongman.  The guy who is bent on strength, who really is legitimately big AND strong, but who also is more, much more.  The guy who can move and run and jump and fight all day and at the end of the day still lift a mythical weight while drinking a flagon of ale around a fire you built and a house you cut out of stone with your arm around your beautiful woman.

Strength, endurance and living vitality that is a primordial throwback to a time when we survived on human ability and thrived because of strength.

This is what I want.  This is what I think you want.  This is what I’m constantly training and experimenting to get and this is what we’re going to share with you in our first hard copy book in years.

Maximum Functional Mass

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So everybody sees the word “Functional,” and freaks.  Some people are hung up on it.  Some people think it’s the most idiotic buzzword in fitness. Let me tell you why we chose it.  First of all, it’s a very descriptive real word that isn’t owned by idiots in fitness no matter what they think.  It’s been corrupted by people who sell you any silly, odd exercise, usually disguised as, “muscle confusion,” or the newest, hottest thing.

That ain’t what we’re doing here.

Functional means it actually works.  That’s the real-rubber-meets the road definition, not silliness about standing on beach balls.  For this book, everything presented has to work, really work in the real world.  No fluff, we’re definitely rolling here about big, powerful muscles.  Hence the term, “Maximum,” and the term, “Mass,” but every bit of that mass has a reason for being there.  It adds to something.  It is efficient, human flesh armor that we’re building.  Muscle that says something and backs it up.  That is resistant to both fatigue as well as injury and that grows.

When I first introduced this concept, I got a lot of questions about it and someone asked me to define it.  This is what I wrote and I don’t think it can be stated better:

“In the context of “Maximum Functional Mass,” first it means you actually want to carry some appreciable muscle and be very strong. Then it means that, that muscle must be as highly usable in as many situations as possible. That means strength in every context: balanced, unbalanced, static, dynamic, multi-planar, single and compound movement, and any other way you can think of. It also must be healthy, relatively pain free, mobile, agile, flexible, durable and enduring. Usable in life, sport, combat, survival, sex, and fun.

I want to be the guy who can squat 800lbs, lift a 400lb stone, bench 225 for 30 reps, snatch a kettlebell 300+ times in ten minutes, ride a bike 100 miles, does dragon flags and triple clap pushups, full splits and tumbling, bends steel, has 20 inch arms but can still show a little ab, who’s resting heart rate is 50 or less, who lives to be 100, who eats hearty, real and reasonably, who has a real non drug induced barbarian high libido, who can get on a mat/ring/street/field and win and not fall apart from injury, who can and does focus his mind and subtle energy at the highest level, who can play with his kid/grand kids, reads, has a real life, creates, and loves. That to me is the most functional in the most worlds I want to live and play in with the most muscle!!”

Let me also add the reciprocal of this question

I told you what I want to be and what I want for you to be.  Now let me tell you what I don’t want this training to be for either of us –

This isn’t about training to get mediocre results.  It isn’t about mixing a lot of objectives in a way that jumbles them up and doesn’t maximize the benefit for all of them.  It isn’t about being fragile – Training that leaves you with the need to be treated with kid gloves.

This isn’t set to make you the guy who can run forever, but looks like he’s starving to death.  Or the guy who can squat a ton, but can’t walk to the mailbox.  Or the guy who throws his back out playing catch with his kids.  Or gets in the ring and gets beat up by a guy 100lbs lighter, because he can’t use his body.  Or the guy who gives up years of life to see one more vein or look like Arnold.  Or conversely gives up years of life, because he’s permanently bulking eating Snickers bars and wants to add 10 more pounds to a lift.

Its not about walking like Frankenstein, because you’re inflexible or in pain.  It isn’t about taking all day in the gym or having to find the perfect supplement or get the perfect night’s sleep.

It’s about using every bit of physical ability you have to gain a new level.  To be not only strong, but the strongest version of yourself.  Armor with no chinks that leaves you time, energy and desire to live a better life.

Here’s some of what you’ll get in Maximum Functional Mass:

  • My personal favorite exercises
  • How and why to do them
  • How to plug in your own exercises if you have a version that fits you better
  • How to train with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight and odd objects
  • How and why to train your grip
  • How and why to train your abs
  • How to get the strongest you’ve ever been
  • Why its important to use partials
  • Why its important to do full range lifts
  • When to do both
  • How to use isometrics and why they might be the key to your next level of strength
  • How I train for speed
  • How and why to train for multiple levels of endurance
  • How to get mobile and flexible
  • How I build these into a routine to be time and effort efficient
  • Multiple ways to set up your routines depending on what fits you both

And that’s really just scratching the surface

You also get these powerful, mass building techniques that will honestly make your muscles grow.

I’ve been training over 26 years and I’ve experienced some of the greatest muscle growth of my life using these techniques – it’s not a joke!

Techniques like:

  • Fast volume
  • One handed terrorism
  • Railroading
  • Isometric Cluster sets
  • Contrast sets
  • Single rep varied stimulus
  • Old school pre-exhaustion
  • Mixed stimulus pre-exhaustion
  • Burst sets as extra workouts
  • Walk by training

And more!

Here’s the other thing – this is the next evolution of my own personal training.  This is part of where I’ve gone after 26 years of learning, experimenting and 13 years of writing books about training. This isn’t arm-chair theory.  It isn’t stuff tested on college freshmen and told to you with numbers manipulated to prove an inflated point in a university study.  This is the art of strength in the lab of my gym and the real world.

This is the training that actually allows me to live out to accomplish the feats that I set out in the response above and live out that dream.

This is how I really train to be able to play in all the strength worlds.  To lift with the powerlifters, to carry stones and flip tires with the strongmen, to put my arm next to a bodybuilders, to bend steel with the descendents with the old timers, to throw with the Highlanders, do push-ups with the bodyweight playboys, smoke the crazy high reps with kettlebell lifters, power through the endurance feats with the super fitness folks, get in the ring or on the mat or the dojo all while being as flexible as a pre-pubescent ballerina and still be big enough to block out the sun where ever I’m standing.

This is the training that made me more than I thought possible and get bigger and better at everything and do it when everybody in the normal fitness world says I should be slowing down.   This isn’t poser training.  I’m not going to tell you anything I didn’t actually do.  I’m not going to tell you it isn’t gut-busting work.

I’m going to tell you it’s this: old school exercises combined in smart ways to make you into something amazing.

The caveat is this – you have to be willing to be crazy and look crazy to other people.  You have to be willing to work in a way that frightens normal gym goers.  Because no matter what anybody tells you if you don’t work brutally hard on your training,

  • Muscle doesn’t just magically appear on your frame. 
  • Body fat doesn’t magically melt away.
  • Endurance doesn’t show up with no effort. 
  • Unbelievable health doesn’t just get gift wrapped and given to you. 

Furthermore if you aren’t willing to do some things outside the box you aren’t ready for this.  This is different – that’s why it works.  If I did things exactly the same as everybody else, I’d get exactly the same results.  My results aren’t because I was bitten by a radioactive spider, or gamma radiation or even from winning the genetic lottery.  They’re from work.  Smart, well thought out work and that friends, is the secret to having that overwhelming power.  You’ve got to be willing to do it.  I’ll show you how!

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