Many years ago AST Sports Science, a large international supplement company, released an online training programme entitled “Max-OT”. Interestingly, it was Max-OT that initially got me excited about bodybuilding.
During my 2005 BodyBlitz competition, I often trained in a similar manner to the Max-OT program for both cardiovascular and resistance training. Though this was certainly a highly effective approach to training, within this review let’s touch on various key area’s of the programme as to determine the suitability in assisting you toward your bodybuilding goals.
What is the Max-OT Training Program?
In a nutshell, it is a high intensity bodybuilding programme.
The weights programme relies on a low repetition range of 4-6 to failure. It also relies heavily on large compound movements (that utilise multiple joints).
The cardiovascular aspect to the training programme is also high intensity. It is based on interval training and is a gruelling approach to losing fat.
The nutritional recommendations are heavily reliant on AST Sports Science supplements – particularly the world-famous AST VP2 (that we sell in our supplement store).
Does the Max-OT Program Work?
Probably the most common question is whether or not the training programme works. It shies away from the more typical text-book 8-12 reps for hypertrophy and goes right down to some very heavy loads at 4-6 reps. Though fitness text books generally recommend this for strength training as this targets the type IIbx muscle fibres, AST Sports Science argues that the type IIbx muscle fibres have the greatest potential for volume growth.
While individuals may respond differently to varying training programmes, I personally did experience some good hypertrophy results at such a low repetition range. After all, practically all my training prior to and during the BodyBlitz challenge consisted of 4-6 or less reps to failure.
The cardiovascular training is based on interval training. High intensity interval training is an extremely effective format of exercise to maximise oxygen uptake efficiency and fat oxidation following the conclusion of your workout. High intensity interval training can also have various carry-over effects to hypertrophy, many of which were noted in an article that I wrote for Australian Ironman, Cardio & Bodybuilding – Good for Muscle Growth?
Would Max-OT be Suitable for Beginners?
When I first began the training (back in 2003), the website did state that Max-OT was suitable for people of all experience levels. Though from both my personal and professional experience in the industry, I disagree with this completely.
For intermediate to advanced trainers, yes, a 4-6 rep range can be a highly effective form of training as part of a periodised training plan. I do however believe that there is a significant safety issue with beginners who attempt to lift such heavy weights at 4-6 reps to failure. Lifting these loads with underdeveloped proprioception, coordination, balance and stability can easily result in quite serious injury. I personally experienced this on numerous occasions when I was starting out, with (fortunately) minor injuries to my lumbar spine (on multiple occasions), calf and shoulder (on multiple occasions). With poor exercise execution and ineffective control of the weights being lifted, such a high-risk training programme should be avoided.
General Observations about the Max-OT Training Program
The Max-OT program was obviously created as a marketing strategy to promote the AST Sports Science supplementation range – it doesn’t take a marketing guru to figure that one out. Throughout the programme you will read numerous references to the superiority of the AST Sports Science supplement range. Personally I do believe that the AST range is a very high quality brand – but they can tend to overdo the sales pitch on the website every now and then.
The nutritional programme that was developed for Max-OT was in my opinion extremely unhealthy being heavily reliant on AST Sports Science supplements. There were regular servings of supplements throughout the day; of seven meals, only one does not contain any protein based supplements. I believe that the protein intake is excessively high, especially for someone who is new to bodybuilding.
Overall, the programme is quite a good one that I have enjoyed personally. It is a marketing campaign – and an extremely successful one at that. If you are a beginner, I would recommend to stay well away from it until you develop a foundation from which to build upon. Having said that, the AST VP2 is an excellent quality protein powder which can aid you toward your health and fitness goals.