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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

MAX Workouts Review

Now that I have actually completed the MAX Workouts program by Shin Ohtake (took me a bit more than the 90 days), I thought it would be fitting to write a review, which I'm hoping will help you to determine whether or not it's something for you.
As I've mentioned before, the MAX Workouts program is a 90-days program, where you use a lot of functional and compound exercises instead of the good ol' Biceps Curl and Seated Knee Extensions.


First, just a quick re-view of what's in the product you buy:
  • The 90-days MAX Workouts program - The actual product you're buying, consisting of 120 pages, including photos of the exercises, as well as background information, such as nutrition.
  • Muscle recovery guide - Did not use it at all, though you might find is useful.
  • The Lean Body Diet plan - helps you plan your meals, what to eat, and what to avoid. Quite useful if you want to lose weight, change your diet, or just live more healthy. I didn't really use it though.
  • A 30-days trial membership of the MAX Workouts Club, provides videos of the exercises, extra workouts for when you're done with the 90-days program, and a friendly forum.
The program is build up using the High Intensity Interval Training method, meaning all the workouts has to be done with high intensity, and done in intervals. Such as doing a round of 4-5 exercises straight after each other with a break between each round.
There are 3 workouts of Weightlifting, and 2-3 workouts of Running each week.
The program relies on the term Muscle Confusion (more on that at another time), which means you will do the same workouts for 3 weeks (so 3 different weightlifting workouts and 2-3 different running workouts in 1 week), and afterwards you'll start on a new cycle as they call it.

Each workout takes about 15-30 minutes, and if you haven't completed all the rounds, when you hit the 30 minute-mark, you still have to stop. There is no need to continue beyond the 30 minutes, if you have been using the high intensity required - There is a greater effect of doing high intensity interval training, such as working out around 85% of your HRmax, than doing low to moderate intensity workouts, <75% of your HRmax(1).

I used the MAX Workouts Club a couple of times, just to see the proper technique for some of the exercises I'd never heard about, but for US$27/month I found it too pricy. Of course, if you're going to use the forum more often or is interested in the many workouts you can do after completing the program, is something to consider.

The Muscle Recovery guide is about stretching and self-myofascial release (rolling) techniques, and to be honest, I didn't use it at all. If you feel you need to stretch or roll after a workout, then you'll probably find it useful.

I think there are some interesting recipes in the Lean Body Diet plan just by looking at them, but I didn't try them out. Though I know nutrition is really important and consists of, I'd say at least, 50% of losing weight or adding more muscle mass.

So, just to make it perfectly clear. I did not do the running workouts, nor did I really care about what food I ate.
Below, I've posted a comparison photo, from when I first started out (before), and when I had completed the program (after).
Left: 25th February 2012, 1 week after starting the MAX Workouts program,
Right: 13th June 2012, after finishing the MAX Workouts program.
Now, as you may notice, you can't really see my abs as much on the after shot, compared to the before shot. It's not because my abs haven't gotten smaller, but more that I've gained some weight, and personally I think I look at bit less skinny and more normal.
Also, my shoulders (deltoideii), Lats, and Biceps have all gotten a bit more volume, or hypertrophy to use a proper term, compared to the before shot.
It is of course a bit difficult to see the changes properly, as the lighting is very different on both shots. The reason being they were shot at 2 different locations.

I would probably have seen a bigger change, if I had changed my eating habits and done the running workouts (been running using another program, which doesn't have as much HIIT in it).
But overall I really liked the program, and I think it was well worth the money.

You can buy the program in 3 different options to choose from; basic, deluxe, or premium. There is also a Men's and a Women's version of those 3 options.

  • I got the Basic version, as it was the cheapest. The Basic version costs US$39.95, and includes all the things mentioned above.
  • The Deluxe version includes the above, as well as MAX Workouts Training Videos and Bodyweight Workouts 4-Week Fitness Program, with a total price of US$77.
  • The Premium version has everything the Deluxe version includes, as well as a MAX Workouts Extreme 6-Week Fitness Program, and Killer Kettlebells 4-Week Fitness Program. You get this for US$127.

Of course you can always start out with Shin Ohtake's Free 5-day Lean Body Kick Start guide, found here

Sources:
1 - Aerob og Anaerob Træning af Lars Michalsik og Jens Bangsbo (Aerobic and Anaerobic Training by Lars Michalsik and Jens Bangsbo).

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