Keep the volume low and the intensity high for best results!

Michael Vrabel, Karlee Foley and Stuart MacDonald all achieved amazing transformations using information detailed in my DVD's and Books.

The battle against misinformation in the fitness industry rages on.  People are continually instructed to over train.  Excessive sets, too many reps, not enough resistance and way too much cardio.  These are the most common mistakes I see in workout plan design.

If you truly want to change your body you need to stick with the basic Max-OT principles just like Stuart MacDonald used to achieve his transformation in the documentary “I Want to Look Like That Guy.”

Stuart is not alone when it comes to achieving an outstanding transformation with these principles.  You can see from the photo that Michael Vrabel and Kaylee Foley also had great success transforming their bodies with this highly effective method.  Kaylee’s  accomplishment also proves the principles work just as well for women as they do for men.

The message is simple.  When you are structuring your workout routine remember less is more.  Keep the volume low and the intensity high for the best results!


  1. jeff, one question, when u say keep the volume low on small bodyparts with a total of 4-5sets, are u talking about when bis and tris are done on one day together? what about for example when doing chest and triceps? the triceps are already being indireclty hit with the pressing movements so would they require even less overload sets, like maybe 2? something like this for example:
    incline db press 2 sets 4-6reps
    flat bb press 2 sets 4-6reps
    weighed dips 2 sets 4-6reps
    db overhead extension 1 set 4-6reps
    vbar pushdowns 1 set 4-6reps

    just want to make sure i wont over train if i decide to add one more set to the db overhead extension, thanks in advanced.

    • Regardless of how you group the body parts I give chest 6-7 total sets and triceps 4-5. You can check out the sample Max-OT workout schedule on the “Training and Nutrition” page as an example.

      • so would u say i would be undertrain if i only do 1 working set for triceps right after chest? i dont why, but i feel my triceps get so much indirect work from heavy chest and shoulder pressing that they dont need much isolation work and the more direct work for tris the less they grow and longer it takes them to recover.

  2. thanks for the response jeff, one quick question. what do u think of my back/trap workout im going to be doing in regards to the volume, does it look adequate? just want to make sure thats right u know and not overtrain.

    pulldowns 2 sets 4-6reps
    barbell rows 2 sets 4-6reps
    cable rows 2 sets 4-6reps
    deadlifts 2 sets 4-6reps
    barbell shrugs 1 set 4-6reps

    • Looks good. 8 total sets for back is on the upper limit so definitely don’t add any more.

      • jeff, so tuesday i did that back/trap workout i mentioned and i have DOMS in my back which i dont mind, but my biceps are also sore and today is thursday. i think the volume might be too much? do you think i should lower it, maybe take out a set or two from back and have 6 overall total sets for it instead of 8? Because im suppose to do biceps tomorrow but i wont be able to if they are still sore you know. what do you think?

        • Yes, you could try lowering the volume and see if that helps. I agree it is a good idea not to train biceps if they are still sore.

          • alright thanks jeff. im going to try to lower the volume to 6 totals sets for back instead of 8 and see if thats better. I think with the amount of intensity i put into my workout and the heavy weight i didnt need a total of 8 sets.

  3. G’day Jeff!Love your work. “I want to look like that guy” truely is an inspiring movie.

    If you don’t mind though, I would really appreciate your opinion on Stuart’s Diet.

    I’ve been following Stuart’s diet and the max-ot principles for a month now and an examination on the scales shows that i have not lost any wieght. I started out at 90kg (200 pounds) approximately 27% fat.
    I have increased my strenght, though i feel surely the scales would be below my initial weight.

    What I am having a slight confusion over is that i am unable to train in the morning as Stuart in the morning as i begin work at 6am. Therefore i train in the afternoon at 4pm.

    Considering the different time of train is it nessecery for me to alter the diet slightly, such as having chicken and potato in the evening and a meal replacment in place of the chicken in the morning?

    Or, Should I continue the current plan as outlined.

    Thanks for your time.

    • You want to follow your workout with the carbohydrate drink and meals whether you workout in the morning or the evening.

      Keep executing. It will take a while to start seeing changes but consistent execution will get you there.

    • Jeff, please correct me if I am wrong, but the point of the lean protein and white potato meal is to have a high GI-rated carb that quickly shuttles the nutrients into the muscle tissue. I’d definitely recommend shifting that chicken/potato to be your first food meal after your post-wo shake.

      • Yes, that is the general idea. Follow the workout immediately with a whey protein and high GI carb drink. The the meals that follow in the next approximate 3 hour window should also consist of high GI carbs with your protien sources. You can see exactly how I used these nutrition timing principles for my overall Team Universe victory in my “Lost Logs” eBook.

  4. so jeff, what would u advice me to take out from the back/traps routine above, im not sure. I was thinking maybe take out a set of bb rows and a set of cable rows,? it would end up like this:
    pulldowns 2 sets 4-6reps
    bb rows 1 set 4-6reps
    cable rows 1 set 4-6reps
    deadlifts 2 sets 4-6reps
    bb shrugs 1 set 4-6reps
    im not sure though ill rather see what you have to say, also do you think it would be a good idea to add one more set of shrugs there since there is only 1 set of direct trap work?

    • No real magic combination. Many variations would be fine. To split 6 sets I’d probably do 3 deadlifts, 2 barbell rows and 1 pull down. 2 sets of shrugs should be fine given the amount of trap work during deads.

  5. Hi Jeff, Alot of people say that Max OT wont do any good for bigginers and its better to do 10 – 15 reps workouts. . .

    • I disagree. I would say Max-OT would work just fine for beginners as long as you are instructed on how to do the lifts properly. I would agree that for the first few weeks it would make sense to use lighter weights and slightly higher reps (6-8) to get comfortable with the lifts.

  6. avatar
    Allen Martin

    Hey Jeff,

    How are you doing……..I’m Allen from India. I’ve been working out since I was 13 & I’m 30 now. I’ve had to deal with lot of mis information & stuff regarding weight training for the purpose of building a great body. Well, finally I came across ” THE MAX OT PRINCIPLES ” & have been following YOU & SKIP LA COUR & would like to say you both have become sort of an online guide & mentor to me, if you will & THANKS for it.

    Well, I’ve been following MAX OT & have made gains & yes it’s kinda slow but I understand, it’s based on the myofibril hypertrophy & I’ve learnt that this kinda muscle growth takes time but once an individual have a sizeable amount, it will be the most astheaticaly pleasing body.

    My question here is that I’ve been following the 5 day routne with 20 minutes cardio right after my workout. I want to make a slight change to this & that is I want to work 6 days a week & split my biceps & triceps where I work my biceps on friday & triceps on saturday which will allow for a shorter workouts & an extra cardio session. is it ok if I do this 6 day a week program with only one day’s rest in a week.

    Thanks & regards,


    • I can see benefit to 2 full days off. Triceps already get worked multiple times a week as secondary muscles and I think there is benefit to 2 total days off.

      Happy to hear you’ve found my info helpful!

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