The Book

Widely regarded as one of America’s leading strength and fitness professionals, Brad Schoenfeld has won numerous natural bodybuilding titles and has been published or featured in virtually every major fitness magazine. Now the 2011 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year and best-selling author brings his expertise to a resource that has everything needed to complete a total body transformation in just six months.

The MAX Muscle Plan is packed with over 100 exercises and more than 200 photos that demonstrate the exercises and revolutionary, ready-to-use muscle building program. The book revolves around MAX — Mitogen Activated Xtreme training — mitogens being the chemical substances that encourage cells to remodel, a process essential to muscle growth. The scientifically proven program enhances mitogenic and other growth-oriented training responses to promote optimal muscle development and eliminate training plateaus.

The MAX Muscle Plan provides accessible, scientific explanations for everything readers are asked to complete. The book features a three-phase, six-month program for the entire body, helping readers increase their lean body mass, build muscle, and dramatically transform their bodies. Every exercise, every set, every repetition is mapped out for ease of implementation. The program is complemented by cardio guidelines and nutritional recommendations based on the latest scientific research.

Results from The MAX Muscle Plan speak for themselves. It is the blueprint for achieving — and maintaining — a total body transformation.


Brad Schoenfeld, MSc, CSCS, CSPS, CPT is widely regarded as one of America’s leading strength and fitness experts. The 2011 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year is a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder who has won numerous natural bodybuilding titles, including the All Natural Physique and Power Conference (ANPPC) Tri-State Naturals and USA Mixed Pairs crowns. As a trainer, he has worked with numerous elite-level physique athletes including many top pros.

Schoenfeld is the author of eight other fitness books, including Women’s Home Workout Bible, Sculpting Her Body Perfect, 28-Day Body Shapeover, and the best-seller Look Great Naked (Prentice Hall Press, 2001). He is a former columnist for FitnessRX for Women magazine, has been published or featured in virtually every major fitness magazine (including Muscle and Fitness, MuscleMag, Ironman, Oxygen, and Shape), and has appeared on hundreds of television shows and radio programs across the United States. He also serves as a fitness expert/contributor to, and

Certified as a strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and as a personal trainer by both the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine, Schoenfeld was awarded the distinction of master trainer by IDEA Health and Fitness Association. He is also a frequent lecturer on both the professional and consumer levels. He is currently pursuing his PhD in health science at Rocky Mountain University where his research focuses on the mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training.


“The Max Muscle Plan is a rare combination of rigorous science and practical experience, with no hype or wishful thinking.”
Lou Schuler
Author of The New Rules of Lifting and The Big Book of Muscle

“Brad Schoenfeld knows muscle ‘n’ might, where it comes from, and how it gets here because he’s studied it, practiced it, and insisted on it. Read his words and ideas in The Max Muscle Plan, put them into action, and grow.”
Dave Draper
Mr. America and Mr. Universe

“The Max Muscle Plan is based on the latest scientific research and will help anyone put on muscular size in a smart and productive way.”
Joe Dowdell, CSCS
Founder and CEO of Peak Performance

“In The Max Muscle Plan, Brad offers programs that are scientifically sound, giving you maximum results in minimum time.”
Tom Venuto
Author of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

“Brad’s exceptionally in-depth scientific knowledge enables him to effectively relay concepts and applications in a conversational tone that makes his material a breeze to read. Books in the area of exercise programming typically lack organization, cohesiveness, and practicality. Brad’s book has these qualities in spades – all while maintaining technical accuracy.”
Alan Aragon, MSc,
Author of Girth Control: The Science of Fat Loss & Muscle Gain

“If you’re looking for scientifically proven training strategies you can immediately use to get bigger and stronger, look no further than Brad Schoenfeld’s, MAX Muscle Plan. Brad simplifies the science and provides you with a simple to follow, no BS workout plan for getting the most out of each and every workout in order to maximize your muscle gains!”
Nick Tumminello,
International fitness presenter.

“Brad Schoenfeld’s scientific approach to strength training is much needed in this day and age. Whether you’re looking to gain muscle, lose fat, or improve your appearance, Brad’s MAX Muscle Plan will help you get there in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Bret Contreras, MA, CSCS
Author of Bodyweight Training Anatomy

“The MAX Muscle Plan is a long-term, periodized template guaranteed to help you smash through training plateaus. Book of the Month!”
Muscle and Fitness Magazine

“You can read an endless variety of information about muscle building on web sites, books and magazines, but finding an author that gets the complete package — from workouts to nutrition — just about right, is very rare. Brad Schoenfeld is your ‘go to’ man for instructional texts.” Weight Training Guide

27 thoughts on “The Book

  1. Pingback: » This and That…

  2. I purchased your book and would like to start the Max strength period next week. I did have a couple questions though. 1. On the sets that you recommend are any of them pyramiding or are they all straight sets with the same weight? 2. After the completion of the 6 month program, do you start over from the beginning?

    • Hi Robert:

      1) Sets are straight sets with the same weight. Given your target rep range, weights may have to be adjusted up or down to remain in this range.

      2) Yes, after completing the 6 month cycle, you start over with the strength cycle.

      If you stick with you program, you will see terrific results!


  3. Brad, I purchased your e-book. I will finish NROL around the first of the year. I plan on taking a week off and then jumping off into your Metabolic program. Is there somewhere I can find workout sheets for your programs?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Chuck:

      I’m not sure what you mean by “worksheets”? All the routines are provided in detail in the book (i.e. sets, reps, rest interval, etc). Let me know specifically what you are looking for.



    • Hey Chuck:

      I’ve not seen the NROL worksheets but I will look into this. In the meantime, you can of course just fill in blank forms with the exercises. I do recommend charting progress over time–it’s important, especially so that you can tweak the program the second time around.


      • Thanks Brad. Almost finished with NROL. And I have every wo recorded. Besides being a big help keeping up with what I am doing, pretty good morale booster when I can look back and see the progress I am making.

  4. Hi Brad, I purchased the enhanced Kindle edition ebook with audio/video of the exercises on Amazon, then found out it only works on Apple devices (which I don’t have). So I returned that version. Are there any plans to make the audio/video content available to purchasers of the regular book or ebook somehow? Thanks!

    • Hi Glen:

      The decision whether to make the video available is up to my publisher. I really have no say in this. My guess is that they restrict this to the enhanced ebook version, but I can’t say for sure. Glad you are enjoying the book. Hope to hear back on your progress :)


  5. Brad, just did my first wo in the Metabolic program. Big change from the high weight low reps I just came off from. Did not think that light weights could work me so hard. Plenty of muscle burn! Question. Can you give me an estimate of calories burned?

    • Hey Chuck:

      Yep, the metabolic phase is definitely a big change from the strength phase :) Very difficult to estimate calories burned. Too many variables involved. Also remember that the effects of energy expenditure continue well into the post-workout period (i.e. EPOC). This can virtually double the amount of calorie burning.

      • Thanks, Brad. Would it be detrimental to add a glute specific exercise at the end of your wo’s? (provided I have the gas left.)

        • There is not a definitive answer I can give here. In all likelihood it shouldn’t hurt and may well have benefit. But remember that all exercise in total adds to the potential for overtraining (overtraining is volume-dependent) so you just need to monitor your individual recuperative abilities and adjust accordingly.


          • Brad, once again, thanks for the reply. In the past I have added swiss ball exercises and some isolation lifting at the END of my wo’s with pretty good results.
            BTW, anyone that thinks these high rep/low weight lifts are for wuss’s needs to try them. Big eye opener for me.

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  7. Brad, I am currently finishing a second round of p90x and it has been a good start into weightlifting. (I’m a former runner). However, I’d like to move onto something that would be more focused on gaining muscle. I have read NROL:Supercharged and am currently reading The Max Muscle Plan. I’ll start something new in about 2 weeks. I have one question. I purchased the book on my third generation Kindle and I am having a hard time reading the plans. Is it possible to get an Excel version or a pdf version with bigger print or perhaps as a previous poster suggested having the guys at werkit put something together? I would understand requiring some proof of having purchased the book, but it would be great to be able to get these in a different version. Thanks.

    • Hi Mike:

      Right now I’m swamped with projects. In particular, I’m finishing up my PhD coursework which is taking up massive amounts of my time. I’m certainly happy if someone wants to put together Excel/PDF workouts provided they are true to the program. Feel free to facilitate. I’d need to approve to make sure content is appropriate.



  8. Brad,
    i just came across of your latest book and i am really interested in buying it but i think i got golfer s elbow at the moment from trying to get into the bodybuilding the hardest way. do you think would work for me, or i just have to wait until i get over this ? if i ever get ovet it :)

    • Hi Aurelian:

      I would be doing you a disservice by trying to give advice on a medical condition. There are simply too many variables that mitigate a recommendation. Golfer’s elbow can be a tricky injury–generally best advice is to lay off lifting until it resolves. Best advice is to see a sports med physician or physical therapist to get specific advice on your individual condition.



  9. Brad, I finished the course and started the 1st strength phase exercise yesterday. I have notice the first time around that some of the strength training exercises put additional strain on my lower back. Since I have never really gone all out in strength training regime, should I substitute certain exercises (deadlift/ bent over row) or try them with a weight lifting belt? I watch my form closely on these, but no matter what I do I seem to feel a lot of strain in my lower back. I am in my late thirties and have done body building since I was 13, but never had really committed to heavy squatting or dead lifting.

    • Hi Robert:

      Rule of thumb: If it hurts, leave it out. There is no exercise that is absolutely essential to any fitness goal. Feel free to substitute as you deem appropriate based on your individual abilities and limitations. This is how you should approach all forms of exercise. I’m sure you will see terrific results. Cheers!


  10. Hello Brad,
    Just purchased The Max Muscle Plan and was wondering what you recommend for warming up and stretching, warm up sets etc. I don’t recall seeing specific info on that.



    • A general warm-up should be performed prior to training. This includes 5-10 minutes of light cardiovascular exercise to raise basal temperature. At least a couple of warm up sets are appropriate for the strength phase–this should be accomplished by performing sets at ~10-15 RM prior to the heavy sets. For the metabolic phase, no specific warm up sets are necessary as the RM is at a low intensity. For the hypertrophy phase you can consider a light warm up set, but it is not mandatory–again, the loads will all be at or above 6 RM so the general warmup should suffice.



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