Author: Jason Ferruggia
Format: E-Book (Electronic Delivery)
Bonuses: One-Month Member’s Zone Membership
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Near the beginning of Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0 (MGS 2.0), Jason Ferruggia states that he doesn’t have a clue how to “work out”.
This is a guy sporting a strong and powerful physique, a renowned strength and conditioning coach…
And he says he doesn’t “work out”?
Well, while he doesn’t “work out”, he definitely does “train”. There is a difference between training and simply working out and it is a difference that Ferruggia wants his readers to quickly understand.
It is a point that he continuously hammers home throughout the program.
If you are shuffling in and out of the gym in some sort of an effort to make a better, healthier you, then you are “working out”. That is a good goal for most, it certainly beats the sedentary lifestyle, but it IS NOT what will make you big and strong.
“Training” is something more.
Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0 teaches you to train. It is completely focused on doing everything possible to getting you bigger and stronger. It has a distinct “hardcore” flavor to it; it isn’t for the fitness crowd. It is not “pretty boy” training; it is training to be a bad-ass.
It starts by introducing you to seven factors which will determine whether or not your training is taking you to maximum strength and size gains. Ferruggia works you through each of these factors and, on the first (Exercise Selection), provides perhaps one of my favorite all-time mass gain training quotes…
“Any exercise that makes you look like a fruitcake is instantly disqualified as a useful exercise” – Jason Ferruggia
The quote is accurate and funny, and also indicative of the no-fluff approach of the program. Gaining significant mass isn’t about fluff of any sort, and especially not about wasting time with fluffy exercises (focus on the compounds, the exercises that really tax the body).
A beginner training plan is provided for those who haven’t been training for at least a year followed by the MGS 3-Phase 12-week main training program. This is a periodization plan which has you decreasing your reps but increasing your load as you progress through the weeks.
The program has you training 4 days-a-week for very short (45 minutes each) but intense workouts. It has upper/lower body splits meaning you will be working each muscle group twice per week.
From a detailed description of intensity to the instructions for the pre-workout warm-up, Ferruggia does a good job of explaining what he wants you doing (and what you must be doing if significant gains are in your future) in those 45 minutes.
Noteworthy with the training plan is that Ferruggia has you training your neck? This is pretty rare in all but the most advanced programs. For the most part, in most programs, the neck is assumed to grow with indirect work (which it will to a certain degree).
Ferruggia sees the neck a little different than the rest of the crowd… he sees it as a focal point of the desired powerful physique. And he trains it with the emphasis a focal point deserves. It’s hard to argue with this logic, getting rid of the “pencil-neck geek” label is certainly at the forefront of the minds of his trainees.
Only the very basics of a mass gain diet are covered in Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0. Supplements are similarly lightly covered. This is a change from the original version (Muscle Gaining Secrets 1.0?)
This version has condensed and simplified the original program. Whereas most programs on the market (and formerly MGS) will inundate you with you with many bonuses, Ferruggia seems to have thumbed his nose at this approach, preferring to keep it simple.
Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0 is now sold just as a strength-training manual, no BS bonus stuff to confuse the issue; just one simple ebook that gives you all you need to know to quickly start correctly training to getting big and seriously bad-assy.
I like this approach. I prefer it to throwing so much crap into a package in an effort to get sales that your main message – the important stuff that is actually going to be responsible for getting muscle on the hardgainer – gets lost in the sheer volume. I think Ferruggia agrees.
What diet advice there is in MGS 2.0 is brief and simple but solid. It is enough to get a start. I just fear the importance of diet doesn’t get the needed emphasis to get through the thick skull of the average beginner hardgainer.
Make no mistake, proper nutrition IS a requirement for gaining significant strength and size. Ferruggia says it’s “at least 50%” of the muscle building battle and I’d probably credit it as even more.
Ferruggia does have extensive dieting advice to offer. It is the Renegade Diet and is offered as an upgrade to MGS 2.0 at checkout. Normally, I hate upgrades and recommend avoiding them because they are often just fluff. However, the Renegade Diet is a great and comprehensive read, covering the basics as well as advanced techniques, and a good value at just $20 (on the upgrade).
Definitely consider opting up for that if you need a top diet approach and want the increased results it will bring.
5 of 5 Stars: The title, “Muscle Gaining Secrets”, may at first seem presumptuous. “Secrets” is probably the most overused and BS term in the bodybuilding/fitness world (there aren’t any true secrets). However, Ferruggia manages to do the title justice with a great many tips and tricks you just don’t find anywhere else. It’s advice that inhabits hardcore gyms where it quickly puts muscle on the most resistant bodies.
It isn’t really a bodybuilding approach to getting big, and it definitely isn’t a fitness approach.
Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0 is a “Bad Ass” approach, an approach that values strength and size gains equally in the pursuit of building the big and powerful physique.
This is an excellent strength training manual. As mentioned earlier, I have some reservations about the absolute beginner devaluing diet based on the brevity of its coverage in the manual. But, really, if you are looking to get significantly bigger and stronger, no trainer is going to help you get there any faster than Ferruggia.