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The Mad Scientist Workout Plan

Frustrated by plateaus? This systematic approach will have you growing again, if you're hardcore enough to handle it.

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The Mad Scientist Workout Plan
The Mad Scientist Workout Plan

Watch any high-level bodybuilder or well-muscled guy and you know it’s true: You have to be a little crazy to get that big. But self-sacrifice, a badass attitude, and an ironclad constitution in the gym aren’t always enough to guarantee dramatic gains. Knowing what kind of training you need to do and when to apply it can mean the difference between toiling in vain for years and making steady progress until you’re scraping up against your genetic ceiling.

Here, we bridge theory and practice to bring you a crazy-like-a-fox muscle-growth program. It’s a proven plan based on hard science, but it will push your tolerance for hard work and intensity to the max. The training may seem insane, but so will your gains at the end of four weeks.

A Three-Tiered System

You’ll train only three days per week on the Mad Scientist plan, but as you’ll soon find out, that’s plenty. Each day has a different training focus, outlined here.

Day 1 – Structural Training

You’ll use very high reps to improve the energy production capacity of your muscle cells. You’ll also employ heavy partial-range sets to strengthen the connective tissue and prime your nervous system to handle heavier weights.

Part 1 Directions: Choose a light weight and perform two sets of 100 reps of one exercise per body part. If you have to stop along the way, rest 10 seconds and then continue until you reach 100. Rest 90 seconds between sets.

Part 2 Directions: Follow same set/rep/rest scheme as part one while also utilizing partial-range reps. Lower the weight only a few inches and then lock it out. Hold the lockout for at least five seconds on each rep. Because you’re using a small range of motion, you can use weights that are 20–50% heavier than your max. Rest two minutes between sets.

Day 2 – Accumulation

You’ll increase training volume to overload the body and force adaptation. You’ll perform a massive amount of work without stressing your central nervous system with heavy weight. This will be the main source of your mass gains.

Directions: Choose a weight you can perform 10 reps with, and do only three reps per set. Rest 10 seconds between sets. Continue until you can no longer get three reps, and then rest however long you need to get another three reps. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.

Day 3 – Intensification

You’ll lower the volume and increase the intensity to allow a rebound from the previous workout but also spur pure strength gains. This will teach your nervous system to recruit every available muscle fiber to handle the heaviest loads.

Directions: Perform a set of five reps, then three reps, then one rep, increasing the weight accordingly each set (you’ll do three sets total for each body part). The one-rep set should be a little less than your absolute max. Rest two to three minutes between sets.

Each workout hits the whole body and focuses on compound movements to stimulate the bigger muscles like the pecs, quads, and lats. Your shoulders, arms, abs, and other smaller muscles will get plenty of incidental work, so don’t be tempted to train them directly on top of what you’re doing here. Stick to the program for four to six weeks, mixing up the exercises (see the directions for each workout day for your options) and increasing the weights you use as often as you can.

Routine

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Day 1: Structural Training

Part 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 12

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
90 sec
*Can be substituted for lat pulldown. Choose a light weight. If you have to stop within a set, rest 10 sec then continue to 100.
Exercise 2 of 12

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
90 sec
*Can be substituted for dumbbell bench press. Choose a light weight. If you have to stop within a set, rest 10 sec then continue to 100.
Exercise 3 of 12

Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
90 sec
*Can be substituted for squats. Choose a light weight. If you have to stop within a set, rest 10 sec then continue to 100.

Day 1: Structural Training

Part 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 4 of 12

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
2 min
*Can be substituted for lat pulldown. Perform partial-range reps. Use weights that are 20–50% heavier than your max.
Exercise 5 of 12

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
2 min
*Can be substituted for dumbbell bench press. Perform partial-range reps. Use weights that are 20–50% heavier than your max.
Exercise 6 of 12

Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
100
Rest
2 min
*Can be substituted for squats. Perform partial-range reps. Use weights that are 20–50% heavier than your max.

Day 2: High-Volume Training

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 12

Chinup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
3
Rest
10 sec
*Can be substituted for lat pulldown, deadlift or any row variation. Choose a weight you can perform 10 reps with. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.
Exercise 8 of 12

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
--
Reps
3
Rest
10 sec
*Can be substituted for dumbbell bench press. Choose a weight you can perform 10 reps with. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.
Exercise 9 of 12

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
--
Reps
3
Rest
10 sec
*Can be substituted for front squat, dumbbell split squat or leg press. Choose a weight you can perform 10 reps with. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.

Day 3: Heavy Strength Training

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 10 of 12

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5,3,1
Rest
2-3 min
*Can be substituted for weighted chinup or any row variation. Increase weight accordingly each set. The one-rep set should be slightly less than your absolute max.
Exercise 11 of 12

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
5,3,1
Rest
2-3 min
*Can be substituted for dumbbell bench press. Increase weight accordingly each set. The one-rep set should be slightly less than your absolute max.
Exercise 12 of 12

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5,3,1
Rest
2-3 min
*Can be substituted for front squat or leg press. Increase weight accordingly each set. The one-rep set should be slightly less than your absolute max.
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