Mass Made Simple Review

Very cool little book

In college, I was published 47 times in the school newspaper, Ursinus College’s very own, The Grizzly.  I was the Sports Editor of The Grizzly my 2nd and 3rd year in college, so I pretty much got to write and edit my own article.  Getting up @ 7am every Sunday was interesting after some of the longer Saturday nights, but I got done piecing my 4 pages highlighted by Chuck’s Wagon every week.

It was a silly parody article based on the world of sports where I exaggerated a lot and used friends’ names in the article all the time.  It was total nonsense with a touch a reality to provoke.  Would you believe it if it was inspired just a little by the bad guys in wrestling?

Insert inside joke here.

So what the hell does this have to do with Dan John’s Mass Made Simple book?

When I wrote my article, I tried to have it read very familiar and colloquial as if it was just me talking.  There was probably some spurious use of grammer and punctuation every now and then because I don’t think we actually always talk in good grammar.  And I was the editor anyway, so I could do what I want.

I love reading Dan John’s work because you can so easily hear his voice through the printed words.
The first time I saw or heard him speak was through his DVDs, and this was a post from on October 3, 2009.

“I just watched Part 1 of the Dan John video series.

All I can say is that I hope one day to have someone watch me talk and be as moved as I was watching him.

You won’t get a whole bunch (if any) of exercises or design terminology. You’ll get the most appropriate and concise thought process of everything that comes BEFORE all of that that I have heard. It was every leader we look to and read all rolled into one.

Absolutely fantastic and to be read in conjunction with his book, Never Let Go, as well. I would recommend this DVD particularly to any coach or trainer that thinks pounding your athletes and clients into the ground or the high school coaches that think it’s all about how many plates you put on the bar. This guy has walked the walk for himself and talked the talk with his athletes.”

Now Mass Made Simple is more of a training manual that a full fledged book.  It’s an understatement to call it a quick read as much of the book is describing the days’ workouts, which incidentally through all 14 workouts, you may find a striking similarity.  They’re all the same exercises with varying rep schemes.
And every so often there are nutrition recommendations to ensure you know what’s working and not working.

The book is easily useful for anybody, but for the hard gainer that needs it the most, there is reason to follow every word.
And if you don’t need it, you will enjoy reading it as you hear Coach’s voice.
It’s just a fun book to read, and I smile at how practical, sensible, and defensible something so simple can be.

Amidst reading Bondarchuk right now (because I read like 9 books at a time), and hitting this one up over the weekend while travelling, it inspired a Facebook Status where I said,  “There are so many right ways to work out and train. There’s probably only one way to move.”
I have said and felt for a while that I really don’t care how you train as long as you move well and go hard.  So much works whether it be this program of doing the same thing for 14 workouts over 6 weeks or the intricate blocking from the Russians or Bulgarians.  Every program is going to be good, better, best and depend on the limiting factors of your facility, coach, and athlete.  But in the end as long as move with good form, lift heavy weights, and progress, they will all work to some degree.

The simplicity of Mass Made Simple is actually really inspiring, and while I’m not sure I need to add mass, I am going to run this program and obviously chronicle it in my Training Log.  I would not hesitate to put this in the hands of any high school freshman or young man entering a boot camp across our country.

I’ll have fun with it and not follow it exactly, but it will be my training partner for the 14 workouts.  After the RKC, I had planned to get back into form and make a run at Elite @ 181.  I think this 6 weeks will actually act as the first GPP block for that effort.

Interesting, huh, when something so simple can fit so perfectly into something that will ultimately be very complex?

Eh, what do I know?
Sometimes you just have to do what Coach says.

Interesting neck position. 🙂

  • June 5, 2011

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Met Dan and heard him talk for the first time this weekend and couldn’t agree more. Great guy, funny, and a natural leader. I believe even Boyle is a huge fan.

admin Reply

Great stuff, Charlie and Bruce!

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