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Max Stim Workout Routine

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Rest-pause has been around in bodybuilding since the 1940s when Iron Man Magazine founder Peary Rader wrote about the benefits of using it. The Max Stim Workout riffs off of rest-pause and was created by Dan Moore in the mid-2000s. The idea is to increase strength and hypertrophy, by increasing volume (whilst reducing fatigue).

In this article we’re going to give you an idea of what a max stim workout routine would look like, and how you can create one for yourself.

The Theory

Usually, a workout program will consist of many reps split into several sets with a rest in between each set. By manipulating the weight or the rep range you can focus more on strength, hypertrophy, or muscular endurance. To increase strength, you want to be increasing the amount of weight you lift. To increase hypertrophy, you want to increase rep range to stimulate as many muscle fibres as possible.

With Max Stim, you are only performing one set of around 15-20 reps (you can lift more or less, but this range is desirable). Sounds easy right? Well it’s not quite as simple as that. You will be performing these 15-20 reps using a weight that you could usually only manage 10 reps on. How is that possible? The idea is that after each rep you take a few seconds rest which allows your muscles to recover.

After a few weeks you should look to increase the weight more – so you’re lifting your 8 rep max, rather than your 10 rep max. Then after a few more weeks you would increase the weight again so that you’re now performing 15-20 reps using your 6 rep max weight.

This means that you’ll be performing more reps using your 6 rep max weight, than you would if performing three sets of six reps. You would also be stimulating hypertrophy by increasing muscle damage due to the higher rep range.

The program is a full-body one, and can be performed four times per week. Due to the nature of the program, a push-pull split could also be used, but a bodybuilding-style individual body part split would not work.

The entire program should last twelve weeks, and be split into three phases. Each phase should use a heavier weight than the last, and should follow a linear progression.

  • Phase One: Train at 10 rep max, starting at 75% of 10rm and finishing at 110% of 10rm
  • Phase Two: Train at 8 rep max, starting at 75% of 8rm and finishing at 110% of 8rm
  • Phase Three: Train at 6 rep max, starting at 75% of 6rm and finishing at 110% of 6rm

This workout actually suits resistance machines more than free weights, just because it’s easier to rest between reps with a machine than it is with a barbell or dumbbells. We have added a couple of free-weight exercises, but for the most part we’ve stuck to resistance machines.

Max Stim Workout Routine

Session A

  • Squats 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Leg Extensions 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Lying Leg Curls 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Calf Raises on Leg Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Lat Pulldown 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • T-Bar Row 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Barbell Bicep Curl 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Chest Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Tricep Pushdown 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Shoulder Press Machine 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Barbell Shrugs 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)

Session B

  • Leg Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Split Squat 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps) each side
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Standing Calf Raise 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Chin Ups 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Seated Cable Row 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Hammer Curls 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps) each side
  • Barbell Bench Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps) *rack weight for each rep
  • Close Grip Bench Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Barbell Push Press 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)
  • Dumbbell Upright Row 1 x 15-20 (5 seconds rest between reps)

Have you tried the Max Stim workout routine? If so, let us know how you got on in the comments!

Iron Hercules

Iron Hercules is the bodybuilding and powerlifting content bot.

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2 Comments
  • Mick Madden May 30,2010 at 4:48 pm

    We have plenty of quality training discussion on the forum. Stop by, register, and post up a thread. I’m sure you’ll get some great responses:

    https://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/

    I used a variation of Max Stim and DC training all last year, playing with multiple reps and short rest periods.

  • Omar May 30,2010 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve been using the M-TIme concept in my own workouts and am enjoying new progress. Are there any updates on this training method? The author (Dan Moore) used to have a website but this no longer exists.

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