Around the internet, you won’t find any shortage of trainers and programs offering to help you with your mass gain pursuits. The market is completely oversaturated. Not everyone (or everything) makes for a good advisor. One of the first things you may realize when you get into a gym is that it is often those who are the quickest to hand out advice that are the ones who should be instead asking the questions. Not everyone has the right experience and knowledge to be an effective personal trainer.
Following is a list of what I look for when reviewing programs. Whether you are looking to invest in a mass gain program or hire a personal trainer to help move you towards your goals, the following list contains some items you want to make sure the trainer you choose possesses.
To me, top-level knowledge as it relates to muscle mass gain, the knowledge you want to attain, is based on BOTH experience and science. The science part is understanding and taking into consideration the relevant research. In some of these programs, the authors were either oblivious to or chose to ignore research that proved certain parts of their muscle-building prescriptions to be questionable at best. Some even boast that they don’t believe in the veracity of any research studies (citing conspiracy theories or using immature logic to supplant legitimate research). This is a very limiting position to take.
On the other extreme, some authors seem to place too much emphasis on science. This is problematic as well. Science is slow. If you want to know the mainstream training techniques of tomorrow, look at what the trainers who are getting big results are doing today (and appropriately apply those techniques to your own training).
Bodybuilders knew about the power of protein long before research and the rest of the world started catching up. They knew about the stupidity of the low-fat, high-carb diet but could only watch helplessly as the rest of the world got fat. Bodybuilders noticed that they could lift more when on a diet composed of foods high in natural creatine content long before the role of creatine was fully understood.
The point? You can learn a lot from science and research but if that is where your education stops, you are short-changing yourself. There is a lot to be learned in a gym. There are known bodybuilding truths that haven’t been published in respected medical journals. There are great lessons to be learned from putting theory into action. This is a gym experience.
The 5-star authors present balanced knowledge – knowledge based both on sound interpretation of science and solid gym experience. It is from this type of knowledge that the top-performing mass gain programs take shape.
I believe that athletes take on the characteristics of their coaches. You see this in all sports – coaches with competitive intensity tend to produce teams that perform with competitive intensity. In investing in a program, you are basically investing in a coach – someone to guide you towards maximizing your muscle-building potential.
Immediately after reading the 5-star programs, I was pumped. I couldn’t wait for my next trip to the gym. I was reinvigorated, ready to take on the world with new confidence. After reading some of the others, I literally wanted to take a nap.
If the author doesn’t have passion for the subject matter, it shows. If he doesn’t have passion, he is unlikely to help you develop the passion and confidence it takes to achieve your goals. Without passion, the nuts and bolts of any program really don’t matter.
The 5-star authors have a passion to help you get bigger. That passion oozes off the pages and infects you. It not only helps you get off your butt and into the gym on the first day, but it also helps you pass all the distractions that invariably crop up as your program progresses.
#3 Experience Training Others
When reviewing a program, I think it is fairly easy to determine who has appropriate experience teaching others how to gain significant muscle mass. In my email in-box, I get daily reminders of the many ways people wander off course on a mass gain program. There are things I had personal experience with and things that I have learned only from having this site up for a few years.
The 5-star authors are on top of the reasons that prevent people from gaining muscle. They solve problems before they occur, and they answer questions before they are asked. They emphasize the things that need to be emphasized and effectively guide their followers smoothly past the many obstacles that litter the road to bodybuilding success.
In some of the other programs, issues that regularly appear in my in-box aren’t even addressed. Or, if they are addressed they are pretty well hidden and easy to miss. The 5-star authors demonstrate that they know their audience. This skill only comes from experience in helping others succeed (and paying attention).
#4 Teaching Ability
This is really where the great programs separate themselves from the also-rans. The extraordinary teacher is one who has the knowledge, passion and experience for a subject AND possesses great communication skills. Knowing things is one thing, being able to effectively teach what you know to others is an entirely different thing.
If you think back to your schooling, you will be able to remember a teacher or two that really got through to you. You will be easily able to recall the things they taught even if they weren’t the things you were interested in learning. Those were your great teachers. The 5-star authors are great teachers.
Is the product fairly priced? How does it compare to other products delivering a similar message? Does it deliver what it claims to deliver? Does it over-deliver or under-deliver? In my opinion, the web provides ample opportunity to add value to products such as these. There is no excuse not to over-deliver.