TLDR: Travis Mash’s Mash Jacked: Neural efficiency can only bring you so far, get big to get strong
Everyone enjoys getting jacked. Many top-class powerlifters and weightlifters have the body and the strength to back it up. Travis Mash was inspired by the Chinese weightlifters, who spend significant amounts of time doing hypertrophy work close to competition. Travis Mash believes that a lifter can get strong and be injury free by adding quality muscle and strengthening imbalances. To get there, in Mash Jacked, he focuses on getting lifters to the 8 – 12 rep ranges.
A bigger muscle is a stronger one. For strength athletes, upon maximising all neural efficiency, getting bigger is the only way to get stronger. For this, quality time must be spent on the 65-85% loads, and they are easier to recover from.
In Mash Jacked, when he wrote the programs, he prefers putting the compound movements at the start, with high rest intervals. Following that, bodybuilding movements are done, with 60-90 seconds rest. It can be easy to go overboard with the bodybuilding work. Thus, he recommends not to do so much that a lifter is sore for more than 2 days. Also, a hypertrophy phase should not be done all the time as it can reach a point of diminishing returns. A lifter should alternate between hypertrophy and strength to keep the returns high.
There are 5 programs in this book:
3) Super Total
5) Athletic Performance
These programs are generally 5 days a week, about 5 exercises a session. They are 8 weeks long, and will alternate movements every 4 weeks. They are also split into 2 phases: Accumulation and Hypertrophy.
An example day for a weightlifting day is:
Hang Clean (Below Knee 4 Sec Eccentric) 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats (Stay at a 7 RPE)
4 x 12 each leg
Wide Good morning (Stay at a 7-8 RPE) Start with 25% of Squat for 3 x 8
Seated Band Leg Curls 4 x 10
TRX or Ring Ab Fallouts 3 x 10
- Lots of reps with the compound lifts
- Each workout can be done quite quickly
- Not a fan of snatches to a 5RM
- Personally I’m not a supporter of switching the movements up as I feel that neural efficiency doesn’t occur so fast