Steve Shaw’s Massive Iron Review

TLDR: Go into every set with every intent to go as close to muscular failure as possible

Many lifters do not prioritize progress in their weight training. Steve Shaw believes that progress should be the end all be all goal when doing any exercise. Each set of an exercise should have a goal of not just simply doing the reps but should be approached with doing it with maximal effort.

The traditional program will simply list an exercise at 3 sets of 10, and given this information, lifters can either lift so heavy that their spotters help them too much (effectively doing 2-3 reps), or lift so light and get nothing accomplished. The best place to be is to be able to push every set with as many reps as possible, stopping only before failure or form deterioration. By doing this, the lifter will maximize muscle stimulation.

Instead of simply listing 3 sets of 10 on an exercise, Steve Shaw focuses on establishing Rep Goals for each exercise. A bench press for 3 sets may have a goal of 25 reps, and if the lifter is able to do that with a certain weight, then the lifter can increase the weight used in the next workout. The idea is if the lifter drastically overshoots the goal, the lifter will continue increasing the weight until a suitable weight is used for that specific rep goal.

The ebook features 4 novice programs and 18 different intermediate programs with different setups and different specializations. Each novice workout contains about 2 to 3 compound movements and some light accessories at the back, and are generally full body. The intermediate programs contain even more variation, like alternating push-pull, 20 rep breathing squats, and body part splits.



  • Every set is essentially close to failure, which allows beginners to learn to deal with the uncomfortable
  • No brainer progression scheme
  • Versatile with many programs to choose from


  • No progression on increasing rep goals, pure focus on increasing weight without thinking about managing volume


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