MASS – A 16 Week Training Program
by Pat Davidson, PhD
A brief about Pat:
Truly, a mad scientist. A mad, hulking scientist. PhD in Exercise Science. Competitive Strongman. Coach of several competitive strong men. Former professor at Brooklyn College and Springfield College. Approachable, intelligent brother-in-iron. Voracious learner. Get to know him.
After 16 long, grueling weeks, I finished MASS, a training program by Pat Davidson at Rebel Performance.
MASS is a product of his research and life experiences. Not only into the theory behind training, but also in the trenches. Deep in the trenches. Ideas from the Soviets. Ideas from the Americans.
The program is broken down into 4 blocks. Each block has a goal. Each week gets tougher, heavier. Training days are repeated again and again. As Pat states in the Introduction, “Everyday is an everything day.”
The blocks are structured for the athlete to customize the exercises towards their main goal or sport. If you want to plug strong man exercises in, do it. If you want to get after it with the barbell, do it. Keep it simple – nothing too technical. You’re here to do work.
Don’t try to modify his programming, or change anything as you go along.
Figure out a plan, visualize it, and stick to it.
There were no easy days. No days where I could step into the arena with an idea of comfort or simply going through the motions. Only adversity.
This was NOT about being better than just yesterday…but being better than the last moment.
For many of the days, if I performed like shit, I could attempt a better performance on the next training day – whether that was literally the next day or after a rest day. God bless the rest days. I truly put a premium on my sleep and rest – I had to. It was paramount if I wanted to continue.
This is not a program where you check Facebook in between the vicious sets. There is no texting. No changing to the next song. There is not talking to your buddy in the gym. Sure, you technically have the time to do so, but you can’t. Instead drink water. Breath. Visualize. Prepare. Execute.
I was never focused on the next set, or the last set for that matter…only the one I was in. Only the rep I was performing. Crush it. Bury it.
This program taught me more about myself and who I can be than any other training I’ve done in the past decade. It made me destroy my comfort zone. It brought me back to the iron after being lost on my journey.
Trust me – I wanted to give up. My monkey mind tried rationalizing why I should just shut it down and call it a day. All excuses. Empty excuses. I swiped left on all of them.
The book itself not only outlines the program, it dives deep into his ideas behind imparting stress through training. He uses analogies. He tells stories. This man illustrates a much larger picture in which you can full grasp the simplicity of his methods and understanding of improving the athlete or yourself.
So, 16 weeks in…
My strength is high, my aerobic capacity is off the charts, my physique is on point, and most importantly I’ve developed the ability to take down any obstacle that stands in front of me. The results echo out into my subjective experience of life and into our world, not just limited to the gym. Seriously, I’ve never fathomed the profound impact a program could have on my overall lifestyle and mindset.
Major shoutout to the man himself, Pat Davidson, for creating such a twisted and brilliant program as this. Also big ups to Lance Jacob Goyke for helping with my mobility issues and James Cerbie for providing the platform for MASS and putting together such a stellar team of individuals.
Should Pat ever construct MASS II, I’ll be a ready and willing test subject.
This program is a good fit for you if:
- Like the title says, you want to put on some MASS.
- Your work capacity sucks and you know it.
- You feel like turning into a monster.
- You’re stuck in your habitual ways of half-assing training and half-assing life.
- You’ve plateaued and need a radical change.
- Life is throwing some shit at you and you need an outlet to throw it back, then persevere.
A great, lengthy interview with Pat.