Sporting a name like “Mass Gain Extreme,” world-renowned body builder Simeon Panda builds lofty expectations around this 2014 digital workout program. And, it’s hard to argue with the uber-muscular athlete touting a 49” chest, 27.5” quadriceps, 19” arms, and sub-10% body fat.
But we’ve seen our fair share of false promises before — programs that famed athletes swore by but hardly delivered results or wound up fizzling out after six or so weeks.
Let’s dive into Simeon Panda’s Mass Gain Extreme program to see if this is the recipe behind his impressive physique.
Quick Review (Spoilers!)
While Simeon Panda is a world-renowned bodybuilder with an obviously impressive physique, his muscle-building program, Mass Gain Extreme is overkill for beginners and lacks balance in building a well-rounded body.
Overall Rating: 6.0 out of 10
- Plenty of leg work
- Beginners will definitely learn something
- Uses pyramid training backed by science
- Arm day is a letdown
- Too many self-promotions (10 pages of supplements)
- 5-6 day training schedule
- No direct ab work
Try Superhero X12 Instead!
- Build noticeable muscle size in only 3 workouts per week
- Eat your favorite foods on a daily basis
- Save money (don’t spend it on useless supplements)
- Tackle multiple goals with one program (Gain size, lose fat, build strength, and more)
Who is Simeon Panda?
Simeon Panda is a modern-day phenom in the online fitness community.
This UK-based bodybuilder officially entered the limelight in the mid-2010s, ranking among Forbes’s top fitness influencers on its 2017 list.
Since his elevation to “Musclemania Pro” status after winning the European Championship for bodybuilding, the 225-pound, 6’1” Simeon Panda has since graced magazine covers (ex: Muscle & Fitness, Fitness RX, and Muscle & Performance), building worldwide popularity.
Panda’s impressive digital footprint now includes:
- 7.5 million Instagram followers (and counting)
- More than 5.6 million Facebook “likes”
- Over 2.37 million YouTube subscribers
Simeon Panda shares his love for fitness via to-the-point YouTube content. He reveals everything from squat tips and hamstring exercises to 10-minute fat torches and 30 push-up variations.
Founded in 2012, his fitness gear company — Just Lift — markets fat-burning and muscle growth training programs, elbow straps and weightlifting belts, and his very own supplement stack.
Oh, and Simeon Panda is the textbook definition of “huge,” “jacked,” etc.
What is Mass Gain Extreme?
Simeon Panda’s Mass Gain Extreme is a 2014-era eBook designed and drafted by Simeon Panda himself (based on 15 years of training experience). This five-day mass-building program focuses on three primary goals:
- Draining targeted muscles during each workout (hello, shaky muscles & limping)
- Activating all relevant muscle fibers
- Boosting strength and mass over the next six weeks (or longer!)
Mass Gain Extreme is a glimpse at Simeon Panda’s own training preferences that led to him being crowned the 2013 European Champion.
In this 89-page exercise, nutrition, and supplement guide, you’ll notice a few noteworthy trends: High-volume, pyramid sets, high-protein, and supplements galore!
But ‘round these parts, we don’t judge a book by its cover.
There’s a lot to unpack with this Simeon Panda ebook (seriously, a lot). Without broadcasting too much info, let’s walk through the details that’ll either make or break your purchasing decision!
In reality, you can run this program however you want, assuming you have five 60-minute blocks to spare each week. But here’s a glimpse at the week ahead, at Panda’s recommendation:
- Monday: Chest
- Tuesday: Back
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Shoulders
- Friday: Arms
- Saturday: Legs (optional)
You’ll find Panda’s “Intensity Guide,” which looks similar to a speedometer or an acceleration gauge on page one. Broken down into three increments — from light to heavy — he describes what counts as a “medium” and “heavy” weight when lifting (to help you choose the right one).
It’s a good idea in theory, but this is the first noteworthy “dud” in the book.
That’s because, once you get to the workout plans, the intensity column is nothing but a number. Good luck figuring out what “30 intensity” means on your first bench press set when only 50 and 100 are defined on the dial.
Being more descriptive or using the age-old %1RM or RPE would’ve been easier to follow! For reference: Panda recommends fatigue by your final rep.
The Overall Layout for the Routine
Panda divides each split workout into a separate chapter, following a similar layout with each. That means, with each workout, you’ll discover:
A Quick Introduction
Panda describes why targeting this muscle group is essential for a muscular build, but he sometimes goes off on a tangent about why he personally enjoys it. Since it’s just a blurb intro, we can’t dock ‘em for it.
The second page includes an anatomical diagram labeling the muscles you’ll be targeting in the workout ahead.
After the workout chart (flip a few pages), you’ll learn which exercises targeted those muscles pointed out earlier! The latter chart can be a tad confusing, but here’s a tip: The listed muscles explain all of the muscles targeted by that exercise; they don’t line up in rows.
Since this workout follows a pyramid theme, the table can be confusing or complex.
Each set earns its own row, describing the intensity and rep goal. There are also alternative exercises if you prefer T-bar rows to bent-over rows, for example.
Tips & Info Blurbs
Below each table, you’ll see a quick tip or trick to get the most out of each workout. Some are spot-on — like varying your hand grip (wide vs. close) for lat pull-downs.
Others are questionable — like using the classic “powerlifting style” bench form with a ridiculously arched back (yes, you lift heavier, but the ROM is gone).
Most exercises also have a greyed-out section labeled “advanced.” At first glance, it’s a little unclear what these extra rows are for, as he only mentions them in passing in the introduction.
But here’s our understanding: If you want to take your training to the next level, you have the option to perform 1-4 extra sets while cycling down the pyramid (lower intensity, higher reps).
What to Expect With the Workouts
Each Mass Gain Extreme workout follows a “pyramid” format: Start with a low weight & high rep duo, and gradually increase the weight while lowering reps with each set. This ever-so-slight intensity burst can help your muscles warm-up and target endurance and strength!
As for what to expect with each workout, here’s a look:
- Sixty-minute training sessions (maxing out at 90, if you travel the “advanced” route)
- Starting with a major exercise (i.e., dumbbell presses, deadlifts, or leg extensions)
- Transitioning intensity from 30 to about 90-100 over six sets (again, confusing)
- Descending the pyramid slightly in those advanced sets
- Rep ranges of 20, 15, 12, 6-8, and 1-4
- About four or five exercises (six sets each) per workout
- No more than two minutes of rest between sets (Panda suggests as little as possible)
However, there is a little variety sprinkled in if you care to read the “tips” sections or take advantage of the alternative exercises listed. For example, Panda recommends replacing shrugs with a rear delt exercise every two weeks or alternating your leg extension foot position.
There are a few unexplained differences, too. Like, why maxing out at 100 intensity is okay for chest but not leg or shoulder day. Or why you’ll only crank out warm-up sets on leg day.
Yes, there’s also a second leg day dubbed “Leg 2.0 Advanced” if you crave bigger wheels! But after 35+ sets on the first leg day, that Saturday leg day 2.0 will likely be a pipe dream.
Healthy Eating Guide
Unlike many guides out there, Simeon Panda offers a treat (not literally, though, because he isn’t a fan of sweets or cheat meals). He details a five-day eating guide to nourish gains and progress!
Panda explains his diet beforehand as including:
- Six meals a day (smaller, but more often)
- A fine nutritional balance
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits, and dairy (low-fat)
- Weekly omega-3 doses
- Modest calcium
You’ll notice two (potential) issues with this guide: Repetition and lots of time in the kitchen.
If you follow it to a T, get ready for 2-3 rice or egg noodle servings a day, up to 12 eggs daily (egg whites only … but still), and vegetables like broccoli or asparagus at nearly every meal. Panda then offers some nutrition advice to explain why each food didn’t land on the … chopping block.
It’s also worth noting that this is only a five-day plan, not seven, as you might predict.
The guide takes an expected yet unnecessary turn when Simeon Panda shines the spotlight on supplements. For ten pages (yes, 11% of the guide), he hypes up his own ultra-pricey supplement stack and how to add all five supplements to your routine.
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Unfortunately, unless you dedicate your entire world to building gains, five protein scoops (throughout the day) and four pre-workout supplements are more than unreasonable.
… the section ends with a coupon.
4 Benefits of Mass Gain Extreme
1. A Huge Leg Day Emphasis
Where Simeon Panda deserves some credit is his emphasis on leg day. Not only will you be hitting legs for 35 sets in a solo workout, but you have the option to add in leg day 2.0.
The 360 reps might be overkill, but you can adjust the routine to fit your athleticism and avoid scrawny legs at all costs!
2. Beginners Will Definitely Learn Something
Simeon Panda admits that he based this program on his past routines in his beginner years, later advancing his routine to a seven-day split with even greater volume (obvious, if you look at him!).
If you’re a fresh face in the gym, this is a well-laid-out routine to start.
3. Sprinkles In Beginner Tips & Details Along the Way
This routine has tons of extra details scribbled in, though the crotch and butt photos separating each chapter are mildly questionable.
As you follow this routine, you’ll pick up on some quick-tips for certain exercises, learn which muscles each exercise targets, and completely overhaul your diet.
Scientific research and studies are noticeably absent, but it’s a decent start!
4. There’s Science Behind the Pyramid Theme
Pyramid training isn’t just some novel idea pedaled by routine-crafters looking to sell copies. This routine style also fills a few extra gaps that other types don’t, like:
- Infusing warm-up sets as you slowly approach your 1RM
- Building strength and endurance (not one or the other)
- Boosting blood flow in the muscles
- Keeping things interesting!
3 Negatives of the Program
1. Arm Day is a Letdown
Let’s face it: We grind through leg day, ab day, and back day because it’s merely a stepping stone to arm day. But when you discover Mass Gain Extreme’s arm day, you’ll say … “That’s it?”
Compared to this routine’s high-volume emphasis, two tricep and two bicep exercises to close out the week is little more than disappointing. Plus, it completely skips some of the arm day favorites, like skull crushers, bicep curls, and French presses.
2. Too Many Self-Promotions
The problem with many paid online routines — and this one is a repeat offender — is that the authors sprinkle in self-promotions. Mass Gain Extreme does more than that; it infuses a:
- Ten-page section on Simeon Panda’s stack (which he could’ve mentioned in passing)
- Page dedicated to his Just Lift workout gear
- Recommendation to buy his Abs Solution Training Program if you crave core work
3. There Are No Abs Whatsoever
There’s no other way to put it: This one is flat-out ridiculous.
Simeon Panda includes an entire five-day workout, and not once will your abs earn any TLC. But if you did want to sculpt a six-pack, you’ll have to spend even more money on his Abs Solution Training Program.
Mass Gain Extreme Review – Conclusion
Simeon Panda is certainly a talented bodybuilder and has fanfare far exceeding other fitness industry legends. But how does Mass Gain Extreme compare to those lofty expectations?
Well, not perfectly.
The leg day hustle, well-defined novice groundwork, bonus information (tips and info), and pyramid training style are all indisputable perks. If you’re a true beginner with little experience or hoping to revamp your current routine, Mass Gain Extreme is a solid first step.
But once you flip to arm day, realize you’re paying for self-promotions snuck in, or wonder, “hey, did I miss ab day?” you’ll realize that this program might not live up to its name. If you’re an intermediate lifter, this routine will be more frustrating than pleasing.
Overall, it’s neither a complete dud nor the best routine out there. It’s average.
Rating: 6.0 out of 10
Try This Program Instead
Like we said before, Simeon Panda is a big name in the bodybuilding industry, but his program, Mass Gain Extreme isn’t realistic for beginners that want to build muscle with the least amount of effort.
That’s why we recommend Superhero X12 instead.
SX12 is a complete fitness program to help you build the best version of your body without spending hours per day in the gym, or eating foods you don’t even like.
The first issue we have Simeon Panda’s program is Mass Gain Extreme has you living in the gym with 6 workout days per week.
Sure, you’re bound to build some muscle, but at what cost?
I’m guessing you’d rather spend your time watching your favorite Netflix show or playing video games instead of getting on a first name basis with the gym rep.
On the other hand, Superhero X12 shows you how to get a great body with the least amount of effort (and in the shortest time frame).
Inside, you’ll discover how you can stimulate plenty of muscle growth in only 3 hour-long gym sessions per week.
If you want to do more, you can. But you’ll find out that it’s not necessary!
Second, Mass Gain Extreme promotes the outdated method of eating 5-6 small, unsatisfying meals throughout the day.
This method has been recommended for decades in the bodybuilding community, but the science doesn’t back this up.
For instance, evidence suggests it doesn’t really matter if you have protein coming in every 2-3 hours, and muscle maintenance is also unaffected by meal frequency.
So what’s the benefit of eating 6 small meals per day? You get to spend more time cooking and more money on plastic Tupperware containers. Yay!
Alternatively, Superhero X12 shows you how to build muscle by eating as many meals as you want and including your favorite foods every day.
Real people are getting great results on this program because it’s easy to follow over the long term.
You don’t have to force down, bland, tasteless meals 5 times per day. Have a piece of cake if you want.
Finally, Mass Gain Extreme distracts you from what really builds muscle and puts unnecessary emphasis on supplements.
The program spends 10 pages mentioning the benefits of supplements. Really?
And to top it all off, Panda has his own line of fat burners and pre-workouts so you can see the obvious conflict of interest.
And let’s be honest… supplements should be the very LAST thing you consider after you dial in your:
On the other hand, Superhero X12 gives you all the information you need to build muscle and lose body fat without any supplements at all.
Yes, there’s still a short supplement guide included just in case you’re curious and want to know how to give yourself a boost in your training and recovery.
That being said, the creator, Keith Lai constantly preaches how supplements are typically unnecessary and you can do just fine without them.
It’s for these reasons that we recommend Superhero X12 instead of Mass Gain Extreme:
- Spend less time in the gym (so you can do more fun stuff)
- Eat your favorite foods every day in as few or many meals you please
- Save money on unnecessary supplements by focusing on good training proper nutrition
But hey, don’t take our word for it. We’re just weird internet people.
Click the link below and check out SX12 for yourself.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
Getting in shape isn't easy. But this program gives you a real-life approach to building a leaner, more muscular body without obsessing over fitness 24/7.