Mark Dugdale’s – “How I Trained For The 2014 Mr Olympia” Book Review

dugdale ebook

Just a quick blog to review a book I bought in the New Year. Been a big fan of Mark Dugdale the last few years because I think his physique not only possesses fantastic proportion and balance, but his whole approach to bodybuilding is likewise balanced and positive.

Mark is originally a HIT advocate and one of his earlier DVD’s features him travelling to England to train under the tutelage of Mr. Blood & Guts, Dorian Yates. As his career progressed, Mark realised that HIT was an unsustainable approach due to the amount of injuries he was incurring. He switched to John Meadows training despite its high volume and frequency and found himself making better progress than every before. 

Dorian’s result speaks for itself and I essentially turned pro via HIT.  I will say that training in your 30’s is different than training in your 20’s and I would have benefited from switching to Mountain Dog sooner.” “John’s workouts are continually evolving, so every week is a new challenge. “

mark and john

Mark’s long time coach, John Meadows.

  Mark competes in the stacked 212 class which arguably hosts better conditioned physiques than the current open Olympia contenders. This book represents a log book compilation of Mark’s workouts from June 2014 to October in his lead-up to the 2014 Mr Olympia.


It’s not just a book of sets and reps however. Mark lists the exact weight used for each set along with detailed notes concerning how and why he did each workout and exercise. A highly experienced trainee like Dugdale relies on intelligent variation to ensure progression, so each session features something different in the way of intensity extenders or different exercise selection. It’s also eye-opening to see that Mark doesn’t necessarily pound the heavy weight – a lot of his arm work is done with a max weight of 30b dumbbells and even his leg workouts use techniques to apply tension to the muscle rather than just moving weight through space. 


I’ve been following Mark’s training logs over at EliteFTS and even though I’m not following a Meadow’s approach right now. I’ve been integrating some of the tips and methods he uses in his workouts to good effect. I like how the workouts are categorised as either primary and secondary for each body part – Primary workouts hit the body with volume, intensity and compound movements, while the Secondary workouts allow for more a feeder type, metabolic-approach. Body parts are rotated on a 7 day training schedule with something being hit at least every day. 


It’s definitely not a book for beginners, but for those who use or are interested in Meadows Mountain Dog Training or love an intelligent approach to high volume-high frequency, then I highly recommend this. The only thing that would have made the book better is some information on his contest approach to nutrition. I’d love to see how he structures his diet as the weeks countdown to a show. 


Was great meeting Mark after the 2013 Olympia

For $9.99 I thought it was a good value buy, (also received a complementary copy of a bunch of Wendler programs)  and at the time I purchased it, all the funds were donated to the Make A Wish foundation.


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