Big Man on Campus
Big Man on Campus should help you maximize growth, prioritize lagging muscles, and keep you consistent in your training. However, it would be challenging for most guys in a college environment. Super sets in a college gym aren’t going to make you any friends, and you may spend 6+ hours a week on this routine. As a standard mass-gaining routine, BMOC passes the sniff test, but as a routine made for college students, it just stinks.
- Good exercise variation
- Sound training principles
- Abs and calves get love
- Consistent training routine
- Unrealistic diet for non-commuters
- Potential to hog gym equipment
College folks, you know the struggle.
Between the draining three-hour lectures, high-pressure exams, nonstop social gatherings, and non-existent spending money, bulking up just misses the cut on your growing list of priorities.
Hello, college 15.
Enter Steve Cook’s wildly popular Big Man on Campus Workout…a fitness program built for college students like you who are tight on time and money.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: There’s no way something like that exists, or you would’ve heard about it already.
So let’s find out what you’ve (possibly) been missing out on!
Table of Contents
- About the Creator – Steve Cook
- What is Steve Cook’s Big Man on Campus Workout?
- Program Details
- Workout Schedule
- 4 Benefits of the Big Man on Campus Workout
- 3 Negatives of Big Man on Campus
- Wrapping Up This Big Man on Campus Review
- Here’s the Workout We Recommend Instead
About the Creator – Steve Cook
The name sounds familiar, and he sure looks like someone you’ve seen before. But you just can’t quite put your finger on it!
We’ll make it easy for you.
Steve Cook is a bodybuilder, male model, former Mr. Olympia, online fitness sensation, and the newest coach on a hit weight-loss show.
Like many stars in the fitness community, Cook got his start young.
He quickly picked up on his father’s love for sports and fitness. And by his teens, he was destroying weightlifting records at school and well on his way to a college football career.
A sudden end to his linebacker position at Dixie State College led Cook right into the arms of the fitness and bodybuilding communities.
Since then, his accomplishments have included:
- Winner of the M&F Male Model Search
- Spokesmodel for Optimum Nutrition and Bodybuilding.com
- 1st Place at the NPC Junior National Championship (2011)
- Two-Time Champion of the IFBB Houston Pro (2012 & 2014)
- Two-Time Mr. Olympia (2013 & 2014)
- Frequent Fitness Magazine Cover Model
- Coach of USA’s Biggest Loser (Season 18)
- Over 1.3 Million YouTube Subscribers
- More Than 2.5 Million Instagram Followers
Today, Steve Cook shares what he knows about fitness through his YouTube channel and specialized BodyFit routines.
What is Steve Cook’s Big Man on Campus Workout?
Steve Cook’s Big Man on Campus Workout attempts to do the impossible: To help college guys on their journey toward gains without breaking the bank or wasting away precious study time.
This 12-week hypertrophy program is all about efficiency, progression, and sweet, sweet gains.
Your weekly Big Man on Campus schedule will look a little something like this:
- Chest, Triceps, and Abs
- Back, Biceps, and Calves
- Quads, Hamstrings, and Abs
- Shoulders, Traps, and Calves
- Active Rest
With four 60-minute workouts per week, slight variations in training styles (supersets, circuits, different rep ranges), a low-cost meal plan, and a cocktail of fitness supplements, this beginner workout routine will help you maximize your muscle mass in just half a semester.
But does it work?
There’s nothing easy about being a college student—financially, mentally, socially, or physically. But if this Steve Cook program is what it seems to be, it could be a game-changer of epic proportions for any college guy ready to add mass.
Steve Cook says, “Class is in session.”
We say, “Let’s make sure this class is worth attending first!”
Being that this is a 12-week routine with six workouts a week, we’d be here forever—and probably bore you to death—if we went over every single workout individually.
So we’re going to go over the basics of what you should expect if you choose this program.
Every resistance training session starts with a five-minute warm-up on the treadmill. You want to get the blood pumping and your muscles warm, but you also don’t want to drain your energy.
Go for a slow jog on the treadmill (or even around campus) and then jump right in.
You’ll notice with Big Man on Campus the supersets—there are a ton of them.
Sometimes you’ll churn out 3 sets of 12-16 reps while bouncing between EZ-bar skull crushers and close-grip bench presses. Other times, you’ll train to failure on 3 grueling supersets combining dips and pushups.
These supersets are usually sandwiched between 10-20 sets early in the workout and either calf exercises or an ab circuit at the end (depending on which day of the week it is).
BMOC isn’t just about maximizing your gains—each workout is about giving everything you’ve got. And that’s precisely why Cook infuses some form of drop set into just about every workout.
You may crank out 3 normal sets on the dumbbell shoulder press for 12-16 reps and immediately slip off a plate for one more set until failure. And sometimes, you’ll do 4 back-to-back drop sets to failure without any rest in-between—like on the seated triceps press.
Your workouts will generally stick to that 6-16 rep range for anywhere between two and five sets with 0-90 seconds of rest per set.
An Abs and Calves Focus
Most bodybuilding routines put a stern focus on abs. Who doesn’t want a six-pack anyway?
With BMOC, you’ll hit abs twice a week, and hard, through an absolutely draining abs circuit—four rounds, no rest, and four exercises (mostly to failure).
But Cook also highlights a muscle group that many guys intentionally skip: The calves.
Twice a week, you’ll crank out a total of 24 sets on calves through standing, donkey, and seated calf raises to trigger growth in the stereotypically most stubborn muscle!
If you want to be a Big Man on Campus, you need muscle everywhere.
Twice a week, you have cardio on the schedule…the worst two days of the week, right?
Thankfully, you don’t have to do anything crazy on this one—go for a walk around campus, play soccer with your buddies, or shoot hoops in the gym.
Just get active without lifting, and give your muscles a rest.
Then, you’ve got a relaxing stretching routine (with a foam roller) to help with recovery to get you ready for your next big workout tomorrow.
Nutrition & Supplement Overview
If you have a meal plan on campus or a low budget across the board, fueling your body for gains is harder than ever. Cook does his best to outline quite a few ways to keep your diet in check without breaking the bank, including:
- Opting for bunless burgers at parties instead of pizza
- Shopping for things like brown rice or protein powder in bulk to cut costs
- Requesting roasted vegetables instead of fries as your side at a restaurant
- Stocking up on snacks like protein bars
We know what you’re thinking: What am I supposed to eat?
Well, fortunately, Cook also provides you with a glimpse at a day’s worth of meals to get you started. Some of the healthy and “clean” foods on the list include chicken, sweet potatoes, eggs, oats, and blueberries!
If you follow the plan to a “T”, you’ll end your day with 3,430 calories and 321 grams of protein.
A solid plan if muscle growth is your goal.
Steve Cook also goes into a little detail about adding supplements to your routine to make gains easier or even quicker, such as via creatine or casein. Though we have to admit, his tips for saving money on supplements aren’t ground-breaking or top-secret.
Buying bulk anything will usually save you money, and we all look for BOGO sales anyway.
Goal-Setting 101, Time Management, and Living Fit
Steve Cook was a collegiate football player, so he definitely understands the struggle of being a college student and juggling all of the responsibilities that come with it.
So he also includes sections in the BMOC module about:
- Goal-Setting 101: Choosing a fitness goal (like gaining 10 pounds), finding a role model to look up to, and making moves to ensure success (like eating 1g of protein per pound)
- Time Management: Doing your meal prep on Sundays before the week starts, using supersets in the gym to speed through your workouts, and getting an active job
- Living Fit: Limiting (or avoiding) alcohol at parties, taking a nutrition or fitness class for credit, or finding friends who are also into fitness
Building muscle in college comes down to more than just your workout routine and your diet.
If you’re wondering how to make the most of the BMOC routine and trigger gains most efficiently, these three sections are your answer.
4 Benefits of the Big Man on Campus Workout
1. Tackle Your Goals From All Angles
Perhaps the greatest feature of BMOC is that it’s not about just lifting or just nutrition. It actually takes those two vital things into consideration…and then some.
Not only are all 48 resistance training workouts clearly planned out for you alongside a healthy meal plan, but Steve Cook also delves into topics like:
- How to manage your time to make everything a priority (not fitness or schoolwork, but fitness and schoolwork)
- Staying motivated to turn your goals into reality
- How to keep your social life thriving without succumbing to unhealthy habits (like drinking or people who don’t appreciate fitness like you)
It’s not “just do this routine and you’ll build mass.” It’s more like “here’s a routine that’ll help you build mass, and here are tips to help you stick to the routine all the way through.”
2. The Training Principles Can Work
Is every training aspect of BMOC considered “best practice?” Probably not.
Training to failure doesn’t necessarily enhance muscle growth like once believed, and 20+ sets for a single muscle group in one workout might not be realistic or efficient (fatigue is an issue).
But there are plenty of training principles in Cook’s program that make sense.
For example, research shows that drop sets can help catapult volume and hypertrophy when performed in moderation. And sticking within a 6-16 rep range is pretty on-par with growth.
If you can avoid overtraining in this exhausting routine, you can build muscle.
3. Abs and Calves Don’t Take the Backburner
Something you’ll notice about a lot of muscle-building routines is that they focus on the “glamour muscles”—the biceps, triceps, and chest. AKA: The muscles that grab the most attention.
Or a routine will recommend something like, “Finish your workout with ab work of your choice.”
Here’s the thing: If you don’t directly target those stubborn ab and calf muscles, you can’t complain that they’re small or not showing as you’d hoped.
Squats and deadlifts aren’t enough!
BMOC will not only work them intentionally but twice a week for 20+ sets each. It’s clear that the goal is growth across the board, which is fantastic.
The good (and maybe not so good) news about this program is that you’ll be sticking to nearly the same exact routine week after week.
You know exactly what to expect when you step foot into the gym, and doing the same workouts will allow you to see progress—either by increasing the weight or reps.
Are plateaus a potential problem here? Yes.
But this is definitely a BMOC highlight if you enjoy consistency.
3 Negatives of Big Man on Campus
1. Maybe Not So Realistic For On-Campus Folks
We’re not denying that the meal and supplement plans aren’t great. The foods Cook includes on the meal plan are both healthy, and 300+ grams of protein a day will practically ensure growth.
But you have to think about what’s available to you on campus.
If you’re living in a dorm room, you may not have an oven/stove, microwave, or even a refrigerator. Cooking and meal prep may not be realistic for you, a staple of this program.
And depending on what year of college you’re in, you may not be allowed to have a car on campus. Good luck getting to the grocery store to stock up on foods!
The nutrition plan would probably be more useful if it focused on making healthier choices in the campus dining hall than assuming you have access to a kitchen or a car.
2. Super Sets…In a College Gym?
Super sets can work and can help you crank through a workout in half the time.
The problem is college gyms get crowded quickly, and claiming two pieces of equipment at a time is bound to earn you dirty looks and angry whispers.
Space and equipment are already tight. And you’re really going to hoard equipment and tell somebody, “I’m using that,” when they ask to squeeze in a set?
Probably not a good idea.
3. It’s Flat-Out Time-Consuming
The biggest problem with this routine is that Cook touts it as a solid way to build muscle in college when you’re tight on time and have a ton of other responsibilities.
But then you have a routine like this.
One where you’ll be in the gym for sometimes more than an hour a day (assuming you don’t have to wait for equipment to open up), squeeze in two cardio sessions a week, and meal prep.
All while staying on top of your assignments and social life.
Considering you’re sometimes doing 30+ sets per workout (including rest times), you’re doing far too much and probably not getting all of the results you’re looking for.
Wrapping Up This Big Man on Campus Review
Building muscle mass while in college and managing to keep your educational and social life in check is hard, and Steve Cook goes out of his way to show you that it’s possible.
Big Man on Campus will target your goal from all angles, maximize your growth, prioritize the muscles that many guys overlook, and allow you to stick to a relatively consistent schedule.
This routine is overrated on the premise that it’s not realistic for college guys as expected.
The meal plan might not be realistic if you live on campus, super sets in a college gym aren’t going to make you any friends, and you may spend 6+ hours a week on this routine.
Even if it weren’t a routine specifically for college students, the excessively high volume per workout makes the “beginner” classification a head-scratcher.
But it’s worth trying if you have no time constraints and experience training.
Here’s the Workout We Recommend Instead
While Steve Cook’s Big Man on Campus College Trainer is a decent program for helping students build more muscle, it’s not the program we’d recommend for new freshmen.
If you’re a college student and you want to get bigger and stronger:
- Without training more than 3 days per week
- Without pissing off other gym-goers with supersets
- And without keeping a meat freezer full of bodybuilding food in your dorm
You may want to consider Superhero X12 instead of Big Man on Campus.
What’s Superhero X12? It’s a complete fitness program designed to help you build muscle and lose body fat using efficient methods that save time and energy, so you don’t disrupt your day-to-day life.
And here’s where it shines over BMOC:
First off, Big Man on Campus has you living in the gym doing workouts 6 days a week.
Sure, you’re bound to see some results, 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 guy at the front counter.
(You should be studying, BTW)
On the other hand, Superhero X12 shows you how to get a great body with only 3 workouts per week.
Inside, you’ll discover how you can stimulate plenty of muscle growth in only a few hour-long sessions.
Plus, there are multiple workout styles to choose from.
If you want to do more, you can. But you’ll find out that it’s not necessary to go gorilla mode!
Second, if you follow the superset instructions in Big Man on Campus, you’ll be hoarding dumbbells and hogging machines, turning you into a college gym villain that everyone hates.
Are supersets with multiple exercises going to build muscle? Absolutely.
Are they realistic in a crowded gym with 50+ other gym bros ready to throw down if someone cuts them in line at the bench press? Probably not.
When you’re training on campus, you need to be efficient and use as few pieces of equipment as possible.
This way you won’t spend all day machine hopping and you won’t piss off your classmates in the process.
With Superhero X12, you get workouts designed to be efficient, save time, but still produce consistent muscle gains.
You don’t have to do supersets and take over half the gym.
Instead, you can focus in on the few exercises that actually matter (sometimes only 5 per workout), kill your workout fast, and get on with your life.
Finally, the diet recommendations in Big Man on Campus are going to be very difficult for students that live in dorms.
Steve Cook’s program mentions things like:
- Cooking in the oven
- Heating up in a microwave
- Storing things in your freezer
When did dorm rooms get their own 3-star kitchens?
Sure, the advice is solid for someone living off-campus, but for non-commuters, it’s a struggle for sure.
Alternatively, Superhero X12 doesn’t have rigid instructions on what foods you need to eat and how it needs to be prepared.
Instead, SX12 reveals HOW MUCH food and WHAT NEEDS TO BE IN the food that you eat… for you to build muscle.
This gives you a lot of flexibility!
As long as you follow the basic rules of calories and macros, you can pick and choose the best options in the dining hall and still make gains!
These are the reasons we think Superhero X12 outshines Big Man on Campus.
- You have fewer workouts (so you can spend less time training and more time studying and partying)
- You’ll train more efficiently, use less equipment, and be less of a dillweed in the gym
- You can structure your diet the way that works best for you and your schedule (and still build muscle)
Want to learn more?
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.