Jeff Nippard Uses Science to Analyze Sam Sulek’s Training

As the fitness industry’s most popular influencer, Sam Sulek’s training and dieting methods frequently spark debate and garner attention. On Feb. 28, 2024, powerlifter Jeff Nippard, renowned for his scientific approach to fitness, conducted a comprehensive review of Sulek’s regimen. 

Nippard’s detailed analysis scrutinized some of Sulek’s training methodologies, such as range of motionvolume, and sets, but praised Sulek’s training intensity. 

Nippard’s Overview of Sulek’s Workout 

In his analysis, Nippard examines 460 sets performed by Sam Sulek. Nippard meticulously dissects Sulek’s training, highlighting strengths and identifying areas where Sulek could improve. Here is how Nippard broke down the assessment:



Training Split

Intensity (Effort)

Rep Ranges


Watch the analysis in the video below: 

[Related: Train Chest and Back Like Five-Time Classic Physique Olympia Champ Chris Bumstead]


Nippard believes Sulek’s technique has room for improvement but still grades him a B overall. Nippard critiques Sulek’s approach by highlighting issues such as ego lifting, cheat reps, and failing to utilize a full range of motion.

Nippard references a study he contributed to in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, underscoring the critical importance of range of motion for achieving muscle hypertrophy. (1) The study emphasizes the importance of controlling negatives.

Nippard awards Sulek a B+ in technique, noting that Sulek controls his negatives when nearing failure. “[Sulek] usually controls the negative pretty well even when using some momentum to get the weight moving,” assessed Nippard. “But there are also just too many examples of him letting the weight free fall to get him an A grade.”

Nippard suggests that as Sulek approaches failure, he should consciously strive to control the resistance during the eccentric phase to maintain control, particularly on that final repetition where muscle engagement is at its peak.

Program Structure

Nippard rates Sulek’s program structure a C+, criticizing its apparent lack of consistency. Nippard observes that Sulek makes impromptu adjustments to his training regimen.

Per Nippard, this approach could lead to rapid stagnation in training progress. Nippard advocates for meticulous program planning and applying progressive overload to ensure continuous improvement.

Nippard notes that research by The New England Journal of Medicine indicates taking supraphysiological doses of testosterone can enhance muscle growth, even without proper training programming. (2) Nippard cautions that one is likely to reach a plateau with this approach, though, so he recommends adopting a structured plan. 

Training Split

Nippard rates Sulek’s training split a C+. Sulek employs a “bro split,” also known as a body part split, in which an athlete splits up each muscle group for a different training day. Despite its popularity among many IFBB Pro League bodybuilders, Nippard suggests this approach disproportionately focuses on developing upper body muscles.

Nippard recommends a push-pull-leg split, an upper-lower split, or a full-body split. These approaches provide a more balanced training, helping ensure no sets are wasted on any specific body part.

“The best studies tell us that you tend to max out the amount of growth you can get for a single muscle somewhere around six to eight sets per workout,” said Nippard. “After six to eight sets for a single muscle in one workout, any more sets after that probably aren’t doing much; this is why some people call it ‘junk volume.’”

Training Effort

Nippard gives Sulek an A for his dedication to training. Nippared appreciates Sulek’s intense workout regimen. Nonetheless, Nippard expresses concern over Sulek’s frequent training to failure, suggesting it might hinder proper recovery. In an analysis of 460 workout sets, Nippard found that Sulek pushed to failure in 440 of them.

Rep Ranges

Nippard praises Sulek for his intelligent selection of rep ranges, awarding him an A. Sulek operates within a moderate rep range of four to 12, effectively promoting muscle growth.

Nippard typically opts for more reps than Sulek when training, referring to a 2020 study that demonstrates using a variety of rep ranges is best for hypertrophic adaptations. (3) 

Sustainability & Enjoyment

Nippard praises Sulek’s passion for training, which he feels is unparalleled among fitness influencers. Nippard bestows Sulek an A++ for sustainability and enjoyment, praising these aspects as crucial to a successful regimen. Overall, Nippard rates Sulek’s training effectiveness a B. 


Androulakis Korakakis, P., Wolf, M., Coleman, M., Burke, R., Piñero, A., Nippard, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2023). Optimizing Resistance Training Technique to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology9(1), 9.

Bhasin, S., Storer, T. W., Berman, N., Callegari, C., Clevenger, B., Phillips, J., Bunnell, T. J., Tricker, R., Shirazi, A., & Casaburi, R. (1996). The effects of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone on muscle size and strength in normal men. The New England journal of medicine, 335(1), 1–7. 

Fischetti, Francesco & Cataldi, Stefania & Bonavolontà, Valerio & Francavilla, Vincenzo & Panessa, Pasquale & Messina, Giuseppe. (2020). HYPERTROPHIC ADAPTATIONS OF LOWER LIMB MUSCLES IN RESPONSE TO THREE DIFFERENT RESISTANCE TRAINING REGIMENS. Acta Medica Mediterranea. 5. 3235. 10.19193/0393-6384_2020_5_499. 

Featured image via Jeff Nippard on YouTube.

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