What is Bayesian Bodybuilding?

Bayesian: We look into the science to form the most reasonable beliefs based on the available data. This way of thinking is inspired by the statistician Thomas Bayes. We’re data-driven and evidence-based.

Bodybuilding: We help you achieve your ideal physique.

Our mission is to promote reason and science via our media channels, online Personal Trainer certification course and online coaching.


Meet the team

Among us we have a trilingual biochemistry doctor, an international boxing medalist, a dual exercise-nutrition MSc, a kinesiologist, a psychologist, a journalist and of course Menno.


Menno Henselmans, creator

Online physique coach, fitness model and scientific author, I’m Menno Henselmans, the creator and director of Bayesian Bodybuilding. Once a former business consultant specialized in advanced statistical data analysis, I traded my company car to do what I’m truly passionate about: help serious trainees attain their ideal physique. My background in science and statistics helped me form Bayesian Bodybuilding.


Menno Henselmans AllSports

  • BSc magna cum laud from Utrecht University’s international honor’s college UCU.
  • MSc with distinction from the University of Warwick.
  • Published scientific author.
  • Featured author for T-Nation, AARR and many more publications.
    Menno’s work has been translated into Dutch, Norwegian, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, Italian, Chinese, Portugese and German.Author Featured Publishers


Menno Henselmans Bayesian Bodybuilding

Menno Henselmans contest shape

Anastasia Zinchenko, researcher

While synthesizing fancy molecules and creating artificial cells for my PhD, I realized that lifting heavy stuff is the “magic pill” to stay cool. This is when I decided to combine my scientific background with my passion for fitness and nutrition. When you take a scientist, powerlifter, bodybuilder, coach, vegan and a rational thinker and shake it well, you get me.

  • Fluent in Russian, German and English
  • PhD at Cambridge
  • National level powerlifter
  • Dissertation at CalTech
  • MSc with distinction
  • Competitive Figure athlete


Richie Hedderman, associate researcher

I started Hurricane Fitness 4 years ago. Starting out as a Boxer at the age of 11 and having been involved in various other sports since I was 6 years old, winning International medals in Boxing, I began running fitness classes in 2011 and since then have gone on to work alongside World and Olympic champions, amateur and professional bodybuilders, clinical and general populations from the ages of 9 to 88 years old, male and female.


Fredrik Tonstad Vårvik, associate researcher

My interest in science and research developed more and more during my bachelors. I am currently doing my Masters degree in Exercise Physiology with resistance training as my main interest. Besides working with research and my studies, I also run the FredFitology blog.


Thomas Campidell, associate researcher

Fascinated by human beings in general, I love learning and teaching concepts that enhance our experience of life. Lifting weights and nutrition are a big part of that as well as constant self improvement. I am currently doing my MSc in Psychology and plan to work as a coach in the near future.


Stijn van Willigen, associate researcher

Since my teens I’ve been fascinated by the human body. What it’s capable of. What it can adapt to. And how to optimize its adaptation. When it comes the training and nutrition for aesthetics, performance, and health, science is an immense source of information. Great! However: it’s immense. And boring. (For most people, at least.)
A ‘healthy obsession’ with the human body turned into a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, and what I like to do most now: giving motivated people science-based tools to be the best version of themselves. Via infographics I want to bridge the gap between dusty scientific papers and fitness reality. From science to practice.

Joe Flaherty, editor

I started my fitness journey for the same reason as many others: I was tired of being the “fat kid.” My studies through high school & college were aimed at broadcast journalism, and I received a degree with honors in that field from Loyola University in 2014, but I always found myself doing more personal research involving health & fitness than actual school work.

My search for the “perfect program” led me to discovering Menno & his Bayesian Bodybuilding method (of which I’m certified), which has taught me the “secret” to creating the optimal approach: context. I’m currently using this new knowledge to not only structure my own training & nutrition to accommodate a few severe injuries, but I’m also coaching others using this same framework as an online coach at Tailor-MadeFitness.com.


Ozan Atalag, collaborative researcher

Ozan Atalag, PhD is an evidence-based, certified strength and conditioning specialist, a windsurfing expert and an avid Sport scientist. He is currently working with a few of the best windsurfers in the world. His expertise also covers professional table tennis, tennis and soccer as a S&C coach. He lives on the Big Island of Hawaii and he teaches classes such as Human Movement and Sports Biomechanics in the University of Hawaii at Hilo.


Interested in working with us?

For business enquiries unrelated to coaching or our PT Course, you can contact Menno via the email address below.



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  1. Ezra M says:

    Hey Menno,
    So we meet again!

    In afwachting van je volgende artikel.

    • Menno Henselmans says:

      Ezra! Iets zegt me dat jij nu pro ringzwaaier ofzo bent. Hoe ben je hier terechtgekomen?

      • Ezra M says:

        Eerste 3 jaar van je middelbare schooltijd, en beiden in de Fitness-wereld beland.
        Ezra Miellet

  2. Mark Austin says:

    hi Menno,
    I loved your latest article on T-Nation . . . thanks for that incredibly useful and user friendly info . . . especially your summaries
    one question, just out of interest why do you prefer to disassociate yourself from ISSA ?
    many thanks

    • Menno Henselmans says:

      I was going to write an article on the state of the fitness industry, but it may be a bit boring. Suffice to say, the ISSA is absolutely clueless when it comes to fitness.

      • Mark Austin says:

        when you say fitness, do you mean everything gym related ?

        • Menno Henselmans says:

          Nutrition, programming, etc. You learn the absolute basics there, but a certificate by no means makes you a good personal trainer. That goes for all certifying (fitness) institutions by the way (and, to a lesser degree, for all institutionalized educations).

          • Mark Austin says:

            You should definitely write that article about the state of the industry.
            Never has there been so much confusion in this industry amongst trainers and trainees alike. In the good old days Joe Weider was the king of the universe and you just followed whatever he said.
            I am sure many of your followers would greatly appreciate your views and guidance on where to go for reliable, unbiased info . . . I know I certainly would

  3. TD says:

    Really enjoyed your articles in tnation and this site.  Looking forward to your future articles on hypertrophy and loading parameters for maximum muscle growth.  I am an over 40 iron addict and have really struggled to add any mass to my frame in quite some time.  It's back to basics for now with an upper/lower split and 6 rm averages on most compound exercises for about 2-3 sets per exercise going to clean failure on all sets.  Maybe my age and genetics have finally ended my run, but just maybe, the answer to new growth could be found in one of your future articles.  Can't wait to see what you come out with next!  Keep up the great work!

    • Menno Henselmans says:

      Thanks! I’ll try not to disappoint.
      Tangentially, I’m a big proponent of HRT. That may be the answer for you as well.

      • TD says:

        No need to worry about disappointing.  We TNATION readers are definitely eager to hear and learn more.  I, for one, am hopeful that a training template that corresponds with your Muscle Specific Hypertrophy articles is forthcoming.  It would really give many of us intermediate lifters a good place to start from.  Knowing a recommended set/rep scheme, bodypart split, training frequency, and overall weekly volume range per muscle group would almost certainly get most of us headed in the right direction.  No pressure of course!  
        Again, wonderful information and great work!

        • Menno Henselmans says:

          Something like that is in the pipeline, but I need a few more articles that I can refer to later before presenting an entire program.

  4. Morgan A. says:

    Hey Menno,
    I would like to discuss your experience with the ISSA. What were your thoughts on the program? Is it worthwhile? Do you reccomend it?

    • Menno Henselmans says:

      I think 90% of the knowledge above the most basic level is learned from independent authors and self-study and a cert is useful only to get employed. As such, if you just want an internationally recognized cert, the ISSA is a cost-effective way to get that. If a lot of the course information is new for you, I’d probably recommend the NSCA or the NASM, because they’re better, or so I’ve heard. As you can tell, I’m not too big on these certifying institutions, so I’m not the best person to ask this. You could check here: http://optimumsportsperformance.com/blog/ and see if Patrick Ward has a preference for one or the other. He’s done both the NASM and NSCA and tons of other courses and I vouch for his expertise.

  5. RRH says:

    HI Menno, Great articles!!
     Really enjoying and learning from them. A few short questions:
    1. What is "Bayesian"? as in Bayesian Body Building
    2.  In the comments your reply to TD that you liked HRT. Is that Hell Raising Training?
    3. Do you do consultations? If so How much. Not looking for a coaching nor a 6 weeks program just a consultation. (You can answser to my email)
    Look foward to hear from you.

    • Menno Henselmans says:

      1. Bayesian, put simply, refers to rational use of information. It differs somewhat from science in that all observed information is used and not just controlled studies, so it is less rigorous but more flexible. It’s also a philosophy in that there is no true or false, just a degree of rational belief. It’s a bit of a personal thing.
      2. It stands for hormone replacement therapy.
      3. If it doesn’t involve any full program or diet design or questions like ‘what’s the optimal rep range for hypertrophy?’ (too complex), send an email to mennohenselmans[at]mennohenselmans.com and I’ll see what I can and if I’ll charge for it.

  6. Think your articles are top quality. I am the Director of an Australia training wear company and I'm on the search for writer's for our website which is going up in the next week or two.
    Would you be interested if providing articles for us?
    It would be greatly appreciated

  7. Tony Meazell says:

    Menno–you are the most original thinker to come into this field in a long, long time.
    Good stuff, and please keep it coming.

  8. Jon Robinson says:

    What degree did you graduate with?

  9. Al C says:

    I love these articles, can i ask you a question though?
    What do you think about low carb diets? There’s lots of conflicting information and I get confused

    • The food source is much more important than the carb content. Many of my cutting diets end up as low carb diets because I cut carbs out first. Low carb diets in general are no more effective than low fat diets, however, on a calorie-equated basis.

  10. Menno, very nice site. I just found it by pure chance. Thanks for all the good info.

  11. Abbas says:

    How old are you?

  12. David Sean says:

    Hi Menno David Here,

    I got your name from Keith Norris who I just interviewed on Friday. I’m organizing a video summit called “Stay Competition Ready: Fitness Experts Share How to Have Abs Year-Round While Eating What You Love and n]Never Counting Calories.” I’d like to know if this topic resonates with you and if you’d like to be part of this summit. I chose you because you’re lean and mean year round and I am a professional physique competitor who diets a little differently than most competitors and I have gotten a reputation at being in the best shape at my shows. I would also like to possibly hire you as a coach for when I do my next show because I think your body type is similar to mine and maybe you could take me to the next level. I do track calories when its time to get under 8-10% bodyfat but for the summit I want to give people some tools who will not actually count calories and break down macros everyday.

    You’ll be in great company on the summit and I will be interviewing 21 total experts. So far the experts are Vinnie Tortorich, Monica Brant, Gary Collins, Travis Richardson, Evan Brand, Keith Norris, Jerry Brainum and Jimmy Smith. Let me know if this is something that resonates with you and we can take it from there.



    • Sure, send me an email at MennoHenselmans [at] BayesianBodybuilding [dot] com with the link to the summit specifics and I’ll inform you about my coaching services.

  13. Felix says:

    Hey Menno, could you help me by finding a trending topic on bodybuilding or fitness in general for my bachelor thesis in cultural studies? its hard to narrow it down to on topic..thanks!

    • Select something you’re interested in. I can’t do that for you. You can listen to my interviews for suggestions though, like the one by Sigma Nutrition Radio.

  14. Mike says:

    Hi Menno,

    I really appreciate your material and contributions to the world of training and nutrition. I was wondering your thoughts on Intermittent Fasting? Or if there’s going to be any posts about this in the near future? Thank you again.

    • Thanks, Mike. There may be a post on intermittent fasting, but it’s probably going on http://www.CyberneticFitness.com.

      • Mike says:

        Thanks for the reply Menno, I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for it. Thank you again. I also heard in one of your podcast interviews that you believe most trainee’s overtrain their arms. Arms and shoulders have always been problem areas for me. I do them twice a week once on a dedicated day ( 16 sets each), and again later in the week after a larger muscle (chest,back) but I’ll do 8-10 sets on these days and leave about 48 hours rest between any isolation work. However I know, biceps, triceps and the deltoids are assisting in many other lifts as well, so would you consider this overtraining? Should I reduce this volume?

  15. Alexey says:

    Hi Menno,

    I enjoyed reading your ‘Muscle-Specific Hypertrophy’ articles at simplyshredded.com
    Do you have a downloadable ebook with your program?
    If not do you plan to write one?

  16. Chris says:

    Wow, this is by far the most informative site I’ve come across as I’m working to get myself into the best shape possible. Thank you! You’re articles have been invaluable to my goals!!!

  17. Hector says:

    Hey Menno, do you have a t-shirt or muscle shirt you sell. You know, for example everyone and their grandma are wearing “nutrishop” shirts at the gym, just wondering if you had one, no biggie if you don’t

    like you blog

  18. Tim says:

    Hey Menno,

    first of all I would like to thank you for providing so much quality content for free. I really enjoy reading/listening.

    I also have a request: Could you maybe cover the topic of high intensity interval training in regards to driving up energy expenditure? As there has been a recent spark in research interest in the topic, it is hard to boil down to what is most effective when your primary goal is to create an energy deficit to cut fat. I am unsure whether I should focus on driving up energy expenditure through high intensity interval training (treadmill running) or high intensity interval weight training (Tabata Squats).

    Best regards,

  19. Kim Gutierrez says:

    Hi Menno my name is Kim (Kinesiology and trainer…bikini fitness)from Chile and
    i wanna know if you will do some seminar near my country….i am very interested in your work, the knowledge and contribution to fitness under science vision!!!! And for sure here in South America a lot of people is waiting for something like this too.
    Can i contact you??

  20. Anthony Warpecha says:

    Hi coach henselmans, I was wondering what food recipe books you would recommend for making better meals and that is budget friendly. It just gets boring eating the same foods everyday. Thanks