Okay the name of the program needs some work but I’m more worried about the details of the program right now.  I’ll come up with a cool name that has “extreme”, “hardcore” or “massive” in the title at some point, later.

Let me start by saying this is my first attempt at doing my own programming.  Since high school, I’ve pretty much always followed a program written by someone else.  In high school, it was whatever was on the chalk board. In college, it was usually something out of Muscle and Fitness magazine or bodybuilding.com. After college, it was Starting Strength, 5/3/1, Cube, Juggernaut, Massive Iron, Candito’s 6 Week, RTS, Conjugate, etc.  The problem with all of these programs is none of them quite fit perfectly for me and none of them gave me long term results (or else I would still be running them).  I did learn a lot from running all of these programs and now feel, through my experience in the gym and reading thousands of articles and books about strength training, that I’m ready do it on my own.

Some of my restrictions/preferences:

  1. I only have a home gym with a barbell, light dumbbells and some kettlebells
  2. I only have an hour in the morning before work
  3. I prefer a 3 day a week split
  4. I’ve been training for almost 15 years and “just do more than last time” doesn’t work anymore
  5. I’m more focused on strength than size

My starting point at the beginning of the program:

186.6 lbs, 18% body fat (average of skin fold and circumference), 15.5 inch bicep (cold and flexed), 33″ waist (relaxed).  I’m not sure if these numbers will really change much as I don’t plan on doing anything with my diet but figured it doesn’t hurt to have the data.

Below is a video of my some max effort attempts from the week before I started my new program.  Squat 295 x 3, Bench 245 x 2, Deadlift 365 x 4.  Predicted total based on reps 325 + 260 + 415 = 1000 (that is funny it comes out to 1000 exactly).  Wilks score 300 (thats funny too).  I’ve pretty much been hanging around these kinds of numbers for several years and I’m beyond ready to see them go up.

Basic Theory and Outline

Before anyone calls me out on stealing something, I’m not claiming to have came up with anything I’m about to say and I’m definitely stealing ideas from some of the above programs.

  1. Program lasts 7 weeks.  6 weeks of building strength then testing on the 7th.
  2. Program is not ideal for beginners as they can make much faster progress on other programs
  3. Weeks 1-4 are increasingly higher volume weeks followed by a decrease in volume and increase in intensity leading up to the test week (7th week)
  4. Most of your work will come from the big 3 (bench, squat and deadlift)
  5. Before starting you need a good idea of what your maxes are
  6. After 7 weeks you can either take a deload or run right back into another 7 weeks with your new maxes from week 7.  I certainly wouldn’t try to run it three times in a row without taking a week off.
  7. The optional work is really whatever you want to do and can be substitute.  That is your free “bro sets”

So here is The Program.  This link will take you to shared google sheets document where you can download (file – download as) a copy for yourself and then start punching in your maxes.  Please be aware that this program may change after I run this for a few cycles.  I’ll certainly keep you guys updated on my progress and any program changes.  Now should anyone out there do me the honor of running this program please let me know what you think.

-Grant