Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Jacked - Part 5 - The Lift-Run-Bang Template Week 2

So with week 1 out of the way it's just a natural course of action to talk about week 2.

Since you pressed and squatted heavy in week 1, what we're going to do is press "light" and do legs "light" with heavy ass back work in week 2.

Mind you, light again is relative.  This means as heavy as you can go for a certain number of reps, namely in the 12-20 rep range for pressing stuff, so it should be as HEAVY as you can go for that particular rep range.  For legs front squats and pause squats will be the staple of week 2 with lots of leg extensions and 1-legged work to follow.

On back day obviously you're going to pull heavy off the floor, do some heavy ass rows, and other such debauchery.

So let's take a look shall we?

Week 2 -

Day 1 - Pressing - Light

Pick One - Seated Db Press/Standing Db Press/Machine Press - 3 sets x 12-20 reps

Pick One - Incline Press/Decline Press/Machine Press - 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps

So obviously we are looking at hitting some db and or machine work as heavy as possible but for higher reps.  Hence this being a "light" week.  You want to pick a weight that you hit close to 20 reps on your first set and go from there.  If you want a progression plan here, when you can hit that chosen weight for 20+ then bump it.  Simple.

Shoulder - Side or Bent Laterals - 5-6 sets of 15-20
Tricep - Pullovers or Pushdowns - 5-6 sets of 15-20

Again, don't overthink this just pick one and go after it.  No long pussy ass rest periods for side laterals and don't worry about weight here.  Just keep the ROM strict and get the blood in there.

Day 2 - Legs Light

So as I noted, fronts and pause squats will be the staple here.  But you can rotate in some BELOW parallel box squats from time to time if you feel like as well.  Just don't kid yourself about what is below parallel.  If you're in doubt about it, squat lower.  And yes, you can alternate the fronts and pause squats week to week if you want to.

Front Squats/Pause Squats - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 or 5,4,3,3,3 to a "top" triple.

Leg Ext - 4-5 sets of 20-30

This will suck.  Don't kid yourself.  Especially if you have not been doing this kind of work.

Adductor/Abductor Machine - Pick one or both - 4-5 sets of 15-20

1-Legged Movement - Lunges / Speed Skater Squats / 1-Legged Squats - 4 sets of 20

Again, this will suck major ass if you have been a "singles" kinda guy and not doing any rep work.  You will fucking die.  Suck it up and live again.

Day 3 - Back HEAVY

Ok so really there is no such thing as a heavy back day without deadlifting.  If I am not training for a meet I do like to vary some of my heavy pulling from the floor to on blocks to on a small elevation.  This is very much how Brad Gillingham trains his deadlift and I have always had good success coming back to this when I have pulling from the floor too long and stuck in a rut.  Just don't pull from above the knee for the love of God.  That's more douchenozzle than curling in the squat rack as far as I'm concerned.  You can thank Dante of DoggCrapp fame for video after video of 123 pound guys doing above the knee pulls for a range of motion of 0.007845 inches with 500 pounds.  Junk.

Anything from the below the knee is fine.

Deadlifts/ From Floor/Blocks/Rack/Elevated/Stiff Legged/Banded - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1

After heavy pulls, do some heavy ass rows or chins.

Pick One - T-Bars/Weighted Chins/Barbell Rows - 5x6-8 to a top set

After this we're going to hit some MODERATE good mornings, or if you're back is feeling too fatigued at this point, go to leg curls.  You will need to be the judge of this.

Good Mornings - 3-4 sets of 5 moderate weight OR...
Leg Curls - 4 sets of 20-30

Lastly let's get some bicep work in.  No need to go stupid heavy on biceps really, but if you are feeling your oats that day, fine.  I personally do not like to go stupid heavy on curls.  What's the point?

Curls of some sort - 4-5 sets of 10-20

Notes - 

Well that's that.  I have put a lot of thought into this template and I feel like it covers anything/everything a well rounded training program can cover.  There is enough variation within the program that anyone should be able to institute the METHODOLOGIES with ease.

On the light days, use them for what they are for.  Hypertrophy and strengthening the tendons.  That means HIGH reps, forcing lots of blood through those area.  At first I had the reps in the 15-20 rep range but after prodding from Vince Urbank (900 puller and pro-strongman) to up the reps even more, I thought it was a good idea.  So don't be afraid to back way off on the weight on the light days and push the reps into the 30+ range.  Remember you're still pushing barbell movements heavy with limited volume.  You're not trying to kill yourself on the light days, you are trying to strengthen the supportive area.  Forcing a shit load of blood through those joints, tendons, and musculature helps to do that.  So look for reps in the 15-30 range for all the supportive work.

Also during the assistance work, don't rest that long between sets.  This will humble you I promise.  When you limit rest and force more and more blood into the area you will find that puny weight starts to become harder to move.  Again, as you force blood into that area it also stretches the fascia, and this allows ROOM for growth.  Similar to the extreme stretching that DoggCrapp implements.

Remember for the BIG movements, heavy weight/lower volume.  For the assistance stuff, high volume/lighter weight/high reps.  I don't have a problem with doing higher volume on the main lift, but if you do that, you need to really limited the supportive work.  As I have gotten older, staying healthy has become my priority.  A younger lifter tends to be more pliable and I would recommend more volume for the big lifts, and less volume for the assistance work.  After 22 years, I don't need a lot of volume for the barbell lifts because there isn't as much technique to work out on my squats and bench anymore.  Even with deads, I know very well that pulling too heavy for high volume has a propensity for diminishing returns.  So any intermediate/advanced guy should be able to run this template very easily and should benefit mightily.

So to lay the overview of the program out here is what it looks like -

Week 1 -

Day 1 - Press - Heavy
Heavy Overhead Barbell Press
Bench Press
Shoulder Assistance
Tricep Asssistance

Day 2 - Legs - Heavy
Hacks/Machine Squats/Box/SSB
Leg Press (optional)
1-Legged Movement

Day 3 - Back - Light
Speed Deads/Cleans/Romanians/Shrugs
Supportive Rows/Pulldowns
Leg Curls/Glute Ham Raises

Week 2 - 

Day 1- Pressing - Light
Db/Machine Press
Incline/Hammer Strength/Machine Press
Shoulder Work
Tricep Work

Day 2 - Legs - Light
Front Squats/Pause Squats
Leg Ext
Abduction/Adductor/Leg Curls
1-Legged Movement

Day 3 - Back - Heavy
Deadlift/Block Deads/Elevated Deads
T-bar/Barbell/Db Rows/Weighted Chins
Good Mornings/Leg Curls


  1. Paul - my options at home are slightly limited - what would you suggest to replace leg extensions and add/abductor (I have a bar, dumbells, bands and a rack) - also could you post a link to your preferred tricep pullover youtube clip

  2. If you have bands you can do high rep band leg extensions. Just figure a way to rig it up (same for banded leg curls).

    Same for adductor work. Just do it Jane Fonda style with the leg going across the body (1 leg at a time).

    I will make a tricep pullover video soon.

  3. paul,

    is there going to be a week 3,4,5,6 or is this gonna be a repeat week 1 for week 3 etc etc?


  4. Just the two weeks.

    Week 1 - press and squat heavy, pull light

    Week 2 - press and squat light, pull heavy

    = awesome

  5. About what percentage of an actual 1RM are the paused squats on the "light" day if you were to just workup to the 3 singles?

    Also if I wanted to add pause squats in a different routine near the end of the workout as assistance, would doing the same as above be fine?


  6. ty sir. your a gentleman and a scholar haha

    seriously though, super stoked about this.

    i just started day one of week one and am eating like 2 fat chicks with no date for prom all day every day..

    i just gotta get my resting situation in order. fucking hard to go to sleep at night.

    thanks again


  7. J - Get some ZMA. I really swear by it now. No shit. Take it at night on an empty stomach. I told me fight instructor to get some, as he's the most wound up fucker I know, and he told me today he could barely get going. That's how relaxed he was from it. Good stuff.

    Andy - 40-50% of what you did on the heavy week. Remember it's LIGHT. If it's fronts go "heavy".

    Not sure what you're asking on the second question.

  8. ill pick some up next time i get the chance, at this point ill try anything this side of depressants.



  9. hey paul,

    after doing day one of week one, i felt really good after the workout, still strong even and the next day (today) i havent felt sore / sluggish at all.

    do u think i could benefit from upping the volume and taxing myself a little more or in your opinion this is normal and just leave things as they are to avoiding over training?



  10. You shouldn't be destroying yourself right out of the gate. If you need more volume do it on the lighter assistance stuff after the big work.

  11. All Clear.

    thanks again,


  12. Is this a 3x a week thing or 6x?

    Either way i'm looking to give it a shot.

    Sorry if you already mentioned it.

  13. 3 X a week.

    Hence week 1 and week 2....

  14. Paul

    I'm going to run Dips on week 2 light press and bent laterals on the heavy shoulder day (instead of upright rows) - any issues with these choices ?(Incline tore my shoulder up "clunk, clunk, clunk" today)

  15. No. All of that is interchangeable. Just make sure you get a shit load of reps in on the work after the big stuff. So for the dips and laterals you should be going for reps, not big weight.

  16. Paul, any ideea about heavy-light schedule for 2 day at week, please.
    Tks for any imput,


  17. Yes. I am going to talk about variations within the template real soon dude. Just hang out. :)

  18. Tks and sorry for my bad enghish :)

  19. no use of the "over warm-up" method paul?

  20. Absolutely. there is no reason why it can't be implemented here. I'm just trying to limit how much volume I do on the big lifts. The over warm up can certainly be implemented here and I may do so from time to time.

  21. Paul,

    Any suggestions for the light leg day for someone with access to a basic home gym setup? (barbell, dumbbells, and power rack). I have a GHR, but I'm trying to figure out how I want to approach doing the isolation stuff for quads & ab/ad-ductors.

    Found some dumbell approaches for the latter -- is this just a pick anything that may work in this case and try it? I don't want to overthink this.


    Use some ingenuity. There is always a way.

  23. 4 days after "light" pressing and my triceps are still sore !

    I'm definitively going to muck around with the lighter rep work and try what exercises are going to benefit me most - I think flat flyes would be better than laterals on the "light" pressing day - Dips instead of inclines, bent laterals instead of upright rows - the reps and sets will be the same - I think I can use a little poetic license and adjust where it needs adjusting.

  24. I said don't be surprised if you are sore as shit after some of this. This is good. This will mean new growth and strength down the line, with less wear and tear on your body. So don't change anything Phil.

  25. Hey Paul! I wanted to ask you how should i change this to work around lower back injury. Its healing already and i can squat moderate-heavy and deadlift light but it cant take frequent stress. I used to work squat and deadlift on their own day but thats out of the question now atleast until my lower back is fully healed. Thanks in advance!

    1. Did you buy the book and read the rehab chapter?

  26. Paul,

    Thanks for all of this. I am going to take a vacation from 531 and run the LRB template. A couple quick q's / clarifications (I have read the articles, q&a and bought the book):
    - For the heavy press on week one (3x5). How do you think about weight to use and progression? My 5RM for press would be 185. I'm thinking week 1 would be ~145 and go up ~10lbs for week 3 and so on?
    - For the pause squats (you said about 40-50% and to keep it light). Would I take my weight used for heavy squat in the 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 and do half the weight for each of these?
    - With 531 I've really gotten into doing sets of 10 bw pullups in between sets. Is adding this into Day 1 bastardizing the program?

    Thanks again, A

    1. 1. sounds fine
      2. It's the strong-15. there's no guess work. you bought my books right?
      3. do it as written. back work is done in a separate day.

    2. sounds good, thanks. so for #2, that means you are running a strong-15 pause squat cycle? I think that's the point where I was getting confused. I obviously have the template for that and the 85% target in the back of the book.

  27. Hi, I bought your book yesterday and feel a great affinity to your lifting ethos. It appeals to me a great deal. I am 47 and have only been lifting for four years. I'm not super-strong, but at least I lift weights and I'm getting stronger and healthier as I get older. One lift I have trouble with now is the Bench. It was never strong. But 2 years ago I snapped a tendon under my clavicle. It remains swollen and still aches. Benching with it proved difficult, as it hurt and caused my right side to be weaker. I can still use dumbells, so my question was, can I substitute Bench for Dumbells in this program? I know you say don't mess with the template, and I understand that; but sometimes we have to adapt to achieve. So I was wondering if heavy dymbell bench presses for triples maybe could replace the Bench on Overhead Press day?

    Thanks again for the book,

    1. I can't tell you what to do but my immediate answer would be no.