Monday, May 28, 2012


Ever been on an awesome road trip, where you stop and enjoy the sites.  You stop off at that hole in the wall place to eat and enjoy the best chicken fried steak you ever had.  Next thing you know, you're at your destination.  You never rushed, you never exceeded the speed limit for the most part.  You just cruised man.

On the other hand, you ever notice when you're in a hurry to get someplace, that you always get behind the slowest fucking driver ever?  Even more frustrating than that, have you ever gotten around that slow asshole, driven like a maniac, blazing a fucking trail up the road.  Then get hit by that red light.   You sit there, white knuckles on the steering wheel.......then that slow mother fucker pulls up right along side you at the red light.  All that maniacal driving didn't get you there any faster.

Amazing isn't it?

Lately I've had more and more stories from guys telling me about them actually listening, and just cruising a stubborn big lift for a while, only to test it later and hit a huge PR.

Wendler noticed this same thing quite a few years ago.  He was just going into the gym, doing enough to get work in, and he kept getting stronger.  He wasn't killing himself, just having lots of 80%ers.  Get in, do some work, get out.  Progress made.

A while back a guy wrote to me that he felt my programming wasn't heavy enough for him.  That he never felt like he was "worked" when he left the gym.  So after many weeks, he said "fuck it" and he went into the gym and warmed up on squats, and hit a 20 pound PR.

Let that story sink in for a while before you continue.

Recently Nealstar ran one of my Beastdom programs.  I told him to just pull maintenance for deadlifts on it, and attack the rows and squats.  He hated this idea, but he listened.

What happened?  Well, he pulled two new PR's on testing day, just missing a third.

This isn't an exception to the rule.  If you have been stuck in the slow lane for a while and a big lift hasn't moved, and you've been destroying yourself on it.....slow down.  Eat some chicken fried steak, and relax a bit.

The enemy of cruising.....muscle mass

Let me be clear, in the above I am talking about making a lift move.  Strength, if you will.

Muscle mass hates a slow driving mother fucker.

If your goal is to get bigger and build a shit ton of mass, then grinding your nuts into crack dust is pretty much a fucking requirement.  Moving as much weight as you can in the medium to high rep range pretty much can't be avoided.  I don't care what anyone tells you, at some point you're going to have to train balls the fuck out in order to build mass.

In the meantime, figure out which one is most important to you, and apply said methods and/or philosophies.


  1. good shit...not much more to be said.

  2. Interesting. But you don't think his work on rows (strengthening his back) and squats (which has known carryover to deads, look at Jamie's progress) had a lot to do with his increased deadlift?

    Not to say that cruising doesn't work, but maybe it works because you'll focus on main muscles in the movement (your specialization routines did well for your deadlift for instance).

    1. But if you don't pull at all, and work on the main movements, your deadlift will not go up. You still need to at least pull at a maintenance weight.

      And squats don't carry over to deads for everyone. Also, the other guy that I noted, hit that PR in squats. Not deads. We're talking more than 1 person here.

  3. Great stuff.
    These views are echoed repetitively by you guys who have been in the trenches - and is a main theme in the new book by Dan John and Pavel - "Easy Strength". Also interesting is that all of this is in contrast to the new wave of high intensity metabolic training that's out there.

    Lift Heavy - Run Fast - Stretch Hard - and Bang It!

    1. Love that, Ron.

      And easy strength is a great way to put it.

  4. Hey Paul how about a high number of sets with low reps for mass? For example 8 sets of 3 reps for bench. In your experience does that work as well for gaining mass as the medium to high rep sets you recommend?