Friday, December 21, 2012

Another ridiculous success story

Dear Paul,

I wrote on your blog the other day, regarding buying your book and the improvements I've made since I came across your site. Again, I wouldn't normally write, because I'm a stranger on another continent, but I tested my maxes today after about 14 weeks of using your philosophies. Since I know you put your information out there free to benefit others with your experience I thought I'd write and thank you, and let you know the progress I have made since switching to a rep-based approach. Today was a 100% dream day, and probably represents the absolute max that I can lift. While the numbers are hardly remarkable, I have been a weight class athlete most of my life, having boxed seriously since I was 11, and never having been above 168lbs until I was 21 (now 23.5) @ 6'1. I'm now at 187lbs, and have not seen any noticeable increase in BF% since I stopped competing at boxing. Interestingly, I've only put on about 6 or 7lbs since I switched to your approach, which given the increase in strength I've experienced, I find surprising - especially since I've been eating noticeably more out of necessity. It's probably partly because I still spar twice a week and do at least 5/6 rounds everyday on the bags after I've lifted.

Squat - I actually train in my unheated garage, and have no squat rack, so I use a sandbag for front squats. When I was doing singles, 14 weeks ago, I had a SB front squat max of 190lbs. I hit an all time PR of 252lbs today.

DB bench - 14 weeks ago - singles with 80lb dumbells. Today - 232 on the barbell. Never even come close to 225 before. Didn't have a spotter either and felt I could probably have had a few more pounds pretty comfortably.

Deadlift - 14 weeks ago - singles and doubles with 340lbs. Today, Hit a tough, but solid 426lbs.

Military Press (cleaned to shoulders) - 14 weeks ago singles and doubles on 130lbs. Today - hit a massive 171lbs.

All my assistance lifts have also improved dramatically.

Just wanted to take the time to drop you a line and thank you for the quality of material you put out, and let you know how much it has benefited me.




  1. Awesome! I can't wait to get the 365 ebook and get started.

    Paul, I don't have a Facebook account, so I'm posting it here to let you know I sent in $35 to the Emilie Parker Fund. Thanks for all the info and have wonderful holiday with those that you love.

  2. Thanks man! I will add it for you!

  3. holy crap, that's amazing. I'd be curious as to the programming he used for bench and overhead... apparently 'used Paul's philosophies' but not a specific program?

    1. You're missing the point again. It's NOT a program.

  4. First day in for me on the strong-15. The core lifts were easy as they should be, I worked on "weight murder" since the weight was light and low reps. The 4x20 leg curls got me however.

    On day 2 for the 5x10 incline should I just pick a mediocre weight and keep it constant for the reps?

  5. Front squatted for reps with a 250lb sandbag?? At 270lbs I have trouble with my puny 200lb sandbag.

    Harry is a badass.

    This, AND a boxer? Do not fuck with Harry. Seriously.


    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      Worth baring in mind that 250lbs most likely represents the maximum I would be able to front squat on a bar as well. It is just the tool I have chosen/circumstances have forced me to get good at. A life time of hill sprints 3-4 times a week also gave me a pretty good starting level of quad strength (considering I was 168lbs and had never touched weights). I could SB front squat 150lbs, arse to heels, for a few reps the very first time I tried.

      My approach is what I believe Paul's to be with front squats. I actually do most of my training with less weight than you'd think you have to. I really like the idea of over-warming-up on squats - seems to be working for me. I usually shoot for a rep PR for two sets, occasionally 3 if I've crushed it, then drop right down for a 20 rep set on 130-140lbs. Sandbag front squats seem to respond really well to volume. I don't train anything else on squat day, it takes all my focus. I always leave feeling like a beast, but with very little feeling below the waist.

      (I have a number of sandbags, and throw weight plates in the top to change the weight where necessary).


  6. Well day 2 of the Strong-15 in the book.

    The reps on the bench were easy, I hit 24 reps on the AMAP set.

    I've never done incline directly after flat bench and started WAY to high in weight for 5x10. I realized this right away and stopped at 6 reps. I then scaled back on about each set after that. Kind of a trial and error thing. 87 total reps of bench, 80 reps of pushdowns, and 40 reps of flyes, I should be sore as hell tomorrow.

  7. Any version of row or curl for back/bis is good I assume?