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. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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).


  5. 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.

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