Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Programming with the 350 method

So I wanted to elaborate a little bit more and give some examples of what I am going to dub the "350 method" here.  The only reason I have to give it a "name" is because otherwise every time I talked about it, I would have to say "well, 3 sets of as many as possible with 2 minutes rest between sets, until you can do 50 reps with it."

I feel like shortening is warranted.

This idea is not revolutionary of course, but it is a combining of ideas, which is where revolutionary ideas come from.  So I guess we're full circle and so yes, the 350 method is completely revolutionary.  That's a joke in case you're suffering from a NYE hangover and your sarcasm meter is broken.

But seriously, it's completely revolutionary.

Obviously this method can be applied to any movement.  However the way I am going to show you how to implement it is as programmed assistance work.  I think the 350 method lends itself very well to assistance work because it forces you to go light, get a lot of work in in a short period of time, and should give a nice boost to hypertrophy.

I will also show you guys that are running 365 how you can implement it right away this week.

So let's be clear about how to use this.  You are going to perform 3 sets of the same weight, with a 2 minute rest between sets shooting for a total of 50 reps across those three sets.

"How do I decide what weight to pick?"

I am going with 225 on incline.  I have been hitting around 22-23 reps on the first set.  After that it's been 12-13.  Then a whopping 6, because on that third set, the bottom really falls out for me.  That's a total of around 42 reps.  So I still have 8 reps to make up.  I think in order to make the 50 I'll need to get to 28/15/7 or something like that.

So I would suggest you figure out something that allows you to hit 40-42 or so, just like me, the first time you give it a run and stick with that until you get to 50.  It's that simple.

Don't cheat your rest periods like a weak bitch.  Two minutes.  If you have a training partner, I'd just go back and forth non stop until the 3 sets are done.  This will really make you think about the proper weight to pick.

Application -  

Basically, the best way to set this up, is to perform your main big 3 with the normal programming, via the strong-15 then pick a compound secondary movement to use the 350 method with afterwards.

For example - 

Bench - strong-15
Incline - 350 method @ X weight

After I started writing this up, the thing that immediately jumped out at me, is that after that, I could pick from my stable of 100 rep movements and shit looked tight as a muh fucka.

Bench - strong-15
Incline - 350 method @ X weight
Front Raises - 100 reps
Curls - 100 reps


Now since I can't bench every week, I will do my 350 method on incline every other week when I'm not benching, and I don't get beat up.  I still do the overwarm up on incline however since I'm just repping 225, I will probably bring it back down to 315 for the top single, instead of 365.  I just don't need to "warm up" that much in order to rep 225.

So how would I implement this on the other days?

Something like this.......

Deadlifts - strong-15
Barbell Rows - 350 method
Hamstring Curls - 100 reps

That pretty much takes care of all of your back and deadlifting issues.

What about squat day?

Squats - strong-15
Leg Press/Front Squats - 350 method
1 Legged Squats - 50 reps per leg

That shit is going to kick your nuts in.  I can tell you that by looking at it.  Which is good.  Everyone needs their nuts kicked in by a leg workout now and again, otherwise you forget what you're in the weight room for to begin with.

"What about overhead work?" cries all of the overhead zealots.

What I like here for overhead is to stay with the lift and do that as the "assistance".  More overhead work essentially.

Overhead Press- strong-15
Overhead Press - 350 method @ x weight (you figure this out through some play)
Front Raises - 100 reps
Curls - 100 reps

This is fantastical and will make your shoulders blow up like pumpkins, no doubt.  If you wanted it get even fancier you could just use the Klokov press for the 350 method after the overhead work.

Overhead Press - strong-15
Klokov Press - 350 method
Front Raises - 100 reps
Curls - 100 reps

See what I did there?  No big deal, in case you were going to "ask" if you could do that.  Of course you can.  There are no rules.

If you just wanted to follow up the main lift with the 350 method, you would have to be really smart because 22+ rep squats and deads are going to take some serious shit out of you.  This is why I suggest picking movements that don't even ALLOW you to use as much weight in order to do this.

Incline uses less than bench.
Fronts use less than squats.
For back, do a row.  If you were really frisky that day, do elevated stiff legs with it but go LIGHT.

You could also substitute chins if you are good at chinning.  You could even do both really.

Deadlifts - strong-15
Rows - 350 method
Chins - 350 method

That gives you 6 working sets of almost 100 reps for your support work.  That's solid in every way.  Throw in a 100 rep set of leg curls after and you're talking almost 300 reps for support work after the deadlift.

Who the fuck keeps writing that I'm a low volume guy?  Oh yeah, the guy that does 8 sets of 5 (40 reps) when I usually talk about doing 100-200 reps for support work.  Just in fewer sets.  You know why?  Because it's harder, and I don't want to be in the gym training lazy.

365 implementation - 

For those of you that started 365, it's perfectly fine if you want to implement this technique this week.  Just make sure to bastardize the 350 method as the phases go along.

So for example in phase 1......

Bench - strong-15
Incline - 350 method @ x weight

Phase 2 -

Bench - strong-15
Incline - 2 sets instead of 3

Phase 3 -

Bench - strong-15
Incline - 1 set to AMAP

Again, remember as the intensity on the main lifts climb, you have to lower the volume/intensity for the support work.  You have so much recovery ability and the more effort you pour into assistance the less effort you can apply to your big 3 over time.  Something WILL take a hit.

I do not recommend getting crazy with this method.  Pick 1 movement per day you'd like to try it with, and start light.


  1. Paul,

    I hope you don't hate me for asking this but how would you implement it while using the big-15 would it be the same?

    1. Use it on the secondary press, and on rows. For lower body use it with 1 legged work and leg press.

    2. Thanks again Paul such a wealth of information.

  2. Started implementing 365 this week and I'm psyched because I just started adding in some of your training ideas over the past year and I'm already bigger and stronger but at a lower body weight (if that makes sense). Anyway, I was reading through the diet portion of 365 and I was wondering if I wanted to implement the Keto diet during the fat loss phases would it be best to do it for a few weeks at the beginning or do it for a few weeks at the end?

    1. Do it for the phase I outlined it for. If you look at the beginning of each phase it'll tell you.

  3. Doing this tomorow!

    By the way, those leg curls sucked.

  4. Nice. Reminds me of your Ultimate Beastom - Rep Strength program. I did that program working my dead up to a single at 75-80% of my target, and then doing T-Bars using my 20 rep weight to get 30+ reps in minimum sets with minimum rest. At the end of the cycle I hit two Deadlift PR's. Made me a big believer in both the over warm-up and high-rep rowing.

  5. If you implement this with 365 on one lift, would you recommend doing 100 reps for the other exercises or the usual volume type stuff you've included in the split like 5x10 or whatever?

    Thanks man!

    1. No. There's a whole phase for the 100 rep stuff.

  6. Ok, thanks. One more question, in the first strength peaking phase I imagine that ab work and other small assistance stuff can be done on the conditioning days, or just whenever. Is that correct? Thanks.

  7. Paul, I'm a bit confused now. Does this mean i can incorporate the 350 method during the first 12 weeks. The strength peaking week?

    So on chest day, i can do
    Bench cycle
    Incline 350, instead of 5 x 10
    Flat fly 2 x 20

    1. Thanks man! Love it when people keep updating their stuff instead of sticking to one philosophy.

  8. Hey Paul,

    revolutionary ideas! ;)
    Iam sad (glad?) to tell you ive used this method for my main assistance movement over the last year with great success (both with clients and my own training). I got the idea from the way chad waterbury plans his workload. Nevertheless, its a great way to track progress and bust ur ass with the assistance without overshooting total volume. I like to use a weight I can get 50 Reps in 3 sets and do it until I get the 50 in 2 sets. Works incredibly well :)

    Thanks for your work and putting ur ideas out for us. Helps a lot!

  9. Paul,

    forgive my ignorance but after reading your blog for a few months and reading 365 several times I still need to ask.

    100 rep exercises....are you doing all 100 reps in one set or are you getting 100 reps total in several sets?

    I want to make sure I am clear on how you intend this aspect of the program to be run. I apologize if I missed it somewhere in 365.

    Thanks as always.

    1. Hmmmmmm, if you had been reading the blog for months how would you have missed all the 100 rep curls?

      It's 100+ reps non stop. 1 set.

    2. I don't know. I probably wasn't clear about it then either and didn't bother to ask......

  10. Hey Paul,

    So I'm registering to lift in USSF powerlifting meet in Olathe. This'll be my first time ever competing. I've read about selecting openers (I was going to select a weight I can easily double or triple), so I think I'll at the very least not bomb out my first meet. I guess I'm just wondering if you have any tips for a first-timer? I'm not running any of your programs (even though I've bought your books) because I honestly feel they're too advanced for me right now. Well, that's a lie - I running your SPPC from last year as I think that's more my speed.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome. If not, I'll see you in April!


    1. Figure out what you'd like to hit and go -

      85% - 93% - 100% (goal)

      That's what I pound into people.

  11. Thanks Paul. My minimum goal is an 880lb total, but I'd love to get 900lbs. I'm excited! And nervous. haha

  12. Paul, my parents got me SLL for Christmas and I love it! The training stuff is great but I've been reading (studying) the "LRB Philosophy" and "thoughts about life" sections constantly, they are priceless, thank you.

    Also, I wanted to share this rear delt superset I thought you might like, rear delt tit machine supersetted with face pulls. My ultimate goal is to get 100 reps on each for elimate rear delt/upperback destruction.

    1. That sounds awful. I will have to give it a shot at some point.

  13. Just did this today on incline work, got 20 11 9. Not usually one who gets big pumps, but honestly, It felt as if my chest was on fire from this.

  14. Paul,

    Very solid ideas you've put out there. A lot of folks could benefit from simpler training methods like this. Prime up the the big lifts, get stronger. Rep out the little lifts, get bigger.

    I've been experiementing with lower intensity weights on the big lifts for roughly a year now while uppin' the volume. It carried over very well. My 1-max strength increased without even coming close to my 90% singles.

    Doing good, Mr. Carter.

  15. I have been programming in the 350 method to my normal routine. I absolutely love it.. Its fun and challenging! Does this work or am I doing too much for mass and strength.

    Bench 2x8-12 or 50%
    Dips 50-100 reps
    Upright rows 350
    Lying tri ext 350

    Squats 2x12-15 or 50%
    BB rows 2x8-12
    Chins 30-50 reps
    Preacher curls 350

    Incline 2x8-12 or 50%
    Military press 2x8-12
    Side raises 350
    DB OH ext 350

    Squats 2x12-15 or 50%
    DB rows 350
    20-30 close chins
    Incline curls 350

    Thanks for your help!

  16. Looks good. Only change I'd make is swap out the db rows with stiff legs or regular pulls, and the squats on that day with fronts.

  17. Paul,

    With regards to the 350 models you have setup in here, could in turn replace Strong 15 with the Base Building model from the new manual? I have 12 weeks until my 2nd meet ever(first one was yeeeears ago) and was going to do

    6 weeks basebuilding
    5 weeks strong 15 short cycle
    1 Week Deload

    First 6 weeks i was thinking of one day specific to each lift, perhaps adding "smaller sessions" when able, then tapering down the volume on accessories, scaling it back to 3x/wk. etc.