Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Am I too much of a noob to run the strong-15?"

I get this question a lot.  And generally I recommend guys to run the beginner program I have outlined in Strength, Life, Legacy however here is a great testimonial from a guy that, poundage wise, would fall in that novice category.  I won't lie, it makes me beam to get these e-mails.

See what the strong-15 did for him..............


First of all, thanks for the amount of info you always put on. I just finished the first phase of LRB/365, and the results have been remarkable. I had an abdominal surgery back in July and I was out of the gym for 4 months. I wasn't jacked or strong (I lost a massive amount of weight in the previous 2 years), but I gained good muscle mass and strength that was lost in those months.

In December, I bought your book and decided to jump into LRB/365 since I noticed that I was starting to spin my wheels trying to decide what to do. I plugged 180 lbs for Squat, 155lbs for bench and 195 lb for Deadlifts. When I started I had lots of doubt if I would be able to reach those goals (even though I wanted so bad to surpass those weights).

Come today, I tested my maxes and I'm so fucking happy and astonished to see my progress coming back after all the pain and shit I took these last 8 months.

My fake meet went as follows (after warming up):
Squat: 175 lb, 190lb, 205 lb (all 3 went fast, the last one was a bit of a grind) *25 lb PR*

Bench: 155lb, 170lb, 185lb (the first 2 went well, the last one I almost missed it but I locked it) *30 lb PR*

Deads: 190lbs, 210lbs, 225lbs (all went fast as hell), but I was so fresh and not at all fatigued at this point and I said the hell with it and pulled 255 lbs for a 60lb PR from my plugged goal.

This base building/strong 15 programming is excellent. I plugged numbers I felt comfortable to hit after Phase 3, but during training I noticed I was dominating most of the time, even though I am a full time Pharmacy student and I sleep 4-6 hours most days. Nutrition definitely helped me here, especially CARBS. A friend of mine did this with me and he went 8/9, he only missed his 3rd attempt at the bench, but he was also excited with the results. We may not be close to any advanced level numbers, but we are so fucking proud of our effort and success. Thanks a lot, Paul. We owe it to you.

Best regards,



  1. Awesome stuff! I'm also using the strong 15 to program my big lifts (following a routine similar to your SPPC) and I'm most definitely still a beginner as far as strength goes. Although my lifts are still low, I can't see how a program like the strong 15 wouldn't work for just about every lifter who uses it correctly. Like you've said many times before, the key to success in lifting is programming within your limits, following some form of progression (in weight, reps, workload) and always sticking to the plan. The strong 15 offers all of these things and more.

    Congrats to Orlando for the awesome progress and of course thank you Paul for keeping us lifters on the correct path to success!

  2. Already posted this a while back on the LRB facebook page but I was in a similar boat but with a shoulder injury. At 5'7 165lbs after struggling to get my bodyweight on squats and deadlifts after the end of phase 3 I had both over 300 and my bench over 200. The strength gains have helped my jiu jitsu as well.

  3. The strong 15 is considered base building not peaking?

    1. Peaking. Though there is crossover depending on how you program it.

  4. Replies
    1. Exactly what I wrote. You can program it lighter with more volume on the back offs and it falls right into the base building methodology.

  5. So awesome that you posted this, Paul. So much appreciated. I would also like to add that I achieved this even while going through some sort of "injury". Ever since I recovered from surgery I have been having lots of trouble with my ribs and upper back. My chiropractor (which is a big proponent of strength building) diagnosed me with costochondritis.

    Most importantly, I always had in mind that Death is I did something. If you look for excuses to not follow the program, you won't reach your goals. It's important to be wary of any serious injury of course, but if something hurts slightly, suck it up and train. Now that I'm about to start the conditioning phases I hope that the increased blood flow I will be getting aids in my healing.



  6. Hey Paul
    I just wanted to let you know that one of my training partners hit a 10 lb PR on bench last night after finishing the strong 15 phase. He's 63 so that was awesome. After finishing up the cycle, he mentioned how it almost felt too easy this time, yet he still set a PR that had been stagnant for a while.

    1. Awesome! I love hearing about old dudes hitting new PR's!