Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Some early Base Building FAQs

1.  "Paul, I made it through phase "X" of the Base Building squat, in the minimum time, and it was easy.  What should I do?

A.  The first thing I have to stress is, or rather ask, is...was your speed on every set as fast as possible?  Generally people think yes, however after having worked with many dozen guys using this protocol I can tell you that I often still see slow downs from the 3rd set to the 5th-8th set.  It still feels "light" however the drop in power is evident on video.

If it is not, then I bump the EDM (every day max).  This is good.  This means progress, of course.  I recommend that you video your first, third, and last set of your work phases and watch your speed.  If there is any slow down in the transition point, then stick with that weight.  If the bar is still flying off of your back, then bump the EDM.  But always milk out a phase for as long as possible.

Lastly, this isn't about getting in X amount of work in X amount of time.  It's about doing it, and having every set look as explosive as possible.  Two factors without the third factor (power in each set) means the other two don't matter.

Work + Time + Explosiveness

That's the key.

2.  "Paul, I'm entering a fat loss stage.  Should I still run base building or something else?"

A.  Base Building works great for guys who are in the process of trying to go from lard ass to not so lard ass.  Mainly because the EDM can be adjusted as strength levels wane a bit during the acclimation process during fat loss.  Where a peaking program is based around ramping up, BB is built around sub-max intensities with speed, and a static max.  The static max can be adjusted as needed based on how your speed is doing.  You can also use the Fatigue Singles protocol to judge where your EDM is.

3.  "I have a powerlifting meet in 9 weeks.  How should I work Base Building with that?"

That's easy.  You should run the short cycle for 6 weeks (this includes the deload), so run Base Building for three weeks before that as the primer.

4.  "How do I decide what phase to use?"

My recommendation is to always start at Phase I, and milk it for all it is worth.  Once boredom or "gains" stall, you can move into Phase II or III.  But again, I emphasize that you need to understand all of the factors that go into what you are trying to accomplish here.  Becoming explosive with heavier and heavier weights.  Even though they are sub-max, you want to be able to move them with more speed over time, and then push the volume with the other phases.  So you need to ask yourself WHY you are changing phases.


  1. Congratulation, i have almost every ebook of elitefts and juggernout and Base Building manual is the best book i´ve read in a long time not only in the lifting part but in the mental aspect too, ¨you approach it like it was heavy, so it was¨ GREAT. Keep it strong and healthy, you´re a true inspiration.

  2. Paul, if weights are flying in phase 1 (and I am milking phase 1), is it better to increase your EDM or move to phase 2? How do you determine which is better at a given point?