Dear Paul,

I´m sure you´re busy as hell and probably get a thousand e-mails form readers daily, but I wish you have the chance to read through this one.

I usually tend to keep stuff to myself, but I honestly feel the need to thank you.

My story starts on october 2010. I was 21 years old, sitting at a chubby 175, zero muscle mass and not a single care about it. Life was good, and I was happy.

Everything changed that month, tho. I lost a loved one, developed a severe depression and, all of sudden, life didn´t make sense anymore.

As a way to clear my mind, I decided I would go back to regular exercising and get in shape again.

It started well, I cleaned my diet and slowly started to run 3x a week. Phisically I was improving, but my mind was still fucked and getting worse.

Long story short, my depression was killing me. I started to run 10km a day for 6 days a week and was eating something like 1000kcal a day.

Not surprinsingly, I dropped to a malnourished and unhealthy 121 pounder at 5´10´´ in july 2011.

That same month, I completed a half marathon in 1h44min. Funny thing is I hated running. I only did it because I was afraid to regain weight.

One week after the half marathon, I was training in the treadmill and almost passed out. I was weak, sick and needed help.

That day, I decided I would turn my life around again.

I seeked medical aid, quit running and decided to go back to lifting weights, something I loved to do as a teenager.

As a compulsive reader, I started to research all I could on weighlifting. That was the time I came across your blog.

On August 2011 I was a little better, so I started `lifting´. I was doing the typical BB body part split you see on commercial gyms.

But as I dug deeper into your writings and learned about the compound lifts, I thought: Hey, that makes sense.

I slowly started to incorporate frequent squatting to my training. Then benching, chinning, deadlifting, OHPing...

Not surprinsingly, I was hearing crap from the `personal trainers´ at the gym, because the stuff I was doing was dangerous and I should just stick to cable flies and curls.

I didn´t trust them, tho. I trusted you.

So I didn´t care about all the crap I heard and all the laughs from the bros looking at me squatting the bar. I kept at it. I worked my ass off.

I was already disregarding isolation movements, but when I read your post from January 3rd I decided that 2012 was gonna be dedicated to smash the compounds and get as strong as I can.

Fast forward to today.

I´m sitting at a lean 158lbs, looking good and as healthy as possible.

People are complementing me daily, and life is awesome.

I´m currently squatting 240x3, deadlifting 355x3, benching 180x3 and OHPing 120x3.

The same bros that used to laugh at me now are coming to the squat rack to tell me I´m strong.

I can honestly say that your writings changed my life.

I can´t thank you enough for that.

Just make sure to remember that you are a role model to a lot of people, myself included.

Thank you for everything.

Just a quick note really to say after running your strong15 for a full cycle I just PR'd on all 3 lifts with 200kg on both squat and deadlift and 136.5kg on the Bench. Thanks for putting pen to paper, the shit seems to work

All the best



Overall went 9/9 totaling 1300 in the 165's, raw/drug-free/all that jazz:

Squat - Just felt on from the first warmup. Previous meets, I would always cut the depth close and usually draw one red light on the last attempt. This time, all whites and I credit the pause squats in getting more confident in the hole. I'm beyond convinced that doing box squats kept my squat from progressing for a long time and was about the most retarded thing a raw squatter can do (practice relaxing in the bottom; not too brilliant in retrospect). 465lbs. on the final lift

Bench - Always been a shitty bencher, but at least progress is happening again. This was a weird one, because my last attempt flew up the easiest. Not sure if I got tighter, more fired up, hit the pause right at the sweet spot, or what happened. Left some on the platform, but finished out 295lbs.

Deadlift - Tore this one up. And again, I have to thank the inclusion of the backoff sets during training, in helping me to gut out that last attempt. Always would be gassed after the 2nd, but Saturday I finally got it right. Pulled a 3rd attempt 540lbs. nice and clean.

Looking back, those backoff sets were just the ticket to kick this whole thing in high gear. I used to do the typical shit you see everyone do; work to up to a 1-3RM weight and call it a day. But that was like getting 10 feet away from the finish line and never crossing. Thx again.


I've never personally met you but I know you met my dad. We worked out at 68's while you were there. But I wanted to comment on the LRB blog but this was a little personal, I just wanted to say I was near 400 pounds my freshman year in college, it wasn't until I saw you working out and my dad had showed me the LRB blog until it hit me I needed to do something with my life.

I had high blood pressure, bad asthma the whole 9 yards, and I even played d2 football, started as a freshman, I read your blog and saw you at the gym and figured hey, he might know a thing or two, I started incorporating your diet, strength and conditioning ideas and now as a "junior" in college im at 290-295 range, bounces around every day I weigh, with my weight where I'm at I feel great and better than before, no asthma problems and my blood pressure is as good as its ever been my entire life, and my numbers as far as strength are as good as they've ever been.

Ive even been talking to some coaches at the University of Arkansas (where I'm at now) and I might walk on in the fall, I don't want to sound like a cheese ball or nothing man but thanks for all the work you put into the blog, I know its done wonders for others, and as we can tell its done great for me, and I don't know where I'd be right now or how healthy I'd be if I wouldn't have had that "intervention".

Thanks for everything again man, I wish you the best of luck with the training prior to the meet, congrats on the 405 incline, and I hope all is going well for you and your family.



I just wanted to let you know that I am on the fourth week of doing your template. It's been great. The higher reps have really had an impact on my upper body's overall size especially. Plus I feel great. All the dumb bell pressing has done something good for my shoulders. I hurt my left shoulder last year about this time and had not benched since then.

Even now on your program I am not benching, but I have been close grip floor pressing. It has been essentially pain free and I am close to pressing from that position what I used to be able to bench press. That's such a huge improvement you don't even know.

Anyways, I wanted you to know that you did not waste your time, that I am following the program to the letter (other than the floor press sub) and I've been able to add weight or reps to every movement every time so far.

Thanks again,



Hey Paul,

Just want to tell you I used a lot of what you preach in Getting Jacked and Strong-15 in my first two cycles this year and have set some decent PRs. Two weeks ago, on my final DL attempt, I pulled 490 weighing 164 at an meet to take the masters' title. That lift will ranked eleventh overall and second in the over age 60 (M3/M3) division on PL Watch's masters list. My final squat would have been a ten pound meet PR, but I pussied out and cut it an inch short.

Thank you so much for the part you played in my success. Can't wait to get your new book. (Needless to say, I'm REALLY interested to learn the specifics of that strongman deadlift cycle.)



Doc H

I have been a long time reader Paul and took up the SPPC challenge in January. I started with a 325 close grip paused bench, 415 squat and 505 deadlift at 215. I dieted down slowly while trying to kill it in the gym. At 200 lb I tested out at 315, 405, 525. I got to 197 while mainting this level before my bench and squat took a shit, but I somehow pulled 405x13 one day (a +10%'r for sure). I am at 192 now after a week off feeling energized. Although my peak strength numbers are down, per lb of bodyweight I am stronger and look better now than I did when I was training BB years ago.

I am making that final push to 185 so my diet is tight and I am pushing myself on the stairclimber. I will begin a slow steady gain back up in the fall to reach a 600 DL I know I will be good for in 12-15 months. In the meantime, I am addressing my weaknesses by training for new rep goals at lifts I suck at. The strength is there, but it is time to lean up and have some fun with new challenges in the gym.

Lift, run and bang away your weekend!



After working out for almost 9yrs consistently, im in the best shape of my life and the most muscular and leanest. i see people in the gym for hours at a time doing one body part with 20 plus sets.. they see me do my whole routine in less than a hour and they're like wtf? it's easy i tell them pick a goal and go after it...train fucking hard then get out to recover. eat clean and do some cardio. i owe all this "simple" knowledge to you bro. now after i cut a little more weight, i'll cruise on that and start to prep for my next meet in October. thanks again.


Just say thank you!!
I did my first cycle of strong-15 on bench press and increaded 22 lbs my 1RM. All the cycle the back-off set was 14 reps, whit 10 reps on the final week.
Now I am starting the second cycle and I did 19 reps on my first week back off set!!
I am doing the 85-93-100% rule and this works!! And I not a begginer, I already had a double bodyweigth bench!!
Keep the good work man!!


Hey Paul,

Before I bought your new e-book, I decided to run your original Strong 15 for bench press only to give your ideas a shot.

Tonight was the 11th week- time to test the new PR.

When I started the program, my max bench had been 252.

Tonight, I was able to do 258.

It's only 6 pounds, but bench has always been my weakest movement, and I am so happy to have the new PR.

Great site and am looking forward to starting the man maker routine next week, as we previously discussed via e-mail.

Thank you,
John Francis


I wanted to take the time to say thank you. I finally topped 1k. I hit a 405 squat, 255 bench, and 385 pull yesterday. I know other folks can do a whole lot more than that but I don't care. I've added over 100 lbs each to both my squat and deadlift and 30 lbs to my bench since January. I was fucking about with StrongLifts and mostly just hating lifting before I found your site. The way you train and the reasoning behind your methods makes a lot more sense to me than other paradigms I've attempted. I've got a lot left to do: getting my strength where I'd like it to be, cutting weight, and getting my conditioning up to snuff so I can get back into rugby. There is no way I'd have made this much progress this quickly without the stuff you've put out there. I'm including a picture of my squat; I know the resolution sucks ass but that's the best I could get with my iPod. I figured you'd want to see folks repping your site. Thanks again for all you do.  --  Ruy Tiapula de Alencar

I don't usually write on these things, but I thought I'd make an exception. I'm usually one of those guys that waits 'til some good Samaritan rips the e-book and puts it online to download.

In this case, I'm going to buy your new book. You seem like a good bloke, and you make a massive amount of quality information available here for free. I spent a year or so being the weak guy lifting heavy singles and not getting that much stronger. Just a few months of applying what I've learned for free from this blog means I am now doing double figure reps on EVERY SINGLE lift that I was previously using for max singles. I don't even have a structured program, beyond working my arse off every time i train, I just follow what I see as your fundamental principles.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the great stuff you put out, training and non-training related, and that it doesn't go unappreciated.


Hi Paul

Not sure what the average demographic of your readership/blog followers is, but I'm guessing I'm not it. After reading an article posted on the Crossfit blog where I was training at the time, about a woman who basically got off the couch to set power lifting records. I thought...hang on, I can lift nearly that...and I really wanted to. So, I cancelled my Crossfit membership and sought out a power lifting club.

6 months of training and 2 meets under my belt, one just this weekend. For this latest cycle our coach followed your template. I also read your blog (and SLL), and was mighty glad I did as the context of that program seemed to get lost on some people in the gym who were just following their 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 template.

I am 40 years old, so for me, staying in the game for as long as I choose to is key. I read your stuff,got my coach to decrease my maxes, did a shit load of things like front squats and presses after my first meet. I added to my back squat in 2.5# and 5# increments because it felt right, and I need to know I have "earned" bigger jumps.

Going into this meet, I knew exactly which lifts were in the bag, and which were 50/50 and it had NOTHING to do with what I had lifted in the gym, on a good day, only doing that lift and not the other 2, with my fave tunes on etc etc etc. And I was right, which means you were right!

Gym maxes actually meant jack shit on the day, and whilst a few of my club mates were totally bummed about this, I kind of expected it. In fact I had a meet where the result (good) was better than my performance (which was not great as following your program I added quite a bit of muscle but I foolishly chose not to go up a weight class and drained myself out in meet week).

So - just a shout out to say keep up the good work, looking forward to reading your new stuff, and keep on keeping everyone honest!

Best wishes, happy holidays etc, Jo Welsh

USAPL NJ State - 1st place
USAPL NE Regionals, 3rd place Open, 1st place Masters.


As a trainer and a competitive lifter I am always on the lookout for solid training information. So I picked up Strength - Life - Legacy looking to learn something new and eager to try it out. After reading it I decided to run the Strong-15 cycle, since the timing lined up perfectly for a meet I was planning on doing (which just happened to be the World Championships). I connected with Paul on Facebook and quickly decided that if I was going to run Strong-15 it would be best for me to work directly with the man himself. So I hired Paul to coach me.

I have to admit: as a coach I have a hard time BEING coached and I was skeptical about some of the ideas Paul had but I trusted that he wouldn't lead me in the wrong direction. The end result? 4 World Records at the meet and a bunch of PRs to go along with them. On top of this, Paul's an awesome guy who is easy to talk to. He motivated me when I was doubtful and kept me pushing forward.

Christopher Smith - 100% Raw World Record Holder 


Coming off a 2nd place finish at North American Strongman Nationals - it's time to get better and stronger. Second place isn't good enough. Started my new training block tonight with programming influence from Paul Carter and Jim Wendler. I highly recommend anyone serious about getting bigger and stronger to read their work (and BUY their books).

Chase Karnes

Read more about Chase hitting big PR's here......


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.




Paul, I got injured (still not sure what it was, I heard everything from sciatica to piriformis syndrome) and my deadlift plummeted and then went nowhere for nine months. Started your new strong fifteen eight weeks ago and today I pulled 585 smooth like butter which hasn't happened in a long time. Your programming works - it just does. Thanks and merry Christmas!

Dan N. Meehan


I have a 57 year old female that I have been training. She just finished strong 15 for squat and deadlift and she went from 185 to 200(super fast and easy. she wanted to do more but I told her 200 was our goal and now we have room to grow) and DL went up 275 to 285(weak off of the floor). Great stuff she only trains 2x a week. I have been training her for 1.5 years now and she has never had an injury and lifts more then most guys. The big mantra I push with her is leave room to grow and more weight is not always better.

Chris Falkner


Just thought you should know I hit a full 100 lb raw competition PR on my 18" DL after running two rounds of the SLL strongman DL protocol and a strong15 short cycle. Also hit a 5 pound pr on log clean and press and 35 lb pr on the clean portion (missed locking it out) -- Cody Neal


So I just wanted to thank you for your work again and namely, 365. I just performed the first Deadlift/Squat workout of the 3rd cycle in the strength peaking phase and basically all of the reps, including the max singles, felt like an empty bar. I have completely bought in to the concept of only rarely testing maxes in the gym. My body feels great right now and having the knowledge that I can crush all my PR's right now if I wanted to is better than actually attempting to do so then ruining my train for the next however many weeks. Thanks again,Paul -- Charlie Karnick


Hi Paul,
I just wanted to drop you a message saying thanks! Last year I bought and devoured strength-life-legacy, so when I saw you wrote LRB 365 I snapped it up instantly.

With the new year I was excited to run the LRB 365 program. Initially I had no idea what to program for my lifts as I had not approached a 1RM for anything except squatting in over a year. While I tried to program conservatively, hindsight being 20-20 I could have dropped the poundage a bit further.

Anyway, I'm elated to say that I blew away all my expectations in testing today! I programmed for 465 on the deadlift and ended up pulling 500! I've never really tested before, so I wasn't sure if I should attempt the other lifts in the same session or not. In the end I went with "go for it" and hit my programming goals of 410 squat and 270 bench easily, but I was too tired to attempt anything further. Once I started second-guessing myself as I started to tire, I think I killed it for me. Doesn't matter though; I'm super happy with my results.

As an aside, in my free time I'm a juggler and acrobat. With all the progress I've been making, my troupe had an old-school, leopard print, strongman costume made for me. It's pretty crazy to see what hard work and dedication -- what simply not missing a workout or lift for 3 months, will do. And, speaking as a former fat-kid, it's totally awesome to be able to move and lift anything and in anyway I choose. Never noticed how much I couldn't do until I found out what I was capable of. Being able to be a base for four other people to hang off of is fucking awesome. (www.detroitcircus.info if you're curious; I'm the fire breather)

So basically, I just wanted to say thanks for all the knowledge and inspiration you've given. Looking forward to the conditioning cycle coming up for the spring! And, after today's results, I'm definitely going to check a meet this year.

Thanks again!

-Tom Joseph



Just wanted to give you a brief thanks for not only the knowledge you drop on your blog but the perspective you bring as well. I've been in and around training and lifting now going on more than half of the years I've walked the earth, yet in the month or so I've been following you blog I cant even quantify how much I've been able to take away from it. Keep up the great work man, you are w/o a doubt making a difference.

Ryan Burgess

In Strength and Health,
Ryan Burgess, CSCS
Director of Football Development
Strength, Speed, and Performance Coach
Fitness Quest 10



Just wanted to say thanks. I set a pr of 340 lbs. in the squat last night. My previous best was 325 lbs. (set last November). I was one of those guys that kept training the squat above 90%. Since November, I couldn't get past 315. I would struggle with that weight most of the time. My typical squat workout was : bar x20, bar x20, 135 x5, 185 x3, 225 x1, 275 x1, then anywhere up to 315 x1. Quite a few of these workouts, the 275 x1 would almost bury me and I would call it quits for the day.

Around Christmas, I bought LRB-365. I really wanted to beat my previous max in the squat. I started the week after New Year's. I programmed in 340 lbs. (maybe too ambitious) and got to work, following the program exactly as you laid it out. Well, 9 weeks later, I squatted 340 lbs. I've got to tell you, at 52 years old, I didn't think I would be breaking any records, I am so pumped now. I'm thinking of running the LRB short cycle and programming a modest 345 lbs. and seeing how that goes.

So, thanks Paul for all your hard work and getting the information out. You've given me inspiration to keep training and not to give up on my goals.

Brian Foley



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,


Twenty pound PR on bk squat tonight after following your programming for the past nine weeks!!! (via Kyle Thornton at Crossfit Littleton)
I hit my 300lb goal!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
-- Jessica Anderson

Hey Paul. I just wanted to thank you for the effort you put into your blog and your books. I bought SLL in November and it is the only training related book I have ever bought that didn't feel like a complete waste of money after I had read it. I've been putting your training ideas into my training for the last 6 months or so and the results have been awesome. This past week I hit all-time 5 rep max PR's in both my standing press and bench press. I easily had 2-3 more reps in each of those sets too. It amazes me that I haven't taken a single set to failure in 6 months and I feel stronger every week. Definitely the most fun my training has been in a long time. Thanks again.

Bill Schonberger



I first stumbled upon your blog last year in a computers class in my high school, where I spent a good deal of time reading your articles. I think that its incredibly fitting that today I write this email in the same computers class. I was 180 lbs with minimal experience/knowledge with squatting, benching, deadlifting, and proper dieting; so essentially I had no idea what I was doing. Through your blog I was introduced to the incredible world of powerlifting, and first saw the men that now inspire me to train as I hard as I fucking can. I was introduced to the concept of training with intelligence and purpose, rather than casually walking around the gym and bench pressing once every ten or twenty minutes, as the average high-schooler in my area does. Your blog, writing, and philosophy has inspired me to be the best that I can be, and to pursue both powerlifting and bodybuilding as I enter college. Today, I am 18 years old and 200 lbs with a 430 squat, 280 bench, and 440 dead. While I realize that these are not the most impressive numbers, I believe that they will serve as a decent base line to work with as I enter my first competitions. I can not thank you enough for your teachings, which influence my life both in and out of the gym.

Thanks for everything!
David Moran


Hi Paul - started LRB 365 in March of this year. I had used many other programs before but was having trouble dialing in the accessory work (reps, # of set, when to dial it back, etc). Your program, along with the focus on the big lifts, appealed to me. First phase went fine. I thought i had the big lifts dialed in. Phase 2 starts and i missed a few lifts. Time to lower the weights for the squat and deadlift. Ego was not a factor as i knew i was doing the right thing - in the long run. Rolled through the next 6 weeks or so. Took the deload week, as prescribed by you. Had an opportunity to attend a deadlift training session at Total Performance Sports this past Saturday. I knew i was going to learn more about the art of deadlifting. Didn't really have any expectations about what I was going to lift. My goal was knowledge. Watching others do the lift, practicing what I was learning, asking questions to make sure I understood things all proved to be very helpful. When all was said and done, I pulled 495 (beltless) - a weight i hadn't touched in a couple of years. My max training weight, once I dropped it to a more manageable level, was 425! I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge via SLL, your FB posts and LRB blog. Based on this weekend, I am now considering, even more strongly, doing my 1st meet in October. For what it's worth, I am 47. I will be 48 at the time of the meet. Thanks again! -- Ken Andrews

After using the 9 week Strong 15 meet taper I competed today in the 198 men's open at the apf primal strength fest raw at 194.6 5'10" and 23 years old.

I wasn't feeling much stability in the squat so I settled for 5 pounds under the programmed goal of 445. Still at 440 a 10 pound pr is good progress - prior to the weight cut 455 felt great 2 weeks out. In the bench I went over my planned 345 and did 353 easy (23 pound pr). Finally, I hit 12 pounds over my deadlift goal of 539 and pulled 551.

Thanks for the great posts and strong advocacy for raw lifting!

Very Respectfully


Hey Paul, so I just finished up another Strong-15 cycle and just deadlifted a PR of 565 tonight. I think that's pretty amazing considering over the last 4 months I've done exactly 2 reps above 500 lbs. in training. A year ago I had pretty much accepted the fact that I'd never deadlift 585 or above. Now I feel like it's not a matter of if but when.

I also benched 350 for the first time ever about 3 weeks ago. I have sucked horribly at benching my whole life. It literally took me 5 years to bench 225. So finally being able to hit an easy 350 felt fucking awesome.

Thanks for all that you do. I can't wait to pick up your base-building manual either. Good luck with your meet. -- Bill Schonberger


I wanted to write to you about my meet on Saturday at the IPA Nationals in York, PA. I decided in
early September after being a reader of your blog over the past 2 years that I would finally fully
implement your Strong 15 program. I plugged in 10lb PR’s for each lift for Phase 3. (415 Squat, 275
Bench, 545 Dead) Prior to all of this, I’ve been in 2 meets. One in July 2012 where I totaled 1125 and
one in December 2012 where I totaled 1170.

Over the first half of 2013 I ran Sheiko based programs, but was plugging in maxes that were well over
my actual max. Additionally, I was using a belt for nearly all of my working squat and deadlift
training. Eventually, I beat myself into the ground and set myself up for injury. Ironically, I injured
my left lat when I was doing beltless squat training in May. The injury happened because I was out of
town for work and didn’t bring my belt. When I went to squat that night of the injury, I just took 30lbs
off my normal training weight and figured that would be good to squat beltless. I was wrong! I took a
week off from the gym after that injury.

When I started training after that injury, I decided to back the weight off a TON and I did 100%
beltless training. I started extremely low in weight and basically did 5x5 and 6x6 all summer adding
2.5-5lbs every session. By the time August rolled around, my beltless 5x5 squat was up to 335, which
was better than any of my previous belted squat work. As with any type of linear programming,
eventually you come to a halt and have to reset or back-off.

At that point in time, I decided I wanted to compete again and eyed up the IPA National
Championships in York, PA. When I decided to do the meet in September, I was 11 weeks away from
the meet date and the Strong 15 fit in perfectly with that timeframe. A couple key takeaways from
the 9 weeks of training: I didn’t institute using a belt until about week 7 of my training. I only did
about a half dozen singles with the belt on deads and squat through the whole program. All of my
back-off work was done without a belt. I only missed ONE lift the whole 9 weeks. It was the very last
week for deads training. I was training very late at night after a stressful and long day at work. On the
final back off set of 1x3, I only managed 2 reps as the 3rd rep only got halfway up. I loved the AMAP
work for bench. My final AMAP bench set was 235x7 paused, which I thought guaranteed my 275 3rd

I decided to cut to 198. Really the only reason I cut to 198 was because the 198’s and under all lifted
on Saturday. The 220’s and up lifted on Sunday. I had some previous family obligations so it didn’t
work out for me to lift on Sunday. After reading about your weight cut for Relentless, I had some
trepidation, but I still decided to move forth with my cut. The previous Sunday I was 216. On Monday
I started my water loading and carb/sodium cut. On Friday morning, I woke up at 530 am at 203.6.
Over the course of the next 3 hours, I hot bathed and steamed off the remaining 5.6lbs. When I got
to the meet site at 10am, my initial weigh-in was 198.5, putting me .25 over. The lady weighing me in
told me to go pee and spit out as much as I could. I maybe got a couple dribbles of pee out and I was
trying to spit whatever saliva was left in my mouth. 15 minutes later, I weighed in at 198.1.

After the weigh-in, it was a food smorgasbord all day. BBQ, Pho, candy, Hawaiian Punch, Mike & Ike’s,
tons of water, quesadilla’s. I went to bed at 214. I woke up the next morning and had a half of an egg
omelet at the hotel and a bunch of coffee and water. Off to the meet I went.

In regards to the meet, I have to say it was run pretty darn well. The venue was the USA weightlifting
hall of fame in York, PA. The Challiet’s run the IPA and run the meet and I give them a ton of credit.
Great venue, nice warm-up area, the hall of fame was really cool, a nice seating area for eating and
relaxing between flights, and a cool retail store run by York Barbell.

When I started warming up, I felt a ton of gas on my insides. Part of the problem with a 17lb weight
cut is that the recomp forces you to eat a ton of food which my body wasn’t prepared for. The entire
day of the meet my stomach was hurting. I must have taken about 10 dumps. Although it didn’t
affect my lifting, it wasn’t exactly comfortable.

The IPA doesn’t have distinctions between wraps and no wraps. I still decided not to wear wraps, but
I did wear my Rehband knee sleeves. (I don’t think sleeves add any poundage to your total, but they
are good for health) I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be a knee wrap guy. It just seems like a lot of
hassle. I’m not going to knock anyone else for wearing them, but they just ain’t for me.
Squats felt good during warm-ups. My opener of 355 was a smoke show so I went ahead and called
for my planned second at 385 which was also fast. I called 415 for the 3rd and that was also fast.

I probably left a good 10lbs on the platform on squat. I credit all of the paused squats in Strong 15 for
giving me a 40lb meet PR that day. It was also a 10lb PR over my best gym squat, which doesn’t
necessarily matter. If you’re curious, my assistance lifts during the 9 week training cycle was a lot of
high bar squats and leg presses. I used the 350 method most of the time. After squats, I was on cloud
9. I could have left the meet at that point and still have been happy, but I knew I still had work to do.
60 lifters were going that day and they had 3 flights. So I had about 3 hours of waiting until I went for
bench. My back started wrenching up during that time. When I was doing my bench warm-ups,
whenever I got into a good arch starting position, my back was killing me. I decided to go with a
milder arch than usual because of that. 235 went up fast on my first attempt, 255 also was good. I
called 275 for my 3rd.

I was pretty nervous about that attempt as I’ve missed 275 a couple times when I attempted it over the last year. I figured with a 235x7 paused bench in training, that 275 would be in the bag this time. Unfortunately, I misgrooved the lift. The bar landed about 2 inches lower on my
body than I normally like and I only got the weight halfway up. I also probably should have taken the hand-off that was offered, but for some reason I felt like I needed to be a man and unrack it myself.

The weight cut could also be part of the reason that I missed 275. Regardless, I think that I could get 275 under optimal conditions in the future.

Over the next few hours, I did a lot of foam rolling for my lower back, which seemed to help the
wrenching feeling. I also did a lot of bitching and moaning to my girlfriend about how long the meet
was. She was nice enough to hear me out! 60 lifters is a lot, but I also understand that it was a big
venue and the IPA had a lot to pay for, so it was probably an unnecessary evil to have that many

I started warming up for deads around 5pm. I believe my first lift was at 530pm. 465 was an absolute
smokeshow. Some of the other lifters said I could have cleaned it with the type of speed I had. 505
was also fast. I was nervous about calling 545 because of my missed lift on the last week of deadlift
training. I decided to call 540 because that was a 5lb PR. The lift was good and I had decent speed
with it. I didn’t shake through the lift like a lot of the other lifters did on their 3rd

I probably left about 15lbs on the platform with that lift. I think I underestimated how many pounds a
whippy bar can add to your deadlift. I will forward you the video I have for that lift.
Anyway, I was 8/9 for the day and ended up with a 1210 total which gave me a 40lb meet PR. Also
PR’ed 2 of my lifts. I want to thank you so much for your blog and the Strong 15 program. The
submaximal training is great for confidence and recovery. The paused squats and AMAP work for
bench are amazing. All of my beltless training gave me a ton of confidence when I finally decided to
put a belt back on. The 350 method is an awesome protocol for assistance that also saves me a ton of
time, which is great for a business professional like me.

I’m looking forward to your base building manual when it comes out today. I plan on doing some
base building throughout the remainder of November and first half of December. I’m then going to
start another round of Strong 15 in mid-December in preparation for IPA States in early March. The
only changes I plan on making in the next round of Strong 15 are doing deficit deads as my back off
work and doing more DB rows in the first two phases of the training for assistance.

-- Bryan Schaeffer

Success Story #2 -

Hey Paul, hope alls well. Just felt the need to drop a line on you and say I just finished my second cycle of your strong 15, I got good results from running the first cycle stock, as-is, other than a lack of deadlift progress. The second cycle I repeated the bench day, minus the back off set, on saturdays, and upped the volume of the pulls. My first cycle ended with a 27.5 lb meet pr in bench, 35 lbs in squat, and 5 lbs in deadlift.

My second cycle ended with a 15 lb squat pr, a 20 lb bench pr, and a 25 lb deadlift pr. Granted my squat and bench sucked ass to begin with, but either way, I moved from an 1092.5 raw and wrapless total at 165 to 1220 in 18 weeks with only a handful of reps above 90%

If it weren't for LRB I'd still be moving a sub 500 dead and sub 400 squat. You totally changed the way I looked at training

-- Colton Lynn