Things used to be simple in the training world. Most gym rats either wanted to be big and strong or lean and muscular. But now things have evolved, goals are much more sophisticated. People want great physique, but they also want to feel like an athlete. You want the car with an awesome look and the fast 0-60mph. You want the shiny paint job and to kick ass on the quarter mile.
Even though many of you think of me mostly as someone who can help them get jacked, my truest area of expertise is training athletes. Making people strong, more powerful, faster and leaner is what allowed me to make a name for myself in this industry. I’ve worked with athletes from 29 different sports as well as with bodybuilders.
This program is based on the one that I used with a member of the national bobsleigh team. Most of you think that bobsleigh is only about going downhill in a sled. Well, okay, that’s what it is… but that sled weighs close to 1000lbs and the difference between winning and losing is mostly due to how hard and fast they can push that sled over 30m. That’s why bobsleigh athletes are the strongest and most powerful athletes in the winter Olympics. I’ve had a 180-lb athlete squat 525 for 7 reps, power clean 315 for 6 reps, run a 3.58/ 30m, one bench pressing 425 at under 200lbs body weight, squat 525, power clean 350, jump 42” and one who squatted 550 for 5 reps, power snatch 245 for reps and run a 3.7/ 30m. This program is based on the methodology that I used with them; with a little bodybuilding, twist to give you the look that you want.
This is a 15-week program divided into 5 phases of 3 weeks each. Each phase has a different approach, ultimately leading to an increase in strength, size, and power.
PHASE 1: In this first phase you have 4 workouts per week. You have three of those workouts that target the whole body via basic movement patterns. In one workout, you train for hypertrophy using the basic movement patterns. In the second workout, you focus on learning the technique for the power clean (there is a smooth progression model) and jumps, and on the third workout, you focus on technical efficiency and strengthening the isometric and eccentric modes of contraction. The fourth workout is a hypertrophy/strength-endurance work. The main purpose of that phase is to build muscle and improve technical efficiency. Basically, we want to prepare the body for the heavier lifting to come.
PHASE 2: This phase has 5 weekly workouts, and everything is trained 3 times a week. There are two lower body sessions and two upper body sessions (one heavy, one higher volume). We add a 5th workout which is mostly assistance/remedial work trained for hypertrophy. In this phase, we start heavy lifting while also training to keep building more muscle. We also continue our technical progression on the power clean. I would call this phase “functional hypertrophy”; a phase that adds a significant amount of muscle while also improving strength.
PHASE 3: In this third phase, we kick the intensity up a notch; all of the sessions will be neurological (strength and power) by nature, that’s why the number of workouts decreases to 4 per week. We have an optimal 5th workout mid-week, but it is a short neural-charge session to help with neurological recovery and keep improving power. Everything will be hit, to some extent, twice per week. There are two upper body sessions and two lower body workouts. But they are “lift-specific”. It uses my time-tested layer system in which you focus on one main strength lift per workout, but with several different training methods. Each workout also uses an explosive exercise at the beginning of the workout to amp up the nervous system. The focus lifts in this phase are the bench press, front squat, incline bench and power clean. Of course, the assistance work in each session makes sure that every muscle is developed in balance.
PHASE 4: This is a pure performance phase with an equal amount of strength and explosive work. There is very little hypertrophy work, it is purely neurological but don’t worry, since you will keep gaining strength you will at least maintain muscle mass, if not increase it. But by this time the goal is to minimize physical fatigue to maximize performance. It hits everything twice per week. There are two lower body sessions (one heavy, one explosive) and two upper body workouts (one heavy, one explosive).
PHASE 5: This is our peaking phase. The goal here is to get the biggest performance increase possible on our key lifts (bench press, back squat and power clean) while also improving as much as possible on the medicine ball throw, long jump, and vertical jump. To do this we use the high-frequency approach. While there are “only” 4 main sessions (plus one optional neural charge) we train the target lifts at every workout. The goal is to get the highest neural efficiency as possible on those lifts. The volume is once again lowered to optimize performance at each session.
- This program is 15 weeks long
- The plan has 5 phases
- Each phase has a different approach, ultimately leading to an increase in strength, size, and power.
What does the program include?
- 15 weeks of training (5 phases of 3 weeks)
- Videos of the exercises used in the program
- The recommended diet for the training program
I train in a home gym. Can I do this program?
For the most part, yes. It revolves mostly around free weight exercises. There are a few exercises that would need a substitution, but that’s less than one per workout in the first two phases only. You will need a substitute for leg press (lumberjack squat, Goblet squat), leg curl (band leg curl) and seated row (bent over row, resistance band seated row).
The other issue might be the prowler pushing (you need a prowler, a long enough street and neighbors that mind their own business!), but it won’t make the program ineffective if you can’t do the prowler and farmer’s walk. However, with the farmer’s walk, you can use heavy dumbbells or a trap bar. And even if you don’t have much room you can always take 2 steps forward then 2 steps back and keep going like that.
But for the most part, you can do this plan in a decent home gym.
I have never done the Olympic lifts before, will I be able to do this program?
I won’t lie to you, I debated with myself long and hard whether to include the Olympic lifts or not.
On one hand, they are fairly technical (compared to squats, deadlifts and bench press for example) and if someone has never done anything explosively, they might have problems doing the power clean at first.
On the other hand, the Olympic lifts are a significant part of how I train athletes. So, I decided to use some Olympic lifting. But we are mostly utilizing the power clean, which is simpler and on which more people have experience. I also included a step-by-step learning process built-in the program. Plus, there are a lot of good tutorials available on the internet and with the new popularity of CrossFit, it is easy to find a beginner Olympic lifting class in which you can learn the power clean before starting this program.
Can this program be done by women?
Of course. In fact, I wish more women would train that way! It will allow you to develop the athletic look that makes a woman look absolutely awesome. Women who enjoy training for performance will love this program. And with the proper diet and can help you lose fat and look hard.
Can I add one or two CrossFit sessions on top of the program?
If you absolutely want to overtrain, feel like crap and get injured, YES!
I’m not saying that CrossFit will overtrain you and get you injured. I’m saying that doing CrossFit on top of this plan is too much for everybody but the genetic elite or those using drugs. And even those using drugs who are not the genetic elite will quickly have symptoms of nervous system fatigue.
This program will get you as close to the complete package as you can hope to get in 15 weeks. But trying to make it even more complete by adding more stuff is a recipe for disaster. Do the program as is, maybe had some cardio once or twice a week. And afterward, your body will be ready to start intense CrossFit training.
Can I add cardio to this program?
If you are a reasonable person, yes. By that I mean if you can add moderate cardio once or twice a week on the off days you will be fine. But if for you “adding cardio to the program” means doing HARD endurance training, high-intensity intervals, 2 hours runs 4-6 sessions a week, hitting it hard after your lifting, then the answer is NO because you will screw everything up.
Can I add abdominal work to this program?
If there is one thing you can add to the program without ill-effects on recovery and performance it’s abdominal work. I will preach for my own parish and mention that I have a kick-ass abs add-on available in the online store.
Is there anything else I can add to the program and not completely screw it up?
While I normally don’t like it when people change one of my programs, and it is true that adding the wrong kind of extra work, or too much bonus can kill your progress, if you are conservative with how much you add, calves and forearm work should not have any negative impact on your progression.
You might even find that adding a superset of one biceps and one triceps exercise twice a week will be fine. BUT if you add extra calves, abs, forearms and biceps/triceps work, it will be too much, and you won’t progress optimally.
I’m a beginner, but I really like the sound of looking and feeling like an athlete, can I do this program?
As much as I’d like to tell you that you can and then go on vacation with the money you sent me, the reality is that this is not a beginner program. You need to have mastered the big basics (bench press, military press, back squat, front squat, deadlift, etc.) and have built a decent overall strength base.
What is the refund policy?
This purchase is non-refundable