Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy new year: start testing for the strength program

photo credit: www.lane1photos.com
Yay! You made it through the holidays and are ready to get back to work. Cycle 8 of the strength program will start next Monday. If you're continuing from Cycle 7 then just keep up with the Holiday transition program for the rest of this week. If you're starting fresh then you'll want to have semi-recent 1RMs to base your percentages off of. Use this week to find those.

Speaking of 1RMs, here's a preemptive answer to a question that I know you're going to ask during the program: no, I didn't calculate the percentage wrong, I do want you to lift less than what you calculated.

The percentages in your program are calculated off of 90% of your 1RM.  It's my easy way to use your 1TRM (technical rep max).  That is, the 1RM that's pretty and perfect.  Here's a great article on StrongFirst about different "types" of 1RM.

Why don't I just ask you for your 1TRM on the form and compute the percentages that way? Ego.

Whenever a new person comes to the gym and I ask what their 1RM is for a lift (I try to remember everyone's lifts so that I can do quick math to see if you're lifting what you should be on a given day), everyone says what their PR is. The best they did that one time when the moon and stars aligned and everything went perfectly. But you can't base percentages off of that. I fall for it too. If you ask me what my 1RM deadlift is, I'll tell you a number that I only pulled once ever - about a year ago. In my latest cycle I failed about half time time on 90% of that number. It made me mad because it was only 90%. But that's the point. My PR was on a day when everything went perfectly. Most days aren't perfect.

So next week I'll ask for your 1RMs on the form. You'll tell me the best you ever did. I'll silently knock 10% off of that and give you a program. You won't read this and you'll ask me why the program is calculated wrong.

It's okay, those that do follow the program as written see great results. It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination, I'm just tricking you into always doing good reps and not going for 100% (except on test day).


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


press 8-5-3x5


2 TGUs between sets

Group Workout

6 rounds:
1L, 1R TGU at a moderate weight 
10 pull ups - scaled as needed 


4 rounds:
10 inchworm + push up
20 weighted lunges 


2x20 PVC partial pull over 


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