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  • July17th

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    Boring But Strong – 13 Cycle Challenge

    Negative Birth

     [NOTE: This is from the Jim Wendler Forum.]

    How this all came about is a long, long story so I’ll edit it down to the bare minimum: I am currently at the tail end of this challenge and I love it.  This, like the majority of training ideas that are born, happened by chance and by necessity.  This training is meant to be done by intermediate and advanced lifters.  I don’t recommend it for beginners because of the fatigue it illicits and their inability to keep good form.

    • Sets – 10
    • Reps – 5
    • Weeks 1-3 – 70%
    • Weeks 4-6 – 75%
    • Weeks 7 – Deload (choose the deload you want to do, no BBS training)
    • Weeks 8-10 – 80%
    • Weeks 11-13 – 85%

    The training is not meant to be done for every lift but theoretically, it can be done.  I highly recommend you do it for one lift or at the most, one upper body movement and one lower body movement.  But judging by last 15 years of answering questions and writing programs, no one will listen to that. So here is the entire program and the EXACT assistance to do on each day.  I only recommend what is written and will not sign off on any change.  This is because this is what I believe in.Your training max will change as normal – after each 3 week phase.  The % of the volume work will change AS YOUR TM CHANGES.  For example, let’s say you have a TM of 400 on the squat. The first 3 weeks the % will be based on 400.  After 3 weeks, your TM will go up to 410.  The % work is now based on 410.

    NOTE: The goal of this training is to finish the 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85% of your TM for each lift.

    Weeks 1-3

     Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Weeks 4-6 (remember to adjust TM)

     Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

    Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     Week 7 – Deload – no volume work

    Weeks 8-10 (again adjust your TM)

     

    Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Weeks 11-13 (adjust TM)

     

    Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Abs

    Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Notes:

    • In general, I recommend 1:00-1:30 rest between each set.  The goal is to get the volume work must be done in 15-20 minutes.  Don’t rush the first 5 sets as it will catch up to you.  You may feel like it is too light/easy but it creeps up on you!
    • Conditioning: the only conditioning I recommend is using the AirDyne for 30 minutes, 4 days/week.  This is not performance based conditioning but it is consistency based conditioning.
    • Flexibility/Mobility: I recommend the Defranco Agile 8 each morning, before each training session and before bed.
    • Jumps/Throws – 20 jumps or throws (or a combination of each) before each training session.
    • I recommend using the 5’s Progression on the 5/3/1 sets/reps – the goal of this training block is not to set PR’s.  So I only recommend 5’s Progression. No jokers.
    • Obviously this is not to be done with FSL or BBB.
    • Recovery: Since this is very intensive training, be sure you are getting the adequate sleep.  In general, at least 8 hours/day.
    • Diet: same recommendation as any heavy training – be sure you are eating enough protein, carbs and fat that you have found to improve performance. Reference the article I wrote on diet and how to simplify your eating.  Don’t follow those with eating disorders!
    • Supplements: I recommend the following: Mag-10 after training (I use 5 scoops), ZMA, Vitamin C – 2-3g a day, Multi-vitamin of your choosing every day, Fish oil (I love Krill oil by Mercola – 9 caps/day)
    • I personally don’t time my rest between my sets. What I do is set a running timer and just use it as a guideline for the rest between my sets. I try to get the first five sets done in 8 minutes or less. Then I space out the time for the remaining sets based on how I feel.
    • Do you feel like doing more assistance work? Don’t do it.
  • February17th

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    Training Max

     

    NOTE: This is from the Jim Wendler forum and written by Kevin Deweese – he explains it better than anyone I know, including myself.

    “Once you’ve been using 531 for a while you should get to a point where your TM doesn’t have a direct correlation (percentage) with your actual max. The 90% rule was the recommended starting point, Beyond 531 may mention 85% or 80% or whatever but the bottom line is you manipulate your TM based on current training goals, current programming, current level of strength, etc. There is no hard rule for your TM. In my opinion the more progress you can achieve out of a low TM the better.

     

    I’m not sure I’m explaining this well so let me try one other way. Let’s say you start 531 with a 300lb actual squat max so you set your TM to 270. You use a basic 531 format with some programmed resets, up 5 back 3. After 10 weeks of training you would be using a TM of 310 (up 5=320, back 3=290, up 5=340, back 3=310). Now you go to a meet or NOV challenge and squat 360. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) automatically change you TM to 325 because you just had a 60lb PR doing what you were doing. You simply carry on with the same up 5 back 3 plan. Do this for a couple of years and you can see how your TM becomes disassociated from your actual max. Now progress stalls and you look to change some programming. Instead of just starting over with a 90% TM, you manipulate your TM (because you know you can make great progress with a low TM) to fit your current programming or training goals. This is just one example of how things can progress, throw into that the ebb and flow of life, strength, whatever, and the TM simply becomes the way you control your programming to fit your needs and goals, and there are many ways to do this. I think sometimes this is hard to understand until you are there.”

    I can’t imagine this being explained any more simply.  This is why we use a TM – getting wrapped up in increasing the TM or comparing your penis length to your TM is pointless. Here’s a couple more recommendations:

    • Listen to Darkthrone, Coffinworm and Buried at Sea
    • Knowledge requires strength.
    • If there is doubt, there is no doubt.

     

    Thank you Kevin.