T Nation

40 Day Easy Strength Program


#1

I would like to hear about experiences people have had following this program.


#2

Well hell if anyone word like to hear about mine let me know and I will update here. I’m three days in.


#3

Dan John has his own forum. I can’t link to it here, but you can find it by visiting his site. There is a very large 40 Day workout discussion over there.


#4

I’ve run it on two occasions and really enjoyed it. I mostly used the same lifts each time.

deadlift
overhead press
weighted pullup
kettlebell snatches
ab rollouts first time and then weighted carries the second

I liked the simplicity of doing the same lifts almost every day. The first time I did it I gained a few points, which I don’t think this program is necessarily great for, but I was also coming back from an injury layoff. As far as improvement on the lifts goes, I got deadlift PRs at the end of each cycle, overhead press stayed about the same, I increased pullups, and my 5 minute snatch test went waay up.

I will definitely run it again sometime in the future. Particularly if I want to get better at some lifts that I have not been working on much, like maybe cleans or front squats.

How’d it go for you?


#5

Sorry, didn’t know you could actually go wrong with anything from Dan John…


#6

after a lengthy lay off, I used it to get going again. I started well underneath my capabilities and added weight perhaps every two of three workouts. I didn’t do M-F but I did train at least 5 of any 7 days. It worked well for me. I only tweaked it by doing one day bench as my press, the other day standing press. Alternated every other workout.


#7

I’m now two weeks in. Decided to run 5 on and two off for 8 weeks (which is kind of a pain in ass). I’m doing deads, squats, bench, press, and a machine row. Maxes at outset were 275 bench, 185 press, 375 deads, and 295 squat (I know). Dont really have a max machine row. Oh yeah, and two sets of ten on the ab wheel. I’m really enjoying the change up, I’ve been grinding away on 531 for a good while (I already know the numbers dont really show it).

Only thing i can say at this point is running this at 5 days straight for two weeks is I wake up and walk around feeling bigger all day. 10 “work sets” over five days straight I guess is just kinda keeping a minor pump. I’ll update in two week intervals until I finish. Might test maxes at the half way mark and def at the finish.


#8

And the numbers in squat and dead were about 6 weeks old. Tweaked my back on a dead back then and couldnt do either for about a month. Was in the process of working my way back up.


#9

I tried for a year and a half to bench 275 for 5 reps but could only get 4. I tried the 40 day workout and after 4 weeks, I got an easy 6 reps. Now I alternate between two workouts using this format.


#10

Went in Saturday morning for what was scheduled to be my 19th workout on this program. Place was jammed, couldnt get power rack time and didnt feel like mingling in the crowd. Did my bench as scheduled and then started working up just for the hell of it. Put 295 on the bench and nailed it. Not a slow grind just unracked solo, pulled it down and put up and back in the rack. Spotter was calling for another one (dream on). This is up 20 pounds from my 275 at the start of the program. 300 is my life time PR and that was probably 20 years ago. Im going to beat that in 21 more workouts. Im 54 years old. hehe.


#11

195 lb strict press today. PR. I’m really liking this program.


#12

Went in for work out number 37 yesterday and saw gym schedule and up against the holidays and etc. and decided now is the time to test maxes and see how I’ve done on this program. Warmed up slow and hit 305 on the bench for a PR at age 54. Only hit 300 once in my life and that was probably 20 years ago. Also up 30 lbs from where I started, or maybe 20 depending on how you look at it, 285 was hit or miss for a while.

Tried to follow that up with 205 on a strict press and failed. Still hit 195 a while back so still a 10 lb bump. I’m going to try to go back today and test squat. I’m a little leery about a max pull so I’m probably not going to push that one too much.


#13

Awesome updates tinman. It sounds like you’re doing the program exactly right, especially with going hard on the days that feel right to you. Thanks for all the updates, and good luck with your future progres.


#14

325 squat today. Vision was closing in but I got it. That’s a 30 lb jump from my earlier max 295. This is awesome program, pr’ed sizably in all three lifts I tested. Highly recommend.


#15

Good work, tinman. What’s next?


#16

I’m not sure dingo, what the other program you rotate in is?


#17

I go to the gym M/W/F and alternate between 2 workouts loosely following Dan’s guidelines.
Workout A-- Workout B
Squat 2x10-- Squat 2x10
bench 2x5-- weighted dips 2x6-8
clean, powerclean + press x10-- clean, powerclean + press x10
pullups bw 3x amrap-- weighted pullups 3x5
db curls 2x10-- RDL 2x10
rear delt raise 2x10-- rear delt raise 2x10
abwheel/ farmers walk-- ab wheel/ farmers walk

Each one takes about 50 -55 minutes


#18

Doing it right now. 9 days in. Have had food poisoning over the last 5 days of it, but have persisted, albeit with slightly lighter weights. Despite losing a bunch of water weight, and feeling weak from the dehydration, my technique on all of the chosen lifts has noticeably improved.

I’m doing it together with PLP (Mychal’s recommendation). The two programmes appear to complement each other really well. Also interested to hear other people’s experiences with this. Most reports I’ve heard so far appear to make some pretty incredible claims regarding strength gains.

I will be transitioning from this (been using 70%) into CT’s new Russian strenght-skill program, adopting mostly the same lifts. As an injury-prone lifter with orthopedic issues, who often finds himself in square one after training higher intensities, I feel submaximal methods centred around high frequency lifting and technique refining are an ideal route.


#19

Thanks Dingo, and Shrimp I think you are on the right track with dialing in technique. I had great gains and I have no reason to doubt that others have too. Whether or not that is great strength increase or mostly just getting better at the lifts I don’t know and don’t care. If it moves training weights to a higher level with minimal injury risk it has to a good\damn good thing. Good luck. Update us on how it goes.