T Nation

CH's Back To Basics

Figured this might be of interest to some people. Brian Alsruhe posted this on his channel about 2 weeks out from the end of my last training cycle, so I wanted to give it a go, and provide some evidence for it’s effectiveness (or lack there of) for anyone else interested.

Starting Maxes (don’t know 1RM for all lifts)
Deadlift 375 x 5
OHP 185 x 1 (kicking and screaming)
Squat 275 x 5
Bench 315 x 1

I’m a little over a week in, so here’s some catch-up:



  • Conditioning 5 mins (don’t remember exercises)
  • Paused Deadlift Giant Set (warm up, then 3 sets)
    -Leg Curls 50lbs/5 reps x 3
    -P. Deadlift 5 reps 265/275/280
    -Decline Crunches 20 x 3
    -Jumping Jacks/Battle Rope 30s/30s x 3
  • Paused Deadlift Volume Sets
    -225lbs 13 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
  • Conventional Deadlift EMOM
    -205lbs 10 x 3

OHP DAY (HUGE weak point)

  • Conditioning 5 mins (don’t remember exercises)
  • Pin Press Giant Set
    -Pull Ups 3 x 10
    -Pin Press 3 reps 135/140/145
    -Russian Twists 3 x 20 each side
    -Tire Flips 3 x 6
  • Pin Press Volume Sets
    -115lbs 3 x 8
    -100lbs 10 x 3


  • Conditioning 5 mins
  • Box Squat Giant Set
    -Hip Trusts 3 x 10
    -Box Squats 1 rep 285/295/305
    -Dragon Flag… leg raise things. 3 x 10
    -Battle Rope 3 x 20s
  • Box Squats Volume Sets
    -245lbs 8 reps, 5 reps, 5 reps
  • Low Bar Squat EMON
    -165lbs 10 x 3


  • Conditioning 5 mins
  • Floor Press Giant Set
    -Barbell Rows 5 reps 135lbs, 155lbs, 175lbs
    -Floor Press 5 reps 225lbs, 235lbs, 245lbs
    -Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 15
    -Burpees 3 x 10 (never did burpees, they suck)
  • Floor Press/Barbell Row Super Volume Sets
    -BB Row 135lbs 3 x 10
    -Floor Press 195lbs 12 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
  • Bench EMOM
    -175lbs 10 x 3
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  • Conditioning 5 mins
  • Paused Deadlift Giant Set
    -Leg Curls 50lbs 5 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps
    -Paused Deadlift 1 rep 345/355/360
    -Decline Crunches 3 x 25
    -Jumping Jacks/Battle Rope 30s/30s x 3
  • Paused Deadlift Volume
    -295lbs 8 reps, 5 reps, 5 reps
  • Conventional Deadlift SKIN
    -225lbs 10 x 3


  • Conditioning 5 mins
  • Pin Press Giant Set
    -Pull Ups 10 reps, 10 reps, 12 reps
    -P. Press 5 reps 135/145/150
    -Russian Twists 3 x 25 each side
    -Tire Flips 5 flips, 6 flips, 9 flips
  • Pin Press Volume Sets
    -120lbs 10 reps, 10 reps, 6 reps
    -completely bombed last set, jumped too quick.
    -110lbs 6 x 3 (should have been 10 sets, bombed again, need to dial back)

Awesome man. Welcome to Tnation! And I start Monday. I’ll tag a few that are running or planning to run this soon



Right on, man! Yeah, it’s uh… man am I out of shape. This thing has kicked my ass all 6 days so far. The optional assistance work is totally out of the question. I’m going to try to increase conditioning, and hit the assistance every day by the 3rd wave.

But it’s fun, things change so often that getting complacent and bored is impossible.

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I’ll give you a follow as well, this program has caught my eye for later this year so I’d like to see how others do as I get closer.

Looks interesting. Do you have a link to the entire program?

Will be following this. Thanks @losthog for the tag. I’m interested to see how this goes for you, as I’ll be starting it in a month or two


Definitely watch the video, Brian is awesome, but here’s some hand written notes for quick reference.


Yes! I just found that a simple search was all it took… Who knew? :slight_smile:
Thank you

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no problem

I’m also interested in running this program so looking forward to seeing how you do with it!
One thing I noticed (you may be doing this on purpose) is that you are doing the dynamic work with the lift you are doing the variation of in the first 2 parts of the workout, e.g. paused deadlifts followed by deadlifts.
I think in the vid Brian says to do the dynamic work with the paired main lift (. E.g. squats on your deadlift day and bench on your OHP day… Probably won’t make or break the program but thought I’d mention in case you hadn’t realized.

Good luck with it man!


Hmmmm… you very well may be right. Regardless I think I’m going to own it for now, I like the pace, and it’s definitely a quality of life improvement for me considering I lift in my garage and only have the 1 rack and bar.

However, if the daily volume starts to bog me down, I’ll consider changing, thanks!

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I’m in for the log

In for your log

Hey Chaos :slight_smile:

In for the log, awesome garage gym Mate, and nice lifting.

Thanks for the tag @losthog.

As the GT guy said, Brian opt for opposite lifts. HOWEVER on some of his other stuff it’s on the same day, conjugate and linear strength both as I remember, don’t think it’s a big deal.

Hope you don’t mind got a couple of questions:

1: do you giant set your warmup sets? Or only the main ramping sets?
2: Which exercises do you use for dynamic warmup?
3: Do you use bands or chains for the dynamic work? and wich % do you use?
4: Do you plan deload weeks?
5: are you sticking to the same variation lift for the entire program

Sorry that was a lot of questions, but you’re already doing the damn thing.
I’m on my last days of a 531 cycle.

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Currently running @Alpha 's conjugate program. Going to be running darkhorse after my next strongman comp, so Im in on this log to see how it goes.

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Brian Alsruhe Darkhorse Guinea Pig… I have not heard of this kind of guinea pig before.


No problem!

  1. Currently I’m only using giant sets on the ramping sets. I don’t quite have the stamina to giant set all of it. Also I’m in my busy season at work and I think that might over do it for me right now.

  2. For warm ups I try to hit the previous day and current day. Typically just involves foam rolling my upper back, hams and chest, followed by leg swings, light band pull aparts, shoulder dislocates, caterpillar stretches, empty barbell complexes, and arms swings on their respective days.

  3. Nada. Just the weights for now, due to funding. I plan on getting the chains hopefully by the first reset. (I do 55% week1, 60% week2, 65% week3, reset to 55% week4) I am currently thinking of moving up 5% from the first 3 weeks.

  4. Not planned, but expected. In my brief experience this program allows for some remarkable recovery considering the raw intensity, so I’m thinking I’ll either hit it after week 6. Or depending on how I feel, i might pull through to week 9, and just deload before maxes.

  5. No, it will switch every 3 weeks. That was the part I liked the most, I can grind if I need to, but I definitely enjoy the idea of the variations. And it allows me to broadly hit my weaknesses.

And no your fine, you guys already caught a slight change I accidently made, I’d like to be transparent and make sure i have all my ducks in a row.

I thought this was a new log for you running the darkhorse. :joy:. When I was looking at the pics I was like this doesn’t look like the pig. I thought he was more Asian…:joy::joy::joy: