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Cressey's Maximum Str=My Best Gains Ever

i’m making the best progress of my lifting career following this program. i know its not a bodybuilding program but i am responding with size as well as strength.

schedule:

i train sunday upper, monday lower, wednesday upper, thursday lower. ride my bike multiple times per day, with some short and intense conditioning workouts 1-2 times per week.

diet/lifestyle:

i recently moved to philadelphia, tend to drink a lot of beer, go out a good amount. i try not to get drunk on days that i lift (part of the reason my schedule is how it is). i have eaten a ton of crap food (much pizza and ice cream), but a few staples that seem to help are tons of blueberries, broccoli, ground beef, and milk (esp grassfed milk post workout).

supplements are carlsons fish oil, and zma 2x per week or so. no protein powders or creatine (but might start).

END OF 4TH WEEK PROGRESS:

bodyweight: 184lbs to 195lbs
waist at navel: 33 to 33.5"
upper arm: 15.5 to 16.5"
upper thigh: 24" to 25.5"

lifts:

anderson back squat (2-3" below parallel, dead stop on pins and then up): 235lbs x4 to 275lbs x3

bench press: 250x1 to 250x3

close grip chinup (inc bodyweight): 240x3 to 270x3

single arm db push press: 80x6 to 100x6

single arm db row: 100x8 to 120x8

will bump this every so often with updates. going to clean up my diet a bit and see if that hurts my progress (i know i can be leaner than this but i’m after a 405 high bar back squat).

I love upper/lower splits. I was planning on going back to WSFSB until you reminded me about this. I’m assuming you’re doing the whole 16 weeks so definitely keep us posted.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
I love upper/lower splits. I was planning on going back to WSFSB until you reminded me about this. I’m assuming you’re doing the whole 16 weeks so definitely keep us posted. [/quote]

Yeah I’m doing the whole 16 weeks, all new exercises next week, with clusters (should be intense).

Main goal is to get my standing vert over 35". Using coolcolJs formula, I am aiming for a 405 high-bar fullsquat at 190lbs at the end of this program + a cut to sub 8% bf.

Other goals - +160lb chinup, 315 bench, 10’+ broad jump.

Solid work! Congrats on your progress!

How has the back been?

Also, great work!

Those are great gains! I might just purchase this book as well. Currently I’m very satisfied with the results I can get from sheiko programming, but variation is always nice.

Very nice!

I’m almost into Phase 4 (keeping a log in the Training section) and the gains thus far have been nothing short of awesome.

[quote]Flow wrote:
How has the back been?[/quote]

No lower back pain at all. Pretty much always have it locked into a natural curve no matter what I’m doing (in or out of the gym).

Thanks.

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
Solid work! Congrats on your progress![/quote]

Thanks!

What are your thoughts on weighted front planks? I’ve never seen anyone recommend them, but they seem to have helped my squat (and definitely weighted pushups).

Worked up to 315lbs for 30s (started at 180lbs for 30s) but feel I could do more…

[quote]molnes wrote:
Those are great gains! I might just purchase this book as well. Currently I’m very satisfied with the results I can get from sheiko programming, but variation is always nice. [/quote]

cool, never did sheiko, seems pretty tough though.

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
Very nice!

I’m almost into Phase 4 (keeping a log in the Training section) and the gains thus far have been nothing short of awesome.[/quote]

will definitely be checking that out, thanks!

Forgot to mention that i have a herniated disc l5-s1 that took me quite a bit to recover to full strength. have only been squatting/deadlifting a bit over a year.

max dead (sumo) =425

[quote]molnes wrote:
Those are great gains! I might just purchase this book as well. Currently I’m very satisfied with the results I can get from sheiko programming, but variation is always nice. [/quote]

Would be a nice change of pace - particularly because Sheiko is extremely specific (squat, bench, DL) and you want to be cautious about eliminating variety for specificity for too long. The warm-ups, single-leg work, and assistance work for four months would put you in a position to get right back to Sheiko and make more solid gains.

www.EricCressey.com

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
Eric Cressey wrote:
Solid work! Congrats on your progress!

Thanks!

What are your thoughts on weighted front planks? I’ve never seen anyone recommend them, but they seem to have helped my squat (and definitely weighted pushups).

Worked up to 315lbs for 30s (started at 180lbs for 30s) but feel I could do more…[/quote]

How are you loading them (both implement and position of that implement)?

We did some back in my UCONN days and they worked okay. I rarely use them because we’ve got other stuff we use - and axial loading from squatting will do a lot in this regard anyway.

www.EricCressey.Blogspot.com

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
gi2eg wrote:
Eric Cressey wrote:
Solid work! Congrats on your progress!

Thanks!

What are your thoughts on weighted front planks? I’ve never seen anyone recommend them, but they seem to have helped my squat (and definitely weighted pushups).

Worked up to 315lbs for 30s (started at 180lbs for 30s) but feel I could do more…

How are you loading them (both implement and position of that implement)?

We did some back in my UCONN days and they worked okay. I rarely use them because we’ve got other stuff we use - and axial loading from squatting will do a lot in this regard anyway.

www.EricCressey.Blogspot.com [/quote]

I have a spotter load 45lb plates so that the top edge is an inch or two under my neck. Same position that I load my weighted pushups, which jumped up recently too (+115lbs for 5 reps).

I realize that having them lower down (across the small of the lower back) would increase difficulty but would rather not increase the risk.

Since adding them my back squat feels sturdier, but i’m sure this isn’t the only factor. (I’ve always had a really weak squat).

Maybe it would be smart to alternate weeks of loaded planks with not loaded?

p.s. I’m doing the same thing with side planks, but with top arm extended holding a dumbbell (only up to 60 or 70lbs per 30 seconds).

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
molnes wrote:
Those are great gains! I might just purchase this book as well. Currently I’m very satisfied with the results I can get from sheiko programming, but variation is always nice.

Would be a nice change of pace - particularly because Sheiko is extremely specific (squat, bench, DL) and you want to be cautious about eliminating variety for specificity for too long. The warm-ups, single-leg work, and assistance work for four months would put you in a position to get right back to Sheiko and make more solid gains.

www.EricCressey.com[/quote]
Sheiko is very specific yes, but it sure works great. It’s probably not the best program in the world when it comes to injury prevention though. I’ve just finished a program by the Norwegian powerlifting coach Dietmar Wolf, and I’ve been planning to do a period of sheiko after that, since I always make nice gains from it. After the sheiko stuff, I will probably give Maximum Strength a go.

For warmup i already do some of the exercises from magnificent mobility, and they work really great. But I’m guessing there will be some other stuff in the book that I haven’t seen yet, so it looks interesting. Especially considering the gains I already see people making from the program.

Ps. Sorry to “hijack” your thread gi2eg

np

Another note as i just finished the last day of phase 1.

because of a muscle pull in my upper back from front squatting, i’ve subbed olympic style (vertical torso, hamstrings to calves) back squats for front squats for the last two weeks instead of front squats.

mechanics are very different than my rippetoe style back squat (which i’ve only recently started doing), and i’ve found in the past that loads i can use are very similar between this style and front squats.

before program:

6rm for this style squat was 225,

last week:

235 for 6(+5PR)

today:

260lbs for 6. (+25lbs PR)

apparently there was a missing piece somewhere in my training and now that its found my lifts are exploding. proper deloading?

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
Eric Cressey wrote:
gi2eg wrote:
Eric Cressey wrote:
Solid work! Congrats on your progress!

Thanks!

What are your thoughts on weighted front planks? I’ve never seen anyone recommend them, but they seem to have helped my squat (and definitely weighted pushups).

Worked up to 315lbs for 30s (started at 180lbs for 30s) but feel I could do more…

How are you loading them (both implement and position of that implement)?

We did some back in my UCONN days and they worked okay. I rarely use them because we’ve got other stuff we use - and axial loading from squatting will do a lot in this regard anyway.

www.EricCressey.Blogspot.com

I have a spotter load 45lb plates so that the top edge is an inch or two under my neck. Same position that I load my weighted pushups, which jumped up recently too (+115lbs for 5 reps).

I realize that having them lower down (across the small of the lower back) would increase difficulty but would rather not increase the risk.

Since adding them my back squat feels sturdier, but i’m sure this isn’t the only factor. (I’ve always had a really weak squat).

Maybe it would be smart to alternate weeks of loaded planks with not loaded?

p.s. I’m doing the same thing with side planks, but with top arm extended holding a dumbbell (only up to 60 or 70lbs per 30 seconds).[/quote]

I wouldn’t load side bridges; you can just go to a one-leg variation (attached).

I don’t think loading the prone bridge is necessarily a bad idea, but in an ideal world (i.e., you’re at Cressey Performance, I would do something else instead…ab wheel iso holds, etc).

Keep up the good work.

www.EricCressey.Blogspot.com