Cressey's Maximum Str=My Best Gains Ever

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

Mods, my original intention was not to start a log here, i respect that there is a section for that. I only planned on making a phase 1 summary, but perhaps you could move this to the training log section where it would be more appropriate. Thanks.


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)


260lbs for 6. (+35lbs PR)

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

Yeah I reckon it’s proper rest and recovery :slight_smile:

I recently started doing low bar fullsquats, shoulder width stance, and I didn’t find too much difference in strength between these and high bar fullsquats.

You do use your hammies more in low bar, maybe I just have weak hamstrings

You can sit back more without your back snapping, and far easier on the spine/lower back when you strain and lean forward a little! High bar would fry the lower back, but on low bar squats even if you lean way over, the torque is minimal in comparison

are you much stronger on low bar fulls quats, with shoulder width stance?

Well, i use high bar for both styles.

my “powerlifting” style squat (i know this term doesn’t make that much sense) is:

hip width at the heels, hips are significantly behind heels, which gives me a lot more hip drive from my hamstrings and glutes. some forward lean.

vs. my “oly” style squat:

hip width at heels, hips sat down “between” my legs, very vertical torso.

i can handle a good amount more weight on the first variation that i described. my front squat max before this program was 265 while my back squat was 275 (because i back squatted like I front squatted).

at the same time period, i know i could do over 300 with my hips back behind my heels.

i have pretty strong hams and glutes (again, 425+DL vs ~300lb squat) and am only recently learning to recruit properly in that style back squat.

You’re going to have fun with the clusters in Phase 2, I’ll tell you that much haha.