T Nation

Critique My Strength Program


I hope to compete in strongman one day, and that is why this program is focused on Front Squat, Deadlift, Push Press, and all sorts of rowing movements.

I'm not getting into a ton of event specific stuff at this point due to equipment concerns, which I'll be working on this summer. I'm going to build a log and some stones.

On that note, here is my 4 week program to start the summer. I'm doing a ghetto-volume fluctuation approach, which I'm not applying too much to power snatch. I'm not incredibly familiar with how to fluctuate volume and intensity appropriately with that type of movement.

I welcome any and all critiques. They make me better, after all.

BTW, I spend a good deal of time with prehab stuff. I warm up with foam rolling, a dynamic flexibility routine, and then a specific warm up for the first exercise. I like to spend time on ankle mobility and such between sets. That way I don't skimp on the rest periods and cut myself short.

W1: Moderate Volume
W2: Lower Volume, Higher Intensity
W3: High Volume: +1 set for each assistance movement
W4: Deload: -1 set for each assistance movement

M Lower1
T Upper1
R Lower2
F Upper2
S Conditioning

DAY1: Lower: Strength: Deadlift Focus

A. Deadlift
W1: 8 singles over 90%
W2: 6 singles over 90%
W3: 10 singles over 90%
W4: 2 singles over 90%, or 2x3 easy (5RM load)
Rest 3-5 minutes
A2. Ankle Mobility

B. Forward Lunge
3 sets of 6 reps per leg
Rest 1-1.5 minutes

C. DB Step up to Low Step
2 sets of 12 reps
Rest 1 minute

C. Ab Wheel
3 sets of 6-15 reps

DAY2: Upper: Strength: Back Repetition Focus

A. Bench Press
W1: 4x5
W2: 4x4
W3: 5x5
W4: 3x5
Rest 3-5 minutes

B. Close Grip Chin
3 sets of max reps with bodyweight
Rest 2-2.5 minutes

C. Kroc Row
1 set of death

D. Close Grip Floor Press
3 sets of 6 reps
Rest 2 minutes

E1. Prone Internal Rotations
20 reps
3020 Tempo
E2. Thumbs up Low-Trap Raises
15-20 reps
3020 Tempo
E3. Shoulder Girdle SMR
10 seconds (subscap or infraspinatus/teres minor)

F1. Preacher Curl
2 sets of 6-15
F2. Cable Pressdown
2 sets of 6-15
Rest 45 seconds, longer if lower reps achieved

DAY3: Lower Body 2: Power: Power Snatch Focus

A. Power Snatch or DE Front Squat
Power Snatch
W1: 6x3
W2: 6x3
W3: 6x3
W4: 4x3


@50-60% for Front Squat
W1: 10x2
W2: 10x2
W3: 12x2
W4: 5x2

B. Front Squat
W1: 4x6
W2: 3x6
W3: 6x6
W4: 2x6
Rest 2-2.5 minutes
B2. No Money Drill
12 reps

C. Bulgarian Split Squat
3 sets of 6 reps per leg
Rest 1 minute

D. Elevated Side Plank
3 sets of 20-30s per side
Rest 45 seconds

E. Back Extension
2 sets of 8-15 reps
Rest 30 seconds

DAY4: Upper Body 2: Strength: Push Press Focus

A. Push Press
Week 1: 8 singles over 90%
Week 2: 6 singles over 90%
Week 3: 10 singles over 90%
Week 4: 2 singles over 90%, or 2x3 easy (5RM load)
Rest 3-5 minutes
A2. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

B1. Yates Row
3 sets of 6-8 reps
Rest 1 minute
B2. Weighted Push-Up
3 sets of 6-8 reps
Rest 1 minute

C. Lat Pull Down
2 sets of 12 reps
Rest 60 seconds

E1. Prone Internal Rotations
20 reps
3020 Tempo
E2. Lateral Raise
15 reps
3020 Tempo
E3. Shoulder Girdle SMR
10 seconds (subscap or infraspinatus/teres minor)

F1. Reverse Curl
2 sets of 6-15
F2. Skull Crusher
2 sets of 6-15
Rest 45 seconds, longer if lower reps achieved

DAY5: Conditioning: Hip Extension Focus

A. Hip Extension Focused Movement
Sled Push
DB/KB Swing
Long Stride Lunge
Etc . . .
60 seconds on, 30 seconds off
6 rounds
B. Jump Rope Sprint
30 seconds on, 15 seconds off
4 rounds

C1. Prone Internal Rotations
20 reps
3020 Tempo
C2. Dynamic Hip Flexor Mobilization
15 reps
3020 Tempo
C3. Shoulder Girdle SMR
10 seconds (subscap or infraspinatus/teres minor)
Perform Circuit Twice: No Rest Between


I would throw in a little more posterior chain work. GHR, Romanians, etc.. and personally think you should do back squats, either high or low bar with front squats as accessory. A strong prosterior is a good idea for strong man I would think. Granted you deadlifting. Some grip work would also be a good idea.

One mans opinion. Your way could be better for you. Good luck.


I like,.. a lot, actually. Very well thought out and planned. I'm doing EC's Max Strength and the principles are very similar.

I second Pistol Pete's advice on more posterior work though.. add some ghr's and pull throughs on day 1 instead of doing another unilateral quad movement.. and on day 3 I would do the back extensions before the planks, and maybe throw an extra set in there.


Ever concidered kettlebells?Maybe just once aweek,its agood ballistic training tool.
Im training for a meet (different I know) but Im also extremely good at lifting awkward very heavy weight at work.I beleive this is due to the 300 workout I made up.
Its constists of-

Clean and press 1X50 (20kg)
Snatch 1X50 (24kg)
swing 1x50 (32kg)
Single swing 1X50(32kg)
Halo 1X50 (24kg)
Double clean and press (2x16kg)
I time how long it takes me to do it my best is 26mins 50 secs.
Its just a suggestion I can imagine it would carry over well with the routine you already have.


Thanks for the input!

I agree regarding the back squats and front squats as accessory for most people, but I am not very well built for back squatting. I've spent a while on them, and found I always had an achy back. Nowadays, I just do front squats, I keep getting stronger, and my back is pain-free. True, I could have been doing them wrong, but I don't think that's the case. I spent lots of time working dynamic flexibility to do them as well as possible, but my long femurs just don't seem to help :slight_smile:

Regarding the grip work, thanks a lot for reminding me to write that in. I have some CoC grippers, and I plan to a do a rep-focused day after deadlifting and a singles focused session after my 2nd lower body day.

How would you fit the extra posterior chain work in? I made sure my conditioning day was heavily focused on that aspect, but where else could I get it in?



I use a lot of EC's ideas. EC+CT+Staley+Poliquin+Zatsiorsky+AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I'm a thief.

Last cycle, I did pull-throughs, which I replaced with DB step ups for the sake of progressing the movement. I'm using a low step and focusing on pushing through my heels, so it'll be posterior chain the way I perform it. I guess I should have clarified that.

Last cycle I did

2X20 Pull throughs

this cycle

2X12/leg Low Box Step Ups

Is this a good exercise choice? I wish I had a GHR. Maybe I should make it a Dumbbell RDL. Yeahhhh I like that idea.

What do you think?


Also, why do you like to do the back extensions before the planks? I'd like to hear your thought process.



I think that could work as a conditioning option, but I'm not too sure it would be specific enough to my goals.



Ended up dropping the DB Step Ups and tossing Pull Throughs back in there.

Thanks for the criticisms and suggestions.


I was only thinking of doing the back extensions first so you can hammer your posterior with a little more intensity than if you did them after the planks. Prob not a big deal, just a thought.


Ahhh, I see. I'll give it a try.

Thanks again


I agree with the earlier statements, but it looks like you've found a good balance between the smart, prehab/rehab programming and Lift Heavy Shit. I know that's not easy to do!

Looking forward to seeing the results.


Thanks, Ironabrams.

On the second week I'm testing 6RM on Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift, and Sumo Deadlift, 8RM on Forward and Backward Lunge, and 3RM on Power Snatch and Power Clean. This will be for a study on the forces incurred by individual knee ligaments during said exercises. My guess is that they're looking at how these exercises influence each ligament, so proper modifications can be made to an athlete's program given a problem with a specific ligament. I'm pumped to see the results. Also, FREE KNEE MRIs!! Yeah buddaaay.

To compensate for all of that added stress, I'm going to mostly cut out my primary exercises.

The third week may become the second week, and then I'll gauge whether the next week will be super high volume based on how I feel.