T Nation

James' Training Log - Juggernaut Method


A little background on me. I'm 42 (43 this year) and have been actually strength training for about 3 years now. I was a runner in college like all future Marine Corps Officers are. I would spend time in the gym but didn't follow any kind of program. After getting out of the Corps I would go to the gym but didn't really get anywhere. Fast forward a few years to where I actually decided to get serious about actually making progress and that's when I got strict with my diet and started a beginners program based on squats.

I've done Stronglifts, Madcow Intermediate, 5/3/1, and a singles program based on Hepburn's principles. My best lifts are: squat - 435, DL - 520, Bench - 315, OHP - 235. What I've found is that I really like the volume on 5/3/1 but saw great gains doing singles. But the singles are really hard on my body. I'm not a competitive lifter and the reasons I do this are both for myself and the challenge and because I've got a 3 year old son. Being athletic is pretty important to me but I also enjoy the strength aspect. CT's HP Mass program really struck a chord with me and I decided to give it a try.

I'm varying the template to fit my needs and I'm alternating lower body and upper body pressing days instead of doing them back to back. I'm training with a sled three or four days a week and doing kettlebell training three days.

My goals are: squat - 500lbs, DL - 600, OHP - 275. Be able to run up the hill by my house 10 times without dying. Do half of the movements on the Magnificent Mobility DVD. Add three inches onto my legs.

Enough talking.


16 April

Warm up: Everything in the article below

Front squats: 3*135, 155, 185, 205
Pull ups: 5*bw, +25, +50, +60, +65, +60
BSS: 5 sets of 6 w/ bw only
Deads: 3*135, 225, 315, 365, 405, 445, 405
KB Swings: 3*25*30lb

So my training looks weird today. But there's a purpose for it and it's taking me where I need to be. Namely to mobility-town. The traveling destroyed me. I'm visibly crooked to the point to where my wife even noticed and commented. Subsequently, as you can imagine, my back is killing me as of late. Part of the problem is that I didn't spend enough time concentrating on it before which has definitely created some imbalances. This is what I know currently:

  1. I'm literally crooked.
  2. I suck at unilateral movements.
  3. I've got halfway decent numbers on my lifts. Not great but OK.
  4. I get pretty good growth out of the sled work but squats don't do much for my legs.

I think the unilateral movements show that I'm lacking in leg strength generally. That tells me that I'm compensating for my leg strength somewhere. I think my back is taking some of that strain. I think my lifts are showing that weak link in my legs currently. If legs grow using the sled but not on squats that must back up my conclusion that I'm compensating somewhere. The changes to my program reflect that.

Front squats are done to focus on the movement. That means no belt and I force myself to keep my torso upright. This is much tougher to do than I thought and is really putting my core to the test which is exactly what I wanted. The mobility work is there to work on getting me loose. I'll back off of it somewhat after I get to where I need to be. BSSs are being treated like I treated squats on SL which means unloaded and focus on form. I'll add weight in a linear manner to these.

The KB swings are from this article:

A buddy is having great results from these and I wanted to see what they would do for me. I expect them to help with both overall conditioning and mobility. I'm doing the "75 reps, three days a week" challenge right now. I'm also going to sled three days a week.

I went heavier on deads today and will do that for the next six weeks. Deads have always treated me good and I need to do them heavier which should also make up for some of the lack of work on squats. I have a good feeling that I'll be able to move these up.

That's my general plan for the next 6 weeks.



17 April, Sun

Warm up (Squat like you mean it version)
OHP: 3* 45, 95, 115, 135, 155, 175, 195, 175, 185, 195, 175
Hanging leg raises: 6*unweighted, +10lbs, +12lbs, +15lbs
Pendlay Rows: 6*135, 185, 225, 245, 5*275
Bench: 3*135, 185, 225, 255, 235, 245, 255, 235
Hypers: 4 sets of 10 unweighted
Foam rolling and stretching

Back is feeling better. Six weeks of the mobility work should really help out with making me feel better. I have mobility goals too for the year and I have completely ignored them. I think that I should get my dead close to 600 and I've added 2inches onto my legs so I think those goals will fare well. Not sure on the 500lb squat but I think that if I can nail my mobility work, up my leg strength, and get my core solid that I'll have a decent shot at that weight too. I think of all of this "other work" as an investment.

Pressing went well and I just added 5lbs onto my last working weights instead of retesting my 3RM. I'm happy with my pressing at the moment so no need to mess with it. I did pull ups yesterday instead of today because I needed to so today was a bit light. I did Pendlay rows and forgot how much I like doing these. I focus on the explosiveness up, slight pause, then drop the weight. Not all the way to the ground but just above then I set the weight down and start the next rep. I don't have oly plates so you do what you have to do on lifts like that. My short term goal on those is to get to 315 for reps.



17 April, evening.

4 laps with the sled. Up one lap from last session. Tough.

Sled is drug on a grass field that has some varied terrain and not concrete. Some of the grass is thick and there's some incline to it. Each lap is about 200 yards.



Your training looks great. There are a couple other jugheads here, old as can be, couple guys from the sister services as well.

When I was doing front squats before, it really made my deadlift shoot up.


Welcome aboard bro, really good numbers, look forward to following.


18 April

Squat like you mean it warm up drill
KB Swings: 3*25*53lb
Mobility work

My hip flexors are nice and sore after stretching them over the past couple of days. They are really tight so they need the work though so I'm going to stick with it.

KB swings went well and I moved the weight up. I can really feel this in my glutes and my lungs. Definitely tougher than they look and I'm looking forward to the end of this six weeks to see what they do for me.



Thanks for the welcome. It's going to be a bit boring for the next six weeks as I get myself sorted out. Upper body pressing should be on normal track though.



Welcome aboard James.


Welcome James, really like where you're going, can't wait to follow along. Strong lifts for sure.


Im late .Welcome.


Cheers bulldog.

19 April

Squat like you mean it warm up drills
Goblet squats
Front squats: 3*95, 115, 135, 155, 185, 205, 185, 195, 205, 185
Dips: 5*bw, +25, +35, +45, +50, +60, +70, +75
Hanging leg raises: 3 sets of some
Deads: 3*225, 315, 405, 455, 405
BSS: 4*6 with 10lb dbs
Goblet squats: 4*8*50lb db

Front squats and deads today. Again, focus was on front squat form and not just the weight used. I increased my dead weight by 10 lbs this week. I'm going to do that for a bit and keep the volume on the low side until I get back into the 500's then I'll up the volume some. I really felt these reps in my hams today which certainly makes me happy. As promised I added weight to the BSS sets and will continue to do that slowly but surely. The key for me is to strengthen my legs and the supporting muscles that cause me to lose my balance. I'll get to where I'm using decent weight but it will take some time. I supersetted these with goblet squats just to reinforce good squatting technique as I won't be back squatting for the next six weeks. Dips and hanging leg raises were done between squats and deads. Dips were kept light and strict this time.



Welcome James. You don't know how many times I stood on the deck outside the barracks wondering if I could swim to Maryland faster than my Platoon Sgt.


Yeah, I've had those thoughts from the chow hall line. The water is just so close...

20 April,

Sled work. Three laps of about 400 yards per lap alternating between walking backwards and forwards.



Belated welcome. Work looks strong and and you have some very good goals. Hope you peg them all.


I could have sworn I sent you a welcome, guess not. You'll like it here, James, nice people. Got some good lifts there.


Cheers everyone.

21 April

SLYMI warm up
OHP: 3*45, 95, 115, 135, 155, 175, 195, 175, 185, 195, 175
Pull ups: 5* bw, +25, +35, +50, +55, +60, +60
Pendlay rows: 5*135, 185, 205, 225, 245, 275, 245
Bench: 3*135, 185, 225, 255, 235, 245, 255, 235

Pressing was strong today. Overhead felt the best it has since I can remember. 195 went up with minimal effort and I'm doing these without my belt. Pendlay rows also went well and I did a back off set after doing 275 for additional volume. I did some filming of my chins, rows, and press and will post them sometime tonight.



I'm posting some vids below. It took me a second to realize that I only have to post the link.


Chins w/ 60lbs

OHP triple at 195

Pendlay row at 275

The Pendlay's ended up looking like regular BBRs. I'm having a tough time keeping my back perpendicular to the ground because I can reach the bar easily so I don't have a great point of reference.



Nice work, looks like you had more than a triple in the MP.