T Nation

Juggernaut Added 100lbs in 13 Weeks

I’m a long time reader, but first time poster. I wanted to write a fair review on The Juggernaut Method 2.0 because I think that it

might be one of the best overlooked training methods out right now. I also believe that it is the best method for beginners and

intermediate lifters. Why in my opinion is it the best method? Simply put, I think it is the best balance of volume using light and

heavy weight. It forces you to use lighter weight to develop hypertrophy and form, while adding size and strength. I know that

one my issues in the past was worrying about the all mighty 1rm, but forgetting about what got me stronger in the first place

which was doing reps.

First let me tell you a little background about myself and my totals, and how I think I could have done better. First, I am 35 now

and started lifting almost 3 years ago (Feb. 2014 will be 3 years.) My first year and a half were spent just randomly lifting heavy

shit, but the last year or so I spent trying to be as strong as I can be. I lifted 10 years ago for about 2 or so years before I quit

and so I have a little experience with working out, but nothing with structure. I did however compete in a bench only powerlifting

comp. and benched 375lb at a body weight of 179 (181 class), which happened to be a Novice State Record.

My best gym lifts before I started TJM2.0 were as follows:
Starting Body Weight: 194
Military Press: 200 Strict
Squat: 365 (Half Rep) My form was terrible, and I didn’t know what I was doing so this number was not accurate.
Bench: 375 previously, but my actual 1rm at the time was only 370
Deadlift: 390 with less than a years worth of experience deadlifting.
Total: 1125 (Not including Military Press)

After 13 Weeks on TJM2.0 Body Weight: 205
Military Press: 225 Strict
Squat: 405 Below Parallel, failed at 425 but barely
Bench: 390-400, but never tested my 1rm
Deadlift: 435
Total: 1240 (Not Including Military Press)

THAT IS AN IMPROVEMENT OF 115lbs IN 13 WEEKS.
Enough with the praising, lets get right down to it. How did it work for me?

The one thing that worried me before starting this program was the use of 10’s and 8’s. TJM2.0 uses waves progression, and the

first 6 weeks (7 if you deload) are done with nothing heavier than an 8 rep max. Since I was use to doing nothing lighter than 5’s,

I wasn’t sure that dropping down in weight was going to actually make me any stronger. What I did, and what I am doing now in

round two of TJM is that rather than using the percentages outlined I took what I thought I could get for my 10’s and 8’s and used

that weight instead. For instance, in the first week of TJM according to the book, you are supposed to take 60% of your 1rm and

perform 5 sets of 10. For example, if I used the outline percentages on bench that would be 225 (round about). Well, I knew for a

fact that I could easily perform 20+ reps with that weight, so I increased my weight to 275. This was a weight that I was

comfortable with getting at least 13 reps. As I moved along and progressed throughout the weeks, I adjusted my weights

accordingly (after each wave) as outlined in the book. This allowed me to start the program lifting a little heavier than what was

recommended, but as the weeks rolled on, the weights evened themselves out. If you read the book you will note that after each

wave you adjust your training max according to your performance on the last week of each wave. I progressed so fast that by

week 11 I was using 365lbs for 7 sets of 3 on squat. If you remember 365 was my max before, and that was only for a half rep.

My bench which was already nearing 2x my bodyweight increased by about 30 total pounds. One thing that impressed me was

that my Military Press went from 200 to 225 and probably closer to 230. I also push pressed 245lbs just for fun. That is an

increase of almost 10lbs per month using nothing heavier than 82.5% of my 1rm for most all the sets.

PROS:
What I liked about this method was that the workouts were very intense. 5 sets of 10’s or 8’s are anything but easy, but very

doable. I think the program let me get a little more volume than Wendler’s 531, but also seemed very similar. I liked the fact that

I was able to practice my lifts at lower percentages of 1rm, which in turn helped my form and therefore helped make this program

very successful for me and my training partner. Using this method I was able to smash every one of my previous rep records,

and in some cases doubling them.

CONS:
The one thing that I didn’t like about this program was that you don’t really touch any weight about 90%. What that translated for

me was that I got very good at getting stronger at the reps (improving my 1rm for sure), but not improving my 1rm as much as I

think it could have. If I were using this training method for a future meet, I would include some heavy work sets, and or extend

the waves out another 3 weeks to accomodate for that. Let us not forget that I did improve my overall 1rm total by over 100lbs.

WHERE I AM NOW/ ROUND 2 JUGGERNAUT
As if right now I am 6 weeks past my first round of Juggernaut Training. My totals are as follows:
Bodyweight: 210 ( I got some extra love that needs trimmed away)
Military Press: On track to hit 245+ Strict Press in 12 weeks.
Squat: 5 sets of 8 with 315 very easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if I hit 450 in the end.
Bench: 315lbs x 10 reps (pr) and 5 sets of 8 with 305. I’m on track to hit at least 425.
Deadlift: I’ll get to that.

One thing that I did not mention intentionally, because I didnt want to distract anyone away from this method is that I did not use

TJM2.0 for deadlift. Even though this method has worked for me quite well in all the other lifts, I am finding as much success

with a modified 531 program written by Alanna Casey #imnoalannacasey (strongwoman) and Steve Pulcinella, which I believe is

more suited for the deadlift. With that being said, it is still something I am considering running in the future.

In conclusion, if you are wanting a change or your old program is getting stale, I would def. recommend this program to

powerlifters at all levels. As a side note, my training partner experienced the same or better results from this exact same

program. We have both been lifting close to the same amount of time (over 2 years) and the results that we achieved I believe

are not just newbie gains.

Didn’t really read the whole post… but I have to say, Chad is fucking awesome. A real all around strength athlete. Elite shot putter and powerlifter, AND a pro strongman, fucking badass.

Dude def knows what hes doing.

Completely understandable. It was long and drawn out. I just figured if someone was interested enough in what Juggernaut had to offer, they might want to know if it actually works, and it does.

I read the whole post where you put in my my other thread. Solid write up man.

I am a bit confused on where you said that you modified it a bit to tap heavier weights.

Would you mind clarifying it a bit?

I didn’t read the whole thing but I had to laugh that your squat, bench and deadlift were all within 40lbs of each other. I’m not hating, I’m actually very jealous of your bench.

[quote]frankjl wrote:
I didn’t read the whole thing but I had to laugh that your squat, bench and deadlift were all within 40lbs of each other. I’m not hating, I’m actually very jealous of your bench.[/quote]

I don’t know why, but I do see people with numbers like this every now and again. They are usually great benchers, not necessarily bad squatters or deadlifters.

First at Trivium. I apologize for the spacing in the write up. I wanted to clarify the modification I was talking about. I’m not sure if you read the book, but what I took from CWS is that after each wave you adjust your 1rm according to the weight and reps you used on the last week of each wave. So for instance if I performed 315x10 on bench my estimated 1rm is 420. That is 315 x .0333 x 10 + 315 = 420. So even if I cant get 420 on bench I still use that for my 1rm. Multiply that by your percentage and you have your working weight for the set. Well when i modified the program I thought in my head if I can do 20+ reps for the that percentage and I’m on the 8’s wave, I am using very light weight in reality. So I used a weight that was actually closer to my 8 rep max and that was quite a bit more weight. Where I should have been using 225, i actually used 275. Right or wrong I got more from using the heavier weight, and I was still getting at least 8 reps, which was the requirement. I hope that helps.

At frankjl. No hate, I understand completely. I haven’t been powerlifting long, and before getting into squat and deadlift I just went for the whole beach body thing. Therefore, my bench is good but my squat and deadlift are way behind. I am confident that come this time next year, my squat and deads will be at least 100lbs over my bench. BTW, thanks for the bench compliment. Bench is the only thing that I am better than average. Off the subject, but I see that you are from Ohio. Are you close to Lima, and do you know the guys at Under the Bar?

Mark Bell is one of those lifters that has a great bench but not necessarily deadlift and squat (raw at least). Like I said, really the lack of experience in deadlift and squat is why my numbers are so close. I’ve got almost 3 years benching under my belt, and less than 2 years of deadlift and less than a year of squatting with good form.

[quote]TeflonTurk wrote:
First at Trivium. I apologize for the spacing in the write up. I wanted to clarify the modification I was talking about. I’m not sure if you read the book, but what I took from CWS is that after each wave you adjust your 1rm according to the weight and reps you used on the last week of each wave. So for instance if I performed 315x10 on bench my estimated 1rm is 420. That is 315 x .0333 x 10 + 315 = 420. So even if I cant get 420 on bench I still use that for my 1rm. Multiply that by your percentage and you have your working weight for the set. Well when i modified the program I thought in my head if I can do 20+ reps for the that percentage and I’m on the 8’s wave, I am using very light weight in reality. So I used a weight that was actually closer to my 8 rep max and that was quite a bit more weight. Where I should have been using 225, i actually used 275. Right or wrong I got more from using the heavier weight, and I was still getting at least 8 reps, which was the requirement. I hope that helps.
[/quote]

I believe he gives a formula for re-calculating your working max after the realization phase of each wave.

The forumla is (reps performed - standard reps) x (increment per rep) + working max = new working max.

reps performed = the actual number of reps you got on the realization phase of the wave.

standard reps = 10 for the 10 wave, 8 for the 8 wave, 5 for the 5 wave, 3 for the 3 wave.

For example, an athlete with a working max of 405 pounds in the squat who performs 12 reps
during the realization phase of their 8s wave on the squat using a 5 pound increment per rep would do the following:

[(12-8) x 5] + 405 = 425

CWS recommmends using 2.5 to 5 lbs for the increment per rep on lower body and 1.25 to 2.5 for the increment per rep on upper body. However, he also advises capping the amount that you increase the working max at 10 reps above the standard.

For example, if an athlete performed 22 reps during their 8 wave (14
reps above the standard) only 10 of those reps would be considered when
adjusting the working max. CWS notes in the book that these very high reps are common in young or inexperienced athletes who are performing their first waves.

CWS notes that which of these increment per rep options you choose to use is very important and depends on a few things:

  1. Strength- If you are strong and have a high working max (400+ pounds in a
    given lift) it is less significant for your to move your working max up by 2.5 and
    5 pounds per rep than an athlete with maxes in the 150-300 pound range.

  2. Training Age - Somewhat contradictory to point 1), but those that have been training for a long time may be better suited to using smaller increments for continued progress.

  3. Relationship between working max and projected max- It is critical that
    your working max stay 5-10% below your projected maxes to continue making
    steady progress. You need to choose the increment which allows this to
    happen.

With respect to point 3), In order to keep at least a 5% difference between your
projected max and working max, you can check that using the following
equation:

(WEIGHT X REPS X .033) + WEIGHT /
[(REPS PERFORMED â?? STANDARD) X BIG INCREMENT PER REP] + WORKING MAX
= DIFFERENCE

OR

PROJECTED MAX / BIG WORKING MAX = DIFFERENCE

Big Working Max refers to your new working max using the larger option of the
increments per rep (2.5 pounds for upper body lifts and 5 pounds for lower
body lifts). If the difference here is 1.05 or greater, then you are fine using this
option. If it is less than 1.05 then use the smaller options (1.25 and 2.5 pounds
respectively for upper and lower lifts).

Great post thanks for going in to such detail, when you managed to add 100lbs to your total how much weight did you gain during that training period ?

Roughly 12-15lbs. I gained alot of size in my legs. All that rep work, they just blew up.