T Nation

Ken Leistner and MILO

I was wondering if any of you have tried some of Ken Leistner’s programs that he lists in MILO. Many of them are only two-to-three days a week. They seem brutal, especially the way he talks about them. And he always seems to make incredible size and strength gains. His ideas seem logical (train hard, eat a lot), but it also seems like this type of training wouldn’t work for most people. He also runs quite a bit and works physical jobs, so maybe two days a week are enough for him. Any comments?

Ken Leistner is one strong guy and he has two sons that are stong as hell as well. One of them can squat 600lbs 30 times! Wow. He is really big on functional strength and is similar to Brooks Kubrick’s Dinosaur Training. I have followed similar programs to ken that focus on Squats and shoulder presses(He does not like benching) push presses, power cleans etc and they worked very well. He is big on high reps 30-40 on squats and likes low reps on push presses 1-3(he can push press 315 for sets of 3). I would defintely recommend some push presses and power cleans in your routine if you have never done them. High rep squats with heavy weight are brutal and he does not recommend breathing squats, just going as fast as you can in control which is damn hard(don;t eat anything for at least three hours before) I am thinking about incorporating two weight workouts in my combat conditioning routine. However, since I already do high reps in the body weight exercises, I am going to focus on low reps 1-3 (no more than 5) in exercises such as stiff-legged deadlifts, push presses, power cleans, etc.

Mike, I agree. Ken is quite strong, especially for his size. I’ve read many of his training programs and understand his ideas. And since I want to become more functional, I’m wondering if I should incorporate his ideas into my workout. This along with combat conditioning should help me increase my overall strength, as well as endurance and conditioning. I haven’t done push presses or cleans for quite some time. I will eventually add them back to my program, but first need to work on basic strength training exercises (deadlifts, squats, benches, overhead presses, chins, dips, etc).

I’m just not sure if I should do the program like he recommends (higher reps on squats, lower on presses, curls, etc.), or if I should do all low reps with heavier weights. I’ve also been reading some of Pavel Tsatsouline’s articles in MILO on strength training and like his 3-5 method. At the same time, I don’t want to get smaller as a result of the training. I’m already small enough! So if I train this way, will I still gain muscular size as well?

Sure, believe it or not, I have put on a loto of size doing programs based on singles. It really has more to do with how much you are eating, sleeping, etc than the amount of reps that you do(At least in my case). I like Pavel’s Russian Bear program detailed in his book “Power to The People” and might consider doing that a few times a week. When I did singles on Bench presses and weighted dips, my upper body got much larger. However, I think a 5x5 program would work well for 3-4 weeks and then maybe try some breathing aquats and do not do too much of the combat conditioning if putting on size is your top priority (may be 50 pushups and 100 squats a few times a week)

Mike, thanks for the advice. I plan on doing sets of 3-5 reps with 80-95% of max of the core exercises. Thinking back, I was actually bigger when I was stronger (duh!). And right now, my strength levels are extremely low because of injuries. I’ve been “afraid” to add weight to some of my exercises and have been taking it slow so I don’t reinjure myself.

I’m sure I can still gain size while doing the lower reps. I’m going to combine Ian’s ideas of dividing bodyparts with Pavel’s idea of the 3-5 method listed in a recent issue of MILO. I need to go ahead and skim over “Power to the People” again and make sure I understand everything. And I’ll probably cut down on some of my combat conditioning. So instead of six or seven days a week, I’ll do it about four to five times a week.