Maximum Strength Log by Phydeaux

I finished up the Coan Phillipi deadlift program a month ago and had been looking for something new to do. I decided to purchase Eric Cressey’s book Maximum Strength. Yesterday was Packing Day for me. I hope to begin Phase I next week. We’ll see if Thanksgiving forces me to delay or not. Here are my test results.

weight 173.4 lbs

Broad jump - n/a. No place in the gym to do this. I’ll try to test this at home soon.

EDIT: Tested 12/1 after workout and got 91". Not bad, but not great. However, I had tested my broad jump about a year ago and only gotten 78". This is a huge improvement. I’d like to hit 100"+ when this is done.

Deadlift - n/a. I finished up Coan w/ a max of 415, so I decided to use this number and not retest.

12" box squat - 275. I’ve been doing these on off days during Coan, so I’ve gotten a little experience on them. I did 45x8,135x5,225x3,265x1,275x1.

bench - 215. Ugh. On 3/10 I set my PR of 230. I’m a little disappointed by this, but not surprised. I went 45x8,95x5,135x5,185x3,205x1,215x1,225F. I took handoffs on all singles. 1 guy did the 1st two and did them great.

He then moved on to finish his workout (can’t say I blame him) and I had to borrow someone else. This guy lifted the bar but didn’t push it out over my chest.

After trying and failing to move it out on my own I asked him to do so and he did. By then it was over. I went down and never came back up. I couldn’t budge it off my chest. I guess I’ll use 215 as my max for the program.

3 rep chins - BW+30. I did fairly well on these. I went 0x3,10x3,20x3,30x3,40x2,35x2. My hamstring cramped up on me when I first attempted +10 so I had to abort. I retried a couple minutes later after massaging my thigh and got it.

I think I might have gotten 35x3 if I’d tried it instead of 40. If I can’t begin phase 1 next week, I’ll retest this to see if I can do 35x3. Otherwise I’ll use 30x3 as my max.

I took 3 key measurements this morning.

Stomach - 35.5"
Waist - 34.5"
Hips - 39"

I have the most visible fat here and will be anxious to see how this program changes these. I don’t care as much about other body parts because I’m not really trying to gain size. If I do, great – but it’s just icing on the cake.

Good luck man!

Sounds like you’re starting with pretty similar stats to when I ran it- it’s an intense program, you’ll be surprised by the results.

Thanks IA. I appreciate it.

Week 1, Day 1

box squats - 135x5,185x4,205x4,225x4x4,205x4

I wasn’t sure if I picked the right weights for this. On the 4th set I had to pause a second between reps.

speed DL - 205x2(8x)

Pretty easy.

db lunges - 30x8, 40x8(3x)

I had a little trouble completing these.

reverse crunches, prone bridges

No difficulties here.

My quads were tight after this. They will absolutely love my house w/ 2 sets of stairs. :slight_smile:

Just 63 more workouts to go.

Week 1, Day 2

bench - 135x4,155x4,185x4(5x)

The last set went a little slow.

db incline - 30x10,35x10,40x10

I wasn’t sure what to select here. The 40s went up with no struggle so I’ll probably move these up.

cable rows - 70x10,85x10,100x10,120x10

The last set was somewhat tough. I may have to get the in-between plates to make it 110 next time.

prone trap raises - 5x12 (3x)

Wow. I didn’t expect these to be so hard.

external rotations - 5x12, 10x12 (2x)

I’m not sure I’m doing these right. I don’t seem to be moving my arms that much.

The side bridges were a lot tougher than the prone bridges.

Should I move weights up if I get all 3 sets? I’ve only read the book through phase 1.

Phydeaux, I just started doing MS as well. In regards to your loading questions the book says to use as much as you can handle for good form to get the required reps. I have no idea if I’m doing it right, but you can check my log if you want something/one to compare ideas with/to. Tonight was day 2 of week 2, so I’m just a bit ahead of you schedule wise.


I’ll check your log out. Thanks.

I’m guessing I definitely don’t increase the load for the medium and low weeks. It looks like the intensity of the week is determined more by the # of sets than the weights.

[quote]Phydeaux wrote:

I’ll check your log out. Thanks.

I’m guessing I definitely don’t increase the load for the medium and low weeks. It looks like the intensity of the week is determined more by the # of sets than the weights.


I had questions about that as well. The program is kinda vague in that regard. I guess just make a judgement call. Today for instance, since Monday is the start of the “hard” week I didn’t push to up the weights for this workout so I’m not taxed for next week.

I have no idea if that’s right, but I guess I’ll see how it plays out. I know it’s early, but are you enjoying the program so far?

Yeah, it’s cool so far. I think this will make me work a lot harder than I have most of this year.

Week 1, Day 3 (Friday)

front squats - 95x6,135x6,155x6,165x6

It’s been a while since I’ve done these. I’d forgotten how uncomfortable it is resting the bar on the shoulder.

rack pulls - 135x6,225x6,315x6,335x6,355x6x6

There doesn’t seem to be much difference between these and romanian deadlifts other than the amount of knee bend.

bulgarian squats - 80x6,100x6,120x6

Another one I hadn’t done in a while.

pullthroughs - 25x10,35x10x10,42.5x10

These felt weird. I’ll have to review the book to make sure I did these right.

reverse crunches

Week 1, Day 4 (12/1)

Weight 175.6 lbs

Too much Thanksgiving food.

DB push press - 25x6,35x6,40x6,45x6,50x6

Yet another new exercise for me.

chinups - 0x6,10x6,20x6,10x6,(10x3+0x2)

The last set looks goofy. I tried to crank out another 10x6 but only got 3 reps. I then dropped the weight and tried to finish but got just 2. I probably would’ve gotten a 0x6.

pushups - 0x10,10x10,25x10

An old exercise, but I’d never done it w/ weight on my back. Not used to that. I didn’t struggle, so I could probably do more.

1 arm db rows - 40x8,60x8,70x8

It’s been a while since I’d done these, so I eased back into them.

kneeling cable ERs - 25x12(3x)

Another newbie. The machine said 25 lbs, but w/ all the pulleys it was probably closer to 10 lbs.

side bridges - Slightly less difficult today.

I like all the shoulder focus on upper days. It’s probably my weakest upperbody part.

I decided to test my broad jump when I got home. I leapt 91". About a year ago I’d tested it and only gone 78", so this is a nice gain. I hope to increase it to 100"+ after this program ends. I did this in my basement w/ a 7’ ceiling and lots of clutter. I likely have poor jumping technique as well, so I have lots of room for improvement in this test.

It makes me wonder if I’ve made a similar gain in my vertical. I could touch the rim in college (5’7"), but last year I could barely graze the bottom of the backboard.

Week 2, Day 1 (12/2)

Week 2 is supposed to be a little easier, but it doesn’t feel like it right now.

12" box squats - 135x5,185x4,225x4(3x),205x4

I did one more set @ 225 this week. These seemed easier than last week.

speed deadlifts - 230x2(8x)

8 sets seems to take a long time, even w/ about a minute rest in between sets.

db lunges - 40x8(3x)

A little easier tonight.

reverse crunches, prone bridges

Did the bridges w/ 1 leg in the air.

I may try to finish week 2 this week by going Th, F, & Sat. It would be 2 uppers and a lower, so I think my body could handle that better than 2 lowers and an upper. Plus it’s a medium week.

I upped the weight on high intesnse days when I can. On week 7 now and its going good.

Key is give it all you got. Add weight when you can, get all your reps in. I’ve gone up, up, up, then had to drop some weight on last rep, but i’ve always felt it was worth it.

Week 2, Day 2 (12/5)

bench - 135x5,185x4(4x)

no change

db incline - 40x9,45x9,50x9

Increased weights here.

seated rows - 85x10,100x10(3x)

Tried to focus on form here. The weights were bouncing up and down. Almost as if they were too light. Weird.

prone trap raises - 5x12,10x12(2x)

These were kinda hard. Anyone else going as light as me on these?

external rotations - 5x12, 10x12(2x)

I don’t really feel like I’m working anything here. Maybe these are too light.

Week 2, Day 3 (12/6)

front squats - 95x6,135x6,165x6(3x)

These suckers are tough.

rack pulls - 225x6,315x6,355x6,315x6

I beat up my hands with these. I don’t remember the bar being this rough. Either this particular bar was really sharp or I’ve wimped out going gloveless.

bulgarian squats - 80x5,120x5,140x5

Tough, but I like these.

pull throughs - 35x10,42.5x10,50x10, 57.5x10,65x10

Starting to get the hang of these. I had some time so I kept doing sets of these and kept going up.

reverse crunches

Week 2, Day 4 (12/8)

db push press - 35x6,50x6(3x)

I have to use my legs more on the 50’s.

chinups - 0x6,10x6(3x)

Struggled on the very last rep.

db rows - 60x7,80x7(2x)

Felt good. Getting a little heavier.

pushups - 10x12,25x12,35x12

Went up on weight. 35 was a little tougher.

kneeling ERs - 15x12(3x)

This was a different machine from last week. It was tougher, and I struggled on form the last couple reps per set.

Week 3, Day 1 (12/9)

Very High intensity week.

12" box squats - 135x5,185x3,225x3,235x3(6x)

Had to pause before the 3rd rep.

speed deadlifts - 250x2(10x)

No problems here. I adjusted my grip to get my calluses above the bar. I was surprised at how strong my fingers were holding the bar.

db lunges - 40x8(4x)

These seemed easier tonight. I must be getting stronger on these. Previously my sets w/ 40s almost wiped me out.

reverse crunches, prone bridges

Did the bridges again on 1 leg.

Week 3, Day 2 (12/12)

Bench - 135x5,185x3,195x3(7x)

The last couple sets were slow but I managed to get them.

db incline - 40x10,50x10,60x10

I almost didn’t get the last 2 reps on 60.

cable rows - 100x10,110x10,120x10(2x)

Improving form and weight on these.

prone trap raises - 10x12(3x)

These are kinda tough.

side ERs - 10x12,15x12,10x12

I had to drop back down on the last set. The 15s were really tough. Is anyone doing decent weight on these?

Week 3, Day 3 (12/13)

WOW. This was by far the most difficult workout of this program.

front squats - 95x6,135x6,165x6(7x)

These took a while.

rack pulls - 315x6,355x6,375x6,315x6

These were very slow. I kept losing my grip. Last week I did them barehanded and the bar really ate into my hands. So today I tried it with gloves. My grip kept slipping. I could do 1-3 reps before my grip slipped almost completely, then I’d have to reset. It made it a lot tougher to complete each set.

Should I use straps? Anyone have any suggestions?

db bulg squats - 120x6,140x6,120x6(2x)

Ohmigosh. My quads were screaming after the last set. I hobbled over to the cable machine.

pullthroughs - 50x10,65x10,72.5x10

May have found my upper limit on these.

I skipped the crunches as I’d already been there 75 minutes and my kids were waiting in the daycare area. Plus it was lunchtime.

Week 3, Day 4 (12/15)

Weight 178.4 lbs (+ 5)
stomach 35.75" (+ .25)
waist 34 5/8" (+ 1/8)

I’ve added 5 lbs since starting this program. My waistline has increased a bit as well. I hope most of that gain didn’t go to my belly.

db push press - 35x6,50x6,55x6(5x)

Moved up here. My 1RM on a regular bb vertical press is 130, so I’m challenging that now (based on a projected max from these numbers).

chins - 20x6(2x),10x6(2x)

I think I’m improving on these. The sets of +20 seemed easier.

pushups - 25x10(2x), 35x10(2x)

db rows - 60x8,80x8(2x),60x8

I gotta start wearing wrist protection on these. The 80s would tilt in my hand and rest against my wrist. I don’t have any bruises, but my wrists are sore.

cable ERs - 25x12(3x)

Seemed a little easier.

I’m starting low intensity week 4 tonight. Do I reduce the weights, or does the low intensity come solely from the reduction of sets?

Week 4, Day 1 (12/16)

Low intensity week.

box squat - 135x10,185x3,235x3(3x)

Kept the weight the same.

speed deadlifts - 270x2(3x)

Raised the weight per the program.

db lunges - 30x8(2x)

Dropped the weight per the program.

Reverse crunches, prone bridges