T Nation

Modified Version of Brian Alsruhe’s Dark Horse

It is, at first it’s fine but as the weeks go on, it gets really tough.
But Brian did a good job on this program

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It’s the favorite of the programs I’ve run

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Yeah it looked like you got some great gains from it. I don’t think I should run it yet at my level because I don’t need bands and lift variants and whatnot, just food and work. I think I’ll have to pencil it in for early next year, though.

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Mattjp: You definitely should give it a run, and if you do it as written then my hat goes off to you since my version alone wipes me out each session. Btw, the intro into your log and the comparison to Batman is hilarious lol.

mortdk: Definitely noticing it getting tougher as the DE days continue to ramp up. Looking forward to week 6 when they reset and I’ll just have to deal with a tougher band

losthog: Mine too so far. I got a lot of gains from 5/3/1 but love the extra volume and the working on weak links that this provides, plus I’m looking forward to incorporating the strongman implements next wave

Wave 1 / Week 3 / Day 3

Maximum Effort

Work up to 3 RM Rack Pull (final: 495 lbs) (Tried for 545 and got it up maybe an inch but no dice)

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

Hack Squat x 8-12 @ 225 lbs

Rack Pull x 10, 8, 8 @ 395 lbs

GHR Side Situps x 10 ea

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Squat @ 270 w/ black bands

No time for assistance today, and even if I did my lower back was feeling pretty shot and I was pretty wiped in general

Last day of Wave 1! Also last day at my current gym and definitely looking forward to wave 2 with strongman elements incorporated. Definitely starting to feel it on the DE portions and looking forward to the weights dropping again (mainly just because the added resistance of the bands).

Maximum Effort

Work up to 1 RM Split Jerk (final: 225 lbs…I was very disappointed with this considering months ago I was up to a 275 lbs range and was expecting to be somewhere around there, but I could also tell that it felt a lot more technique related than strength related and I know that I was pretty worn out going into this session with going 3 days in a row (mainly to give myself a day off tomorrow before I start wave 2 on Thursday since after that I wont get a chance to be at the gym until Sunday evening due to my schedule with the kiddos))

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

Weighted Chin-ups x 5-8 @ 45 lbs

Split Jerk x 6, 5, 5 @ 185 lbs (rounded up 5 lbs)

Plank x 1 min

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Bench Press @ 200lbs w/ black bands

Assistance

2 rounds (was scheduled for 5 but got spent) 10-12 reps of:

-Incline DB Bench @ 80 lbs ea.

-DB Row @ 90 lbs

-DB Squeeze Press @ 60 lbs ea.

-Rope Tri Extension @ 57 lbs

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So the new gym is pretty awesome, small but has all needed equipment, no AC but the back warehouse door can be opened. Unfortunately though right as I was about to take my work outside and do some yokes the owners left and locked it (we have 24/7 access otherwise) but I guess you can get into the circle of trust to get a key for it. I made due though with dragging some stuff out the small backdoor

Wave 2 / Week 4 / Day 1

Maximum Effort

Work up to 3RM Box Squat (final: 445 lbs (20 lbs pr)) so I only got 2 instead of 3 but the box I used was a good 4” lower than before (new gym and all)

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

SLDL x 10 @ 185 lbs

Box squat x 8, 8, 8 @ 355 lbs

(Abstained from ab portion today as I was acclimating to new environment)

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Deadlift 310 lbs w/ black bands (on a platform with pegs for bands meaning no more rigged frame of dumbbells!!!)

Assistance

3 rounds of:

10 x pull-ups
3 tire flips @ 325 lbs (been awhile so started was something I knew I could do)
100 ft sled push sprint on rogue titan sled w 180 lbs added

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Wave 2/ Week 4/ Day 2

Maximum Effort

Work up to 1RM incline log press (final: 240 lbs, I tried for 270 and failed, while it is a shorter range than a barbell press, the process of rolling it into position from the floor and starting at the bottom rather than the top made it harder than I imagined)

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

Chest supported Rows x 8 @ 115 lbs

Incline log press @ 190 lbs

Ab wheel rollout x 10

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Press 120 lbs w/ black bands

Assistance

3 rounds of:
Frame carry 50 yds @ 390 lbs (way harder than expected/remembered)
Log clean x1 press x5 @ 130 lbs (way easier than expected

Was going to throw in sled pulls too but that would require being outside and it was 40 degrees and raining

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Just now saw your question so late reply: I ran it the full 12 weeks but week 7 is when I stopped progressing and it was just a grind from then on.

Saw huge progress in the variations I used. For example my 2nd time rotating through the 1,3,5 RMs I hit a triple on the trap bar that was heavier than my 1RM the first time around. I’d have to look to be sure but I don’t remember seeing much carry over to my main lifts. Probably a combination of fatigue and not having technique dialed in from doing the variations instead.

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@loganator (just now learning how to do correct replies on here since I’m so new to posting lol), I can easily see how that can happen just from a wear down standpoint. For the Dynamic Effort were you using bands and/or chains? I think after this program is done I’m going to try switching to his Conjugate one

Unfortunately I didn’t have access to any so I just used a higher % for DE. That may have been a difference maker too but I’ve never used them so can’t say for sure.

He has a few other programs I’m consider trying at some point, there does seem to be a pretty similar theme throughout with how he pairs movements and encourages giant sets

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Indiana%20strong
hello

Did I read your profile correctly,That your from Indianapolis? Well Hell yeah!!!Glad to see more Hoosiers on this site!

@bulldog9899 haha you read that correct, and I agree, it’s nice to connect with a fellow Hoosier here! Currently lifting at Iron Valley Barbell on the northwest side of Indy. Where in Indy do you train at?

I am actually a garage gorilla and have a full set up at my home. I actually live 45 minutes south east of Indy on 74.My youngest is up there attending art school on the IU/PUI campus .

@bulldog9899 I’m definitely envious of you having the garage setup. That’s been a long term goal of mine and one of the requirements for when I buy a house next year.

Just make sure you set aside enough space to allow for expanding your set up down the road.

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Wave 2/ Week 4/ Day 3

Maximum Effort

Work up to 5RM trap bar deadlift (final: 510 lbs HUGE PR!)

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

Rogue Belt Squat x12 @ 180 lbs (new to machine so testing it out, could definitely have gone heavier but with the trap bar compared to barbell deadlift I feel it hits the legs so much more so definitely was feeling the burn

Trap bar deadlift x10 @ 390 lbs (this hurt)

Oblique crunches x 10 ea

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Squat @ 295 lbs w/ black bands (forgot my own bands at home since I rode the motorcycle in and consolidated what I thought I needed in a backpack instead so this just didn’t feel right)

Assistance

I was going to do something else but didn’t want to push myself too hard after that PR but did do:

Lots of 35 lb sandbag tosses over (or at least attempting to go over lol) a 15ft mark to work on explosiveness

Just caught up with this log, definitely in for results. Good looking sessions here brother!

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@oldbeancam Thanks man, I much appreciate the support! This program is definitely turning into a grinder and I’m already looking forward to shifting to more of Brian’s straight conjugate system, although I’m sure once the weights drop back down on week 6 I’m sure it will feel much more manageable

Wave 2 / Week 4 / Day 4

Maximum Effort

Work up to 3RM Push Press (final: 235 lbs, 10 lb increase from last wave, tried for 245 but only got 1 rep so backed off to 235)

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

Weighted Chin-ups x 8-12 @ w/ 35 lbs plate

Push Press x AMRAP (8), 8, 8 @185 lbs

Plank x 1 min

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Bench Press @ 220 lbs with red minis doubled from pins. So, for this I only managed 5 minutes and I know it’s all from changing those bands but nothing else worked to get enough band tension but this was too much, afterwards though I realized I could have tried creating a triangle out of the bands by using extra pins at the bottom which I will try next time

Assistance

Atlas stone work with Stone of Steel since indoors. A couple sets at 150 then 195. Just wanted some fairly light work (even though a bit harder with smoothness and no tacky) to get refamiliarized with the implement and motion

Wave 2 / Week 5 / Day 1

Maximum Effort

Work up to 5RM safety squat bar squat (final: 360 lbs). A long time since using this bar, replaced front squats with these for this wave, I remembered it being much harder than a normal squat but forgot how much these suck

Volume

Then (with 80%) 3 rounds:

SLDL x 12 @ 185 lbs

SSB Squat x 10 @ 290 lbs

Side crunch x 10

Dynamic Effort

EMOM for 10 minutes:

Deadlift x 3 @ 330 lbs w/ black bands

No accessory work today. Felt spent, and I’m definitely looking forward to weights going down next week