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Most Time Tested Program

I was visiting my old H.S. the other day and amazed that my old coach is still intact. I spoke with him about his views on weight training, and why his program has consistently produced results in less geneticaly gifted teens.

Looking at the boards its amazing, my 535 deadlift , has far been knocked off and powerdlean records have broken 340. Squat over 600.

The most respectful thing is not the top 10 numbers in each lift. But the total amount of kids during his tenure that have achieved The basic Numbers.

Blah blah we worked to get shirts, squat, deadlift, powerclean, bench
let me just say thathundreds prob, close to a thoushand many many many kids reached 250 clean, 450 squat , 450 deadlift, 300 bench, before senior year. These were poor kids defenitely not juiced. OH and FYI there was NO PROTEIN POWDER BACK THEN OR CREATINE.

I think alott of young guys would benefit from the simplicity of this program, and the focus on pure strength.

Never Miss breakfast, Get to bed before midnight. Thats about it. He knew growing boys would eat lunch and dinner.

I have seen so many kids go from nothing to strong powerful dudes.
If you are interested respond.

Basically NOTHING ELSE MATTERED put achieving those lifts!

If you cant at least clean 200, bench 260, squat 350, deadlift 400 then you would of been considered barely getting by.

i would be interested in getting this program from you. it sounds like the type i’m looking for. thanks

I would be interested in seeing the program!

All RIGHT, Keep in mind that many players never changed the program for 4 years, and still made substantial gains. I honestly think this coach has produced more strength than Poliquin, JMB, and KING combined. (relative to age and genetics of course)This is the it.

Well if you haven’t been training hard and heavy with Squats, Cleans, and deadlifts than your gonna need a two week break in period.

That would consist of 3 sets of 8 taken to failure. Spread out ove over the weak. on a MWF or T TH SAT schedule. Im sure you can break that down.

First assumption, I was this little badass that complained how could you squat, then powerclean the next day? Isn’t that over training? Keep in mind this is for football. He proceeded to show me the boards of all those before me, and simply put this system works. So try it before you start Diagnosing it. It is similar to Maximal weights but the pattern is different.

Basically, The word is Squat, Powerclean, Deadlift. If you only have time for one lift than squat, 2 powerclean, 3 deadlift. bench is for relax time!!! Just stating the importance. You need to make sure your going parallel at least!

Mon (Light Day)
85% of Max, that is you will be ending at 85% of your max, This is the time you superbly focus on Form!
8 Reps as a warm up.,
Than Go to 5,4,3,2,1 your 1 should be ending with 85% of max.

You should not be going to failure! The only things he would ever say if your lifts weren’t going up is, ! are you eating breakfast, and 2 are you going to failure (or to heavy every day)! 9 times out of 10 if someone did one of those things they can increases in strength.

tues same formula as above
Powerclean (1st)
Deadlift Again 8 warm up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ending at exactly 85% of your max. Proven max!

WEDS Is to be used as an ancilery day for those who can at least do there bottom lifts. IE if you cant clean 200, squat 350 parallel, deadlift 400, Don’t be doing any arms, or don’t be caught in CURL CORNER!But feel free to do some ABS, and Calves!

Thursday, This is the day you dream about.Heavy HEavy
Same Formula but ending at 95% of max usually needing a spotter on most sets
Squat, 8 warm up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, (95% of max
Bench, Same formula You should barelyget the last rep. Now when that last rep is easy You go for a new max, The following Week, ON HEAVY DAY ONLY

Powerclean 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 95% of max
Deadlift Same.

NOTE:on thurs and friday, youtake 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 all to failure. when the 1 is easy go for a new max.

(When you have adjusted to this program you could add in leg curls 4 sets of 6 on squat day,

and incline 4 sets of 6 on heavy chest day. Otherwise wait until your breaking new PRs.

The whole weak builds toward leaving it all on the table for THURS and FRIDAY, those are like the god given days. Heavy hard, draining,

Then sat and sun you recover

everyone should aim in there mind to get these first shirts.
205 powerclean
350 squat (parellel, wraps, and belt is ok)
Deadlift 405
Bench 265

When these levels are reached I’ll show you how to tweak the program, to add in more arms, abs and shoulders!Ie Dips, abs, calves.

I have never not seen this program work.

I think everyone should have a base in there arsenal of at least those lifts numbers before bodybuilding.

Any questions , reply,
Oh and don’t combat me with pattern overload, and overtraining those muscles, I honestly think this is the best way to learn these lifts. I made the same mistake thinking that you can’t possible drive up dead, and squat, and clean, but believe me ive seen it happen with hundred s of kids.

Thanks for posting this. It’s always good to hear about what has worked in the real world.

I see parallels with neurological tricks posted in other articles – descending rep schemes.

Question: How do you determine the weights to use for the different sets?

On Mon/Tuesday – what % of max is the warmup, and is there a set % for the set of 5? how much do you add per set after that?

On Thurs/Friday, same questions.

Another question – what kind of injury rate did he have?

Thanks for your time.

You have a point. When I lifted in high school, we all made great gains with a basic program. It was not until we got off track ( following M&F workouts etc.) that are progress slowed, stopped or regressed.

SO lets Say your PR 1 MAX (no forced MAX here)

Is 225 on a given LIFT.
take 85% of that or as close to it, its like 191, call that 190, This will be your finishing 1,

I would do your 8 rep warm up, then depending on how strong you are do some added 5,sets

You are gonna come as close to your 85% (190) without going overso

lets say you do 115 for 8 warmup
135 for 5 warm up
155 for 5 real set
165 for 4
175 for 3
185 for 2
190 for 1

The goal is to land as close to your 85% max without going over! or going to short, Ie doing 175 for 2 than 190 for Basically write down your 85% max and back it down as close to it as you can!
None of the sets should be to failure!

On Heavy days, same protocl stay as close to your 95% as possible
for 225 max, 95% is like 213 so I would call that 215
So your balls out ending reps would be your 1 for 215,
I would say 205 would be your 2
195 for 3
185 for 4
175 for 5

warm ups
115, for 8, 135, for 5 155, for 3-5than start
175 for 5
185 for 4
195 for 3
205 for 2
215 for 1

When that one should be balls ass super hard, barely finishable, when that become easy your do a new max the next thursday, obviously your not gonna jump to do 250 if you only can get 225, you would do something like 235 NEw max, doing alott of little warm ups and than going for your PR. when you got your NEW PR max your were done for the Day!

then your 85 % scheme would change

Injuries, not many, but the on field football injuries always happened I e cut block etc. I would give extra effort to stretching.

Determining Weight

Basically like i demonstrated stay as close to possible your 85% weight

on heavy days stay as close to possible your 95% weight taking each set to failure with good form! No forced reps . I always liked to undershoot and get exactly where I was going.

Very good post.

Some quick questions.

Did all the players including QB’s, RB’s and wide-outs do this program?

Was your coach the head football coach or was he a S&C coach?

Did the wrestlers do it too?

How big was your school?

What area of the country is this?

Was it rural, suburban, or urban?

Were maxes completed during summer sessions?

I too am interested about the injury rate.

Eat breakfast and be in bed by midnight… I dig that. Simple yet dead on.


Its In AZ,He is the Head Football Coach, the coach’s Record is like 300 – 87,.

All players did the same program. With this intense sense of competition, to get shirts, and break records!

THere have been a solid handfull of Pros during those years. The area, is not urban, but not exactly RURAL.

Small School enrollment was like 1800, playing schools with 3- 5000.

Maxes were Completed off season through summer, to the day before Practice.

In season lifts would shift to 3 sets of 5. And most would stop deadlifting.

Wrestlers were not involved, no other sports could use the varsity weight room.

If a player was feeling strong in season he could however go for the boards or get a shirt though. I really don’t think injuries were increased any more than what normally would happen on the field. Again I would empahsize stretching on the weekends.!

MY TOTALS at 17yrs old (1000% Clean)
Squat 455, Powerclean, 275
Deadlift 535 (the record was 585)
Bench 315.

The school was known for turning out little nothings into powerhouses. I was a 5 8" lineman at 205 lbs. I remember I was deadlift man. 400 used to feel like air, I remember doin 400 for 20 for the heck of it!

I think I could of kicked my own ass now ( as a 17 yr old).

As I said before as you get stronger you need to add things in , Mostly on heavy day like, Inclines, Leg curls, stiff leggs, military, lunges etc. but I don’t think you need any of those until you reach the bottom level of strength…

I’m not knocking you or your coach, but you have to realize that high schoolers are predisposed to making remarkable gains if they eat right and lift heavy shit.

It’s a hormonal thing, I think-- their T levels are the highest they will ever be. So with all due respect, just because a program works with high school athletes doesn’t make it the “most time-tested program”.

[quote]InCorporeSano wrote:
I’m not knocking you or your coach, but you have to realize that high schoolers are predisposed to making remarkable gains if they eat right and lift heavy shit.

It’s a hormonal thing, I think-- their T levels are the highest they will ever be. So with all due respect, just because a program works with high school athletes doesn’t make it the “most time-tested program”. [/quote]


you can slice and dice a program a thousand different ways as long as your doing the basics…

squats, benches, deadlifts (power-cleans are great too), military press, rows…

lift heavy, don’t be lazy during your workouts, eat alot of food, get alot of rest, repeat…

over the years I’ve seen a myriad of different programs (splits and full-body) work as long as the basics are part of it…

Sounds like part of the recipe for the “puberty cocktail” Michael Mooney once wrote.

I’m not going to say that this program won’t work. But I am going to say that the results seem a little far fetched. Nothing personal here, but if I believed every story that I heard about their HS and college weight rooms, I think the rest of the world would seem a lot weaker in comparisn.

Do you have any pictures of you doing these lifts? What’s the name of the school? Is there any proof other than what you’re saying that you and the other kids who were/are in this HS are as strong as you say they are?

Once again, I’m not saying that it’s impossible, it’s just unlikely.


What are the current records for each of the major lifts?

Why Don’t you call the School?,and ask about the Record Boards I think thats verification. Man I have no need to lie about lifts! PERIOD. I guess you could ask Ricki Ellison 4 time superbowl champ (gray), Mario Bates, Michael Bates bronze medalist, Jon Volpe, William Peterson, Sam Merriman. To name a few. Take it to the negative why dont ya.

I beg to differ, about HS kids, Yeah t levels are high, but SOOOOO many kids don’t make good gains and train hard. Especially don’t make good gains in Powerlifts or achieve a SOLID base.

Here is how the school goes, most strive for shirts, after shirts there is the all time record boards, I don’t exactly know what the records are now to a T.

200 powerclean
250 powerclean

350, 400, 450, squat ( he stands behind you croched and claps at parallel otherwise you don’t get the shirt

dead lift 400, 450,

Bench 260, 300

than you get the 1000 lb club shirtfor bench, squat, and deadlift

I guess you could call and verify the school football program to verify these shirts as true

boards records
jon volpe held the squat record for a long time at 605 ( he beat out rocket ismail for cfl rookie of the year) see attached article
Powerclean record now I think is 340 , when I played was held by M bates at 305.
deadlift record was 585 10 best down from that on each lift
I deadlifted 535 for number three but have sense been knocked off the boards

Bench record was 365, but I think it is 405 now.

Why don’t you google Vern Friedli, some say he is regarded as the best HS coach in the nation. As a matter of fact then you can email him or something! for all you non believer challenge everything types! His name is known among all levels of football. Only reason for losing records in recent years is a diminished enrollment from newer richer schools. one of few coaches ever to reach 300 wins

here are some



in Addition this summed up what it was like

December 1997: Amphi High, with a 35-man squad, loses a heartbreaking 28-24 decision to Mesa Mountain View in the Class 5A state finals at ASU. It’s a match-up of the largest school in the state (Mt. View has 4,000 students in three grades) and the smallest public school in the 5A division (Amphi hovers around 1,750).

(A few 5A Catholic schools have fewer students than Amphi, but, not bound by recruitment rules, they can basically go out and buy ballplayers, so their enrollment figures are misleading.)

Amphi Coach Vern Friedli, when asked about the enrollment disparity, shrugs, “Hey, it might be nice to have 4,000 kids but as long as I get 30 kids who play as hard as my kids played tonight, I’ll be happy.”

FYI that Mesa Mountain vie TEAM had Todd Heap on it.

Anyone planing on using this program could you post your current lift maxes and in 30 days post your results.

Would be very intresting to see.

While this is certainly a good program, it is directed to young athletes and, at least so I believe, not suitable for most adults.

You squat and deadlift four times a week. That is much, especially if you go heavy (2x 85% and 95% “days”).
While we know that squatting and deadlifting makes your back stronger when done with proper form, most backs would ache just by looking at that program. Everyone I know who deadlifts heavy does it only once a week because of that. On the plus side, there isn’t so much volume that screws up concentration and technique. Still, I think it’s a lot pressure for the back.

I really appreciate you posting this information. I have just started teaching and coaching h.s. football and I’ve been playing with a few ideas for the strength program. I will definately use some of these ideas in our program. Thanks again.

I honestly didn’t want to get in defense of this program. Or even bring up the school. I wanted to post it for people who never got a good powerlifting base, and for some HS athletes with subpar programs. I guarantee you one thing, If you have never tried it

and only disected it, and used all the Testosterone rules for training, U will be missing something.

I do challenge anyone to try it than dice it.

THere is just something about that thurs, fri, hard days, then the two complete off days. Than the moderate three after that that does not make you overtrain. Its weird but it works.