T Nation

My Current SSP Layout

If it’s of any interest I’m running The Shield phase right now (which I run back to back fairly often)…

Day 1 - Legs

Leg curls -
Heels together high bar squats - main movement
Lunges -
1 split legged Romanian’s -

Day 2 -
Incline Press w/bands starting from dead stop on pins - main movement
Incline KB Flye -
1.5 side laterals -
front raises -
Band Pushdowns -
KB skullies -

Day 3 -
V-Bar chins -
Barbell Rows - main movement
Kneeling Shrugs -
Barbell 21’s -

That’s how I’m twerking…errrr working it right now.

How have you guys setup some of your Shield Phases?

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I’m re-running the shield now like so:

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Ler Curls
Squat (Main Lift)
Hip Thrust with 5sec top
Farmer’s Walk

Barbell. Bench Press (Mail Lift) ( db pec activator before and between sets)
DB Incline Bench
Behind Back Shlouder Press
Lateral raise ( 20-15-10/10-15-20)
front plate raise 25lb 100reps


T-bar row (main lift)
Chin ups
Db Shrug w/ 3sec at top
rear delts swing 3x20-30
barbell curl x100

another days:
band pull x100 reps

Progression…in 4/12 weeks?

Paul, you have any guidelines for optional 3 rm test on week 4? The 2 working sets at 90% so 3rm at 92.5-95%?

Currently running
Seated ham curls
B.B. lowbar squat main lift
RDL with added band resistance

Flat bench
Slight incline db flies
Seated Smith OHP
Db laterals
Reverse db flies
PJR pullovers


Sumo deadlift
Lat pulldowns neutral grip
B.B. shrugs
Hammer curls

Honestly use some auto regulation for that. If the 90% triple moves slow then just opt out of the testing. If they fly, then use your best judgement. This is more of a trusting your own judgement kind of thing really.

Ok right on. Thanks

Just out of curiosity, what does your SSP training look like these days, Paul?

By the way…
In the Maximum Muscle Bible, it is mentioned that training 3x/week is less desirable than, say, 4x/week.
The SSP has you training “just” 3 days a week.
Is it because you wrote it with the average guy in mind?
Or do you personally just gravitate towards training only 3x/week these days?
If so, what’s your thought process behind that shift to less training days?

Would “The maximum muscle bible program” or “The Hybrid” be overkill for the guy who just wants to look good and bench 3 plates?

Thanks in advance if you see this…

I’m constantly playing with the protocol for various goals. Right now I’m entirely focused on some old strength building and fat loss so I’m still in the shield phase. I’ve rearranged a few things that I am playing with that I haven’t settled into. So basically there’s the template but I’m being flexible with it right now.

And yes most guys can do 3 days a week based on lifestyle, but can easily manipulate it to 4 days a week if that’s doable.

And I don’t think it takes extremes at all to get sexier and to bench 3 plates. Just being consistent with diet and training if those are goals within reach.

Sounds interesting. And thanks for the answer.
Then 3-4 days it is - instead of 5x/week like the first program in the “MMB”.

I’ve done Inception as well, but was wondering if the set/rep scheme in The Shield would be just as beneficial as the alternating Hypertrophy and Strength blocks in Inception - in your opinion?

Or is the Shield progression model best saved for more seasoned lifters?

(Don’t worry - I won’t keep asking question after question. This is my last one for now, lol.)

The Shield progression model can be used by virtually anyone except true rank beginners.

I’m not sure how to answer the first question…


This may be an obvious question, but if, during the shield Phase, one’s main focus on their push workouts is overhead strength and boulder shoulders is there any reason they can’t swap around the lifts and make OHP the main lift? Maybe something like this:

Week 1
OHP 4x10

High incline smith press 2x15
(heard this is a great accessory for building the OHP)

Cable flyes SS w/ DB laterals 2x15

3-way raise SS w/ triceps push downs 2x15

If you wanted to focus on shoulders I’d drop the high incline smith after the OHP. It’s kinda redundant.

I’d go…

Side laterals -
Bent Laterals -
Superset - cable flyes/dips