I just completed my last day of the program and I LOVED what this program did for me.
I’m 32, 5’7, and currently 186. I have been lifting SERIOUSLY for ~4-5 years now. I am the ultimate program hopper. I use to switch programs every week. Never affected me because I bust ass in the gym and I eat high quality foods. I did 531 Building the Monolith last year and decided it was time to try another program and found SGSS from Thibs. I love doing a lot of work on the basics. I trained FULL BODY for 90% of my lifting life and when I decided I wanted to try an upper/lower split, this program really intrigued me. I’ve always used double progression naturally, but more so 5x3-5 and 5x8-10, then add weight. Sometimes I would get stuck at a weight for a month, but I just kept chipping away and would be able to get all the reps and then add 10-20lbs and go again. I’m in this for the long term so never worried about maxes and all of that. I had never done any sort of periodization in my life (minus the 6 weeks of BTM) so this was new to me.
I have always been intrigued by coach’s programs, but never found one that fully resonated with me until I saw this one.
I added 30-70lbs to all my 1RMs with this program.
Back Squat - 445x1
Deadlift - 500x1
Bench Press - 305x1
OH Press - 225x3
BW - 176 —> 186
From Week 1 Working Weights to Last Day
Back Squat - 335 @ 5x8 —> 500x1
Deadlift - 365 @ 5x8 —> 530x1
OH Press - 155 @ 5x8 —> 255x1
Bench Press - 245 @ 5x8 —> 355x1
Front Squat - 295 @ 5x8 —> 395x1
RDL - 335 @ 5x8 —> 405x1
Chin-Ups - Stuck with 5x10 each training session
BB Row - 265 @ 5x10 —> 315 @ 5x8
Farmers Walk (used a trap bar) ended with 365lbs.
CHANGES MADE TO PROGRAM
Back Squat (ss: Abs)
Front Squat (ss: Abs)
Deadlift (ss: Abs)
RDL (ss: Abs)
I care more about my squat than deadlift, but in all honesty the only reason I did it in this order was because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of going back to the squat rack after deadlifting. So back squat —> front squat —> deadlift —> RDL made the most sense to me.
OH Press (ss: Chins)
Bench Press (ss: BB Rows)
BB Curl (ss: 100 push ups even though I never wrote this down)
I superset everything to keep training time down.
I basically added 10lbs a week and then 20-40lbs per phase change.
I would lift at 6am on most days, but I don’t eat until 12PM (noon). A typical day looked like this for me:
- 12PM - Meal 1 - Carbs, Eggs, Raw Veggies, Fruit
- 430PM -Meal 2 - Burrito, Pho, Sandwich, etc (this meal is typically meatless 4/7 days)
- 730/8PM - Meal 3 - Carbs, Meat, Cooked Veggies
- 1030PM - Smoothie - Fruit smoothie (apple, banana, honey, peanut butter, spinach, seeds, etc.)
During this time I ate a lot of sourdough bread. Easy way to make some egg sandwiches in the morning and quickly up the calories.
This program is great. I got noticeable stronger, bigger, and denser. I hit all lifetime PRs basically through every phase. My wife said it looks like “I have steel cables going down my back” because my erectors have strengthened like crazy during this time. My upper back, lower back, glutes, shoulders, triceps, and quads got much thicker and denser with this program. This program beats you the hell up though. If you are using really heavy loads the sheer amount of tonnage starts getting to you. I got bi-weekly massages and swam a bunch during this on my off days to help. Double progression is THE progression for non-competitive lifters. Nothing more simple to follow. You could run a program LIKE this for the rest of your life using the basic principles. Even a beginner could run this program 4x a year and after 3-5 year could have some big numbers!
I would recommend this program to anyone from beginners to advanced people. It’s a good way to just get back to the basics and cut out the fluff and put in some serious work. You get A LOT better at squatting, deadlifting, pressing and pulling.
I’m pretty beat up now, so I’m about to take 2 weeks off from lifting and then get back after it. I have no real goals when it comes to lifting except maintain my strength. With the summer time here I think I will go back to a basic 3 day full body and do 3 days of hard conditioning and just really enjoy outdoor summertime here in Denver.
ADVICE TO ANYONE RUNNING THE PROGRAM
Make sure to EAT. Think of what you want to hit on Week 12 and work your way back. The first week or two might seem easy, but trust me it will start to get tough! Make sure to condition (easy) and stretch during this time. You could run this program in way that the first 3 phases are 4 weeks instead of 3. Probably would be bit better to get use to the weights.
Awesome program Coach! I plan to recommend to this plenty of people!