T Nation

Rebirth of the Juggernaut: Post Knee Reconstruction


Sorry I’m late with the applause, I’m just now seeing this awesome update!

Congrats man! That’s INSANE!


@T3hPwnisher you’re known as someone who puts a solid emphasis on conditioning which obviously makes sense for a strongman competitor.

When you were powerlifting were you still fairly in that mindset? If so, what sort of stuff did you do? It seems your conditioning now is a lot of event training and I’m guessing you weren’t doing EMOM stones when training for powerlifting.


@losthog My crackpot theory is lacking mobility. My body is super tight, and bodyweight squatting for me is like reverse band squatting for others. I have to actively fight my body’s desire to resist. I’ve always seen my lacking mobility as something of a pro as far as moving heavy stuff goes, but the day to day things sucks.

@planetcybertron Thanks! I really appreciate the kind words.

@mattjp Right when I started powerlifting was about the same time I started embracing conditioning work as well, so I was still feeling things out. I was a big fan of circuit work, like this workout (done during that era) of 5 dips, 5 chins, and 10 KB swings for as many rounds as possible

Along with that, I’d do tabata safety squat bar squats ala Dan John, tabata KB swings, sled drags, sandbag shouldering, etc. Just went with the same principle of doing whatever sucked until I couldn’t.

If I had a prowler back then, I’d do that a LOT. Seriously, probably the best “general purpose” conditioning tool.


(5) Texas deadlift bar mat pulls

Standing ab wheel

Car deadlift simulator
7x6 plates
6x6 plates



Notes: Mat pulls still struggling, and my current theory is that I’m simply throwing so much at my lower back during the week that it’s not recovered by deadlift day. Since I don’t have a straight bar deadlift in this upcoming competition, and since all my competition lifts ARE going up, I’m just going to ride this out and focus on effort. I figure, if I can give a good fight when I’m fatigued, I’ll give a good fight when I’m fresh. Since I hit the front squats yesterday, I threw more volume at the car deadlift simulator. Right hip was feeling buggy, and I still can’t put on my socks without excruciating pain, so this was a victory. Got in my daily dips as well.

Woke up at 193.8. I am adopting the Barbarian Brother’s mentality that there is no such thing as overtraining; just undereating. We’ll see how that pans out.


Ah, my follow-up question was going to be asking what you’d do differently but you got ahead of me. Thanks mate!


@mattjp No problem dude! Hope it helps. And on that note…


Stone of steel over bar (20)

Prowler high handle 50’/low handle 50’ w/90lbs
4 rounds, no rest

Notes: Feeling beat up, so took today pretty easy. That prowler workout is still pretty amazing, and may be the cure to my leg DOMS. However, my left IT band is pissed off again, so we’ll see how that plays out.

Woke up at 195.8. Things are still moving well.




Log Viper and Press Away
1x255 (strict)

Reverse hyper 230

Band pull aparts


Log clean and push press away 210

Reverse hyper 230

Hammer curls 45

1x25 w/various grips

Notes: Mixed things up a bit. Want to get in more reverse hyper volume and thinking about throwing in daily chins or pulldowns to get more back volume in, so swapped the chins out of the superset and doubled down on the reverse hyper. I was still all jacked up today, but the pro of that is that, when I’m hurt, my form tends to get better because I can’t muscle my way through the day. Cleans were slow but smooth, and finally developed some solid technique on them. Also, that 255 was the easiest rep I’ve hit this whole training cycle. Actually had enough gas left to try for a second, but lost it once I got off the chest; couldn’t stabilize it. I think if I had set up to go for a touch and go instead of 2 strict singles I woudla had it.

Woke up at 196.0. Keeping on with the eating strategy.



Buffalo Bar Squats 255lbs


Set 1: Bodyweight dips: 1x32

Set 2: Band pull aparts: 1x20

Set 3: Log cleans 1x230lbs


Notes: Far more viable approach. The band pull aparts broke up the intensity of the supersets and allowed better recovery. After the first log clean, they more became log pulls, because I wasn’t able to get it past my belly. Part of that is not wearing a belt, but the other part is just being too heavy. Think I’ve tapped my potential on doing heavy cleans between sets, so next time I’ll go a more dynamic focus, drop the weight and focus on speed.

Otherwise, this was less awful than last time and still amazingly brutal. Jon Andersen is nuts. Once I get the weight to 275-280, I’ll start focusing on reduced rest times, and then reduced sets, ala the program. Right now rest times are still pretty short, as I basically just check the clock once I’m done and round up 2 minutes from whatever the current minute is, meaning it’s at least less than 120 seconds each time.

Woke up at 194.8.




Axle bench press

T-bar rows

Band pull aparts


Axle strict press 128

250+lb sandbag bear hug and carry
5 rounds

Lateral raises 25

Notes: Benching just isn’t in a good way. Contributing factors are fluctuating bodyweight and most likely my daily dip regimen I’ve employed affecting fatigue and recovery. That said, contemplating switching from flat bench to a low-moderate incline for the sake of variety. Apparently that’s what all the strongman are doing. Could also do close grip. Also could switch to a different programming style within 5/3/1, but as part of contest prep, this is about as many sets of benching as I’m comfortable with. We’ll see how that pans out.

Otherwise, everything is moving pretty well as far as contest lifts go. Sandbag is becoming more and more familiar, and today I accidentally set it up for a lower pick than I intended and managed just fine.

Woke up at 194.2. Work got a little crazy yesterday, eating schedule affected. Taking the kid out to McDonalds tonight, and got a coupon for “Buy one Double Quarter pounder get another for free”, so I’m planning on enjoying that at least.


That seems like a really convoluted way to say “half-pounder” from McDonalds there.


It’s because it’s 2 quarter pound patties rather than 1 half pound patty. Similar to calling it a “double cheeseburger”, despite the fact it’s still just one cheeseburger simply composed of 2 patties.

However, one time, when ordering a double cheeseburger, a restaurant served me a burger with 1 patty and 2 slices of cheese. I honestly couldn’t be upset with them, because technically THEIR interpretation was the more correct one.


I love that. Once I ordered a double cheeseburger and had a near-opposite experience because they gave me two cheeseburgers. Not two patties in one bun, but two discrete burgers. It was a pretty good day.


I had a habit of ordering “2 double cheeseburgers” for a while, and I had to stop because I realized that phrase broke the brain of many people. I’d inevitably end up with just one double cheeseburger, because I think people would cancel out the redundancy of “2” and “double” when making the order.



Front squats

RESTPAUSE (12 deep breaths between reps)

Notes: I’m completely running myself into the ground, and I plan to just keep doing it until something breaks. Wanted to go a little higher on reps today, but that topset of 5 proved to be very substantial. Knees on both sides feeling pretty mad, but muscles are in a much better state than last time. I figure I’ll keep pushing through fatigue and come out stronger on the other side once I allow myself to recover.

Woke up at 194.8.


Sending positive vibes man. Hoping for healthy ligs, tendons, and muscle bellies. Stay healthy and push in brotha…


Thanks man, but I’m the opposite for sure, haha. I’m an adversity junky: I constantly put myself behind the 8-ball just to see how I’ll overcome it. This is just another one of those times.

To give a little peek behind the curtain, the primary catalyst here is my desire to gain weight. The LIMFACT is that I regularly train pretty psychotically. My mental hurdle is, I figure if I just add food on top of normal training, there’s no ADDITIONAL stimulus/demand on body to create muscle compared to normal training, so all I’ll essentially be doing is gaining fat, since I’m just adding a surplus when not necessary. I figure I need to drive a demand on my body to add muscle. As such, I’m pushing stupidly hard, multiple times a week, lots more volume, etc etc. And the consequence seems to be diminished performance in training, HOWEVER, I’ve observed enough times that my training can suck leading up to an event, but as long as I take the time to recover from fatigue beforehand, all that time sucking ends up paying off big.

Part of my “bad day strength” rhetoric. I strive to have an ok performance when I’m at my worst, so I can have a great performance at my best.


For an advanced lifter I would say that is the only way deep gains are made to dip deep into the well of fatigue and stay there just to the point of emotional, physical, and neural breakdown. Then let off the gas pull into pit row get some new tread fuel, adjustments and then hit it again riding that razors edge.

For intermediates the depth of fatigue or overall volume isn’t as necessary.

Beginners it is necessary to drive volume just because the intensities aren’t large enough to drive true fatigue and recovery should happen quickly because neural adaptations haven’t reached any real level of importance yet. My theory on this is the added neural adaptations is directly related to the amount of muscle gained during lifting. The new muscle gets plugged into the neural systems and attaches to the foundational neural system present. As more muscle is added the same neural pathways activate more and more muscle loads. Blood flow is adapted differently and expands to meet demands as muscle grows and expands the supply/ removal system. But the neural system never expands to meet the new loads, but expands with the base stystem in place.

I don’t know where that came from or how it relates, but there it is. :joy:


You used so many trigger words with me by saying beginner, intermediate and advanced, haha.

I think what confounds people is the pervasive nature of powerlifting in the topic of training. A LOT of focus is on the ability to master 3 specific lifts and how volume, intensity and proficiency manipulations come into place, but once you start expanding outside of that and start factoring in the effect of conditioning, it gets a little interesting. Right now, I’m trying to master new movements while also trying to drive enough volume with those movements to drive hypertrophy while also compromising recovery with conditioning work, and trying to solve it all with food. We’ll see how it works out.


Used the triggers just to have a place to speak from. It is more muscle and body development.

Sounds like a great experiment. I’ll be watching and learning…


You amaze me time after time man.
Just take care and don’t hurt yourself

Those 10x10 squats looks brutal, you must have the mentality of a bull :slight_smile: said in the most positive way


Much appreciated man. I’ve constantly stated that others can be bigger, stronger, faster, smarter and better than me, but I’ll make sure that no one is crazier than me, haha.