T Nation

Rebirth of the Juggernaut: Post Knee Reconstruction


@bigjez just finished week three and I can confirm. Survival is the only way. I took about 60% of my “one rep maxes” give or take and it has been really rough, but I feel stronger and WAY bigger just in three weeks. The mental side is definitely the hardest, as is the soreness. Deadlifts personally have been harder to me, but squat soreness has been harder to deal with. The conditioning is hard to do after lifting hard all week, but good after. By far to me the hardest thing to do so far is the plank sit-up combo with no rest. I’ve been doing a minute plank followed by 20 decline sit ups and it takes about 6 minutes. Leaves me gassed every single day. Sorry to hijack, just wanted to add my early thoughts.


@oldbeancam @T3hPwnisher so it’s certainly a program that you wouldn’t run at a cal deficit?


How come I can relate to this statement? Because of crazy, Instagram-hacking exes, you ask? Yes. :sob:


@liftangryordie500 It’s honestly going to be hard for me to go back to 5/3/1 after this for that reason, haha. Having a competition on the horizon might help vector me, but it’s all going to seem like a letdown at that point.

@losthog I will say, if you’ve been experiencing some joint pain like I read about in your log, it might actually be a good move. Despite the fact the workouts are insane, the weights are light, and in turn my joints and connective tissue all feel pretty solid. However, my muscles feel like they’re going to rip off the bone at any given moment, haha.

@brady888 Hah, not a bad theory at all.

@oldbeancam No hijack at all: I think it’s awesome you’re running the program too, and it’s great to have someone else to compare notes with. You’re spot on about the difference in squatting and deadlifting too. After the squats, I limp for 6 days, but am otherwise “fine”. After the deads, I have no visible signs of damage from outside observation, but I feel like I was hit by a truck. It’s just a DEEP fatigue. Squats damage your body, deadlifts damage your soul. The ab circuit took me a LONG time to concur too. Everything on paper looks so inconsequential until you try it, and then you realize you bit off more than you could chew.

@bigjez Not only not on a deficit, but I have to eat like it’s my job. The plus side is that the diet completely fits within my paradigm. Unrestricted amounts of meat. I’m still struggling to keep up with demands, but I’m hoping thanksgiving will get me back on track.

Went for the AM workout today. Made it through 2 sets of chins (22 and 21 reps respectively), 1 set of clean pulls and 1 set of cleans before work called me in early. At least I wasn’t halfway through the workout, as then I woulda been pissed. I’ll get it done at lunch.

That said, I think I’m going to need to move the clean pulls to the end of the workout on the weeks I do squats. My hamstrings were feeling fine this morning, and then after 1 set of pulls they tightened right up again. Same thing happened last time. Puts me in a bad place for cleans.

Woke up at 200.8. Had some bad GI issues. Think a batch of pork ribs I made was ultimately a failure.


I’ve always done clean pulls after cleans. I do it for the fatigue factor. Cleans are supposed to be explosive and technique is important. 1) I don’t want to practice bad technique and 2) technique can be the difference between a made or missed lift especially when fatigue creeps in (fatigue has to be a factor in 10 rep sets).

I struggle to eat enough meat too. It’s not because I don’t like it. It’s just because I don’t eat frequently enough. I drink a lot of my protein but that’s because I’ve been getting it dirt cheap from the guy with the failed supplement business. I bought 7 tubs (5 lbs ea) for $50 a few weeks ago. I bought $900 worth for $300 in the spring. Once his supply dries up I’ll have to figure something else out.


Yeah, the program dictates the clean pulls before the cleans. I think performing the cleans under fatigue with bad technique actually IS the goal, haha. Very little of it seems to be about getting better, but far more about getting tougher and surviving.

I don’t struggle to eat enough meat though. I have a bottomless appetite for it, which has made this diet easy. It’s more just struggling to eat enough volume of food period to match up with the demands of the program. What bums me out is I used to be able to get beef ribs for $2.80 per pound, and now they’ve doubled in price at my local store, so I’m having to come up with new solutions. The instant pot has made prep pretty easy thankfully.

Solid deal on the protein too. I lucked out last year and got like 40lbs of protein from my next door neighbor for helping him move. He bought it all on some crazy deal and then never used it. Some of it was expired, but still tasted fine.


That’s just mean. I guess the up side is that the weight decreases for cleans so you’re actually picking up a lighter weight than the previous exercise.

I struggle to get enough other foods when I’ve done a good job at meal prepping. A few weeks back I had six lbs of hamburgers grilled plus my usual chicken. It allowed me to have cheeseburgers at work for my “snacks”. I like to have something I can eat while driving because I don’t always have time to sit and eat out of my lap.

The downside of those periods is that I skip the veggies.


Should submit just this quote as a T-Nation “tip” article lol.


@JMaier31 I find myself skipping veggies more and more, haha. I’m getting burnt out. I’ve really taken to roasted cauliflower recently though, but not terribly portable.

@mr.v3lv3t Hah! Be a fine collection of my tips, right up there with “I dunno, just lift it I guess” as my form tip for everyone.



Power cleans 148lbs


Notes: 3:50 between sets. First few sets of cleans were rough, but after that I found my groove. I have “double extension” rather than triple, in that it’s either my ankles and hips, hips and traps, or ankles and traps that extend, but never all 3 at the same time. Still some manner of progress. I owe 2 sets of clean pulls, but those are just going to be a wash.


Whats the ab training protocol you’re currently doing? I was thinking of trying it.


100 reps of soul-crushing exercises every time he trains!


1 minute plank followed immediately by 20 sit ups, then repeat for 2 more rounds, all without rest.


Cheers. This is everyday, even rest days??


Negative: only on training days. This is just what my program prescribes. I am a big fan of ab wheel myself.


I was doing ab wheels, i just couldn’t get the form right and use my core properly on the concentric.


Biggest issue I see is people flexing at the back on ab wheels. You gotta hinge at the hips, like a deadlift. This puts your abs in a better position.




Notes: Just going to describe this. Wore my 45lb vest. Low handle push 50’/reverse drag 50’ twice w/150lbs loaded and zero rest, strip 50lbs off, repeat for 2 rounds, strip 50lbs off, 1 more round. Pointing my toes forward really seemed to pay off.

Woke up at 201.6.


Dude, do these to whatever point you can. So long as the lumbar spine remains neutral, you’re good. I was weak with this starting out as well. Eventually, you become okay at them.


If full range of motion is too difficult then use the wall to stop you before your point of failure or form breakdown.


this is what i mean: i use my chest, triceps and lats to go back up on the concentric. I cant get the hang of using my abs, so i do the concentric wrong