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The Iconic Strength Challenge - Couple Things



I have thought doing the strength challenge from beyond book for a while now. There is two things which have prevented me from starting this before.

First is not really a problem. My life is very volatile and I can often go to the gym only 3 times a week instead of needed 4. This does not change anything but the length of the program, but it must be taken to notion.

Second is something which contradicts my early plan (= increase 1rm in PL movements, increase OHP work weights, get better and stronger in P. clean, maintain decent condition levels). Everybody knows that There is no P. clean in the challenge.

I know challenges should not be mixed up, but I have come to three different conclusions:
a) Do the challenge with the P. clean instead of DL. (worst option, I think)

b) Put the clean to secondary position and do it as a warm up before the workouts (3x3 with 65-75% for ex.). Longer cycles would maybe give enough time for recovery. If this would feel taxing, I could reduce the amount of optional assistance. I would not do the cleans in the last cycle.

c) Just ditch the P. clean and do something more clean-based template after the challenge.

Any comments are appreciated.


Your goals, life scenario and attempts at customization are so far away from the challenge, which purpose is to increase the three powerlifts, that you really shouldn’t be doing this.


Thanks, the life situation and power clean are the reasons I haven’t done it yet. Just seeking some “excuses”.

Maybe I just need to rethink should I do the challenge or not. It really interests me. And what harm I can get from increasing my PL-movements. Surely they will help with my P. clean later?


Do the challenge, come back to the cleans after it. I don’t know anyone who didn’t improve their clean when they improved their leg and back strength. Your technique will come back quickly, keep your speed with jumps and throws.


I think the Power clean can wait. I’ll see if my spring develops less stressful after march. If so, I’ll do the challenge.

Thanks for the comments.


My advice is to to do whatever template or goal you can 100% commit to. Be honest with yourself and find the training that you want to do.


Thank you for the feedback. I’ll have one more question:

Now my deload is over and I’m not going to do the challenge for three reasons:

-I doubt I’ll have the time for 4 quality sessions per week.

-I’m going to learn the P. clean as soon as I can.

-I changed my squat form. Even thought my HB squat is almost as strong as LB in 1RM but its not solid enough in higher rep ranges.

Just to be clear - my goals for the spring are:
-Raise squat, bench and DL 1 RM for 15-30lb.
-Learn to Power Clean.
-Get my HB squat form more solid.

I’m going to do two cycles of Full Body Power Clean instead. I’m just thinking how the template fits for “peaking” the power lifts? In the book you have mentioned that deload percentages can be modified to different percentages.

Could I raise the deload weights each week like this:

  1. week 3x70% 3x80% 3x90%
  2. week 3x65% 3x75% 3x85%
  3. week 1x80% 1x90% 1x100%

I would do the raises only with one deload day/movement and with only Bench + Squat.

My clean weights will be relatively low, because I’m still learning the movement.

I’m going to replace one clean session with DL (prob. the last day). I’ll do occasionally heavy singles with DL after 5/3/1. I have done Full Body before and think that I can handle these.

Sorry for the long post. Any comments are appreciated.


Personally just added the power clean to my existing 531 set up (used 5’s pro for these) and increased my power clean right along with the rest of my lifts. Got my max power clean up to 250 lbs And I train full body 2 days per week. I picked 7 lifts and hammered the shit out them. If you’re just learning to power clean it really shouldn’t take away from your main lifts. 5’s pro is nice because it gives you some volume and practice and you don’t really need amrap sets to progress it in my experience…long story short you seem to be over thinking things.


I do power cleans (5 sets of 3) to warmup for deadlifts.


Just do 3 or 5 PRO. Then get strong in your squat, low back and abs. And keep doing jumps.

Amazing what happens!


Thank you. The 5/3 PRO does sound reasonable. I’ll do full body full boring with 3/5’s pro, changing deload percentages and with only one deadlift workout per week (two cleans).

light conditioning after every workout.

Some jumps are done after foam rolling as a warm up.

PS. yes and I’m overthinking. That’s my job, unfortunately it carries to training.