T Nation

Training After Indigo Project


Hi Christian,

I am fast approaching completion of the Strength template version of your Indigo Project strength template (in week 10)...First of all a big thank you! I am aware that you do not enjoy speaking too much about your 'older' work, but I must say that as brutal as the training is, it has really been worth it. I am on course to set substantial PR's in the deadlift, bench and press, all whilst dropping 9kg of lard (I am unsure if I will PR in the squat due to a slight knee strain which interrupted training for 2 months prior to the programme, but it is all healed now).

for reference, my PR's from last year were: Olympic squat 190kg, bench 145kg, conventional deadlift 220kg and press 100kg. All completed whist weighing around 98kg.

I can not say enough good things about this programme. The brutal intensity and volume have forced me to really hone in on other areas that needed addressing, just so I could perform in the gym; mobility, nutrition, ect. It has also final broken my training ego; You simply can not grind out shitty reps with excessive weight and expect to come into the gym and perform the day after. However looking ahead, I now feel that I need a change of pace.

This leaves me with somewhat of a dilemma on where to take my training. I have read you previously advise that after a peaking programme it may be a good idea to switch to more bodybuilding-esque training for a few weeks, as apposed to a conventional deload. As I am currently in a slight calorie deficit (and have been throughout the programme) I was unsure if this would be the best approach for me. Whilst I plan to take a break from my diet to coincide with the conclusion of the programme and eat around a 1000 daily calorie surplus to help facilitate recovery, I will be returning to the diet after the two weeks is up.

My main concern is maintaining the strength I have gained via the high frequency training of the main lifts, whilst continuing on my path to improved body composition. I love high frequency training, focusing on a few core lifts. It seemed to me that your Russian Strength-Skill template would fit the bill, but I have been warned away from doing a programme focusing on singles (albeit relatively light ones) straight after a peaking phase.

So my question is, would Russian Strength-Skill be a good fit for my goals, or would you recommend that I look for a template with moderate rep ranges and a wider array of exercises?




Well first congrats on your accomplishments, especially considering that you were in a caloric deficit (not the best of idea with the Indigo programs, but it seems to have worked OK).

I generally recommend a bodybuilding plan after a hard training cycle because it is less neurologically draining. But really the most important thing is to do something you truly enjoy for a few weeks. A program you will enjoy will reload your energy, focus and motivation to train.

A 1 weeks deload is in order at first, but after that I recommend using a program you really feel like doing for a period of 4-6 weeks. Even if it isn’t something that would be a “logical” next step… heck it could be curling and benching everyday for all I know! Just spend some time on you, have fun in the gym to give your mind a rest. During those 4-6 weeks assess what type of program would be more conductive to your physique/performance goal and start planing, AND GETTING EXCITED ABOUT, your next phase.

Then after 4-6 weeks go back at it with your new plan.


Thanks for getting back to me!

I think I’ll go with something relatively simple like double-progression for the 4-6 week period after the deload and then embark on Russian Strength Skill… Now I have my head wrapped around what I will being doing in the future, I just have to finish strongly on the Indigo programme. I’ll post my numbers at the end for anyone that is interested.

Having re-read my original post I think I have been a bit misleading with my wording… I have lost 9kg TOTAL SINCE LAST SUMMER when I achieved my previous PR’s (about 2kg of which has come during this training cycle)