T Nation

What Constitutes Strong?

i was just reading Jim Wendler’s log and he posted a set of stats for “What constitutes Strong” I’ve decided that I’m going to throw one or more of these lifts at the end of my training sessions in an attempt to reach these numbers. Some are going to be really hard becuase they are rep sets, not a 1 rep max. Anway, here’s the lifts, weights and reps to be considered elite level strong.

I created this thread hoping others will also give it a try. we can document progress here.

bench 315x20- i already have this one but in a fatigued state after my normal training, it could be tough.

Dips BW +200 x 10 - I’ve come close to this in the past, so hopefully this won’t take forever.

pullups BW+100 x 10 - this is going to be tough. i recently hit it for 1 rep, so another 9 is going take a long time.

strict overhead press- 315x1 - i think i’m not too far off on this but we’ll see.

squat and dealift 500x20- now this is going to be tough. i hate rep sets on squats and deads. this will definitely be a challenge and take some time.

barbell curl -185x10 - i don’t have any idea where i stand here. i guess i’ll find out.

should be fun…

who’s up for the challenge??

well am not, attempting any of them would literally kill me. Lol

I’m probably closest on bench, with 11 reps.

Dips kill my shoulder.

why is most of the stuff @20 reps and the overhead press a single? (not that I’m close)

I’d be curious to see what I could do pulling 500.

I think I need to eat some Wheaties for a while before I go chasing these.

If I could 1RM those numbers, in equipment, I’d die happy.

Fuck I’m weak.

MM, I wish you trained real early or real late in the day so I could jump in with you all…

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:
Fuck I’m weak.

MM, I wish you trained real early or real late in the day so I could jump in with you all…[/quote]

we train around 5:30 through the week and at 9 on saturdays. you are more than welcome to come and train anytime.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m probably closest on bench, with 11 reps.

Dips kill my shoulder.

why is most of the stuff @20 reps and the overhead press a single? (not that I’m close)

I’d be curious to see what I could do pulling 500.

I think I need to eat some Wheaties for a while before I go chasing these.[/quote]

i have a feeling it’s going to take me a long time to get those squat, dead and pullup reps.

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m probably closest on bench, with 11 reps.

Dips kill my shoulder.

why is most of the stuff @20 reps and the overhead press a single? (not that I’m close)

I’d be curious to see what I could do pulling 500.

I think I need to eat some Wheaties for a while before I go chasing these.[/quote]

i have a feeling it’s going to take me a long time to get those squat, dead and pullup reps.
[/quote]

Do you think chasing these rep maxes are going to hurt your comp. maxes any? Planing on working it into your PLing training somehow?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m probably closest on bench, with 11 reps.

Dips kill my shoulder.

why is most of the stuff @20 reps and the overhead press a single? (not that I’m close)

I’d be curious to see what I could do pulling 500.

I think I need to eat some Wheaties for a while before I go chasing these.[/quote]

i have a feeling it’s going to take me a long time to get those squat, dead and pullup reps.
[/quote]

Do you think chasing these rep maxes are going to hurt your comp. maxes any? Planing on working it into your PLing training somehow?[/quote]

don’t get me wrong…this is purely for fun. i’m actually going to fit them in at the end of my normal ME days or on accessory day. if anything i would think hitting these kind of reps with that weight could only increase ones 1RM. My plan is to go right to it for one set and attempt to slowly improve on the reps over time.

I saw that too… the only one I’m even remotely close to is 100x10 pullups (PR is 100x5 right now). Gonna go for it!

A 500x20 squat would be unreal.

My 1RM considerations for strong:
405 bench
275 OHP
500 squat
600 dead
BW+180 Dips
BW+90 PullUps
225 BB Curl

What Jim says is strong is freak-strong to me. Repping anything over 300 for 20 reps is insane to me (leg press excluded).

[quote]grettiron wrote:
I saw that too… the only one I’m even remotely close to is 100x10 pullups (PR is 100x5 right now). Gonna go for it!

A 500x20 squat would be unreal.

[/quote]

x2… (not the pullup PR)

I can’t even fathom the kind of person who can hit 500x20 on either lifts.

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:
Fuck I’m weak.

MM, I wish you trained real early or real late in the day so I could jump in with you all…[/quote]

we train around 5:30 through the week and at 9 on saturdays. you are more than welcome to come and train anytime. [/quote]

Yea, that’s what I meant by real early or real late- I can’t do 5:30. And Sats I do event training. I’ll try and get outta work early one day and head out there…

[quote]A Ninny Mouse wrote:

[quote]grettiron wrote:
I saw that too… the only one I’m even remotely close to is 100x10 pullups (PR is 100x5 right now). Gonna go for it!

A 500x20 squat would be unreal.

[/quote]

x2… (not the pullup PR)

I can’t even fathom the kind of person who can hit 500x20 on either lifts. [/quote]

Those numbers are all over the place.

Legitimate 500x20 squat is only done by the absolute best squatters around (captain Kirk, Platz etc)… Even among advanced trainees who regularly squat for reps (DC and it’s widowmaker squats) such numbers are almost never achieved.

315x1 OHP by comparison is something a whole lot of serious trainees can do even if they are nowhere close to the other numbers mentioned… Plus why go after singles on that exercise (which is far more likely to fuck you up then) while deadlifts etc, traditionally low-rep exercises, have to be done for 20 fucking reps?

500x20 Deadlift (I’m assuming touch and go? dead stop would be even worse) would probably give most of the people who have the strength for it a heart attack. Plus even if you pull 800, I don’t think a 20 rep set of deadlifts with a rather decent weight is a good idea…
I guess elite strongmen competitors can do that well enough and are perhaps even used to it, but I sure as hell don’t have the conditioning/endurance for that.

The pullup numbers… Meh, pull-ups and dips are too dependent on bodyweight and your shoulder health… I’d go with Kroc rows or some such for 15-20 or t-bars for 8-12 and use 5 or 8 reps as guidelines on the other exercises, but that’s just me…

Barbell curl is so-so… With a little body-oomph, you get people weighing 225 at 5’8 or so doing those (not too many, but possible, and for bigger guys that actually seems pretty standard though it’s still very strong of course)… Strict is another story of course, but then again, like dips and pullups (probably more-so) they bother many people (wrists, forearms, rotator cuffs), so why use them as a bench-mark? Did he just want to throw some bicep exercise in?

If Jim came up with the list, then the exercises and numbers make sense… He loves dips etc, but isn’t all that strong of a presser overhead… Probably way stronger lower-body wise than when it comes to most upper body stuff… And I guess he doesn’t go super-heavy anymore? No knock on him, mind you, I just think that’s one hell of a biased list.

I’d personally go with exercises that almost everyone can do without hurting in the wrong places (kroc or t-bar rows for 15-20 or 10 respectively, alt. curls for 5-8 or pinwheels for 5-12, or some preacher curl for those with messed up cuffs, seated front press in addition to mil press both for 5-12, front squats in addition to back squats for 5-8, sumo deadlifts in addition to deadlifts for 4-8, incline press in addition to flat bench for 8-10… Maybe some form of DB press as an alternative… You know, like that.)

Wow this little tid bit from my blog has already caused quite a stir. :slight_smile:

Jim and I talk about this shit offline quite a bit.

Jim is big on rep work obviously and he and I both talk about translation of reps into maxes and of course reps into legit hulking size. We have generally found certain weights x reps for most guys that have X maxes. Again let me state up front, just because you can do 500x20 in the squat or dead doesn’t mean you can single 800 in those lifts. We know that up front. However if you can get to 500x20 in the squat/dead you’re going to be unbelievably massive all over, and of course strong as hell. And I believe that your potential for a higher 1RM single will have gone through the roof as well. A 700 squatter or puller goes from 500x13 to 500x20 in a few months I have no doubt will come back to find his 1RM will improve A LOT over a few weeks of doing singles again.

maraudermeat’s approach of using it as a “back off” is exactly how I do it where I think Jim uses it as a mainstay (he can expound on this if he wants to). I generally do what I call an “over warm up” to a single, then do the reps. Something in the neighborhood of 10-15% over the weight to rep seems to be just right.

You can always think of it as your “assistance” work and stay with a minimalist approach.

There is a lot more to these lifts and numbers than meets the eye. They weren’t thrown out there completely at random.

One thing Jim and I are real big on is hard ass conditioning and being in shape. Something we are both fond of noting is “who gives a shit if you can squat a grand if you can’t do anything with it?” In other words, if you’re a fat out of shape SOB and all you can do is waddle up to a monolift to squat a grand, how functional is your strength? It isn’t. And Jim can speak from experience on that.

One of the reasons chins are in there is because they are such a great mass builder AND because fat guys hate em. It behooves you to be in shape and lean to be good at chins. If you’re carrying a ton of extra fat you aren’t going to be very good at chins more than likely.

Same holds true for 20 rep squats and deads. Generally making those weightsxreps requires a certain degree of conditioning as well as strength.

Be strong AND in good condition. This is HARD. But, it also means you are more awesome and kick more ass.

To me, the most feasible one would be deadlifts. 500x20 doesn’t seem so bad.

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
To me, the most feasible one would be deadlifts. 500x20 doesn’t seem so bad.[/quote]

I respectfully disagree.

[quote]pvoosen wrote:

[quote]A Ninny Mouse wrote:

[quote]grettiron wrote:
I saw that too… the only one I’m even remotely close to is 100x10 pullups (PR is 100x5 right now). Gonna go for it!

A 500x20 squat would be unreal.

[/quote]

x2… (not the pullup PR)

I can’t even fathom the kind of person who can hit 500x20 on either lifts. [/quote]


[/quote]

Lol! I was thinking about asking if anyone could find a vid. You read my mind, thanks!

But seriously. Tom Platz. D’OH! Of course he of all people would be able to do that… serioulsy Tom Platz…

[quote]RealPC wrote:
Wow this little tid bit from my blog has already caused quite a stir. :slight_smile:

Jim and I talk about this shit offline quite a bit.

Jim is big on rep work obviously and he and I both talk about translation of reps into maxes and of course reps into legit hulking size. We have generally found certain weights x reps for most guys that have X maxes. Again let me state up front, just because you can do 500x20 in the squat or dead doesn’t mean you can single 800 in those lifts. We know that up front. However if you can get to 500x20 in the squat/dead you’re going to be unbelievably massive all over, and of course strong as hell. And I believe that your potential for a higher 1RM single will have gone through the roof as well. A 700 squatter or puller goes from 500x13 to 500x20 in a few months I have no doubt will come back to find his 1RM will improve A LOT over a few weeks of doing singles again.

maraudermeat’s approach of using it as a “back off” is exactly how I do it where I think Jim uses it as a mainstay (he can expound on this if he wants to). I generally do what I call an “over warm up” to a single, then do the reps. Something in the neighborhood of 10-15% over the weight to rep seems to be just right.

You can always think of it as your “assistance” work and stay with a minimalist approach.

There is a lot more to these lifts and numbers than meets the eye. They weren’t thrown out there completely at random.

One thing Jim and I are real big on is hard ass conditioning and being in shape. [/quote] Rumor has it he can now walk from the living room all the way to the fridge stopping to rest only once on the trip, for around 10 minutes. That conditioning stuff must be working, go Jim :smiley: [quote]

Something we are both fond of noting is “who gives a shit if you can squat a grand if you can’t do anything with it?” In other words, if you’re a fat out of shape SOB and all you can do is waddle up to a monolift to squat a grand, how functional[/quote] How dare you invoke such a vile word on here! [quote] is your strength? It isn’t. And Jim can speak from experience on that. [/quote] That explains the very high reps on squats and deads, but especially the 500x20 squat is still astronomically difficult compared to a measly ("") 315x1 standing mil press or hell, even the curl unless you’re being super-duper strict and slow on the negative on the latter.

[quote]
One of the reasons chins are in there is because they are such a great mass builder AND because fat guys hate em. It behooves you to be in shape and lean to be good at chins. If you’re carrying a ton of extra fat you aren’t going to be very good at chins more than likely.

Same holds true for 20 rep squats and deads. Generally making those weightsxreps requires a certain degree of conditioning as well as strength.

Be strong AND in good condition. This is HARD. But, it also means you are more awesome and kick more ass.[/quote]

Okay well, I’d go with 405x20 or, if you want a fairly difficult but still potentially achievable one, 455x20 on the squat for the list… Or else make the st. mil press 405x3-5 or something like that to match the ridiculous 500x20 squat… Come on, you can’t just pick exercises you’re strong at and assign them astronomical numbers and then wimp out on the overhead work, what’s more bad-ass than putting major weight over your head? :wink: