The Josh Bryant Powerlifting Program!


Josh Bryant Powerlifting Program

Josh Bryant is easily one of the greatest powerlifting coaches of all time. He has trained numerous powerlifting world record holders including Julius Maddox, the strongest raw bench presser of all time. If you want to max out your genetic potential then look no further than the Josh Bryant powerlifting program!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The Powerlifting Training Cycle
  • Part 2: The Top Set
  • Part 3: CAT sets
  • Part 4: Overcoming Isometrics
  • Part 5: Supplemental Exercises
  • Part 6: Accessory Exercises
  • Part 7: Optimal Training Frequency
  • Part 8: Deload To Reload
  • Part 9: The Powerlifting Offseason
  • Part 10: Squat Program #1
  • Part 11: Squat Program #2
  • Part 12: Bench Press Program #1
  • Part 13: Bench Press Program #2
  • Part 14: Bench Press Program #3
  • Part 15: Deadlift Program #1
  • Part 16: Deadlift Program #2

Josh Bryant was a powerlifting prodigy in the truest sense of the word. At the age of 18 years old he became the youngest man in history to bench press 600 pounds in an official powerlifting meet.

In my opinion the biggest reason for Josh’s success in powerlifting at such a young age was his “growth mindset.” In his youth Josh traveled all over the United States to train with some of the best powerlifters in the world.

Josh took the best ideas and methods from all of his mentors and invented his own unbelievably effective powerlifting training program.

Josh used this program to put up an unbelievable 909 pound raw squat, 620 pound raw bench press, and 810 pound raw deadlift at 22 years young. Even more impressive is the fact that Josh has reproduced these unbelievable results with thousands upon thousands of world-class powerlifters all over the world.

What is the name of Josh Bryant’s unique powerlifting training style? I call it “the Josh Bryant powerlifting program!” 

Josh Bryant designs his powerlifting training programs in a very unique way. He blends together the best elements of old-school linear periodization with many “new-school” training methods to produce unbelievable results.

Some of Josh’s trade secrets for building a world-class powerlifting total include compensatory acceleration sets, full-bore overcoming isometric sets and targeted weak point training utilizing a wide variety of supplementary and accessory exercises.

In many cases Josh’s powerlifting programs feature all of these training methods all in a single workout! Of course every workout is designed with only one thing in mind: hitting massive PR’s on the powerlifting platform in the squat, bench press, and deadlift!

Make no mistake: the Josh Bryant powerlifting is anything but low-volume. You have to be ready to put in some serious work in the gym before you even think about following in Josh’s footsteps.

In other words, you need to take your balls out of your purse before every single one of your training days.

In this comprehensive guide I am going to teach you everything you need to know about building a world-class powerlifting total with the Josh Bryant powerlifting program.

Every aspect of Josh Bryant’s unique form of program design will be covered. This includes everything from organizing your individual workouts to planning out your entire 8-16 week powerlifting peaking cycle.

I have included 7 sample powerlifting training cycles from various powerlifting world-record holders including James Strickland, Vincent Dizenzo, and Chad Wesley Smith.

Three programs are provided for the bench press while two are provided for both the squat and the deadlift. All seven of these programs were taken from Josh’s world-class clients who were kind enough to post their complete training cycles online.

Please note: every routine provided in this article is written with all of the loading parameters clearly defined. If you have any trouble reading these workouts then please consult this article.

Now let’s get down to business…

Part 1: The Powerlifting Training Cycle

Josh has numerous ways that he organizes peaking phases for his powerlifting clients. However, one of the most common ways he organizes a meet prep cycle is to use a 12-week peaking phase with deload weeks taken every 4th week.

For example:

  • Weeks 1-3: Triples
  • Week 4: Deload 
  • Weeks 5-7: Doubles
  • Week 8: Deload
  • Week 9-11: Singles
  • Week 12: Deload
  • Week 13: Competition day!

The training cycle starts out with relatively lighter weights and higher training volumes and finishes with extremely heavy weights and drastically reduced training volumes.

This is all done to make sure that your strength is peaked when it counts: on the powerlifting platform on the day of your powerlifting competition.

Here is Josh going into more detail about his unique form of linear periodization for powerlifters:

Josh utilizes a TON of specificity in his athletes’ meet prep cycles. Basically every training day starts off by working up to a fairly heavy triple, double, or single on the competition lift.

These top sets are all based off of training percentages and the athlete’s progress on a week-by-week basis. After the top set Josh has his clients perform a huge volume of supplementary and assistance lifts to drive up the main lift.

Josh’s powerlifting workouts can be divided into roughly four distinct parts: the top set, the speed sets, the supplementary exercises, and the accessory exercises.

For example:

  • Part 1: Competition exercise for a top set of 1-3 reps
  • Part 2: Competition exercise for multiple sets of 2-4 speed reps
  • Part 3: Supplementary exercises
  • Part 4: Accessory exercises

Don’t worry, we will be covering Josh’s powerlifting workouts for the squat, bench, and deadlift in MUCH greater depth as we progress through this article.

As you might expect Josh’s exercise selection and overall training philosophy varies significantly for each of the “big 3” lifts.

A Typical Josh Bryant Powerlifting Squat Workout

The squat is the first lift performed in a powerlifting meet so it only makes sense to cover it first here. 

Here is what a typical squat workout might look like:

  • Exercise #1: Competition style squat for a top set of 1-3 reps
  • Exercise #2: Speed squats for sets of 2-4 reps
  • Exercise #3: Supplementary squat exercise
  • Exercises #4-6: Accessory squat exercises

Josh organizes his powerlifting squat workouts according to the rule of specificity. You perform the powerlifting back squat first in your routine followed by a variety of supplementary and accessory exercises designed to help boost the main lift.

Don’t worry, the overall structure of this workout will be explained in more detail as you progress through this article.

Here is an example of a typical squat workout from Chad Wesley Smith, a former powerlifting client of Josh Bryant:

Chad Wesley Smith Squat Workout

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 8 x 1, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Single leg squats on box, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 5, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

You can click right here to see Chad Wesley Smith perform this exact squat workout.

A Typical Josh Bryant Powerlifting Bench Press Workout

Now let’s look at everyone’s favourite (or least favourite) lift: the bench press!

Josh is known for being one of the best bench press coaches in the world and he has a number of tricks up his sleeve to get a stalled bench press moving in the right direction again.

Here is what a typical bench press workout might look like:

  • Exercise #1: Bench press for a top set of 1-3 reps
  • Exercise #2: Speed bench press for sets of 2-4 reps
  • Exercise #3: Supplementary bench press exercise
  • Exercises #4-6: Accessory bench press exercises

The overall structure of this workout is very similar to that of the squat workout. Here is a sample bench press workout from James Strickland, a specialist in the bench press who has worked with Josh Bryant for many years:

James Strickland Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 1 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

You can click right here to see James Strickland perform this exact bench press workout.

A Typical Josh Bryant Powerlifting Deadlift Workout

Finally let’s take a look at how Josh organizes his powerlifting deadlift workouts:

Here is what a typical deadlift workout might look like:

  • Exercise #1: Competition deadlift for a top set of 1-3 reps
  • Exercise #2: Speed deadlift for sets of 2-4 reps
  • Exercise #3: Supplementary deadlift exercise
  • Exercises #4-6: Accessory deadlift exercises

Once again the overall format for Josh’s deadlift workouts is very similar to that of the squat and bench press. Of course there are a lot of differences in terms of exercise selection for the supplementary and accessory exercises.

Here is a sample deadlift workout from Chad Wesley Smith:

Chad Wesley Smith Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 8 x 4, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 5 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

You can click right here to see Chad Wesley Smith perform this exact deadlift workout.

By now you should be at least reasonably familiar with how Josh structures powerlifting meet prep workouts for his clients. Now let’s take a closer look at the 4 main parts of these workouts: 

  • The top set
  • The speed sets
  • The supplementary exercises
  • The accessory exercises

Part 2: The Top Set

You are going to start every major workout during your powerlifting meet prep cycle with a top set of 1-3 reps on one of the major power lifts.

For example let’s take a look at a sample bench press workout from James Strickland:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

The highlighted “A1” exercise represents James’ top set for the day on the competition bench press.

This top set is BY FAR the most important part of the entire workout! It is absolutely critical that you treat this lift with the respect it deserves.

If you nail your target top sets on every week of your training cycle then you are virtually guaranteed to hit a massive 3-lift total at your next powerlifting meet.

On the other hand if you consistently miss or screw up on your top sets then you will be in deep trouble on the powerlifting platform. As I discussed earlier Josh likes to progress from triples to doubles to singles over the course of a 12-week training cycle.

For example:

  • Weeks 1-3: Triples
  • Week 4: Deload 
  • Weeks 5-7: Doubles
  • Week 8: Deload
  • Week 9-11: Singles
  • Week 12: Deload
  • Week 13: Competition day!

Over the years Josh Bryant has developed some training percentages that he uses to map out a client’s overall training cycle. There are two different ways to use percentages.

The first method involves using percentages relative to what your estimated 1-rep maxes are at the start of your training cycle. The second method involves using percentages relative to what you plan on hitting at your next competition.

The first method is definitely the “safer” approach but Josh regularly uses both approaches with his clients. 

Here is what your training percentages might look like if you are basing them off your current estimated 1-rep max:

Triples

  • Week 1: 85% x 3
  • Week 2: 87% x 3
  • Week 3: 89% x 3

Doubles

  • Week 5: 91% x 2
  • Week 6: 93% x 2
  • Week 7: 95% x 2

Singles

  • Week 9: 98% x 1
  • Week 10: 100% x 1
  • Week 11: 102% x 1

Competition Week

  • Week 13: 105-100% x 1

Of course weeks 4, 8, and 12 are “deload” weeks (more on this later in the article!). Please keep in mind that these are just rough estimates. Josh carefully monitors his client’s progress on a week by week basis to make sure that they are progressing optimally.

A less experienced trainee may be able to increase their lifts by far more than 5-10% in a single training cycle. On the other hand a world-class athlete may be looking at a jump in the 1-3% range at most from meet to met.

Here is what your training percentages might look like if you are basing them off of a weight you want to hit on the powerlifting platform:

Triples

  • Week 1: 78% x 3
  • Week 2: 80% x 3
  • Week 3: 82% x 3

Doubles

  • Week 5: 84% x 2
  • Week 6: 96% x 2
  • Week 7: 88% x 2

Singles

  • Week 9: 90% x 1
  • Week 10: 92% x 1
  • Week 11: 94% x 1

Competition week

  • Week 13: 100% x 1: 

Once again I must warn you that these percentages should only be used as a rough guideline. There is no secret formula that can replace the experienced eye of a world-class strength coach such as Josh Bryant.

Part 3: CAT sets

The term “CAT” stands for compensatory acceleration training. This is another name for the dynamic effort method or speed sets as promoted by Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell training team. 

Here is a video example of James Strickland performing CAT sets on the bench press:

Josh Bryant likes to use CAT sets immediately after performing the main lift of the day. For example:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

The highlighted “B1” exercise in the above routine represents the speed sets to be performed immediately after the top set of bench presses for the day.

Josh Bryant is a HUGE fan of using speed sets to build up your powerlifting total. In fact, Josh considers compensatory acceleration training to be one of the single most important and effective training methods for building absolute and relative strength.

At the end of the day it is not just about how much weight is on the bar. You also have to consider how quickly you are accelerating the weight!

Research has shown time and time again that you can become stronger by focusing on moving sub maximal weights as explosively as possible.

Josh likes his trainees to perform 2-4 reps per set when using compensatory acceleration training. The exact number of reps that you do is waved down over the course of the training cycle.

Here is a sample progression:

  • Weeks 1-3: 6-10 sets of 4 speed reps
  • Week 5-7: 4-8 sets of 3 speed reps 
  • Weeks 9-11: 2-6 sets of 2 speed reps

Weeks 4, 8, and 12 would of course be deload workouts.

As you can see the number of reps per set and the total number of speed sets per exercise are gradually reduced over the course of the training cycle. This is done on purpose by Josh Bryant so that your strength is absolutely peaked on the day of your competition.

As a general rule of thumb individuals with more fast-twitch muscle fibers should perform fewer speed sets per workout.

These “easy gainers” as Josh Bryant likes to call them are so powerful and explosive that they don’t need to perform as many sets to get a great training effect.

For example James Strickland rarely performs more than 5 speed sets per workout. On the other hand individuals with a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers may need a greater number of speed sets per workout to make optimal progress.

Part 4: Overcoming Isometrics

Overcoming isometrics are one of Josh Bryant’s secret weapons for helping his athletes break powerlifting world records year after year.

In fact Josh considers isometric training to be the most underrated and underutilized strength training method in the entire world! 

As you may already know there are three kinds of muscular contractions:

  • Concentric muscular contractions
  • Eccentric muscular contractions
  • Isomeric muscular contractions

Concentric contractions occur when you lift a weight up and your muscles shorten while contracting. Eccentric contractions occur when you resist the lowering of a weight and your muscles lengthen while contracting.

Isometric contractions, on the other hand, are radically different. They describe a muscle that is contracting without shortening or lengthening! In other words, your muscles are working extremely hard but they are not moving at all! 

There are two unique types of isometric contractions:

  • Overcoming isometric contractions
  • Yielding isometric contractions

For the purposes of this article we are only going to discuss overcoming isometric contractions. Overcoming isometrics involve applying maximal force against a fixed object. 

For example here is a video of an isometric contraction in the bench press:

And here is a video of an isometric contraction in the deadlift:

Please note that Josh Bryant does NOT use overcoming isometrics to boost the squat. If I had to guess I would say the risk of injury (especially to your lower back or knees) is too great to justify the risk.

The basic idea is to bench press or deadlift a barbell into a set of safety pins. Right before you hit the safety pins you are going to start accelerating the barbell as hard as you can.

You are literally trying to drive the barbell into the safety pins so hard that you snap them in half!

You should be pressing or pulling so hard that your head feels like it is going to explode! After 6-8 seconds of applying maximal force into the safety pins you lower the barbell back down. You have just completed one overcoming isometric rep.

You can click right here to listen to a podcast with Josh Bryant discussing the importance of isometric training for the bench press. Spoiler alert: Josh tells Ben Pakulski that isometrics are his “secret weapon” for building a world-class bench press!

Josh has a very unique way of integrating these overcoming isometric contractions into his powerlifting peaking workouts for the bench press and deadlift.

Essentially you are going to alternate back and forth between overcoming isometric reps and speed sets. This is of course done after performing your top set of 1-3 reps in the competition bench press or deadlift as discussed earlier in this article.

Let’s take a look at one of Jame Strickland’s bench press workouts where he utilized overcoming isometric contractions:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Lockout position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

You can click right here to see James Strickland performing this exact isometric bench press workout.

In the above routine James performs the isometric reps as part of the “B1” and “C1” exercises. If you read this routine carefully you will see that James is alternating back and forth between isometric reps and speed sets. 

This is done on purpose! Isometric contractions are an extremely powerful training tool. They dramatically increase the number of motor units that you can recruit in a muscle and are the best tool in the world for blasting through “sticking points.”

If you want to learn more about the science behind isomeric contractions then I highly recommend the following article available right here on Revolutionary Program Design:

The Science Of Isometric Training!

Despite these advantages there a couple of major drawback to isometric reps:

  1. Isometric reps must be combined with more traditional sets
  2. Isometric reps must be cycled throughout the year

The first drawback is rather obvious: isometrics must be alternated with more traditional reps. This is necessary for your body to “learn” how to use these newly recruited motor units in the actual powerlift.

Basically what is happening here is James performs an overcoming isometric and forces his nervous system to recruit otherwise untapped motor units.

Then when he performs the speed sets he teaches his body to begin using these new motor units during more traditional training. This is one powerful combination!

The other major drawback to isometric training is that you cannot perform it year-round. Through trial and error Josh has found that isometrics work best for about 3-6 weeks at a time.

After 3-6 weeks they stop working and you should move on to something else. Isometrics can be performed at any time during your peaking cycle although Josh tends to use them closer to his athletes competitions.

For example here is how you might want to incorporate Josh Bryant style isometrics into your powerlifting peaking phase:

  • Weeks 1-3: Triples (no isometrics)
  • Week 4: Deload
  • Weeks 5-7: Doubles (isometrics!)
  • Week 8: Deload
  • Weeks 9-11: Singles (isometrics!)
  • Week 12: Deload
  • Week 13: Competition day!

As a very general rule of thumb you should look to use Josh Bryant style overcoming isometrics twice per year for 3-6 weeks at a time. Using them more often than this may lead to central nervous system burnout.

Part 5: Supplementary Exercises

If you are an experienced powerlifter then I am confident you have heard of the term “supplemental exercises.” These are exercises that are similar to but slightly different from the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Let’s take another look at one of James Strickland’s bench press workouts:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Seal row 3 x 5
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

In this case the “C1” and “D1” exercises are the supplementary exercises. These exercises are performed immediately after the compensatory acceleration sets but before the lighter accessory work for the day.

Supplementary exercises are designed to strengthen weaknesses within the competition lift itself. To be clear there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting your own powerlifting supplementary exercises.

If the exercise addresses a weakness that you have and strengthens the competition lift then you can use it in your routine. Of course Josh does have some personal favorites for the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Let’s take a look at three of Josh’s favourite supplementary exercises for each of the three powerlifts.

Supplementary Exercises: The Squat

Josh uses an enormous variety of supplementary exercises for boosting a stalled squat. However, in my experience Josh tends to use some combination of the following exercises with the majority of his athletes:

  1. The dead squat
  2. Paused Olympic squats
  3. Rack lockouts
  4. Chain squats
  5. Safety squat bar squats

The dead squat is a very interesting exercise. Here is a training video of the dead squat:

The dead squat is a squat performed from the safety pins at about 2 inches above parallel. If you have access to a safety squat bar then I highly recommend that you use it. If you do not have access to this specialty bar then you have two options:

  • Start training in a serious powerlifting gym
  • Use a straight bar for this exercise

A straight bar will still work for the dead squat. It is just more difficult to get under the bar and into the proper starting position. The dead squat is one of the best exercises that you can do to increase your strength out of the hole.

It eliminates the stretch reflex entirely which forces you to use nothing but your muscles to move the weight. The dead squat is normally performed for 3-10 sets of single repetitions with 15-60 seconds rest between sets.

It is extremely important that you only perform singles on this exercise so that you do not use the stretch reflex to help you.

Supplementary Exercises: The Bench Press

When it comes to building a huge bench press Josh likes to divide his supplementary exercises into ones that build your bottom-end strength and ones that build your lockout strength.

Here are the major bottom-end strength exercises:

  • Dead bench
  • Paused bench
  • Wide grip bench
  • Dips

And here are the major top-end strength exercises:

  • Chain bench
  • Band bench
  • Reverse band bench
  • Rack lockouts
  • Slingshot

Josh has successfully used all of these exercises with many of his clients. However, if there is one supplementary bench press exercise that Josh LOVES to use it is the dead bench.

For example:

The dead bench is essentially a bench press performed from the pins about 1-2 inches above your chest. Just like the dead squat the dead bench is performed for multiple sets of singles.

If you perform multiple reps in a row then your body will start to utilize the stretch reflex which defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. Josh likes to use this exercise for 3-10 sets of singles with 15-60 seconds rest between sets. 

Supplementary Exercises: The Deadlift

Once again Josh likes to break up his supplementary deadlift exercises into ones that build your starting strength and ones that build your lockout strength.

Here are some of Josh’s favourite supplementary deadlift exercises for building starting strength:

  • Deficit deadlifts
  • Stiff legged deadlifts
  • Lightning deadlifts

And here are some of Josh’s favourite supplementary deadlift exercises for building starting strength:

  • Mat deadlifts
  • Chain deadlifts
  • Band deadlifts
  • Reverse band deadlifts

Lightning deadlifts are a particularly interesting supplementary deadlift exercise that Josh often uses with his clients. The basic idea is to perform 2 reps in a row on the competition deadlift.

The first rep is performed with chains while the second one is performed without chains. So you complete one rep with the chains, then strip the chains off and IMMEDIATELY perform a second rep.

For optimal results you should have a couple of training partners who can strip the weight off for you.

For example:

The first rep “teaches” your body to be as explosive as possible out of the hole. After all, if you do not explode out of the start of the lift the chains will weigh you down and make it impossible to complete the rep.

On the second rep your brain still “thinks” the chains are there so you are exploding just as fast out of the hole.

Essentially lightning deadlifts are a means for tricking your body into being more explosive than otherwise possible!

As a general rule of thumb lightning deadlifts should be used in the last few weeks leading up to a competition. For optimal results you should use approximately 50% of your 1-rep max on the bar (not including the chains).

Check out Chad Wesley Smith’s deadlift training cycle at the end of this article to get a better idea of how to incorporate lightning deadlifts into a deadlift peaking cycle.

Part 6: Accessory Exercises

Josh uses a wide variety of accessory exercises or assistance exercises towards the end of his powerlifting workouts. Let’s take another look at one of James Strickland’s bench press workouts:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Seal row 3 x 5
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest  

In this case the last three exercises would qualify as James’ assistance exercises. The assistance exercises are nowhere near as important as your top set of the competition lift, your speed sets, or your supplementary lifts.

That being said they still play a critical role in your long-term programming. Assistance lifts help to develop muscular hypertrophy and to strengthen weak points that may not receive enough direct stimulation through the competition lifts themselves.

As a very general rule of thumb Josh likes to use about 2-4 assistance exercises per workout. The sample training routines at the end of this article should give you plenty of ideas about how to structure your assistance work. 

Josh has some very strong opinions regarding assistance work for the upper back and triceps. Let’s take a closer look at his recommendations for each of these body parts.

Upper Back Assistance Work

Josh has his athletes train their upper back 3-4 times per week.

In many cases his athletes will actually train their upper back on every single training session. Josh believes that the upper back musculature tends to recover very quickly and can be trained very often without risking overtraining.

This is particularly true for the scapular retractors such as the mid to lower traps and the rhomboids. As Josh’s idol Bill Kazmeier once said, “a strong back equals a strong man.” 

You can click right here to listen to Josh talk about optimal upper back training frequency for a powerlifter.

A strong upper back is absolutely critical to the success of a powerlifter so it makes a fair amount of sense to train it multiple times a week. Here are some of Josh’s favourite upper back assistance exercises:

  • Barbell bent over rows
  • Seal rows
  • Seated cable rows
  • Seated machine rows
  • All types of pull ups and chin ups
  • Wide overhand grip pulldowns
  • Narrow neutral grip pulldowns
  • Cobra lat pulldowns

You don’t have to go absolutely crazy with the volume on any one session. Instead you may want to perform 1 upper back exercise 3-4 days per week for 3-4 sets of 6-15 reps.

Triceps Assistance Work

Josh is the first person to admit that his knowledge of the sport of powerlifting is constantly evolving and that he made many mistakes during his competitive career.

One of the biggest mistakes that Josh made as an athlete was going too heavy on triceps isolation movements. Josh heard rumors that Bill Kazmeier was repping out 330 pounds on skull crushers.

Josh let his ego get the better of him and he ended up tearing his tricep tendon while trying to beat Bill’s skull crusher record.

Nowadays Josh is very careful about which triceps isolation exercises he recommends to his clients. He really prefers to use isolation movements which are friendly on the elbows and do not increase your risk of injury.

You can click right here to listen to Josh talk about his philosophy for triceps assistance exercises for powerlifters.

Josh is 100% on money when he talks about creating an “internal focus” rather than an external focus with your assistance exercises. If you can’t feel your triceps working during an isolation movement then the exercise is worthless!

Part 7: Optimal Training Frequency

Optimal training frequency is one of the most confusing and controversial topics in the world of powerlifting. Quite paradoxically it seems like ultra-high frequency programs AND ultra low frequency programs are both quite popular right now!

Examples of higher-frequency powerlifting programs include the “Sheiko” programs while examples of lower-frequency programs include The Lilliebridge Method.

In my opinion Josh takes the correct approach: you do whatever works best for the individual client that you are working with.

Here is Josh talking more about the importance of individualization for achieving optimal results:

Of course Josh does have some training frequencies that he uses more frequently than others. Most of the time Josh has his clients train each of the competition powerlifts once every 7-10 days. 

Here is what a “once every 7 days” split might look like:

  • Monday: Squat Day
  • Wednesday: Bench Press Day
  • Friday: Deadlift Day
  • Sunday: Bench Press Assistance Day

This is the split that James Strickland uses in the sample squat, bench press and deadlift routines provided at the end of this article. This is probably the training split that Josh uses the most.

Here is another variation of the “once every 7 days” split:

  • Monday: Squat And Deadlift Day
  • Wednesday: Bench Press Day
  • Friday: Squat And Deadlift Assistance Day
  • Saturday: Bench Press Assistance Day

This split works well for those individuals who have a hard time recovering from 2 “heavy” lower body training sessions per week. The drawback is that you have to perform all of your squat and deadlift work on the same day each week.

Of course not all of Josh’s clients can handle this type of training frequency. Some of his stronger athletes or more fast-twitch athletes do better training the competition lifts once every 9-10 days.

Here is a split that Julius Maddox has used to set numerous bench press world records:

  • Day 1: Bench Press Day
  • Day 3: Squat Day
  • Day 6: Bench Press Assistance Day
  • Day 8: Deadlift Day
  • Day 11: Repeat!

Chad Wesley Smith also used a similar training frequency when he was training for a 900+ pound raw squat. Chad called his unique split the “9 day work week.”

Here is what Chad’s 9 day work week looked like:

  • Day 1: Deadlift
  • Day 2: Off
  • Day 3: Bench Press
  • Day 4: Off
  • Day 5: Squat
  • Day 6: Upper Back
  • Day 7: Off
  • Day 8: Bench Press Assistance
  • Day 9:
  • Day 10: Repeat!

The main drawback of this training split is that you need to have a VERY flexible schedule to make it work. Chad owns his own gym and could train any day of the week while using this split.

If you are unable to train on certain days of the week then this split is not for you.

Of course there are many other training splits that Josh has used with his clients. Some of his athletes use a training frequency very similar to The Lilliebridge Method where you squat or deadlift once every 2 weeks.

On the other hand Josh has trained some “hardgainers” where they were training variations of the competition lifts 4 times per week! As you can see Josh’s only priority is getting results for his clients.

That being said, as a very general rule of thumb Josh likes most of his clients to train the competition lifts once every 7-10 days as outlined above. If I were you I would start with one of the 4 splits covered in this section for your next Josh Bryant style powerlifting training cycle.

Of course an experienced coach can be incredibly helpful in identifying your own optimal training frequency.

Part 8: Deload To Reload

Josh Bryant is a huge proponent of using pre-planned deload weeks during a powerlifting meet prep cycle. In fact Josh goes so far as to call it a mistake to try and train heavy every single week!

Check it out:

A “deload” is simply a period of time (often one week) where the overall stress of your training stimulus is reduced. Periodic deloads give your body the opportunity to more fully recover from your previous training sessions.

They also give your body the chance to super compensate to greater levels of strength than would otherwise be possible.

As a general rule of thumb Josh tells his athletes to deload once every 4 weeks.

Of course this is a highly individual thing. Some trainees will need to deload every 3 weeks while others will be able to train heavy for 6 weeks in a row before needing to take a down week. However, as a very general rule of thumb Josh finds that most of his clients do best deloading once every 4 weeks.

So how do you organize a deload workout? I’m glad you asked! Josh typically has his clients deload by using only 70% of the training weights used during the heavy weeks and performing only 70% of the normal amount of training volume. 

Let’s compare one of James Strickland’s “heavy” bench press workouts with one of his “deload” workouts:

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 8 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest  

**Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

Deload Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6***, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10***, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10***, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed with 70% of weights used during weeks 1-3

As you can see both the training weights AND the overall training volume are reduced significantly from James’ heavy bench press workout to his deload bench press workout.

James skips the speed bench press sets entirely and cuts out one of his supplementary bench press movements. This is very typical for Josh’s deload workouts: you don’t perform the compensatory acceleration training sets.

Do not be surprised if your strength feels lower than normal during your deload week. The human body often needs a full week of reduced training stress to fell 100% again.

Don’t worry, the first week back after a deload week you should feel like a new man and ready to attack the weights again!

Part 9: The Powerlifting Offseason

According to Josh Bryant it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you incorporate a powerlifting “offseason” periodically throughout the year. In an ideal world you would perform an offseason phase immediately after every powerlifting meet that you do.

Here is Josh Bryant himself talking about the benefits of a powerlifting offseason phase:

The bottom line is that you can’t train heavy on the big 3 power lifts year-round without some form of a break. This is especially true if you use a modified form of linear periodization as Josh Bryant does. The ideal time to start a powerlifting offseason is immediately after your last meet. 

If you managed to hit some personal records then your body will be absolutely destroyed and some relatively lighter weights will be a welcomed change of pace.

Of course this does not mean that your powerlifting offseason is going to be easy. You are still going to be putting in a ton of high-quality work.

There are several key objectives that you have to accomplish during this phase:

  • Letting your central nervous system “recharge”
  • Increasing muscular hypertrophy
  • Improving your work capacity
  • Improving your cardiovascular conditioning
  • Bringing up muscular weak points

In your offseason you are going to be using a much wider variety of exercises, higher rep ranges, and shorter rest periods. The greatest powerlifter of all time Ed Coan was a big fan of this approach.

Believe it or not Ed only competed twice per year in his prime! He would alternate between 3 month offseason phases and 3 month peaking phases for years at a time.

The bottom line is that your offseason phase is going to set yourself up to make screaming fast strength gains once you transition to your peaking phase or powerlifting meet prep cycle. 

Here is what a sample offseason squat workout might look like:

  • A1: Hatfield overload safety squat bar squat (medium stance / heels flat), 1 x 5, 1/0/X/2, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Split stance Romanian dead lift, 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Safety squat bar squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Trap bar deadlift, 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Farmer’s walk, 2 x 100 ft, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Meadow’s row, 1 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Barbell overhand hold, 1 x 30 seconds, rest as needed

**Performed with a very submaximal weight with several reps left in the tank.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Here is what a sample offseason bench press workout might look like: 

  • A1: 30 degree incline DB press, 3 x 6-9, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: 10 degree decline bench press (medium grip), 2 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Straight arm DB pullover**, 2 x 20, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Wide overhand grip pull ups, 8 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 20 seconds rest
  • E1: Sled chest flys, 4 x 100 ft, 30 seconds rest
  • F1: Sled bicep curls, 4 x 100 ft, 30 seconds rest

**Use a light weight. Rob used a 20 lb dumbbell and he is a VERY strong bench presser.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

And here is what a sample offseason deadlift workout might look like:

  • A1: Trap bar deadlift, 1 x 4, X/1/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Farmer’s walk, 2 x 100 ft, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 5 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Machine row, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Barbell overhand hold, 1 x 15 seconds, rest as needed

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

As you can see there are many different ways to organize a powerlifting offseason workout. The key is to focus on increasing muscular hypertrophy, building work capacity and attacking your weak points.

If you do these three things then you are on the right track. At the end of your offseason phase you will transition into the heart and soul of your powerlifting program design: the peaking phase!

Part 10: Squat Program #1

Let’s kick things off with a squat program used by Chad Wesley Smith. This is the exact training cycle that Chad Wesley Smith used to squat an earth-shattering 900+ pounds in a raw powerlifting meet in 2011!

I really like this training cycle because it is a very straightforward application of Josh Bryant’s training philosophy. If you are looking for an awesome Josh Bryant style squat program to follow then look no further than this training cycle used by Chad Wesley Smith!

Week 1 (Triples)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 8 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Single leg squats on box, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 5, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 75% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 59% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 53% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 2 (Triples)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 8 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 76% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 59% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 56% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 3 (Triples)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 8 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 5, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 79% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 59% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 58% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 4 (Deload)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed with 63% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 5 (Doubles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 3 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raises, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 82% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 65% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 63% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 6 (Doubles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat rack lockout, 1 x 1***, X/0/X/10, 180 seconds rest
  • C1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3****, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Unilateral DB Romanian deadlift, 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 84% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 92% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 66% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

*****Performed with 65% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 7 (Doubles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 3 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 1 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 87% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 68% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 66% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 8 (Singles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 3 x 2***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Dead squat w/ safety squat bar (from parallel), 1 x 1****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 89% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 73% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

****Performed with 68% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 9 (Singles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Back squat speed sets (competition stance), 2 x 2***, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 91% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

***Performed with 75% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 10 (Singles)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Hanging leg raises, 5 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 93% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 11 (Deload)

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed with 63% of your anticipated 1-rep max in competition.

Week 12 (Competition Week!)

Chad nailed a 905 pound squat in competition but ultimately missed his 935 pound attempt. You can click right here to see Chad’s record-breaking 905 pounds squat.

Part 11: Squat Program #2

Here is another sample squat program that you may want to try. This program was written by Josh Bryant for James Strickland. James is known as a bench press specialist but he has also produced some *very* respectable lifts in the squat and deadlift.

James was training his lower body twice per week with a dedicated squat day and a dedicated deadlift day. James had a somewhat difficult time training heavy on both of these lifts every week so the training percentages for each workout fluctuate a little more than in the training cycle for Chad Wesley Smith.

Week 1

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 4 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 5, 1/1/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Suitcase deadlift, 3 x 3, 1/1/X/1****, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 80% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 71% of future competition 1-rep max

****Perform a 10-second hold on the last rep.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 2

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 3 x 3***,1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 5, 1/1/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Barbell overhand static hold, 1 x 1****, rest as needed

**Performed at 82% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 71% of future competition 1-rep max

****Performed for 15 seconds total

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 3

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 4 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 5, 1/1/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1****, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Seated hip abduction machine, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 84% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 71% of future competition 1-rep max

****15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 4

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 3 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 5, 1/1/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1***, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated hip abduction machine, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 61% of future competition 1-rep max

***15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 5

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 4 x 2***, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1****, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 91% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of future competition 1-rep max

****15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 6

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat rack lockout (2 inches), 1 x 1***, 1/0/X/5, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 4 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest

**Performed at 88% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 99% of future competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 73% of future competition 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 7

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat rack lockout (2 inches), 1 x 1***, 1/0/X/5, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 5 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • E1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1*****, 120 seconds rest
  • F1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 94% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 101% of future competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 70% of future competition 1-rep max

*****15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 8

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 3 x 3**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1***, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated hip abduction machine, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 68% of future competition 1-rep max

***15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 9

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 2 x 2***, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1****, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Seated hip abduction machine, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 82% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 66% of future competition 1-rep max

****15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 10

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/1, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Back squat rack lockout (2 inches), 1 x 1***, 1/0/X/5, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Back squat speed set (competition stance), 2 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Olympic back squat (medium stance / heels flat), 2 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 3 minutes rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest
  • F1: Barbell overhand static hold, 2 x 1*****, 120 seconds rest

**Performed at 96% of future competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 106% of future competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 68% of future competition 1-rep max

*****15 second hold

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 11

This week James worked up to his squat opener of 660 pounds.

Week 12

Competition week! James hit a 730 pound squat.

Part 12: Bench Press Program #1

Here is a bench press program used by James Strickland when he was first training for a mind-bending 700 pound bench press. James actually attempted 702.5 pounds in competition in 2018 and just barely missed the lift.

For this program James was training the bench press twice per week. One day was his dedicated bench press day while the other was more of an assistance day for the shoulders and upper back.

Don’t worry, I will be covering BOTH of James’ training days throughout this entire training cycle.

Week 1 (Triples)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 6 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (competition grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 79% of his projected 1-rep max.

***Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max.

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: DB Poliquin raise 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench press, 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Seated cable rope face pull, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight.

Here is the training video for the week 1 accessory workout:

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 2 (Triples)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 7 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest   
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest  

**Performed at 81% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: DB poliquin raise 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench press, 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Seated cable rope face pull, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 3 (Triples)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 8 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest  

**Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: DB poliquin raise 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench press, 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Seated cable rope face pull, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 4 (Deload #1)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 6***, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10***, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10***, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed with 70% of weights used during weeks 1-3

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: DB poliquin raise 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench press, 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15**, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Seated cable rope face pull, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 70% of weight used during weeks 1-3

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 5 (Doubles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 2 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 85% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Lat raise machine 3 x 13, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: 30 degree prone “Y-T-L” raises, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 6 (Doubles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2****, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Seal row 3 x 5
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest  

**Performed at 85% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 88% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Lat raise machine 3 x 13, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: 30 degree prone “Y-T-L” raises, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 7 (Doubles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2***, 1/0/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 90% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

****Perform 3 sets of 2 ramping up to one top set with maximum weight. The top set should be hard but NOT an absolute grinder.

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Lat raise machine 3 x 13, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: 30 degree prone “Y-T-L” raises, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 8 (Deload #2)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 12***, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 4 x 10-12***, 2/0/1/2
  • D1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 2 x 10***, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed with 70% of normal loads

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Lat raise machine 3 x 13**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: DB bench 3 x 15**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Lying DB pullover, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB rolling extension, 3 x 15**, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: 30 degree prone “Y-T-L” raises, 3 x 15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 70% of weight used during weeks 1-3

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 9 (Singles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest  
  • C1: Lockout position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest 
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 90% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: DB front raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A2: DB side raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A3: DB bent-over rear delt raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Seated cable row (v-handle), 2 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated HS overhead press, 2 x 10**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 2 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cobra lat pulldown, 2 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Rope cable hammer curl, 2 x 12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Bilateral preacher curl machine (supinated grip), 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Use 50-65% of normal weight

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 10 (Singles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 2 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest 
  • C1: Lockout position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest 
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 92% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Accessory Day

  • A1: DB front raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A2: DB side raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A3: DB bent-over rear delt raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Seated cable row (v-handle), 2 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated HS overhead press, 2 x 10**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 2 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cobra lat pulldown, 2 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Rope cable hammer curl, 2 x 12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Bilateral preacher curl machine (supinated grip), 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

Week 11 (Singles)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 2 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest 
  • C1: Lockout position bench press overcoming isometric (competition grip), 2 x 1, 6-second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 2***, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest 
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 3 x 10, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 95% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 75% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Day

  • A1: DB front raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A2: DB side raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A3: DB bent-over rear delt raise, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Seated cable row (v-handle), 2 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated HS overhead press, 2 x 10**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 2 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cobra lat pulldown, 2 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Rope cable hammer curl, 2 x 12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Bilateral preacher curl machine (supinated grip), 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50-65% of max weight

Week 12 (deload)

Heavy Bench Press Day

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 12***, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 4 x 10-12***, 2/0/1/2
  • D1: DB floor flys (neutral grip), 2 x 10***, 2/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing rope cable pushdown, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest 

**Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed with 70% of normal loads

Accessory Day

  • A1: DB front raise, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A2: DB side raise, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, no rest
  • A3: DB bent-over rear delt raise, 3 x 10***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Machine rear delt pec dec, 3 x 10***, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Seated cable row (v-handle), 2 x 12***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated HS overhead press, 2 x 10***, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Prone seal row, 2 x 5***, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cobra lat pulldown, 2 x 10***, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Rope cable hammer curl, 2 x 12***, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Bilateral preacher curl machine (supinated grip), 2 x 15***, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 70% of normal loads from weeks 9-11.

Week 13 (Competition Week)

Break your old PR! James narrowly missed a 702.5 pound bench press in competition. You can click right here to see James’ near miss with 702.5 pounds.

If you know anything about @Swimhack then you know 700+ is destined to fall… Keep at it James!

Part 13: Vincent Dizenzo’s Bench Press Program

Vincent Dizenzo is a highly accomplished bench press specialist. He has put up multiple 600+ pound raw bench presses and multiple 900+ pound “geared” bench presses.

It goes without saying that I was excited to see what Vincent could accomplish when he teamed up with the best bench press coach in the world, Josh Bryant. Here is a training log detailing Vincent’s training from 2013. 

During this time Vincent was using a very simple 3 days per week push / pull / legs split where he performed all of his chest / shoulder / tricep exercises on one single day per week.

Vincent very narrowly missed a raw 600 pound bench press in the 275 pound weight class. He later teamed up with Josh Bryant again and finally reached his goal. This training log was also taken from the old training log archives at elitefts.com. All of the training percentages are based on a projected 600 pound bench press.

Check it out:

Week 1 (Triples)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Top position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Bench press against bands (close grip), 1 x 4****, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 4 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing band flyes, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Lying DB extension, 4 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Standing band pull aparts, 1/0/X/1, 4 x 12, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 80% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 72% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 2 (Triples)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Top position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Sling shot bench press against bands (close grip), 1 x 4****, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 4 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Lying DB extension against bands, 4 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Fat bar tricep cable pushdown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Standing band pull aparts, 1/0/X/1, 4 x 12, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 82.5% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 68% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 75% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 3 (Triples)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Top position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Sling shot bench press against bands (close grip), 1 x 4****, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing band flyes, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Lying DB extension against bands, 7 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Standing band pull aparts, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 68% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 78% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 4 (Deload #1)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bench press (close grip), 3 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Standing band flyes, 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Josh Bryant triceps tri-set, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing band pull aparts, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 62% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 53% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 5 (Doubles)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Top position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Bench press against chains, 1 x 6****, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing band flyes, 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Flat DB triceps extension against bands, 4 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Rope cable pushdown, 3 x 15, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • J1: Standing band pull aparts, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 88% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 62% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 80% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 6 (Doubles)

  • A1: Bench press reverse band (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bottom position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Top position overcoming isometric, 2 x 1, 6 second hold, 2 minutes rest
  • C2: Speed bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Bench press against chains, 1 x 6****, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension against bands, 4 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Kaz press, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing band flyes, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 113% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 81% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 7 (Doubles)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 4 x 3***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest\
  • C1: Bench press against chains (close grip), 1 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Dead bench (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension against bands, 4 x 10, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Kaz press, 3 x 8, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing band flyes, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 73% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 8 (Deload #2)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bench press (close grip), 3 x 3***, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Kaz press, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing band pull-aparts 4 x 12

**Performed at 62% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 53% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 9 (Singles)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 4 x 2***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Sling shot bench press (medium grip), 1 x 5****, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench against bands (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing band flyes, 2 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB triceps extension against bands, 6 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Kaz press on smith machine, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing band pull aparts, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 93% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 81% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 88% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 68% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 10 (Singles)

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 3 x 2***, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Sling shot bench press (medium grip), 1 x 3****, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench (competition grip), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Standing band flyes, 3 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB triceps extension against bands, 6 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Kaz press, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing band pull aparts, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Band scap retractions, 3 x 12, 1/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 95% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 83% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 93% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 70% of his projected 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 11 (Meet Week!)

Vincent missed his 600 pound bench press attempt in this training cycle. As mentioned previously Vincent later teamed up with Josh Bryant to finish what he started. You can click right here to see the result.

Well done Vincent Dizenzo! SMASH F$%@ING WEIGHT!

Part 14: Bench Press Program #3

Chad Wesley Smith was best known for his unbelievable squatting strength. Of course he was also a reasonably strong bench presser. This is the bench press program that Chad used while working with Josh Bryant in 2011.

Chad attempted a 530 pound bench press in his meet but tweaked his pec and missed the lift. Chad nailed 515 pounds a couple of weeks before the competition so this was a weight that Chad should have been able to make. All of the training percentages are based off of Chad’s 530 pound attempt.

As I mentioned earlier Chad was utilizing his “9 day work week” with a heavy bench press day and a relatively heavy bench press assistance day in a 9-day period. Both of these workouts will be covered for the entire training cycle.

Check it out:

Week 1 (Triples)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 6 x 4***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 8 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 45 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 3 x 11, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max.

***Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max.

****Performed at 58% of his projected 1-rep max.

*****Performed at 59% of his projected 1-rep max.

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 12****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 58% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 46% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 56% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 2 (Triples)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 6 x 4***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 8 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 45 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 3 x 13, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 78% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 58% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 12****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 59% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 48% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 57% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 3 (Triples)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 6 x 4***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 8 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 45 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB front raises, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 80% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 60% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 63% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 12****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 50% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 58% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 4 (Deload #1)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 20***, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Chest supported row, 4 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 42% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 12**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12**, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**All exercises performed with 70% of weights used during weeks 1-3.

Week 5 (Doubles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 5 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 75 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 3 x 12, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 84% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 62% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 66% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press against bands (close grip), 1 x 1**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 10****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 2 x 10-15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 80% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 54% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 60% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 6 (Doubles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 5 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 75 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 6, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 3 x 15, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 87% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 64% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 69% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press against bands (close grip), 1 x 3**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 5***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 10****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 2 x 10-15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 71% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 55% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 63% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 7 (Doubles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 5 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 75 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 6, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 2 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 2 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 90% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 71% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 5***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 8****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 2 x 10-15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 75% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 57% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 65% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 8 (Deload #2)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 20***, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • C1: Chest supported row, 4 x 15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 42% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 5**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 2 x 10-15**, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-15**, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

All exercises performed at 70% of weights used during weeks 5-7

Week 9 (Singles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest

**Performed at 94% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

(shut it down from here)

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 1 x 2**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 4***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 6****, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Seated DB external rotations, 2 x 10-15, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-15, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 77% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 59% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 69% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 10 (Singles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 3 x 3***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 5****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 4 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 6, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 96% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max

****Performed at 69% of his projected 1-rep max

*****Performed at 78% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (close grip), 2 x 8**, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: Seated military press (shoulder-width grip, to top of head), 2 x 8***, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Face pulls, 1 x 100, 1/0/1/0, 60 second rest
  • D1: DB front raises, 2 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D2: DB lateral raises, 2 x 10-12, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 59% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 11 (Singles)

Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 5***, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: DB front raises, 3 x 4-8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Flat DB extension, 3 x 10-15, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 97% of his projected 1-rep max

***Performed at 71% of his projected 1-rep max

Accessory Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 3 x 1**, 1/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • B1: (“15 Minutes of Assistance work for Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, nothing heavy just getting the blood flowing”)

**Performed at 69% of his projected 1-rep max

Week 12 (Meet Week!)

As discussed earlier Chad made a very easy 480 pound opener but tweaked his pec on his second attempt with 530 pounds. Chad shut it down on the bench press and moved onto the deadlift.

Part 15: Deadlift Program #1

There is an old saying that the meet doesn’t start until the bar hits the floor. In other words the winner of every powerlifting meet is determined by the deadlift!

Here is the exact deadlift training program that Chad Wesley Smith used when working with Josh Bryant in 2011. Once again this is a relatively straightforward training cycle and does a great job of illustrating Josh’s overall training philosophy for powerlifting.

Check it out:

Week 1 (Triples)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 6 x 4***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 5 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 76% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 62% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 64% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 2 (Triples)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 7 x 4***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 4, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 5 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 79% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 62% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 64% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 3 (Triples)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 8 x 4***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 5 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 82% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 62% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 65% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 4 (Deload)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest

**Performed at 67% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 5 (Doubles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 4 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 85% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 71% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 67% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 6 (Doubles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 12, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 88% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 72% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 70% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 7 (Doubles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2**, X/2/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 5 x 3***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Deficit conventional deadlift (3 inch deficit), 2 x 3****, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 10, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 90% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 75% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 71% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 8 (Singles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 3 x 2***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Lightening deadlifts (competition stance), 4 x 2****, X/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Deadlift overcoming isometric (competition stance), 3 x 1*****, 1/0/X/6, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Deadlift overcoming isometric (competition stance), 3 x 1******, 1/0/X/6, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 96% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 81% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max with 2 pairs of chains per side

*****Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max. Safety pins set 2 inches above the floor.

******Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max. Safety pins set 2 inches below lockout.

 Week 9 (Singles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 2 x 2***, X/2/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Lightening deadlifts (conventional stance), 3 x 2****, X/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Deadlift overcoming isometric (competition stance), 2 x 1*****, 1/0/X/6, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Deadlift overcoming isometric (competition stance), 2 x 1******, 1/0/X/6, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 96%of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 85% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

****Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max with 2 pairs of chains per side

*****Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max. Safety pins set 2 inches above the floor.

******Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max. Safety pins set 2 inches below lockout.

Week 10 (Singles)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • B1: Lightening deadlifts (conventional stance), 3 x 2***, X/1/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise (holding weight behind head), 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Standing bilateral barbell shrugs, 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Wide leg sit ups (weight behind head), 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 99% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

***Performed at 54% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max with 2 pairs of chains per side

Week 11 (Deload)

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest

**Performed at 61% of your anticipated competition 1-rep max

Week 12 (Competition Week!)

Chad narrowly missed 810 pounds on the deadlift. All of the training percentages for this training cycle were based off of this 810 pound attempt.

Part 16: Deadlift Program #2

Finally here is a deadlift training program that James Strickland used circa 2019 while working with Josh Bryant. This can be considered the “counterpart” to James’ squat program covered earlier.

Once again the percentages fluctuate a little bit from week to week as James had a hard time recovering from two heavy lower body training sessions in a 7 day period.

Check it out:

Week 1

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 5 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest 
  • C1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 6 x 3, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 1 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 4 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 55% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 78% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with 63% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 2

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 5 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 3, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 6 x 3, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 15, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 55% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 79% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with 63% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 3

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 5 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1, X/0/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • C1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 55% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 91% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 4

  • A1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 240 seconds rest

**Performed with 55% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with % of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with % of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 5

  • A1: Safety squat bar squat (competition stance), 5 x 1, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Box jump (32 inch box), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 3 x 3, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • D1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: Cable pull through, 3 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 77% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 6

  • A1: Safety squat bar squat (competition stance), 4 x 1, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Box jump (32 inch box), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • D1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 3 x 3, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cable pull through, 3 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: 60 incline hammer curls (1.25 reps in stretched position), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest
  • J1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 85% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with 63% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 7

  • A1: Safety squat bar squat (competition stance), 3 x 5, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Box jump (46 inch box), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • D1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 3 x 3, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Barbell bent over row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Cable pull through, 3 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: 60 incline hammer curls (1.25 reps in stretched position), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest
  • J1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • K1: Unilateral DB row, 1 x 8, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed with 50% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 87% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with 65% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 8

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 3 x 5, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 3 x 3, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • C1: Cable pull through, 3 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Cobra unilateral lat pulldown, 3 x 12, 1/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • E1: 60 incline hammer curls (1.25 reps in stretched position), 3 x 8, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 54% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 9

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 5 x 1, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Box jump (44 inch box), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1, X/0/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • D1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 4 x 2, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Cable pull through, 2 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Meadows row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Cable pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Standing ez-bar curl (wide / reverse grip), 3 x 6, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest
  • J1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 93% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 67% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 10

  • A1: Back squat (competition stance), 1 x 5, 1/1/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: Box jump (45 inch box), 5 x 1, X/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 2, X/1/X/0, 240 seconds rest
  • D1: Conventional deadlift speed sets (competition stance), 4 x 2, X/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Cable pull through, 2 x 12, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Meadows row, 3 x 5, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Cable pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • H1: Plate static holds, 2 x 1, 30 second holds, 60 seconds rest
  • I1: “Landmines,” 3 x 3, 1/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed with 50% of anticipated 1-rep max in the squat

***Performed with 83% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

****Performed with 64% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

You can click right here for the training video for this workout.

Week 11

  • C1: Conventional deadlift (competition stance), 1 x 1, X/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed with 90% of anticipated 1-rep max in the deadlift

Week 12 (Competition week!)

James Strickland worked up to a 755 pound deadlift in his powerlifting competition. Well done James!

Conclusion

Josh Bryant Powerlifting Program

Josh Bryant is widely regarded as one of the most successful and most accomplished powerlifting coaches of all time. If anything this is an understatement.

If you are new to the sport of powerlifting then I highly recommend you give the Josh Bryant powerlifting program a shot.

Of course there is no perfect program that will work best for everyone. However, I believe a large portion of the powerlifting community will make AWESOME progress by modeling their training after Josh Bryant.

Thank you Josh sharing your gift with the world. I have never met you but I truly consider you one of my greatest mentors in the iron game. I hope this article honors your powerlifting legacy for many years to come!

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck in your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen

I am the creator and owner of Revolutionary Program Design. I help advanced athletes take their training to the next level and achieve results they never imagined possible.

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