The Josh Bryant Powerlifting Program!


Josh Bryant Powerlifting

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 the Josh Bryant powerlifting program is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The Top Set
  • Part 2: Speed Sets
  • Part 3: Isometric Training
  • Part 4: Supplementary Exercises
  • Part 5: Accessory Exercises
  • Part 6: Optimal Training Frequency
  • Part 7: Deload To Reload
  • Part 8: The Powerlifting Offseason
  • Part 9: Sample Squat Programs
  • Part 10: Sample Bench Programs
  • Part 11: Sample Deadlift Programs

In this comprehensive guide I will show you how to use the Josh Bryant powerlifting program to hit massive personal records in the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Josh Bryant is a true powerlifting prodigy. In 2003 Josh became the youngest man in history to bench press 600 pounds at 22 years old.

Here is a video of Josh Bryant’s record breaking bench press:

Talk about a huge bench press!

Josh used his own training style to squat 909 pounds, bench press 620 pounds and deadlift 810 pounds raw in competition.

Today Josh coaches many of the strongest powerlifters in the world including the world’s strongest bench presser Julius Maddox.

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 Bryant’s favorite strategies for building a world-class powerlifting total include compensatory acceleration training, isometric training and novel exercises to destroy your weak points.

Here is what a typical Josh Bryant squat workout looks like:

The Josh Bryant Squat Workout

  • Part 1: Competition-style squat for 1 top set of 1-3 reps
  • Part 2: Speed squat for 3-10 sets of 2-4 reps
  • Part 3: Supplementary squat exercise
  • Part 4: Accessory squat exercises

Josh Bryant is a big believer in the principle of specificity. He believes that if you want to put up a big squat, bench press or deadlift on the powerlifting platform then you have to start your workouts with these lifts.

After all, if you don’t train the squat, bench press or deadlift directly then how are you supposed to get better at them?

So Josh has his clients perform the competition exercise for a heavy set of 1-3 reps, then several speed sets, then the supplementary exercises and finally the accessory exercises.

The supplementary exercises are big compound movements that mimic the competition lift. Think exercises like safety bar squats, reverse band bench presses or deficit deadlifts.

After the supplementary lifts Josh has his clients perform 1-5 accessory exercises for all of the critical powerlifting muscles used in the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Let’s look at one of Chad Wesley Smith’s deadlift workouts. Check it out:

Chad Wesley Smith’s Week #2 Deadlift Workout

  • 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

Here is the training video for this workout:

Josh Bryant wrote this workout for Chad and it follows his usual powerlifting workout template.

First Chad works up to a moderately heavy triple on the deadlift. Then Chad performs several speed sets on the deadlift. Finally Chad performs his supplementary and accessory exercises like deficit deadlifts, barbell rows and glute ham raises.

Don’t worry, I’m going to show you exactly how Josh designs these workouts for the squat, bench press and deadlift in the rest of this article. 

So how does Josh Bryant organize the workouts to help you peak for your powerlifting meet? Josh Bryant is a big fan of linear periodization. He says that one of the best ways to peak your strength as a powerlifter is to lift heavier weights as you get closer to your competition.

One of Josh Bryant’s favorite strategies is to use a 12-week peaking cycle with a deload week every 4th week.

This is the exact strategy that James Strickland used while trained for a 700 pound bench press. Check it out:

Month #1

  • Week 1: Triples
  • Week 2: Triples
  • Week 3: Triples
  • Week 4: Deload

Month #2:

  • Week 5: Doubles
  • Week 6: Doubles
  • Week 7: Doubles
  • Week 8: Deload

Month #3

  • Week 9: Singles
  • Week 10: Singles
  • Week 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 lower 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 Bryant really likes linear periodization for powerlifters because a powerlifter only needs to be at peak strength 2-4 times per year for his competitions.

No one cares how much you can lift in the gym – it’s what you can put up on the powerlifting platform that really counts!

I hope you found this overview of the Josh Bryant powerlifting program helpful. In the rest of this article we’re going to take an in-depth look at every aspect of Josh Bryant’s powerlifting workouts.

I will even teach you some of Josh Bryant’s “secret training methods” including isometric training and novel powerlifting exercises.

At the end of this article I will give you the exact training programs of some of Josh’s strongest clients including James Strickland and Chad Wesley Smith. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this cutting-edge information!

Note: if you have trouble reading the training routines in this article then check out this guide on how to read a training program. Now let’s get down to business…

Part 1: The Top Set

Josh Bryant is a big believer in the principle of specificity. He believes the best way to get stronger on the squat, bench press or deadlift is to start your workouts with those exercises!

With that in mind Josh tells his powerlifting clients to start their workouts with a heavy single, double or triple on the squat, bench press or deadlift.

These sets should be heavy but NOT all-out. Josh gives his clients specific percentages to use for each week. For example week 1 might be 1 set of 3 reps with 85% of your 1-rep max.

Let’s take a look at a sample bench press workout from James Strickland. Check it out:

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 5 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 1 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 2 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 top set is BY FAR the most important part of the entire workout! Every week you have a specific number that you have to hit for this top set.

Josh Bryant says that having a specific number to hit each week gives you a huge mental advantage. There is no confusion about what you have to lift each week – only absolute certainty.

Here is Josh Bryant describing why he loves having a specific number to hit each workout:

I love having specific numbers in the squat, bench press and deadlift that I have to hit. I know I’m going to hit those numbers and I thrive on that.

I would not have done well with “hey man, work up to an RPE of 8.5 today.” No!

I want to know I’m going to hit that number, I want to think about it, I want to thrive on it because Josh Bryant always bets on himself.”

If you nail your top sets each week then you are almost guaranteed to hit a massive 3-lift total at your next powerlifting meet. On the other hand if you consistently miss 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.

Month #1

  • Week 1: Triples
  • Week 2: Triples
  • Week 3: Triples
  • Week 4: Deload

Month #2:

  • Week 5: Doubles
  • Week 6: Doubles
  • Week 7: Doubles
  • Week 8: Deload

Month #3

  • Week 9: Singles
  • Week 10: Singles
  • Week 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.

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

Month #1: Triples

  • Week 1: 1 set of 3 reps @ 85% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 2: 1 set of 3 reps @ 87% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 3: 1 set of 3 reps @ 89% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 4: (Deload)

Month #2: Doubles

  • Week 5: 1 set of 2 reps @ 92% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 6: 1 set of 2 reps @ 94% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 7: 1 set of 2 reps @ 96% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 8: (Deload)

Month #3: Singles

  • Week 9: 1 set of 1 reps @ 99% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 10: 1 set of 1 reps @101% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 11: 1 set of 1 reps @103% of your previous 1-rep max
  • Week 12: (Deload)

Competition Week!

  • Week 13: Smash your old PR @105-110% of your previous 1-rep max

Please keep in mind that these percentages are just rough estimates for how you might progress through the training cycle. 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.

The top set is the most important part of a Josh Bryant style powerlifting workout.

However, there’s more to the Josh Bryant powerlifting program than just by hitting heavy singles, doubles and triples. The rest of the workout is just as critical!

Part 2: Speed Sets

Josh Bryant is a big believer in speed sets for getting stronger. Josh uses the term “compensatory acceleration training” or “CAT sets” for short.

Compensatory acceleration training is a method where you accelerate the weight as fast as possible through the entire range of motion.

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

Talk about an explosive bench press! James Strickland is moving 500 pounds faster than most people can bench 200 pounds!

So what’s the point of all this? Why does Josh Bryant have his clients perform compensatory acceleration sets? The truth is compensatory acceleration training has many advantages:

Compensatory Acceleration Training Advantages

  • Advantage #1: Improved force output and greater strength gains
  • Advantage #2: Improved exercise technique
  • Advantage #3: Improved work capacity

The first advantage of speed sets is they build strength by teaching your muscles to produce more force. Just look at the following equation:

“Force = Mass x Acceleration”

Lifting a heavy weight is one way to produce maximum force. However, it is not the only way! Another strategy is to lift a moderately heavy weight as fast as possible.

When you accelerate the weight as fast as possible you teach your body to recruit the fast-twitch muscle fibers and produce maximum force just like you would with a heavy single!

The other benefits of speed sets include improved exercise technique and increased work capacity.

You can perfect your form on the squat, bench press or deadlift while accumulating a lot of high-quality training volume and improving your work capacity. Talk about a powerful training method!

Bryant likes to use compensatory acceleration sets right after his heavy top set for the day.

Let’s have another look at James Strickland’s bench press workout. Check it out:

  • 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, 1 minute rest  
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 2 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!

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. For example:

Josh Bryant Speed Sets Sample Progression

  • Weeks 1-4: 7 sets of 4 speed reps @ 65% of your 1-rep max
  • Week 5-7: 5 sets of 3 speed reps @ 75% of your 1-rep max
  • Weeks 9-11: 3 sets of 2 speed reps @ 85% of your 1-rep max

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” are so explosive that they don’t need to perform as many sets to get a great training effect. Instead they need to keep their training volume relatively low so they won’t overtrain themselves.

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

Part 3: Isometric Training

Josh believes that isometric training is the fastest way to break through training plateaus in the bench press and the deadlift.

In fact Josh calls isometric training his “secret weapon” for breaking powerlifting world records. If you don’t believe me then click right here to listen to a podcast interview between Josh Bryant and Ben Pakulski.

Spoiler alert: Josh tells Ben Pakulski that isometrics are his “secret weapon” for building a world-class bench press!

There are three kinds of muscular contractions:

  • Type #1: Concentric muscular contractions
  • Type #2: Eccentric muscular contractions
  • Type #3: Isomeric muscular contractions

Concentric contractions occur when you lift a weight up and your muscles shorten while contracting.

Eccentric contractions occur when you lower a weight down and your muscles are lengthening.

Isometric contractions are completely different: they occur when your muscles are contracting hard but the weight isn’t moving at all!

Josh Bryant’s favorite way to use isometric training is to have a powerlifter bench press or deadlift an empty barbell into a set of safety pins for 6 seconds. The goal is to push or pull the barbell so hard that you break the safety pins in half

Here is Josh Bryant’s client Al Davis demonstrating the isometric bench press:

Al Davis is pushing the bar so hard that his training partners have to hold down the power rack so it won’t rip off the ground!

And here is a video of Josh Bryant’s client demonstrating the isometric deadlift:

For the isometric deadlift Josh likes to load the barbell with 135 pounds. The extra weight helps to prevent the barbell from flying all over the place.

So why does Josh Bryant like isometric training for powerlifters? That is a great question! The truth is isometric training has 3 big advantages for the serious powerlifter:

The Advantages Of Isometric Training

  • Advantage #1: You recruit up to 15% more motor units
  • Advantage #2: You produce up to 7% more force
  • Advantage #3: You can target specific sticking points

In other words isometric training makes you stronger AND it lets you target your exact sticking points.

For example if you have a weakness 2 inches above your chest in the bench press then you can use isometrics to target that part of the lift. You put the safety pins right at your sticking point and press as hard as you can for 6 seconds.

Research shows that most of the strength gains from isometric training occurs at the specific part of the range of motion that you are training. This means that isometric training is THE best training method for eliminating sticking points!

The main drawback of isometric training is that you need to combine it with the full range of motion exercise. Otherwise your strength gains won’t carry over to the competition bench press or deadlift.

Josh Bryant says that the best way to use isometric training is to alternate back and forth between speed sets and isometric sets. For example:

How To Use Powerlifting Isometrics

  • Set #1: Isometric Set
  • Set #2: Speed Set
  • Set #3: Isometric Set
  • Set #4: Speed Set

And so on.

Essentially you are going to alternate back and forth between overcoming isometric reps and speed sets. This is done after your heavy set of 1-3 reps in the bench press or deadlift.

So why are you alternating between isometric sets and speed sets?

The isometric sets teach your body to produce more force and recruit more muscle fibers. When you perform your speed sets these muscle fibers are still activated so you can produce more force than normal.

In other words the isometric sets help you produce more force on your speed sets and the speed sets help you produce more force on the isometric sets. No wonder Josh has his powerlifters train the bench press and the deadlift this way!

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

  • 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

Here is James Strickland’s training video for this workout:

James Strickland is using isometric training to target two separate sticking points: right off his chest and right before lockout.

As a general rule of thumb Josh likes his powerlifters to perform 4 isometric sets per workout. This could be 4 isometric sets targeting 1 sticking point or 2 isometric sets targeting one sticking point and 2 isometric sets targeting another.

So how often should you use isometric training in your workouts? The truth is isometric training is very difficult to recover from.

Josh Bryant found through trial and error that you should only use isometric training for 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:

Month #1

  • Week 1: Triples (no isometrics)
  • Week 2: Triples (no isometrics)
  • Week 3: Triples (no isometrics)
  • Week 4: Deload

Month #2:

  • Week 5: Doubles (isometrics)
  • Week 6: Doubles (isometrics)
  • Week 7: Doubles (isometrics)
  • Week 8: Deload

Month #3

  • Week 9: Singles (isometrics)
  • Week 10: Singles (isometrics)
  • Week 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 4: Supplementary Exercises

The supplementary exercises are big compound movements that mimic the competition lift. Think exercises like safety bar squats, reverse band bench presses or deficit deadlifts.

Josh likes to include 1-2 supplementary exercises per workout to attack weak points and build maximal strength.

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, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 2 x 5, 1/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • E1: Seal row, 1/0/X/0, 3 x 5, 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

For this workout the “C1” and “D1” exercises are the supplementary exercises. The supplementary exercises are always performed after the speed sets and before the accessory exercises.

Josh usually likes his athletes to perform 1-3 sets of 3-6 reps for the supplementary exercises but this is not set in stone. Josh doesn’t believe in “cookie-cutter” training programs.

Now let’s take a look at some of Josh Bryant’s favorite supplementary exercises for the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Supplementary Exercises: The Squat

  • Option #1: The dead squat
  • Option #2: Paused Olympic squats
  • Option #3: Chain squats
  • Option #4: Rack lockouts

The dead squat is probably Josh Bryant’s favorite squat supplementary exercise. Here is a perfect video demonstration:

The dead squat is performed with a safety squat bar. You are going to rest the barbell on a pair of safety pins set 1-3 inches above parallel. Then you position yourself under the bar and squat the weight up.

Josh calls this a “dead squat” because you are squatting the weight up from a dead stop position.

The dead squat is used to attack a sticking point 1-3 inches above parallel. Many people have a weakness here because this is right where the stretch reflex wears off. The dead squat attacks this weak point because you are forced to use nothing but your muscles to lift the weight up to lockout.

Josh likes to perform this exercise for 3-10 sets of singles with about 1-3 minutes rest between sets.

If you don’t have a safety squat bar then you need to change that! It is one of Josh Bryant’s favorite specialty bars and he uses it with almost al of his world-class powerlifting clients.

If you want to purchase a safety squat bar then here are my top picks:

The Best Safety Squat Bars To Buy

The dead squat is probably Josh Bryant’s favorite supplementary exercise to improve your strength out of the hole on the squat.

He also likes to use paused Olympic squats – see James Strickland’s squat program at the end of this article.

If you are weak near lockout then exercises like chain squats or even pin presses can also be used.

These are just some of the squat supplementary exercises I’ve seen Josh us. I’m sure he has many more tricks up his sleeve that I’m not aware of.

Supplementary Exercises: The Bench Press

  • Option #1: Dead bench
  • Option #2: V-bar dips
  • Option #3: Reverse band bench
  • Option #4: Chain bench

Josh Bryant likes to to use supplementary exercises to attack weaknesses in the bottom-half or the top-half of the bench press.

One of Josh Bryant’s favorite exercises for improving your strength off your chest is the dead bench. The dead bench is very similar to the dead squat: you are going to press the barbell up from safety pins set 1-4 inches above your chest.

Here is a perfect demonstration of the dead bench:

If you have long arms them you want to set the bar 4 inches off your chest. On the other hand if you have tiny T-Rex arms like Josh Bryant then you want to set the bar 1 inch off your chest.

Josh uses the dead bench because it eliminates the stretch reflex and forces you to use nothing but your muscles to lift the weight up to lockout. Josh Bryant likes his athletes to perform 3-10 sets of singles with 1-3 minutes rest between sets.

Josh is also a big fan of dips for improving your strength off the chest. Actually dips are just a great all-around exercise. Josh calls them the “upper body squat” because they are so effective for strengthening your chest and triceps.

If you are weak at lockout then Josh likes to use exercises like the bench press with chains or the reverse band bench press.

The bands and chains let you overload the top half of the exercise while still training with a full range of motion. This means the strength you gain on these exercises has a better chance of improving your competition bench press.

Guys like James Strickland and Vincent Dizenzo are big fans of these exercises – just take a look at their training programs at the end of this article!

If you don’t have chains or bands then you need to change that. I know some of you are saying “wait a minute, I can’t afford bands or chains.” In that case here is some tough love from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: don’t be economic girlie men!”

If you’re tired of being an economic girlie man then here are my top picks:

Josh usually uses one bench press supplementary exercise per workout.

If you are a bench press specialist like James Strickland or Vincent Dizenzo then you could even use 2 supplementary exercises: one targeting your bottom-end strength and one targeting your top-end strength.

Supplementary Exercises: The Deadlift

  • Option #1: Deficit deadlifts
  • Option #2: Lightning deadlifts
  • Option #3: Block deadlifts
  • Option #4: Reverse band deadlifts

Josh Bryant uses supplementary deadlift exercises to target weaknesses off the floor or near lockout.

One of the simplest exercises to improve your strength off the floor is deficit deadlifts. You just stand on a 1-4 inch platform and deadlift the weight up.

A more interesting supplementary exercise that Josh sometimes uses is the lightning deadlift. Here is the protocol for this exercise:

How To Perform Lightning Deadlifts

  • Step #1: Perform a speed rep with chains
  • Step #2: Your training partners rip the chains off the bar
  • Step #3: Immediately perform a speed rep with “straight weight”

Here is a perfect video demonstration of lightning deadlifts:

So why do lightning deadlifts work? What are they supposed to accomplish?

The first rep teaches your body to explode the bar off the ground. 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. However, the chains are off the bar so you will explode the weight to lockout. The second rep be the fastest speed rep of your life!

Of course you will need chains to perform this exercise. I like the ones available from Rogue or Amazon.

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.

Josh sometimes uses exercises to overload the lockout portion of the deadlift. For example Chad Wesley Smith likes to use reverse band deadlifts for his last 2 “heavy doubles” training weeks.

And if you don’t have bands then do what Arnold tells you: stop being an economic girlie man and get yourself some Rogue or Westside powerlifting bands!

Part 5: 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, 1 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse band bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 x 2*, 1/0/X/1, 2 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, 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  

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.

Here is how Josh usually organizes his assistance work for the squat, bench press and deadlift:

  • Squat: Upper Back / Hamstrings / Abs
  • Bench: Upper Back / Chest / Triceps
  • Deadlift: Upper Back / Lower Back / Hamstrings

As you can see Josh likes to train the upper back almost every training session. He often has his athletes train their upper back 3-4 times per week!

This is just one of those things that Josh Bryant figured out through trial and error. He says most people do best with high-frequency upper back training.

Now look at some of Josh’s favorite assistance exercises for each body part:

Upper Back Assistance Exercises

  • Option #1: All types of pull ups and chin ups
  • Option #2: All types of cable pulldowns
  • Option #3: Chest supported rows
  • Option #4: Seated cable rows

Josh Bryant says that you have to be careful about which upper back assistance exercises you choose.

If you are training your upper back several times per week then you want to use exercises that don’t tax your lower back. Cable pulldowns, chest supported rows and seated cable rows are all great choices.

One of Josh’s favorite upper back accessory exercises is the seal row. Check it out:

Seal rows are basically a modified version of the chest supported row. It allows you to isolate your upper back without any involvement of your lower back.

Josh does use heavy barbell rows in his training programs. However, these heavy upper back exercises are always included on the deadlift day.

You are already deadlifting so it isn’t a big deal if your lower back gets some extra stimulation from the heavy rows.

Triceps Assistance Exercises

  • Option #1: Chain skull crushers
  • Option #2: Dead stop DB skull crushers
  • Option #3: Cable pushdowns

Josh Bryant is very picky about which triceps exercises he uses in his powerlifting programs. Josh tore his triceps tendon trying to do skull crushers with 300 pounds and he doesn’t want his clients to make the same mistake!

Basically Josh wants his clients using exercises that really stimulate the triceps without putting a lot of stress on their elbows.

One of Josh’s all-time favorite triceps assistance exercises is the chain skull crusher. Check it out:

Here is Josh explaining how the chain triceps skull crusher work:

“At the bottom part of the lift the chains lower on the ground. As you extend the weight up the chains come up off the ground. This lets you overload the entire movement more effectively.”

This really is an unbelievable triceps exercise. The contraction you get in your triceps as you approach lockout is simply unreal!

Don’t be an economic girlie man: do what Arnold tells you and buy yourself some Rogue chains or Amazon chains right now!

Hamstrings Assistance Exercises

The hamstrings are one of the most important muscle groups for a powerlifter. They play a HUGE role in building a big squat and deadlift.

One of Josh Bryant’s absolute favorite hamstrings accessory exercises is the glute ham raise.

Here is Chad Wesley Smith demonstrating this exercise:

The glute ham raise is a unique exercise because it trains the hamstrings as knee flexors AND hip extensors at the same time!

In other words you have to actively bend your knees to pull yourself back up to the starting position, AND you have to extend your lower back to prevent you from folding forward throughout the exercise.

Give the glute ham raise a shot and you will see why Josh Bryant likes it so much!

I cannot cover every possible accessory exercise for every possible body part. I hope this list gives you a good starting point for designing your own programs.

If you want more help with the accessory exercises then check out the following articles:

Part 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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:

  • Objective #1: Letting your central nervous system “recharge”
  • Objective #2: Increasing muscular hypertrophy
  • Objective #3: Improving your work capacity
  • Objective #4: Improving your cardiovascular conditioning
  • Objective #5: 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.

Here is 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.

Here is 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

Here is the training video for this workout:

Note: Josh Bryant likes to use specialty barbells and other specialized equipment for his offseason workouts.

Here is where you can purchase these items:

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!

Chad Wesley Smith’s Squat Program!

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. Chad does use a safety squat bar for this training cycle. Other than that all you need is a regular squat rack.

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.

James Strickland’s Squat Program!

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.

James Strickland’s Bench Press Program!

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!

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!

Chad Wesley Smith’s Bench Press Program!

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.

Chad Wesley Smith’s Deadlift Program!

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.

James Strickland’s Deadlift Program!

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.

James does use a safety squat bar for his lower body workouts. Here is where you can get your own:

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

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, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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