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Maximum Strength: The Totals

May 8, 2009

So ladies & gentlemen, I have finally finished Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey.  Sixteen weeks of training to become as strong as I can in the Broad Jump, Squat, Deadlift, and 3-Rep Chin-Up.  I tested at the beginning and I posted those numbers in a previously.  Last night I tested my progress, so let’s take a look:

Bodyweight:    175 lbs | 192 lbs  = +17 lbs

Broad Jump:   104.5″  | 105″      = +0.5″

Squat:               355 lbs | 405 lbs = +50 lbs

Bench Press:   195 lbs | 225 lbs  = +30 lbs

Deadlift:          395 lbs | 455 lbs  = +60 lbs

3-Rep Chin-up: 200 (175+25) | 227 (192+35) = +27 lbs

I am very excited with my results however, I am some what disappointed because I feel like I could have done much better on the last day.  For instance, 3 weeks ago I benched 225 lbs x2, but I just barely missed 245 and then 235 right after.  There are a couple things I would have done differently, if I were to go through the program again:

  • More cardio.  I didn’t really follow the cardio guidelines Eric suggests, and I think my body composition would have been better if I would have followed that.
  • I lost focus in the last couple weeks.  I think this had something to do with the fantastic weather Minneapolis has had recently.  It is very tough not to want to reschedule or skip to play Ultimate or Goaltimate.  On top of that, there were legitimate scheduling difficulties that lead to not testing until a full week has passed since the last training day.  Also, the weight felt heavier than normal when unracking it etc.
  • My diet fell off for about a month as well.  I ate a TON of food.  While I was eating clean, it wasn’t a problem but my appetite didn’t go away when I started eating like shit.  By no means did I get fat, but I am going to be cutting some fat off before the season.  I would actually like to get to 180 as my playing weight.

In conclusion, I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking to get strong.  This is easily the strongest I have ever been, and the program changes every 4 weeks meaning there is plenty of variety, and you will get plenty strong.  The program exposes your weaknesses and makes your body strong in places that are normally prone to injury, like your shoulders.  In addition to that, the program addresses injury prevention through foam rolling and mobility drills before every workout.  The mobility I have gained in my hips has been significant and it really added to my squat & deadlift numbers.  Foam rolling has also become a habit that I will do continually in the future.

Let me know if you have any questions about the program in the comments!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. LANDO permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:19 pm

    Hell yeah brother, I need some motivation to get this going.

  2. Diddy permalink
    May 11, 2009 5:45 pm

    how do you perform the broad jump test?

  3. Diddy permalink
    May 11, 2009 5:46 pm

    well, i should ask too.. I would like to figure out my max reps in those tests. Did you do them all in one day? What kind of warm up do you do before trying a max rep test?

    • May 12, 2009 12:51 pm

      Diddy –
      I did do all of those tests in 1 day. There is a great method for testing your 1 rep max, spelled out in the book. Also included is a section on foam rolling and mobility work as a warm up to your tests.

      I would recommend buying Maximum Strength. It isn’t expensive and it has a lot of great information, plus a killer workout.

      Check it out and let me know what you think.

      PS – Broad jump test was a piece of tape for the start line, a tape measure, and another piece of tape to mark where you land. Pretty simple. Best of 3 jumps.

  4. Dusty permalink
    May 30, 2009 2:39 am

    Nice strength gains, but the real question is: are you any better at ultimate after completing this program? The insignificant broad jump change may mean no.

    Why would you want to do more cardio? If you can’t get a suitable body composition between lifting weights and playing ultimate, then you’re doing something wrong. Cardio should never be in any (male) ultimate player’s workout regimen.

    Also, with the recent hamstring pull in mind, would you care to reassess your increased hip mobility and/or injury prevention gains?

    Ever skeptical,
    -dusty

    • james permalink
      June 1, 2009 2:24 am

      dusty,

      his broad jump might be the same, but check out his weight gain. if i could get my cutters or my deep to add 17lbs of mass while keeping the same speed and force production, I would be a very happy man.

      on top of that, sprint times and jump distance are usually a combination of two things: raw power and the ability to use that power quickly. while both weight training and plyometric training take time, i find raw power is often the bigger hurdle for improving performance.

      just my two cents

    • June 2, 2009 12:20 am

      Dusty,
      The training I did in this program was to maximize my strength. After that comes rate of force development like James was pointing out above. So training to use my strength for speed has been what I have been up to. It is going well.

      As far as cardio is concerned, you probably don’t live in Minneapolis where ultimate in the winter happens once a week for maybe a month. Eating that much for that long makes it hard for me, personally, to avoid pigging out on bad food when I fail to prepare ahead of time. “Suitable” body composition can mean a lot of things. I would like my body fat to go down still, so that I can be as fast and light as possible. This isn’t really very complicated.

      “Cardio should never be in any (male) ultimate player’s workout regimen. ” You should explain this statement.

      At this point the only thing I would like to reassess would be the longstanding hip flexor issue that has made it to the point that it lead to overcompensation and the injury of my hamstring.

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