I lifted a million pounds.
It was a lot of weight and, to be honest; it was hard to find a barbell large enough to fit all 1,000,000 lb on it.
I lifted a million pounds of volume and I want to tell you what happened.
Now, you can probably guess I got stronger, right? Big surprise…But I did it using only one barbell in three lifts with no real accessory work, and I’ll explain more in a just a minute.
The reason I want to tell you about an accomplished goal of mine, lift 1,000,000 lb, is that I hope this journey will inspire you and shed some light on how you can gain some serious strength if you have one goal: STICK TO A FREAKIN’ PROGRAM!
That’s the only thing you need to get out of reading this article:
- The one takeaway…
- The one bit of information that could change your training…
- STICK TO A FREAKIN’ PROGRAM!
As you can tell, I’m a bit passionate about this topic. I see not sticking to programs as one of the greatest problems with those who want to see progress and never do. Everyone overestimates what they can do in a month and underestimates what they can do in a year. They give a program three weeks or 30 days, and that’s it…they call it quits and move on to something new. Or they claim they didn’t see progress.
Well, the truth is, if you are the type of person who will only try something for a few weeks at a time, you will NEVER see the result you want.
Months ago, I completed what I called ‘Project Barbell’. Project Barbell was my quest to lift 1,000,000 lbs of volume (set x reps x weight) in only three lifts: the squat, deadlift, and strict press.
I was following the One Man One Barbell program, and ONLY the reps and weight IN THE PROGRAM counted. If I did any other type of conditioning with a barbell, that volume WAS NOT counted.
My last update was when I was 250,000 lb into the project and at that point my report was:
In two months, I have lifted over 250,000 lb and have gained 12 lb of muscle (without trying to) while maintaining around 8% body fat and getting faster. I will not max out on any lifts until I have completed all 1,000,000 lbs lifted. Right now, it is already looking like 30-40 lb PRs in deadlift and squat and 10-15 lb PR in the press….and I am only 25% in!
Now completed, I can give you the raw results…
Straight to the Point: 1,000,000 LB RESULTS
I’ll give you all the details of exactly what I did and how I did it, but first let’s jump straight into the results:
- VOLUME LIFTED – 1,052,780 total pounds
- STRENGTH CYCLES – 8 Cycles (8 months)
STANDING STRICT PRESS
- START – 195 lb
- END -220 lb (+25 lb,+12.8%)
BACK SQUAT (high bar)
- START – 365 lb
- END – 435 lb (+70 lb, +19.1%)
- START- 465 lb
- END – 540 lb (+75 lb, +16.1%) (Triple Bodyweight)
I also achieved a long-time goal of accomplishing the workout ‘King Kong‘ during these cycles, and you can read about that HERE.
Pretty crazy results. I mean, it did take eight months, and it was a lot of work, but I am HAPPY with the results!
EXACTLY how I did it:
I consider myself a giant training experiment here at End of Three Fitness. Before I go into details about exactly how I did it let me throw out some information on my training…
Disclaimer #1 – Roller Coaster Strength Training
- My strength training has been all over the place the last several years. I’ve gotten my deadlift up to 500, then 505 and then I would get tired of following strength cycles, and I would pursue other goals. Then it would take a dramatic drop after a few months of not training strength-specific.
Why does that matter?
I throw this out there because If you have a 465 lb deadlift and do eight cycles of a strength program you may not see the same results. Or, hey, maybe your results will be better. My strength jumps all over the place, but for this project I maxed out in the beginning, and I did again at then end. Now, I report the numbers to you.
Disclaimer #2 – Injury
- At the end of this article, I will give you the details on what following cycle after cycle can do and whether it causes injuries.
- Bottom line up front: I got injured, but it could have been easily avoided.
- Program used: One Man One Barbell
Yes, I used my program. Unlike 99% of other fitness websites or popular podcasts out there…I ACTUALLY use the programs I create.
- I used One Man One Barbell + The Money Maker Method (found in the 2014 Update)
WHAT DOES ONE MAN ONE BARBELL + Money MAKER LOOK LIKE?
At the basic level One Man One Barbell has two versions: one programmed at your training max, and the other programmed at your true max.
I used the version programmed at my training max since I would be doing many cycles back to back.
In the 2014 One Man One Barbell update, there is a method called the money-maker method where you do as many reps as possible on your last set. A similar method Jim Wendler uses in 5/3/1.
Here is what a three-week wave looks like:
After the working sets, you rest 3-5 minutes then perform dynamic efforts (the speed-focus and quality lifts). Dynamic effort work is where you get a lot of volume in a short amount of time. You perform sets every minute on the minute, or if you follow other methods in the program even every 45 seconds or 30 seconds. Each week’s dynamic effort increases in weight, decreases in reps, and increases in time. By the final week, you will be lifting a solid 15 minutes every minute on the minute.
How I Broke Down the Cycles:
- Cycles 1-3: One Man One Barbell Version 1 + Money Maker Method
- Cycle 4: One Man One Barbell Exponential EMOM Method
- Cycle 5-7: One Man One Barbell Version 1 + Money Maker Method
- Cycle 8: One Man One Barbell Exponential EMOM Method
Now, that’s exactly how I broke it down. My conditioning was short interval training to keep the intensity up and training time down. I also didn’t want a lot of extra volume since I was doing the money-maker method.
The craziest part of the 1,000,000 lb journey was the money-maker method.
Let me explain, yes, I got a lot stronger. PR’s all around, and that was awesome. But the thing that blew my mind was how ridiculous the money-maker set got. So the last working sets as seen above I would do as many reps as possible.
Towards the end of the project on the sets of 4-reps (week 1 of a cycle), I was doing:
- 330 lb for 15 reps on back squat…
- 405 lb for 15 reps on deadlift, and…
- 175 lb on strict press for close to 10 reps…
It was crazy!
I can remember a time when I couldn’t lift any of those for a single rep, and now I was up to 15…it blew my mind. It was also a lot of fun.
But it took its toll.
Now, on to the cons of doing eight months of repeated strength cycles.
- #1 – Monotony. I like variety in my training. Had I not set the goal to get to 1 million, I would have stopped after a few cycles to start training something else. So by the end of the eight months I was getting a little bored.
- #2 – Injury. Now, I didn’t get any serious injury in following this program. Just one thing happened to me which you can avoid. If you are going to be doing HIGH rep HEAVY weight deadlifts, it will take its toll. For me, I was pounding rep after rep in my garage on the concrete and I strained my neck right at the end of the cycle. I mean the very end, the last workout for the 1 million. Luckily I made it all the way to the end. However, I have been off deadlifting for high reps and high weight for a few months because of it.
A simple fix is getting some padding (which most gyms have), or buying some for you garage (which I have now done).
Well, that’s it!
Overall, I had a lot of fun and had a few training partners join me in a few 100,000 pounds here and there who also saw great results. Would I do it again? You bet!
Do you need to lift 1,000,000 lb to see results? No, you don’t. BUT you do need to stick to the program. I did One Man One Barbell religiously for eight full months. Probably the longest I’ve strictly adhered to a strength program.
It doesn’t matter what program you pick, or what goals you have…
Just stick to the program and you WILL see results!