My interest peaked in strength training the time I turned thirty.  It always seems to happen this way, doesn’t it?  You hit a milestone of thirty or forty years and you physically start feeling your age.


When I say, strength training I don’t mean weight lifting in general but rather true strength training.  I am not as interested in the six pack and bulging biceps as I once was in my earlier years.


At thirty I feel more aches, pains and have more frequent injuries when I play soccer or lift weights.  In the weight room, instead of curls and shrugs, I have begun to focus my time on the big lifts such as squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, pull up, etc.


I am living in Hudson Wisconsin for a 12-week contract in physical therapy.  I just enjoyed a very stimulating podcast called the Tim Ferriss Radio hour featuring Pavel Tsatsouline.


Since being in Hudson I’ve had a lot of time on my hands and plenty of road tripping hours to spend listening to podcasts.  His guest on the show was Pavel Tsatsouline, a strength coach from Russia.  He is the man who brought the kettlebell to America.


Pavel spoke at length about weight training, kettlebells, and many other things strength related.  What hit home for me is how important strength is to the human body.  Any human body!


His company is called Strong First.  As a therapist, there are ways I do not agree with this concept when dealing in the rehab setting, but never the less I have always been convinced that if someone possesses true strength, they become that much more bulletproof to injury.


This put me on a journey to discover the best ways to train strength for me and my patients.



Plan Strong Conference

We’ve arrived in Denver Colorado for the Plan First conference held by none other than Pavel Tsatsouline.  We enjoy the first by stopping at several finer breweries that Denver has to offer.  The next morning, we check out a local coffee shop and head to the conference which is being held at a local gym.


What a turn out, at least 100 people crammed into this gym!  Pavel enters the room wearing a red polo shirt with a popped collar.  On the front of his shirt reads CCCP in white bold lettering.  I get that familiar feeling in my body when seeing a face of someone you are used to seeing in movies or on television.


He begins to teach us the most sophisticated and powerful strength training system- the Soviet weightlifting system.  The same system that the Soviets used in the 80s to set almost every Olympic record.


Pavel has reduced the Soviet System to its essence, but without compromising the system’s integrity.  Allowing us to easily learn the programming.


I soon feel as if I was in a high school math class again!  he has broken this system down to a science and the programming is very exact but not without its artistic touch at times.


We leave the weekend overwhelmed with more knowledge and math equations than expected.




I have programmed my first prep month using 4 different lifts (Squat, weighted pull up, deadlift, and overhead press).   From there I plan to do an additional prep month and finally a competition month in which I will assess my gains.


In about twelve weeks I will present the strength gains that have been had.


I have posted an example of my four-week program for deadlifts so you can have a better idea of what I will be doing.


I have also prepared plans for my wife and father and will post their progress as well.