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The Juggernaut Method

The Juggernaut Method was created by Chad Wesley Smith but is rooted in training methods used by Jim Wendler and Doug Young. Chad is a Strength and Conditioning Coach that at one time help an American squat record at 905 pounds. The Juggernaut is more of a template than it is a program, which allows it to be used by powerlifters, athletes, or your average gym goer who just wants to add size and muscle. Using this method, we are able to complete enough volume to build muscle, while also working into the higher intensities to tap into some insane strength gains. If you are an intermediate to advanced lifter, this could be a great option for you.

This is a 16-week method split up into 4, 4-week waves. There is a 10, 8, 5, and 3 rep waves. The 10 and 8 rep waves are predominately focused on hypertrophy, while the 5 and 3 rep waves are focused on strength. Within each wave, there are 4, 1-week blocks. The blocks include accumulation, intensification, realization, and a de-load, with each block lasting 1 week.

During the accumulation block we build up fatigue and work capacity. Intensification builds intensity to increase strength and power, while simultaneously lowering volume. In the realization block our intensity peaks and our volume continues to decrease. During our de-load we drop our intensity to recover and prepare for the next wave.

Like most powerlifting programs, the major lifts used during the program and squat, bench, deadlift and overhead press so this would be a 4 day per week program.

The percentages used during your lifts are based on your working max, similar to the 5/3/1 method. Your working max is just 90% of your 1RM or estimated 1RM. If your 1RM for squat is 100 pounds, your working max is 90%.

On the 3rd week of each block, there is an AMRAP for the last set. When you complete this AMRAP, you can estimate your new max and use your new numbers entering the next wave of training to ensure consistent progress throughout the 16-week program. You can either use an estimated 1RM calculator and input your numbers or add 2.5 pounds to your max for each rep you complete extra on upper body, and 5 pounds for each rep on lower body exercises. For example, if we are in the 10-rep wave and complete 14 reps on our AMRAP, we multiply 4 X 2.5, and add that to our old 1RM to get our new number.

Chris Still

BS Exercise Science


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