Article written by Marshall White for LiftBigEatBig.com
Here we go, I’m about to say a bunch of things that are going to make some of you want to form a mob, grab your pitchforks and torches and chase me off of Lift Big Eat Big! I am writing this article as a protest AGAINST, generalized, “one size fits all”, training programs. Yeah I said it! I do not believe that if you want to reach your max potential in strength that you can follow Smolov, Westside, Philippi/Coan Deadlift, etc etc. *GASP*. Settle down for a second and let me explain.
I’ve been in the strength game for a long time now. I did my first strongman competition almost 10 years ago and I have been a pro strongman for 6 years at this point. I’ve seen and tried so many different programs and splits that it’s almost ridiculous. I’ve picked the brains of some of the strongest men on the planet in an attempt to find a “secret” or a tip that I could add to my training that would help take me to the top. The main thing I have found out is that none of what they are doing will work for me! How is this possible you ask? The human body is NOT a calculator. You can’t just punch in a formula across the board for every person and expect the answer to come out the same. I am the absolute biggest and by far the strongest I have ever been in my career right now, simply because a year ago I decided to stop trying to follow other people’s programs and I hired someone to assist me in creating the “Marshall White Program For Strongy McHugeness”
I can’t honestly say you won’t make gains following something like Smolov. Let me be clear about that. You will most likely make gains following these programs. But, are you ok with just the minimal gains or do you want the absolute maximum for your hard work and effort? Within these pre-planned, generalized programs there is no room for “real life circumstances”. When Benedikt Magnusson was following his program was he working 60 hours that week like you might have to? Does Smolov take into account that old injury to your hip? No, they are written for a general audience without any thought for the individual. As you all know strength is EXTREMELY individual. I can’t very well expect that at 6’5 Brandon will squat exactly what Fletcher does at 5’10, they are two COMPLETELY different body types. How can they possibly respond to the exact same program? Sure you’ve seen Brandon say he followed a Smolov cycle, but do you honestly believe he didn’t modify it to fit his needs? He’s a Weightlifting coach for christ’s sake! He is going to take a program and MAXIMIZE his gains from it.
Understand that this is not a bash all other programming piece. I am simply saying that if you want to reach your true potential you will eventually have to put aside the generalized programming and step into something custom built just for you. I did and it was the best decision I have ever made. If you want to give these other programs a try, by all means have at it. For myself and the rest of the LBEB team we work our asses off in the gym, and if that work can yield us a 35lb gain instead of 15lb you better believe we’re going to be doing that. In the end we will be bigger, stronger, and faster simply because we are following custom programs designed to get us COCK DIESEL STRONG!!