Korte's strength program When I finished my last HST – Max-Stim cycle, Dan Moore asked me to rep out my previous maxes to see what sort of SE gains I may have made. Although my results may be “good enough” for an old geezer over 60, I was still disappointed with my strength. As a result, I’ve decided to try the Korte strength program that Steve Jones and Sci Muscle wrote about earlier this year. Korte’s program is limited to the three competition lifts – Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. There are no “assistance” exercises in the program, rather squats, benches, and deads are done three times weekly with many sets. I’m not interested in competition, but I would like to improve my strength, so I thought I’d give it a try. The set up is done by determining the one rep max for each exercise, adding a prescribed bit to each to get a projected rep max goal, then using a high volume of fairly light percentages (58% – 64%) of those projections. During the High Volume Phase, squats and deads are done in five to eight sets of five. Bench presses are done in six to eight sets of six. Later, during the High Intensity Phase, the reps decrease significantly, and each lift gets a turn, once each week, building toward the projected rep max. The program is rigorous enough that I wasn’t sure I would even be able to do it. So I planned a two-week preparatory period, during which I could work my way up to meet the program requirements (or at least I would find out if I were able to do so). I quickly learned I would have to use Max-Stim in order to complete the high number of reps required. Coming off a ten day strategic deconditioning, I began at about 50% (or less) of my projected rep maxes, only gradually increasing the weight and the repetitions. Monday, August 27 Squat 115 x 5 x 5 Bench 60 x 6 x 6 Deadlift 155 x 5 x 5 Wednesday, August 29 Squat 125 x 30 MS (Max-Stim here on out) Bench 65 x 48 MS Deadlift 160 x 30 MS Friday, August 31 Squat 135 x 35 MS Bench 70 x 48 MS Deadlift 165 x 35 MS Labor Day: Off (Thank goodness!) Wednesday, September 5 Squat 145 x 40 MS Bench 75 x 48 MS Deads 175 x 40 MS Friday, September 7 Squat 150 x 40 MS Bench 80 x 48 MS Deads 185 x 40 MS A problem I ran into in planning my program is that my weak-ass projected maxes are so low that it is hard to load the bar with the odd percentages that Korte calls for. Perhaps 58% of your 500 lb. bench press is 290 lbs., but 58% of my max projected 150 lbs bench amounts to 87 lbs; 62% would be 93 lbs. How can I load such odd weights on the bar? Also, Korte likes to use the same weight for three consecutive workouts, only incrementing once a week. Rather than beat my brains out repeating the same weight again and again, I figured I would apply two of the fundamental principles of HST: 1) progressive load, and 2) you can tweak anything. Thus, rather than bench (an impossible) 87 lbs for three workouts, I decided to use a progression of 80, 85, 90. Rather than use (an impossible) 93 lbs for three workouts, I planned 90, 95, 100, etc. (I hope I am not being silly). Thus I begin.