View Full Version : Enter the CUBE -Brandon Lilly Cube Method 10 Week Test Group

08-27-2012, 10:08 PM
Well after one of the most wonderful summers on a personal home note, things got even sweeter. I was able to be part of Brandon Lilly's Cube method test group!!!!!

Brandon is one of the lifters I've followed for a while and enjoyed his videos for sometime and really enjoyed his ideas about training. As such to be accepted is an honor and my first opportunity to get actual programming from someone to help me get stronger based on knowledge and feedback and eliminating some of my ideas that as the past has shown are often incorrect.

So as a result of this new training method, for now this will be my log going forward through this journey.

As of the last week of July, I tested my maxes on the big 3 and got the following results:

Squat - 405lbs
Bench - 270lbs
Dead - 465lbs

These are my benchmark numbers going into this test group and my hope is to make a better run - I'd like to reach a 500lb deadlift at the end of this cycle, a solid 450lb squat and would love at least a 300lb bench.

So really the only x-factor is going to me busting my butt to make this work.

And I'm ready more than I've ever been, simply because I finally feel like I understand what I have to do to push myself and know that I can accomplish these goals if I dedicate all my being.

To poorly quote Vincent Dizenzo "look at your numbers as having limitless potential rather than as being poor".

So, leading up to day 1, I continued on my 5/3/1 template just using my numbers from week 1 to get back in the gym after my 3 week holiday.

Let's go!

08-27-2012, 10:23 PM
Deads from floor - 3 x 3/310

Deads from blocks - 3 x 3/330

Manta ray ghetto SSB squats - 185, 205, 8/225

ghetto GHR - 10/bw, 3 x 10/bw+25lbs

Back Raises - 30/bw, 20/bw

Well, the idea today was to get familiar with the training template and start out with day one. I have no doubt I messed up the dead work sets, but this was an enjoyable 1st session.

NOTE: I begin every session with dynamic and static stretching as well as using my rumble roller to get going.

The deads were sweet. The block deads were my first time doing this method, and I freakin loved it. I just piled some plates and used them as a block for the barbell. I expected to be weaker after pulling from the floor, but these were awesome and quick.

Ghetto SSB Squats - because I don't have access to a SSB bar I did some looking on line and found a way of wrapping straps on the bar to act as handles and then came across a manta ray today, tried it and found that it put the bar high up on my back. so I combined both ideas and wow - my upper back and low back were trashed as were my legs, all with crappy weight. Now some of this was the new movement, but it was also a result of being able to get lower in my squat naturally and keeping my self more up right. So hopefully the big guy approves going forward cause these totally exposed my weaknesses in my back for a good squat.

Ghetto GHR - basically I lowered a 45 degree incline machine so I could mimic a GHR movement. My hamstrings hate me, so that has to be worth something.

By the time I got to back extensions my lower body and low back hated me worse.

All in all, a good 1st day me thinks.

Some notes: My diet isn't going to be anything special. I'm not eating crap, which is a great habit I've finally held to this year. I'm not shying away from carbs at all and have added more carbs post workout.

My body weight this morning was 227.5lbs at home and then 231.5 in the evening in my shoes and gym stuff at my gym... I need to get some pics tomorrow just cause.

And that's it today... I think my body will be sore tomorrow but I'm ready for battle!

08-28-2012, 04:15 AM
this is pretty cool, I'll definitely be following, curious to see how this method works in more detail and if i can pick up a few things along the way

08-29-2012, 06:56 PM
Thanks JLS for stopping by!

Today started off well with a 2.5 hr trail ride with my son on the trans-Canada trail... great cardio to start off, and didn't feel like it had any impact on my session, but did help loosen up my hamstrings who were still angry about dead day.

So here is today's go round:

Floor Press: 10/135, 3/135, 3/155, 3/175, 1/195, 1/215, 1/225, 1/235, 1/245, 1/255, 0/265, 15/155, 15/155

Lat Pulldowns (widegrip): workup up to final set of 12/165

Band Push downs: 50, 35, 15

DB Shrugs: 15/60, 15/70, 15/80

DB Military: 12/40, 12/50, 12/45

Started Training at 5:03pm
Finished Training at 6:20pm

Weighed 231.5 this morning after having a good day of deserts yesterday, but weighed 227.5 this afternoon after my bike riding morning.

Well an interesting session... I had been using floor press as an accessory movement and sucked huge at it through out my 5/3/1 go around. Today I took it easy working up and focused on the pause at the bottom and then using force to press... I feel really good about how I did with the exception of my last attempt at 265 - this is 5 pounds off my bench max and I couldn't lock it out - breaking a rule already from Brandon about no missing weights. But I've learned - the 255 rep was solid and should have been the end, but ego and a poor bench took over - head shaken.

Afterwards, all the exercises were done with a squeeze and really felt them kick in... the pulldowns worked lats instead of lowback and biceps, the band pulldowns blew up my tris, the shrugs were ridiculous on my yoke and then came military

I decided to do the military press with DB's and thankfully I did cause the 40's felt heavy, the 50's barely got the reps and the 45's were a final struggle - but the DB's allowed me a good range of motion and didn't bug my lowback and hips.

That's it... afterwards I did ab work and some more stretching and called it a day.

08-31-2012, 10:09 PM
Here's tonight go around:

Speed Squats - 3x3/230

Reverse Squats - 2x2/270 with monster mini bands

Squats- 5/265, 5/265, 5/265, 5/245, 4/245

Leg Press - 15/4 plates per side, 15/ 5 pps, 15/5pps, 15/5pps

Good Mornings - 3x12/95

DB Swings - 3x15/35lb DB

Well today started with another mountain bike adventure with my son exploring some hills and creek beds. Again, this didn't seem to have too much effect on my training, though I will say it as tough and I kinda jacked up my left hip and knee, but pussification has been put on hold.

Speed squats were good, but I think they were slow - which is good cause these will likely be difference makers... they were also deep for a change which I think goes to credit with the SSB bar squats earlier this week helping me grove the movement confidence is going up in my squat finally.

The Reverse bands were awesome... made me feel quick and powerful... i did a second set as I didn't feel like I did the first set justice and really sunk the second set and exploded up... I used monster mini for these instead of average bands as I have crap weight on here and don't think the average would have been beneficial, but the boss will have final say on this.

Leg press were tough, and then the good mornings were a joke - light weight that lit my low back up like fire.. and the swings were just hell.

The final part of this session involves the time to complete... the gym closed early, which I found out at 8:05pm when I arrived, so warm up and session was done by 9pm... talk about a cardio session!!!

All in all feel great right now and I'm liking what's happening so far... tomorrow is weakness day so time to eat and sleep!

09-01-2012, 03:57 AM
nice job so far! getting in some good work for sure!

09-01-2012, 09:34 PM
Today's fun:

Seated Military Press: 10/95, 10/115, 8/135, 2/155

Chins (neutral grip): 10/bw, 7/bw, 7/bw

Dips: 6/bw, 4/bw, 8/machine assisted, 12/machine assisted

Wide Neutral Pulldowns superset with Machine Pec Flies: 3x15

Machine Delt Flies superset with Machine Rear delt flies: 3x15

Barbell Curls

Hammer Curls


Today was a fun fun day... it was my first time doing seated military press in literally years and I enjoyed it alot... The rest was just blood pumping fun... I think my back and triceps need help so the chins and dips were great... dips seem to be a problem for me now both in strength and shoulder flexibility so I'll keep working on this... otherwise hopefully this is line with what the boss wants... I feel great for the work and don't feel like any negative impact is coming... time to eat and read up on week 2 - looks AMAZING

09-03-2012, 07:53 PM
Happy Labor Day people! Cheers to the end of summer, beginning of kids back in school and football!


Speed Deads - 10 singles at 265lbs

Block pulls with snatch grip - 205x20

Ghetto SSB Squats - 10/135, 8/185, 8/205, 8/225

Barbell Shrugs - 10/135, 10/225, 5/275+ 10/275 with straps, 10/275 with straps

Back Raises - 39/bw, 11/Bw

Pull Downs - green jumpstretch band, 4x15

Well, first off its great to have my training partner Money Maker Mike back in the mix after a the last month of holidays between the 2 of us. Good to have motivation and fun hitting the iron.

Just like speed squat day, speed deads show that I need to work on speed... the weight was nothing but I'm molasses... then the snatch grip block pulls were tough even with junk weight.

The ghetto SSB squats went better this week again... even though we kept the same weight, I really focused on sitting into the hole pausing and then powering up... once again my low and upper back paid the price as did my quads join in the torture this week

My shrugs suck... I seem to have no grip issue in deads, but shrugs just chew me up... so I used some straps that were in the gym and got the work in, again focusing on squeezing each rep... YOKED! hahaha

Back Raises were better this week, and I plan on getting to the 50 and then adding some weight.

The pulldowns - we decided to try the band and it was awesome... it really made me engage my lats, focus on squeezing and required control up and down... good stuff

All in all another good day... I'm clearly not as strong as I could be, but this can't help but make me better... and I'm loving this journey thus far!!!!

09-08-2012, 08:26 PM
Ok here's some catch up on the log after a busy week... this is Wednesday training:

Incline Bench - 3/190, 3/190, 3/190

Incline DB - 20/50, 19/55 + 14/40

Close Grip - 5/135, 5/155, 5/175, 5/195

Band Flyes - 15/purple band, 15/green band, 15/green band

Band Pushdowns - 70, 30

Pretty good session... Incline went really well, I was able to pause the reps and keep tight throughout, which is a big step in the right direction... I feel much stronger/confident on incline than flat - no idea why that is...

The incline DBs, well I couldn't get 20 on the second set so I did some good paused stretch reps with the 40's to make sure I got the work as required.

Close grip is funny - again I was able to pause the reps and it feels like a better version of benching for me.

Doesn't seem like much on paper, but with a good pace this was a great day

09-08-2012, 08:35 PM
Friday nights go:

Squat - 10/135, 10/135, 5/225, 1/275,
2/305, 2/315, 1/345, 1/360 drop set to 4/305

Good Mornings - 8/95, 8/115, 8/135

Leg Press - 3x20/4 plates per side

ghetto reverse hypers - 3x12

Back raises - 30/bw, 30/bw

Squatting is getting better, as I'm not feeling like I'm folding over as much and able to get up better out of the hole... the warm up sets were paused and deep, and then the work sets were all proper squats - and they were no joke, especially the drop set

Good mornings were done using the manta ray - really forces me to focus on the descent and then explode up and totally lights up my back, glutes and hamstrings - taking ego out and injecting proper work

by the time I got to the leg press, the pace was quick and the work was intense, finishing up the reverse hypers and back raises feeling like I ran a series of sprints.

Very good day... the increased squatting is doing its thing... feeling more confident in the hole, better endurance and I can't wait to see what it does to my pulling

09-08-2012, 08:44 PM
today's adventures:

Seated Military: 10/95, 10/135, 5/155, 2/175, 25/95

Chins: 12/bw, 9/bw, 8/bw, 4/bw

Dips: 5/bw, 2/bw, 12/assisted, 12/assisted

Pec Flies: 3x12

Neutral Wide Grip pulldowns: 3x12

Cable lat pullovers: 2x12

Bicep work with some pushdowns between sets


This continues to be an interesting day... seated military press are going beyond my expectations... after going through the 5/3/1 my max was 185 standing, in into week 2 I've taken 175 for a double - again this exercise change to seated seems to be helping me use my lats and really focus on making the most of the movement

Chins are also going amazing - I was 235 today and I'm chinning better than I have when I was 214 at the end of my weight loss earlier this year - very happy with this

Dips - not so much, but the only way they will get better is by continuing to work

Overall, I feel like I put blood in my chest and gave my shoulders arms and back some work to bring them along...

LOVE this training - my training partner and I love the fact that we are working different parts of the lift and having only the 1 max day is refreshing mentally... most of all I'm feeling like training feels right and better than ever... big things ahead!

09-09-2012, 06:48 AM
Great work in here! I'll be starting the Cube Training on the 17th so I'll be interested in seeing how you progress as well. Good luck.

09-12-2012, 07:55 AM
Thanks bruiser for coming thru and good luck with your cycle!

Guy if there are questions, post em up... I'll answer what I can and ask for answer where necessary!!

Monday was Deadlift Max day, and here's how it went:

Dead from blocks - 10/135, 10/135, 5/225, 5/225, 2/275, 1/315, 1/365, 1/405, 1/455, 0/475

Sumo Pulls - 5/225, 5/225

DB Rows - 10/60, 10/70, 10/80

DB Shrugs - 15/70, 15/80, 15/90

Up/Down Planks - 20, 15, 15

Well I've put off posting mainly because of my max effort... Brandon expressly has stated we don't miss weights and I did, and I don't really understand why... 455 is 10 lbs less than my max dead, and while it was a slow rep I felt amazing with it and felt like I had so much more in my tank, so I took a 10lb Pr at 475, and I just couldn't push my hips through, failing about 2-3" from locking it... all excuses mean nothing more than being weak and messing up here...

Sumos - I took more than the suggested percentage here, but this weight is nothing, felt good and the reps were quick... I'll wait to hear what the boss says

DB Rows - these were awesome... I had moved away from doing these and now coming back and really focusing on the stretch and squeeze, some of my best reps with this exercise in a long time

Shrugs - same thing, squeezing and repping

The planks flat out sucked - but were hella fun to do

All in all, outside of my miss-step at the start a good session. Can't help but get better from this stuff... heading in for bench in a couple of hours and need to keep moving forward.

I'm still hovering around 229-235lbs, and I've been eating lots, but keeping it all clean until the dinner time when I'm enjoying some home baking... I will add that I tried adding chocolate milk back into the mix for good macros, but milk just doesn't like my system any more... even the greek yogurt I've also added, while easier on the guts, can't be eaten close to bed or i start getting plugged ears again which will only lead to ear aches and infections... anyway enough rambling... Onwards!

09-14-2012, 04:05 PM
Floor Press: 5x5 with 155lbs
This is Wednesday go around:

Incline DB press: 15/60, 15/60, 10/60+10/40

Band press-down: green band - 30,10,10,15,10,10,5,5,5

DB Military Press Standing: 8/40, 8/45, 8/50

Band fly: 3 sets of 15*

Abs: 50 crunches

Well floor press went well... Felt fast through out and first set was as good as the last, pausing at the bottom and exploding up

Inclines were going well... By the last set I just died and couldnt get the 5 reps more so dropped an paid penance

Really tough work again... Militaries after Pushdowns were no joke... Especially using the green band this week... But work got done.

Starting to see the returns of the work too as a few people at work have commented that I look like I'm losin weight but look bigger through th chest and shoulders. Good news regardless that I'm moving in the right direction...

Squatting at midnight after work!!! Oh yeah!!!

09-15-2012, 12:54 AM
Tonight's midnights squat session:

Squat - 5 sets of 3 reps with 210

Ghetto SSB good mornings - 8/135, 8/155, 8/155

Lunges - 3x15 strides holding 40lbs DBs

Squats- 50/135

Weighted cable ab pulldowns - 50/120

What a great night of squatting... the initial set of squats with 210 were all the lowest my training partner has seen me go, and I made sure to pause at the bottom with each rep and explode up... starting to feel much more comfortable with my squats and loving it

The good mornings were done with lots of tension in the posterior chain and exploding up... murdered my glutes and low back, and upper back for that matter with my ghetto SSB set up

Lunges went well, the weight was perfect as my partner and I basically alternated sets keeping a great pace and hella pump

The final set of 50 squats was ridonkulous - I felt like passing out near the end, but did my reps, didn't rack the bar until the end and completed a day of training where I think I did good on following the program and growing...

Abs were just a nasty finish to my trembling shell of a self... a great end to the week and can't wait for next week!!!!!

But first we sleep and then attack some weakness tomorrow!

09-16-2012, 12:27 AM
awesome work man! keep it up.

this method for me so far has challenged me more so then the conjugate method. my training partner and I are Really looking forward to the coming weeks.

09-18-2012, 07:52 AM
ThaNks Aaron! I am lovin this training... My training partner and I are finding it a ton of fun mentally and physically it is finally a more guided sense of work than I've been doing.

So Saturday I went in for weakness day and started with seat military press from pins. I worked up to 135 for 10 and by rep 9 I felt like someone was squeezing the back of my head at the back. Now I tweaked it te same way on the 50 rep squats but just thought it was a muscle cramp as I was able to roll it out. But this time no smokin of lax ball or rumble roller could open it up. I laid on the groin for about 20 mins and it finally subsided and I tried some chins which didn't work and then some lame DB curl work for blood flow but still even tht aggravated it.

I was feelin better Sunday and then really good yesterday until coughing cause something in my neck to pop and even worse pain. So no Monday training. I feel a bit better today after dosin some robaxcecet and rumble Rolling. Still it hurts to bend over do not sure what I'll do. Trying to get into a chiro today or tomorrow and get help. But until then chomping at te bit to get training.

09-19-2012, 06:51 PM
So yesterday I bit the bullet and got moving regardless of this neck back thing... here are the results:

Deads from floor: worked up to 2x3/330lbs

Snatch grip deads from 2" block: 20/225

ghetto SSB Squats: 10/135, 10/185, 10/195, 10/195

GHR: 10/bw, 10/25lb DB, 10/25lb DB, 10/25lb DB,

Back Raises: 25, 25

Well to say I'm happy to get this in is an understatement. Deads went really well, these are getting fast and feeling great, and my neck wasn't too bad.

The snatch grip pulls, I used straps and these were a struggle only from the pain it induced... but I got through these better this week than the last time doing these from higher too so win

The SSB squats continue to improve... my neck forced my to have to keep my head down to reduce the pain, which forced me to really concentrate, so I really felt like I worked my butt off here

The ghetto GHR's are awesome... hamstrings here I come

Also went to the chiro this morning and he adjusted my neck and back and it was literally like having an orgasm... feel amazing now, though tightening up tonight a bit... scheduled a massage for tomorrow, so nothing is stopping me from succeeding here

About to head out for bench night tonight and crush it!!!!!!!

09-20-2012, 09:38 AM
Last night's midnight session:

2 board press: 5/135, 5/155, 5/175, 3/205, 3/225, 3/245 2/275

close grip 3 board press: 15/155, 15/155, 15/155, 15/155

Lat pull downs: 3x15

Tricep Pressdowns: 4x15

DB Military Press: 10/45, 10/55, 6/60

Shrugs: 10/225, 10/185, 10/185, 10/185


An interesting day... the 2 board were fun... everything felt great until the last max set... I unrack the 275 was like down touch press, pushed it up and was like wow I can do this and promptly stalled near the top, and the 2nd rep was dirty... I also went full reh-tard here as I calculated the overload to be bigger than my bench rather than looking at the overload coming through reps MUST READ EVERY WORD TWICE IN PROGRAM - note to self

I made up a bit for it on close grip 3 board as these reps were fast and really snapping the weight at the top, lighting my triceps on fire

After that, pulldowns and pushdowns were focused and my lats and tri's were totally lit up also... going to DBmilitary post pushdowns sux huge!!!!! but they went well... I cut the final set short as I felt my neck on the verge of popping so cut it short but still very happy.. Shrugs were the same, the first set with 225 were a good squeeze but my neck just wasn't happy, but dropping the weight I still got a great squeeze yet didn't pay the price of pain...

Consequently, this morning i feel better around my neck and back yet know I put in work...

Time to go see the massage therapist and then get ready for Skwaats!!!!!!!!!

09-22-2012, 08:16 AM
These late night sessions are becoming common place... tried a new gym in north shwigity... it was interesting to say the least:

Speed Squats - 5x2/275, 2/285

Safety Squat machine - 5/225, 5/225, 5/275, 5/275, 5/315

Leg Press: 15/4 plates per side, 15/4 plates per side, 15/5 plates per side, 15/5 plates per side

Ghetto Reverse Hyper: 3x12

Kettlebell swing: 15/35, 15/35, 20/35

Well another interesting session... my neck and upper back are still jacked, and it made squatting tough and I couldn't drive my head up as it kept tweaking my neck... I was able to stave off too much pain and the up side was that we had a quick pace for the speed squats, I was getting great depth, but was irregular in my explosion up, though the last couple sets were my best

Then instead of olympic squats we used the safety squat machine - this totally saved my neck and was a biatch... all the reps were paused in the hole and deep as hell and this was extremely tough

Leg Press was also lots of work after all this squatting, but even though I leg press more than I squat, I still put in work.

The reverse hypers are fun and getting easier so I think a band will need to be added now as my low back is making leaps and bounds in strength... the kettlebell swings were tough also on my neck and one hell of a finisher

But I survived to tell this tale and feel alright today... the best part of the training session was this dude there with his girlfriend training arms, actually biceps... that's it... at one point he hit a double bicep in the mirror and his girl gushed about how big his arms were and how huge his chest is... we began laughing and squatting became that much more satisfying for some reason

09-29-2012, 08:31 PM
Catching up tonight for the past week of training...

Speed Deads - 8 singles with 245 against a purple band

Block snatch grip pulls - 20/195

SSB Squat - 6/225, 6/245, 6/245, 6/275, 6/275

Barbell Shrugs - 3/15 with 185

Back raises - 37, 13, 10

Lat Pulldowns - 4/15

Well after giving my neck a break going into the Monday session, things went pretty good... I don't have a band set up at my work gym to I placed my purple band over the bar and stood on it so that the bands pulled the bar on the outside of my conventional stance... I basically did each single, rested for 30 seconds and banged them out... they were all feeling great and both speed and power felt on point

The snatch grip were done without straps this week and went well, though they did make my neck a bit angry

The ghetto SSB squats I think were some of my best squatting ever... I was hitting low, finally keeping my back straight and not hitching up my hips first, and really feel like I'm getting squatting down after all these years...

Shrugs I and pulldowns were done for squeeze and my neck hated me throughly... even the back raises made me feel like my head would pop off... but I survived and made good progress again...

09-29-2012, 08:37 PM
Wednesdays go around:

Bench - 3/205, 3/215, 3/225

Standing Military - 6/115

Band Pulldowns - purple band 4x15

Band pushdowns - 100reps

lateral raises - 100/10lb plates

Bench started out ok... worked up to working sets and all were strong with pauses... but my neck started to bug me and my shoulders were not happy either... I also think bringing in my grip may be the next need at this point... wide just doesn't seem to progress...

Military press was terrible, I warmed up and on my first work set at rep 6 I felt my neck pop followed by intense pain and spasms into the top of my head... took me about 20 mins to roll and stretch before I could relax and not want to cut my head off... So I gutted out the rest of the session to make up for the crappy pressing, but everything bugged me the rest of the go... but I did the work and survived

09-29-2012, 08:45 PM
Friday Squatting:

Squats - 1/345, 1/365, 1/375

Reverse band Squats - monster mini bands 2/415

Squats - 12/195, 12/195

Leg Press- 3/20 with 4 plates per side

Ghetto reverse hypers - 12/bw, 12/against monster mini bands, 12/against monster minis

Back Raises - 47, 13

A great squat day... stretching and warming up I was able to pop my back and release my neck a bit, and squats went very well... I was dropping below parallel with ease!!!!

The reverse bands were done by draping the bands over the top of our rack and sliding the bar through... the 415 was sunk deep and felt so good I did a double to prove to myself this squatting is for real now... The drop sets of 12 were no joke either but again deep squats with minimal rests...

Leg press made my want to puke, and my ghetto reverse hyper was equally fun lol

back raises have made mad gains for me too so overall success seems impossible to avoid here...

I'm extremely happy with how squatting is going... I finally feel like a legit squatter regarding depth, and feel like I can handle some serious weight... I was having trouble with 275 going back to April this year, and I sank triples to the ground as my WARMUP... this stuff is coming together very nicely!!!!

won't stop me

09-29-2012, 08:50 PM
I chose to avoid today again this week... my neck just isn't right... it seems that lower body work is tolerable, but pressing and upper body just pisses it off too much right now... while it's better than it has been, wednesday was the most painful I've been and while I was able to adjust it, it just isn't right.

so instead I'll wait so I can focus on making gains on my squat and dead... even my bench is benefiting from this training, but it continues to be my most bothersome exercise and most frustrating and this neck is just compounding things.

Regardless... I'm in love with the Cube thus far... I don't feel so beat up, but keep putting in tons of work and see the differences physically and mentally when I get my hands on the iron... don't want this to end...

10-02-2012, 12:07 PM
Last nights fun:

Deadlift from 2" blocks - 10/135, 5/185, 3/225, 2/275, 1/315, 1/365, 1/405, 1/440, 1/475 ***

Sumo Deads - 8 sets of 2 with 315

DB Rows - 20/60, 20/60

Barbell Shrugs - 15/205, 15/205, 15/205

Lunges - 3 sets of 10 reps each leg/30lb db in each hand

Up down plank - 25, 15, 10, 5

Well I started out the day feeling run down from the flu, and not motivated, especially knowing that today I needed to make amends for my deadlifting of the past few weeks. My neck was feeling batter overall and the taking off of the weakness day seems to have paid off, and hopefully my next adjustment and massage of wednesday will really set me on the road to recovery.

That being said, I started pulling and felt absolutely incredible... as I worked up I just felt the grove and new when I pulled 405 like a speed pull that the next 2 lifts would define my training cycle... so I pulled the 440 like it was the 405 and knew that I needed to throw myself at this final attempt at over my max... 475 jumped off the blocks and at my knees i began to struggle but pulled balls out and had 2 hitches in the final 2 inches to lock out but got the lift... to say I'm ecstatic would be an understatement... and it gets better as my training partner reminded me that the bar we were using is 10lbs heavier than normal so in fact I pulled 485lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best deads of my life. Very happy. Now I also know that I need to work on lockout if I have any hope of getting that 500lb pull but its getting much closer every session

After that we chose to do sumos with 315, over the prescribed training % but necessary for progress... so we did them and were better for it.

The DB rows were conservative as I knew my neck was getting upset with the work so I got a good squeeze and know that I have more in me once I heal

Shrugs sucked... i was getting tired, but did the work to get yoked, and cursed Brandon's name throughout the final lunges and those blasted up/down planks...

A GREAT Session down and all systems point to actually earning a man card in the iron game

10-04-2012, 05:36 PM
Last nights go:

Speed floor press: 8 sets of 3 with 205

Incline DB Press: 20/60, 20/60

Band Pushdowns: purple band, 30,30,25,15

Standing DB military: 6/20, 6/30, 6/40, 6/45

Green band flies: 3 sets of 15


What a session. Floor pres went well... I actually got better as the sets went on finishing strongly. Very happy.

The incline DB were a bigger and I tweaked my neck on te final 5 reps of the second set but got thru.

After that was all gravy. The militarized were light To progress because my neck wasn't right but these reps still were no joke.

Another good day... Tomorrow we squat!!

10-05-2012, 08:30 PM
Tonight's awesomeness...

Squats - 6 sets of 2 with 285

Ghetto ssb squats - 3 sets of 10 with 205 and a 3 count pause in the hole

Lunges - 3 sets of 15 strides with 30lb DBS

Squats - 45/150

Another man maker day!!! Started off with the regular squats and we made sure to drop these deep and they felt great. amazing that again earlier in te year 275 was a max with a high squat

Then the pause squats sucked huge. But I feel better in the hole in general and these are difference makers - it was good too as my partner did the 3 count and up command and kept track of reps so this was crazy deep work

Lunges were disgusting even with the 30lb DBS lol

Now the 45 reps with the 150 was the icing. Without a doubt by finishing our session with these and never rackin the bar till we were done, our man cards are soon to be signed and we are almost north of vag.

I felt like throwing up Half way into the session and well into 3 hours post. I choked down my post shake and prayed for calmness

Finally I'm squatting we'll and loving it. These training has been a great decision.

One of the best thing has been that into week 6 we aren't feeling best up and are excite for each week.

Neck stayed goo too today. So tomorow we slingshot our triceps!!!!!!!

10-14-2012, 11:34 AM
Some catching up from last saturday:

Kettlebell Standing Single arm military press: 15/16 kg, 12/26kg, 30/16kg

3 board press with slingshot - worked up to 10/275, 8/300, 6/300

Bench with slingshot - 15/225, 10/275



DB Curls

Pretty fun day here... the kettle bell military is a great change for me... my neck is much better with all the chiro and massage and this exercise was way harder than I ever thought

The slingshot is a ton of fun... the benefits from the work here was way overloaded lockout work that forced me to stay in my grove, so helped my form and was tough as balls at the top lockout... we will see what benefit carries over

Chins continue to get better, and I did my dips with the slingshot also which really help me rep out some work without elbow or shoulder pain.

Triceps were cooked after the work today

10-14-2012, 11:40 AM
Tuesday's post Canadian thanksgiving fun...

Deads: 325 for 5 sets of 2

Block pulls - 20/255

Ghetto SSB Squats - 12/205, 12/225, 12/225

Lunges - 10/30, 10/35, 10/40, 10/50

Back Raises - 30

Well lots of work done here... a session that was way harder than it appeared on paper... whats fun is the pulls are way better than they've been and I'm in awe that i'm using 300lbs plus for work now

The block pulls I used straps and a really wide snatch grip... these were killer

Following the pulling with the ghetto SSB squats was horrible... not outstanding weight but they were deep and it wasn't fun

Lunges had me worried for my neck but by the end the 50lb set was horrible, and I wanted to throw-up lol

On the upside, the back raises were done in one set and I had more in me

10-14-2012, 11:46 AM
Thursday work:

1 board press: 5/185, 5/205, 3/225, 2/245, 1/255, 1/265**

Close Grip: 3/205, 3/205, 3/205

Lat Pulldowns 3/15

Tri pushdowns 4/15

DB Military Press - 10/30, 10/40, 10/50

Shrugs - 15/185, 15/205, 15/205, 15/205

Well I continue to suck at the bench... the only good there here is again, I used a bar that was actually 55lbs and not 45lbs so my numbers are 10 pounds out... which is great... but my 265 attempt I stalled in the mid off the board, but locked it out... my partner said he didn't do anything but put fingers on the bar... so the rep doesn't count... when I get to max bench attempts I just can't seem to dial it in... I need help but not sure with what

Closegrip were done with a pause as were the pulldwons and the pushdowns...

military press went well, again my neck is back on the mend, and shrugs were teasing my neck but i made good on good reps with squeeze

10-14-2012, 11:54 AM
Saturday work:

Speed Squats - 8 sets of 2 with 265, 1/295

SQuats with pause in hole - 5/185, 5/205, 5/235, 5/236, 5/235

Leg Press - 4 sets of 20 reps with 3 plates per side

Ghetto Rev Hyper - 3 sets of 12

Still leg DB - 15/50, 15/50, 15/50

This was a great follow up to bench day... squats are really coming along... once I warmed up to my speed weight, it was a great session... I was deep and jumping out of the hole better thank I ever have... even the 295 was amazing... and again what is incredible is back in May, 2012 I struggle to do a good squat with 275... paying off

the pause squats sucked huge after speed work but again I did them with an audible 1 count by myself before standing up.

After that it was all gravy... leg press was hard, and the stiff leg DB work was a terrible good way to end the day

***NOTE: as i didn't have a weakness day, every session I added extra work... so dead day I did some bicep work, bench day I added some hammer press sets, and on squat day I added some shoulder, bicep and tricep work***

10-20-2012, 06:10 AM
Tuesday's session:

Deads: warmed up to 6 singles with 395

Block pull: 5/375

Pause Deads: 6/185, 6/185, 6/185

Shrugs: 20/205, 20/205

Lat Widegrip pulldowns: 4x15

Well Tuesday was a great session. After warming up on deads, I started hitting singles with 395... the first 3-4 reps felt really strong, and really the last 4-6 reps were strong but didn't feel as explosive at the top... tougher work executing that it looked on paper

The block pulls were hard to, mostly because I didn't rest much on the deads so this was harder than it would have normally been, but done none the less.

The rest of the work went well, focusing on getting a great squeeze with each set

10-20-2012, 06:14 AM
Thursday's go:

Bench: 3 sets of 2/245

Military press: 12/95, 12/115, 12/115, 12/115

Close grip cable pulldowns: 4x20

Cable pushdowns: 60, 40 reps

I continue to suck at benching... today was horrible... each max set, I hit a strong first rep and then the 2nd rep was terrible, out of my groove and slow... I continue to struggle with this freakin' movement...

Military press went very well for the simple reason that my neck didn't bug me at all, and the reps were all strict and painless... nice to get these going again

The pulldowns and pushdowns were just controlled chaos... lit up and progressing...

10-20-2012, 06:22 AM
Friday fun:

Max Squat: warmups, 1/315, 1/365, 1/405, 1/425, 1/425, 0/425, 1/410

Well damn you squat... warm ups went really well... hitting deep paused reps even with the 315, sitting in the hole, but I knew trouble was upon me when I hit 405 and my partner said it was a bit high... what ensued was this: my first 425 was about 1 1/2 inches high and wobbly, form being the problem not the weight... 2nd rep was strong again but same thing high by about 1 1/2 inches... so I took it a 3rd time and sunk the rep came up and lost it, dumping the weight... complete and utter bullS$#% on my part... the weight feels fine on my back, but I'm just a mental loser in the hole with this for some reason... but the day wasn't a loss, I sunk 410 for a new, legit PR that was still harder than it should have been... still have lots of work to do

After I took a bit of a break and did some bicep work as well as some flies and back work to flush everything for my weakness day... taking the weekend off from training and resting up so that I can murder these final 2 weeks

10-22-2012, 09:24 PM
Tonight's fun -

Deads standing on a 45lb plate - 1/325, 1/345, 1/365, 1/385, 1/415, 1/445

Sumos - 5 singles with 335

Shrugs - 3 sets of 15

Lunges - 15/40, 10/50, 10/60

Up down planks - 19, 11, 10, 10

Well what a night... Pulling from the deficit was mug harder than I remember and clearly shows where I'm weaker - it was hard getting down and starting the pull, but overall went very well... I ended up 20 lbs of my best pull from the ground, so I think that this is going to be the difference right now

Sumos were interesting - by prescribed number I should have use 375 for my sets - I couldn't budge the weight, so dropped to 335 and this was still harder than it should be, so not sure what this means...

After that everything was controlled work that is a step closer to helping me crush some goals.

Good times!

10-28-2012, 07:56 AM
This was Wednesday's work:

Floor Press - 5 sets of 5 with 185lbs

Incline Dumbbells - 15/55, 15/60, 14/60

Cable Pushdowns - 70/50, 30/50

DB Military Press Standing - 10/40, 10/45, 10/50, 10/50

Band Fly - 3x15


As I suck at bench, today was a good day... the floor press should have been 190, but the 185 was to ensure I got my speed going, and I think it was smart as I was able to work my set up and really focus on pausing at the bottom and exploding up... went well, and set up seems to be coming together again

The rest of the work was ok... my incline DB's were awesome for me as I feel good... I didn't get the 15 on the last set, but still felt good.

Overall, it's coming together bit by bit

10-28-2012, 08:05 AM
Friday at midnight:

Squats - 2/305, 2/305, 2/305

Ghetto SSB wide stance pause squats - 10/205, 10/205, 10/205

Lunges - 50/15, 50/15, 50/15strides

Squat - 40/165

Well this looks so easy on paper lol, but it is a battle... my rep squats to start went well as I made sure to get deep and focus where I'm having trouble, so made them deep, and these felt strong... it's a great feeling to be working in the 300's with confidence now, and I know that I'm a better squatter over all because of this work

The ghetto ssb wide pause squats - well they are gross... a 3 second count in the hole means that by the end I'm light headed, breathing heavy and lit up... but these go a long way to blowing out of the bottom and really tax you mentally

Lunges are a terrible follow-up to all this, the 50lbs DB's felt like 100's but I really think these are helping tie my glutes and hams together for a stronger posterior

The finale for today was disgusting - I was already tired from a long couple of days... this work was no joke and now I had this 40 rep session... well I did it without racking the weight, and probably my most consistent deep squatting in this manner to date... I didn't puke, survived and here 2 days later have the sorest legs in the world haha.

Onwards to weakness day today and then week 10!!!!

Ryan Pelletier
10-29-2012, 08:24 PM
Good progress so far! I was looking back in your log and on some of the speed days you do a 3x3 workout and others you do the traditional 8x3 is there a reason for this? also on your rep days you do 6 sets of 2 is there a reason for this?

11-04-2012, 11:07 AM
Hey Ryan! Thanks for checking out the log!

Here's my thoughts on your questions:

Speed work - the variance is based on the weights and percentages used (which I didn't include as the program isn't supposed to be completely out there at this point) So the idea is to keep the Speed work fast and also the sets seem to get lower as the weight goes up so you can really push the speed component without turning it into a volume/rep day

Rep work - the idea here is to get reps in to keep volume up to build size, endurance and strength... the rep days are tougher than they look...

I also think overall that the volume increases in waves as this really helps you get more confident under weight.

Hope that makes sense!

11-04-2012, 11:38 AM
So last Weekend I did my weakness day.

This was a fun day of learning that neglecting this day took a toll on my shoulder press strength which likely has a big impact on my disgusting inability to bench.

But it also yielded a very good result - based on a suggestion from Corey Hayes who keeps a log here and hails from Berea Barbell... I did squats with a dip belt standing on benches and getting in a Brandon Lilly hybrid sumo stance dropped deep in the hole for this exercise... my hips paid a price for it and I love it... this is a mandatory exercise from here on out as it will make me better and my hips stronger

Otherwise, I hammered my shoulders, did these dip belt squats on blocks and then did bicep work.

pretty fun and necessary work going forward.

11-04-2012, 12:13 PM
So after 9 weeks, the final word from Brandon was to cruise through the week and hit a mock meet to see what PR's I could hit and see what I was capable of.

I instead I chose not to do this and started back at week 1 and will explain why in a moment.

This training has been probably some of the best training experiences of my life. Since being a young lifter doing 5x5 stuff and seeing huge gains, I went on to be a lost lifter trying to figure out what I had to do. I started Westside style training back in 2002 and was introduced to a training style that took my foundation to the next level of making gains. But it also proved my training idiocy as I couldn't follow putting together a program. Then for the past couple of years and most importantly these past 8 months pre-cube I used the 5/3/1 style to really make the biggest strength gains I thought I'd experienced. But this style also had me exposed by my inability to program the accessory work and the work also had me feeling beat up near the end of they cycle. 5/3/1 also had me feeling that I needed a combination of what Westside offered me with speed work but I had no idea what to do to make this work.

So when Brandon Lilly offered a chance to have programming done for a really affordable price - I jumped head first to have a chance to have my training done for me by someone who I had been stalking over the YouTubes for some time already lol.

So the Cube entered my training life and was amazing. First of all this training style introduced me to a more balanced training as far as being fresh mentally and physically each week, only having to worry about breaking a PR once a week and otherwise putting in work that required focus and personal intensity to move forward. The hidden gem of the Cube for me was that I mentally had to prepare each week to do things that were simply sent with matter of factness that you need to win to progress and that never was there doubt in Brandon's messages that we would do anything but succeed.

I really discovered that mentally I could be tougher, got tougher, and accomplished things. For me, my highlights were pulling 485 from a 4" block, 445 from a 1" defecit and using weights in the 300lb range like they were warm ups. Then squatting for reps that I thought would be impossible and then destroying them, finally doing a legit 405lb squat, hitting an all time best of 410lbs squat for real depth and beginning to believe in myself again. Bench was trouble for me in that I just plain suck, but I got better over all with my volume of work, my endurance and figuring out technical issues that will move me forward. Bench is also suffering because I neglected the weakness days.

Overall, I started back at week 1 because I know I left weight on the bar each week in my accessory work. I still made progress but as I look back, I know I could have done better. And now I need to make good on that and push forward again.

Some other hidden gems of this process - Brandon Lilly = his positive attitude and willingness to help can't be explained... I don't compete, do this for fun and have no access to special equipment... I'm training stupid in that I don't have a grasp of so much... yet he never made me think anything other than that I will succeed and could do it, and never made me feel like an idiot or unworthy of his time... those things are priceless and I'm truly thankful; Corey Hayes - his key contributions of suggestions during this process and encouragement were amazing, and like Brandon, he gave with no expectation of receiving anything in return - I thank you.

2 people that deserve special mention during this training are 1) My training partner "Money Maker Mike" - injured, tired, whatever he showed up every week and is a key factor in my success 2) Fellow Canuck, Mike B - met through being facebook Cube testing friends and his kind words each week along with seeing his hard work were invaluable contributions to this experience and I'm thankful for the new friendship.

I'm going to keep the log going, and stay on this path of training now for some time. I think I'm so close to my 500lbs deadlift that I can taste it. Also my 450 squat is also right around the corner and will be mine. Plus with some work I will finally be a 300lb bencher.

So thank you to all who have followed this log. I hope it helped you in some fashion. And stay tuned for more progress over the coming months!

11-04-2012, 12:19 PM
Tuesday's work:

Week 10 - Deads - reps

Deads from floor - 3 x 3/330

Deads from blocks - 2 x 3/345

Manta ray ghetto SSB squats - 8/185, 8/205, 8/225

ghetto GHR - 10/bw, 3 x 10/bw+monster mini bands

Back Raises - 38/bw, 12/bw

A good start to phase 2 - heavier reps work, better SSB squatting and stronger GHR and back raise work... winning

11-04-2012, 12:23 PM
Thursdays benching:

Floor Press: 10/135, 3/135, 3/155, 1/185, 1/205, 1/225, 1/245, 15/155, 15/155

Lat Pulldowns (widegrip): workup up to final set of 12/165

Band Push downs: 50, 30, 20

DB Shrugs: 15/60, 15/70, 15/85

DB Military: 12/40, 12/45, 12/50

Well floor press was a fail in that I didn't get better weights and something crunch in my shoulder, but I changed up my grip yet again and actually felt good, so we will see what happens... band pushdowns were with jumpstretch purple band and felt great... shrugs were awesome and military press yielded some shoulder pain but no neck pain!!!!

11-04-2012, 12:29 PM
Friday's fun:

Speed Squats - 3x3/245

Reverse Squats - 2/295 with monster mini bands

Squats- 5/245, 5/255, 5/255, 5/265, 4/265

Leg Press - 15/4 plates per side, 15/ 4 pps, 15/4pps, 15/4pps

Ghetto reverse hypers - 3x12/bw

Kettlebell Swings - 3x15/24kg

Again, weights are up, depths better and squatting is fun... leg press don't seem like much but when done controlled they are tough, and Kb swings to finish are no joke.

Also I knew I wouldn't get back in to the gym until Monday so I did extra work after a break of shoulder work, bicep and back work. Lots of volume and pump, felt good flushing out my upper body.

As I'm typing I feel pretty good too over all, so can't wait to keep going!

11-12-2012, 09:36 PM
What types of percentages did you use. I have basically the same maxes as you. Just curios of how you figured out the weight for the day.

12-11-2012, 06:40 PM