Simen is a viking who trains at Crossfit Hunsfos in Vennesla, Norway. He started as a remote coaching client with the main goal of putting on some muscle, and getting strong enough to hit a 500kg total in the Deadlift + Back Squat + Bench Press.
The bulk of his training history had been Crossfit and he'd been attending group classes for a few years. He found that it didn't take long before he could do most of the skills (muscle-up, handstand pushups, etc.) but wasn't getting the meaningful strength gains he was after and had been plateau'd for two years. He tried to add more classes into his week but wasn't getting any stronger even after working up to 5 days a week.
Now you might start thinking, "Well the programming at his box is just shit." Well, the funny thing is, I write the programming for the box he goes to in Norway, so I can't even blame the programmer for his plateau. Although the majority of people get great results and can experience the level of fitness they are after following group-class programming, Simen wanted more. His goals were a bit steeper, and as Simen had found out, you simply cannot gain the kind of strength he was after while doing high-intensity work 5 days a week.
To get Simen on the path towards reaching his goals his training has changed a lot. His work was cut back to 4 days/week, we cut the high intensity, and the bulk of his training time is spent at the weight buffet. Making these changes, working some small muscles, and aligning his training with his goals led to this comment three weeks into our work together.
(Just to be clear, "This stuff" means the programming, not anything illegal.)
I will paraphrase the next bit because of some enthusiastic language, but Simen went on to say that he feels stronger than ever, can't stop eating, and his wife thinks he's on PED's (steroids).
Experiencing gains after being stuck in a plateau for a long time can provide quite a high. Simen was definitely riding such a high when he snuck in a max out which I did not program (bad Simen!). At this point it had been less than a month of programming so I was nowhere near wanting him to test again. Although I don't advise testing after only a few weeks of training or always focusing on the PR's, I couldn't blame him for getting excited and deciding to "send it".
When we went through Simen's initial assessment on September 25th, he hit a 1 rep max deadlift of 160kg. On October 10th I got this comment...
Auto correct got Simen here, but I agree this was a hell of an improvement considering that since testing we had only been doing hypertrophy work (not lifting heavy). This is a good example of the difference it makes when you are following a program that addresses your individual needs. #gains
Simen is currently just finishing up a long and nasty tempo-phase (check the video). I am really excited to see where he ends up when we finally re-test in mid February. That's right, about five months of training in between testing and "max-outs" (unless he cheats). There is no quick fix to serious strength gains and Simen is committed to the journey.
Grit Human Performance