Training Blog – Modified Barbell Medicine Strength Template – Week 1

For the next 12 weeks I will be documenting my training using a modified version of the Legacy 12 Week Strength Template from the good folks over at Barbell Medicine (BBM). I will be running the 12 Week Strength Template (12WST), which I have modified based on my own preferences and goals. I recently completed the Darkhorse Training Template, which I really enjoyed the giant set nature of the program, but missed the single rep training. I really wanted to do the 12WST with supersets, based on some movement pairing from the Darkhorse Template. Nothing groundbreaking, but a modification from the original form of the 12WST from BBM.

This will be the third time I’ve run the program, which I’ve seen very good outcomes in my one rep max strength in the past. Here will be the main modifications I’m making to the program:

  • Giant/Super sets throughout the days, in order to train more movements as well as include ab and upper back movements.
  • Due to time and scheduling constraints, workouts will be limited to 90 minutes max and only four days a week. I’m hoping the superset/giant sets will be able to make up for the lack of GPP days
  • Most of the heavy squat work will be done with the EliteFTS SS Yoke barbell, due to my shoulder issues
  • Slightly more of a focus on overhead pressing, as well as the inclusion of strongman movements.

Week 1

Day 1

I think pairing the RDLs with the squat, was a bit too fatiguing and won’t allow me to lift maximally for either the RDL or the squat.

I will be performing the main squat with the SS Yoke barbell for the entire training program, in an attempt to deal with the shoulder issues that have popped up the last time I have performed this program. I am attributing this to the low bar back squat position paired with the wide grip bench press, as when I went for a month with squatting with the SS Yoke bar & a close grip bench press, any shoulder issues disappeared.

Day 2

Due to equipment constraints, the bench press & deadlift are paired together in a superset, which isn’t ideal since they are both a primary movement in the program. However, I’ll accept the trade off, between slightly better conditioning outcomes and reduced workout times, for a few pounds that may be gained by performing them separately.

For most of the accessory deadlift and squat movements, I’ll be attempting to perform them without a lifting belt, to add some extra variety and reduce some stress from weight choice. The tempo squat is definitely harder the day after heavy squats and right after deadlifts, but this is a good thing, as it reduces the amount of tonnage I’ll accrue over the week, which should help to manage stress.

Day 3

After today’s workout, it became apparent that this choice of movements placed too much stress on the shoulder joint. I think the overloading bench press movement, combined with the low bar back squat wasn’t optimal for my situation, so I’ll have to reassess movement selection for next week.

The addition of the beltless squat variation here is a great way for me to continue practicing the regular barbell back squat, without having to use maximal weights. This way I’m not too concerned about losing the technical execution of the lift, since I am not performing the regular barbell squat in my main movement.

Day 4

The block height was set so the barbell was at the bottom of the knee cap. I chose this height for no other reason than I haven’t tried block pulls from such an elevation – I usually only add 2-4″ blocks. So I’m curious how this will help my deadlift from the floor, since I am able to play around with my one rep max weight for several short reps.


The first week saw some superset movemnts that didn’t work well for the day. But I think this week, I was able to get them better paired and more suitable for the type of training that will be progression through the next 12 weeks.

One of my programming focuses, this time around will be to pay more attention to the one rep percentages for the weights being used and match those with the RPE rating, in an attempt to drive up more progress. Last time I ran the program, I feel as though I paid zero attention to percentages, and solely based training on RPE, which may have meant I left some weight in the tank during days when I just didn’t feel like it, but probably could have actually lifted the weight.

About Barbell Medicine

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