Weight Lost: 4 pounds
Workouts Logged: 14

For the first month of training, it’s all about laying the foundation. This phase started on February 28, so it put me exactly four months away from my first checkpoint. The goal here is to develop a consistent routine and get the body prepared for the harder training down the road.

To give you a little background, the HSS-100 program is broken up into four blocks, which are Accumulation, Intensification, High Volume and Max Strength. Each block, or phase, is four weeks long. In between the Accumulation and Intensification phase I’m adding a Chest Specialization phase, which I’ll talk about more next month. Each phase builds off of each other.

The HSS stands for Heavy Exercise, Superset (two exercises put together), a Special exercise and a 100-rep exercise. The superset consists of an isolation exercise and compound exercise and can come either before or after the heavy exercise, depending on the phase.

I’m starting off in the Accumulation Phase. The purpose of this phase is hypertrophy and to prep the tendons. The superset comes before the heavy exercise and the heavy exercise is four-to-five sets of six-to-eight reps. The way I structured my training is a bit different than how I would normally do it. I usually follow more of an upper/lower split, but here I set it up: Back Focus, Chest Focus Day, Lower Body and Arms. There won’t be much cardio here.

This is about doing what works for me. I’m doing a body-part split because it just works for me at the moment with everything going on at work. I’m trying to establish a consistent routine and this gives me more time to recover. By the end of the week, I’m pretty tired and it’s easy to get up for an arm workout than another lower body day or full upper body day. I’m not saying this way is right or wrong, but this is what works for me.

Completing each workout is a victory for the day and I’m all about stacking wins, especially early. It builds confidence and momentum. I make it too hard or focus on “being right”, the plan will fail and I don’t have the time for any set backs.


When I weighed myself on February 28, I was 201.6 pounds. I finished the phase on March 23 and weighed 197.6, so I lost four pounds in the first month. My weight fluctuated from 197-to-203 pounds. Of course, I would have liked to have lost more, but the diet wasn’t 100% dialed in. The main goal of this phase was to complete every workout and get that momentum.

The Back Focus and Lower Body workout took place at the gym and I did the Chest Focus and Arm workout at my home gym. Most of these workouts took place late at night. Fatigue was an issue early on, especially with the back and leg workouts. The muscles just started to give out, especially on my fourth set of chin-ups. That started to go away by Week 3 and that’s when I started feeling better about myself.

Doing the superset before the main lift was both a blessing and a curse. It did take away from my main lift because I was pretty fatigued. However, it was a mental boost knowing that I was almost done with my session after the main lift, as opposed to having the whole rest of the workout to go. This is especially important after deadlifting for sets of eight. I also liked that I felt more warmed up heading into my heavy lift. 315 felt like hell on my first week of deadlifts, but I felt good moving 350 for eight reps in Week 4. I felt myself getting stronger and my body was adapting. For the bench press, 170 for eight was tough in Week 1, but 185 for eight reps in Week 4 on my fifth set felt very good. I felt that I could have done more.

A key consideration for the deadlift is I use the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar 2.0. This isn’t the regular trap bar you see at the gym. It weighs 60 pounds and has thick handles. You have to grip it the right away because it is unforgiving. Last year, I was deadlifting off of two mats because it’s low to the ground. This year I’m trying it with only one mat, so the numbers will be lower than I’m used to.

Back Focus
A1-Machine High Row 3×10-12
A2-One-Arm DB Row 3×8-10
B1-Neutral Grip Chinups 4×6-8
C1-Chest Supported T-Bar Rows 3-4×10-12
D1-Dips 3×12-15
D2-Pec Deck (5 second eccentric) 3×10
E1-Incline Bench Press Machine – 1 1/2 rep 3×8
F1-Machine Reverse Flies 100 reps

Chest Focus
A1-Decline Bench Power Flies 3×10-12
A2-BB Decline Bench Press – 1 1/2 rep 3×8-10
B1-Wide Grip BB Bench Press 4×6-8
B2-Incline Bench Shoulder Cleans 4×15-20
C1-Sliders Negative Fly to Pushup 3xFailure
D1-Multi-Grip Bar Bench Press 100 reps

Lower Body
A1-Snatch Grip RDLs 3×8-10
A2-Hamstring Curls 3×10-12
B1-Trap Bar Deadlift 4×6-8
C1-Pendulum Squat 3×8-10
C2-Leg Extension 3×10-12
D1-Leg Press 100 reps

A1-Tate Press 3×10-12
A2-BB California Press 3×8-10
B1-Spider Curls 3×10-12
B2-Multi-Grip Bar Hammer Curls 3×8-10
C1-Multi-Grip Bar Close Grip Bench Press 4×6-8
C2-EZ Bar Curls 3×10-12