Next Strength Phase Explained – June 2023

By Coach Shawn

Last phase recap: 

We just ended our 6/12/25 method muscle building phase of training.

And to say that it was successful, is an understatement.

Muscles challenged and further built.

Tempo, tempo, tempo!

Higher volume, less weight!

Joanie even said this is the most she sweats from! 

Now, we set our sites into the next phase of training.

What’s ahead? 

As we alternate between strength building and muscle building phases every 3-4 weeks the 6/12/25 or any “muscle building” phase is a great foundation for the following strength focused phase. 

Weaker areas are now stronger, muscles have become stronger.

The next phase of training is going to be focused on building strength.

Overall volume goes down as loads will go up.

The intent is, we are going to focus around four compound lifts; 

the back squat, the shoulder press, the Deadlift and the bench press to elicit the most head to toe strength.


We will strength train 3 days out of the week.

And have conditioning, skill, accessory and or partner style fitness workouts on the other 3 days of training.

The days we train strength will have an upper body and lower body strength portion in the same day.

Classic Railroad style though we will not just be performing those lifts alone.

We will be performing giant sets.

Meaning, we will perform anywhere from 3 to 5 movements back to back to back with a specific intent in focus of each movement.


A loose overview of the template structure:

3 sets – perform a set every 5 min

A1. Main mover 

A2. Accessory opposing main mover 

A3. Accessory to compliment opposite strength movement 

A4. Flexibility targeted to improve muscles in opposite strength movement 

Example of a round; 

3 sets – perform a set every 5 min

5 Shoulder Press (65% – set 1) 

8-10 Banded Strict Chin Ups 

8-10 Bulgarian Split Lunge/side 

:45 sec Hip Flexor Stretch / side 

On week 1 & 3 we will squat and press twice and deadlift and bench once in that week.

In week 2 we will deadlift and bench press twice and squat and press once that week. 

How to Progress: By “Percentages” or “By Feel”

Climb by percentage based jumps.

Example of Week 1 percentage:

If you know your 1RM you can climb by specific percentages 

Set 1: 5 reps x65% of 1RM

Set 2: 5 reps x75% of 1RM

*Set 3: Max reps x85% of 1RM (goal = minimum 5 reps)

(Need Help? 

Open Sugarwod, profile, barbell PR’s, click lift (Ie: back squat) it will give you your 1RM and your lift history.) 

If you do not know your 1RM you can climb by “feel” week 1 to establish some loads.

Climb by feel method: 


Set 1: 5 reps moderate weight, rate of perceived exertion 5/10

Set 2 (add weight) 5 reps moderate heavy weight, rate of perceived exertion 6-7 out of 10

Set 3 (add weight) 5 reps moderate heavy weight, rate of perceived exertion 8 out of 10


As always, it’s going to be important to track and log your results into a SugarWOD so you can better know how to progress week to week. As well as see your progress week to week. So in your notes, it would be important to log how many reps you got at the max set.


In a perfect world, the stars align, everything feels good, life isn’t stressful, we eat consistently and well, are recovering great and we can go to the gym 3 to 5 times a week uninterrupted.

However, there may be times across this next phase or phases down the line, where we need to adapt, adjust our expectations for the day or of ourselves based on a few factors.

In any phase, where we are directly strength training (like the upcoming) the weights will be heavier. 

That’s the demand on the central nervous system will be higher.

So here’s a mentality that I recommend you continually check in on.


Based on how I feel, the previous few days of my life, is today a gain or a maintain day?

Gain would mean I feel good, I’m going to push, go for the intended stimulus and challenge myself and my potential.

Maintaining could simply mean showing up, lift lighter loads, or less reps, creating less stress etc.

Things to consider affecting performance:

Nutrition quality and quantity 


Sleep amount and quality 


Stress levels 


Nagging body part 



Zooming out, this is one phase of many across your lifetime.

So if it’s a maintain day – don’t sweat it or feel like you’re backsliding.

Science points to – it takes 3 weeks of no strength training to begin to tip backwards in your gains. 

So my  friends – get excited – get ready – be consistent the strength gain is nearing the station and it’s all aboard! 

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