Hey John,

I have an opportunity to start going to a powerlifting gym.  I am really excited about having some formal instruction from experienced lifters to help further increase the gains I have already made with CFFB.  Do you have any recommendations on how to combine training somewhere else on someone else’s program with CFFB?  They squat Monday, bench Wednesday, deadlift Friday.  I’m sure that is not super-strict, but is theire scheduled training days. Should I just not do CFFB squats, bench, deadlifts, but just do everything else as RXed?  Or is there a better way to combine the training?

On a side note, I have been following CFFB for the past few months in preparation to start playing rugby in the spring, after taking 3 years off from the sport.  I was able to get in on the team’s last game of the fall season though, and I felt stronger and faster after following CFFB for only a few months than I ever have on the rugby field.  Also, in early September I PR’ed both squat and deadlift of CFFB Total, and just PR’ed my deadlift again last week (by 60lbs, 545).  I can’t wait to see what a dedicated off-season’s worth of training will provide me with when I step back on the field in the spring.  Thanks for all of the hard work on both CFFB and TTMJ, both invaluable resources in my training now.




Glad you are making big leaps in your lifts and level of conditioning. It will pay off come rugby season.

I have said time and time again…follow the program. It doesn’t necessarily have to be my program, but make sure you follow a program.

Don’t make up your secret squirrel special hybrid training program trying to take the best of everything and mix them in one; it rarely works out as expected.

If you are training with a group of powerlifters…train with the group of powerlifters.

If you want to train in the group and their program follows a Monday, Wednesday, Friday split, than train the major lifts on these days. However, make sure you are supplementing these main lifts with plenty of accessory work to keep your volume high. Powerlifting is built around being about to perform 3 main lifts for a single rep. Rugby is a game built around a series of 5-10 second max effort sprint/hits followed by 20-50 seconds of jogging to get into position to do it again, repeat for 80 minutes. With this in mind, I suggest you supplement the training with one day of hard conditioning with 2 days of sprinting.


For hard conditioning think Westside Barbell or CrossFit Football fieldwork days (Saturdays). Prowlers, sled drags, tires, sledgehammers, ball slams, farmer’s carry, etc…

For sprints think intensity and volume. On day one run 4-6 max efforts sprints with full recovery. On day two run 10-12 sprints with 2:1, rest to work. Remember to vary the lengths of the sprints from day-to-day.

If the lifters you are training with compete in gear, many times they survive on a steady diet of box squats. If you are thinking of competing raw or are only using the training to get stronger for rugby, you need to supplement your training with free squats. The box squat will put a ton of load on the posterior chain, at the expense of the antagonist muscles. The free squats will work to keep your quads strong.

And lastly, just in case you didn’t hear it the first time…follow the program.