I know that you’re busy but I’ve had a problem lately and i hoped maybe you could help. I’m a college freshman, and I’ve been following the CFFB program for several months now and have seen some spectacular gains. However, I took two weeks off to move to college and get used to my new routine.  I expected some slower gains and maybe a loss on some of my weights, but when I went to the university recreational center and tried to continued my programming, I found that when I used to do 300 on my squat 3×5 I couldn’t even do 250 without a failure.  I’ve seen similar losses on most of my lifts, and I find myself burning out after just a couple rounds of the METCON.  I’ve checked the weights, and they’re not in kilograms.  I know that there’s probably not much that can be done but work my way back up, but any advice would be helpful.  I’ve lost over a month’s worth of progress.


Chris S


First, I never said this shit was easy.

It has been a few years since I have trained in a college rec center, and I can only imagine the nonsense that goes on. 30 guys all cultivating the Justin Bieber look while training their “core” because Usher recommended it in US Weekly, all while Katy Perry’s Firework plays on repeat. Sorority girls trying to burn off all those extra trips to the soft server machine in the dining hall. That alone is enough to crush your test levels and leave you watching your lifts plummet.

Second, get a set of headphones and an iPod. Load it up with a mix of West Coast Rap, Pantera and Slayer. I know you are young and have no idea what I am suggesting, but do a search. Look for N.W.A, Ice Cube, Too Short, Cypress Hill…if you find Vulgar Display of Power and Reign in Blood you are golden. Enter your fortress of solitude and do not allow the bubblegum bullshit being propagated by your peers to kill your training session. Remember increased anger results in higher test levels. 

*Anger and testosterone: Evidence that situationally induced anger relates to situationally induced testosterone by Peterson CK, Harmon-Jones E.

Third, find the coffee shop infested with hipsters riding fixes and grad students with messenger bags; it should be close to campus. Order a 4 shot Americano in a small cup and drink it as you walk into the gym.

Fourth, I want you drop your squat down to 230lbs for 3×5 and start working your way back up on the linear progression. To make the linear progression work we need 15 reps a movement. Sometimes, the toughest part of lifting weights is taking the ego out of it.

Fifth, I want you to ditch the metcon until you start making gains on the linear progression. If only after 3 weeks of gains, do I want you to add the metcons back into your training. Just get the work done, no time and no going for broke. I don’t want you to push the conditioning until you feel strong. You just got back to college, and your old routine of training, eating, and recovery, got traded in for class, studying and sleepless nights. That can be taxing your body and CNS.

Sixth, find time to nap. In between classes, and especially on Saturday and Sunday. When you are young a nap can cure almost anything.

And I will leave you with this quote from Dick Vermeil.

“If you don’t invest very much, then defeat doesn’t hurt very much and winning isn’t very exciting.”