This book was born out of frustration with my training.
I have reached a crossroads where I wasn’t entirely happy with my current program and results. My body was rejecting the continuous heavy training and it was time for a change.
After playing rugby for many years, doing strongman and highland games; it was time to readjust my “go heavy or go home” attitude and figure out a better way for me.
Years ago, at World Gym in NY, there was a guy who had an impressive physique and above average strength. He shared his training journal with me and it detailed one week of heavy work and one week of light, rep work.
At 44 years old he was built like he was in his 20’s.
As I pondered my training I remembered his journal. He was meticulous with sets, reps and weights and documented everything. He benched, squatted, deadlifted, pressed and did bodybuilding movements. He was in shape, he had good size and great symmetry. He was a business owner and didn’t have time to screw around in the gym, he came in and went to work.
I then developed my version of that which cycled the main lift through heavy days (ME), moderate days (@75-80% with volume) and light days (reps of 10-12) and the results for myself were phenomenal.
I took principles of both powerlifting and bodybuilding and added my twist to it.
This isn’t a program that gives you the easy way out; you will lift, you will lift 4 days a week, you will hit bodyparts more than once a week, you will grow, your physique will transform and you will get stronger.
This is not a bodypart split routine, this is a lifting routine set up in way to give you the best of both worlds from powerlifting and bodybuilding.
It is not set up on rep maxes or percentages, it is set up on how you feel on the day you lift. Some days you can push a heavier weight for reps, some days you have to dial it back and go a little lighter. You will still get your work in without having to be ironed in to a particular weight.
Training by feel is one of the most underrated ways to train out there. We all know there are days when 90% of your 1RM will feel like 110% and other days it will feel like 75%. Life happens. This system allows for those deviations by the way it is set up so on those days where you can push the weight, feel free to as long as it lies within the set rep ranges for that particular day.
Read what others have said about this program:
Derek Freiberg of CrossFit Construct uses this program for his strength classes.
I have to start out by saying that this program is NOT for the novice or recreational lifter. It is for those individuals who are serious about gaining lean muscle mass, and getting stronger over prolonged periods of time.
We have been implementing Jay’s strength template for months now and the results have been great. Most of our lifters don’t train for a season, upcoming meet or competition. They don’t train for the Olympics and they don’t have a shoe or supplement company sponsoring their training. What they do train for is better body composition and strength. Jay’s program provides both, without placing one above the other. My clients over the last 4 months have exhibited great strength gains in all their main lifts, plus also drastic changes in body composition. If your goals are a stronger and healthier body, while also gaining a better body composition, then this strength system and program is definitely for you. It is very easy to follow and implement with your clients, but when done to the letter it is very challenging and rewarding.
Joe Gregory of Miami
I first met Jay Ashman six or seven years ago. He was a guy I worked with as an electrician and really other than that had nothing in common with.
I will admit he had a commanding presence and was all around a nice guy so we got along. I thought he was a little crazy the way he ate meatloaf at 7AM and was always talking about carrying boulders or pushing trucks for fun.
Fast forward a few years, at 30 and pretty much the same percentage of body fat, I made the decision to make a change. It was hard, when I first got under the bar less than three years ago I was benching 95lbs. Pretty much embarrassing, but this isn’t about my journey into fitness. Well, I guess it is but really what I’m writing this for is to talk about Jay’s program.
After two years of a lot of hard work and discipline, I got to single digit body fat and was at least wasn’t embarrassed about the weight I threw around in the gym.
But it was time to get stronger. I didn’t want to just look good, I wanted to be strong. One guy came to mind, Jay Ashman.
Jay was looking for guys to test his program and I thought I was ready. I was wrong. I read the e-book and realized how much of a novice I still was, but I really wanted to get stronger. I wanted to bench 225, and deadlift 405, peanuts for most guys reading this, but those were my goals.
I humbled myself, told Jay I had no clue how to go about the programming and asked him to help.
I now had an online strength coach, something that almost sounds like it shouldn’t exist. But it does and I had one so I was going to use him.
When I looked at the first week of programming I didn’t think it was right, it made no sense to me and how I’d been training but I made a commitment to myself and Jay and was gonna do this thing. I mean look at the guy, safe to say he knew more than I did about strength training.
So I did it. I actually loved it. I was spending less time in the gym, learning new things and … Getting stronger!!!
Jay was always there to answer my questions, whether it was on form or supplements. I gave him progress reports and he encouraged me… When I didn’t want to do conditioning, I pictured his big gorilla ass behind me, yelling. So I did the conditioning (ok 85% of it)
I look better, my back especially and gained muscle without an ounce of added fat and guess what? I got stronger.
Proof is in the numbers, so here they are..
I can’t tell you my previous squat PR, at the time I said 385, it wasn’t. It wasn’t a true squat, I would have liked to believe so but it was just a partial squat. I know that today I can truly squat 405, below parallel like you’re supposed to.
Jay Ashman taught me that.
My deadlift went from 385 to 425.
Now here’s the kicker… My previous 1RM on bench press was 205, I had this mental block when it came to 225. My goal was to bench press 225, not a lot to most but it was my goal. I hit that at week 4. By the end of eight weeks my 1rm was 245lbs. That’s 40lbs in 8 weeks.
That last paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about Jay and his Strength System.
Here’s a shocker… the infamous Drywall CrossFit:
“Your only contribution to the world of exercise is a blog that makes fun of @fit. Its not rocket science, so enjoy your 15 minutes.”
IronGarm Couch Thread, May 2011
It was during these moments that I realized Jay Ashman and I were destined to become best friends. Online.
My background with fitness is pretty typical. I never lifted growing up, but after college I got sick of being a skinny wuss. So I joined a gym and started bro-lifting (i.e. I had no idea what the hell I was doing.) Lots of bench, back, bi’s and tri’s; no structure, no plan, I just 3×8’d the hell out of everything I saw other dumbasses doing. For years. My upper-body got bette but still had that skinny wus lower half to go with it. I loved lifting, but I knew jack shit.
Then I found CrossFit, where I became more well-rounded with my lifts – squats, deadlifts, kipping, etc. Like riding a Vespa, that shit was fun as hell. I saw some gains initially, but after a while those gains slowed and I remembered that cardio sucks. Also, group exercise. lol. I’m anti-social and just wanted my me time in the gym back.
Time to focus on what I actually love doing: non-bitch strength work. Problem is, most strength templates are cookie-cutter and I wanted something I could personalize. But I know shot about strength programming. Well, Jay Ashman’s got some sweet traps, and clearly he loves me, so I’ll just see if that guy has any advice.
He sent me a rough draft. I helped edit. Dem grammar lulz. I fix that shit real nice. Then my traps tripled in size.
The Ashman Strength System is legit as hell. Shit’s totally customizable within the framework, so you can use your brain like an adult, do some research, and tweak things to address your own crappy weaknesses. None of that “do what every other ham and egger is doing” bullshit. And throw away your calculators you nerdy clowns. Just pick up some weight and listen to what your body is telling you. Then enjoy dem gainz…
tl;dr – Sick of being a weakling? Buy this book.
The Ashman Strength System book is 69 pages of information about this template, including tweaks for focusing on improving your squat, deadlift or bench press. It customizable to fit your specific needs as a lifter, as no “one size fits all” program is right for everyone.
No fluff, no fillers meant to increase the book size and no call to arms. This is lifting, you will have good and bad days (as we all do) but the journey to get to your goals is worth the daily grind to get there.
I won’t promise you 20 pounds of lean mass in 8 weeks, nobody can. There isn’t a single person who can guarantee that.
I won’t tell you this program is easy, its not.
I won’t tell you anything but that it works wonders for me; testers and clients love it and, as evident by the above testimonials, an entire gym uses it for their strength class with great results.
If you put the work in, and believe in this program, I can tell you that you will see results, you will increase your strength, you will look better, you will gain symmetry, you will gain lean mass and you will feel more confident in yourself.
This is for sale for $20. Its a small price to pay for a program that you can use for years, tweak it for strongman, powerlifting and adjust it to fit your needs as they arise.
Thank you for your purchase, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me using the contact page.
Enjoy the Ashman Strength System book.
© 2019 kc barbell | site by katie harrington design | photos by Adri guyer