Revisiting this…again

The internet is still a funny place. You never can be too careful with who you believe, especially if that person does not have an identity outside of their internet persona. Being an internet skeptic can probably be taken too far and is even analogous (arguably) to Robespierre in the French Revolution.

Robespierre called it like he saw it

Robespierre called it like he saw it

In any case, there is still some goofy talk around the net that include accusatory false statements or records pertaining to the improvement my friend Zach in his time at the WFAC. I am not involved in the discussion, but it does have something to do with me since I originally taught Zach the lifts, coach him on his form and program on a regular basis, and encourage him to continue growing. Basically what I am saying is that I don’t think contrary arguments are malicious, but I and we are not fucking around, and if someone with average genetics wants be a good deal stronger and bigger, this is what we do.

Here are some videos of Zach — he weighs himself, then he does his volume squat workout, which is 5×5 at 320. Every rep is to full depth, and the sets are not that hard; Rip’s main priority is keeping him out of his knees. Oh, and there are two videos in order to represent the two cameras used to show different angles, in case his depth was in question.

Zach 320# 5 x 5 (Camera #1) from stef bradford on Vimeo.

Zach 320# 5 x 5 (Camera #2) from stef bradford on Vimeo.

28 thoughts on “Revisiting this…again

  1. glad to see i””m not the only one who hawkishly watches this thing for the latest post…

    and justin, as someone who also writes content for a website, i gotta say i””m very impressed with your ability to deliver useful, unique, and thoughtful information day after day.

    Thanks. I will say that it is not easy, and kind of underestimated. However, I do think things will be picking up in the next few weeks.


  2. I”ve not seen any of the internet speculation about this but I follow the website and am fully aware that this progress is achievable. Mainly because My progress is similar. Mine is a little slower because of certain element such as getting proper amounts of sleep and eating less than I want to.

  3. The inter-web”s speculation about Zach”s progress is lame. Even if the progress is “above average”, it still seems typical relative to the fact that the progress doesn”t seem above standard deviation.

    Props to Zach, his trainers, the BBT system, and the consumption of milk before catching your breath.

  4. I””m really hoping one of them is that Rip quotation, something about the universe not caring about your strength to weight ratio.

    Or the one about not needing to see.

    Ha, I am not so egotistical that I will put quotes from my life on the t-shirt.


  5. Awesome Work Zach. All that matters is that this guy is happy with his results and working hard.

    It would be amazing to have Rip, or any good coach for that matter, watching during work sets. As someone who trains alone I know how it sucks to try to teach and cue yourself. Someday….

    We are offering “Training Camps” at the gym. You could have Josh Wells and me coach you directly in the WFAC. Posted about it yesterday, and will reveal some more stuff on it in the next few days.


  6. I think its a sure sign that and WFAC are doing something right. As long as the coach and the lifter know what they are doing is correct, then I think the only thing to do is laugh at false accusations.

  7. Who cares what the other people say? I don”t lift for anyone else. I do it because I enjoy it and want to push myself and that is exactly what Zach is doing. Keep up the good work fellas.

  8. “I can say factually that the claimed LBM gains are false. He might have gained more than six lbs but he didn”t gain 33 lbs. PERIOD.” I believe this is what they call “dogma.” And Lyle says arguing with “Rip”s followers” is like arguing w/religious fundamentalists….He was owned by Zach”s squat videos and it”s only a matter of time before he has his soul crushed by the fact that his estimates for maximal LBM gains are lolol ridiculous. I know it”s getting old b/c so many people have said it, but Lyle is delusional. It”s just such a terribly fitting word: delusional. I can”t wait to see his back-peddling on this one….

  9. The funny thing about all of this is that anyone who”s actually been around powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman, or old school strength/barbell training knows, without question, that this kind of progress is possible. It really shows someones lack of experience and knowledge of training when they flat out deny things like this. Especially when faced with insurmountable evidence. In other words, if all you know is “bodybuilding” and “bodybuilding” diets, you should STFU and maybe you”ll learn something.

  10. With Zach, I was never sure what all the fuss was about. It seemed like the same progress lots of people following Rip”s program have reported, especially skinny guys around 18 years old, near 6 feet tall, and weighting about 160 lbs.

    Myself, I was 22 years old, 6 feet tall, and 140 lbs when I started. I promptly gained 85 lbs (likely ~60% LBM), and took my squat from 145x5x3 to 295x5x3. I just ate like a maniac and trained hard. Unfortunately, I didn”t document it as well as Zach.

    I probably took longer than Zach and might have gained a little more fat than him, but I didn”t have Rip, Justin, and that whole gang watching over me.

    Not only is Zach”s progress possible, I feel it is expected for young, skinny guys who are willing to put the effort into eating and other training.

  11. Great job Zack!

    Also a very nice analogy to Robespierre! Hopefully these videos will quiet the internet skeptics, but I fear nothing will. Perhaps they should consider what happened to Robespierre and stop before they are sent to the guillotine…

  12. Oh, arguing on the internet being like the special Olympics…

    Zach has made awesome progress, but again, it”s something that”s reasonable for how hard he trained, how much he ate, and the fact he”s young and has testosterone flinging out of every pore. It would be interesting to take a 16 year old guy, a 26 year old guy, a 36 year old guy, and a 46 year old guy starting with similar weight and body fat % and put them on SS and GOMAD for six months. I wonder if there would be a lot of difference in their progress due to different testosterone levels.

    You guys should get a grant and try it out :)

  13. Sean – 29year old male

    Starting BW – 165lbs – Crossfit skinny

    Starting Squat – 1 rep – 255
    Starting Press 1 – Rep – 135
    Starting Deadlift 1- Rep – 305

    4months of Starting Strength & GOMAD

    BW 199lbs

    Squat – Work Sets – 325 – 1 Rep 375
    Press – Work Sets – 135 – 1 Rep 160
    Dead – Work Sets – 325 – 1 Rep 390

    This is not rocket science. This stuff works and works well if you stick to it. I did this with 3 other guys who have almost identical results. I am pumped by my results, and looking forward to the Starting Strength Seminar in May in NJ.

    My bodyfat is not out of control, and I am competing on a team at the Crossfit Regionals in May, so will shed some my excess bodyfat by then, and with ease.

    Zach”s story is not unbelievable if you”ve done the program, and Zach seems to be vigorously sticking to the program, and more props to him. Keep it up Zach!

    PS That dude Lyle that”s ripping Zach”s results seems cuckoo!

  14. the best part of all this was watching Zach get under the bar WITH STRAIGHT writs. Something that I have been unable to do until after watching him.

    I was blaming my long arms, but after watching him I realized I had no excuse and needed to get that shit fixed.

    So last night I did a ton of shoulder dislocations and shoved and shoved under the bar until I could get my arms up and inline with my wrist.

    AND! What do you know that nagging damn elbow pain is finally starting to fade.

    Why? Cause I fixed my fucked up grip.


  15. I formally request that discussing Lyle or his childish shit, or for that matter any of the hubbub, be made taboo on 70sBig.

    There are like 5 threads on and they are all wall to wall stupid Internet shit.

    I don”t read here to see comments on failed speed skaters come internet warriors. I come here for motivation to get big, and to see folks working their asses off and getting their goals.

    ZACH (note capitals) is succeeding in getting BIG. This makes me happy.

    Also: Its Friday in Dublin. I benched a modest 80Kg for 3×5. Thats a PR as is my 135kg Deadlift for a set of 5. Modest, but satisfying.

  16. Whats the point of gaining a lot of weight if your strength can”t keep up? 325 for weighing 240 isn”t that impressive when i was doing that while weighing 50 lbs less than this guy. Nothing against this guy personally, i”m just saying in general. I would rather be stronger pound for pound.