The Greyskull LP

Johnny Sheaffer AKA Johnny Pain from Strength Villain is a good coach and programmer. In order to be good at those things, you need to be an innovator, and JP fits the bill. He has created a modified and effective linear progression known as The Greyskull LP, and just released an e-book with the same name.

The Greyskull LP isn’t just a reiteration of a program outline. Instead, it’s a 56 page synthesis of material that JP has talked about for years. For those of you who are uneducated, the Greyskull LP is a linear progression that differs from other LPs; it reduces the squatting frequency (a significant change in itself), changes exercise order, and adds in various twists like going for max reps on the last set of each exercise. JP explains all of this in detail, but more importantly he explains why these alternative techniques work. I’ll also point out that they don’t merely work, they work better.

After establishing the reasoning for the program’s outline, he spends 30 pages discussing variations, “plug-ins” (or subtle changes that push the trainee towards particular goals). He discusses ways to improve pull-ups and push-ups via the frequency and ladder methods. He discusses that trainees can in fact get big and strong, yet do so with athletic body fat and conditioning levels by using short, intense conditioning workouts. He discusses the effective, yet boring (his words, but I agree) aspects of low-intensity conditioning. JP contributes effective methods of accomplishing each individual goal.

A lifter at Greyskull

The “Putting it all together” section creates a focused synthesis of his material and programming for different LP goals such as mass/hyper/swollertrophy, fat loss (including female fat loss), and the ever popular “linebacker” focused Greyskull LP that gets guys bigger, stronger, and athletic.

It’s rare that I wholeheartedly endorse someone in their coaching and programming, but JP doesn’t merely apply programming templates; he thinks through and around situations and always comes up with something better and more efficient. It’s almost as if his tattoos augment his brain power. The Greyskull LP is simple to read and contains more information than what is merely contained in the program itself. It explains a lot of side topics that are frequently asked about on 70’s Big and Strength Villain and gives reasoning for their utility (JP’s observation on body fat and his burpee challenge is probably worth the price alone for most of you). If you want to read a text that will help you get bigger, stronger, leaner, and more conditioned, check out The Greyskull LP by John Sheaffer AKA Johnny Pain.

PR Friday
Post all your personal records, meet results, or training vids to the comments. We’re out in San Antonio for USAPL Military Nationals. Will report back.

41 thoughts on “The Greyskull LP

  1. Split cleaned 275# for a double yesterday at a bodyweight of 220#. 20# over my old 1 rep max. I know it ain’t much but it’s a PR for me.

  2. Exciting PRs yesterday:

    Press 90 x 4
    Deadlift 250 x 1

    Which puts me well on the way to a 100 lb press/200 lb squat/300 lb deadlift.

    On a related note, this was a prescient post, as I have decided to switch from 5/3/1 to the Greyskull LP this weekend, at least partly because it allows me to squat more.

  3. PRs:
    Will complete 5th Week of TM tomorrow.
    Squat: 355×5 (will attempt 360×5 tomorrow)
    Clothing: had to get rid of another two pairs of pants due to leg growth. Worse things have happened.

    I’ll be attempting PRs on the other lifts starting next week and the week after. I’m goign to try out lifting in the wrestling singlet and socks tomorrow. I figure I should do this before trying to compete in it. I’ve got big plans to establish this year’s herb/vegetable garden this weekend (the balcony edition). Having good herbs is important to eating well. Final PR?: today is the first 3/18 in many years that I’ve not been hungover as shit. I finally learned that there’s no point in getting hammered just because it’s Saint Patricks day if you have to go to work the next day.

    Anyone ever read Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding? I was thinking of ordering it.

  4. Hit 380 for a squat single, feels great man. 4 hundo is close.

    Yesterday was my last day of heavy singles before my meet, doing a dress rehersal sunday in my barn, working up to final warm-up weights in squat and deadlift, no bench at home so I’ll have to improvise something. Like Maslow I figure I need to lift in my singlet, jock, high socks and the works before the day of the meet. Then it’s light work next week and meet on saturday, can’t wait.

    clothing PR: 70s Big shirt finally showed up. Will be rocking that under my singlet next saturday for sure!

  5. @Maslow
    you can get Arnold’s Encyclopedia from Amazon for really cheap. It’s a good source to find variations of countless different lifts however I would never reccomend sitting down and reading it like a novel unless you have a ton of time on your hands

    PR: box squatted 365 (90lbs of which were chains) for a triple… this was only my second time box squatting so I think I should be well into the 400s in no time

  6. JP is the man. His approach is very simple, but he some how has a way to program for every different type of goal that isn’t simply ‘eat more and follow the program.’

  7. Going for my first big-boy squat again today: 315x3x5

    I missed it on Wednesday, and I’m not sure how clean my technique has been. I’ll be really depressed if I have to reset, as I’ve been making great and steady gains the last few weeks. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

    (I just hope the old guy at the gym doesn’t come up behind me and yell at me to “LOOK UP LOOK UP LOOK UP” again. Some people just don’t want to hear about efficient bar-paths and back angles.)

    Also going for 117 for the press and 295 for the deadlift (I screwed around with those lifts for too long, which is the reason it’s not up to par with my squat. Let that be a lesson to new people: you pay for idiocy in time and injury.

    BW: Up another couple pounds to 186, from 146 after about 4 months. Inching towards adulthood. Still need to eat more.

  8. Tested 1RM on wednesday, decided to celebrate with my first ever post.

    BS: 350
    BP: 265
    DL: 418
    total: 1033

    Did it more or less meet format, all within about an hour. Pretty surprised about how tired i was by the time i got to the deadlift. I know the weights arent a lot compared to a lot of guys on here, but theyre all PRs for me and i’m pretty pumped about the 1000 pound total. Coincidentally i’ve been following the greyskull lp for about the last 2.5 months and really liking it. hopefully more PRs soon.

  9. Totaled today:
    Squat 295 (Not a PR, PR is 315)
    Press 155
    Deadlift 365

    These felt pretty conservative, never really maxed before in the press or deadlift

  10. Now I need to decide what program route to go next. Texas Method or Greyskull LP. I was considering doing some of the greyskull conditioning this summer anyway, specifically some of the challenges on, so maybe I’ll just try out the LP for a bit and see where it takes me. Then switch to Texas afterward.

  11. Squat: 305×5

    After about 2.5 years of heavy distance running, I’m working on getting my squat back to a respectable number. Good progress so far, but still a ways to go.

  12. “For those of you who are uneducated, the Greyskull LP is a linear progression that differs from other LPs; it reduces the squatting frequency (a significant change in itself), changes exercise order, and adds in various twists like going for max reps on the last set of each exercise.”

    Sounds like 5/3/1…

  13. 5/3/1 isn’t linear progress.

    Anyhoo, I nailed 310×2 on my squat. Which kinda sucks, because I wanted 310×5. I mentally psyched myself out.

    I did get 130×5 on the OHP. Close to that first wheel.

    I got 210×2 on FS, totally psyched myself out of that too. Needed 3×3.

  14. New here but not new to lifting, been reading some of the posts and I think I finall found some like minded (wanting to be strong not skinny) people. Last week I hit pr’s on squats, bench and dead lifts:
    Bench: 325×5
    DL: 385×7
    Squat: 365×6

    BTW: 6’2″ 270lbs

  15. Made Squat PR twice this week
    Tuesday 290×5-5-8
    Friday 295×5-5-7

    GS LP is the shit, been following it and so glad I bought the e-book. I thought I knew all about it but learned a lot of great info and perspective from it.

  16. @Maslow I own Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding? It’s filled with sweaty men pictures somewhat like a muscle magazine. If you like to see lots of pictures of rippled men I suggest you buy it. I never learned much reading the text in it and I lent it to a neighbor who claimed he read the first 2/3s of it (400+ pages) and he never got very strong or big.

  17. No news to report. I have been derailed since February 9th. Getting back into (no pun intended.) Screw an MRI right? Everybodys got a bulging disc. I have to start doing soemthing differently however if I want to keep this lifting thing up for long.

  18. Justin,

    As someone that has been out of rugby for a year and is now trying to get stronger (smaller weakness, but a weakness) while also focusing on conditioning (my biggest weakness) which would you recommend? Greyskull LP or Crossfit Football?

    I need to work on both so I can’t just throw one to the wayside like some programs do. But these two appear to offer both.

    Thanks for the help.

  19. Overhead PR on Thursday:
    Rack jerk, 275×1
    Could’ve gotten 280-285 but didn’t have time.

    Back on linear progression, until shoulder PT is done and I can do the Oly lifts again.

  20. Weight PR: 225 lbs. Up from 210 a month ago when I realized I wasn’t eating enough. Now to start recomping…

    No big PRs since I pulled 500 a couple of weeks ago, squatted 350×3 beltless this evening.

    I’ve actually been having a lot of trouble trying to get used to using my belt again for squats. I just can’t seem to get any bounce at all (I feel like I’m shutting down around parallel) and I tend to drift forward when squatting belted. Been doing backoffs with my belt trying to sort it out. No idea, but I never had this problem back before I took a break from belted squatting (at least that I can remember). So for now I can squat heavier without it. Weird.

  21. Power Snatch: 70kgX3
    Power Clean: 105kgX3, 95kgX5
    Squat: 285X20

    Today I ate an entire large pizza and an entire rotisserie chicken, among other things. Maybe that’s not as much as it sounds like.

  22. switched to GSLP in January from SS. The GSLP unique features make a huge difference especially for 40+ lifters.

    I pieced together forum threads and now have the ebook. I highly recommend getting the book.

  23. Pingback: Links for March 24th -

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.