Programs That Work 3: The 2013 Make a Wish Manual



When I arrived at elitefts™ six months ago, I understood one of the most meaningful responsibilities bestowed upon me consisted of organizing two major projects to benefit the Make-a-Wish® Foundation. The first being the two annual Learn to Train Seminars, both of which have combined to grant seven wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. The second was to spearhead the third edition for the Programs that Work eBook. The 2011 and 2012 manuals would be a lot to live up to and we all had our work cut out for us.

Don’t underestimate a group of individuals working together for a common cause

The willingness to donate time and resources to generate quality programs for this project is a testament to the character of Team Elitefts™. These men and women understand the values and the overall mission of elitefts™ and how important a project like this becomes. No endeavor represents being a part of elitefts™ quite like the Learn to Train and Programs that Work projects.

The first step in this process was to start collecting data. Having arguably the strongest and most experienced group of athletes and coaches as part of our team, it made sense to start there. The feedback was overwhelming. Programs were coming in left and right and the detail of each was impressive. Several of our sponsors submitted multiple programs including Chase Karnes, Mike Stuchiner, Joe Schillero, and Bryan Mann. Clint Darden donated four different programs.

Another factor that added to the quality of this project was the variety of programming and populations represented. This collection will address just about any lifter, athlete or coach’s needs and goals. Just about every high school and collegiate sport, powerlifting, strongman, bodybuilding, and Olympic lifting programs are in this manual. Not only are there multiple programs to fit specific needs, but those programs also include a variety of methodologies, exercise selections and periodization schemes.

You always miss every shot you don’t take

Along with our sponsored lifters, coaches, and columnists; we invited previous authors of the MAW manuals to contribute as well. Just about everyone contacted was honored to be included in this cause. Finally, I sent a mass message to everyone I knew who is or has been a strength and conditioning coach. Once again the response was overwhelming, most likely because they all knew how meaningful the cause of the manual was and they wanted to be a part of it.

Receiving programs from some of the biggest names in strength and conditioning and Olympic weightlifting told me this year was going to be pretty special. Submissions included programs from Dan John, Greg Everett, Leo Totten, Mike Gattone, Joe Kenn, and over a dozen Division One Head Strength & Conditioning Coaches.

The second Programs that Work eBook increased from 30 programs to 44. I thought a reasonable increase this year would have gotten us to about 55 or 60 programs.

We got 89.

Jordan Houser, one of our journalism interns, combined all of these programs into one large manual with sections containing programs for powerlifting, sports performance, strongman, Olympic lifting, special populations, and general fitness. There was only one problem with the manual.

“It’s too big.” Dave told me. We had to split it in to two separate manuals so the files wouldn’t be too large to download. Jordan was back to the drawing board. He randomized the programs and split them into two volumes for Ken to do all the heavy leg work by formatting them into the final product. To say it is a daunting task is an understatement. But the results will speak for themselves.

Bonus Programs

The three bonus programs included in this year’s manual are great representations of the manuals themselves. Working here at elitefts™, I have the opportunity to talk training with Dave Tate. That by itself probably make this job the best I could ever have.  I was able to see the program he had submitted  in action as the weekend crew embarked on the 70-week journey.

John Meadows may be the most popular bodybuilder in the industry and I honestly don’t think it has anything to do his diet or training system. The reason has everything to do with who John Meadows is and how he treats people. It is hard to find someone with as high caliber of character than him. Although, there are not very many nutrition programs that can boast the results the Mountain Dog Diet produces, nor can you find a training system more geared for domination than his. The last six weeks of his 12-week program is absolutely brutal.

People may not know this or agree, but there was a Jim Wendler before 5/3/1 and although he has done everything but revolutionize strength training with his method; there is much more to Jim Wendler than his eBooks. Being friends with Jim, I have had the privilege of watching him evolve through his training logs and articles. The program he submitted will illustrate the depth of his experiences in strength.

No one can sum it up better than Bob Youngs (from the Programs that Work 3 Intro):

The Programs That Work manual benefiting the Make-a-Wish® Foundation has become an annual tradition for Team Elitefts™.  More importantly I think it defines who we are as a team, a company, and a community. The primary aim for Team Elitefts™ is to “Live, Learn, and Pass On.” We take this very seriously. To be a member of Team Elitefts™ you must certainly be strong, but, that is just the beginning. We care more about the strong person inside.

The Make-a-Wish® Foundation is a cause that is very important to both Dave and Traci Tate. It has also become very important to all of Team Elitefts™. It is our chance to do something great. Every year Dave sends me the pictures and thank you letters from the children whose lives this project has touched. I cannot even put into words how much these touch my heart.

- Bob Youngs

 Get the Programs that Work 3: 2013 MAW e-book here

Programs That Work 3.1 MAW eBook

Table of Contents

  • Raw Powerlifting, Building the Core Lifts by Clint Darden
  • Jump Higher and Run Faster ­– Utilizing Contrast Training to Become More Powerful by Nic Bronkall
  • Conjugate Periodization for Novice Powerlifters by Dave Kirschen
  • 8 Week Training Program for Swimming by Craig Sowers
  • 12 Weeks to Push-Pull PRs (For Beginner and Intermediate Lifters) by Andrew McGunagle
  • Softball Training Principles by Dan Stevens
  • Basic Powerlifting Program by Bryan Mann
  • Basketball Programming by Brad Potts
  • Triphasic C.C Template by Jennifer Petrosino
  • 12 Week Program for Athletes by Todd Hamer
  • 12 Week Conjugate Program for Raw Powerlifting by Joe Schillero
  • High School Throwers Freshmen Cycle by Mike Gattone
  • 3 x 3 Variation by Gapriel Naspinski
  • In Season Strength Training  for Soccer by Mladen Jovanovic
  • Comeback Routine by Al Caslow
  • 12 Week Lacrosse Strength and Power Program by Mike Kozak
  • Iron Lion Strength Method-Linear Periodization-Mark I by Alexander Cortez
  • Pre-Season Wrestling Training by Jim Kiritsy
  • A Pre Raw Meet Cycle by Scott Yard
  • 8 Week Off-Season Strength Training for Football by Mark Watts
  • The Transition Program by Mike Stuchiner
  • Men’s Basketball Training by Matt Rhodes
  • 10 Week Sumo DL Cycle by Zane Geeting
  • 9 Week Summer Football Weight Training Program by Chad Scott
  • Never Drop A Deadlift – Grip Program by JL Holdsworth
  • RTS Warm Up by Mike Robertson
  • Deadlift Program When Not Squatting by Matt Ladewski
  • Rehab Workout by Jeff Guller
  • Rest Not Rust – Two Weeks Leading Up To A Bench Only Meet by Vincent Dizenzo
  • 3 Way Split Push/Pull/Legs by Shelby Starnes
  • Bench Program for Geared Bench by Joshua McMillan
  • Beginner’s Program by Adam Driggers
  • Matt Kroc Bench Program by Matt Kroc
  • Just Dance for the Wii Training Program by Mark Watts
  • 10 Week Bench Program by Joey Smith
  • Prowler Training by Harry Selkow
  • The World’s Strongest Man Experience by Clint Darden
  • 4-Week Special Needs Training Plan by Sheena Leedham
  • 8 Week Program to Improve your Powerlifting Total & Strongman Events at the Same Time by John Gaglione
  • Speed and Conditioning for the Young Athlete by Julia Ladewski
  • 6 Week Training Program for 2013 NAS Master’s Strongman Nationals by Chase Karnes
  • Maximum Effort Training for the Front Seven by Joe Kenn
  • Seven Week Squat Phase by Leo Totten
  • 5 Week Women’s Soccer Strength Training Program: Speed Strength by Ed Smith Jr.
  • 6 Week Pre-Competitive Phase Basketball Speed, Agility, & Conditioning Program by Matthew Nein

Programs That Work 3.2 MAW eBook

Table of Contents

  • Powerlifting Training Program by Marshall Johnson
  • Be An Athlete by Andrew Hargus
  • Powerlifting Meet Training by Jo Jordan
  • 8 Week Strength/Power Program for the Competitive Amateur or Professional Boxer by Brett Bartholomew
  • Powerful Powerlifting by Kevin Argauer
  • Simple and Effective 4 Week Concurrent Training Program by David Allen
  • Men’s Basketball by Jerry Shreck
  • 12 week Meet Cycle for Raw Powerlifter by Joe Schillero
  • Program for Pro Basketball Player by Bryan Christopher
  • Upper Body Strength/Size Emphasis Program for Athletes by Ashley Jones
  • Beginner Meet Template by CJ Murphy
  • 3 Weeks Indoor Peaking Cycle for Throwers by Ross Bowsher
  • Minimalist Method by Brian Schwab
  • Proven 10 Week Equipped Peaking Cycle by Brian Carroll
  • Fastest 6 Weeks of your Life ­– Speed Training for Football by Joe Hashey
  • Training as  a Powerlifter by Ted Toalston
  • Pre-Season Training for College Baseball by Mark Watts
  • The Most Potent Way to Build Maximal Strength by Karsten Jenson
  • Swim and Dive by Jay Demayo
  • The Semi-Geared 5/3/1 Program by Mike Stuchiner
  • Elite Defensive Back Strategy by Joe Giandonato
  • Sumo Deadlift by Mick Manley
  • Programming Over Two Weeks – Football Off-Season (Winter) Training by Ted Perlak
  • Trap Engagement, Deadlift Lockout Program by Eric Maroscher
  • The ‘How to Balance Back from an Injury Safely’ Program by Thomas E. Deebel
  • 8 Week Pure Raw Volume Squat Cycle by Matt Slats
  • Warm-Up For Problematic Elbows by Brandon Patterson
  • Bench Competition Preparation by Clint Smith
  • Smooth your Squat, Bench, Hips, and Shoulders by Bill Allars
  • 6 Week Bench Program by Chad Walker
  • Metabolic Resistance Training by Jonathan Mike
  • Build Denim Busting Delts by Josh Bryant and Adam benShea
  • A Training Program in Ten Movements for “Everybody” by Dan John
  • Off Season Strongman Volume Work on the Core Lifts, The Masters Lifter by Clint Darden
  • Imbalances by Ken “Skip” Hill
  • 12 Week Training Program for 2013 NAS Strongman Nationals by Chase Karnes
  • Youth Foundation Training by Nick Showman
  • Weight Lifter Gone Strong, Man! by Doug Berninger
  • Equal Access in the Gym by Amy Wattles
  • 5-Week Squat Program by Greg Everett
  • Low Recovery Weekend Training by Clint Darden















































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About the Author

Mark Watts is the Director of Education at™ and the NSCA Ohio State Director. He has a master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in elementary education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Mark has been working with college athletes in over 20 different sports at the Division I, II, and III levels for over 15 years as a strength and conditioning coach. Prior to elitefts™, he coached athletes at Denison University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Allegheny College, and Clarion University. He has also completed strength and conditioning internships at the University of Tulsa and Ohio State University. Mark is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association. He started competing in powerlifting in 1997 and is an amateur Strongman competitor in the master's division. Mark is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a USMC veteran.