Project Colossus - John Meadows Program Review
What I will and will not do
I always hate to read program reviews and the metrics people use are I went from x lbs/kgs on my Squat, Bench, Deadlifts to x lbs/kg. Yeah I get it, its numbers and can show how the program helped you, the problem is that people are in different levels of working out and are at different points in their lives so its not the best judge of a program in my opinion. What I will do here though is to explain the intent of the program, my thoughts, and anything I really liked or disliked about it. Disclaimer out of the way, lets get started.
What is Project Colossus
This is a 6 week LOW Volume, High Intensity program that is split out in a Pull, Push, Leg fashion. The program is designed to be run 5 or 6 days a week with about 7 different weekly variations you can customize to your weak areas. For me, I ran this 5 days a week in this split
Day 1 - Pull
Day 2 - Push
Day 3 - Legs
Day 4 - REST
Day 5 - Pull (pump)
Day 6 - Push (pump)
Day 7 - REST
Now life didn’t always go as planned and some weeks I did 5 days in a row, and other times I had a different split, but this was the idea and for the most part I hit the 5 workouts weekly.
I have no hard number metrics here to show you my gainz while running this, so instead I am going to just tell you what I liked and disliked. Overall, I feel as if my overall strength in everything (chest, arms, shoulders, legs etc…) improved. The program is designed in a way to improve weight with the same rep ranges at different weeks. I track my workouts and progress using Bodyspace (free app from bb.com) and as the weeks went by there was constant improvement in all exercises. I did not test a 1RM before or after this, so no clue there, and those days may be long gone for me at this point in my life.
Variation: This is the biggest thing that stood out to me. Pull day on week 1 would be a little different than pull day on week 2 and other weeks. They were very minor changes on exercises, and which ones you would do a drop set with, but it was enough to keep the plan exciting and to shock your muscles.
Time: The first first 3 days of the week I would average around 65-75 minutes a workout. That is good because if it got much longer I would have to really rush to get to work on time, so this was fine. The last 2 days of the week would average to 45-50 minutes. I liked this as well as my body felt a bit beat up towards the end of each week so having those slightly less intense workouts were helpful.
Pump Days: I never really put much emphasis on a pump in a workout, I just figure if I do hypertrophy style training then I should have a nice pump. These days are not called Pump for fun, you get a good one. The muscle groups remain the same these days but the exercises change, so it works out nicely.
Finishers: These would change daily. Some days you would finish with a cluster set, other days you would finish an exercise with Drop Sets. Sometimes you would just do a solid couple of sets. This change up was nice, as you really didn’t know what to expect each session, and it usually left me with that nice muscle pain from working hard.
This will be short because there was not much I did not enjoy. What I had a hard time wrapping my head around was the little focus on the big lifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlifts, OHP). For the last few years I have been doing 5/3/1 or GZCL varieties, and they very much are focused on the big lifts. Too many past injuries from my Army days, and hitting the big 40 this year requires me to focus away from 1RM days. After a couple weeks I did realize that not focusing on the big lifts will not make me weaker, so I was fine with it.
I love how John Meadows wrote this, I would save the PDF and open it at the gym along with Bodyspace and read as I went. It felt as if he was there coaching me with the way he writes, so it was cool. A few times I did curse John out, saying what are you doing to me, LOL. One specific exercise that did that was the Destroyer Sets
You Tube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxFs72mYYsM
Routine: 20lbs DB x 20 (warm up)
40lb DB x 60, then 20lb DB x 30, then 10lb DB x 10
Things like this exercise are what brings a nice variety to working out. Every workout seemed to go real fast for me in my head even though I knew it took over an hour. I do suggest you give this a whirl if you want a good program to check out if you like John Meadows’ style, I am a big fan now. I will be moving on to High Evolutionary next (another 6 week one) after X-mas activities, so thank you to @thesolution for taking care of me on that.
This was my first program review I have written, so any input on what to change in the future is appreciated. I want to review these programs as I go to bring more awareness.