Meg Squats’ Uplifted 8-Week Program

Meg Squats’ Uplifted 8-Week Program

“This was too long for an Insta caption” is my new blogging philosophy I guess.  😀

I still have one week left in Meg Squats’ Uplifted program, but I’m just gonna go ahead and talk about it now. The final week is a deload so there won’t be much if anything to update.

The program is based around powerlifting (squat, bench, deadlift, and then later she adds my ol’ pal the overhead press) but also includes a lot of bro (accessory) work. The program is supposed to get people into powerlifting but I actually came away from it thinking I might look into body building because I loved the bro work so much. Whoops!

For the accessory work, she provides alternative exercises which I really appreciate as a home gym person. I was able to do everything at home just fine (of course, a lot of people don’t have squat racks in their basement). Unfortunately for me, there are a lot of goblet squats AND for a lot of the exercises the alternative is also goblet squats. I HATE goblet squats. I did 561 of them (I COUNTED) over the last 7 weeks. I’ve probably got a few more next week but I don’t want to look.

 

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I had to work on faith in the first half of this program because I wasn’t adding a lot of weight and was only deadlifting and squatting once per week; bench was twice a week but I wasn’t really leaving the 90-95# range at all.  I’m used to the Starting Strength linear progression model where you lift three times a week and add weight each time, so I just wasn’t sure how this program was supposed to work.  I observed Bren doing a similar program with his coach and he had similar doubts at first so I just kept at it. The rep tests helped – e.g., my first bench rep test I did 10 reps at 90#, and the second test I got 12 (well, 13, but no lock out on the 13th). In that way I could see a little bit of progress.

In the second half you work on 3-5 rep maxes and mix up the lifts a little bit – you do two lifts per session (albeit a bit lighter for the second). For example, you’ll work up to 3RM on deadlift and then bench at 85%. That is where you start to see the progress.

She advises you to eat at maintenance or maybe even bulk, and I was like “OR I could go on an elimination diet!” This was at the instruction of my nutritionist of course but it was not great timing. I don’t think I was under eating necessarily but I know for sure that I lost muscle in my legs.

She also tells you to pick weights based on RPE and I discovered I’m REALLY bad at RPE (e.g. I tried to put my deadlift 4RM max at 250# but Bren made me do 260# and he was right).  Also, you are supposed to work some of the accessories to near-failure and I …. was not. At one point I was doing those frickin goblet squats at 45 pounds and I was like… I bet I could do more than this. So I tried 55. And then I tried 65. I don’t have a dumbbell heavier than 65 so I don’t know if I could have done more. So the program is like “work close to failure” and I was like “OR I could work 20+ pounds too light!”

 

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Despite accidentally working against the program a little bit, I still think I made some nice progress. I squat 230# for 4 reps – only 5# more than my all-time max, but it’s still a PR and it felt pretty OK. “Easy” is too strong a word, but I think all the volume and accessory work made it way better.

I also hit 117 AND A HALF on bench, 2.5# more than I’ve ever benched. Those bench PRs are precious. I’d take half a pound.

 

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Although I didn’t deadlift anything “new,” I did do 3 reps at 275 which makes me think I am probably at least a little bit past my previous 1RM of 280.

Overhead press is not really tested in this program but I will just point out that I got 5 sets of 3 at 80# with strict press (i.e., no bounce). My current max on OHP is 85# and that’s with the bounce. So I might be past that as well. Then again, OHP is the cruelest of the lifts so who knows.

In conclusion A++ will run again. Now that the boogaloo is over I feel like I can mess with my diet a bit (I am actually in the re-introduction phase for dairy/gluten anyway) and I have a better idea of where I should be working weight-wise/what RPE feels like, so I’m excited to try it again and see what I can do.

I probably wouldn’t recommend this program to true novices – the variety and volume of exercises might be overwhelming if you’re new to the whole scene. I think this would be good for somebody who knows their way around the gym and wants to try powerlifting, or somebody who knows powerlifting and wants to switch it up.

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