Chad Wesley Smith’s Juggernaut Method 2.0 Review

TLDR: In CWS’s Juggernaut Method, getting strong is simple: beat your 10RM, 8RM, 5RM, 3RM consistently to get strong

The Juggernaut Method was born of CWS’s coaching with high-level athletes by a rather simple form of periodization; week 1 for 5×5 at 70-75%, week 2 for 3×5 at 80%, week 3 for a 5RM at around 85%, but instead of just stopping at 5, going close to failure with that weight. CWS, in Juggernaut Method 2.0, believes that getting strong is simple, and by focusing on big lifts, technique and accumulating small PRs each session, a lifter is well on their way to getting strong. The main influences of the program are Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and Doug Young’s block periodization.

The program is separated into 4 main training ‘waves’ (10s, 8s,5s,3s waves). The waves will have 4 days of training a week, each targeting one of the following: squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. Each wave is further separated into phases: Accumulation, Intensification, and Realization, and lasts 1 week.

Accumulation phases are 5 sets of whatever the reps are supposed to be according to the wave, Intensification is 3 sets, at Realization phase, the lifter will take their former rep max and try to do as many as possible. This is an example of a 10s wave:

Accumulation 60% 5×10
Intensification 55% x5

62×5% x5

67×5% 3×10

Realization 50% x5

60% x3

70% x1

75% x AMRAP


Going all out is a must in the Realization phase; reps above what was predicted are used to adjust the training max. The recommended increase in training max is 2.5 pounds for every rep over the wave rep for lower body lifts, and 1.25 pounds for every rep for upper body lifts.

There are other variations as to how a lifter may want to set up this program, an inverted method where the reps and sets are swapped with little rest in between sets, undulating periodization, 9-day work week, 2-3 training days a week, or even high/med/low volume structure. There are also ways to include sprints and throws into the program for athletes.

I did this program up until the 3s waves and was completely slaughtered; I followed the training max increases and couldn’t recover from it. My recommendation for someone wanting to follow this program is to underestimate the training max and not be too aggressive with the increments. I managed to do 16 reps of squats for the 10s waves, which meant I had to increase my training max by 15 pounds.


  • A systematic and phasic program with progressive overload included as a ‘PR’ session
  • This program has versatility and can include sprints and conditioning work as part of the training day


  • Training max increments are too aggressive for a small dude like me
  • Not enough frequency of the compound movements


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