Alan Thrall is a YouTube character and owner of Untamed Strength a strongman/powerlifting gym in Sacramento California. I’ve followed Alan for years, I always enjoy his YouTube content and recommend his tutorial content videos.
Alan ads a flair of humor, showmanship and accuracy in his teachings. Too many YouTube ‘Gurus’ take their videos too seriously and it’s just boring! The below was taken from Untamed website, this is to give you a bit of background information about the man:
Alan is a Marine Corps veteran who served as a presidential security guard as well as a “World Famous” Body Bearer at Arlington National Cemetery. During his stint in the Marine Corps Alan signed up for his first local amatuer Strongman competition and this sparked a competitive fire that has lead him to compete in many Strongman competitions as well as Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting meets. Alan has personal experience as an athlete, a coach, and a promoter for the sport of Strongman.
Based on the results published on openpowerlifting.org Alan has competed in four meets in the USPA and USAPL.
Alan competed in both ‘Raw ‘and ‘Wrapped’ powerlifting meets 242 and 264 lbs weight classes achieving the following results:
|1||USPA||2018-05-19||USA-CA||Old Skool Iron Classic||Open||29||Raw||242||241.7||534.6||341.7||584.2||1460.5||392.85|
|5||USAPL||2017-05-27||USA-CA||Boss of NorCal 4||MR-O||28||Raw||264||240.9||474||501.5||518.1||297.6||314.1||319.6||501.5||523.6||540.1||1377.9||371.06|
|5||USPA||2015-02-21||USA-CA||Pacific Coast Open||Open||25||Raw||242||230.4||501.5||275.5||518.1||1295.2||354.99|
I would consider Alan more of an educator, YouTube personality and coach rather than elite athlete. Alan has demonstrated through his online content his advanced knowledge in Strongman, Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting.
A very simple program it has no bells and whistles and thrills! I would say this is a great intermediate level lifter program. You train four days a week, the program last’s 13 weeks and is split into four blocks lasting 3-4 weeks.
You have three categories of exercises that are split into:
- Main lifts: Squat, Touch and Go Bench Press, Deadlift
- Supplementary Lifts: they are variations of the main lifts such as: pauses, bands, chains, blocks, deficits, and inclines.
- Third Movements: This includes shoulder pressing exercises, rows, and hypertrophy isolation exercises.
Training Day Goals and Focus
Day is your main lift day for the squat and bench press along with pin pressing for shoulder and Delt strengthening.
- Day 1: Focuses on your squat and bench press main lifts and pin pressing for shoulder and Delt strengthening.
- Day 2: Light intensity day which focuses on the variations of the squat and bench press and the Deadlift main lift.
- Day 3: Your Overload maximal effort day for the squat and bench press and bands.
- Day 4: Change in height and grip for the bench press and the deadlift variation day.
Reps and RPE’s
Focusing on sets of 8 reps between 6-9 RPE for the main lifts, sets of 10 for the supplementary lifts (perform the fourth set using the same weight as the first).
Third lifts incorporate the usage of Myo-Reps, choose your activation set for 14-16 reps at an RPE of 8. The user then performs 3 to 5 drop-sets, taking five deep breaths between each working set.
You perform each set to failure (probably about 4-6 reps and it will decrease each set) until you can no longer perform any reps.
Focusing on sets of 6 for the main lifts at an RPE of 7-9 and a total of 18 reps for the final section at 67.7-70% of 1RM. You can do as I recommend finishing these back-off sets doing 3 sets of 6 reps 3 sets of 4 and one set of 6 reps. Whatever works for you! Week six is a low stress week performing just 3 sets of 6 at an RPE between 6-8.
For supplementary lifts the lifter performs 3 sets of 8 reps at an RPE of 7-9 and two drop-off sets using the weight for the 1st working set. Third lifts are performing for ‘as many reps of possible (AMRAP)’ for 25-30 reps in a six minute time limit.
For your main lift you perform 1 heavy single each week for an RPE between 7 or 8 followed by sets of 5 reps between 70-75% of your 1RM.
For supplementary work the lifter performs sets of 5 reps at an RPE between 7 to 9. When performing the final drop-off set(s) the lifter uses the weight from the previous working set, deducts 10% and then performs 1-2 sets for 5 reps.
When performing the ‘Third Movement’ lifts you perform 2 to 3 sets for 7 reps at an RPE of 6 to 8 and then two drop-off sets at an RPE of 8.
I know it’s called a 12 week program however Alan “Threw in” week 13 because he didn’t like the way it looked……yep, maybe he likes the unlucky number 13.
For the main lifts the lifter is working with higher RPE’s than before, you perform one heavy single at an RPE of 8.
The lifter then performs 1 set of 3-4 reps at an RPE 9 and finishes with 4 sets of 4 at 77.5-80% and RPE 8 week 10-12. Week 13 you take the second sets weight, deduct 5-10% off and perform for 2 to 3 sets of 2 reps.
For week 14 I recommend using as a deload week, reducing the volume and intensity allowing your body to recover. Week 15 you can use to chase a new PR for the squat, bench press and deadlift, or alternatively it’s meet week. Good Luck!!
I think this is a good solid program, it’s probably best suited or an intermediate lifter not Novice or Advanced or Elite lifter.
My results from following this 12 Week Untamed Strength program I added the following to my Personal Bests:
- Squat: +22 lbs
- Bench Press: +12 Lbs
- Deadlift: + 20 lbs
My criticism of this program is it lacks in consistency, its just an amalgamation and miss-match of many training principles thrown into a 12 week timeframe, mixed together in a bowl of disorganization.
There’s too much variation for my liking, your constantly changing your supplementary and assistance (third movements) lifts making it difficult to really implement that variation to break through the sticking point it helps to correct.
I feel there’s was too much pressing and not enough pulling work and more squat work could be performed in favor of the pressing.
In terms of volume and RPE I had issues or quarrels with this program. The back-off sets were perfect, the RPE’s were spot on and I didn’t feel remotely fatigued during the 13 weeks. However, I felt that it lacked in ‘Maximal Effort’ work and more heavy singles could have been implemented during the 13 weeks.
If you are looking for another Intermediate program I recommend checking out the Calgary Barbell Program.
Calgary Barbell’s 16 Week program is my favorite intermediate powerlifting program that I rate very highly.
Alan’s YouTube Video Tutorial
Program Download Files
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