The Fuel That FiresThe Soul

Thu, May 30, 2013

Add 50 lbs to your bench press shawn phillips I found an old program I created somewhere around 1995, called, “How to Add 50 Pounds to Your Bench Press,” today.

Needless to say, it’s a great program. Probably one of the most successful, copied and shared bench press programs ever. Super cool, wildly effective program. (and yes, I am going to re-release it soon, so stay tuned.)

When I posted it, my sage fellow wild-man entrepreneur and creator all things Super-mind, Web-Nootrients asked me:

Love this, Shawn. So herein lies the question: What would you change about this had you written it today?

My response, instant and crystal clear:

You know… absolutely nothing.

I think there are things you make, notes you hit, on the way up the mountain of increasing complexity that are perfect, still simple, focused.

Some, like great music, you go back to 20 years later and only then can see the true genius.

I think, as the time, I thought this was cool, interesting, fun math and such and not it’s fucking brilliant… so good, so clear, so effective, …

And unlike so many “products” today, it’s not created as a marketing or info product, it was a program made for people to get specific results. It didn’t start nor end with making a marketing story.

I think there was a time when shit was created to do certain desirable things and then they were sold on what they could or did do.

Somewhere that switched to inventing things to market and then making something to fill in the opportunity.

This is old school and strong school… This shit works.

To this, Mark replied:

Oh Shawn, how I resonate with that message. I have a few notebooks of ideas I reference from time to time. Especially when I am feeling lees on top of my game. A few pages in, that same “simple, clear, creative, engaged, authentic” experience comes to mind. A reminder that we do things to move the needle. If they also engage the wallet, so be it. But that’s not the fuel that fires the soul. Dig it.

I Got It, Do You?

I had to share the conversation to convey the essence–the message. When I read Mark’s reply I could feel it.

The fuel that fires the soul.

Yes, how many days, weeks, months and years I spent in this time period doing work that arose from within, that didn’t have a set path, what wasn’t solely focused on a direct measurable. It was the art of physical culture, the creation of things that would never otherwise be thought of. There was no map, no course, no one to follow. It was free flow and find your way.

And Mark is right, it was lit up the soul. It was the best kind of work because it wasn’t work at all.

Now, I get we all have to make it, a living and all that stuff but I am reminded that along the way we’ve got to keep feeding our soul, doing the work–the expression of what comes naturally.

During this time in my life there were many close who believed me crazy, nuts and a waste. Who didn’t value anything that wasn’t a direct bottom line asset. 15-20 years later, the works stands the test of time and the memory of the period is of the joy and expression not the money and sweat.

Find and do that which fuels the fire of your soul… and then pack 50 pounds on your bench! And see how that sits!

To Your Full Strength,


, , , ,

This post was written by:

- who has written 190 posts on Shawn Phillips | Start Strong Monday.

Author, speaker, sprinter, trainer, fitness guru and Integral philosopher...Shawn Phillips

Contact the author

4 Responses to “The Fuel That FiresThe Soul”

  1. Brenda Says:

    I used this with clients back in 1999 and have looked for it since and could not find it anywhere.


  2. Blake Says:

    I love this program, but i have looked everywhere to find what formula calculations are used to derive all the numbers in the progression table. Please help.


    • Shawn Phillips Says:

      Blake, the formulas I made… it’s a giant spreadsheet that was done in Lotus 1-2-3… formulas are largely derived from the science of my PowerBuilding programs.

      It was very accurate. But knowing the formula isn’t that helpful, is it? Following the plan is.



      • Blake Says:

        Thank you for the reply, I just now saw it or i would have replied earlier. I never doubted the accuracy, it is an amazing program. I love the failure test, there are not many adaptive programs like this one. my reason for asking is because i wanted to program the numbers into a excel file.

        The only thing I found was a excel file found here

        It is listed as
        “*Add 50 Bench Excel Spreadsheet.
        Thanks to Gavrilo Gavrilov”

        It is only accurate for 1RM under 120 lbs

        I realize now that each new row of 1RM on your chart uses slightly different percentage calculations. It is not a one-size-fits -all program.



Leave a Reply

Hit the "Like" Button and leave a comment below!