#97 – A Case Study in Barbell Training: Jay Presti’s 12-Week Transformation

Professional hunter, videographer, and host of the show Blue Collar Adventures, Jay Presti, returns to the show to share the progress he’s made barbell training during his novice linear progression. After just 12 weeks of training, Jay has increased each of his lifts by more than double, he’s dropped his body fat percentage by 6.5 points, improved his focus, and is feeling stronger and healthier than ever.


Jay began the novice linear progression in early March with starting lifts of:

Squat – 95x5x3

Press – 65x5x3

Deadlift – 205x5x1


His starting weights on the press and bench were limited by a shoulder injury he incurred in competition as a professional calf roper. Jay has a severely torn labrum, meaning he lacked both strength and flexibility in the joint. He also found the low bar position in the squat rather challenging, so we kept his starting weight artificially low, to allow more time for his shoulder to adapt to loading.


With careful attention to technique and gradual loading (just 5lbs at a time), over 8 weeks Jay increased his numbers to:

Squat – 210x5x3

Press – 115x3x5 (we inverted the rep scheme to keep his progress going)

Deadlift – 280x5x1


As of the podcast recording, which is approximately 12 weeks into the program, Jay squatted 232.5x5x3, pressed 127.5x3x5, and deadlifted 320x5x1. At this point he is squatting in a heavy/light/medium (HLM) schedule, and pressing five sets of three.


His body composition has also improved notably. Jay had a DEXA scan one week prior to starting LP and measured at 26.5% body fat. At approximately the 10-week mark, he had a second DEXA scan which measured his body fat at 20.0%, a decrease of 6.5%! Here’s the interesting part — during that time period his bodyweight hardly changed, starting at 202lbs and ending at 198lbs. In the process of training, however, he managed to gain 9lbs of lean mass, which accounts for the drop in body fat percentage.


Jay is a walking example of what barbell training in the simple novice linear progression model can do for strength, joint health, and body composition. He did the work, missing only a single workout (he was on vacation, we’ll forgive him), ate lots of protein and moderated his alcohol and process food intake, and got plenty of sleep. Jay is a perfect example of what happens when you let the simple process of barbell training do its work!


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