Pete Ruston

7 weeks ago I asked Chris Stringer and George Barker if they would put a 6 week “Beasted” program together for me. This came from watching former world strongest man Eddie “The Beast” Hall record a series of “Beasted” challenges where he took people with completely different body types and put them through 6 weeks of training.

Week -1 I was assessed in various lifts (bench press, front squat, deadlift, strict shoulder press etc) to find what my “1 rep Max” was. A very surprising part of this was finding my 1 rep max in every lift was already a life time best! That is the Body Complete difference! I’ve spent plenty of time in “traditional” gyms. Not once had they done anything about improving my functional movement… a couple of years of BC, doing no “traditional” gym training and I’m achieving life time bests??? Wow!!! Felt a bit like the Karate Kid finding out all the hours of “wax on, wax off” had been turning him into a Karate genius lol.

My program started with a target of doing 1 working set at 80% of my 1 Rep Max. Once I could complete 4 to 6 reps the weight would be increased until I could do 4 to 6 reps at the new weight and so on.

I completed the 6 weeks last Wed. In that time I have learnt a huge amount about correct technique etc… and finished with my working set weight being what my 1 rep max was! Unbelievable!

I not only feel stronger, it’s definitely helped my functional movement (a constant challenge, but something “lifting heavy” exposes AND helps overcome).

I never expected to be using the weight rack at BC HQ. It’s been a great experience and something I’ll be continuing. Even better to see that this is now standard to everyone as part of the new 5 pillars program!

If any of you are still unsure about this change. Don’t be! And don’t be scared of it! With Chris, George and John you are in great hands of people who are only going to allow you to do this in the right way… and very soon you’ll be noticing the difference.

I’ve learnt a lot in the 6 weeks (big thanks to George! A fountain of knowledge in his area!), but the key takeaways are:

  1. Increase the weights slowly.
    At the start I wanted to make big jumps. George, politely be firmly effectively said “no”, pointing out that my body needed time to learn the new movement etc.

I did what he said and made constant incremental gains. Pretty sure left to my own plan I’d have “gone big”… had crap form and ended up injured.

  1. A rep only counts if it’s a good rep.

Similar to the above, I was determined to be able to claim I’d done the required 4 to 6 reps and therefore was ready to increase the weight.

Again, George kept me honest.

It might feel slower at the time, but I have no doubt that this small incremental approach achieved bigger gains than my approach ever would have.

Already looking forward to the next 6 weeks. Hope the rest of you will look back in 6 weeks from now and will also realise how far you’ve come.

Here’s to enjoying the journey!


Below is a link to a video of Pete perfecting his Squat, under tuition from George.


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