Toshner Program


First Post
Hello Everyone,

Just a little by way of introduction: I've been working out with KB's for about 3 years, but new to StrongFirst (The owner of the gym I go to is RKC from many years ago - "before they went soft" in his words.) Prior to that I was a barbell guy for 15 + years. (I may have dabbled in CF for a year or so as well....)
I need something to train for rather than just "working out," so I'm very interested in the TSC. I love to deadlift, I love snatching and I'm decent at pull-ups. My tentative plan is to do the TSC in April and maybe again in October as a novice, then I'll cross into the master category for April 2019. There are a couple gyms not too far from my home that host the TSC, so should be no problem.
There is a ton of great advice on here about training for the TSC and I'm very interested in Toshner's program, but I have what I hope are a couple easy questions: he refers a couple times to "the 80% rule." I can't find a definition of that anywhere? Also, what are accelerated eccentric swings and dead swings referred to in weeks 11 and 12?
My apologies if these are repetitive questions, but I couldn't find the answers with the search function.


Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member

In accelerated eccentric swings you actively swing the bell back to between the legs, as if a partner were pushing the bell down at the top of the swing (like you would push a kid in a swing set).

Dead stop swings are where you do “10 sets of 1”, or return the bell to the starting position for each rep. It eliminates momentum from loading up your legs for the snap back up.

I followed a slightly modified version of the plan by the gym where I participated in my first TSC this fall; it was a great plan.


Level 7 Valued Member
@Sean M
already answered the 2 questions about the swing versions.

"the 80% rule."
This might refer to the "Pareto principle", because he mentions it together with Easy Strength and Dan John (the co-author of ES) is a fan of it -> Training for the Busy Working Guy
In the context of the article I'd interpret it as "just get in the work". Don't exhaust yourself with super heavy reps/PRs and don't pile on unnecessary reps at lower weights. Get in your 3/3 bent presses at a resonable weight once per month, add the 80-85% of 1RM singles two times per week and you're good. No need to add stuff or reps.

Asking him directly would be a certain way to find out what he meant :) @Derek Toshner @Ryan Toshner
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Ryan Toshner

Senior Certified Instructor
@Dan25 , for the "80% rule"...

The result of this will look different for everyone based on background and experience (Venn Diagram overlap of training experience, level of fitness, and willpower). You can think of it as 80% effort... sort of.

10% is just enough to accomplish the task.
30% is an easy session.
50-60% is a good punch-the-clock session.
75-85% is pretty hard but doesn't leave you as a sweaty pile of goo at the completion. (i.e. no Pukey the Clown appearances)
100% is competition at the end of which you have absolutely nothing left (not something you should do very often... or, arguably, ever if you're not aiming for a world record or in a life-or-death situation).


First Post
With a little more than 2 months to TSC day, I figured I'd do a run-through this morning to see how my training is coming along. Results:
DL: 335 (definitely could've pulled 345, maybe 355, but I wanted to leave something in the tank. My PR is 355 which I last hit about 2 years ago, so I'm hoping for a new PR in April.)
PU: 13
Snatch: 109
I did all of it in a little over an hour, so with a little more rest I'll be stronger. Not to mention 2 more months of training....
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