• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Gainsdalf the Whey

An Overview of the Various Strength Training Programs

Recommended Posts

 

The purpose of this thread is to list the various weight training programs and sources where you can find out more about them. They are listed below under the following three categories: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. This link is a good source to figure out which you are. If you've never heard of any of these, you're most likely a beginner.

 

Beginner Programs:

 

Stronglifts: This program is designed by Mehdi Hadim. It incorporates squats, deadlifts, bench (from here on known as the big 3), overhead press (from here on out referred to just as the press), and bent over rows (also known as Pendlay rows). After signing up at the website you will be sent the guide to the full program for free, but the basics are below:

  • There are 2 workouts. You alternate back and forth between them with at least 1 day in between. this rest day is very important. Many people like to work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (MWF).
    • Workout A: Squat, Bench, Row
    • Workout B: Squat, Press, Deadlift
  • After a warm up, each lift is done for 5 sets of 5 (5x5) for the same weight across. If successful at all reps for all sets, next time you do that exercise you increase the weight 5-10 lb.
    • The warm up consists of doing sets of 5 with lighter weights than your working weights leading up to the working weights in 20-50 lb increments. This prepares your muscles for the heavier loads and prevents injuries. An example if I am squatting 225 is I might warm up with just the barx5, then 135x5, 185x5, 205x3.
  • If you fail to successfully perform all reps for all sets, next time you do that exercise you keep the weight the same.
    • When this happens 3 times in a row it is called a stall. When this happens, drop the weight by 10% and work back up.
  • After stalling multiple times on a workout (takes 3-9 months typically depending on starting fitness and weights) you move to only doing the exercise for 3x5 following the same methods. Then 1x5 (after warm up sets building up to that weight). once you stall on this, you are ready for an intermediate program.

Starting Strength: This program is designed by Mark Rippetoe. The big 3, the press, and the power clean. The full book (3rd edition) is available on the website or amazon and is widely considered on this site to be the best self training manual for the lifts for beginners that is out there. It is very highly recommended reading even if you do not do the program as it will teach you how to do the lifts properly. There are free copies of the 1st edition in pdf available around the web. I will post a link here once I can find one.

  • There are 2 workouts. You alternate back and forth between them with at least 1 day in between for rest. This rest day in very important. Many people like to work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (MWF).
    • Workout A: Squat 3x5, Bench 3x5, power clean 5x3
    • Workout B: Squat 3x5, Press 3x5, deadlift 1x5
      • Notice power cleans are done for 5 sets of 3 rather than 3 sets of 5. This is a more technical exercise and form tends to break down as we increase reps. We still do 15 total reps, but spread them over 5 sets to make sure we do them with good form.
      • Each lift is done after first warming up for that lift. The warm up consists of doing sets of 5 with lighter weights than your working weights, leading up to the working weights in 20-50 lb increments. This prepares your muscles for the heavier loads and prevents injuries. An example if I am squatting 225 is I might warm up with just the barx5, then 135x5, 185x5, 205x3.
  • If successful at all reps for all sets, next time you do that exercise you increase the weight 5-10 lb.
  • If you fail to successfully perform all reps for all sets, next time you do that exercise you keep the weight the same.
    • When this happens 3 times in a row it is called a stall. When this happens, drop the weight by 10% and work back up.
  • After stalling and working back up multiple times you will get stuck. At this point increasing weight this often is too much for your body to recover from and you are ready for an intermediate program.

 

Beginner Mass Gain Routine: This program is designed by Lon Kilgore, Michael Hartman, and Justin Lascek. It is found in their book Fit available on Amazon. This program is tailored to beginners looking to put on a little mass. Like other beginner programs this too is a linear progression based on compound movements.

  • The program is set up in alternating weekly blocks consisting of three workouts each with one day of rest between each session. Think like a MWF setup.
    • Week 1
      • Workout A: Squat, Calf Raise, Barbell Overhead Press, Lat Pull-down, Shrugs.
      • Workout B: Deadlift, Dumbbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Row, Dips, Weighted Crunch.
      • Workout C: Front Squat, Back Extension, Barbell Curls, French Press, Chin-ups.
    • Week 2
      • Workout A: Squat, Calf Raise, Dumbbell Overhead Press, Lat Pull-down, Shrugs.
      • Workout B: Deadlift, Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Row, Dips, Weighted Crunch.
      • Workout C: Front Squat, Back Extension, Dumbbell Curls, French Press, Chin-ups.
  • All exercises are done for 3x10 except for Deadlifts, Dips, and Chin-ups.
    • Deadlifts: Ascending sets. The first two sets will be lighter sets working up to a single heavy set of 10. 10-20% jumps between sets.
    • Dips and Chin-ups: Three sets to failure until able to do more than 10 reps at once. At that point, weight is added and they are done for 3x10.
  • Increase weight weekly 5-10 lbs.
  • If you fail to get all 3x10 in any lift, stop and go home. For your next session deload down to your last successful weight for all exercises and do only 1x10 for the day. Then resume 3x10 utilizing smaller weekly weight increases.
  • If you stall again deload by 20% on all lifts and switch set/rep range to 4x12 utilizing even smaller weekly weight increases, i.e. micro-loading
  • If you stall a third time remain at the same weight but increase reps weekly. Once you are back up to 3x10 it should be safe to increase the weight.
    • For example say you only got 6 reps on your final set of bench press one week. The next week your goal would be to do 2x10, then 1x7+ the following.
  • If you stall again its time to move to an intermediate program. 

 

 

Intermediate Programs:

 

Programs to be added: Texas Method, 5/3/1

 

Madcow: This program is a program designed around linear gains like stronglifts and starting strength, but instead of adding weight every time you perform an exercise, you add weight each week. It uses the same lifts as stronglifts as default. However, it is based off of Bill Starr's 5x5 in which he originally had power cleans and high pulls instead of Pendlay Rows and Deadlifts and they can easily be substituted.

  • Workout 3 times a week
    • Day 1: Volume Squat, Volume Bench, Volume Row.
      • For each, work up to a heavy set of 5 in 10-15% increments over 5 sets. An example for squats (using 12.5 increments rounded to nearest 5) would be 185x5, 230x5, 275x5, 320x5, 365x5.
    • Day 2: Light Squat Day, Volume Press, Volume Deadlift
      • For light squats, use the same first 2 sets from Day 1 of that week and do the 3rd set twice. This is just to get the blood pumping and keep the body remembering the movement. At this point your body is still recovering from the heavy squats from Day 1 48 hours later.
      • For Press and Deadlift, build up to a heavy set of 5 in 10-15% increments over 4 sets.
    • Day 3: Intensity Squat, Intensity Bench, Intensity Row
      • For each, use the same sets as for Monday, except on the final set. For the last set, increase the weight 2.5% from Monday and perform for 3 reps. Then, perform a 6th set for 8 reps using the 3rd set's weight. Using the same squat example above this would be 185x5, 230x5, 275x5, 320x5, 375x3, 275x8.
  • Each week, if successful at all reps for all sets from the previous week for a given exercise, increase the heavy set by 2.5% and the sets leading up to it accordingly. For the squat example, the heaviest set would be 375x5 on Monday (what you did on Friday for 3) with the needed jumps to get there. In this way you will increase your lifts by 2.5% each week.
  • If all reps for all sets were not completed, repeat the previous week for that exercise.

Advanced Programs:

 

Programs to be added: Cube

 

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Paul's book. I haven't run either of the plans he outlines though... they're both kind of ramp up plans for competitions. Well, one is, the other is kinda BBB.

--edit--

Just read the link again, I have a different book of Paul's, not this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one for intermediate-advanced worth listing:

 

Mike Tuchsherer's RTS

http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/articles/training-articles

 

A very different way of looking at things.

i'm not quite understanding the layout of that:

 

 

Day 1

Bench:  x3 @9, 6-9% Fatigue

Squat:  x2 @7, 4-6% Fatigue

Bench:  120% Hold x8sec, 3 sets

 

Day 3

Deadlift:  x3 @9, 6-9% Fatigue

 

Day 6

Squat:  x3 @9, 6-9% Fatigue

Bench:  x2 @7, 4-6% Fatigue

Squat:  120% Hold x8sec, 3 sets

 
what's that 6-9% fatigue? also the x 3 @9? it's probably stupidly easy but alas i'm an idiot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a look at it.  I was telling Seth via e-mail that I don't want this to be an "all the things" thread.  I want it to cover the basic, most popular programs in each category as more of an introductory thing. I only want to put things in here that are pretty well tested in the community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmm but especially for intermediate/advanced programs, low-rep isn't ALWAYS ideal for whatever strength goals you pursue. What about the programs with olympic lifting competition in mind?

 

I would also like to move that we make a similar compendium for other training methods as well. Cross-training for specific sports always seems to be under-represented on nerd fitness as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not familiar with the olympic ones, I meant this thread to be more general strength training and power lifting, changed the title to try to reflect this a bit. Feel free to post one for the olympic lifting programs and I can pin it. Once people get to the intermediate level, they should have a feel for altering programming to their needs if they want to sub olympic lifts in for these programs. As for low rep, if we start seeing a high rep program becoming popular and having results around here, I'll post it.  Any suggestions?

 

If you'd like to see something similar for other programming on the other ones, I believe the other guilds have knowledge bases as well and you can recomend one there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd add Greyskull LP for beginners as it fairly popular. Also the Advance section seems a little thin, I could write up a brief overview of the Westside Basic Template.

You can edit my post, go for it. I e-mailed about it, you should be in the chain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You aren't gonna see successful high-rep programs around here, because no one gets told to do them... Self-confirmation kills the idea of anyone going higher than 6 reps . Only thing that springs to mind immediately is GTG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You aren't gonna see successful high-rep programs around here, because no one gets told to do them... Self-confirmation kills the idea of anyone going higher than 6 reps . Only thing that springs to mind immediately is GTG

Once people get to the intermediate stages they should understand that there are much more successful people than those here and should widen their range of resources. One thing we lack as a community here are successful intermediate and advanced lifters, just because we're such a young community. As we gain experience, hopefully those members stick around for the next generation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SS is basically:.

 

A: Squat, Press, Deadlift

B: Squat, Bench, Power Clean.

 

=---------------------------

 

It's really:

 

A: Squat, Press, Deadlift

B: Squat, Bench, Deadlift.

 

Until You DL is respectable and starting to kick your ass.

Then it becomes:

 

 

A: Squat, Press, Deadlift

B: Squat, Bench, Power Clean.

 

Until the DL is still kicking your ass, then it Becomes:

 

A: Squat, Press, Deadlift

B: Squat, Bench, Back extension 3x10, Chinups 3x8

 

A2: Squat, Press, Power Clean.

B2: Squat, Bench, Back extension 3x10, Chinups 3x8

 

The pulling frequency evolves as the weight goes up to keep the stalling at bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with high rep barbell programs (I'll consider anything in the 20+ rep range high) in the beginning is that most people aren't efficient movers and grinding through reps they probably shouldn't with bad tech isn't optimal. Any intermediate lifter who's done anything like 20RM squats or Smolov knows how fast things can hit the fan in the middle of those sets. If you don't have a lot of time under the bar when put in those situations things probably aren't going to go well for you.

 

For big stuff like squats I start people on 8-12's for both structural and movement reasons. In the beginning you want people to get good at moving and start some of those physiological restructuring engines without smashing them into the ground too much. Barely anyone with no training experience is going to be able to handle even 20 air squats without some problems near the end of the set. Why not do 3x8, get a few more reps overall and probably look better doing it. 

 

5's are good because they are right in that sweet spot of structural and neural effects while allowing people to push LP for a while to get a rhythm going. Anyone who's tried to add 5lbs a workout to a 3x12 knows how fast you can burn that out. There are many reasons why these ranges are the generally recommended ranges pretty much where ever you look when you're a beginner looking to start getting stronger and/or bigger but the most simple is that they work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd add that although 5/3/1 is designed for intermediate/advanced trainees, it can be a great beginner strategy for those with low recovery abilities (either via genetics, age, environment, etc. - like you would be if in caloric deficit).  I personally (34 years old, limited recovery ability both genetic and environmental) progressed nicely on SS for about 3-4 months, but just couldn't keep up with the required uploading.  After reading a post on 70's Big, I tried Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 and have really found it "fits" me better.  Progression is much slower than either SS or SL, but also much more manageable.  Not sure if I'd move it from the "advanced" category, just saying it's a good beginner alternative for some folks :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd add that although 5/3/1 is designed for intermediate/advanced trainees, it can be a great beginner strategy for those with low recovery abilities (either via genetics, age, environment, etc. - like you would be if in caloric deficit). I personally (34 years old, limited recovery ability both genetic and environmental) progressed nicely on SS for about 3-4 months, but just couldn't keep up with the required uploading. After reading a post on 70's Big, I tried Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 and have really found it "fits" me better. Progression is much slower than either SS or SL, but also much more manageable. Not sure if I'd move it from the "advanced" category, just saying it's a good beginner alternative for some folks :)

Well, you're an intermediate now, but yes, it works well, albeit slow, when recovery is limited for whatever reason. I am on a cut and will be following it in a more structured way starting next week myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you're an intermediate now, but yes, it works well, albeit slow, when recovery is limited for whatever reason. I am on a cut and will be following it in a more structured way starting next week myself.

Nice one!  Keep us posted on how you like it!

 

Yes, I'd say I'm an intermediate, but I'd add the qualifier that those labels have to be thoroughly assessed at the individual level, and absolutely must include consideration for environment, age, etc.  If I was 10 years younger, or didn't have a 1 year old at home waking up in the middle of the night, or was eating at or above maintenance, I'd still certainly be a beginner and would likely still be progressing on an LP like SS.  I only say this because for a while I was seriously second-guessing myself (i.e., how can I be an intermediate already??  I haven't been doing this long enough...I should still be progressing on SS...blah, blah, blah).  Once I recognized just how much individual circumstances come into play in assessing your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), I allowed myself to start considering more options for programming...and ultimately found the right one for me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no way I can just drop a heavy bar onto my garage floor, even with a homemade lifting platform. Would that make Stronglifts the more appropriate of the two beginner programs for me?

 

My primary goal right now is to lose weight without losing much, if any, muscle. Would Stronglifts be feasible if I maintain a calorie deficit and do not expect major strength gains during my weight-loss phase?

 

I'm 53, 5'8" (was 5'9"), and 290 (down from all-time fat-bloated high of 324 in February). Currently 100% paleo, 100% Whole30, after getting started on Unleash Your Thin earlier this summer and cutting out grains/gluten and dairy permanently. I made a lat machine with a third pulley down low for upward pulls, and I have adjustable dumbbells. I have not yet bought an oly bar and plates, given tight cash flow in this economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no way I can just drop a heavy bar onto my garage floor, even with a homemade lifting platform. Would that make Stronglifts the more appropriate of the two beginner programs for me?

 

My primary goal right now is to lose weight without losing much, if any, muscle. Would Stronglifts be feasible if I maintain a calorie deficit and do not expect major strength gains during my weight-loss phase?

 

I'm 53, 5'8" (was 5'9"), and 290 (down from all-time fat-bloated high of 324 in February). Currently 100% paleo, 100% Whole30, after getting started on Unleash Your Thin earlier this summer and cutting out grains/gluten and dairy permanently. I made a lat machine with a third pulley down low for upward pulls, and I have adjustable dumbbells. I have not yet bought an oly bar and plates, given tight cash flow in this economy.

 

Why is there no way you can drop a heavy bar? What's the concern? Are you talking about dropping the cleans? Dropping them doesn't happen often and doesn't become necessary until the weights start getting up there. I've dropped 225 lb from my hips multiple times onto my DL platform (here's my garage) with no issues and "lowered" 500+ lb deadlifts no problem. Bumper plates would allow much more. The rows in StrongLifts end up having the same effect as they're dropped from slightly above hip height and the weights can start getting up there.

 

As for what to expect on a cut, yes, that's about what you'd expect. If you're new to barbell lifts, you might even see some noob gains, which are from the body learning how to maximally recruit the muscles for the lift rather than muscle gains. OIther than that, gains will be slower or nonexistant while on a deficit compared to if you're eating to perform and recover maximally (500-1500 surplus).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been lifting for years now, my srength has definately increased and I recently found that supersetting is the way to go. I've been interested in trying the Body Beast dvd program,has anyone ever tried it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is there no way you can drop a heavy bar? What's the concern?

 

An existing crack in the garage floor, the acoustics of my garage, and the proximity of neighbors. Maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal.

 

BTW, I like your homemade power rack. How did you drill the holes? I don't have a drill press. I'm concerned that using a hand drill would leave me with poorly aligned holes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been lifting for years now, my srength has definately increased and I recently found that supersetting is the way to go. I've been interested in trying the Body Beast dvd program,has anyone ever tried it?

 

Not the thread for this discussion. Please make a new thread for it, though I haven't seen it mentioned.

 

An existing crack in the garage floor, the acoustics of my garage, and the proximity of neighbors. Maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal.

 

BTW, I like your homemade power rack. How did you drill the holes? I don't have a drill press. I'm concerned that using a hand drill would leave me with poorly aligned holes.

 

Yeah, I just try not to lift too late. I'll PM you about the rack, not the place to tlak about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

update on my first post, i've bought Strength Life Legacy by Paul Carter now, it's got a pretty solid beginner program in it which he used to train his 13yr old daughter, it's not too overloaded with learning new movements and instead focuses on learning the squat whilst doing plenty of ancillary work to prep for deadlifts and doing inclines instead of flat benches as there's less set up and learning required and once that basic strength is down it moves onto the other lifts, his daughters first deadlift was 2 x 2 with 135lbs if i remember correctly (after 6 weeks doing the first part of the program)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll post this once here so that I can stop posting it all over the place.

 

This is how StrongLifts handles stalls, deloads, and related programming changes:

  • a stall is any failure to make a rep
  • when you stall, do not increase the weight for that lift the next workout
  • if you do not stall the next time at the same weight, start increasing the weight for that lift again
  • deload a lift 10% after you stall 3 times at the same weight on that lift
  • switch a lift from 5x5 to 3x5 when you have deloaded twice and stall three more times at the same weight on that lift
  • switch a lift from 3x5 to 1x5 when you have deloaded twice and stall three more times at the same weight on that lift
  • You can be 5x5 on some lifts, 3x5 on another, and 1x5 on another.

Deadlifts are always 1x5 at work weight (i.e. not counting warmups).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now