Strength training programming

Basic Programming: 5×5, 6×4, 7×3…

Essentially the first thing to remember is these all work! Whether you’re doing 5×5’s, 6×4’s etc. Although they’re simple, they’re effective and an excellent building block for beginners or people between larger cycles. They absolutely work, don’t let their simplicity fool you. Specificity breeds success! You want be better at deadlifts? Do more of them.

On a slightly separate topic, if you find yourself plateauing a) it’s your fault b) eat more c) reset and start a program again at a higher weight than your previous starting point.

You might be working on a 4 day split that could look something like this, with each of the compound lifts and accessories being;  5 sets of 5 or 6 sets of 4:

  1. Bench Press (accessory) x Deadlift
  2. Bent over Row x Back Squat
  3. Rest day
  4. Deadlift (accessory) x Bench Press 
  5. Rest day
  6. Deadlift x Back Squat
  7. Sunday obviously!

You could run anywhere between a 6-12 week program based around the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift and make 🔥 gains. I personally add this in to a more ‘powerbuilding‘ style program as otherwise you’ll end up looking like a disproportionate porpoise. For reference just focusing on your chest, legs and some form of back is probably not the most aesthetically pleasing look. I’m assuming you already know this, but just in case…

To counter this I’ll usually add in a couple of giant-style sets (for more on giant-sets see my previous post:My Current Programming: Giant Sets) which could be:

  • Lat-pull downs / Bicep curls
  • Arnold Press / Incline flies
  • Stiff-legged Deadlifts (SLDL’s) / Piston squats
  • Machine flies / Reverse flies

Effectively I want to do sets that’s can be done in 10 minutes max, that help get some volume in and minimise my time in the gym. However IMO you shouldn’t add in giant sets for every session. Deadlifting and back-squatting twice a week can be a debilitating process so don’t overreach yourself; I would suggest adding the giant sets / hypertrophy work in the less debilitating sessions (i.e. Bench Press / accessory sessions) so as you don’t have to go to bed for 3 hours after. It’s ruined my days plenty of times…


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