A full body workout routine is any program that works all of the major muscle groups in each training session. They are effective for building strength, gaining muscle, and losing fat. As such, they are commonly recommended for many beginner lifters, though they are also well suited for intermediate and advanced lifters.[Read more…]
Strength Training Program
Recommended Strength Training Routines:
- nSuns (novice/intermediate)
- Madcow 5x5 (intermediate/advanced)
- Building the Monolith (intermediate/advanced)
- GZCL (intermediate)
- Wendler 5/3/1 (intermediate)
- GZCLP (novice/intermediate)
- Ivysaur 4-4-8 (novice)
- Strong Lifts 5x5 (novice)
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Recommended Reading: Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe (Amazon)
Strength training programs are designed to increase the maximal force of the athlete's musculature. While the routines emphasize growing the strength of the athlete, they generally will also induce hypertrophy and trigger muscle growth. This is part of what helps the athlete get stronger. If hypertrophy is the primary goal, a powerbuilding or bodybuilding program is a better fit.
Strength routines differ from powerlifting programs in that they are not specifically designed to maximize the single rep max of the competition power lifts. However, many strength programs can be reasonably used as off season work for powerlifters as long as the program is followed by a powerlifting peaking program before a meet.
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Search the Lift Vault Program Library to find the exact program you're looking for based on many criteria (e.g. experience level, days per week, and much more).
The latest strength training programs are available below.
Heavy, Light, Medium (HLM) programs are a simple and effective way to organize strength training. Each training session consists of either a heavy, medium, or light load for a given lift. The HLM training style is extremely flexible and can be used to accommodate many training goals.[Read more…]
The “Dad Bod” Bridge program is a workout routine submitted by a Lift Vault reader. It is designed for busy people (especially parents) that are looking for any easy to follow routine that will help them grow and maintain strength in a limited amount of time. As the name suggests, it was inspired by The Bridge, a late stage novice strength program created by Barbell Medicine. [Read more…]
An ectomorph workout is a training program designed to build mass for skinny individuals. The ectomorph body type is often described as having a flat chest, small shoulders, and thin waist. These individuals are often described as thin or skinny and have trouble putting on weight, possibly due to a faster than average metabolism (i.e. they are a “hard gainer”).
Building muscle and gaining weight is primarily a function of three things: [Read more…]
5/3/1 is one of the most popular strength training programs ever, influencing other programs like GZCL and nSuns along the way. Its popularity has stemmed from its simplicity, flexibility, and ability to be run over and over for long periods of time. It favors slow, steady, repeatable progression over the long term instead of programs that pile on the weight for a few weeks or months before progress grinds to a halt. [Read more…]
Boring But Big (BBB) is a variation of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 template that focuses on high volume accessory work to induce hypertrophy after the main “5/3/1” work is finished. The BBB accessory work follows a scheme of 5 sets of 10 reps (5×10). It is both brutally simple and effective, making it one of the most popular 5/3/1 variations. [Read more…]
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some popular strength training programs?
Popular strength training programs include, for novices, GreySkull LP, StrongLifts, and GZCLP and, for intermediate/advanced athletes, nSuns, Wendler 5/3/1, and the Texas Method. These are tried and true fully body training plans that will help you get stronger by exposing you to heavy weights and letting you add weight on a regular basis and build muscle.
What are some good beginner strength training programs?
Good strength training programs for beginners will be based on linear periodization and rapid progression, which take advantage of the novice lifter’s ability to have their homeostasis easily disrupted and recover quickly from that disruption. Programs that fit the bill for this include Starting Strength, Strong Lifts, and GreySkull LP. Ivysaur 4-4-8 is another solid pick.
How many days a week should I do strength training?
If you’re just starting out, 3 training days a week is a good starting point. Doing more than that, like working out every day, is not really necessary and could actually harm the lifter’s ability to adequately recover between sessions, especially if loads are increasing from workout to workout, as they should be on any good novice strength program.
Intermediate level lifters may benefit from training 4 or 5 days per week in order to achieve the necessary stimulus to disrupt homeostasis and induce adaptation in the necessary muscle groups.
How is a strength program different from a powerlifting program?
It really depends on how the program is designed and what its goals are. Often times a powerlifting program is associated with a peaking program, which specifically aims to increase the one rep max on the squat, bench press, and deadlift. A strength program is less likely to focus on peaking. It also may focus less on strict competition lifts and may incorporate more variations of those lifts, like front squats, incline bench press, Romanian deadlifts, etc. Of course, all of those lifts can be used to help increase powerlifting performance too.
At the end of the day, every powerlifting program is a strength program, but not every strength program may be ideal for powerlifting.