Initially shared on Reddit’s /r/fitness community by /u/ivysaur, the Ivysaur 4-4-8 Beginner Program was designed to improve upon the foundation laid out by popular “sets of 5” novice lifting programs like Starting Strength and Strong Lifts.
The program can be summarized as follows:
Ivysaur 4-4-8 vs. Strong Lifts vs. Starting Strength
The Ivysaur Beginner Program differs from Starting Strength and Strong Lifts in a few important ways:
- More bench press volume and frequency
- More deadlift volume and frequency
- AMRAP sets to determine rate of progression instead of only using linear progression rates
- Squatting 1-2x per week instead of 3x per week
- More direct bicep work via chin ups
The program takes advantage of the novice lifter’s ability to recover more quickly between workouts by turning the volume and frequency up a notch. This makes it a great option for “graduates” of the Strong Lifts or Starting Strength programs as well as lifters just getting started.
Truthfully, if you’re a novice lifter, focus on eating, sleeping, and lifting. You’ll figure programming out along the way.