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.
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.
Ivysaur 4-4-8 Program Spreadsheet