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Best Damn Strength Program with Free Weights Only?


#1

Tried both strength and hypertrophy plans but have struggled without any machines in my home gym. I have two olympic bars and a Trap Bar with low and high handles. My dumbbells go up to 90lbs and i do have a power rack with a dip station and chin up bar. I have attached trx handles to the chin up bar for more elbow friendly chin up and pullups. I also took the neurotype test and I’m a type 1A with alot of 1B as well. So essentially , im trying to put together a best damn strength plan for natural lifters but leaning more towards lower reps such as clusters and rest pause. Not a fan of mtor although i do always control the negative. Also i can usually unfortunately only workout 4 days a week. Any suggestions on putting a program together would be much appreciated. I’m rereading the article now and will be throwing up ideas.


#2

My home gym set up isn’t too different than yours.

Here is an approach that I have liked:

Use 531 (or CT’s %) for the big barbell lifts.

For others, I often like Dan John’s 10-5-10+ rep scheme. For the first set, you do 10 reps with ~50% of your 10 RM. Add weight to about 75% of your 10 RM, and do 5 (don’t push either of these sets). Then, increase it to about your 10 RM, and shoot for “as many”. Dan John doesn’t call for an intensifier, buy you can easily add rest pause to it.

What about with no machines? I use weight vests for things like suspended push ups on rings, inverted rows, pull ups, and dips. Definitely worth the investment and lets you do multi-joint, bodyweight-style training at lower reps/higher intensity. I also prefer these by a large margin over machines (which I honestly never use, save for the pulleys I use for face pulls).

So, I might do 10 ring dips, add ~20 lbs to a vest/belt and do 5, then add 40-45 lbs and do “as many”. Note that this also works well for barbell lifting like OHP, squats, etc… if you are not using a %-based progression at the moment.


#3

Thanks for the input bro, I do have a nice belt that i add weight to for dips and chins. I like Wendlers 531 on paper but i think with my neurotype , after i run it for a week or two I end up dying for a change. I do like the suggestion Dan Johns 10-5-10+ on occassion if im shooting for a pump but again those are awfully high reps for me. Haven’t figured out the rest of what i want to do but i’m thinking of doing wt’d chins everyday that im in the gym. Thinking of progressing something like this starting at 45lbs added to belt…
Day 1 3 2 1 1 1
Day 2 3 2 2 1 1
Day 3 3 3 2 1 1
Day 4 4 3 2 1 1
Day 5 4 3 2 2 1
Day 6 4 3 3 2 1
Day 7 4 4 3 2 1
Day 8 5 4 3 2 1
Some days i will do a set of bdywt chins explosively after my last set wt’d chins. Usually like 5 reps
Then add 5-10lbs and start cycle over


#4

Having re-read the best damn strength program, this may not be the best for my Neurotype. IDk, i just tend to gravitate to 2 or three heavy exercises with one of them being an explosive lift. Today i’m planning on doing the chin ups as mentioned above. Power cleans , maybe russian strength skill style and then Bench Press with clusters or myoreps. That will be it excpet maybe an ab block. Hell maybe i’m lazy idk but after those big 3 I’m pretty much toast lol.


#5

I would have said this was all BS. Then I read it more carefully and realized how accurate and useful it was, and really explained a lot of my preferences. I love CT’s programs and especially his generosity to us mortals, but many of his programs are not aligned with my neurotype. That said, I did his “2 exercise” program and really loved it. I am more of a 531 guy, though, but look to CT or Dan John when I need a break.


#6

I am a 1b and have made very good progress in four weeks of best damn strength so far and broke through an mass building plateau i was on for two years.
I also train at home and have only free weights (less impressive home gym than you have).
For the big lifts i also use the 531 progression.
The program has four lifts in total per day and i always use rest pause or drop sets on one set of the three assistance exercises.

Works great, feels great, i recommend the programm.


#7

Here’s what i’ve settled on…I basically took Rippetoes starting strength but instead of 3x5 i changed it up to 5x3 and 5x2 on deadlifts.
Workout A
Squat 5x3
Push press 5x3 clean 1st rep
Deadlifts 5x2
Wt’d chins 3x to failure
Workout B
Squat 5x3
Bench 5x3
Power clean 5x3
May add some barbell curls on workout B day
Also will do explosive move prior to any weights each day. squat jumps, box jumps med ball tosses etc. Will do this 3 days a week. Leave 4th day open to possibly sprints, Heavy bag MMA work, sled pulls and pushes and farmers walks. Picking one or 2 of those.


#8

On 531 i dont feel like i can progress enough. Just hitting main lifts once a week. I don’t feel like i can grease the groove so to speak on the main lifts doing them that infrequently. Plus i need to squat more so i love idea of squatting 3x a week. The only exercises that i really like that are missing in the above program are Wt’d dips, zercher squats , and High pulls. Hell, i may take one of the squat days and do zerchers instead.