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Comment on my Pure Strength Program


Hey guys, need you guys to help me comment on my program to gain strength. So here it goes:

3 reps X 7 sets each exercise

Workout A: Squats, Bench press, barbell rows

Workout B: Deadlifts, Pull ups, Shoulder press

Alternate A,B,A,B,A,B,A. 3 workouts per week. All exercises are 3 reps X 7 sets, rest 3-5 mins between sets.



For a set of 7, 3-5 minutes is probly too much rest. Exercise selection is pretty good, but think about some form of periodization (i.e. decreasing volume as you increase intensity).


He is doing 7 sets of 3.
The rest time is fine... whatever it takes to recover.

I like the A-B layout and the lifts, but I do think you may need to switch up the volume every week.

Perhaps wk 1 - High, 2- Medium, 3- Very High, 4- Low


I think you might benefit from taking a look at Starting Strength and Practical Programming.


They have examples of more efficient strength programs very similar to that. If I were you, I would Squat again on workout b and just do 1 heavy set of deadlifts afterwards keep the chins. Workout A, I would clean instead of row personally, however rows are good too. You may get better strength gains out of a 3x5 vs 3x7. I did a 3x8 for a while and it worked though.

Overall looks like a pretty solid training routine. Also, if you run into problems with it, don't abandon the program all togather, try to find the problem and modify it so that it keeps working. Good luck with it!


Thanks alot guys.

Another question i would like to ask, in this program of mine, i would only be doing 1 kind of exercises 1-2 times per week, is this okay for a strength program?

But my deadlifts is weaker than my squats and wouldn't it become more weaker and unbalanced this way? Any reasons why only 1 sets of deadlifts and so many sets of squats? Thanks.


There are a lot of ways to skin a cat. I think that elano is saying you need some more leg work. Which I agree with. Why not keep the deadlifts, but add in something like a front squat afterwards? Or trade the deadlifts for snatch grips off a block or something similar?


oh But isn't deadlifts leg work? but also, my upper body is already lagging behind my lower body...


Yes of course deadlifts do work your legs to a great extent. By increasing the range slightly you will just recruit your legs slightly more.

If you feel your upper is lacking, then add in a small amount of upper body assistance work.


ok alright thanks.


Your deadlift is weaker than your squat because you aren't breaking parallel. Once you lower the weight and go down all the way, you will find that your squat weight is actually lower than your deadlift.

The reason I am telling you this is because a DEEP squat will work your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back very hard. When you do a high squat, the quads do most of the work and the shorter range of motion makes it possible to lift much heavier weights than you would be able to if you were to go below parallel.

Once you are doing deep squats, it will only take one heavy set of deadlifts afterwards for you to get stronger at them since the major muscle groups were already prefatigued by the deep squat. You may have to work on your form a little to hit the correct depth. Try a slightly wider stance and try not to let your knees go any more than slightly in front of the toes.

It should look like the squat on the cover of this book. Notice the position of the thighs.


no, i do deep squats, ATG squats. But my deadlifts is weaker, yeah i know it's unbalance but i think it's due to my weak back. So, should i stick to my original program instead of doing more squats and only 1 set of deadlift which will cause even more unbalance?


If I were you and training for strength, I would squat every workout and deadlift every other workout just like starting strength recommends. Your deadlift will probably eventually get stronger than your squat especially when get to a point where you can only add 5lb per workout on the squat but can still add 10 lb per workout on the deadlift.

What is keeping your deadlift from going up? You mentioned your arm, is it your grip strength? Are you using a mixed grip?

If you are squatting every workout, only heavy set is needed to keep the deadlift progressing. Shit dude, you do it 2 times a week. When you are not deadlifting, you will be powercleaning for multiple sets which will also help your deadlift improve since the first half of a clean is a deadlift. If you do too much volume on deadlifts, you will not be able to recover enough between workouts and your squat will likely suffer.

You can try your program if you want, do whatever. Just know that coach Mark Rippetoe has already thought of all this stuff and that's why he made Starting Strength.


Deadlifts are notoriously difficult to recover from in anything but the lowest amount of volume. Bill Starr used to have many of his lifters train the DL on a monthly or bi-weekly basis.

He also had some of his strength athletes DL on a weekly basis; very, very rarely would he have his lifters DL on a semi-weekly basis and even then it was only temporary. In short, it is easy to overtrain by deadlifting too frequently and/or with too much volume.

And there is really very little relationship between the number of times you do a lift per week and the rate at which you can increase the poundage. Just add weight in larger jumps to the DL than the squat.

For example, maybe you add 2.5 or 5 lbs. to your squat each session, but you can add 10-20 lbs. to the DL if you do it once a week and ramp up to a top set (instead of doing several sets across as you do in the squat).

Worst case scenario, maybe you deliberately hold the squat weight at a constant every other workout while you wait for the DL to catch up.


Alright i understand what you guys meant, thanks. So i'll do 3 reps X 7 sets of squats 3 times a week, but only deadlift 1 heavy set 1-2 times a week? Is that right?

Sorry guys, i have one more question. For all exercises, i'll be doing 3 reps X 7 sets, so how should i go about on my warm-up sets and working sets? How many warm-up sets and working sets should i do? For example, can i do about 3 warm-up sets increasing to my working sets, then for the last 4 sets, i do the same working weight(which is my 3RM)? Can i have an example on how should i ramp up the weights for my 7 sets? thanks alot.

Yeah, my grip, and my back is weak too. Nope, not using mixed grip, using normal grip.


Anyone can help?


Nope. No one can help. You're all alone. Hence the lack of posts on this thread ...

Seriously, you're asking some ... odd questions. Why do you want to do 7 sets of 3? Do 2-3 warmup sets, ramping weight to your workset with roughly equal intervals.

For example:
185x3x5 (work sets; 3 sets of 5 reps)

You want to prime your body for holding onto a heavy weight, relative to your worksets, so you don't injure yourself. Don't overdo the warmup sets.

Use a mixed grip when double overhand fails, and if that fails use straps. Letting your grip hold your deadlift back is stupid unless you're planning on doing a competition where you can't use straps.

And buy the books that were mentioned.


alright got it thanks. But for your example, why is it 5 reps? So i just change it to 3 reps?