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Do Simple Programs Not Work?


This is an honest question. I just finished reading a few books that were recommended to me: New Rules of Lifting, Huge in a Hurry and Book of Muscle. All of the programs in these books seem pretty complicated to me. Could you not see results from doing a simple program of the big lifts (deadlift, squat, press, etc.) with the goals shifting between weight, reps and rest?

Assuming your nutrition is sound and you don't get bored easily, is that not enough variation to keep your body guessing and adapting for the rest of you lifting career? Thanks.




What's so comlicated about Huge in a Hurry? I'd say it's pretty simple. You do 3 workouts a week and most of the lifts are compound movements. There realy isn't anything complicated about it at all. The HFT is somewhat complicated, but I would say that its more time consuming than complicated.

To answer your question, yes you can see gains from simple programs. In fact I used simple programs in the begining. The problem is if all you do is deadlift squat press etc you will be limiting your gains. You need variety to keep progressing. Guys that do PL dont just do Bench press. They do Floor presses, box presses, chain bench press etc.

The Idea is that hitting your muscle slightly differently will cause it to grow/get stronger, so don't write off an exercise just because you think it's complicated. The same is true for bodybuilders they use a variety of exercises to achieve their goals.


In my opinion, the simple programs are the ones that work 99% of the time.

Are you even lifting weights right now or are you just reading about it...?


What, in particular, seemed complicated? The rotation of exercises/sets/reps? The layout of the actual workouts?

See, now I'm confused about what you mean by "with the goals shifting between weight, reps and rest." The weight you're using should pretty much always be going up. The sets and reps can be rotated or manipulated based on your specific training goals (strength, hypertrophy, etc.). Rest is a variable that people seem to either overlook, take for granted, or underestimate. It can definitely play an important part in your training, but out of everything you've mentioned, it's the lowest on the list of "things to micromanage."

Again, it's not super-clear what you're asking, but in one form or another, the basic exercises like deads, squats, and presses could pretty much always have a place in your routine. But at some point, depending on your goals, development, and experience, more diverse exercise variety will be necessary.

I definitely agree.

Overcomplication and overanalysis is the cause of most imaginary plateaus and stagnant training. But there's fine line between ineffective, complicated training and effective, advanced techniques.

See, we can be civil and on the same page, as long as nobody mentions "that S.S. thing." :wink:


The basics don't change.

Repping progressively heavier weights, making incremental gains in bodyweight, and eating at least 1g per pound of bodyweight in protein daily.

Some programs are just better at the basics than others, but yes we can at least agree on the above. lol


If more people would comprehend and apply the above points isntead of worrying about stupid unimportant bullshit, we'd have a helluva lot more large people walking around.


I get it this is a trick question. The answer is yes because (deadlift, squat, press, etc) ETC = EVERY other exercise out there that will help your particular body at that particular time right?


The answer to your question is no.




Damn straight. That's pretty much how I train--some days I'll go for more reps, some days a PR in weight, some days I'll get more sets in. It rotates.

I do also change exercises from time to time, but basically yes--simple programs do work very well, provided they are planned and organized properly.




How can lifting progressively heavier weights be boring?