T Nation

For Strength..


Ive been lifting about 2 years now and my strength levels don't really show it. Ive been training to get bigger all this time and I have gotten bigger but I'm tired of being all show, no go. I figured I would quit doing all the crap i been doing and go back to the essentials and try to become as strong as possible, and at 5'8" 181lbs., only being able to bench press 185x6, squat 250x2, and deadlift 250x5 i think strength is definitely something i need to work on. As far as size, I read somewhere that i should train for strength and let things fall in place so that's what i plan on doing. Since I started lifting, I've gained about 30lbs. and its actually been pretty lean. I'd like to ask for advice from some of the strong guys here, how would you think this would play out:

Military press 3x5
Side laterals 5x10
upright rows 3x12
weighted dips 5x5

Squat 3x5
Walking lunges
chins ill do how many ever sets to get to 30. i suck at these.
shrugs 5x10

Bench press 3x5
Incline DB bench press 5x10
weighted dips 5x5

Deadlift 3x5
bent over rows 5x10
chins same as squat day
shrugs 5x10
good mornings 5x10

Ill do Defrancos agile 8 plus jumping rope for a warm up and my diet will support the heavy training. Thanks guys.


The easiest and most basic thing you can do is buy Wendler's 5/3/1 e-book and put together a workout based on that. It's a strength-building program, and it does a good job at it.

You can do your 5/3/1 workout, and then add in accessory work using the BBB template, and you can get your bodybuilding jollies off.


For beginning strength, I'd recommend starting strength, WSSB, or 5/3/1. At your level, you could probably just do some really basic linear progression and just ramp up to a 5-8rep maximum on the main lift everytime you work out.


Hi i started going to the gym in July...

I just did what they one kind guy in the gym told me..

Military Press
Back Squat
Deadlift (Sumo for me)

Do one of those per day add in 2 assistance exercises per exercise (I still didn't when i stopped doing it 2 days ago ) and you'll do fine.

Dont go above 4 reps on Main Exercise - ramp till you crash. Then do the assistance 3-4 * 8

Military press Standing
Close Grip Military Press (More Tricep Work)
Seated DB

Stiff Leg DL
Leg Press

Barbell Rows

Bench press
Incline DB bench press
Close Grip

That was my setup, Stallion gave me a Squatathon program I'm currently running - try that out.

It worked pretty damn well suffice to say I'm beyond your numbers (even on that dratted bench press !)can't really hurt to try it


ps: Feel free to ignore this as stated have only been training since July !


I agree with Fletch on something like Starting Strength or a 5x5 program. 5/3/1 is fantastic but I you will be able to make faster gains than 5/3/1 will allow. Stick to something basic yet proven and you will be fine


5/3/1 Boring But Big template


I think after being in the gym for 18 months, he'd be just fine for 5/3/1, but you can't go wrong with Starting Strength or a 5x5.

The thing is this-after a few months of those two, he'll end up with 5/3/1 anyways, so why not cut out the transition right away?


Definitely do 5/3/1. I had only been training for 1 year before I started that. All my lifts jumped tremendously. In a year, you can expect your total to go up about 300 lbs (120 on squat, 120 on deadlift, 60 on bench) minimum, assuming you do everything correctly. Hope this helps.



EDIT: If you're looking for pure strength, then do this 5/3/1 template.

Monday: Squat

Squat - 5/3/1
Lower Back
Quad Movement (maybe)

Tuesday: Bench

Bench - 5/3/1
Lats/Upper Back

Wednesday: Off/Conditioning

Thursday: Deadlift

Deadlift - 5/3/1
Lower Back

Friday: Overhead Press

OHP - 5/3/1
DB Military Press


2 same threads. I wrote my answer in beginners.


I hate to tell you OP, but with these stats "only being able to bench press 185x6, squat 250x2, and deadlift 250x5 " you are NEITHER show NOR go. This is stats of a person that barely works out, and my guess would be that your physique shows it. Read some on basic training, start training wiht a simple template and adding pounds to the bar and to the kitchen table, everything else will fall in its right place