Suggestions on a New Program?

Looking for suggestions on a powerlifting program. Not because what I’m doing doesn’t work for me, but more for something a little different to change things up. I’m 52 yo, 5’11”, 197 lbs. I’ve been running Brian Alshrue’s 4Horsemen for almost a year now and have seen gains but I feel stuck in a rut.

I’ve run 5/3/1 and Starting Strength beginner programs before and switched to 4Horsemen because I liked the variation in the volume and intensity between workouts. For conditioning I use a C2 rower, but I do that as a separate workout, not in conjunction with my lifting. Admittedly I skimp on the accessory work, not for any reason other than time crunch. I’m not looking to compete ever but I really enjoy powerlifting and like seeing my numbers go up and want to keep it up.

Current maxes in lbs:
OHP - 125
DL - 330
BP - 215
SQ - 255

I’m looking for a 4 day a week program that I can complete in about 45 to 60 minutes. Time constraint is because I’m allowed that much time to exercise at my job and honestly I get bored after about 40 minutes or so unless there’s good variation in the program.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Just change assistance work if you feel you need a change. If whatever program you are doing is working then changing programs is a very bad idea, unless you aren’t actually concerned about making progress. As far as pre-written programs, there are lot of different 5/3/1 templates to choose from, if you aren’t looking to hire a coach or can write your own program (and you wouldn’t be posting here if you can) then that is probably your best bet.

If you want to get anywhere you need to change this mindset of needing changes and variation and getting bored after 40 minutes. That sort of thinking is not a recipe for success. If you don’t enjoy this then it’s not really worth it.


I don’t mean to imply that I don’t enjoy it. I guess it’s more losing focus that getting bored after 40 minutes.

Maybe I need more of a specific goal than just getting stronger.

Since you’re an alsruhe fan, maybe run dark horse.

If you haven’t looked at that program it’s 12 weeks. Its kinda a combination of conjugate and 5/3/1. It has the normal giant sets he likes but you get to do lift variations for each lift. I think you do 3 variations. And then dynamic effort with bands of the opposite upper or lower lift.


Have you tried Ritalin?

The problem is 100% in your head, and unfortunately I can’t help with that.


I have a better approach that Ritalin. Kind of.

Stop looking for enjoyment in training. You don’t go to work primarily to enjoy it. You do it for the paycheck. Training is work, performance is the paycheck. Feelings don’t have any real bearing on it. Just get satisfaction from knowing everything you do in the gym is a step towards a bigger, better paycheck.

If you’re looking just to enjoy training, be prepared to sacrifice performance. Enjoyable training isn’t always productive.


This is an awesome program. I’ve been running it for almost 24 weeks and I have never been stronger all around, not just in the major lifts.

If what you are doing is working for you why would you want to change anything. I agree with @MarkKO, training isn’t always enjoyable but the results are worth the work. Maybe you need to think harder about what you are really trying to achieve from training and go from there. If you want to get stronger then stick with something that works and keep making small improvements, over time these will add up to big improvements.
If you decide you don’t care about strength specifically and just train to be healthy then pick any 12 week challenge program and have fun.


I like the program as well. Time restrictions were my biggest issue. However if you can stick with the progressions there’s no way you won’t get stronger.

What kind of gains have you seen with it?

Loads on Tnation part of the site. Either of these fit the ticket…

Sorry guys, but F that. That is terrible advice.

Some part of training should absolutely be enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying the process you’re not doing it right. Obviously not every session will be thrilling, but most should be enjoyable. The guy who’s excited about the session he’s about to do is going to train harder than another who finds their program boring.

Secondly, 40 minutes of lifting is plenty. That’s where attention wanes naturally for most people. You’ll just need to keep the rest periods on the shorter side, use supersets where possible, and keep fluff out of the program.

Like Chris said, it would be ideal to keep a similar system for the main lifts since it’s been working, but you also may benefit from a new program. While not powerlifting specific, Christian Thibeaudeau has lots of programs on here that are good for people who need new stimuli and variation. I’d take a look there.

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Maybe you should volunteer to coach him then. I hear there are a lot of successful lifters who don’t train for more than 40 minutes at a time and change programs every few weeks.


Your advice sounds appropriate for an overweight middle aged woman looking to get he first gym membership, not anything to do with powerlifting though.


Could he really be more frustrating than me :wink:

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Did you read his post??

  1. His numbers are on the low end. Most any program will drive progress at this stage.
  2. “Admittedly I skimp on the accessory work, not for any reason other than time crunch” He doesn’t have 60 minutes to train. He has about 40, so that’s what you work with.
  3. “I’m not looking to compete ever but I really enjoy powerlifting and like seeing my numbers go up and want to keep it up.” He’s not going to compete! He just wants to enjoy lifting while also getting stronger.

Obviously you’re not a coach, since you’re trying to impose your beliefs in a situation that isn’t compatible. Open your mind a bit.


No, I just type random shit. What the fuck do you think?

I’m not here to debate someone else’s issues with you. You seem to be looking for an argument, if you want to add your own opinion (as others here have done) then you can do so without criticizing other people. You’re just some random guy with mediocre lifts and you aren’t a coach either, so your opinion doesn’t really count for much. You also haven’t contributed anything useful to the discussion, unless you feel that turning a thread into an argument is useful.

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Maybe if OP doesn’t want to train more than 40 minutes, a high frequency program would make sense. Training 5-6 days a week for shorter periods. This would be especially appealing if OP works out at home, or his gym is on the way to or from work.


That’s what I was thinking as well. A 5-6 day program would probably work very well.

I’m not here to criticize. Just advise. I just felt particularly strong about this one and had to provide counterpoints to assist the OP.

Also, just curious, what do you consider good numbers to be? Do you consider your numbers good? My squat and deadlift max appear to be pretty similar to yours.

Then don’t quote people and say they are giving terrible advice. You sound like you are trying to scold me and @MarkKO for giving advice that you don’t agree with, but you don’t actually have any specific suggestions of your own. As far as I’m concerned, the OP’s main problem is his attitude towards training, not some magic program. But apparently you know better.

A lot more than either of us lift.

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