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Weak Guy Seeks Strength Program


Hey guys,

I'm looking for suggestions on a good strength program. Something to gain strength on rather than demonstrate it (i.e not a peaking cycle), based around the squat, deadlift and overhead press. Obviously I trawled the site first, but there's so many it's bewildering.

A bit about me,

I'm 45, 5 ft 8 and 187 lbs. I've been lifting consistently since I was 20, apart from a recent two year hiatus (2012-2014 ish) when I went travelling for a year and then moved abroad. I've been back in the swing of things for 18 months now on mainly a bodybuilding type routine, so I look ok, but am pathetically weak! and seeing all my dusty 45s stacked against the walls is starting to get to me.

I lift at home, can train 3 days a week, have a squat rack, hi-lo pulley machine and an incline bench, well it's actually a piece of 6" x 12" timber on the floor with a concrete block under one end, but it's adjustable, take out the block and it's a flat bench. Only works for DBs though.

I like a bit of volume and have a high boredom threshold, so it doesn't need to be fancy.

I tested my squat, dead and press on Friday to see where I am. All done in strict form...

Dead - 330lbs. Failed at mid shin with 352lbs. (150lbs off my best)

Press - 165lbs. May have been good for 170.

Squat - 286lbs. Embarassing! To be fair I haven't back squatted for years having become obsessed with the front squat recently. It felt completely alien, I thought I was going to fall flat on my face.

So there you have it,

Thanks in advance for any replies.




Great to see you again Brett. You’re not in Wales anymore? New name for me I was formerly ecogenx. Wendler’s 5/3/1 and Paul Carter’s Base Building are both great workouts that don’t require you to ever peak for meets if you don’t want to. And both let you play around so you don’t have to get bored.


Welcome back Farmer Brett, I was waiting for you to post before I started lifting again, thanks.

I wish I could give you advice on what program to use but information /advice from me is almost guaranteed to be counter productive and lead to injury.


5/3/1 seems to be what you are after. Give it a shot.


[quote]Crippler56 wrote:
5/3/1 seems to be what you are after. Give it a shot. [/quote]


Welcome back FB.




Wait. Are you the weak guy? The Brett of the beautiful squats and Oly lifts? Say it ain’t so!

And welcome back!


I would go with Yugoslavian, intermediate, ascending derivative tempo autoregulation templates with an occasional interspersing of regression method underloading to support non-peaking on a calendar basis?.or just do 5/3/1

Welcome back Brett !


-Basic lifts
-Weights around 80%-85%
-Reps in the 3-6 range
-Focus on quality reps
-No grinds
-Do several sets, increasing to many sets before you increase weight

I personally like to do some “heavy” sets, then back off with some lighter sets. I feel this helps with bar speed, movement intention and technique which are really important for strength. The different weights just feel and move a little “different.” To me, it almost feels like “skill training” instead of “strength training.”

You could also have heavy days and lighter days to get some variety.

Sample Days

Overhead Press
Bent Row
Front Squat

Clean and Press

Partial Press From Forehead
Back Squat

-Basically, whatever you want. As a “seasoned” lifter, strict, regimented plans can get you in trouble. You don’t want to force it if you don’t feel good, just because the paper says so. After 20 years in the game, even your instincts are highly trained. Work what isn’t sore, what feels ready, and what you want to do that day.


Bulldog - Thanks man

Eco - No not in Wales anymore, I’m in sunny Portugal. I remember you well. Big stones and deep snow!!

Brian - The funniest guy on the over 35 forum. I always enjoyed your log. Start it up again, you don’t have to lift, just log.

Crippler, Joe and wrightrocky - Thanks for the suggestion guys, I’m going to give it a go. I think I’ll struggle with the deloads, but I’ll follow it as written.

Kp - ‘Beautiful squats?’ Shucks you’re making me blush :slight_smile: Thanks for the welcome.

OG - How’s it going man? That routine sounds amazing. You had me at Yugoslavian! I’ve just sent my bank details to a very friendly Nigerian man on the internet who’s going to send me the e-book forthwith!

Flatsfarmer - Thanks for the link.


So 5/3/1 it is, starting tomorrow.

I want a 400lb squat by Christmas!!


[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:
So 5/3/1 it is, starting tomorrow.

I want a 400lb squat by Christmas!![/quote]
Remind me where you were before you dropped off the face of the earth…or at least this small corner of it.